Friday, October 21, 2016

US Justice Department secretly seizes Associated Press phone records - Telegraph

US Justice Department secretly seizes Associated Press phone records - Telegraph: "In what was described as "a massive and unprecedented intrusion" into press freedom, the US Justice Department seized details of incoming and outgoing calls on more than 20 phone lines belonging to America's foremost news agency.
Although investigators are not believed to have tapped the phone lines, the information would allow them to trace confidential government sources contacted by reporters.
The government obtained two months worth of records from phones in AP's Washington, New York and Connecticut offices as well as its bureau in the US House of Representatives."

'via Blog this'

Thursday, October 20, 2016

WikiLeaks Releases First Batch Of Barack Obama Emails & They Hint At A Rigged Election


WikiLeaks just released their newest batch of leaked emails, and they contain messages sent to and from Barack Obama prior to his presidential inauguration.

The most interesting of the emails in this batch involves a message from John Podesta to Obama regarding an invitation from President George W. Bush to then ‘President-Elect’. It alluded to a transition plan that was being worked on before the election took place.

According to the memo, Obama was already discussing his transition into office with the then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Here is a statement taken from a memo sent from the transition board to Barack Obama:

As you have observed in your interactions with Secretary Paulson, he is apparently eager to involve you and your transition team extensively in his policy choices following the election.

Think about this for a second, Obama’s transition was already being discussed with certain members of the Bush administration. Meaning his eventual transition to office may have already been known? This is yet another hint that US election candidates may be elected vs selected.

Another telling email, dated October 30, 2008, came from John Podesta to the then Senator Obama discussing an economic transition team, and why Obama needed to get the wheels in motion before his term begins.

Once again, how could they have known his term would even begin at all before the election took place?

RT news points to the fact that in another email, sent at 7:39 p.m. on election night in 2008 and written by John Podesta reads, “I don’t want to bug you today…The memo pasted below concerns a possible invitation to the G20 meeting on November 15.”

This email was sent approximately half an hour before Obama was officially announced as the next president of the United States.

It can be argued that this was all done while knowing behind the scenes that latest polls showed Obama was likely going to win, but given the amount we have learned over the past few years about how elections are rigged, perhaps this just adds to the evidence that they are just that -rigged.

Election Fraud

The question we have to ask is how much has to surface for the masses to realize that US elections are not what they appear and that votes don’t matter? Even if you don’t believe they’re rigged, the super-delegate  and electoral college process alone completely undermines democracy. Elections in the U.S. seem to be a form of entertainment, a mere distraction, more so than a real process of democracy and election.

The Hillary Clinton email leaks are strong enough for one to see that US politics is a cesspool of corruption.

I am reminded of a great quote from Theodor Rosevelt,

Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people.

From these great tasks both of the old parties have turned aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare, they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them impartially to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government, owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.

To destroy this invisible government, to dissolve the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. (source)

To view similar quotes like this, you can check out the following article.


‘We Came, We Saw, He Died’: How Gaddafi Was Hunted & Ruthlessly Killed

Exactly five years ago, Libya’s ex-leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was brutally murdered by rebels who discovered him in drainage pipes following a NATO air strike that hit his convoy on the outskirts of his hometown, Sirte. The following day, his body was put on display in a storage freezer in the city of Misrata.

This probed a controversial response from then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who remarked, “We came, we saw, he died.” On April 2, 2011, she received an email from Sidney Blumenthal, who served as her unofficial intelligence operative. The message discussed France’s reasoning for joining the war against Gaddafi in Libya. Blumenthal wrote in the email that Gaddafi had “nearly bottomless financial resources” for pursuing his campaign against the rebels. And while Libya’s frozen bank accounts had become an obstacle, he still had nearly 143 tons of gold and a similar amount in silver that accumulated to a total of $7 billion.

The email goes on to say that Gaddafi had taken the gold before the rebellion in order to “establish a pan-African currency based on the Libyan golden Dinar.” The idea was apparently to present a currency in the African region in order to compete with the French Franc. Blumenthal said, “French intelligence officers discovered this plan shortly after the current rebellion began, and this was one of the factors that influenced President Nicolas Sarkozy’s decision to commit France to the attack on Libya.”

Just months later, on October 20, 2011, Gaddafi was murdered. Now, five years later, the once successful Arab country is in a state of chaos filled with tribal wars, leading to tens of thousands of Libyans dead, and displacing hundreds of thousands more. Gaddafi’s death immediately led to an intense power struggle that turned into a civil war. Ultimately, Islamic militant and terrorist groups, like ISIS, carried out attacks on Libyan oil and other important groundwork.

Gaddafi had, prior to his reign, advocated socialist ideas. Upon graduating from a military academy in Benghazi, he joined a plot to throw out King Idris I, which eventually happened in September 1969, leading to Gaddafi being promoted to Colonel, and his officers taking on a grand campaign to overturn Western capitalism. British and U.S. military bases in Libya were then closed down, and Western oil companies were immediately nationalized.

Gaddafi promised to rule out corruption and enact serious changes in the country’s social, economic, and political life. He created the Jamahiriya, which is an Arabic term that translates to “state of the masses.” His republic vowed to incorporate anarchist, Marxist, and Islamist practices.

By March 1977, Gaddafi called for a “people’s republic” referred to as the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Gaddafi served as president, banning all political organizations, with the exception of his devised Arab Socialist Union.

By 1979, Gaddafi resigned in order to work for a “continuation of the revolution,” and changed his title to the Leader of the Revolution. The government took advantage of oil money to create extensive and seemingly outlandish social reforms. He proposed that women be allowed to study, serve in the army, and move up the social ladder, for instance.

The West and conservative Arab countries remained hesitant of the successful and passionate leader, and remained hands-off until the 2011 region was hit with Arab Spring “revolutions.”

The protests-turned-armed-conflict in Libya came about in February 2011, with people demanding Gaddafi to resign after 40 years of ruling the Libyan Arab Republic. Eventually, opponents gained control over almost all of Libya. On March 17, 2011, the U.S. and Western allies proposed a settlement by the UN Security Council that implemented a no-fly zone over Libya which caused Western airstrikes on Gaddafi’s forces. Gaddafi was accused of bombing his own people, and using foreign mercenaries to halt anti-government protests.

On March 19, 2011, NATO airstrikes commenced, led by France, and then followed by the US, the UK, and several other countries. NATO jets eventually targeted Gaddafi’s home on April 29, where he survived, but his youngest son and three children were killed.

On June 27, the International Criminal Court granted a request to issue a warrant for the arrest of Gaddalfi, as well as his son, Saif al-Islam.

By August 21, rebel fighters from Libya’s National Transitional Council bombarded the capital Tripoli to take over the government compound. Gaddafi refused to back down and leave the capital, and called for his loyalists to fight until the bitter end. By the 23, NTC fighters had overrun Tripoli, and taken Gaddafi’s reign out from underneath him. This caused Gaddafi and his loyalists to flee the capital 10 days later, ending up in his hometown of Sirte.

Throughout September 2011, Gaddafi loyalists were overrun, and by October, all of Sirte had been captured by the rebels, except for a northern neighborhood referred to as Number Two, where Gaddafi was hiding out. But by October 20, the Libyan rebels had pinpointed Gaddafi’s location there.

With Tripoli in ruins, and Number Two under attack, Gaddafi’s life seemed a ticking time bomb. That day, the once leader was injured from a NATO air attack, but many others were killed. Gaddafi sought refuge in a nearby drainage facility along with some of his closest aids.

His hideout was soon discovered by a unit of the National Transitional Council, who then assaulted him, including sexually, and then took him prisoner, and are believed to have tortured and killed both him and his son before they were murdered.

Inspiration for post:


Clinton Campaign Makes Wildly Inconsistent Claims About Emails Published By WikiLeaks



Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign contends the publication of emails from the campaign are part of a Russian plot. It believes raising the issue of Russia’s alleged involvement is enough to avoid discussion of the contents of emails. However, the campaign has been inconsistent in appearances on cable news networks.

Multiple individuals explicitly insist there are doctored or forged emails to dodge questions. Some of these people had their email exchanges published by WikiLeaks. Yet no member of the Clinton campaign can name a single example of a forgery.

Representatives of the Clinton campaign back away from talking points and answer questions about the emails if they can make a point that may be useful to the campaign about Donald Trump or Clinton’s progressive credentials. But when hosts of news programs ask questions they do not want to answer, they repeat a set of talking points; in particular, how Republican Senator Marco Rubio said this shows the Russians are trying to rig the election and people should stop talking about the emails.

During the debate, similar to her answer during the second debate, Clinton did not claim the emails were forged. Instead, she immediately pivoted to her campaign’s allegations that Trump is a “puppet” of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

In the afternoon on October 19, hours before the third presidential debate, campaign chairman John Podesta, who admits the emails are from his account which was hacked, appeared on CNN. He told Wolf Blitzer the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) have indicated the hack came from “Russian sources,” and they’re “in cahoots” with WikiLeaks. Podesta suggested WikiLeaks is “dribbling” the emails out each day because the “Russians are intervening in this election on behalf of Donald Trump.”

Blitzer asked, “Have any of the emails or transcripts that have been released been doctored or are they accurate?” In response, Podesta said, “When this first came out, it came out with a lie from Julian Assange, which was that, you know, when he first released these, that I was a co-owner of the Podesta Group, which is just factually and completely untrue.”

All Podesta could come up with is an inaccurate representation of his job title. Podesta’s answer skirted the issue of whether the Clinton campaign is aware of any “doctored” emails. And, when Blitzer asked if the transcripts of Goldman Sachs speeches were “accurate,” he refused to say yes or no and made a statement about defeating Trump so financial reform legislation is not repealed.

Blitzer noted Clinton said in one of those speeches a politician needs “one position in public for the American people, and but you need another private position.” He also asked if Podesta called Bernie Sanders a “doofus” in an email.

“There was a moment where he opposed the Paris deal, where, you know, without conferring the accuracy of the email, I was frustrated with him, but he and I have a very good relationship,” Podesta replied.

Blitzer said, “I’ll take that as a yes,” provoking a testy exchange at the end of the interview, but the confirmation that something made Podesta think Sanders was acting like a “doofus” pretty much indicates CNN asked about a real email.

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook appeared on CNN about an hour before the debate. When Jake Tapper asked Mook about the Goldman Sachs speeches—and what Clinton would say if debate moderator Chris Wallace asked why she has two different positions on Wall Street, Mook addressed the question without any statements about the emails being “doctored” or “forged.”

Mook even took the extraordinary step of attempting to help the public better understand the contents. “I think it is important to keep in mind a lot of these documents were again hacked from the campaign. Some of it was research compiled by professionals within the campaign who actually try to characterize materialize as the opponent would.”

So, Mook continued, some of the material is skewed and was taken out of context. “For example, there was, you know, one email where she was just [talking] about how to create more synergies for green energy production in the western hemisphere and it’s been construed into all kind of things that it’s not.”

Now, this is all spin, but it is spin that accepts the contents of what WikiLeaks published are authentic. They are not doctored or forged.

Two hours before appearing on CNN, Mook appeared on MSNBC’s “MTP Daily” with Chuck Todd. He was also asked about the emails, but he responded very differently.

“Well, I think, what’s going on here is that the Russians in an effort to help Donald Trump want these questions,” Mook argued. “They want this conversation. They’re selectively leaking materials at a rate that it is impossible for us to validate them for exactly the purpose of calling things into question, what really happened, who said what, is this true, is this not true. We’re not going to verify any of these right now because, again, they’re coming thousands a day. It’s simply too much for us to do that.”

Yet, if it is true the campaign has been unable to verify any of the contents of the emails, why did Mook go on CNN shortly after and address the contents of specific emails directly?

The same day, Joel Benenson, Clinton’s chief strategist, was on CNN a few hours before the debate. Blitzer asked about her suggestion that politicians need one position in public and another in private. While Benenson had previously mentioned the allegations from U.S. intelligence agencies that the Russian government is behind the hacking of emails, he did not suggest at any point that the emails are doctored or forged. In fact, he answered the question without saying his answer is just what the Russians would want.

“She was referring to something that had to do with a negotiation that was going on. It was a movie scene. That’s what she was referring to,” Benenson said. He later added, “The reality is, when you’re doing these things, you see congressional leaders meet all the time behind closed doors. They go out, and they talk to you guys in front of the microphones. They’re not telling you guys everything they’re talking about behind closed doors when they’re trying to get something done that will actually make a difference [to] people.”

Clinton adviser and Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden appeared on CNN’s “New Day” the day after the debate. She was asked about an email she sent, where she suggested Clinton’s “inability to just do a national interview and communicate genuine feelings of remorse and regret is now I fear becoming a character problem.”

Host Chris Cuomo found the email interesting because it was similar to discussion happening outside the campaign. Cuomo wanted to know what the reaction was internally to this realization that Clinton has trouble communicating “genuine feelings.” Tanden flipped out.

“You know, I know that Russia and other forces would love us to have a debate,” Tanden responded. “This is exactly what they want. They want us to have a debate about the internal structure of Hillary’s campaign. What’s true, what’s not true. And I’m just not going to play that. I’m sorry.”

She, too, mentioned Rubio. “I think Marco Rubio is right about this. People should not be using this as weaponizing the e-mails or personal e-mails of anyone and sending them.”

Cuomo very astutely pressed Tanden by arguing the Clinton campaign would talk about the emails if they were between staff from the Trump campaign. Tanden would not have it. “That’s absolutely false. I would not be doing that.” To that, Cuomo highlighted the leaks related to Trump’s taxes.

Although Cuomo insisted the emails “say what they say,” and it should not matter how they were made public, Tanden still wouldn’t answer the question.

“If you say I never said this, that’s something different,” Cuomo argued. “If you say this isn’t me, I didn’t write that. That’s a legitimate basis. Otherwise, it seems like you’re ducking it because you don’t want to own what you said.”

“I’m not not owning it. I’m not owning it. I’m saying we shouldn’t really be dealing with people’s private emails. This is I think an issue of privacy. I agree with a lot of people who made this point on both sides of the aisle,” Tanden asserted.

While Democratic National Committee interim chair Donna Brazile does not work for the Clinton campaign, she corresponded with the campaign when she was a CNN contributor. An email from Brazile shows her improperly giving the campaign a heads up on a debate question so the campaign could prepare for it.

Megyn Kelly of Fox News asked Brazile about this email on October 19, after the debate, and Brazile went off on Kelly for asking about the emails.

“What information are you providing to me that will allow me to see what you’re talking about?” Brazile asked, which was ridiculous. She put out a statement on the email about a week ago when it made headlines.

Then, Brazile declared, “As a Christian woman, I understand persecution but I will not sit here and be persecuted because your information is solely false.” And, she accused Kelly of being a thief who wants to “bring into the night things” that were found.

When Kelly confronted her with comments her former colleague, Jake Tapper, made, where he said it was “unethical,” she cut out the theatrics and gave a direct answer.

“Once again, I’ve said it and I’ve said on the record, and I’ll say on the record and I keep saying it on a record. I am not going to try to validate falsified information,” Brazile insisted. “I have my documents. I have my files. Thank God, I have not had my personal emails ripped off from me and stolen and given to some criminals to come back altered.”

Later, Brazile said, “A lot of those e-mails, I would not give them the time of the day. I’ve seen so many doctored e-mails.”

Kelly needed to wrap the segment and was out of time. She should have asked her to highlight one specific example of the “many doctored emails” she falsely claims are out there.

David Brock, the founder of the Clinton super PAC, Correct The Record, which helped spread all the worst attacks on Sanders during the Democratic primary, was on CNN hours before the debate. He said, “It’s not known which of these emails are real.”

Host John Berman said the campaign has not “denied the existence of any of them” and that “isn’t really the issue here.” Yet, Brock defiantly insisted, without any proof, “There have been a few that haven’t been recognized.”

To be clear, if there were doctored, fabricated, forged, inauthentic, or impossible to “recognize” emails, there would be lots of media coverage of how WikiLeaks published fraudulent documents. U.S. media organizations have great antipathy for WikiLeaks and its editor-in-chief Julian Assange, who they refuse to treat as a journalist. They never hesitate to run stories alleging documents WikiLeaks published enabled authoritarian governments to crack down on innocent civilians. So, they would like nothing more than to further undermine the global credibility of WikiLeaks by running news reports proving the organization forged Clinton campaign emails.

How the emails wound up in the possession of WikiLeaks is one thing, and according to WikiLeaks, its submission system protects the identity of those who pass on documents. The organization may or may not have tried to figure out where the documents came from after verifying the authenticity of the emails.

Regardless, they are real and actual Clinton campaign emails, which contain revelations that are extremely relevant to any progressive groups or grassroots movements that plan to advance an agenda for social justice under a Clinton administration. Clinton campaign officials can make all the deranged comments they want to avoid addressing them, but countless people who supported Bernie Sanders are reading the emails.

They, along with other activists, see the emails as confirmation of suspicions they had while Clinton dishonestly attacked Sanders and depended on the DNC to rig the primary so it was difficult for Sanders to win the nomination. The emails will likely color their views of how Clinton will handle challenges from the grassroots as president, and the Clinton administration will only appear foolish if they pretend to be ignorant about why activists and left-leaning organizations do not trust them.

The post Clinton Campaign Makes Wildly Inconsistent Claims About Emails Published By WikiLeaks appeared first on Shadowproof.


By stealing from innocents, Chicago PD amassed tens of millions in a secret black budget for surveillance gear


Since 2009, the Chicago Police Department has seized $72M worth of property from people who were not convicted of any crime, through the discredited civil forfeiture process, keeping $48M worth of the gains (the rest went to the Cook County prosecutor's office and the Illinois State Police) in an off-the-books, unreported slush fund that it used to buy secret surveillance gear.


Neither Trump Nor Clinton Understands What the Supreme Court Is Supposed to Do


The next president will appoint at least one and perhaps as many as three Supreme Court justices, who in turn will have a decisive impact on the Court's jurisprudence for decades. But last night's presidential debate revealed that neither of the major-party candidates understands what Supreme Court justices are supposed to do.

Moderator Chris Wallace started the discussion off on the wrong foot by asking the candidates where they "want to see the Court take the country," implying that justices are legislators in black robes, pursuing a policy agenda instead of deciding the controversies that come before them. Both candidates seemed to agree with that premise.

Donald Trump promised that "the justices that I'm going to appoint will be pro-life" and will therefore vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that discovered a right to abortion in the 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause. There are good reasons to think Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, or at least that its constitutional rationale left much to be desired. But a justice's personal views on abortion are logically and legally distinct from the issue of Roe's soundness. A conscientious justice strives to separate his policy preferences from the question of what the Constitution allows or requires.

Even if you think abortion should be banned, it does not necessarily follow that the Constitution allows states to ban it. And even if you think abortion should be legal, it does not necessarily follow that the Constitution prohibits states from banning it. A justice who ignores these distinctions is writing law instead of applying it.

Hillary Clinton also promised to appoint justices who will help her achieve the policies she favors, which include speech restrictions that protect politicians like her from criticism close to an election. Clinton said her Supreme Court picks "will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system."

Clinton neglected to mention, as she always does when discussing Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that the case involved a movie that made her look bad. The Court concluded that a conservative group organized as a nonprofit corporation had a First Amendment right to present Hillary: The Movie on pay-per-view TV while Clinton was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. Presumably Clinton disagrees. But instead of explaining why, she says the decision should be overturned because "it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system." Clinton worries that these dastardly dollars are "drowning out the voices of ordinary Americans and distorting our democracy." But that is not a constitutional argument. Even if Clinton were right about the baleful impact of Citizens United, it would not follow that the First Amendment permits the sort of self-serving censorship she favors.

In addition to promising Supreme Court justices who agree with her that suppressing Hillary: The Movie was consistent with freedom of speech, Clinton said her picks would "stand on the side of the American people, not on the side of the powerful corporations and the wealthy." That sounds like she thinks the Court should be biased against big businesses and rich people, a position that cannot be reconciled with the constitution or the statutes that the justices are charged with interpreting and applying. The law is supposed to provide equal protection to all Americans, regardless of their income or wealth.

Clinton is also wrong when she says "the Supreme Court should represent all of us." That is what a democratically elected legislature is supposed to do. A court is supposed to apply the law, a function that does not cater to constituencies or dole out favors based on political considerations.

In light of that role, Chris Wallace's other question about the Supreme Court was more apposite: "What's your view on how the Constitution should be interpreted? Do the founders' words mean what they say, or is it a living document to be applied flexibly according to changing circumstances?"

Clinton did not even attempt an answer, while Trump at least tried to mouth the words that somebody told him conservatives expect to hear from a Republican presidential nominee:

The justices that I am going to appoint...will interpret the Constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted....I don't think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It's all about the Constitution...the way it was meant to be.

It's not completely clear how that would work in practice, since we can't actually read the Framers' minds. But Trump's description seems consistent with interpreting constitutional provisions based on the original public understanding of them, the approach favored by Justice Clarence Thomas. An originalist approach rejects the idea that the Constitution is "a living document" in the sense that its meaning changes over time—so that, for example, the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process can stop states from banning abortion, even if that is not the way the provision was understood when it was approved.

While the latter approach can produce liberty-friendly results, it does so at the cost of loosening the Constitution's constraints on goverment power, a tendency that is decidedly unfriendly to liberty. Hence it would be encouraging to hear a major-party candidate endorse originalism—if we had any reason to think he understood its value or would make decisions based on that understanding. It's hard to believe that's true of Trump, who thinks the Constitution has 12 articles, empowers judges to sign bills, authorizes presidents to rewrite libel law, and allows the government to take away the citizenship of people born in the United States. Trump claims he has read the Constitution, but if so he did not retain much.

Meanwhile, in areas such as freedom of speech, gun control, surveillance, executive power, and federal authority, Clinton takes positions that are plainly inconsistent with the Constitution. That means voters who assume they have to choose between the two major parties will be choosing between a candidate who doesn't know what the Constitution says and a candidate who doesn't care.


Appeals Court Affirms NSA Surveillance Can Be Used To Investigate Domestic Criminal Suspects


The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals confirms what's already known about the NSA's domestic surveillance: it's not just for terrorism. The NSA collections -- done in the FBI's name -- are supposed to only gather info related to international terrorism. But that requirement has been phased out. The NSA "tips" a certain amount of data to the FBI for its own use and it has been shown in the past to do the same for the DEA, which it then instructs to obscure the origin of its info.


Whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton Is Elected President, Liberty Loses


What if...?What if the Declaration of Independence states that the purpose of government is to protect our natural rights? What if natural rights are the freedoms we enjoy without neighbors or strangers or government interfering? What if those freedoms are listed in part in the Bill of Rights? What if the government is supposed to keep its hands off those freedoms because they are ours, we have not surrendered them and we have hired the government to protect them?

What if the reason some of our rights are listed in the Bill of Rights was the fear the colonists had after the American Revolution that the new government here might become as destructive of freedom as the British king and Parliament — whose government they had just kicked out — were before the Revolution? What if it is impossible to list completely the freedoms that all people enjoy by reason of our humanity? What if the Framers — who wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights — understood that?

What if, in order to address the impossibility of listing all rights, the Framers ratified the Ninth Amendment? What if the Ninth Amendment declares that the enumeration of certain rights in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people? What if this amendment was the Framers' way of recognizing the inherent attachment of our personal liberties to our individual humanity?

What if the government is supposed to protect those liberties — the ones that are enumerated in the Bill of Rights and the others that are too numerous to enumerate and are covered by the Ninth Amendment?

What if the government — no matter which party controls the White House or Congress — always claims that it is protecting personal freedoms? What if this is just an empty boast? What if there is a government within the government that never changes, never shrinks, answers only to itself, hates and fears personal freedoms, and is largely unrecognized by the Constitution?

What if that government, because of its secrecy, is largely unaccountable to the voters? What if it resides in the Federal Reserve, the military, federal law enforcement and intelligence establishments, and an enormous federal bureaucracy that regulates and spends in secret to a greater extent every year, no matter which party is in control?

What if the secret government commands the loyalty of the elected government by sharing secrets with it? What if the law requires those shared secrets to be kept secret? What if the elected government knows what the secret government is up to but cannot legally reveal it?

What if members of Congress know why Hillary Clinton was not indicted but they learned it in secret and so cannot legally reveal it? What if members of Congress know the extent of the Donald Trump financial shell game but they learned that in secret and so cannot reveal it?

What if some personal courage has broken this mold? What if Edward Snowden revealed massive secret government spying on all Americans after the government had denied it? What if Sen. Dianne Feinstein revealed horrific torture by the federal government after the government had denied it? What if the elected government knew about the spying and the torture but was legally prevented from revealing it? What if Hillary Clinton was largely right when she said politicians have a public persona and a private persona? What if President Barack Obama has demonstrated his two sides by killing people in secret, with his undeclared wars, and denying it in public?

What if the interest rate you pay on your home mortgage or car loan is not established by the free market — or even reached by bankers looking for your business — but is fixed in private by the secret government? What if the secret government has decided that it prefers Clinton to succeed President Obama and so its agents in law enforcement will overlook all evidence of Clinton's lawbreaking in order to bring that about? What if the secret government has given Trump an enormous pass on his financial behavior, a pass unavailable to the average voter, and it needs to keep that secret?

What if government has no interest in personal freedom, except perhaps as a catchy phrase around which to rally support? What if government nurtures having foreign adversaries — real and imagined — so that it has an excuse, in repelling or resisting those enemies, to exercise unlawful powers?

What if the presidential election this year has become a beauty contest — devoid of intellectual substance, without serious debate over the limited duties of government in a constitutional democracy, rolling in the gutter and largely motivated by hate and fear? What if both Clinton and Trump recognize the paradox that government is essentially the negation of personal liberty? What if whoever wins will largely use it for that purpose?

What if liberty really is attached to humanity? What if all rational people yearn for personal freedom? What if the government — in order to stay in power — has detached liberty from humanity and made it a gift of the state instead of a gift of God? What if government knows that by restricting and then expanding liberty, it can command loyalty?

What if there is a sense of hopelessness in the land? What if this hopelessness is bred by a government that kills, lies, steals, conceals, and denies? What if that hopelessness is furthered by a rational fear that things will only get worse, no matter who wins the presidential election? What do we do about it?



Universe May Hold 10 More Galaxies Than Researchers Once Thought


Since the mid-1990s, we have been told by NASA that our beloved Universe contains an estimated 120 billion galaxies. This information was largely based on a study known as the Hubble Deep Field, in which researchers positioned the Hubble Space Telescope to view a small region of space for 10 days in order to reveal inconspicuous objects through long exposure times.

There weren’t, however, enough galaxies in the Hubble Deep Field image to take into consideration the density of matter dispersed throughout the Universe. “We always knew there were going to be more galaxies than that,” explained astrophysicist Christopher Conselice of the University of Nottingham, UK. “But we didn’t know how many existed because we couldn’t image them.”

That number has finally changed. however, with NASA announcing last week that it is actually about 10 times bigger. This means 2 trillion galaxies have now been “discovered.”

After the observatory was upgraded in 2009, researchers used Hubble and other telescopes to conduct deep-field studies that enabled Conselice and collaborators to pinpoint more visible galaxies out to distances of 13 billion light years. They could then plot the number of galaxies of a given mass that coincided with numerous distances away from Earth and hypothesize from these estimates to find galaxies too small or faint for telescopes to pick up. They ultimately concluded through this method that the observable Universe should have 2 trillion galaxies.

According to astronomer Steven Finkelstein at the University of Texas at Austin, the researchers’ count wasn’t all that shocking, since theorists had anticipated the number to actually be much higher. But he admits the importance of putting a number on it regardless. “I don’t know of anyone who has done this before,” he said.

The study will be published in the Astrophysical Journal. Conselice, who led the research, said, “It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied. Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we discover these galaxies with future generations of telescopes?”

Researchers are only able to observe about 10% of the trillion galaxies, but the current study may help further their understanding of galaxies by improving galaxy formation simulations. And in two years, the James Webb Space Telescope — which should be able to look even further back in time and reveal how galaxies formed in the first place — takes over the Hubble.

According to Debra Elmegreen, an astronomer at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, the prevailing theory is that galaxies “start very small, and then undergo a furious period of mergers and acquisitions.”

The idea that there are so many galaxies out there begs the question: Does life exist elsewhere? More researchers are finding this to be absolutely true. For instance, Adam Frank, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester in New York, led a study this year in which he discovered that the chances of civilized life existing, or even life that once existed, is about one in 10 billion trillion. This number may seem high, but Frank explains why it’s really not:

One in 10 billion trillion is incredibly small. To me, this implies that other intelligent, technology producing species very likely have evolved before us. Think of it this way. Before our result you’d be considered a pessimist if you imagined the probability of evolving a civilization on a habitable planet were, say, one in a trillion. But even that guess, one chance in a trillion, implies that what has happened here on Earth with humanity has in fact happened about a 10 billion other times over cosmic history!

Here’s to daydreaming about what life looks like far off and away from our own!


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Internal Anger At The FBI Over Clinton Investigation Continues To Grow


Submitted by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzbrieg blog,

This is a story that refuses to go away. Recall the post from earlier this month, Backlash Grows Months After the FBI’s Sham Investigation Into Hillary Clinton, in which we learned:

Feeling the heat from congressional critics, Comey last week argued that the case was investigated by career FBI agents, “So if I blew it, they blew it, too.”


But agents say Comey tied investigators’ hands by agreeing to unheard-of ground rules and other demands by the lawyers for Clinton and her aides that limited their investigation.


“In my 25 years with the bureau, I never had any ground rules in my interviews,” said retired agent Dennis V. Hughes, the first chief of the FBI’s computer investigations unit.


Instead of going to prosecutors and insisting on using grand jury leverage to compel testimony and seize evidence, Comey allowed immunity for several key witnesses, including potential targets.


What’s more, Comey cut a deal to give Clinton a “voluntary” witness interview on a major holiday, and even let her ex-chief of staff sit in on the interview as a lawyer, even though she, too, was under investigation.


Agreed retired FBI agent Michael M. Biasello: “Comey has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the organization.”


Comey made the 25 agents who worked on the case sign nondisclosure agreements. But others say morale has sunk inside the bureau.


“The director is giving the bureau a bad rap with all the gaps in the investigation,” one agent in the Washington field office said. “There’s a perception that the FBI has been politicized and let down the country.”

While the above article focused on the opinions of retired agents, today’s article zeros in on the growing frustrations of current agency employees.

The Daily Caller reports:

FBI agents say the bureau is alarmed over Director James Comey deciding not to suggest that the Justice Department prosecute Hillary Clinton over her mishandling of classified information.


According to an interview transcript given to The Daily Caller, provided by an intermediary who spoke to two federal agents with the bureau last Friday, agents are frustrated by Comey’s leadership.


“This is a textbook case where a grand jury should have convened but was not. That is appalling,” an FBI special agent who has worked public corruption and criminal cases said of the decision. “We talk about it in the office and don’t know how Comey can keep going.”


Another special agent for the bureau that worked counter-terrorism and criminal cases said he is offended by Comey’s saying: “we” and “I’ve been an investigator.”


After graduating from law school, Comey became a law clerk to a U.S. District Judge in Manhattan and later became an associate in a law firm in the city. After becoming a U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Comey’s career moved through the U.S. Attorney’s Office until he became Deputy Attorney General during the George W. Bush administration.


After Bush left office, Comey entered the private sector and became general counsel and Senior Vice President for Lockheed Martin, among other private sector posts. President Barack Obama appointed him to FBI director in 2013 replacing out going-director Robert Mueller.


“Comey was never an investigator or special agent. The special agents are trained investigators and they are insulted that Comey included them in ‘collective we’ statements in his testimony to imply that the SAs agreed that there was nothing there to prosecute,” the second agent said. “All the trained investigators agree that there is a lot to prosecuted but he stood in the way.”

Indeed, there were many red flags surrounding Comey from the beginning. So much so that I wrote an article in 2013 titled, So Who is James Comey, Obama’s Nominee to Head the FBI?

In light of the latest revelations that the NSA is spying on the communications of millions of Verizon customers courtesy of information provided by the FBI, it probably makes sense to know a little more about Obama’s nominee to head that Bureau.  That man is James Comey, and he was a top Department of Justice attorney under John Ashcroft during the George W. Bush Administration (since then he has worked at Lockheed Martin and at the enormous Connecticut hedge fund Bridgewater Associates).  This guy defines the revolving door cancer ruining these United States.

Now back to The Daily Caller.

According to Washington D.C. attorney Joe DiGenova, more FBI agents will be talking about the problems at bureau and specifically the handling of the Clinton case by Comey when Congress comes back into session and decides to force them to testify by subpoena.


DiGenova told WMAL radio’s Drive at Five last week, “People are starting to talk. They’re calling their former friends outside the bureau asking for help. We were asked to day to provide legal representation to people inside the bureau and agreed to do so and to former agents who want to come forward and talk. Comey thought this was going to go away.”


He explained, “It’s not. People inside the bureau are furious. They are embarrassed. They feel like they are being led by a hack but more than that that they think he’s a crook. They think he’s fundamentally dishonest. They have no confidence in him. The bureau inside right now is a mess.”


He added, “The most important thing of all is that the agents have decided that they are going to talk.”

Corruption in the USA has now reached the level where it starts destroying the entire fabric of society itself. This is a very dangerous moment.


DOJ Uses Vague Court Request to Try to Demand People Unlock Any Fingerprint-Locked Phones


FingerprintFun fact about fingerprint lock "Touch ID" system on iPhones or iPads: If its owner hasn't unlocked his or her device in the past 48 hours, it reverts back to a passcode system. This means if a phone gets, for example, seized by authorities of some sort and locked away, there's a window through which they can physically make its owner unlock it before they have to get a numerical passcode.

That may explain why, in a federal warrant uncovered by Forbes' Thomas Fox-Brewster, the Department of Justice attempted to get a judge's permission to attempt to force people to unlock any Touch ID-locked phones at the scene of the search itself.

This was a search of a home in Lancaster, California, last May, and while Fox-Brewster wasn't able to get his hands on the warrant itself, he was able to track down a very particular and concerning request. The Department of Justice wanted:

"authorization to depress the fingerprints and thumbprints of every person who is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES during the execution of the search and who is reasonably believed by law enforcement to be the user of a fingerprint sensor-enabled device that is located at the SUBJECT PREMISES and falls within the scope of the warrant."

To simplify, the Department of Justice wanted to force anybody on scene with a fingerprint-locked phone or tablet to open it then and right there so they could review the contents.

There's two issues here: One, can authorities force somebody to provide a thumbprint to unlock a phone; two, even if they can, can the authorities just demand access to every device connected to a search scene without any proof it's connected to any crime?

For the first question, so far judges have been inclined to allow authorities to provide a thumbprint and do not believe this violates Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination. At least that's how things stand so far.

As for the second question, based on the vagueness of the memo, legal scholars were not impressed:

"They want the ability to get a warrant on the assumption that they will learn more after they have a warrant," said Marina Medvin of Medvin Law. "Essentially, they are seeking to have the ability to convince people to comply by providing their fingerprints to law enforcement under the color of law – because of the fact that they already have a warrant. They want to leverage this warrant to induce compliance by people they decide are suspects later on. This would be an unbelievably audacious abuse of power if it were permitted."

Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), added: "It's not enough for a government to just say we have a warrant to search this house and therefore this person should unlock their phone. The government needs to say specifically what information they expect to find on the phone, how that relates to criminal activity and I would argue they need to set up a way to access only the information that is relevant to the investigation.

But we don't know exactly what was in the warrant so we don't know how specific the request was. Forbes tracked down the recipients of the warrant to determine that it was indeed served, but they wouldn't say much other than to say that nobody there had been accused of involvement in a crime.

Assuming they're telling the truth, the Justice Department's behavior is even more of a concern, because they used the vaguest possible justifications to try to access private data on devices that may have had absolutely no connection with any sort of crime. And we don't know how many times the Department of Justice (or another law enforcement agency) has attempted this method. Or even whether they succeeded. But it does make it clear that the federal government is going to quietly do whatever they can to get around private data security unless they're told otherwise by judges.

Read the memo over at Forbes here.


Massive Voter Fraud Exposed In Project Veritas Part 2: "We've Been Bussing People Around For 50 Years"


Update 1:  Just shortly after posting video #2 earlier this afternoon, Project Veritas has claimed its second victim as Bob Creamer has announced he will be "stepping back from my responsibilities working the [Hillary] campaign."



— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 18, 2016


Ironically, the mainstream media is still refusing to play the Project Veritas videos claiming that their authenticity needs to first be verified.  Perhaps we could suggest that two people being fired from their respective employers is sufficient evidence to suggest that, at least in the minds of the people closest to the situation, the videos are, in fact, legitimate...just a thought.

Below is what we wrote earlier today:

* * *

Yesterday we noted the release of Part 1 of a multi-part video series created by Project Veritas revealing some of the dirty, behind-the-scenes secrets of the democratic party.  Part 1 was dedicated to uncovering plots by democratic operatives to incite violence at Trump rallies, a strategy they referred to as "bird dogging" (we provided a full summary here:  "Undercover Footage Shows Clinton Operatives Admit To Inciting "Anarchy" At Trump Rallies").

It didn't take long for yesterday's video to claim it's first casualty as Scott Foval, the National Field Director for Americans United for Change, was fired shortly after the video's release.  Foval's former employer released the following statement:

"Americans United for Change has always operated according to the highest ethical standards.  Scott Foval is no longer associated with Americans United for Change."

. @woodhouseb It really doesn't look like @AU4Change "operates according to the highest ethical and legal standards." @seanhannity #Veritas

— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 18, 2016


That said, perhaps the more disturbing revelation from the first video was that one agitator, Zulema Rodriguez, who admitted to inciting "violent protests" that forced Trump to cancel a Chicago rally back in March, was paid directly by the Hillary campaign just a few weeks before that event.  In fact, according to data from the Federal Election Commission, Zulema has been collecting fees from a lot of political organizations recently...turns out that picking fights at Republican rallies is a lucrative business...who knew? 

FEC Data


And now we have Part II of the series in which O'Keefe reveals how people, like Foval, successfully organize massive voter fraud in key swing states.  Among other things, Foval goes into great details about how fraudulent out-of-state voters are hired on at fake "shell companies" just so they can register to vote and are then paid for their votes through "paychecks" from those same entities.  Foval goes on to detail how the operatives bring people in to different states, using their own personal vehicles or by having shell companies rent vehicles, instead of using busses which would make it easier to prove a conspiracy.

“It’s a very easy thing for Republicans to say, “Well, they’re bussing people in.” Well, you know what? We’ve been bussing people in to deal with you fucking assholes for fifty years and we’re not going to stop now, we’re just going to find a different way to do it."


“When I do this I think as an investigator first – I used to do the investigations. I think backwards from how they would prosecute, if they could, and then try to build out the method to avoid that.”

Per Planet Free Will, the video also features Bob Creamer, a fraudster who served time for a $2.3mm bank fraud in relation to his operation of "community organizing" groups in the 90s.  Creamer is also the founder of Democracy Partners and husband of Democrat congresswoman Jan Schakowsky. The undercover journalist details a plan to register Hispanic voters illegally having them work as contractors, to which Creamer replies that “there are a couple of organizations that that’s their big trick,” and that “turnout is huge, huge, huge.”


Half of American Adults Already In Facial Recognition Network


Half of all American adults are already in some sort of facial recognition network accessible to law enforcement, according to a comprehensive new study. Conducted over a year and relying in part on Freedom of Information and public record requests to 106 law enforcement agencies, the study, conducted by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology, found American police use of facial recognition technology is a scattered, hodgepodge network of laws and regulations.


Ecuador Cuts Internet Access for Julian Assange to Preserve Neutrality in U.S. Election


The government of Ecuador confirmed on Tuesday that it had decided “to temporarily restrict access” to the internet inside its embassy in London, effectively cutting off Julian Assange, the editor of Wikileaks, who has lived there since he was granted political asylum in 2012.

Assange first reported on Monday that his internet connection had been “severed by a state party,” and the organization was forced to resort to a back-up plan to continue its work.

Julian Assange's internet link has been intentionally severed by a state party. We have activated the appropriate contingency plans.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 17, 2016

In an official statement, Ecuador’s foreign ministry suggested that the restriction was related to the release of documents by Wikileaks that could impact the presidential election in the United States.

Official Communiqué | Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states ??

— Foreign Affairs Ec (@MFAEcuador) October 18, 2016

“The Government of Ecuador respects the principle of non-intervention in the internal affairs of other states,” the statement said. “It does not interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate.”

As The Intercept reported in August, since Wikileaks began publishing emails hacked from the accounts of Democratic party officials, the site’s editor has been accused of attempting to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency.

While a founding principle of Wikileaks was that its editors would not know the identity of those who supplied them with documents, the U.S. Intelligence Community said earlier this month that it “is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails” later provided to the site, in order “to interfere with the U.S. election process.”

Intelligence officials have not disclosed evidence to support their attribution of responsibility to Russia, but private cybersecurity experts who investigated the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers pointed to what they called strong circumstantial evidence.

The communique released by Ecuador on Tuesday said that the country “does not yield to pressure from other states,” but Wikileaks claimed to have learned from unnamed American sources that a request to shut down Assange’s work had come from Secretary of State John Kerry.

BREAKING: Multiple US sources tell us John Kerry asked Ecuador to stop Assange from publishing Clinton docs during FARC peace negotiations.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 18, 2016

Wikileaks most recently published emails hacked from the Gmail account of the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, which included partial transcripts of paid speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street bankers after her tenure as secretary of state.

Ecuador’s president, Rafael Correa, told the Russian government’s news channel RT last month that a victory for Clinton would be better for the United States, and the world, but a Trump win could produce benefits for left-wing parties in Latin America.

¿Clinton o Trump? Correa revela quién, a su criterio, es el candidato que le haría bien a EEUU y al mundo

— RT en Español (@ActualidadRT) September 30, 2016

“Obviously, for the U.S., it would be better if Hillary won. I know her personally and have a great deal of respect for her,” Correa told RT.

“But, seriously, Trump would be better for Latin America,” he continued. “When did progressive governments come to power in Latin America? With Obama or with Bush? Bush’s primitive policies were rejected so much that it caused reaction in Latin America. Trump would do the same: maximize the contradictions.”

“So, for the good of the U.S. and the world, and because of my personal esteem for her,” Correa concluded, “I want Hillary to win.”

The post Ecuador Cuts Internet Access for Julian Assange to Preserve Neutrality in U.S. Election appeared first on The Intercept.


WikiLeaks says Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet after new Clinton emails published


WikiLeaks did not elaborate on the grounds for Ecuador’s London embassy, where Assange has spent more than four years after being granted asylum over fears of persecution over his publications, to restrict the whistleblower’s web access.


Monday, October 17, 2016

How First Lady’s Organic Garden Became a Junk Food Campaign


By Dr. Mercola

Mere months after President Obama came into office, first lady Michelle Obama launched an organic garden project at the White House, complete with a composting system and beehives.

During a recent White House Kitchen Garden dedication ceremony, the first lady reminisced about those early days, saying:1

"… [W]e started thinking about the challenges that many families faced, so many other families were facing the same things that we were, trying to raise healthy kids.

And many of us didn't understand the impact that the food we ate was having on our bodies, on our kids' bodies, or how we felt. Like we just didn't have the right information, or we didn't have the time that we needed to buy and prepare healthy food for our families.

So I had this crazy idea that what if we planted a garden on the White House lawn to start a conversation about where our food comes from and how it impacts our children's health.

Well, fast-forward to spring of 2009 — Barack actually won … and that's when we decided to move forward on this idea of planting a garden."

Who Shut Down the White House Promotion of Local Organics?

As Mrs. Obama mentions later on in her speech, many were opposed to the idea of an organic garden in the White House, and even more so to having a first lady focused on organic food and organic gardening as a source of health.

Americans are quite used to politicians saying one thing and doing another, a form of 'private vs public' values.

In the end, we shouldn't be surprised. Talking points and policies are crafted by the industries, and politicians are tools hanging from the toolbelt of multinational corporate interests.

In response to her invitation to dialogue about the importance of healthy eating and her promotion of local and organic foods. In a March 2009 letter to President Obama, the Mid America CropLife Association wrote:2

"Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet more economical. Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive.

If Americans were still required to farm to support their family's basic food and fiber needs, would the U.S. have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?"

It appears CropLife would have you believe growing organic food and living off the land makes you a fool. While farmers were once considered the backbone of our country, industrial agriculture is suggesting that eliminating most of the farmers has allowed leaders to emerge in other fields.

In a Diane Rehm Show interview that same month, Bob Young, an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation said:3

"We have no problem with this [organic] concept. But understand that you're making lifestyle choices here about how you want your food produced. Fine. But don't denigrate the other approaches to food production."

Organics Branded as 'Elitist' in Effort to Subdue Popularity

Others called the idea of organic gardening "charming" but impractical, due to the seasonality of different food items. In 2012, a number of media articles suddenly cropped up, in which they referred to organics as an "elitist lifestyle choice."

A spokesman for the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH) went so far as calling the Obamas "organic limousine liberals."4 Clearly, it was a poorly shrouded effort to quell the rising tide of organic food enthusiasts.5

It was also quite clear that the White House organic garden upset some significant donors, not because it was there, but because the first lady was implying that organic foods are healthier.

Pesticides become 'Crop Protection Products'

In May 2009, Tom Philpott wrote about how the Mid America CropLife Association stepped up its pressure on the first lady by urging its members to share the benefits of conventional agriculture with her through a letter writing campaign. According to Philpott, CropLife told its members:6

"What message does [a White House organic garden] send to the non-farming public about an important and integral part of growing safe and abundant crops to feed and clothe the world — crop protection products?

I hope that you will take a moment to consider how important that message is to your livelihood, your passion for agriculture, and your growers' future — and send your own letter, sharing the benefits of modern, conventional agriculture.

Help allay any fears by providing a specific example of how what you do on a daily basis, including custom application and/or the sale of crop protection products and fertilizers, has saved a crop and/or improved yields to benefit more Americans."

"Crop protection products" — that's the industry's term for what the rest of us call pesticides and toxic chemicals.7 According to the chemical industry, crops would suffer dramatic losses without these chemicals, and have positioned them as a farming necessity.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as you can grow healthy, thriving plants without any pesticides at all, provided you're using appropriate support strategies. I've detailed many of these strategies in previous regenerative agriculture articles.

How Junk Food Partnered with Obama's Campaign

In February 2010, Michelle Obama launched the "Let's Move" campaign, which by then had turned into something quite different from her original stance, which had been focused on raising awareness about the impact of food on health and the importance of organics.

Instead, the "Let's Move" campaign focused on "solving the challenge of childhood obesity" — primarily by getting kids to exercise more.

Riding on the coat tails of this public health campaign were messages promoting the ridiculous and clearly flawed "energy balance" model, promoted by the Global Energy Balance Network — an industry front group secretly funded by Coca-Cola.8

The aim of this group, which has since been disbanded,9 was to minimize and obfuscate the scientific evidence showing that sugar (and sweet beverages in particular) are a majorcontributor to obesity and diseases associated with insulin resistance, such as diabetes.

Arguing for more exercise is a good thing, but not when you're placing the sole focus on exercise and making people think you can exercise your way out of a high-sugar diet. The fact is, your diet can make or break your exercise efforts. Not the other way around.

Food Industry Legislation Falls by the Wayside

The "Let's Move" campaign also put an end to the first lady's push for food industry legislation. As noted by Think Progress in 2013:10

"Let's Move" has deliberately veered away from pushing actual legislation, instead focusing on personal responsibility in nutrition and fitness. That's a very different approach than the one Mrs. Obama took during the inception of her fight against childhood obesity.

In 2010, the first lady gave a fiery speech at a Grocery Manufacturers Association [GMA] conference, arguing that changing personal habits won't work if big companies like Kraft and General Mills continue to target children with misleading ads for sugary, fatty food:

'This is a shared responsibility … And we need you not just to tweak around the edges, but to entirely rethink the products that you're offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.

That starts with … ramping up your efforts to reformulate your products … so that they have less fat, salt, and sugar, and more of the nutrients that our kids need.

As a mom, I know it is my responsibility …  to raise my kids. But what does it mean when so many parents are finding that their best efforts are undermined by an avalanche of advertisements aimed at their kids? And what are these ads teaching kids about food and nutrition? That it's good to have salty, sugary food and snacks every day —  breakfast, lunch and dinner?'"

Junk Food for the People

In a recent New York Times article,11 Michael Pollan expertly details the subversive influence of Big Food on Obama's presidency. Our broken food system contributes to many of our most pressing problems, including but not limited to health care costs, energy dependence, greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotic resistance and food safety. Yet the power of Big Food, in large part due to the centralization and monopolization that has occurred, effectively blocks any and all attempts at positive change.

There can be no denying that our current food system is undermining public health and is a major contributor to environmental destruction and pollution, and while on the presidential campaign trail, Barrack Obama appeared very supportive of regenerative agriculture, and seemed in favor of agricultural reform.

"In ways small and large, Obama left the distinct impression during the campaign that he grasped the food movement's critique of the food system and shared its aspirations for reforming it," Pollan writes.

Obama promised to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for example — a promise that was never fulfilled during his eight years in office.

He also promised to address pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) by bringing them under the authority of the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts — another campaign promise left unfulfilled, and there's reason to suspect that industry pressure was at play in both instances. Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? You can see their lips moving.

Obama's Big Food Antitrust Initiative Went Nowhere

When Obama first took office, the new administration did launch an antitrust initiative, investigating potentially anticompetitive practices within several food sectors, including the poultry, dairy, cattle and seed industries.

"… [R]anchers and farmers testified to the abuses they suffered at the hands of the small number of companies to which they were forced to sell, often on unfavorable terms. In many regions … there were so few buyers for cattle that the big four meatpackers were able to dictate prices, impose unfair contracts and simply refuse to buy from ranchers who spoke out.

Chicken farmers testified about how they had been reduced to sharecroppers by the industry's contract system. Companies like Tyson and Perdue make farmers sign contracts under which the companies supply the chicks and feed and then decide how much to pay for the finished chickens based on secret formulas; farmers who object or who refuse any processor demands … no longer receive chicks, effectively putting them out of business."

After months of investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed new regulations to level the playing field for producers. The proposed rules specifically addressed legal recourse, making it easier for producers to sue packers for unfair practices.

Producers who complained or sued would also gain additional protection from retaliation under the new rules. The proposed legislation infuriated the meat industry, and after an intense lobbying campaign, the legislation was successfully squashed.

The antitrust initiative was also quietly dropped and never received any further attention, despite farmers' testimonies clearly having established that anticompetitive behavior was commonplace. Once again, many promises were made but in the end - the people lose and the industry wins. As noted by Pollan:

"Obama had launched the most serious government challenge to the power of Big Food since Teddy Roosevelt went after the Meat Trust a century ago, but in the face of opposition it simply evaporated."

The Four Horsemen of Agriculture Atrocities

How is it that an industry with such a clear pattern of malfeasance and wrongdoing can so successfully corrupt our politicians? Perhaps 'corrupt politicians' is a redundant phrase. According to Pollan:

"In order to follow the eight-year drama starring Big Food and both Obamas … it's important to know what Big Food is. Simply put, it is the $1.5 trillion industry that grows, rears, slaughters, processes, imports, packages and retails most of the food Americans eat."

The four proverbial horsemen that make up our food system are:

  1. Industrial agriculture or "Big Ag": growers of commodity crops, GMO seed and chemical companies
  2. CAFOs
  3. Food processors
  4. Food retailers and fast food franchises

As noted by Pollan:

"Each of these sectors is dominated by a remarkably small number of gigantic firms. According to one traditional yardstick, an industry is deemed excessively concentrated when the top four companies in it control more than 40 percent of the market.

In the case of food and agriculture, that percentage is exceeded in beef slaughter (82 percent of steers and heifers), chicken processing (53 percent), corn and soy processing (roughly 85 percent), pesticides (62 percent) and seeds (58 percent). Bayer's planned acquisition of Monsanto promises to increase concentration in both the seed and agrochemical markets."

Not only do all of these industry sectors have powerful lobbying organizations working on their behalf, they also have a large number of front groups secretly pushing the industry's agenda under various other guises. And, while these industries are sometimes at loggerheads, they all have one common enemy: The local and organic food movement.

One of the primary reasons why change is so difficult is because when these "four horsemen of agriculture" join forces, they form one formidable entity — one that Pollan refers to as "Big Food".

How Big Food Markets Junk Food to Kids

Pollan mentions Scott Faber, who in 2010 — at the time of Mrs. Obama's impassioned GMA speech in which she in no uncertain terms implored the food industry to clean up its act to protect children's health — was the chief lobbyist for the GMA. In a shocking twist, earlier this year Faber was hired by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and represented Just Label It (JLI) during closed doors negotiations with Congress to undermine the GMO labeling effort.12

"The obesity epidemic 'had put a bull's-eye on the food industry's back,' Faber explained. Here was a chance to remove it, with the first lady's help," Pollan writes.

"[T]he industry adopted a clever two-track strategy to deal with the challenge laid down by the first lady. On a very public track, industry leaders engaged the foundation that she formed, the Partnership for a Healthier America, in negotiating a series of private-sector partnerships — a series of voluntary efforts that the industry hoped would help avert new regulations …

Supermarket retailers pledged to promote more healthful foods in their stores, like fresh produce … Food makers pledged to reduce harmful ingredients in processed food, like salt and sugar, while boosting healthy ingredients, like whole grains …

Michelle Obama has celebrated these partnerships as significant achievements, but do they match the ambitions of her 2010 speech, with its call for industry to do more than "tweak around the edges" and instead to "entirely rethink the products you're offering"? …

[M]aking junk food incrementally less junky is a dubious achievement at best. It tends to obscure the more important distinction between processed food of any kind and whole foods. What began as a cultural conversation about gardens and farmers markets and real food became a conversation about improved packaged foods, a shift in emphasis that surely served the interests of Big Food.

While it can be argued that this was simply a concession to reality — because most Americans eat processed foods most of the time — to give up on real food so fast was to give up a lot."

Scott Faber Takes Pride in Efforts That Destroy Children's Health

Big Food even derailed Mrs. Obama's efforts to implement voluntary guidelines for marketing foods to children, and Faber was instrumental in this industry coup as well. The guidelines, which set standards for salt, sugar and fat in processed foods marketed to kids, were "a turning point" for the food industry,

Faber told Pollan, because even though they were voluntary, they could potentially give certain popular kid foods a bad rap. The GMA decided to face the administration head on — and won without so much as a fight.

"Faber … told me he was 'frankly surprised the administration never came back with a revised set of guidelines.' Evidently the White House had lost its stomach for this particular fight. That wasn't the only one, either. In the years after, Big Food scored a series of victories over even the most reasonable attempts to rein in its excesses."

Those successes include but are not limited to:

  • Preventing CAFOs from being regulated like other polluting industries
  • Preventing antibiotics from being regulated out of agriculture
  • Undermining the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act by getting Congress to refuse its reauthorization
  • Circumventing the inclusion of CAFOs and agriculture as industries to be regulated under new, more stringent pollution standards aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preventing the labeling of GMOs

With clear evidence that processed junk food is responsible for childhood obesity and related health problems, Faber seems proud of his successful efforts to ensure that junk food manufacturers can continue to manipulate children with their cartoon marketing style. And as the health of Americans keep declining, he seems proud of his ability to influence politicians to ensure that toxic foods remain the status quo.

Circumventing Big Food

Big Food is a formidable opponent. There's no denying that. But we can still win; we can still steer the agricultural industry toward safer, more sustainable systems. The key is to keep supporting local farmers and choosing fresh, local produce over processed and fast food fare. Every dollar you spend pays not just for a food but for an entire food system.

There's a tipping point at which the failing system must change or perish, so it's all a numbers game, really. The more people that buy non-toxic, whole, unprocessed foods, the closer we get to that tipping point. Big Food wields great political power, but our power is our sheer numbers. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods: provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome raw dairy products as well as grass-fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass-fed products.

Weston A. Price Foundation

Weston A Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.


The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.

The Cornucopia Institute

The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products, and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO "organic" production from authentic organic practices.

If you're still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out and They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area.

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund13 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.14 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at

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