Crisis: USDA Orders States to Withhold Electronic Food Stamps

 

The USDA is directing states to withhold Electronic Transfer Benefits for the month of November until further notice, setting up a potential food stamp crisis that could very easily lead to riots and widespread looting if the government shutdown drags on.

The USDA, which oversees the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), issued the order in a letter to SNAP administrators which states, “Understanding the operational issues and constraints that States face, and in the interest of preserving maximum flexibility, we are directing States to hold their November issuance files and delay transmission to State electronic benefit transfer (EBT) vendors until further notice.”

In other words, up to 47 million Americans who rely on food stamps to feed themselves face the prospect of going hungry next month.

An EBT system failure that occurred this past weekend led to “mini-riots” and looting at several Walmart stores. In Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana, shelves were cleared as frenzied customers tried to exploit unlimited credit balances that had temporarily been applied to their EBT cards as a result of the system glitch. Store managers also had to close a Walmart and call police in Philadelphia, Mississippi after customers began rioting when their EBT cards stopped functioning.

EBT card users responded by invoking the threat of widespread riots if the system went down again for any sustained period of time. More conspiratorial types even suggested that Saturday’s glitch was a beta test for a future total food stamp shutdown.

Imagine how millions of people living near the poverty line are going to react when they find out that their EBT cards may not be credited next month as a result of the government shutdown.

In the state of Utah alone, 100,000 people will see their benefits frozen. Richard Phillips, a homeless man who relies on food stamps, told Fox 13, “It’s going to cause problems… because then you’re going to come to find out that you’re going to have people starting to steal and do what they have to do to survive.”

DHS ‘Constitution Free’ Zones Inside US Ignored By Media

It’s not ‘conspiracy’ and it’s not fraud, the DHS has literally created an imaginary ‘border’ within the United States that engulfs 100 miles from every single end of the nation. Within this fabricated ‘border’, the DHS can search your electronic belongings for no reason. We’re talking about no suspicion, no reasonable cause, nothing. No reason whatsoever is required under their own regulations. The DHS is now above the Constitution under their own rules, and even Wired magazine authors were amazed at the level of pure tyranny going on here.

This ‘border’ even includes where the US land meets oceans in addition to legitimate borders with Mexico and Canada. As a result, you have over 197 million citizens suffocated in these 100 mile ‘border zones’ that include major cities like New York City, Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Checkout the graphic below for a visual representation, with the orange area representing the Constitution free zone as designated by the DHS:

An ACLU image showing 'Constitution free border zones'.

What’s even more amazing, is that this has been going on since 2008. That’s about 5 years of absolute unconstitutional abuse of power by the Department of Homeland Security that the media fails to even document. That’s 197 million citizens living without a Constitution as far as the DHS is concerned, and apparently the Department of Justice (DOJ) must be pretty content too. Amazingly, no one has challenged this besides the ACLU, which was contacted following the case of a man who was actually detained within the 100 mile ‘border’ area.

Not only was this man’s laptop searched for no reason, as is ‘allowed’ under DHS code now, but they ended up finding pictures designated to be linked up with ‘terrorist’ groups. In response, the man was thrown in a cell while DHS agents went through every piece of data on his entire laptop. The ACLU is now suing over this event, but there’s no telling how the case will go with such limited media exposure. The DHS is literally gutting the Constitution and declaring itself higher than the law of the land by doing this, and it spells out major trouble for the entire Bill of Rights at large.

DHS DISMISSES CONSTITUTION, BILL OF RIGHTS

Because if the DHS can simply ‘overrule’ the Fourth Amendment for 197 million citizens, it can also ‘overrule’ the First and Second Amendments as well. What’s stopping them? It’s highly illegal under the Constitution, but it appears they truly don’t care. And to demonstrate just how little they truly care, they have even gone and ‘reviewed’ themselves for their own actions following outcry from some legal experts.

To break it down: back in 2008 there was outrage from those who actually value the Constitution and understand how the bloated DHS entity works, so the DHS promised to prove within 120 days that what they were doing was constitutional and legal. Years later, the report came out to reveal that the DHS actually reviewed itself and determined that it was acting 100% properly. It also founds that everything it was doing was ‘constitutional’ because it was not actually removing the Constitution from United States soil, only the ‘border’.

The ‘border’ that expands 100 miles and includes 197 million people.

This news should be on the front page of every single news organization in the world, but the sad reality is that it’s not. It’s up to the alternative news, the real news, to report on this. It’s up to me to make videos about this, it’s up to the alternative news to syndicate it out, and it’s up to you to share this. It’s time to reclaim our Constitution and tell the DHS we won’t live in Constitution free zones any longer.

Orignally appeared at StoryLeak

US Govt In Turmoil Over ‘Big New Al-Qaeda Plot’ While Obama Funds Them

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The mainstream media is reporting on the latest ‘big terror’ threat from al-Qaeda that is apparently the ‘most significant’ threat in years, yet they simultaneously fail to mention that the Obama administration is all the while funding al-Qaeda through arming and financing Syrian rebels that have major ties to the group.

Surely this essential point is at least worth mentioning when you consider the fact that Obama even initiated the large-scale arming of the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels through a ‘secret order’, which was reported by mainstream news outlet Reuters back in 2012.

It was this ‘secret order’ that began the steady stream of arms and resources towards the Syrian rebels group that even the mainstream media admits goes around killing all Christians and innocents who fail to submit to their cause via public beheadings.

These barbaric rebels are truly a respectable group that Obama has chosen to fund with taxpayer dollars, equip with assault weapons (which he meanwhile attempts to ban in the United States), and is now pushing for yet another year of full-fledged funding despite the reports of beheadings and boundless bloodlust exhibited by the rebels.

But none of that matters to the mainstream media now, which is absolutely flailing around yelling about this new ‘big threat’ from al-Qaeda that apparently has around two dozen United States embassies closed within the Middle East and North Africa. Senator Saxy Chambliss, who actually was the first major politician to reveal key points regarding the Boston bombing intel, says the new threat is the ‘most serious’ he has seen ‘in years’. ABC News is now even reporting that it is a planned attack that is one of the biggest ever caught on record.

The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, told ABC News:

“We received information that high level people from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are talking about a major attack… And these are people at a high level.”

It’s all coming from al-Qaeda, the same group Obama is funding through the Syrian rebels to overthrow Assad via chaos and bloodshed. So which is it, are al-Qaeda members the good guys or the bad guys? Well, it seems the mainstream media will flip and flop all day on this issue whenever convenient. Because just looking back at recent news, the argument wasn’t even about whether or not we should be funding the al-Qaeda-linked Syrian rebels, but whether or not we were giving them ‘enough‘ funding.

Watch as this story develops, and watch as they ignore this key factor I am addressing to you. Instead of discussing it, watch as al-Qaeda transitions to the bad guy once again in order to escalate ‘security’ measures within the United States for law-abiding citizens. Checkout this video I recorded exposing how Obama funds the Syrian rebels who kill Christians and other innocents who do not convert to their cause for a full breakdown, and be sure to share this information to combat the media madness.

Originally appeared at Story Leak.

Anthony Gucciardi
August 5, 2013

Now we know why Googling ‘Pressure Cookers’ Gets a Visit from Cops

Photo: Massachusetts police search a home after the Boston bombings.

Photo: Massachusetts police search a home after the Boston bombings.

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?

EDITORS NOTE: because one the searches happened at work. It was their place of employment that tipped police off about him searching for pressure cooker bombs… The vast majority of workplaces you aren’t supposed to be on the internet. You use their equipment, you’re subject to their monitoring. But the NSA doesn’t “collect” data on Americans, so this certainly won’t happen to you. Right?

The Suffolk County Police Department released a statement this evening that answers the great mystery of the day.

Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee.  The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms “pressure cooker bombs” and “backpacks.”

After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk County Police Detectives visited the subject’s home to ask about the suspicious internet searches. The incident was investigated by Suffolk County Police Department’s Criminal Intelligence Detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature.

Original article: Catalano (who is a professional writerdescribes the tension of that visit.

[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. …

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

The men identified themselves as members of the “joint terrorism task force.” The composition of such task forces depend on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, include a variety of federal agencies. (The photo above is from the door-to-door sweep in Watertown at that time.) Among those agencies: the FBI and Homeland Security.

As of this afternoon, it was still not clear which agency knocked on Catalano’s door. The Guardianreported that an FBI spokesperson said that Catalano “was visited by Nassau County police department … working in conjunction with Suffolk County police department.” (Catalano apparently lives on Long Island, most likely in Nassau County.)

Detective Garcia of the Nassau County Police, however, told The Atlantic Wire by phone that his department was “not involved in any way.” Similarly, FBI spokesperson Peter Donald confirmed with The Atlantic Wire that his agency wasn’t involved in the visit. He also stated that he could not answer whether or not the agency provided information that led to the visit, as he didn’t know.

Local and state authorities work jointly with federal officials on terror investigations similar to the one Catalano describes. Both Suffolk and Nassau County’s police departments are members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), Donald confirmed. Suffolk County is also home to a “fusion center,” a regionally located locus for terror investigations associated with the Department of Homeland Security. It wasn’t the JTTF that led to the visit at Catalano’s house, Donald told us. The task force deputizes local authorities as federal marshals, including some in Suffolk and Nassau, who can then act on its behalf. But, Donald said, “officers, agents, or other representatives of the JTTF did not visit that location.

Ever since details of the NSA’s surveillance infrastructure were leaked by Edward Snowden, the agency has been insistent on the boundaries of the information it collects. It is not, by law, allowed to spy on Americans — although there are exceptions of which it takes advantage. Its PRISM program, under which it collects internet content, does not include information from Americans unless those Americans are connected to terror suspects by no more than two other people. It collects metadata on phone calls made by Americans, but reportedly stopped collecting metadata on Americans’ internet use in 2011. So how, then, would the government know what Catalano and her husband were searching for?

It’s possible that one of the two of them is tangentially linked to a foreign terror suspect, allowing the government to review their internet activity. After all, that “no more than two other people” ends upcovering millions of people. Or perhaps the NSA, as part of its routine collection of as much internet traffic as it can, automatically flags things like Google searches for “pressure cooker” and “backpack” and passes on anything it finds to the FBI.

Or maybe it was something else. On Wednesday, The Guardian reported on XKeyscore, a programeerily similar to Facebook search that could clearly allow an analyst to run a search that picked out people who’d done searches for those items from the same location. How those searches got into the government’s database is a question worth asking; how the information got back out seems apparent.

It is also possible that there were other factors that prompted the government’s interest in Catalano and her husband. He travels to Asia, she notes in her article. Who knows. Which is largely Catalano’s point.

They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.

One hundred times a week, groups of six armed men drive to houses in three black SUVs, conducting consented-if-casual searches of the property perhaps in part because of things people looked up online.

U.S. Army Buying Millions of Rounds of Russian Ammo and Popular Civilian Firearms

Compelling proof Dept. of Defense is also drying up firearms and ammo supply.

Kit Daniels
Infowars.com
July 26, 2013

The U.S. Army is now looking to stockpile nearly 3,000,000 live rounds of Soviet-era Russian ammo popular with civilian shooters.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A U.S. Army solicitation posted July 18 on the Federal Business Opportunities web site asks for “non-standard” ammunition from vendors which includes:

– 2,550,000 rounds of 7.62x39mm ball ammo
– 575,000 blank rounds of 7.62x39mm ammo and
– 425,000 rounds of 9x18mm Makarov ball ammo

The army intends to store all these rounds in ammo storage facilities at both Camp Stanley in Boerne, Texas and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky.

As the solicitation implies, the 7.62x39mm and the 9x18mm Makarov are not standard-issue in the U.S. military or NATO.

Rather they are calibers developed by the former Soviet Union which are now commonly used by civilian shooters in the United States.

The 7.62x39mm in particular is extremely popular with private gun owners due to the wide availability and affordability of both military surplus ammo and firearms chambered for this round, such as the AK-47 and the SKS.

Handguns chambered for the 9x18mm Makarov, such as the FEG PA-63, are common, inexpensive imports.

The desired list of calibers attached to a previous, related acquisition request also included oddball rounds such as the .303 British and the 7.62×25mm Tokarev.

In addition to this solicitation for nearly 3,000,000 live rounds of Russian calibers popular with the public, the army made a similar request last year for a long-term weapon supplier who can ship both foreign non-standard and obsolete U.S. military weapons anywhere in the world.

According to this 2012 request, the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) wanted to find a vendor who could “reach around the world at any given moment to gather and provide multiple types of weapons and weapon parts.”

The extensive list of desired weapons included firearms popular with civilians such as the aforementioned AK-47, 1911s, M1903 Springfields, Walther PP/PPKs (another common import), and other “commercial and para-military weapons.”

This solicitation also asked for “books, manuals, tools, and gauges” pertaining to the firearms.

Headquartered in New Jersey, ARDEC is primarily known for its research in advanced weapons such as lasers and nanotechnology.

These unusual requests prompt the question as to why the U.S. Army, and especially the army’s advanced weapons research and development division, needs a vast quantity of non-NATO rounds and decades-old – sometimes even 100-year-old – firearms popular with civilians for worldwide deployment “at any given notice.”

The ARDEC request in particular seems too broad.

Are World War I era M1903 Springfields really that common in today’s battlefields, or even the popular CZ-52 imports which have been retired from Czechoslovakian service since 1982?

Are these obsolete weapons used that frequently in current world conflicts to warrant specific mention in an army acquisition request?

Do century-old firearms really need to be shipped all around the world for “research and development?”

What about the huge purchase of 425,000 9x18mm Makarov rounds?

Are they going to somehow end up in the sidearms of Obama-backed Syrian rebels, especially after two congressional panels cleared the way for shipping small arms to Syria?

Handguns chambered in 9x18mm Makarov are still commonplace among Syrian militants because Syria received military aid from the Soviet Union for over 20 years.

These solicitations, with planned acquisitions ranging between $500,000 to $22,000,000, definitely forge fears of back door gun control by creating artificial scarcity that denies Americans access to a wide-range of firearms and ammo, especially in the wake of the U.N. arms trade treaty which was signed by Obama but rejected by the Senate.

Regardless of the army’s intentions, these large-scale purchases will only further intensify firearm and ammo shortages for gun owners across the country.