Protests Rock Egypt After Morsi Seizes New Powers (+video)

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Alexandria on Friday, throwing chairs and books into the street and setting them alight, after the Egyptian president granted himself sweeping new powers.

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opponents also threw stones at each other near a mosque in the city, Egypt’s second largest, a witness said.

Two cars had glass smashed as the clashes moved away from the area.

In Port Said, another port on the Mediterranean, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party headquarters and pelted it with rocks. Some tried to storm it but did not enter, another witness said.

In Cairo, thousands demonstrated against the decree issued on Wednesday night.

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Video Report: Texas Student Successfully Defies ‘Total Surveillance State,’ Citing ‘Mark of the Beast’

The idea of being tracked wherever one goes by a government computer chip may sound like something out of Science Fiction dystopia films like “V for Vendetta” or “Total Recall,” but apparently, it’s actually happening. And at least one Texas high school student has embarked on a mission to stop it.

Meet Andrea Hernandez, a sophomore at Texas’ John Jay High School Science and Engineering Academy, and a resistor against a new program there that enables the school to track its pupils:

The proposed “tracking” method would require students to wear badges containing Radio Frequency Initiation (RFID) chips, and then track the chips embedded in the badges, presumably as a means of ensuring students don’t play hooky or go off-campus without permission, etc.

But Hernandez refuses to play along with the badges, even braving the threat of expulsion to do so. Why? Because she believes they’re Satanic, according to the blog God Discussion:

“. . . Hernandez is claiming religious principles for refusing to carry her ID card, stating that she believes it is satanic, specifically calling it the “mark of the beast,” in reference to one of the interpretations of Christian biblical prophecy as outlined in the apocalyptic book, Revelation.”

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Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Populations of 24 States Combined

An analysis by Breitbart News has found that the number of individuals on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of 24 states and the District of Columbia.

In November, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that a record 47,102,780 individuals receive food stamps.

According to US. Census Bureau data, that figure exceeds the combined populations of: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Since January 2009, the number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to the current record high 47.1 million. By comparison, in 1969 just 2.8 million Americans received food stamps.

Read more from this story HERE.

Now the UN Wants To Use Drones for Surveillance

photo credit: scazon

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations wants to use drones for the first time to monitor fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where Rwanda has been accused of aiding rebels, officials said Friday.

Peacekeeping chiefs have been in contact with the governments of DR Congo and of Rwanda about the sensitive move, which could set a precedent that would worry some United Nations members, diplomats said . . .

“Ultimately, to introduce these, we would need the support of member states to equip the mission,” [UN peacekeeping spokesman] Dwyer said . . .

“The UN has approached a number of countries, including the United States and France, about providing drones which could clearly play a valuable role monitoring the frontier,” a UN diplomat said, on condition of anonymity.

“Clearly there will be political considerations though,” the diplomat added.

Read full story HERE.

Club for Growth to GOP Establishment: Define ‘Electable’

photo credit: donkey hotey

In response to signals that the GOP establishment is prepared to play a more aggressive role in 2014 Senate primaries, Club for Growth President Chris Chocola fires a shot across the bow in an op-ed published Wednesday.

“In the wake of some missed opportunities to pick up seats in the U.S. Senate over the past few cycles, one tactical change floated by the GOP establishment is that the party apparatus and its affiliated Super PACs should play a more influential role in primaries to make sure that more “electable” candidates are nominated.

It is hard to imagine a bigger mistake…

Everyone wants to avoid the next Todd Akin or Christine O’Donnell, neither of whom received any support from the Club for Growth PAC. But the Republican establishment has a horrendous track record of accurately identifying which candidates are truly unelectable and which are not. Too often, party insiders mistakenly substitute the word ‘unelectable’ for the word ‘conservative.'”

Chocola, a former GOP congressman from Indiana, points to a litany of top, establishment-favored candidates who lost in 2012 and also to a rogue’s gallery of so-called ‘electable’ GOP House and Senate candidates who backfired in spectacular fashion in recent years: Dede Scozzafava, Arlen Specter, and Charlie Crist.

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Study: U.S. Faces 52K Doctor Shortage by 2025; Obamacare, Immigration* Contributing Factors

photo credit: jillk61

. . . Research published in the Annals of Family Medicine estimated that most of the doctor shortage will be caused by the rising U.S. population.

Aging adults and the expansion of healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act will contribute to a lesser extent, the study found.

Researchers predicted that the U.S. population will increase 15.2 percent by 2025, necessitating about 33,000 more physicians.

Aging adults will create the need for an additional 10,000 physicians in that period, while the Affordable Care Act will require about 8,000 more.

Read more from this story HERE.

*Immigration is inferred. The birth rate for the United State was 1.89 children per woman in 2011, which is well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

Al Gore Says Approving Keystone Pipeline Would Be ‘Morally Wrong’

photo credit: campuspartybrasil

Former Vice President Al Gore says a window is opening to work on climate change legislation in Congress . . .

But words are one thing — action is another. Gore said the Obama administration decision on the Keystone XL project is the first test to see whether the two match up.

“I am strongly opposed to that tar-sands pipeline. I think it’s crazy. Again, you have the realpolitik/business logic, but I just think it is morally wrong for us to open a brand new source of even dirtier carbon-based energy when we are desperately trying to bend down the curves,” he said.

Many lawmakers on the left and the right expect President Obama to greenlight the pipeline’s northern leg. That portion requires administration approval because it crosses national boundaries.

The pipeline would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, and its supporters are promoting it as a jobs and energy security issue. Environmentalists have pushed back against the pipeline because it runs through environmentally sensitive regions and would increase delivery of one of the dirtiest forms of fuel.

Read more from this story HERE.

Electronic Surveillance: Where Is the State Department On the Real ‘War On Women?’

Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women’s male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

“The authorities are using technology to monitor women,” said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the “state of slavery under which women are held” in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Read more from this story HERE.

Mark Steyn: Jill Kelley for Secretary of State

Let us turn from the post-Thanksgiving scenes of inflamed mobs clubbing each other to the ground for a discounted television set to the comparatively placid boulevards of the Middle East. In Cairo, no sooner had Hillary Clinton’s plane cleared Egyptian air space then Mohammed Morsi issued one-man constitutional amendments declaring himself and his Muslim Brotherhood buddies free from judicial oversight and announced that his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak, would be retried for all the stuff he was acquitted of in the previous trial. Morsi now wields total control over Parliament, the Judiciary, and the military to a degree Mubarak in his jail cell can only marvel at. Old CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but he’s our SOB. New post-Arab Spring CIA wisdom: He may be an SOB but at least he’s not our SOB.

But don’t worry. As America’s Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, assured the House Intelligence Committee at the time of Mubarak’s fall, the Muslim Brotherhood is a “largely secular” organization. The name’s just for show, same as the Episcopal Church.

Which brings us to Intelligence Director Clapper’s fellow Intelligence Director, Gen. David Petraeus. Don’t ask me why there’s a Director of National Intelligence and a Director of Central Intelligence. Something to do with 9/11, after which the government decided it could use more intelligence. Instead, it wound up with more Directors of Intelligence, which is the way it usually goes in Washington. Anyway, I blow hot and cold on the Petraeus sex scandal. Initially, it seemed the best shot at getting a largely uninterested public to take notice of the national humiliation and subsequent cover-up over the deaths of American diplomats and the sacking of our consulate in Benghazi.

On the other hand, everyone involved in this sorry excuse for a sex scandal seems to have been too busy emailing each other to have had any sex. The FBI was initially reported to have printed out 20,000 to 30,000 pages of emails and other communications between Gen. John Allen, U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and Jill Kelley of Tampa, one-half of a pair of identical twins dressed like understudies for the CENTCOM mess hall production of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” Thirty thousand pages! The complete works of Shakespeare come to about three-and-a-half-thousand pages, but American officials can’t even have a sex scandal without getting bogged down in the paperwork.

For the cost of running those FBI documents off the photocopier, you could fly some broad to the Bahamas and have a real sex scandal. Instead, we’ll “investigate” it for a year or three, as we’re doing with Benghazi itself. At her press conference the other day, soon-to-be Secretary of State Susan Rice explained that she would be misspeaking if she were to explain why she misspoke about Benghazi until something called the Accountability Review Board has finished “conducting investigations” into “all aspects” of the investigations being conducted, which should be completed by roughly midway through Joe Biden’s second term.

Read more from this story HERE.

Tea Party Vows to Stay for Long Haul, Takes No Blame for GOP Losses

photo credit: fibonacci blue

Tea party leaders say they refuse to be the scapegoats for the drubbing Republicans took on Election Day, claiming it was the party establishment — not their insurgent movement — that cost the party seats in the House and Senate and returned President Obama to the White House.

In fact, various branches of the grass-roots movement vow to reassert themselves on the local and nation levels as Congress begins talks aimed at averting the “fiscal cliff.” They say their call for limited government is more relevant than ever before.

“As far as the tea party is concerned, we are still here,” said Amy Kremer, leader of the Tea Party Express. “We may not be out on the streets with the colorful signs like 2010, but we are here, we are engaged and we are going to continue to fight. We never thought this was a short-term process. It is going to take a long time to turn it around.”

Judson Phillips, head of Tea Party Nation, said the tea party’s first order of business is to rebut Republicans who want to blame the movement for their poor performance at the ballot box.

“They went well out of their way to ignore us, marginalize us and pretend we did not exist, and they gave us the most liberal nominee in the history of the Republican Party,” Mr. Phillips said, taking particular aim at Karl Rove, the mastermind behind former President George W. Bush’s career and founder of American Crossroads, a super PAC that spent more than $100 million in the campaign but had few successes to show for it.

Read more from this story HERE.