"But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." - John Adams

Monday, October 31, 2011


When Nationalism Becomes A Little Frightening

This past weekend, The Bitter Patriot took a few days off from the busy schedule of pissing people off and ventured to our neighboring State of Florida.  I went to witness the annual debauchery formerly, officially known as "The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party" or The Annual Georgia - Florida Football Classic.  I am happy to report the victory of the UGA Bulldogs. Goooo Dawgs!

While I am excited that The United States of America will soon only be involved "officially" in 6 military conflicts instead of 7, after this year end's scheduled withdrawal from Iraq. I am reminded that we are only currently involved in 2 that had a minimum of Congressional approval and 0 with a formal Declaration of War. (After we withdraw from Iraq it will only be the Afghan conflict with approval from Congress) But I digress.

The opening moments of the Football Festivities in Jacksonville were marked by a few strange new trends.  First, and unbeknownst to me ahead of time, we we all frisked before being allowed entrance to the stadium. All 84,000 of us were felt up, not by the Transportation Security Adminisrtration, but by the stadium's private security force. Obviously, none of them had any sort of Law Enforcement training, or they would have found the myriad of liquor bottles I stepped over in the restroom.  I wonder how many weapons they missed?  Had I known that I would have to allow myself to be felt up by the Rent-a-cops on my way into the stadium, in ways that would otherwise merit a sexual assault charge, I would have stayed at the tailgate and watched it on TV.

Still not to the most bizarre new twist to college football.

Now, prior to the traditional singing of the National Anthem, the entire stadium is encouraged to participate in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of The United States of America. 

This would not have bothered me 10 years ago, but today with American involvement in no less than 7 military conflicts around the world, the Department of Homeland Security conducting the 4th Amendment-violating screenings at airports,  DHS checkpoints on the highways, security cameras on every corner, well, I start thinking the whole Nationalism is getting to be a bit much. 

None of this is for the "security" of the "homeland". 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

ALERT:  Final Implementation Phase of Obama Formal Dictatorship has Begun

ALERT: Final Implementation Phase of Obama Formal Dictatorship has Begun

Man, I've been busy.

Over the last couple of weeks, I've been running a little ragged.

It started with helping out with a float for the Atlanta Pride Parade.  The Libertarian Party of Georgia made its third annual appearance in the parade and also hosted an outreach booth in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.  The parade was on Sunday and took about 12 hours out of my weekend.  Totally worth it, though.  We gathered a few hundred new subscribers to our weekly online newsletter "Georgia Libertarian Online".  The LP Float had the world's largest QR code on either side that took the scanner directly to the LP Georgia sign up page.  I think we had about 125 people scan the code while we eased on down the road.

Monday morning following the Pride weekend, I hopped on a flight from Atlanta to Harrisburg, PA to visit a customer.  The outbound airport experience was nothing out of the ordinary.  I fly so much that I know most of the TSA agents by name, all 300 of them.

I ended up working in my client's manufacturing plant about 70 hours over the next 4 days.  My feet and back are still sore a week later.

My return trip started out ok, but as I approached the TSA screening area, the agents stopped using the magnetometer (walk through metal detector) and fired up the Microwave Oven Naked Body Scanner. Now, I have no use for the security theater that goes on in airports these days and have no intention of having my DNA scrambled in a Jiffy Pop popcorn cooker, so I "opted out" and had an "enhanced pat down".

This was no "pat down".  I am a former Federal Law Enforcement Officer and have been trained in the art of searching suspects as part of an arrest.  I truly thought a cavity search was coming. I asked Barney Fife how he liked poking and prodding the genitals of complete strangers.  That got a smirk.  I then recited the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution to him.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

This only pissed him off.  He attempted to tell me that it didn't apply, since I was not under arrest. Hmm, I think he confused that pesky Constitutional Amendment with the Miranda Act.  Obviously, pointing out his mistake led to a little Constitutional Convention of our own with the TSA agent, his supervisor and local law enforcement. I offered all of the participants a parting gift from my briefcase (Campaign for Liberty Pocket Constitutions with a foreword by Congressman Ron Paul) and made my way to the gate.

The following Saturday, I was honored to take part in a round table discussion for television on "We Speak".  The subject matter for the show: Constitutional Powers - Expressed Vs. Implied.  It was a ton of fun teaching the Executive Director of the GA Democratic Party a few things about why her interpretation of the General Welfare clause is just plain wrong, but that will have to wait for another post.

I spent this week catching up, so I apologize for my absence.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Information Flow.

Maybe it's just me.
I dunno.  I kinda do things by feel more than my statistic.  I really don't have the time or energy to analyse web traffic data, day in and day out, but something lately just feels wrong.
As a creature of habit, I look at the same several websites daily and lately, it seems that the flow of information is really slowing down. I've written on this subject before, and at that time, I was receiving a whole lot more information than I am today.
Like I said, it may just be me. Or maybe, Big Brother doesn't want me to reach YOU.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Big Brother is Watching YOU. FBI to launch national facial recognition program

The FBI by mid-January will activate a nationwide facial recognition service in select states that will allow local police to identify unknown subjects in photos, bureau officials told Nextgov.

The federal government is embarking on a multiyear, $1 billion dollar overhaul of the FBI's existing fingerprint database to more quickly and accurately identify suspects, partly through applying other biometric markers, such as iris scans and voice recordings.

Often law enforcement authorities will "have a photo of a person and for whatever reason they just don't know who it is [but they know] this is clearly the missing link to our case," said Nick Megna, a unit chief at the FBI's criminal justice information services division. The new facial recognition service can help provide that missing link by retrieving a list of mug shots ranked in order of similarity to the features of the subject in the photo.

Today, an agent would have to already know the name of an individual to pull up the suspect's mug shot from among the 10 million shots stored in the bureau's existing Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System. Using the new Next-Generation Identification system that is under development, law enforcement analysts will be able to upload a photo of an unknown person; choose a desired number of results from two to 50 mug shots; and, within 15 minutes, receive identified mugs to inspect for potential matches. Users typically will request 20 candidates, Megna said. The service does not provide a direct match.

Michigan, Washington, Florida and North Carolina will participate in a test of the new search tool this winter before it is offered to criminal justice professionals across the country in 2014 as part of NGI. The project, which was awarded to Lockheed Martin Corp. in 2008, already has upgraded the FBI's fingerprint matching service.

Local authorities have the choice to file mug shots with the FBI as part of the booking process. The bureau expects its collection of shots to rival its repository of 70 million fingerprints once more officers are aware of the facial search's capabilities.

Thomas E. Bush III, who helped develop NGI's system requirements when he served as assistant director of the CJIS division between 2005 and 2009, said, "The idea was to be able to plug and play with these identifiers and biometrics." Law enforcement personnel saw value in facial recognition and the technology was maturing, said the 33-year FBI veteran who now serves as a private consultant.

NGI's incremental construction seems to align with the White House's push to deploy new information technology in phases so features can be scrapped if they don't meet expectations or run over budget.

But immigrant rights groups have raised concerns that the Homeland Security Department, which exchanges digital prints with the FBI, will abuse the new facial recognition component. Currently, a controversial DHS immigrant fingerprinting program called Secure Communities runs FBI prints from booked offenders against the department's IDENT biometric database to check whether they are in the country illegally. Homeland Security officials say they extradite only the most dangerous aliens, including convicted murderers and rapists. But critics say the FBI-DHS print swapping ensnares as many foreigners as possible, including those whose charges are minor or are ultimately dismissed.

Megna said Homeland Security is not part of the facial recognition pilot. But, Bush said in the future NGI's data, including the photos, will be accessible by Homeland Security's IDENT.

The planned addition of facial searches worries Sunita Patel, a staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who said, "Any database of personal identity information is bound to have mistakes. And with the most personal immutable traits like our facial features and fingerprints, the public can't afford a mistake."

In addition, Patel said she is concerned about the involvement of local police in information sharing for federal immigration enforcement purposes. "The federal government is using local cops to create a massive surveillance system," she said.

Bush said, "We do have the capability to search against each other's systems," but added, "if you don't come to the attention of law enforcement you don't have anything to fear from these systems."

Other civil liberties advocates questioned whether the facial recognition application would retrieve mug shots of those who have simply been arrested. "It might be appropriate to have nonconvicted people out of that system," said Jim Harper, director of information policy at the libertarian Cato Institute. FBI officials declined to comment on the recommendation.

Harper also noted large-scale searches may generate a lot of false positives, or incorrect matches. Facial recognition "is more accurate with a Google or a Facebook, because they will have anywhere from a half-dozen to a dozen pictures of an individual, whereas I imagine the FBI has one or two mug shots," he said.

FBI officials would not disclose the name of the search product or the vendor, but said they gained insights on the technique's accuracy by studying research from the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In responding to concerns about the creation of a Big Brother database for tracking innocent Americans, Megna said the system will not alter the FBI's authorities or the way it conducts business. "This doesn't change or create any new exchanges of data," he said. "It only provides [law enforcement] with a new service to determine what photos are of interest to them."

In 2008, the FBI released a privacy impact assessment summarizing its appraisal of controls in place to ensure compliance with federal privacy regulations. Megna said that, during meetings with the CJIS Advisory Policy Board and the National Crime Prevention and Privacy Compact Council, "we haven't gotten a whole lot of pushback on the photo capability."

The FBI has an elaborate system of checks and balances to guard fingerprints, palm prints, mug shots and all manner of criminal history data, he said.

"This is not something where we want to collect a bunch of surveillance film" and enter it in the system, Megna said. "That would be useless to us. It would be useless to our users."

By Aliya Sternstein 10/07/2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Buy Gold, While It's On Sale

Dollar Commentary:
Smart investing is about taking advantage of situations when they arise, and there are plenty of opportunities right now. On the above chart you can see that the dollar has gained 19% against gold in the last month, after falling horribly for many years. This dollar rally is effectively an invitation to increase your gold holdings, and it is what I have done this week. Gold is quickly becoming my personal currency.

Debts have to be paid, whether in one form or another. Dollar debt can be paid traditionally or by dilution. The US debt is so large that I don’t believe it can be paid traditionally, so the dollar has to be diluted. This dilution will cost all citizens in one form or another, mostly in the form of a lower standard of living.

If a currency is diluted it loses purchasing power, both here and abroad. The buyer gets less and pays more. In the next few months the dollar appears headed down to the $65.00 area on the $USD index. This technical price action represents the fundamental of debt payment by dilution.

While the time of this actual quotation is uncertain, Jim Rogers has commented on the magnitude of the US debt with this statement over the years,“Europe’s got some bad problems but the entity as a whole is not nearly as deep in debt as the U.S. They don't have a huge balance of trade deficit, like we do.”

Our debt could turn into a crisis, and it could be a lot worse than what Europe is experiencing. Will Illinois, California, and New York be viewed by the rest of America like Germany views Greece now? Where does this all end? It feels like there is no end, and much more pain to come for many years.

The dollar rally already now appears to be starting a topping out process. This process that is topping the dollar is also creating substantial bottoming action in gold and commodities. I expect this process to take another two weeks. I want to own more gold while the “sale” is on.

Gold Super Highway Chart

Gold Analysis

Two important items:

You can make the argument that chart damage has been done here. The small symmetrical triangle I highlighted last week failed, but it was a small technical formation; the big technical picture continues to strengthen. Gold has begun the journey to becoming the worldwide asset of choice in this crisis.

Massive Asian physical buying has come to the metals as a result of the three day correction that saw gold prices fall over 10%, and the Indian wedding season preparations are picking up steam.

A report was posted on Bloomberg several days ago stating that gold could go to $10,000 per ounce based upon the amount of money printed on a historical basis. That is prior to any additional QE programs. More printing allows for an even higher gold price. Many believe the US government will default on obligations. There really is no final target price for gold. Over time, governments will just keep printing paper currency to dilute their debts, as they have for thousands of years. It began with diluting gold coins with other metals. The space age has brought the electronic printing press. Gold is volatile, but the largest trend of the gold price over the longest time has always been higher, against government promise-backed currency.

I believe physical gold owners are the smartest of all investors.

To be in a market and to stay in a market, you must believe in what you own and know why you own it. Don’t buy something simply because the chart looks nice. Buy it because of great fundamentals. Use my technical buy signals to increase your core positions.

Read The Rest Here

Emails show Operation Fast and Furious was shared with Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan -- and perhaps beyond

Emails show Operation Fast and Furious was shared with Obama counterterrorism adviser John Brennan -- and perhaps beyond

Doug Ross Nails It Again!