sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Taxation Without (adequate) Representation?

When Barack Obama swept into office, he promised to be "the great uniter" as he pursued an agenda to "fundamentally transform America". The fundamental transformation has shown signs of balkanization as "progressive areas - which are anti gun and high crime" want to force their will on conservative areas in which firearms ownership is a cherished right -- and they don't have significant crime problems.

The US Congress would never agree because it would create states that would send conservative legislators to Washington and upset the balance of power. BUT the fact remains--->

Northern Colorado doesn't want to be part of Colorado anymore.

Six Counties in Colorado
(Denver Post) GREELEY, Colo.—It looks like Weld County voters will be casting ballots this fall on whether to pursue seceding from Colorado. The Greeley Tribune reports that Weld County commissioners unanimously voted Monday morning to place a 51st state initiative on the ballot. 
Weld and other northeastern Colorado counties have expressed interest in seceding to become North Colorado. Weld, Logan, Sedgwick, Phillips, Washington and Kit Carson commissioners each set dates to vote on ballot initiatives for the 51st state. Yuma and Cheyenne counties have given the OK to place the initiative on the ballot this November. Morgan County commissioners are waiting on a citizen initiative.
Northern California doesn't want to be part of the Golden State anymore. (who can blame them?)

Siskiyou and Modoc Counties (CA)
(Fox News) A second far Northern California county has voted to secede from the state after Modoc County supervisors voted 4-0 in favor of secession. 
The vote on Friday comes just weeks after neighboring Siskiyou County voted for secession, according to the Record Searchlight of Redding. 
Modoc County Board Chairwoman Geri Byrne tells the Record Searchlight that she put the secession measure forward after hearing support for the idea from people in her district.
"We're not saying we're seceding today, we're saying let's look into it," Byrne said. The goal is to form a separate state called Jefferson that would also include parts of Southern Oregon. 
Once you leave the urban hells where crime is high, many people rely on government hand-outs (and don't work), and the high school graduation rate is nothing short of dismal, there is another America where people value self-reliance, family values, God and guns. Big states with massive deficits, such as California focus on these urban voting units to maintain their power. As a result the politics has changed the way people look at government from different districts within the area governed.

The notion of the well intentioned public servant in the Obama era has vanished as disclosures that the Obama White House used the Internal Revenue Service to target the president's political enemies, jacked up the Environmental Protection Agency to focus only on conservatives and the Department of Homeland Security changed its focus to "returning soldiers, retired police officers, and people who identify themselves as 'Constitutional'. Confidence in American National Government is at an all time low and it is reflected in secession movements.

These areas don't want to leave the nation. They just want to leave the "progressive" part of their states what force President Obama's version of hope and change. 


White House Policy

Cleaning House: F.B.I. Agent Pleads Guilty in Leak to A.P. 

SA Donald Sachtleben, FBI
The US Justice Department announced that Donald Sachtleben (age 55) a Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent, has agreed to plead guilty to leaking classified information to The Associated Press about a foiled bomb plot in Yemen last year. Federal investigators said they identified him after obtaining phone logs of Associated Press reporters. Sachtleben has agreed to serve 43 months in prison. During this investigation, Special Agent Sachtleben was on administrative leave as the subject of a separate F.B.I. investigation for distributing child pornography, and has separately agreed to plead guilty in that matter and serve 97 months. (Savage/NYTimes/23September 2013) He was fired before his current plea deal, making him a "former special agent" at the time of conviction.

He will be eligible for release in 2026 at the age of 68.

Obama's Legacy

The touted progressive wet dream that became ObamaCare is unraveling as people open their insurance statements and find that in many cases their premiums will double thanks to Barack Obama's socialized medical program. At the same time, insurers are reducing the number of doctors and hospitals where ObamaCare will be accepted. You guessed it -- if you go there now and like it because it's really good, you're going to go somewhere else to get your high priced ObamaCare.

Losers: American Public

Winners: Insurance companies that backed Obama including AARP who sold their constituency down the river.

And in a Related Story

President Obama pledged to end partisanship, but instead has exacerbated it. He recently accused House Republicans of being extortionists for opposing a raise in the debt ceiling. Barack Obama once held the opposite position about debt and ceilings. In 2006, when George W. Bush was president, Sen. Obama said: “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure.” Really? What, then, does it say about his leadership now?

The World is a Little Smaller

Homeland Security to Test BOSS Facial Recognition at Junior Hockey Game. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security will test its crowd-scanning facial recognition system, known as the Biometric Optical Surveillance System, or BOSS, at a junior hockey game this weekend.

With assistance from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, DHS will test its system at a Western Hockey League game in Washington state. The test will determine whether the system can distinguish the faces of 20 volunteers out of a crowd of nearly 6,000 hockey fans, to evaluate how successfully BOSS can locate a person of interest.

According to DHS, BOSS technology consists of two cameras capable of taking stereoscopic images of a face and a back end remote matching system. Stereoscopic images are two images of the same object, taken at slightly different angles that create an illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.

The cameras transfer the pair of images to the remote matching system by way of fiber optic or wireless technology. The system then processes and stores the two images into a 3-D signature, which is the mathematical representation of the stereo-pair images that the system uses for matching. [Read more: King/BiometricUpdate/20September2013]

The Last Word

New York Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays

Changing Rules - US Special Operations Command

Are US Special Forces expanding to assume a domestic role in the US for the purpose of counterterrorist operations? 

Yes. Keep reading. And please forgive all the acronyms because this is the military, and the US Government, they are necessary to tell the story.

According to US Special Operations Forces -SOF: Background and Issues for Congress, September 18, 2013 the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, will be expanded as the Special Operations Division is expanded from 'division status' within the command to it's own command, SOCNORTH. SOCNORTH will become a Theater Special Operations Command, led by a general officer.
Theater Special Operations Commands (TSOCs) were originally sub-unified commands under their respective Geographic Combatant Commanders (GCCs). TSOCs are special operational headquarters elements designed to support a GCC’s special operations logistics, planning, and operational control requirements.
I can't imagine a reason for a separate Special Operations Command for North America (Canada, US and Mexico). One possible reason is that the SpecOps community wants to create another general officer and to have someplace to stuff senior officers in need of a staff assignment. I keep telling myself that's why. But that's not why. On July 31, 2013, Secretary of Defense Hagel held a news briefing to discuss the findings of the Strategic Choices Management Review. While this briefing did not discuss specific actions to be taken as a result of this review, the Secretary of Defense stated that DOD would pursue a 20% reduction of U.S. military billets and government civilian positions in major DOD headquarters, suggesting that USSOCOM headquarters could lose up to 500 of its approximately 2,500 military and civilian personnel. 

Special Operations Forces are moving to assume control of the military aspects of counterterrorist operations in the United States. And before you suggest that I'm wearing my tinfoil hat, I'm not.  Not this time anyway.
In addition to Title 10 authorities and responsibilities, USSOCOM has been given additional responsibilities. In the 2004 Unified Command Plan (UCP), USSOCOM was given the responsibility for synchronizing DOD plans against global terrorist networks and, as directed, conducting global operations against those networks. (Source: “Fact Book: United States Special Operations Command,” USSOCOM Public Affairs, February 2013, p. 10)
In this regard, USSOCOM “receives reviews, coordinates and prioritizes all DOD plans that support the global campaign against terror, and then makes recommendations to the Joint Staff regarding force and resource allocations to meet global requirements.”
In October 2008, USSOCOM was designated the DOD proponent for Security Force Assistance (SFA). In this role, USSOCOM will perform a synchronizing function in global training and assistance planning similar to the previously described role of planning against terrorist networks. For more information: CRS Report R41817, Building the Capacity of Partner States Through Security Force 
Assistance, by Thomas K. Livingston.

Under the current UCP signed by President Obama in April 2011, USSOCOM is tasked in accordance
with Title 10 U.S.C. 167 to serve as a global Special Operations Forces (SOF) provider with the inherent responsibility to coordinate global SOF operations with the Services, Combatant Commanders, the Joint Staff, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

The current UCP stipulates that the USSOCOM Commander is only responsible for synchronizing planning for global operations to combat terrorist networks. This limits USSOCOM’s ability to conduct activities designed to deter emerging threats, build relationships with foreign militaries, and potentially develop greater access to foreign militaries.

USSOCOM is proposing changes which would, in addition to its current responsibilities, include the responsibility for deploying and, when directed, employing SOF globally (including operations within the United States) with the approval of the GCCs. USSOCOM noted that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) approved USSOCOM’s proposed UCP changes and these changes will be included in the next round of formal changes that President Obama is expected to approve later this year.

The question that this blogger posits is the definition of "terrorist". Under the Obama Administration we've seen that definition blur from "radical islam" to people who don't agree with the "fundamental changes that Obama is making to America." While you can make of that what you will, the expansion of SOF to North America and the changes in the law invoke a certain concern. I am not suggesting that the US military is poised to attack American citizens who simply disagree with Obama --- but we have seen that with the Internal Revenue Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the expansion of National Security Agency operations to American citizens inside of the US, etc.