Dec 202013
 

America’s Roads are now a Money Stream / Surveillance Grid

Our roads are slowly but surely being transformed into a revenue generating control grid.  And this is just yet another example of how government feels the need to constantly watch, monitor, track and regulate everything that we do.

America’s Roads Money Stream Surveillance Grid

by Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse Blog
May 10, 2013

What do speed traps, parking tickets, toll roads, speed cameras and red light cameras all have in common?  They are all major revenue sources for state and local governments.  All over America today there are state and local governments that are drowning in debt.

Many have chosen to use “traffic enforcement” as a way to raise desperately needed revenue.  According to the National Motorist Association, issuing speeding tickets raises somewhere between 4.5 billion and 6 billion dollars in the United States each year.  And the average price of a speeding ticket just keeps going up.

Today, the national average is about $150, but in many jurisdictions it is far higher.  For example, more than 16 million traffic tickets are issued in the state of California each year, and the average fine is approximately $250.  If you are wealthy that may not be much of a problem, but if you are a family that is barely scraping by every month that can be a major financial setback.  Meanwhile, America’s roads are also being systematically transformed into a surveillance grid.

The number of cameras watching our roads is absolutely exploding, and automated license plate readers are capturing hundreds of millions of data points on all of us.  As you drive down the highway, a police vehicle coming up behind you can instantly read your license plate and pull up a whole host of information about you.  This happened to me a few years ago.

I had pulled on to a very crowded highway in Virginia and within less than a minute a cop car had scanned me and was pulling me over because one of my stickers had expired.  But these automated license plate readers are being used for far more than just traffic enforcement now.

For example, officials in Washington D.C. are now using automated license plate readers to track the movements of every single vehicle that enters the city.  They know when you enter Washington, and they know when you leave.  So where is all of this headed?  Do we really want to live in a “Big Brother” society where the government constantly tracks all of our movements?

Back in the old days, the highways of America were great examples to the rest of the world of the tremendous liberties and freedoms that we enjoyed.  Americans loved to hop into their vehicles and take a drive.  But now government is sucking all of the fun out of driving.  The control freak bureaucrats that dominate our political system have figured out that giant piles of money can be raised by turning our roads into revenue raising tools.

At this point things have gotten so bad that even some police officers are admitting what is going on.  Just check out what a few of them told Car and Driver

The president of a state police union isn’t pretending it doesn’t happen. James Tignanelli, president of the Police Officers Association of Michigan union, says, “When elected officials say, ‘We need more money,’ they can’t look to the department of public works to raise revenues, so where do they find it? Police departments.

“A lot of police chiefs will tell you the goal is to have nobody speeding through their community, but heaven forbid if it should actually happen—they’d be out of money,” Tignanelli says.

Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan, says the role of law enforcement has changed over the years. “When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues,” he says. “That’s just the reality nowadays.”

And as the economy has gone downhill, many jurisdictions have massively jacked up traffic fines.  According to the Los Angeles Times, various traffic fines in the Los Angeles area are far higher than they once were…

If you’re caught running a red light in Los Angeles, be prepared to shell out $446, up from $271 eight years ago. Make a rolling right turn at a stoplight and the ticket comes to $381 — more than double what it cost in 2008.

And of course the cost to the driver does not end with the ticket.  Your car insurance will likely go up as well.  In fact, one study found that a driver that just gets one speeding ticket will pay an additional 20 percent for car insurance for the next three to six years.

That can add up to a lot of money.

But politicians just keep wanting to find a way to issue even more tickets.  One of the hottest trends all over the country is to automate the issuing of traffic tickets by installing cameras.  According to USA Today, this has become a huge growth industry…

Sales of the cameras have nearly quadrupled since companies moved to digital and wireless technology in the mid-2000s. The number of local contracts for cameras was up to 689 last year, from 155 in 2005, according to industry data complied by market leader American Traffic Solutions (ATS).

And these automated traffic cameras can raise an enormous amount of cash.  Just check out what has been happening in Washington D.C.…

The speeding and traffic light cameras have become more lucrative as their number in the District has increased. Combined, they issued tickets valued at $24.4 million in 2007. That figure more than doubled by 2010, to $50.9 million, and it reached $84.9 million in the last fiscal year.

But as annoying as those traffic cameras are, automated license plate readers are perhaps even more insidious.

The amount of data that these automated license plate readers are capturing is astounding.  The following is from a recent article by the Electronic Frontier Foundation

Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when that data is put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And, according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial datapoints (location + time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifier.

Our license plates have essentially become “our papers” which the government can read whenever it would like without even asking for our permission.

According to L.A. Weekly, local police agencies in the L.A. area have captured more than 160 million data points on private citizens using these automated license plate readers…

L.A. Weekly has learned that more than two dozen law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles County are using hundreds of these “automatic license plate recognition” devices (LPRs) — units about the size of a paperback book, usually mounted atop police cruisers — to devour data on every car that catches their electronic eye.

The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department are two of the biggest gatherers of automatic license plate recognition information. Local police agencies have logged more than 160 million data points — a massive database of the movements of millions of drivers in Southern California.

Each data point represents a car and its exact whereabouts at a given time. Police have already conducted, on average, some 22 scans for every one of the 7,014,131 vehicles registered in L.A. County.

As the use of these devices becomes more widespread and they become even more sophisticated, eventually the government will know where almost all of us are and what almost all of us are doing at all times.

The following is a brief except from a Washington Post article that detailed how automated license plate readers are now being used to create a “dragnet” that will track the movements of all vehicles from the time that they enter Washington D.C. to the time that they leave

More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers. But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.

With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the District, which has more than one plate-reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. Police in the Washington suburbs have dozens of them as well, and local agencies plan to add many more in coming months, creating a comprehensive dragnet that will include all the approaches into the District.

This is just the beginning.

For now, as long as you carefully obey all traffic laws and you don’t work in a major city like Washington D.C., the changes that are happening probably do not affect you too much.

But the key is to see where all of this is going.  Our roads are slowly but surely being transformed into a revenue generating control grid.  And this is just yet another example of how government feels the need to constantly watch, monitor, track and regulate everything that we do.

Does anyone else feel like the life is slowly being choked out of our society, or am I alone?

Jul 122013
 

Snowden wants Russia asylum, lawmaker says

In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, center, attends a news conference at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks, left, Friday, July 12, 2013. Snowden wants to seek asylum in Russia, according to a Parliament member who was among about a dozen activists and officials to meet with him Friday in the Moscow airport where he's been marooned for weeks. Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters of Snowden's intentions after the meeting behind closed doors in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. (AP Photo/Human Rights Watch, Tanya Lokshina)
Associated Press

VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV 13 minutes ago PoliticsVladimir
MOSCOW (AP) — National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wants asylum in Russia and is willing to stop sharing information as a trade-off for such a deal, according to a lawmaker who was among a dozen activists and officials to meet with him Friday at the Moscow airport where he has been marooned for weeks.

Snowden appeared nervous, but in apparently good health during the meeting behind closed doors in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport, Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters.

Human Rights Watch provided a photo of Snowden at the meeting, the first new image to appear of the former NSA systems analyst since the Guardian newspaper broke the story of widespread U.S. Internet surveillance based on his leaks.

Whether Russia would be willing to take Snowden up on his request is unclear. The Kremlin has signaled that it wants Snowden out. But granting asylum would be a diplomatically risky move, threatening to worsen Moscow-Washington already strained by U.S. criticism of President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on the country’s opposition and Putin’s allegation that the U.S. is meddling in Russian affairs.

But it would allow Putin to portray Russia as a principled defender of human rights and openness, despite the fact that it allows its security agencies to monitor the Internet.

.”View gallery

In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker …

In this image provided by Human Rights Watch, NSA leaker Edward Snowden, center, attends a news conf …

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told Russian news agencies after the announcement that Russia has not yet received a new bid for asylum and that Putin would continue with his insistence that Snowden stop leaking information.

Both Nikonov and Genri Reznik, a lawyer who participated in the meeting, said Snowden was willing to stop leaks.

“He said he was informed of this condition and that he can easily accept it. He does not intend to damage the United States’ interests given that he is a patriot of his country,” Nikonov said. However, it is unclear whether Snowden still is holding onto potentially sensitive information about U.S. intelligence operations.

Snowden is believed to have been stuck in the transit zone since June 23, when he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong, where he had gone before his revelations were made public. He had been expected to transfer in Moscow to a Cuba-bound flight, but did not get on the plane.

A brief video of the meeting’s opening shown on the Russian news site Life News showed Snowden speaking, then being interrupted by a flight announcement on the airport’s public-address system

“I’ve heard that a lot in the past weeks,” Snowden said, smiling ironically.

Snowden made an initial bid for Russian asylum, but Putin said he would have to agree to stop leaking before asylum would be considered. Snowden then withdrew his bid.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua recently have offered him asylum, but it is unclear if he could fly to any of those countries from Moscow without passing through airspace of the United States or its allies. Some European countries allegedly refused to allow Bolivian President Evo Morales to fly through their airspace on his way home from Moscow last week because of suspicions that Snowden was on his plane.

In a text of his opening statement at the meeting released by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, Snowden said he wanted to accept all asylum offers and travel to the countries that have made them “to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.”

He also denounced the United States for what he said was pressuring its allies to block him from their airspace. Snowden could be hoping that Washington would not risk trying to block a flight he was on if he had Russian asylum.

Journalists gather around Genri Reznik, a prominent …
Journalists gather around Genri Reznik, a prominent lawyer and head of the Moscow bar association, a …

In the short term, he could also be seeking Russian asylum simply as a way of being able to get out of the airport and move freely.

How long a decision would take is unclear. Anatoly Kucherena, a member of a Kremlin advisory body who was at the meeting, said the process could take two to three weeks. But Putin’s imprimatur could accelerate the process, as it did when French actor Gerard Depardieu was granted Russian citizenship in a matter of a few days.

The activists at the meeting included Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch. Also taken into the meeting room was Russia’s presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin.

They came after an email in Snowden’s name was sent on Thursday. On Facebook, Lokshina posted the text of the email, which says in part that Snowden wants to make “a brief statement and discussion regarding the next steps forward in my situation.”

Hundreds of journalists flocked to the airport, but were kept in a hallway outside the meeting area which was behind a gray door marked “staff only.” It was not clear if Snowden would have to come out that door or if he could exit by another route.

A view of Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, …
A view of Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow, Russia, Friday, July 12, 2013. A Russian official of  …

Russia has said it cannot extradite him because by remaining in the transit zone he is technically outside Russian territory.

Although the meeting left Snowden’s fate still uncertain, it at least confirmed where he was; speculation had swirled that he had been spirited out of the country.

“We found for ourselves that he is real, he’s no phantom,” said Kuchurena.

___

Jim Heintz in Moscow contributed to this report.

Apr 292013
 

The BORG is ready for War with YOU!

By Morpheus – with Bob Podolsky

Fargo is North Dakota’s largest city, yet its placid lifestyle seldom sees the chaos common in other urban communities.  This quiet city has averaged fewer than two homicides a year since 2005, and there’s not been a single international terrorism prosecution in the last decade.

But that hasn’t stopped BORG Agents in Fargo and its surrounding county from going on an $8 million buying binge to arm police officers with the sort of gear once reserved only for soldiers fighting foreign wars.

Borg Police armored truck

Every paramilitary BORG squad car in Fargo, is equipped today with an assault rifle and Kevlar helmets, able to withstand incoming fire from battlefield-grade ammunition. BORG officers can now summon a new $256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret. The truck is used at the annual city picnic, where it’s been parked near the children’s bounce house. This way the BORG can CON-vince the populace what a great investment it has made by spending stolen funds, known to the BORG as taxes, granted to the city by the federal government.

“Most people are so fascinated by it [the armored truck], because nothing happens here,” says Carol Archbold, a Fargo resident and criminal justice professor and spokesperson for the BORG at North Dakota State University. “There’s no terrorism here.”  In reality the eyesore activates the Reticular Activating System in the brain that stimulates levels of FEAR in the minds of unawakened people in the quiet town.

Thousands of other local police departments nationwide have been amassing stockpiles of military-style equipment in the name of homeland security, aided by more than $34 billion in Stolen Funds by federal grants since the False Flag terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

The buying spree has continued the transformation of local peace keeping departments into paramilitary-like forces, and using intimidating equipment to strike fear into the minds of civilians is no doubt part of the overall psychology of the BORG agents.  Without this constant low level of fear, concerning a problem that the BORG created in the first place, what need for this parasite would there be?

“The argument for up-armoring is always based on the least likely of terrorist scenarios,” says Mark Randol, a former BORG terrorism expert at the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm of Congress. “Anyone can get a gun and shoot up stuff. No amount of SWAT equipment can stop that.”  It needs to be noted that the government’s passage of such freedom destroying legislation such as SB 1867, turns all Americans into potential terrorists. SB 1867 follows in the footsteps of Bill of Rights nullifying “Patriot Act” with provisions to murder and detain INDEFINITELY any malcontented American to places like Guantanamo, Cuba without trial or due process.

BORG Agents and their PR firms known as “The News”, aptly known as the “Lame Stream Media” (LSM), become hostile at the mere suggestion that police agencies have become “militarized”.  They justify the need by citing examples for these upgrades in firepower and other equipment by claiming it is necessary to combat criminals with more lethal capabilities. Or at least criminals not franchised by the BORG.  They never seem to mention that governments kill more people than all other criminals combined!  They point to the 1997 Los Angeles bank robbers who pinned police for hours with assault weapons, the gun-wielding student who perpetrated the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007.  The LSM are generally complacent in mentioning examples where armed members of We the people have thwarted criminal activity.

The new weaponry and battle gear, they insist, helps save lives in the face of such threats. “I don’t see us as militarizing police; I see us as keeping abreast with society,” former Los Angeles Police Chief (and BORG Agent) William Bratton says. “And we are a gun-crazy society.”  In reality, the BORG is scared to death of the populace, as one day they may wake up from their mass hypnosis and realize the BORG is the problem – not the solution.

BORG agent and Police Lt. Ross Renner, who commands the regional SWAT team: “It’s foolish to not be cognizant of the threats out there, whether it’s New York, Los Angeles, or Fargo. Our residents have the right to be protected. We don’t have everyday threats here when it comes to terrorism, but we are asked to be prepared.”  Actually the BORG asked themselves and they agreed with the decision they made already:  to continue to inspire FEAR into the hearts and minds of people everywhere as a mechanism to continue the extortion by stealing money from We The People to “protect us” from the boogeyman they, the BORG, created in the first place.  It is Paramount to note when the populace WAKES UP and gets uppity about being robbed from, their rights being turned into privileges, and being turned into SLAVES, the BORG have all the necessary hardware to quell any SLAVE rebellion.

The skepticism about the Homeland spending spree is less severe for Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York, which the BORG, have determined to be their likely targets. The nagging question persists:  is the stolen tax money handed out without any regard for risk assessment or need?  Adding insult to injury is gap in accounting for the decade-long spending spree. The BORG-U.S. Homeland Security Department says it doesn’t closely track what’s been bought with its tax dollars or how the equipment is used. BORG in State and local governments don’t maintain uniform records either.  The BORG have no problem monitoring every single phone call, email and financial transaction We The People make; but when it comes to monitoring how the money (taxes) stolen from We the People is spent on military hardware, that’s not even a little bit necessary.

Feb 272013
 

NDAA Lawsuit

The NDAA has been called the death of our NDAA Lawsuit - Tangerine Bolen vs Obamarepublican form of government. That acronym refers to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, which contains a provision allowing the president to order the indefinite military detention of anyone accused of offering substantial support to al-Qaeda or “associated forces.”

 

 

Journalist and activist Tangerine Bolen is one of eight plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NDAA. Although she voted for Obama, she describes herself as “terrified” by the arbitrary powers that the president and his advisers can now exercise in the name of fighting terrorism.

Next News Network’s WHDT World News Program airs daily at 6pm and 11pm Eastern on Comcast, DirecTV and Over-the-Air and Online at http://usmediavault.com/WHDT.html

Tangerine Bolen – http://StopNDAA.ORG
WHDT World News is available to 6 million viewers from South Beach to Sebastian, Florida and to 2 million viewers in Boston, Massachusetts via WHDN.

WHDT broadcasts on RF channel 44 (virtual channel 9) from Palm City and is carried on cable TV channels 44 (SD) and 1044 (HD) by AT&T, on cable channels 17 (SD) and 438 (HD) in West Palm Beach by Comcast, on satellite channel 44 (SD) in West Palm Beach by DIRECTV, and on WHDN-Boston which broadcasts on RF channel 38 (virtual channel 6) from the Government Center district in downtown Boston.