‘Armed and Dangerous’: Beck’s Latest Revelations on Saudi National Once a ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombings

Glenn-Beck-Announces-Boycott-Of-American-Airlines

‘Armed and Dangerous’: Beck’s Latest Revelations on Saudi National Once a ‘Person of Interest’ in Boston Bombings.

Apr. 24, 2013 11:04am Erica Ritz

For the past week, Glenn Beck has been investigating a Saudi national once identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing.  The story has taken a number of alarming twists and turns, but on his radio program Wednesday, Beck released some of the most interesting information yet.

But first, here are a few background points on how the case developed:

  • A Saudi national originally identified as a “person of interest” in the Boston Marathon bombing was set to be deported under section 212, 3B — “Security and related grounds” — “Terrorist activities” after the bombing on April 15
  • TheBlaze received word that the government may not deport the Saudi national — identified as Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi — as the story gained traction on April 18.
  • Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano refused to answer questions on the subject by Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) on Capitol Hill on April 18, saying the inquiry was “so full of misstatements and misapprehension that it’s just not worthy of an answer.”
  • An ICE official said April 18 that a different Saudi national is in custody, but that he is “in no way” connected to the bombings.
  • Key congressmen of the Committee on Homeland Security request a classified briefing with Napolitano on April 22
  • New info provided to TheBlaze reveals Alharbi’s file was altered on the evening of April 17 to disassociate him from the initial charges
  • Sources say April 22 that the Saudi’s student visa specifically allows him to go to school in Findlay, Ohio, though he appears to have an apartment in Boston, Mass. A DHS official told TheBlaze Alharbi properly transferred his student visa to a school in Massachusetts.
  • TheBlaze sources reveal April 22 that Alharbi was put on a terror watchlist after the bombing, and Napolitano confirmed on April 23 that he was briefly on a “watchlist”
  • On his radio program, Beck began with an overview of how the case unfolded, noting that Alharbi has rapidly gone from “person of interest, to witness, to victim, to nobody.”

saudi-national-Abdul-Rahman-Ali-Alharbi-600

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano even said yesterday that Alharbi was just “in the wrong place at the wrong time” and was “never a subject,” after ridiculing inquiries into the matter last week.

But Wednesday, Beck presented new information after a Blaze source directly read the original event file, and multiple government sources with knowledge of the case and files contributed their knowledge.

Napolitano could serve “jail time for perjury,” Beck declared, and she will be “the first to fall.”

Here are a couple of new points, as Beck related them:

  • The event file created for Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi indicated he was “armed and dangerous”
  • Alharbi was admitted into the country under a “special advisory option,” which is usually reserved for visiting politicians, VIPs, or journalists.  The event file cover page indicates he was granted his status without full vetting.
  • One of the first excuses given by law enforcement when confronted about Alharbi’s pending deportation was an expired visa.  But according to the event file, his visa is good until 11-NOV-2016.
  • The event file indicates he entered the U.S. on 08/28/12 in Boston, MA but says he is a student at the University of Findlay, in Findlay, Ohio.  He has an apartment in Boston, and doesn’t seem to have been a full-time student in Ohio.
  • When a file is created in the system, the author(s) are notified via email when it is accessed and given the email address of the person accessing, so there is a record within the government data system of who was there.  It was amended to remove the deportation reference, then someone later went in and tried to destroy both the original event file and an amended versions.  We won’t say who at this time, but copies have already been made.
  •  The original event file was reviewed and approved by two high level agents – Chief Watch Commander Maimbourg and Watch Commander Mayfield.

Here is the text of the cover of the event file, which reveals still more:

Subject,

ALHARBI, ABDULRAHMAN ALI E

DOB 03/12/1993

COC SAUDI ARABIA

Subject is an exact match to NO FLY TPN# 1037506192. Derogatory information reviewed by W/C Mayfield and CW/C Maimbourg was found to be sufficient to request Visa revocation. NTC-P is requesting revocation of Foil# e3139541. Subject is inadmissible to the U.S. under INA 212(a)(3)(B)(i)(II). SAO was not completed prior to Visa issuance. Subject is currently in the United States, admitted F1 student, at Boston POE on 08/28/2012. Subject is a student at THE UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY, 1000 NORTH MAIN STREET FINDLAY, OHIO 45840-3695. Subject has One (1) prior event #1648067, Fins promoted, NT record in place, No scheduled found at this time.  [Emphasis added]

And here is a photo of the page:

cover-641x375

(Photo: TheBlaze)

Beck explained: “Derogatory information reviewed...That means, we have been presented bad information…and it was reviewed, and found to be sufficient.  Subject has One (1) prior event...[That means] when they opened this when he was at the hospital, they found he’s already in the system.”

“A 212, 3B [is] the biggest warning we can put on anybody,” Beck explained for those unfamiliar with the term.  “You do not put people’s name on there easily…this is a terrorist designation, and there is a panel of agencies that you have to go and make your case to.  It’s not like you’re standing in the hospital room and they say: ‘Make him a 212,3B.’   And if they ​are, they’re abusing their power….It is so rare that somebody’s name is taken off outside of death, that none of ours sources can tell us that it’s ever happened.  It is laughable what Janet Napolitano said yesterday.”

Certainly, a litany of questions remain.

Was Alharbi considered “armed and dangerous” before the Boston bombing, or at it?  Was it related to something they found at his apartment?  Was his prior “event” from the days prior, at the bombing, or was it from an earlier period in his life?

Moreover, how was he admitted into the country under a “special advisory option?”  How many students receive that privilege, particularly without proper security clearance?

In Beck’s estimation, the entire situation at the least amounts to an alarming lack of transparency, and at the worst, an abuse of power and cover-up.

“This is not about this one guy,” Beck noted, “but by the way — where is this extraordinarily dangerous man?  Ask that question, you’re not going to like the answer.”

“That’s what TheBlaze is releasing today,” he continued.  “Once they explain away all of this, if you want to continue to discredit me, you will discredit yourself but more importantly, you will put the citizens of this country at stake.”

Ben Carson Cancels Hopkins Graduation Speech. The Left shows its utter intolerance.

dr-ben-

Ben Carson Cancels Hopkins Graduation Speech

Thursday, 11 Apr 2013 09:02 AM

By Melanie Batley

Conservative favorite Benjamin Carson has canceled his scheduled appearance as a graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins University medical school after an uproar over his recent comments on gay marriage.
Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, had apologized for his comments last month on Fox News’ Sean Hannity program, during which he compared homosexuality to bestiality and pedophilia.But The New York Times reported Thursday that Paul Rothman, dean of the Johns Hopkins medical faculty, had criticized Carson for the comments amid outcries by students. The criticism, the Times reported, led Carson to send an email Wednesday to Rothman withdrawing his name as speaker at the upcoming ceremonies on the Baltimore campus.”My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day,” Carson reportedly told Rothman.

According to the Times, Carson also suggested in the email that he was a victim of political correctness.“Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone,” he wrote.The doctor had become a favorite among conservatives and Republicans after he made a speech at February’s annual prayer breakfast criticizing President Barack Obama’s healthcare plan and his call for higher taxes on the wealthy — all while the president sat two seats away on the dais.After his appearance on Hannity, students in the Hopkins graduating class reportedly petitioned the school to have him removed as a speaker. Carson, who has been associated with Hopkins for 36 years, responded to the protest with an apology for any embarrassment he may have caused the school.“What really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology,” he said at the time. “Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.”

Mario’s Note: Face it.    A conservative black man cannot make a single verbal mistake.   If they do the onslaught from the left is intolerant and unending. 

Liberal voices on the other hand can say the most obscene and insane things, utter a tepid apology and the liberal spin machine sanitizes it immediately.  All of the liberal pundits who called for Bush to be murdered are back at their posts.  All of the news hosts who called Sarah Palin a C_ _ _ are back behind microphones.  Joe Biden can gargle with gun powder, shoot his mouth off and the press will wipe off the power burns. 

Then there are the misbehaving liberal politicians:  Anthony D. Weiner is the poster child for what I am talking about.  He did things that should banish him from the scene forever yet the rehab machine is already at work to make him Mayor of New York.    How can we forget Mayor Marion Barry from Washington D.C. caught with prostitutes and cocaine on film and reelected anyway.  What does a liberal politician have to do to be permanently exiled?  I do not think that we know.

But a conservative black man can be exiled for a single miscue.  Our most brilliant surgeon, a paragon of integrity and an inspiration to all minorities who misspoke and then apologized will have liberals calling for his head from now on.   They will never let up on him because he is a threat to their agenda.  

 If you are a liberal with even a single-cell conscience you should outraged.  You are a hopeless fool if you think that this has anything to do with journalism, facts or even sanity.  Today liberals have zero credibility.  And hold steady, in my next blog I will show you the most disgusting abuse yet by the liberal press.

 

Carson: Obama Trying to ‘Destroy the Country’

 

Dr. Benjamin Carson, the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital who garnered national headlines for his pointed remarks at last month’s National Prayer Breakfast, says that President Obama and his political allies are trying to “destroy the country.”

“Let’s say somebody were [in the White House] and they wanted to destroy this nation,” Carson postulated in remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I would create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality and the principles that made and sustained the country, undermine the financial stability of the nation, and weaken and destroy the military. It appears coincidentally that those are the very things that are happening right now.”

Carson, who is 62, said that the blame for the nation’s current state of affairs does not lie with “any one particular person.” His barbs, though, were clearly aimed at President Obama.

Drawing a link between his medical practice and his political beliefs, Carson argued that righting the nation’s course requires governance “of and by the people.” “That’s why we have these complex brains,” he explained, and went on to joke, “the number of interconnections you have [between neurons] rivals the national debt.”

At the National Prayer Breakfast in February, Carson — with President Obama as a captive audience — lodged a full-frontal assault on the president’s agenda, from progressive taxation to Obamacare. Carson’s remarks led to calls, most notably from the Wall Street Journal editorial board, for him to launch a presidential bid come 2016. He will retire from medicine in three months and, though he declined to discuss his particular plans, he indicated that he hopes to become further involved in educational initiatives; Carson founded a scholarship fund in 1996.

In an event billed as “President Obama’s (National Prayer) Breakfast Club,” Carson shared the stage with Eric Metaxas, the author of a biography of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who used his time on stage at 2012’s breakfast to argue that progressives have distorted Christianity in the service of political ideology.

Why same-sex marriage affects my marriage. By Riley Balling

Rally at the capitolWhy same-sex marriage affects my marriage.

  • Article by: RILEY BALLING
  • The marriage debate, people frequently argue that how one chooses to define marriage doesn’t affect other people’s definitions of marriage, and because my definition is as good as yours, it should also be promoted by society.

Many times it is stated: “What I choose to do in my marriage doesn’t affect your marriage.” However, same-sex marriage affects all of our marriages.

First, to explain, private actions have public effects. All our actions, both private and public, define our identity. Being human, we are motivated to impart our identity to future generations. As we have seen, and understandably so, people in homosexual relationships are trying to change society to more readily embrace and promote their view of their identity. This is possible largely due to the disassociation between sexual relationships and procreation.

In contrast, there are many who have not disassociated sex and children, and for reasons both secular and religious have incorporated heterosexual relationships into their identity. These people have generally been trying to live up to the ideal that marriage was established millennia ago to promote the raising of children in safe environments supported by their biological parents.

 Sadly, we don’t always live up to this ideal, and most have experienced the trauma caused by a breaking family. However, we know of marriages that practically achieve the ideal, and we see the happiness that children find in a supportive family structure. Even though some traditional families are breaking, it doesn’t mean the ideal of traditional marriage is broken.

Many studies show that single parents struggle to provide the safe environment provided by a two-biological-parent home. Bless the single parents who try, but there is a direct correlation between single homes and crimes of all types. If anything, the effects of broken homes indicate the importance of reestablishing the ideal of traditional marriage.

Same-sex marriage falls short of producing safe environments for children because it, at the very least, reinforces changes to the marital definition. Historically, before the sexual revolution, society’s definition of marriage was focused on the raising and bearing of children. A man married a woman; they had children, and did practically everything around the raising of those children. The interests of a parent became tertiary to the interests of their children and their spouse.

Currently, as a society, we have wavered from this traditional motivation, and many, not all, view marriage as a venue for self-fulfillment. This modern view is directly culpable for the rise in broken homes and its resulting negative effects. Because same-sex marriage is made possible by this modern view of marriage, if we make same-sex marriage equivalent to traditional marriage, we only more firmly impart to future generations that marriage is about personal fulfillment. The cementing of the modern view will only continue its destruction of safe environments for future generations.

For many of us who favor traditional marriage, marriage is about raising children in a healthy environment. Thus, any change to the definition of marriage affects our marriage. Our “traditional” marriages and the children they produce are our greatest source of happiness, and we desire that our children will live in a world that will promote their ability to make the same choices that brought us happiness.

There are many who tout the modern definition, and we are susceptible to these influences. As we listen to these influences, we change our view of marriage and our marital relationship accordingly. Same-sex marriage will only increase these influences and make it harder to promote traditional marriage.

Although not all are able to participate in a traditional marriage that yields children, we all benefit by its establishment in creating strong homes for the next generation with strong direction from self-sacrificing parents. The disestablishment of this ideal affects us all.

The Department of Justice drives a 26 year old freedom fighter to suicide.

Reddit

The Department of Justice drives a 26 year old freedom fighter to suicide:  Now the Parents respond.

Web Activist’s Family Blames MIT, Prosecutors in His Death.

By Aaron Ricadela & Dan Hart – Jan 13, 2013 2:16 PM PT

The family of Aaron Swartz, a computer programmer, entrepreneur and activist who died last week, blamed his suicide on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the U.S. prosecutors who accused him of crimes including wire and computer fraud.

Swartz, 26, died from suicide by hanging, according to the New York Medical Examiner’s Office.

As a teenager, Swartz helped create a technology called Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, which lets Web users gain access to online information. He was indicted in July 2011 for allegedly gaining access to and downloading more than 4 million articles and documents from a subscription-onlyservice.

“Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy,” his family wrote in a statement. “It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death.”

Swartz was indicted on federal charges of gaining illegal access to JSTOR, a subscription-only service for distributing scientific and literary journals, and downloading most of the library.

“The U.S. Attorney’s office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims,” Swartz’s family wrote. “Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community’s most cherished principles.”

‘Tragic Loss’

Representatives from the U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts declined to comment, citing respect for the family’s privacy.

Leo Rafael Reif, president of MIT, expressed his condolences in a letter e-mailed to the university community and said that he asked professor Hal Abelson to make a “thorough analysis” of the institute’s involvement with Swartz’s use of its computer network.

“Even for those of us who did not know Aaron, the trail of his brief life shines with his brilliant creativity and idealism,” Reif wrote.

JSTOR, in a statement, said it had settled its own claims against Swartz in June 2011 and that he had returned the data.

“We join those who are mourning this tragic loss,” JSTOR said in the statement, calling Swartz a “truly gifted person who made important contributions to the development of the Internet and the web from which we all benefit.”

JSTOR said that while it regretted being brought into the federal case, it had a responsibility to protect the owners and creators of its content.

Widely Mourned

He was mourned widely by academics, executives and fellow activists. The Internet was inundated with tributes to Swartz.

“His stunts were breathtaking,” wrote Canadian author Cory Doctorow, who knew Swartz.

Swartz struggled with depression and wrote about it publicly, Doctorow wrote. He may also have taken his life because he feared imprisonment, according to Doctorow.

“Swartz was a strong and effective advocate of the untrammeled flow of information and knowledge in all directions, and vigilance against control or de-facto censorship efforts by corporate or governmental interests,” author James Fallows wrote in a statement published by Swartz’s family.

Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law School professor and Internet activist wrote in a blog post that the criminal case against Swartz was misguided. Swartz “consulted me as a friend and lawyer” in the MIT case, and he didn’t seek to profit from downloading academic papers, Lessig wrote.

‘Blown Away’

“From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way,” Lessig said. “The outrageousness in this story is not just Aaron. It is also the absurdity of the prosecutor’s behavior.”

Other academics took to the micro-blogging service Twitter to honor Swartz by posting free versions of their publications online, using the identifying hashtag #pdftribute.

Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer at Yahoo! Inc., said on Twitter that she’d met Swartz 11 years ago when she was an executive at Google Inc. “We had found his blog and were blown away by his age (16) and insights,” she said.

Swartz was charged in 2011 with multiple counts of wire fraud and violations of the U.S. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Upon conviction, wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years and a top fine of $1 million. Swartz’s alleged violations of the computer law carried a maximum penalty of 5 to 10 years, depending on the conduct, and may have also warranted a fine. Actual sentences typically run less than the maximums, and judges often set sentences to run concurrently rather than consecutively.

Suicide Rates

He co-founded the news and information site Reddit, as well as Demand Progress, a group that advocated against Internet piracy bills, according to his website. He also contributed to Internet projects including Watchdog.net, Open Library, and Jottit, and helped launch Creative Commons — an online publishing and copyright project that Lessig was also involved with — according to his biography on the Demand Progress website.

The vast majority of people who commit suicide have depression, or another type of mental health disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It was the tenth leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2007, accounting for 34,598 fatalities. Almost four times as many men as women die of suicide.

A funeral will be held Jan 15. at a synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois, near Chicago, according to the Swartz family statement. He is survived by his parents, Robert and Susan Swartz, younger brothers Noah and Ben, and his partner, Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, the statement said. Memorial services may happen in other cities in the coming weeks.

Elliot Peters of San Francisco-based Keker & Van Nest, reported by The Tech to be Swartz’s attorney, didn’t respond to a voicemail and e-mail sent by Bloomberg News seeking comment.

The case against Swartz was U.S. v. Swartz, 11 CR 10260, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston)

Glenn Greenwald

Saturday 12 January 2013

guardian.co.uk

Aaron Swartz, the computer programmer and internet freedom activist, committed suicide on Friday in New York at the age of 26. As the incredibly moving remembrances from his friends such as Cory Doctorow and Larry Lessig attest, he was unquestionably brilliant but also – like most everyone – a complex human being plagued by demons and flaws. For many reasons, I don’t believe in whitewashing someone’s life or beatifying them upon death. But, to me, much of Swartz’s tragically short life was filled with acts that are genuinely and, in the most literal and noble sense, heroic. I think that’s really worth thinking about today.

At the age of 14, Swartz played a key role in developing the RSS software that is still widely used to enable people to manage what they read on the internet. As a teenager, he also played a vital role in the creation of Reddit, the wildly popular social networking news site. When Conde Nast purchased Reddit, Swartz received a substantial sum of money at a very young age. He became something of a legend in the internet and programming world before he was 18. His path to internet mogul status and the great riches it entails was clear, easy and virtually guaranteed: a path which so many other young internet entrepreneurs have found irresistible, monomaniacally devoting themselves to making more and more money long after they have more than they could ever hope to spend.

But rather obviously, Swartz had little interest in devoting his life to his own material enrichment, despite how easy it would have been for him. As Lessig wrote: “Aaron had literally done nothing in his life ‘to make money’ . . . Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good.”

Specifically, he committed himself to the causes in which he so passionately believed: internet freedom, civil liberties, making information and knowledge as available as possible. Here he is in his May, 2012 keynote address at the Freedom To Connect conference discussing the role he played in stopping SOPA, the movie-industry-demanded legislation that would have vested the government with dangerous censorship powers over the internet.

Critically, Swartz didn’t commit himself to these causes merely by talking about them or advocating for them. He repeatedly sacrificed his own interests, even his liberty, in order to defend these values and challenge and subvert the most powerful factions that were their enemies. That’s what makes him, in my view, so consummately heroic.

In 2008, Swartz targeted Pacer, the online service that provides access to court documents for a per-page fee. What offended Swartz and others was that people were forced to pay for access to public court documents that were created at public expense. Along with a friend, Swartz created a program to download millions of those documents and then, as Doctorow wrote, “spent a small fortune fetching a titanic amount of data and putting it into the public domain.” For that act of civil disobedience, he was investigated and harassed by the FBI, but never charged.

But in July 2011, Swartz was arrested for allegedly targeting JSTOR, the online publishing company that digitizes and distributes scholarly articles written by academics and then sells them, often at a high price, to subscribers. As Maria Bustillos detailed, none of the money goes to the actual writers (usually professors) who wrote the scholarly articles – they are usually not paid for writing them – but instead goes to the publishers.

This system offended Swartz (and many other free-data activists) for two reasons: it charged large fees for access to these articles but did not compensate the authors, and worse, it ensured that huge numbers of people are denied access to the scholarship produced by America’s colleges and universities. The indictment filed against Swartz alleged that he used his access as a Harvard fellow to the JSTOR system to download millions of articles with the intent to distribute them online for free; when he was detected and his access was cut off, the indictment claims he then trespassed into an MIT computer-wiring closet in order to physically download the data directly onto his laptop.

Swartz never distributed any of these downloaded articles. He never intended to profit even a single penny from anything he did, and never did profit in any way. He had every right to download the articles as an authorized JSTOR user; at worst, he intended to violate the company’s “terms of service” by making the articles available to the public. Once arrested, he returned all copies of everything he downloaded and vowed not to use them. JSTOR told federal prosecutors that it had no intent to see him prosecuted, though MIT remained ambiguous about its wishes.

But federal prosecutors ignored the wishes of the alleged “victims”. Led by a federal prosecutor in Boston notorious for her overzealous prosecutions, the DOJ threw the book at him, charging Swartz with multiple felonies which carried a total sentence of several decades in prison and $1 million in fines.

Swartz’s trial on these criminal charges was scheduled to begin in two months. He adamantly refused to plead guilty to a felony because he did not want to spend the rest of his life as a convicted felon with all the stigma and rights-denials that entails. The criminal proceedings, as Lessig put it, already put him in a predicament where “his wealth [was] bled dry, yet unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed to fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court judge.”

To say that the DOJ’s treatment of Swartz was excessive and vindictive is an extreme understatement. When I wrote about Swartz’s plight last August, I wrote that he was “being prosecuted by the DOJ with obscene over-zealousness”. Timothy Lee wrote the definitive article in 2011 explaining why, even if all the allegations in the indictment are true, the only real crime committed by Swartz was basic trespassing, for which people are punished, at most, with 30 days in jail and a $100 fine, about which Lee wrote: “That seems about right: if he’s going to serve prison time, it should be measured in days rather than years.”

Nobody knows for sure why federal prosecutors decided to pursue Swartz so vindictively, as though he had committed some sort of major crime that deserved many years in prison and financial ruin. Some theorized that the DOJ hated him for his serial activism and civil disobedience. Others speculated that, as Doctorow put it, “the feds were chasing down all the Cambridge hackers who had any connection to Bradley Manning in the hopes of turning one of them.”

I believe it has more to do with what I told the New York Times’ Noam Cohen for an article he wrote on Swartz’s case. Swartz’s activism, I argued, was waged as part of one of the most vigorously contested battles – namely, the war over how the internet is used and who controls the information that flows on it – and that was his real crime in the eyes of the US government: challenging its authority and those of corporate factions to maintain a stranglehold on that information. In that above-referenced speech on SOPA, Swartz discussed the grave dangers to internet freedom and free expression and assembly posed by the government’s efforts to control the internet with expansive interpretations of copyright law and other weapons to limit access to information.

That’s a major part of why I consider him heroic. He wasn’t merely sacrificing himself for a cause. It was a cause of supreme importance to people and movements around the world – internet freedom – and he did it by knowingly confronting the most powerful state and corporate factions because he concluded that was the only way to achieve these ends.

Suicide is an incredibly complicated phenomenon. I didn’t know Swartz nearly well enough even to form an opinion about what drove him to do this; I had a handful of exchanges with him online in which we said nice things about each other’s work and I truly admired him. I’m sure even his closest friends and family are struggling to understand exactly what caused him to defy his will to live by taking his own life.

But, despite his public and very sad writings about battling depression, it only stands to reason that a looming criminal trial that could send him to prison for decades played some role in this; even if it didn’t, this persecution by the DOJ is an outrage and an offense against all things decent, for the reasons Lessig wrote today:

“Here is where we need a better sense of justice, and shame. For the outrageousness in this story is not just Aaron. It is also the absurdity of the prosecutor’s behavior. From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way. The ‘property’ Aaron had ‘stolen’, we were told, was worth ‘millions of dollars’ — with the hint, and then the suggestion, that his aim must have been to profit from his crime. But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It was clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it had caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed.

“A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.

“For remember, we live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis regularly dine at the White House — and where even those brought to ‘justice’ never even have to admit any wrongdoing, let alone be labeled ‘felons’.”

Whatever else is true, Swartz was destroyed by a “justice” system that fully protects the most egregious criminals as long as they are members of or useful to the nation’s most powerful factions, but punishes with incomparable mercilessness and harshness those who lack power and, most of all, those who challenge power.

Swartz knew all of this. But he forged ahead anyway. He could have easily opted for a life of great personal wealth, status, prestige and comfort. He chose instead to fight – selflessly, with conviction and purpose, and at great risk to himself – for noble causes to which he was passionately devoted. That, to me, isn’t an example of heroism; it’s the embodiment of it, its purest expression. It’s the attribute our country has been most lacking.

I always found it genuinely inspiring to watch Swartz exude this courage and commitment at such a young age. His death had better prompt some serious examination of the DOJ’s behavior – both in his case and its warped administration of justice generally. But his death will also hopefully strengthen the inspirational effects of thinking about and understanding the extraordinary acts he undertook in his short life.

Liberal backfire: Ex-Burglars Say Newspaper’s Gun Map Would’ve Made the Job Easier, Safer

Einbrecher an einem Fenster

Note from Me:

Romans 1:20-22 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

Some liberal thinking is an endless source of amusement to me.  Take the article you are about to read for example.  A newspaper decides to publish all of the names of gun owners in their region in order to push gun control as a way to make people safer.  Instead, says a celebrated burglar, they made my job a whole lot easier.  Read the rest of the story…

Ex-Burglars Say Newspaper’s Gun Map Would’ve Made the Job Easier, Safer

By 

Published January 04, 2013

FoxNews.com

Reformed crooks say the New York newspaper that published a map of names and addresses of gun owners did a great service – to their old cronies in the burglary trade.

The information published online by the Journal-News, a daily paper serving the New York suburbs of Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties, could be highly useful to thieves in two ways, former burglars told FoxNews.com. Crooks looking to avoid getting shot now know which targets are soft and those who need weapons know where they can steal them.

“Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?”

– Walter T. Shaw, former burglar and jewel thief

“That was the most asinine article I’ve ever seen,” said Walter T. Shaw, 65, a former burglar and jewel thief who the FBI blames for more than 3,000 break-ins that netted some $70 million in the 1960s and 1970s. “Having a list of who has a gun is like gold – why rob that house when you can hit the one next door, where there are no guns?

“What they did was insanity,” added Shaw, author of “License to Steal,” a book about his criminal career.

The newspaper published the online map last month alongside an article titled, “The gun owner next door: What you don’t know about the weapons in your neighborhood.” The map included the names and addresses of pistol permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

While the paper ostensibly sought to make a point about gun proliferation in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., the effort backfired. A blogger reacted with a map showing where key editorial staffers live and some outraged groups have called for a boycott of parent company Gannett’s national advertisers. Ironically, the newspaper has now stationed armed guards outside at least one of its offices.

“They just created an opportunity for some crimes to be committed and I think it’s exceptionally stupid,” said Bob Portenier, 65, a former burglar and armed house robber turned crime prevention consultant.

Professional burglars are always looking for an edge, and like most folks, they read the paper, said Portenier.

“Criminals are always looking for opportunity and words travels through the grapevine—burglars trade secrets and when you see something like that in the paper, that’s is something burglar’s are going to talk about,” Portenier said. “‘Did you see in the paper where all these people have guns and their addresses?’ and that kind of stuff, they’ll say.”

While some burglars may use the newspaper’s information to avoid guns, Portenier said others will target homes with guns. The newspaper’s decision could even lead to legally-owned guns proliferating on the street, he said.

“That’s one of the first things we’d check out—guns are on the top of the list of what you want to steal,” he said. “They can walk out with a shotgun and a couple of handguns and sell them on the street for $300 or $400 a pop. They can sell them to a gangbanger who ends up killing someone.”

Frank Abagnale, who was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2002 film “Catch Me if You Can,” and is perhaps the most famous reformed thief to ever earn a legitimate living by offering the public insight into the criminal mind, called the newspaper’s actions “reprehensible.”

“It is unbelievable that a newspaper or so called journalist would publish the names and addresses of legal gun owners, including federal agents, law enforcement officers and the like,” said Abagnale, who noted that he grew up in the suburban New York area served by the Journal-News. “This would be equivalent to publishing the names of individuals who keep substantial sums of money, jewelry and valuables in their home.”

 

The Decline of Evangelical America

OPINION

The Decline of Evangelical America

Brad Wilson/Getty Images

A road in St. Louis, at dusk.

By JOHN S. DICKERSON
Published: December 15, 2012

Prescott, Ariz.

IT hasn’t been a good year for evangelicals. I should know. I’m one of them.

In 2012 we witnessed a collapse in American evangelicalism. The old religious right largely failed to affect the Republican primaries, much less the presidential election. Last month, Americans voted in favor of same-sex marriage in four states, while Florida voters rejected an amendment to restrict abortion.

Much has been said about conservative Christians and their need to retool politically. But that is a smaller story, riding on the back of a larger reality: Evangelicalism as we knew it in the 20th century is disintegrating.

In 2011 the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life polled church leaders from around the world. Evangelical ministers from the United States reported a greater loss of influence than church leaders from any other country — with some 82 percent indicating that their movement was losing ground.

I grew up hearing tales of my grandfather, a pastor, praying with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. My father, also a pastor, prayed with George W. Bush in 2000. I now minister to my own congregation, which has grown to about 500, a tenfold increase, in the last four years (by God’s favor and grace, I believe). But, like most young evangelical ministers, I am less concerned with politics than with the exodus of my generation from the church.

Studies from established evangelical polling organizations — LifeWay Research, an affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Barna Group — have found that a majority of young people raised as evangelicals are quitting church, and often the faith, entirely.

As a contemporary of this generation (I’m 30), I embarked three years ago on a project to document the health of evangelical Christianity in the United States. I did this research not only as an insider, but also as a former investigative journalist for an alt weekly.

I found that the structural supports of evangelicalism are quivering as a result of ground-shaking changes in American culture. Strategies that served evangelicals well just 15 years ago are now self- destructive. The more that evangelicals attempt to correct course, the more they splinter their movement. In coming years we will see the old evangelicalism whimper and wane.

First, evangelicals, while still perceived as a majority, have become a shrinking minority in the United States. In the 1980s heyday of the Rev. Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority, some estimates accounted evangelicals as a third or even close to half of the population, but research by the Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith recently found that Christians who call themselves evangelicals account for just 7 percent of Americans. (Other research has reported that some 25 percent of Americans belong to evangelical denominations, though they may not, in fact, consider themselves evangelicals.) Dr. Smith’s findings are derived from a three-year national study of evangelical identity and influence, financed by the Pew Research Center. They suggest that American evangelicals now number around 20 million, about the population of New York State. The global outlook is more optimistic, as evangelical congregations flourish in places like China, Brazil and sub-Saharan Africa.

But while America’s population grows by roughly two million a year, attendance across evangelical churches — from the Southern Baptists to Assembles of God and nondenominational churches — has gradually declined, according to surveys of more than 200,000 congregations by the American Church Research Project.

The movement also faces a donation crisis as older evangelicals, who give a disproportionately large share, age. Unless younger evangelicals radically increase their giving, the movement will be further strained.

Evangelicals have not adapted well to rapid shifts in the culture — including, notably, the move toward support for same-sex marriage. The result is that evangelicals are increasingly typecast as angry and repressed bigots.

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians.

To be sure, college professors are not representative of the population, and, despite national trends of decline, evangelicals have many exceptional ministries. Most metropolitan areas in the United States have at least one thriving megachurch. In New York City, Redeemer Presbyterian and the Brooklyn Tabernacle pack multiple services every weekend. A handful of other churches, like North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., and Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., see more than 20,000 worshipers each weekend. Savvy ministers like the Rev. Craig Groeschel, founder ofLifeChurch.tv, are using new technologies to deliver the “good news.”

My opinion:  The great decline was foretold and not hard to see as the church lost her way in the morass of American culture.  Contrary to the prevailing opinion, I do not believe that the answer is to cave on our convictions.   On the contrary, that has been the problem.  The diluted seeker church has been popular for years.  On their watch we saw the fastest moral landslide in American History.  It is obvious that anyone who is gently persuaded to add God as a woozy nebulous aspect to their life will not be strong enough to stand against the tide of evil.

I warned every leader who would listen about the unintended consequence of seeker churches:   that by giving out the vibe that Church was not important; by making following Christ hip and convenient the audience would ultimately do the math and stay home.   “If God is that into me and glad that I throw him a bone on Sunday, why not stay home and create a personal spirituality centered on me?”

ABANDON THE BIBLE ON GAY MARRIAGE!!! Church Growth Experts are wrong to call for more of the very thing that got us into this mess.   The answer is a supernatural outpouring of the Holy Spirit with great signs and wonders so that a new generation sees the power of the Word of God and is converted.

One thing to remember is the misery index.  A godless America is also a miserable one.  God creates disciples who are living proof of His goodness.  The miracle of a true born again believer is the most contagious force and the finest P.R. the Church has ever had or ever will have.

 

-Mario Murillo

P.S. I brought this article to your attention not to scare you but as a reality check.   The Church has never been relevant because of human approval.  She is relevant because of God’s Grace on her mission.

The left is outraged by Obama doll in jar of beer but could care less about Jesus in a jar of urine.

WH Silent Over Demands to Denounce ‘Piss Christ’ Artwork

WH Silent Over Demands to Denounce ‘Piss Christ’ ArtworkSep 21, 2012

By Todd Starnes

Religious groups are blasting President Obama for not condemning am anti-Christian art display set to appear in New York City and one Republican lawmaker said he is “fed up with the administration’s double standard and religious hypocrisy.

 “Piss Christ,” once branded as a “deplorable, despicable display of vulgarity,” will be displayed at the Edward Tyler Nahem Gallery in Manhattan on Thursday. The artwork features a “photograph of the crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine.”

The artwork debuted in 1989 and was funded through prize money provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The art gallery hosting the retrospective salute to Andres Serrano is privately owned.

Religious groups and some lawmakers have already started sounding off – and making comparisons to the controversy over a recent anti-Muslim film. The low budget movie “Innocence of Muslims” sparked violent and deadly clashes across the globe.

It also brought strong rebukes, condemnations and apologies from President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a host of administration officials.

The administration tried to have the film removed from YouTube – but Google rebuffed their request. The State Dept. spent $70,000 on a Pakistani television advertisement rebuking the film. And the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff personally telephoned a Christian minister in Florida to ask him to withdraw his support of the film.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R, C-NY) wants to know why President Obama hasn’t denounced the exhibit and said he’s fed up with what he called the administration’s “religious hypocrisy.”

“The Obama administration’s hypocrisy and utter lack of respect for the religious beliefs of Americans has reached an all-time high,” Grimm told Fox News. “I call on President Obama to stand up for America’s values and beliefs and denounce the ‘Piss Christ’ that has offended Christians at home and abroad.”

So will the Obama Administration condemn the anti-Christian art display? Will they air a television ad denouncing the exhibit? Will the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ask the gallery to cancel the exhibit?

The White House did not return calls seeking comment. Neither did the Pentagon.

The State Dept. referred to a previous statement Clinton made in reference to the anti-Islamic film.

“America’s commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation,” Clinton said. “And as you know, we are home to people of all religions, many of whom came to this country seeking the right to exercise their own religion, including, of course, millions of Muslims. And we have the greatest respect for people of faith.”

Grimm said the lack of response from the White House is unacceptable.

“Perhaps they’ve forgotten the controversy that surrounds this deplorable piece depicting a crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine,” Grimm said. “It outraged Christians in American and throughout the world.”

Grimm, who is Catholic, said he found the artwork to be vulgar and offensive, “just as many in the Islamic world found ‘Innocence of Muslims’ to be highly offensive.”

“Like most Americans, I condemn both yet remain tolerant as the First Amendment demands,” he said. “Unfortunately, this administration has yet to echo these views in regards to the religiously offensive ‘art’ here at home.”

And the congressman isn’t the only one demanding a response from the White House.

“I would like to find out what my government is going to say about this,” said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. “We have the United States government making apologies and some very critical statements about the abuse of freedom of speech because it might offend Muslims.”

Donohue said the Obama administration seems to have a double standard when it comes to incidents that might offend the Christian community.

“It seems like we have a protected class for Muslims as well as some other segments of our population,” he told Fox News. “But when it comes to Christians, it’s an all-out war.”

“The timing is not a mistake,” he said. “The obvious reason is not because it’s something new – it’s the idea of throwing more salt of Christians. This is a pattern that’s calculated, it’s deliberate and it’s time the elites spoke out on this.”

Now check out what happens when Glenn Beck puts a bobble head doll of Obama in a Jar of beer.  ( I do not endorse this it is a childish prank but it sure is illuminating!)

CRITICS GO BERSERK, HURL INSULTS AT BECK OVER ‘OBAMA IN PEE PEE’: ‘F**KWIT,’ ‘WORSE

THAN FECES’ & ‘ENJOY HELL!

  • Posted on November 28, 2012 at 11:27am by Billy Hallowell
    Many on the left are reeling after radio and television host Glenn Beck exercised his First Amendment rights in the creation of his own Obama-themed piece of art. As TheBlaze reported on Tuesday, Beck submerged an Obama “bobblehead” doll in faux urine. His reasoning? To highlight the hypocrisy of individuals who would decry his creation, yet defend the desecration of Christian themes (like this image of a crucified Obama).
  • Obviously, as noted by TheBlaze’s Tiffany Gabbay, Beck’s project is similar to the infamous anti-Christian photograph titled “Piss Christ,” showing a small plastic crucifix soaked in the artist’s real urine.The reaction to his “art” has been swift, with left-of-center outlets lambasting the action and with Twitter users hurling slurs at Beck. One individual took to the social media platform to call the host “disgusting and disrespectful” and a “F**kwit.” Another promised to “slap” the commentator if she ever encounters him in person. And yet another dubbed him “WORSE than feces.”
  • Here are some of these responses, as captured by Twitchy:Of course, the Twitter rants didn’t end there. Someone else told Beck, “I hope you enjoy hell as*hole.” Another more sinister message read, “I’d like to put ‘Beck’ in his jar urine with his GOP buddies. Then put an air tight lid on it.” Discussion wasn’t limited only to Twitter.New York Magazine took aim at the host and Gawker’s Taylor Berman called Beck a “liar,” writing the following:”Now that he’s cornered the denim market, noted patriot Glenn Beck has set his sights on an even more lucrative business. As part of a bizarre campaign to prove the importance of the first amendment, Beck filled a jar with what he at first claimed to be urine (he later admitted it was beer) and then placed an Obama toy inside. He has plans to sell the “art,” which Beck titled “Obama in Pee Pee,” on his website for the reasonable price of $25,000.
  • The stunt was prompted by a Boston artist who painted Obama crucified on the cross. You know, like Jesus. Naturally, Beck and his ilk didn’t approve of the painting but, being the unstable person freethinker he is, Beck decided to show his support for the artist’s first amendment right by sealing a toy of Obama inside a jar of fake piss.”However, what these outlets and social media users seem to be missing is that this action was taken to show hypocrisy among those who would condemn Beck over his Obama-centric art, yet support (or remain silent) when artwork disparaging Christ is created.Additionally, as Gabbay noted, it highlights the hypocrisy of those who rail against disparaging Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. These same individuals remain silent or typically ignore the same treatment of Jesus and Christian symbolism.Beck was auctioning the jar, complete with the Obama doll, on eBay — however the sale was removed on Wednesday (proceeds were set to go to Beck’s Mercury One charity).

Obama I am not your attack dog.

 

By Peter Nicholas

Big Bird, it seems, isn’t thrilled about his cameo in the presidential race.

The folks at Sesame Street are asking the Obama campaign to pull down a TV ad released Tuesday that mocks Mitt Romney for vowing to yank the subsidy to PBS.

At the presidential debate in Denver last week, Mr. Romney said he would end the subsidy in view of the nation’s fiscal troubles.

Up went an ad by team Obama called “Big Bird’’ that suggests Mr. Romney is targeting children’s programming rather than legitimate threats to people’s economic interests.

The ad shows images of Bernie Madoff and others implicated in various financial and corporate scandals. A narrator then intones: “And the evil genius who towered over them?”

A silhouette of Big Bird flashes on screen.

“Mitt Romney knows it’s not Wall Street you have to worry about, it’s Sesame Street,” the narrator said.

The ad is airing on national cable and broadcast TV, in time slots devoted to comedy shows, the Obama campaign said.

Sesame Street isn’t amused. Sesame Workshop, a nonprofit educational organization that produces and owns the show, issued a statement Tuesday saying “we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, have requested that the ad be taken down.”

An Obama campaign spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said the campaign is “reviewing their concerns.”

A blog post on the Sesame Workshop website said that “Sesame Street would not exist were it not for PBS and its local stations, which is the distribution system for Big Bird and friends to reach all children across the United States, particularly the low income children who need us most.”

In response to the ad, the Romney campaign released a statement saying, “The choice in this election is becoming more clear each day. Four years ago, President Obama said that if you don’t have a record to run on, ‘you make a big election about small things.’ With 23 million people struggling for work, incomes falling and gas prices soaring, Americans deserve more from their president.”

School Lets Democrats Register Students to Vote, But Not Republicans. Allowed 6 classroom for speeches. GOP denied any classroom.

School Lets Democrats Register Students to Vote, But Not Republicans.

Oct 8, 2012

By Todd Starnes

Florida Republicans are outraged after a school district allowed a pro-Obama organization to conduct student voter registration drives and deliver speeches to classes – but denied the Romney campaign similar opportunities.

Pasco County Schools confirmed to Fox News that volunteers from Organizing For America were given access to as many as a half dozen high school and middle school campuses.

“They did register students to vote,” spokesman John Mann told Fox News. “We don’t know how many children were registered – (but) we have an ongoing investigation.”

According to email correspondence obtained by Fox News, volunteers tried to infiltrate at least three other school campuses – but on-campus officials rebuffed those efforts.

In addition to voter registration, a former teacher was allowed to deliver Obama speeches to a number of senior high school students.

“She got into six classrooms and gave pro-Obama speeches – like way off to the left,” said James Mathieu, general counsel for the Pasco County Republican Party. “That got out to parents and parents complained.”

Matthieu told Fox News he has filed a complained with the Florida Division of Elections and also contacted the Florida Attorney General’s office.

“We have a liberal culture in our school system and we know that,” he told Fox News. “The problem is someone has used false credentials, false pretenses and there is a security issue.”

Mathieu said that some of the Organizing for America volunteers identified themselves to school officials as being with the local elections office.

“These people have used false pretense to get into the high schools and all they’re giving us is whitewash and lip service,” he said.

But Mann told Fox News that to his knowledge none of the volunteers misrepresented themselves.

“They identified themselves as being with Organizing For America,” he said.

However, according to an email obtained by Fox News – school officials acknowledged there may have been some deceit.

“In at least one case, those individuals said they were from the Pasco Supervisor of Elections Office,” wrote staff member Paula Lesko. “Unfortunately the SOE said that is not the case.”

So why did school officials allow a partisan organization to mingle with students?

“That will come out in our final investigation,” Mann said.

Another significant issue was the former teacher’s pro-Obama address. Local Republicans asked for equal access. At first, school officials agreed – but later reversed their decision.

“There was definitely discussion of having a Republican come in for equal access,” Mann told Fox News. “We’re not going in that direction because that would indeed be an additional violation of board policy.

Organizing For America apologized to the school district, the Tampa Bay Times reported. And the volunteer who delivered the pro-Obama speeches has been dismissed.

A similar incident occurred in Pinellas County when a high school principal invited students to volunteer for the Obama campaign.

Reuben Hepburn, the principal at Dunedin High School, made an announcement over the public address system about volunteer opportunities with the Obama campaign and Organizing for America, The Tampa Bay Times reported.

A school spokesperson said the incident came to light after a parent complained.

“The mistake there was that (Hepburn) promoted one specific organization that supports one specific candidate,” spokesperson Melanie Marquez told the newspaper. “It’s okay to say, ‘Hey, you can volunteer for political campaigns.’ But it’s not a good idea to focus on one organization.”