Tag Archive: federal agents


November 12, 2014 By Steve Sanetti

13violentcrimeoffensefigure-01The FBI released its annual Crime in the United States

report on Monday revealing that the country in 2013 saw the violent crime rate fall another 5.1 percent from the previous year, so it is now at its lowest since 1978.  Delving a little deeper, the murder and manslaughter rate fell 4.4 percent to the lowest level since 1968.This is very good news, and while it is being reported here and there, it will not get a small fraction of the air time that crime stories will get on local news affiliates around the country on any given night. So, sadly, we do not expect to see a perceptible move on the proverbial needle of current public perception that crime is increasing, not decreasing.

But from a public policy perspective, this is very important data that should help inform decision making and we urge you to point to it the next time you hear someone advocating the latest “common sense” proposal for more gun control laws.

While the crime rate has been dropping steadily for more than the last 20 years, the number of firearms in the hands of law-abiding Americans has beenrising dramatically.  In June, we put together an NSSF video that illustrates this relationship and other useful points in a short, but impactful presentation. Now, we have another year of data that furthers the case.

In that realm of public perception, we are encouraged by the results of a new Gallup survey released last week that found 63 percent of Americans believe that having a gun in the house makes it a safer place, a doubling of that number since 2000. This result flies in the face of what anti-gun organizations have been trying to convince the public for many years now.

Public opinion can be fickle, of course, and survey results are best viewed as a snapshot in time. Still, that more than six out of ten Americans have reached this conclusion speaks volumes about the fact that millions of our fellow Americans do appreciate that they have the right to exercise their Second Amendment rights in defense of their families.  Spread the news.

 

Published November 12, 2014

Law-abiding Californians may not need to justify their need to carry concealed weapons, after the same three-judge panel that struck down restrictions on the permits earlier this year ruled Wednesday that it is too late for new opponents to join the fight against the ruling.

The decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals would bar other law enforcement officials, including state Attorney General Kamala Harris, from appealing its ruling in a case originally brought by an independent journalist who sued the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has said he will not fight the ruling, meaning there is no one with standing left to challenge the decision made in February.

“Since becoming Sheriff, I have always maintained that it is the legislature’s responsibility to make the laws, and the judiciary’s responsibility to interpret them and their constitutionality,” Gore wrote in a letter to the county board of supervisors earlier this year, in which he said the court’s decision gave him clarity on the issuance of licenses. “Law enforcement’s role is to uphold and enforce the law.”

Edward Peruta sued Gore’s department over its policy of requiring a specific reason for being allowed to carry a concealed weapon in public, restrictions other counties around the state also had in place.

In its bombshell ruling earlier this year, the 9th Circuit found those policies to be unconstitutional and held that law-abiding citizens have a right to bear arms under the Constitution’s Second Amendment and could not be required to justify their reasons for carrying concealed weapons.

California counties have differed on policy in the wake of the decision, with Orange County issuing the permits on request and others waiting for a resolution in the case.

One judge on the panel disagreed with Wednesday’s ruling, saying the state should be able to intervene in the case to “present an argument on an important constitutional question affecting millions of citizens.”

The law would still not allow felons or the mentally ill to possess firearms, and would still prohibit the carrying of them in places such as schools and government buildings.

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November 7, 2014

Stinging Defeats for Radical Anti-Hunting and Gun Control Groups

Fairfax, Va. – On Tuesday, voters in Alabama, Mississippi and Maine came out in full support of protecting America’s hunting heritage and Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) led the way to enshrine the Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Wildlife in the state constitutions of Alabama and Mississippi and worked with a coalition of sportsmen’s groups to protect hunters in Maine from extreme anti-hunting groups who aimed to ban traditional bear hunting methods in the state.

“Sportsmen and hunters are the true conservationists in the United States and the NRA will continue to lead efforts on the state and federal level to defend their rights,” said Chris W. Cox, chairman of the NRA-PVF. “Hunting laws should be set by wildlife biologists and experts in the field who rely on sound science for wildlife management plans. On behalf of the NRA’s 5 million members, we want to thank the voters of Alabama, Mississippi, and Maine for supporting America’s hunting heritage and protecting our Second Amendment freedoms.”

In Alabama, NRA-backed Amendment 5 passed with an overwhelming 80 percent of the vote. The Right to Hunt and Fish amendment provides permanent protection for current and future generations of sportsmen in Alabama and ensures wildlife conservation and management decisions will be based on sound science and not the misguided emotions of anti-hunting extremists.

Also in Alabama, voters approved NRA-backed Amendment 3 to strengthen the state’s existing Right to Keep and Bear Arms amendment. The words “fundamental” and “strict scrutiny” will now be added to that amendment in Alabama’s state constitution. “Strict scrutiny” is a standard of judicial review that provides the highest level of protection for constitutional rights.

In Mississippi, 88 percent of voters overwhelmingly approved NRA-backed Amendment 1, the Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Wildlife, creating permanent protections for current and future generations of sportsmen in Mississippi. Amendment 1 ensures wildlife conservation and management decisions will be based on sound science and prevents extreme anti-hunting organizations from diminishing the state’s strong hunting heritage.

Voters in Maine, for the second time in a decade, defeated efforts to ban traditional hunting methods critical to the state’s wildlife management and economy. The NRA strongly opposed the Maine Bear Hunting Initiative (MBHI). The restriction would have undermined the ability to control Maine’s bear population. Bear hunting is a longstanding tradition that is deeply engrained both in Maine’s heritage and economy.  Bear hunting contributes an estimated $60 million to the economy and sustains 900 hunting and outfitting jobs annually.

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I Voted

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A very rich man

Photo of elderly man eating lunch with picture of deceased wife goes viral

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This man never dines without a picture of his sweetheart. (Madina Bashizaduah)

Every picture tells a story.

But a photo making the Internet rounds of a man eating at a California In-N-Out Burger alongside a picture of his deceased wife has uncovered a story of true love that will make you squeeze your honey extra hard tonight.

Two weeks ago, imgur user soulrose posted a picture of a man perched in a red and white booth gazing longingly at a photo, with his walker nearby.

“I saw this elderly gentleman dining by himself, with an old picture of a lady in front of him. I though [sic] maybe I could brighten his day by talking to him,” soulrose writes.

After talking to the man, the user found out it was indeed his wife, and proceeded to be blown away by the story of how they met and their enduring love.

“They met when they were both 17. They dated briefly, then lost contact when he went to war and her family moved. But he said he thought about her the entire war. After his return, he decided to look for her. He searched for her for 10 years and never dated anyone,” soulrose wrote.

“People told him he was crazy, to which he replied ‘I am. Crazy in love.’ On a trip to California, he went to a barber shop. He told the barber how he had been searching for a girl for ten years. The barber went to his phone and called his daughter in. It was her! She had also been searching for him and never dated either.”

According to the story, the unnamed man proposed right then and there was married to his wife for 55 years before she died 2009.

Madina Bashizaduah from San Francisco posted a similar image on Twitter on Oct. 22 of the same man—just with a different shirt and new picture. She said he always leaves home with a picture of his sweetheart and recounted the same story of a fateful love for the ages.

Soulrose said the man had a few nuggets of wisdom, saying:  “I was a very rich man. Not with money, but with love” and “Tell your wife that you love her everyday. And be sure to ask her, have I told you that I love you lately?”

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Published October 23, 2014

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Now it’s law enforcement that has nowhere to hide, and that may or may not be a good thing.

A Dutch company has introduced a detection system that can alert drivers if a police officer or other emergency services official is using a two-way radio nearby.

Blu Eye monitors frequencies used by the encrypted TETRA encrypted communications networks used by government agencies in Europe. It doesn’t allow the user to listen in to transmissions, which is illegal and would require advanced decryption capabilities, but can detect a radio in operation up to one kilometer away.

Even if a message isn’t being sent, these radios send pulses out to the network every four seconds and Blu Eye can also pick these up, according to The Sunday Times. A dashboard-mounted monitor uses lights and sounds to alert the driver to the proximity of the source, similar to a radar detector interface.

The company behind it, Target Automotive, says it’s meant to be used as safety device, giving early warning that an emergency vehicle is approaching so drivers can move out of the way, while reminding them to monitor their behavior behind the wheel. But critics see it as a likely tool for intentional scofflaws.

“As it does not distinguish between a police car, ambulance or fire engine responding to an emergency or one that is simply driving under non-blue-light conditions, this particular device is sadly just as likely to be bought by a minority of motorists who wish to evade being caught behaving illegally,” David Bizley, the Royal Automobile Club’s chief engineer, told The Sunday Times.

Blu Eye sells for $1,600 in the U.K., and is not yet available in the United States. However, Target Managing Director Jan Rijks tells FoxNews.com that a version is in the works that is compatible with the P25 protocol used by U.S. emergency services and could be on sale as early as next year.

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$10G to watch grass grow: Coburn report details worst examples of gov’t waste

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The government spent $10,000 to watch this type of grass grow. (USDA.GOV)

As American taxpayers worried about the terror threat from the Islamic State, the crisis at the border and the economy, the U.S. government spent their money to give rabbits massages, to teach sea monkeys to synchronize swim and to literally watch grass grow.

These and other examples of wasteful government spending were detailed by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn in his annual “Wastebook,” his final edition since he is retiring early next year.

“I have learned from these experiences that Washington will never change itself,” Coburn, R-Okla., said in a statement. “But even if the politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.”

The first example cited in the report is the millions spent on what one attorney called the government’s “dirty little secret”: paid administrative leave for troublesome employees. Workers who were placed on leave for disciplinary reasons, such as misconduct, security concerns or criminal issues, received $20 million while on leave this year.

These workers, according to Coburn, were essentially on a paid vacation that can last for months or years. The GAO also detailed this phenomenon in a report Monday. According to the GAO, during a three-year period more than 57,000 employees were placed on leave for 30 days or more, costing taxpayers $775 million in salary alone.

Another wasteful project with a big price tag is the Pentagon’s plan to destroy $16 billion in military-grade ammunition that it deems no longer useful. Sounds pricey, right? Well add in the fact that on top of that, the feds plan to spend $1 billion just to destroy the ammo.

“The amount of surplus ammunition is now so large that the cost of destroying it will equal the full years’ salary for over 54,000 Army privates,” the report notes.

Other examples vary from the serious, to the aggravating, to just plain bizarre. One that takes the cake is the $10,000 the government spent to watch grass grow — seriously.

That project is the brainchild of the Department of Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is paying for the growth of the smooth cordgrass to be observed on a Florida reserve. The money covers “the cost to monitor grasses, restore two acres as a demonstration and publish a guide on best practices for cultivating the cordgrass, known formally as Spartina alterniflora.”

Still more examples show that while some Americans are struggling to make ends meet in a rough economy, there is a group in the U.S. getting major perks: animals.

In one instance, the government shelled out $387,000 to provide rabbits with a relaxing daily massage. The critters were treated to a “mechanical device that simulates the long, flowing strokes used in Swedish massages” to study the effect of massages on exercise recovery, according to the report.

Another animal getting a fun extracurricular activity courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers are sea monkeys. The government dropped $50,000 on a project to study the swirl of sea monkeys’ collective movements. The researchers did so by choreographing a synchronized swimming routine for the tiny shrimp.

The government also spent $856,000 to throw mountain lions on a treadmill and $171,000 to watch monkeys gamble. They also spent $331,000 on a study that led to a mind-blowing discovery, that “hungry people get cranky and aggressive.”

“With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing.” Coburn said in the statement. “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.”

Other notable examples include $90 million spent to promote U.S. culture around the world, $414,000 spent on a U.S. Army video game that some in the intelligence community have worried could inadvertently train terrorists and $4.6 million spent on “lavish” homes to house Border Patrol agents in areas temporarily.

Coburn, known as “Dr. No” for his strong stance against excess spending in Washington, announced in January he is retiring from the Senate early due to ongoing health issues. The Republican had already announced he would not seek reelection but decided to leave his term two years early, in January 2014.

A Coburn spokesperson told FoxNews.com that the senator has said that answers about if and how the “Wastebook” will continue will have to wait until next year. The spokesperson said Coburn hopes every lawmaker will make monitoring government waste a priority, but that one does not have to be a current lawmaker to do so.’

Click to read the “Wastebook.”

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October 15, 2014

A feminist writer and critic of video games has canceled a scheduled talk at a Utah university after learning that the school would allow firearms where she was speaking despite receiving an anonymous mass shooting threat.

Anita Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak on the depiction of women in video games at Utah State University in Logan Wednesday morning. However, on Tuesday, the university received an anonymous e-mail from someone claiming to be a student at the university who threatened to carry out a mass shooting if the event was held.

University spokesman Tim Vitale says the FBI told school officials the threat was consistent with ones Sarkeesian receives when she gives speeches elsewhere.

The university consulted with federal and state law enforcement and had determined it was safe to go ahead with the presentation.

A university statement said that Sarkeesian asked if guns would be permitted at the venue where she was speaking and was informed that they would be, in compliance with the state’s open carry law passed in 2004.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Sarkeesian tweeted that she requested that the school install metal detectors or require officers to search people as they entered the venue. The paper reported that the school offered to increase security and ban backpacks from the venue, but would not ban guns. In response, Sarkeesian decided to cancel her scheduled appearance.

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Never miss another election again with California’s new voter registration technologiesand permanent vote by-mail balloting!  The power to win elections is in your hands.The general election on November 4 is less than a month away and California CANNOT afford to have any more anti-gun state legislators elected into office.

Print out a complete copy of all races go here:

http://cms.nraila.org/media/13466353/california_2014.pdf

Many Californians who believe in the right to keep and bear arms mistakenly believe that their vote won’t make a difference.  They are wrong!  Becoming a permanent vote by-mail voter helps increase voter turnout significantly enough to swing elections!  If every single gun owner and believer in the right to keep and bear arms registered to vote and always voted by mail, we could turn back the onslaught of gun bans coming from state and local politicians in California.

If you are not a registered voter, please click here.  After you register to vote, you can become a permanent vote by-mail voter at www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vote-by-mail/pdf/fill-in-vote-by-mail-app-instruct.pdf.

If you are already registered to vote and would like to use the convenience of voting by mail, please click here.

The last day to register to vote in the 2014 general election is October 20.

The last day to apply to vote by mail is October 28.

Register to vote now and help the Second Amendment in California!  California is living proof of the truth of the slippery slope of ever-expanding gun bans.  But if every gun owner and Second Amendment supporter voted in every election, the tide would be turned!  Help make it happen – Register to Vote Today!

Don’t wait to the last day to exercise your important right to vote, because our right to vote is what is needed to save our right to keep and bear arms!

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“Criminal” and “terrorism” concerns lead Home Office to change guidelines to support police knocking on lawful shooters’ doors

Police concern that members of the shooting community may be “vulnerable to criminal or terrorist groups” has prompted the Home Office to update its firearms guidance to support forces in England and Wales in their intention to start making unannounced home visits to legitimate gun owners.

 

The policy, which is effective from today, has been introduced ostensibly to ensure certificate holders are complying with firearms security measures — this is despite the fact that the Home Office’s own figures show that theft of guns is not a widespread concern. On average, in the past five years, annually just 0.025 per cent of the 1,837,243 legally held firearms and shotguns in England and Wales were stolen — an average of just 475 guns per year. The figures are not broken down to indicate whether a firearm was stolen from a home, military or commercial environment or whether it was stolen in transit. Despite such low figures and little evidence of a genuine problem, a dedicated Crimestoppers hotline has also been launched “to encourage members of the shooting community and the general public to report any concerns about legally held firearms”. BASC called the hotline “unnecessary and inappropriate”. The Countryside Alliance has launched an e-campaign for shooters to call on their MP to oppose the police campaign which, it says “encourages an untrusting and vindictive attitude from your friends and neighbours”.

Chief Constable Andy Marsh, the national policing lead for firearms and explosives licensing, called on the shooting community to lend its support to the new measures, saying: “The public and especially the shooting community can greatly assist the police in gathering intelligence and protecting our communities by being vigilant around firearms licensing. The shooting community is close, and will recognise sudden behavioural changes in fellow shooters that could cause concerns. However, they may not feel like they can act and the Crimestoppers hotline empowers people to voice concerns anonymously.”

He added: “If you are concerned that guns are being kept insecurely or notice signs that shooters may be vulnerable to criminal or terrorist groups or have shown sympathy towards extremist acts, please report it.”

The new Home Office guidance states: “Where it is judged necessary, based on specific intelligence in light of a particular threat, or risk of harm, the police may undertake an unannounced home visit to check the security of a certificate holder’s firearms and shotguns. It is not expected that the police will undertake an unannounced home visit at an unsocial hour unless there is a justified and specific requirement to do so on the grounds of crime prevention or public safety concerns, and the police judge that this action is both justified and proportionate.”

Importantly, shooters must understand that no new power of entry has been conferred on the police or police staff, and those undertaking a visit must provide “a clear and reasoned explanation” for doing so.

In launching the measure, Chief Constable Marsh stressed that the police’s intention is not to “catch out gun owners”. He said: “I know that the vast majority of gun owners understand their responsibility to secure firearms and in the main take this very seriously, which allows their continued lawful use for work or leisure purposes.”

BASC’s Richard Ali stated that the association backs the police in their efforts to help firearms certificate holders “maintain the excellent record of safety and security in England and Wales”. He added: “Where there is specific intelligence of threat, risk or harm then the police should act.”

The Countryside Alliance has called ACPO’s campaign to target the legitimate shooting community over security concerns “unjustified and ill-judged”. The CA’s director of campaigns, Tim Bonner, said: “This campaign is exactly the sort of knee-jerk reaction to an unrelated problem that the Government had promised to avoid. It is unjustified and ill-judged, and will serve only to waste police resources and alienate a large and law abiding section of the community.

“The public appeal for information about certificate holders through Crimestoppers will encourage malicious complaints and the link made with radicalisation and terrorism is insulting and ridiculous. We have not been made aware of a single recent incident in which a licence holder has misused a firearm in pursuit of an extremist agenda.”

This latest move follows on from the introduction last year of Operation Solitaire, a community engagement project which is, according to the police, “aimed at reducing the vulnerability of those with legitimate access to firearms, to using these weapons illegally.” The operation’s target audience includes people who have “regular interaction with holders of firearms and shotgun certificates”.

Police firearms enquiry officers and neighbourhood officers have visited shooting clubs and registered firearms dealers in recent months to highlight concerns surrounding the potential for terrorists or mass killers to exist within the shooting community.

One gun club member recently wrote in an online forum for armed services personnel that his personal experience of the Operation Solitaire initiative was: “the crappiest attempt by the plod at getting us to grass each other up as lone wolf killers”.

BASC’s advice on home visits:

The BASC is advising members to ensure their security arrangements are up to standard. The association is reminding shooters that the police are required to provide a clear and reasoned explanation to certificate holders at the time of an unannounced visit. Shooters should be left in no doubt as to why the visit is being made. The association has reiterated that the police DO NOT have an automatic statutory right of entry, but BASC recommends a sensible and co-operative approach to this type of situation.

BASC states: “It is possible that the reason for visiting may not be specifically about the certificate holder but may relate to other factors such as local rural or urban crime. There is an expectation of elementary co-operation from certificate holders following a reasonable request to check the security of your firearms.”

If shooters feel that any visit has not been undertaken properly, they should first draw this to the attention of the local force, clearly stating the reasons why they believe this to be the case. BASC has also stated that it will challenge robustly any police force which does not correctly follow the Home Office guidelines.

Follow these links to BASC’s advice to members and BASC’s advice for firearms security

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Oregon gov’s fiancee reportedly helped buy land to grow marijuana in 1997

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In this Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 photo, Cylvia Hayes, fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, speaks at a news conference in Portland, Ore. (AP)

First she admitted being part of a fraudulent green-card marriage — now, a new report says Cylvia Hayes, fiancee of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, partnered to buy land intended for an illegal marijuana growing operation in 1997.

KOIN-TV reported late Monday that Hayes bought the $245,000 property in Washington state with another man using a $15,000 down payment in November of that year. The man who sold the couple the land told the station that they soon stopped making payments and records showed that Hayes gave up her interest in the property in April 1998. She moved to Oregon three months later.

Hayes issued a statement saying that she was “not proud of that brief period of time” and claimed that “I was involved in an abusive relationship with a dangerous man.” KION reports that the ex-boyfriend, whose name has not been released, has a history of domestic violence convictions.

Last week, Hayes admitted that she was paid to enter a fraudulent marriage to help an Ethiopian immigrant remain in the United States, also in 1997. She’s also under fire for earning money from organizations seeking to influence state policy.

The man who sold Hayes and her then-boyfriend the land, a real estate broker named Patrick Siemion, told KOIN, “There was somewhat of a leader-follower [dynamic] there, and she was leading and the gentleman was following.”

“She did all the talking, all the negotiating,” Siemion told The Oregonian. “I remember her saying, `Oh this is just the perfect place, we’re so happy to have it.'”

Hayes said she was never financially involved in the marijuana grow, and shortly after moving there “began to make plans to get away.

“I did not pay any part of the down payment or mortgage payments,” she said. “I had no money. The money I had received in July 1997 for entering a fraudulent marriage was used as I have previously stated — to purchase a laptop and pay school expenses.”

Siemion told The Oregonian that he found marijuana trimmings in an upstairs bedroom after the property went into foreclosure. He said he did not see marijuana plants but found fertilizer and irrigation tubing that he considered evidence of a grow.

Hayes got engaged over the summer to Kitzhaber, the Democratic governor who is seeking a fourth term in next month’s election.

Kitzhaber’s Republican rival, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, has tried to keep the focus on Hayes’ consulting work, arguing that Hayes’ outside work is part of a pattern of missteps that show Kitzhaber’s administration is “inept and unethical.”

Kitzhaber on Monday asked a state commission for a formal opinion on whether Hayes is subject to state ethics laws and, if so, whether she’s broken them.

Kitzhaber says his office has taken care to make sure that Hayes’ consulting work doesn’t pose a conflict of interest, including proactively reviewing her contracts before she agreed to work. But all three contracts made public by the governor’s office were reviewed only after they went into effect.

A decision by the Oregon Government Ethics Commission is unlikely to come before the election. The commission can take up to 120 days to respond, and there are no scheduled meetings before the Nov. 4 election.

Before Kitzhaber was elected governor, Hayes ran a consulting business, 3E Strategies, that worked on renewable energy issues. As first lady, she’s taken a public and active role, advising the governor on energy policy while advocating programs that reduce hunger and poverty. She’s uncompensated and has continued her outside consulting.

The governor’s office has released copies of three contracts from 2013 worth nearly $86,000, along with draft and final conflict disclosure forms. The drafts, dated in July 2013, suggest Hayes couldn’t use her first lady title in her consulting work or any state facilities, including Mahonia Hall, the governor’s official residence.

But the final versions of the documents include exceptions, allowing Hayes to call herself first lady in “a biographical profile” and use Mahonia Hall for meetings on contracts already obtained.

Rachel Wray, a spokeswoman for Kitzhaber’s office, said the documents were changed after Hayes “asked for clarification.”

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By: Fred Lucas

This significant golf outing took place at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The president has been criticized frequently for playing the game amid national and global crises.

On Sunday a second U.S. Ebola diagnosis was reported.

In August, Obama came under fire for golfing shortly after speaking about the beheading of an American journalist by the Islamic State.

In 2008 Obama’s predecessor George W. Bush told Politico the reason why he stopped playing golf five years earlier: “I don’t want some mom whose son may have recently died to see the commander in chief playing golf. I feel I owe it to the families to be in solidarity as best as I can with them. And I think playing golf during a war just sends the wrong signal.”

But last year Bush said Obama should not be criticized for playing golf.

Not everyone is as charitable, however.

“The president’s 200th trip to an oasis of fairways comes at a particularly turbulent time,” veteran White House correspondent Keith Koffler wrote on his website White House Dossier.

“The usual problems – an uncertain economy that may or may not be gaining its footing, stagnant wages, low work force participation, Iran on the cusp of a nuclear weapon, and soaring U.S. debt – are all present,” Koffler continued. “But as he strolls about the course today, Obama now also finds himself waging war with merciless (Islamic) terrorists raging across Iraq and Syria like a wildfire, confronting the 21st century version of the Bubonic Plague, and facing the revived threat of a major terrorist attack.”

Even at this rate of golfing (which averages about 33 games a year), Obama won’t break any presidential records for the frequency of his outings.

President Dwight Eisenhower golfed 800 times over his eight years in office, while President Woodrow Wilson golfed 1,600 times in eight years, according to Don Van Natta Jr.’s book on presidential golfing, “First Off the Tee.”

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By Jennifer Abel

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A Wisconsin woman who fell for the “Microsoft scam” last month found a relatively happy ending to her story: the scammer hasn’t been identified or caught, but a police officer with good computer skills was able to undo most of the damage he caused.

The Microsoft scam is simply a brand-specific version of the “tech support scam,” which usually works like this: the scammers contact the victim over the phone, pretending to be tech-support personnel from Microsoft or any other tech company big enough to have a customer-support staff. (If they try using email to reach you, then technically they’re attempting a “phishing” scam rather than a “tech-support” scam. Regardless of the label, the scammers have the same basic goals, and you need to be wary of them all.)

The faux-Microsoft scammers will tell you they’ve discovered a security flaw in your computer’s Microsoft operating system, but they can fix it for you, right now, provided you give them remote access to your computer.

Of course, if you go along with their suggestion, it will end badly for you. The single most important rule to protect yourself from phishing, tech-support and similar scams, is “Don’t call me; I’ll call you.”

Calls from the blue

In other words: if you personally notice a problem with, say, your Microsoft system or Netflix account, and want to contact Microsoft or Netflix to complain about the problem, that’s fine. But if someone claiming to represent Microsoft, Netflix or any other company calls you, out of the blue, offering to fix some problem you never even knew you had — don’t believe it. That’s not a Microsoft staffer or Netflix security expert on the phone; that’s a scammer trying to ensnare you.

Sometimes the scammers are trying to plant various forms of malware on your computer — anything from spy software that monitors your personal computer activity, to zombie software that takes over your computer and uses it to send phishing spam or malware viruses to still more people, usually without you even realizing it.

But last month, an unnamed woman in Madison, Wisconsin fell for a Microsoft scammer who essentially tried holding some of her key files for ransom.

News source Channel3000.com reported this week that a man claiming to be from Microsoft called her and asked for remote access to her laptop. Once he got it, he deleted certain files and demanded she use her credit card to pay him $200 if she wanted them back.

She did not give him her credit card information, and did call Madison police; an officer was eventually able to restore her deleted files.

But the scammer is still out there, and probably still calling potential victims. If anyone claiming to be from Microsoft calls you about a supposed problem, hang up at once, the same way you’d hang up on any so-called tech-support person who expects you to ignore the anti-scam security rule “Don’t call me; I’ll call you.”

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Friday October 3rd, 2014 :: 12:54 p.m. PDT

Public Service Announcement – We would like to warn the public of Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls.

Public Service Announcement – Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department would like to warn the public of Fraudulent Scam Phone Calls. Recently, various frauds have occurred in the Riverside County area where criminals contact victims by telephone to impersonate law enforcement officials or utility company officials.

In the first type of scheme, the caller claims to be a member of law enforcement, or the court system. The victim is told he or she has a warrant for failing to appear for jury duty. The caller demands payment for the warrant via credit card information, or a Green Dot card. The suspect typically remains on the phone with the victim while he or she travels to the store to obtain the Green Dot card. The suspect further instructs the victim not to tell anyone who they are talking with. After obtaining the serial numbers to the Green Dot cards, the money deposited to the card is immediately removed by the suspect.

The caller is not connected with the Riverside Superior Court or the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. No Riverside County Court or Sheriff’s Department employee will ever contact the public and ask for financial information or payment in lieu of attending court proceedings, or to make up for failure to appear for jury duty.

In the second scheme, the caller claims to be from a utility, or service provider-type company. The victim is told their bill is overdue, or a meter needs to be replaced at the victim’s expense. The caller demands immediate payment for the overdue bill, or installation of a new meter. If payment is not received, the victim’s service will be shut off. The caller demands credit card information or a Green Dot card as described in the first scheme.

The caller is not connected with any utility or service providers. Victims are encouraged to advise the caller they will call the utility company directly, and discontinue the call. The victim should then contact the utility company themselves through legitimate and verified numbers.

It should be noted there are several technologies and methods that allow callers to conceal what number they are calling from, or to give the appearance they are calling from the Sheriff’s Department, court, service provider or utility company.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person claiming to be a Riverside County Court or Sheriff’s Department employee or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the incident to your local Sheriff or Police Station.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff’s CrimeTips online form.

Address/Location
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department – Headquarters
4095 Lemon St
Riverside, CA 92501

Contact
Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 951-955-2400

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AREK SARKISSIAN – OCT 1, 2014

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Within 15 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, Waldo Police Officer Tim Logan spotted three drivers moving well over the speed limit on U.S. 301.

Indeed, there is a speed problem in Waldo, but the city cannot afford its police department.

On Tuesday night, the Waldo City Council voted in favor of disbanding its department, effective at midnight.

“We’re all going to be unemployed,” Logan said as a silver Mercedes sedan whizzed by his black and white police sport utility vehicle. The equipment in the cruiser showed the luxury car was traveling at 60 mph in a 45-mph zone.

“I don’t like the idea of letting my wife know when I wake up in the morning that I will be out of a job,” Logan said.

The City Council voted 4-1 to disband the department and to allow Waldo’s officers to collect pay until Oct. 31 as city officials determine how to tie up loose ends. There are still plenty of cases — primarily traffic citations — awaiting court dates, and equipment that needs to be inventoried or sold.

Waldo has long carried the notoriety as a speed trap with black-and-white patrol cars working busy stretches of U.S. 301 and State Road 24, but that began to change last month when its last police chief, Mike Szabo, was suspended pending the results of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation.

On Aug. 26, five Waldo officers revolted against Szabo and Cpl. Kenneth Smith with a presentation before the City Council that was rife with allegations that included an unlawful ticket quota, deceptive court appearances and unethical evidence storage.

Shortly after the presentation, Waldo City Manager Kim Worley also suspended Smith, with the launch of a second FDLE investigation. Both Szabo and Smith later resigned.

In the absence of a chief, Worley signed a month-long contract with Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell on Sept. 3 to receive the temporary services of her training lieutenant, Steve Maynard, who she temporarily promoted to captain for the assignment.

Last week, Darnell told Worley she would not extend the contract, which apparently left Waldo with little option but to close its police department.

During the Tuesday night meeting, Worley said an audit of the department conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined that the city would need to drastically update its storage facilities and computer systems to keep up with standards required for criminal investigations.

“The cost is just too high,” Worley said.

Waldo City Councilwoman Carolyn Wade was reluctant to vote in favor of the police department closure, but said she understood it was inevitable. Conversations with State Attorney Bill Cervone led her to believe it was the only decision to save the city from more bad publicity, she said. Wade said Cervone told her that if the city chose to keep the department open, he would bring a case before the Alachua County grand jury, and it would return with a humiliating presentment.

“Too much has gone too far and I don’t think we can recover,” Wade said.

Plenty of residents opposed disbanding the police department and many said they were confused and angry. Kim Andrews, owner of Andrews Knife and Muzzleloading, even offered to chip in a few hundred dollars.

“These guys keep us safe,” Andrews said. “People will die if this department goes away, and the blood will be on all of your hands.”

After the meeting, Waldo Police Officer Brandon Roberts — who led the Aug. 26 presentation that unveiled the unlawful ticket quota — unpinned his badge and smiled. He said he found it funny that the actions of Szabo and Smith led to the loss of his job, but he said what he and four officers did was in the fabric of the oath they swore to as officers.

“It’s what was right,” Roberts said. “A lot of people complain about cops not stepping across the blue line, and this is a prime example, because you have to worry about this kind of stuff.”

Roberts added that the resignations of Szabo and Smith were worth the loss of his own job.

“If I took down two bad ones, it was worth it,” Roberts said.

Police coverage for the City of Waldo now will fall under the supervision of the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Becky Butscher, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, said her department is working to allocate more deputies to the area.

State Attorney Cervone said Waldo police are not out of the woods in regards to the two FDLE investigations. Both remain active, and Cervone plans to meet with agents later this week.

2014 – Ocala Star-Banner, Fla.

 

‘Real Housewives’ star Joe Giudice heading to prison

  • Teresa Giudice, 41, (L) and her husband Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice, 43, exit the Federal Court in Newark, New Jersey, March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (UNITED STATES – Tags: CRIME LAW ENTERTAINMENT) – RTR3G1B9

“The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Giuseppe “Joe” Giudice is headed to prison for 41 months.

His wife, Teresa Giudice, who is often seen getting into wild screaming matches with her fellow Bravo stars on the series, is still awaiting sentencing in Newark, N.J, in federal court. It was suggested in court that the couple could possibly stagger their sentences in order to care for their four young daughters.

Joe Giudice must pay $414,000 in restitution.

He apologized in federal court in Newark Thursday, saying he disgraced many people.

The Giudices admitted that they hid assets from bankruptcy creditors and submitted phony loan applications to get some $5 million in mortgages and construction loans.

Both Giudices pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and three types of bankruptcy fraud. Joe Giudice, 43, also pleaded guilty to failing to file a tax return for 2004, and acknowledged he didn’t file taxes on income of approximately $1 million between 2004 and 2008.

On their reality show, the Giudices are shown living in a lavish home and frequently spending on extravagant vacations and items for their kids.

Bravo has yet to comment on their reality star’s sentencing.

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661WineBarrels

 

A woman drowned when she fell into a wine barrel after becoming intoxicated by the fumes.

Spaniard Nerea Perez, 25, was found floating face down in the barrel after fellow vineyard workers wondered where she had gone, and started looking for her in the village of Salas de los Barrios in northern Spain’s Leon province.

Colleague Ginebra Peralta Colunga, 32, said: ‘Now is the time for harvesting grapes so a lot of villages around here have people working on stirring the wine in the barrels.

‘This is the first time this has happened though.’

Winemakers stir the wine while it is fermenting for extra contact with the ‘lees,’ or sediment, which is mostly made up of dead yeast and bits of grapes.

It is a time-consuming practice believed to give a richer, fuller body and more depth of flavours.

The young woman is believed to have been found by her uncle and well-known winemaker Raul Perez.

Emergency crews also had to help members of her family who were overcome by grief at hearing the news of her death.

Wine makers say accidents like this are more common than people think because of the gases given off by wine while it is being made.

Perez was a politic figure in the local town’s Young Socialists group, who paused their campaigning for a day as a mark of respect for the woman after her death was announced.

 

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