Video: 3 men claiming to be Occupy Portland protesters arrested in Marion County for possession of explosives

Marion County authorities arrested three men, who claimed to be Occupy Portland protesters, during a traffic stop after officers found fireworks and marijuana inside.

A Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy at 8:40 a.m. Sunday stopped a gray Subaru Outback that was traveling southbound on Interstate 5, near milepost 245, after he recorded it traveling at 81 mph.

When the deputy made contact with the driver, William Maxwell Patterson, 21, he reportedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the car. When he searched the car, the deputy found a bag of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Inside the car was also Emery Nicholas Luff, 21, and Zachary Salzwedel-Kemp, 20, and all three are from Klamath Falls.

Inside the car, the deputy also found a number of firecrackers and two commercially made mortars inside glass canning jars, designed to be fired into the area during professional pyrotechnic displays. One was found in the floorboard of the vehicle, and the other was allegedly in Luff’s jacket.

Read More at Oregon Live By Molly Hottle, The Oregonian

Meritocracy, Thy Name Is Chelsea

In another win for the famously blind meritocracy that rules American life, rewarding the ultra-talented and pushing the less brilliant and skilled into the outer darkness, Chelsea Clinton has landed a coveted position at NBC News. This was almost as much a surprise as her admission to Stanford; one can only marvel at the sheer guts and talent that have enabled her to overcome our society’s fixed aversion to giving a chance to the relatives of the rich and the prominent.

On a more serious note, I know of no reason why the younger Ms Clinton should not have this or any job. But the increasing sense that this country is run by a hereditary celebrity class is one of the most corrosive and dangerous forces eating away at our common life.

The children of famous politicians could do our country an immense service if they sought out ways to serve that were more low profile. This would be particularly true for the children of extremely rich politicians.

It might be argued that it is unfair to expect a wealthy, smart and well connected young person to sacrifice natural ambition for the common good. But surely the poor and obscurely born also have to eat their share of the world’s injustice. Maybe the rich and famous could also have a small taste?

This is not a point that will often be made in our celebrity crazed, wealth obsessed culture. It should be, and it is a sign of the deep trouble we are in that it isn’t common wisdom. Meritocracy is not the same as nepotism and the mix of media, money, celebrity and politics, while to some degree inevitable, is also toxic and should be taken in the smallest possible dose.

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 Read More at The American Interest

Technology Rewrites the Fourth Amendment

Technology has changed how information flows, how people communicate, and even the meaning of “friend,” which has become a verb. Now, add to the imperial reach of technology the power to rewrite constitutional protections.

A case argued last week in the Supreme Court hinges on what Americans consider “reasonable” under the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. Not even Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has always correctly anticipated how much privacy people expect, so imagine how hard this is for nine people trained as lawyers, not engineers or online marketers.

The justices did their best. The facts of U.S. v. Antoine Jones are that District of Columbia police, working with the FBI, suspected a nightclub owner of being a drug dealer. They installed cameras near Antoine Jones’s nightclub, got his cellphone records, and attached a GPS tracking device to his Jeep Grand Cherokee. In 2005, acting on the information they had gathered, police executed a search warrant and found a huge stash of cocaine, firearms and cash. The defendant’s lawyers objected to the GPS, saying that tracking car movements over several weeks violated his expectation of privacy.

The Fourth Amendment is a rare part of the Constitution that explicitly requires judges to adjust standards to reflect changes in society. What was unreasonable before may be reasonable now. Most adults in the U.S. have created Facebook accounts, which disclose more information than the most avid gossip-monger could have produced in the days before social media.

As an example of how privacy expectations have changed, consider a case brought in the late 19th century. Actress Marian Manola was playing a Broadway role requiring her to wear tights, a racy outfit for the era. To protect her modesty, she got an injunction when someone in the audience used the new technologies of a camera and a “flash light.”

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 Read More at WSJ L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal

The Other Rick Perry Gaffe

One of the best questions in the GOP debate was offered by Jim Cramer, the hyper CNBC host, near the end of the event. Interestingly, it came from a viewer. Unfortunately, the Republicans with a chance to answer it had no answer.

“I’m going to be quoting Joanne Kornbly (ph),” Cramer said. “She e-mails us. She says, ‘Our stock market has turned into a casino with high- frequency computerized trading comprising 70 percent of all transactions and hedge fund speculation resulting in market swings. Before privatizing Social Security, how would you make the stock market safer for individual investors?’”

This is a question that is on the minds of millions of Americans who want to see the American system of capitalism succeed and have investments in stocks. Last year, in the famous flash crash of May 6, the stock Accenture dropped from $44 dollars to one cent per share within 15 minutes, and recovered back to $41. Apple computer dropped 60 points in 15 minutes. It went from $258 down to $199 and then recovered to $248 within a 15-minute period.

Cramer introduced the question by saying that he was directing it to Herman Cain and that “This does not lend itself to 9-9-9 or any other number.” He asked the question and then said, “…how do we restore faith in the markets for the little guy?”

After Cain responded with another statement about improving the economy, Cramer followed up: “When the economy was going great, sir, there was no trust. When the economy was going great, people were getting ripped off and there was insider trading. When the economy was going great, people were getting hurt in the stock market. Forget the economy. Talk about the way the market is regulated.”

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Read More at By Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media

Media Attempt to Cover Up Obama Comments on Israel

The incident involving a live microphone that took place last week at the G20 summit in Cannes, France involving President Barack Obama, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, and the prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, was an important revelation on several levels.

First, it revealed the true feelings that Obama and Sarkozy have toward Netanyahu, which is quite different from their public pronouncements and actions. No big surprise in either case. But the bigger story is how corrupt the media are to go along with the attempted deception.

What occurred is that the two presidents were speaking in what they thought was a private conversation. But what they overlooked was that the mics they were wearing were live, and a simultaneous translation of their conversation was being broadcast to the journalists outside the room. Those journalists were not to be given headphones until the session resumed, but a number of them had their own and were listening as a translator repeated the comments of the two men.

Initially, in the conversation, Obama was critical of Sarkozy for not letting him know in advance that France would be voting to allow the Palestinians membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). After they were voted in to the organization, the U.S. Congress voted to cut off its portion of the funding for UNESCO, as it is required by law to do if Palestine is admitted as a member of any international organization before it reaches a peace agreement with Israel. Obama, whose spokesmen have made clear that he once again will ignore Congress and do what he can to help UNESCO, was also reported to have asked Sarkozy to try to help persuade the Palestinians to stop their bid to gain full UN recognition as a state.

Sarkozy then said of Netanyahu, “I cannot bear him, he’s a liar.” To which President Obama reportedly said, “You may be sick of him, but me, I have to deal with him every day.”

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 Read More at By Roger Aronoff,

How to end Washington corruption

There’s really only one way to end Washington corruption – and Jack Abramoff, without question the most notorious lobbyist in American history, offers the solution in his post-prison memoir, “Capitol Punishment.”

The solution is simple – so simple, so obvious and so profound – you can be certain it will never be implemented without a ground-up political revolution.

What does Abramoff say?

First clean up government by returning it to the law and its constitutional limitations – and the rest will take care of itself.

Maybe it takes nearly four years in prison for Washington insiders to see clearly.

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 Read More at WND By Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily

Mitt Romney: Cancel the coronation — how conservatives can defeat him

For those who believe the current commentariat consensus that Mitt Romney should be coronated as the inevitable Republican nominee, consider the excellent story by Alicia Cohn in The Hill about conservatives uniting to defeat Romney, and remember the GOP primaries in 1976 when Ronald Reagan was almost nominated after a late surge.

Cohn’s included one bit of news that has not been adequately covered by most media, the creation of a group of conservatives to be found at the, and one subject that has also not been adequately covered: the importance of the Florida primary in late January and Super Tuesday in March.

I would add one additional factor: the growth of proportional delegate selection in the GOP process, which creates the possibility the nomination battle remains open and conservatives could unite behind one candidate long before Romney locks up the nomination.

This piece is an attempt at straight political analysis and news analysis. Here is my take on the state of the GOP race:

1. Mitt Romney is having great trouble winning the loyalty of Republican voters above the 25 percent level. About 75 percent of Republicans do not support Romney as their first choice. In fact, for many of these GOP voters Romney is their fourth, sixth or even eighth choice behind the conservatives now running and the conservatives who chose not to run.

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 Read More at The Hill By Brent Budowsky, The Hill

Could the Euro Trigger A 2008-Like Crash? Si, Oui, Yes.

If we dispense with all the fancy stuff, we end up with a simple see-saw with the euro and global equities on one end and the much-hated U.S. dollar on the other.

If we scrape away the ever-hopeful headlines predicting a new figurehead lackey or another vote will magically fix Greece, Italy, the euro, Europe’s crumbling banks, etc., the global stock markets can be distilled down to one chart. And here it is: a see-saw with the U.S. dollar on one end and the euro and equities on the other.

I know the mind rebels at such simplicity, and so does the entire buy-side Wall Street edifice: if it all boils down to this, then there really isn’t much value added by the endless reams of fancy reports and analysis, is there?
But let’s presume for a moment that it really is this simple. Where does that leave global stock markets? The answer can be had by glancing at two other charts: one of the euro and one of the dollar.

Now that the cargo-cult chiefs are openly talking about the euro splintering into euro 1 and euro 2 (i.e. business class and steerage), something I proposed as a possible “face-saving” step in the devolution of the euro 18 months ago ( Why the Euro Might Devolve into Euro 1 and Euro 2 March 2, 2010), then the common-sense question is: why is the euro worth 36% more than the dollar? The answer is that it isn’t worth 36% more, of course, and for a bit of technical support of that we turn to a simple chart.

There’s not much to support Bulls’ claims of euro strength here and much to suggest the euro is in a leaky barrel floating helplessly toward Niagara Falls.Classic wedge broken decisively to the downside, check. Uptrend decisively broken, check. RSI declining but not oversold, check. MACD declining and below the neutral line, check. Price below the critical 200-week moving average (MA), check. Price below the equally critical 50-week MA, check.

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Read More at  By Charles Hugh Smith

Connecting the Nuclear Dots on Iran

With the IAEA discussing a dramatic new report from its nuclear inspectors in Iran, are some – such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – exaggerating the imminence of a nuclear-armed Iran? Or is the U.S. government hopelessly misleading us that the threat is manageable through sanctions and tough talk?

A series of extraordinary leaks in the Israeli press last week revealed an internal debate within Israel’s inner security cabinet over the need to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons sites.

According to these reports, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak favored the strikes; Vice prime minister and strategic affairs minister Moshe “Bogey” Ya’alon reportedly was opposed. The leaks came on the heels of the third test-launch of a Jericho 3 nuclear-capable strategic missile, and what Israel claimed were long-planned air force exercises over Sardinia to simulate an attack on Iran.

According to former CIA case officer turned novelist Chet Nagle, the Jericho 3 test may have been designed by Israel to send quite a different message than the one being played up in the press.

Any Israeli attack on Iran is sure to make of Israel an international pariah, Nagle argues. Plus, the likelihood of success – that is, in destroying or disabling all of Iran’s nuclear weapons capabilities so they have nothing to launch on the morning after the attack – is low.

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 Read More at By Kenneth R. Timmerman,


The Unreported Tragedy of Cuba’s Repressive Communist Regime

Cuba—to listen to, watch or read some of the media—is a place that has remained unbowed in the face of impoverishment by the U.S. embargo. Lately what you hear is that it is attempting to make bold reforms not just in the economy, but socially as well (it just allowed gays to marry!) The people still dance.

Only that the reality of Cuba bears little resemblance to the plucky little island narrative. Cuba’s penury has nothing to do with the U.S. decision not to trade with the communist island, but with the fact that the island is communist in the first place. If communism produced misery in Europe and Asia (where one half of Germany and Korea stagnated under repression while the capitalist halves of those countries thrived in economic and political freedom) why would the result be different in the Caribbean?

Communism is a human tragedy, enslaving the soul while failing to produce enough goods for the people trudging under it. Communist countries are large prisons; the borders must be closed lest the people escape. And within that hell there are smaller circles where the repression is intensified. It’s the Gulag, the re-education camp or, in Cuba’s case today, public beatings by government mobs for who speak up their minds.

One would think a journalist would want report on that, especially when—as is the case in Cuba today—the people have finally decided to risk it all and take to the streets to voice their opposition. Reality, however, is again otherwise.

In Cuba today there’s a growing and vibrant protestor movement, headed by a group of women called Las Damas de Blanco (The Ladies in White). Originally organized by the wives of political prisoners, it has now galvanized others to lose their fear and voice their anti-communist sentiments in public.

 Read More at The Foundry By Mike Gonzalez, The Foundry