Tuesday, December 22, 2009

New World Order Crumbling - We Are Change Austin Celebrates Recent Victories Over Tyranny



http://wearechangeaustin.org
http://theaustinfreepress.com

G. Edward Griffin Speaks on the Federal Reserve at the University of Texas 12/10/2009


G. Edward Griffin speaks at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas campus, December 10, 2009. Opening speakers are Harlan Dietrich of Brave New Books and John Bush of Texans for Accountable Government.

VIDEO BY FLOYD ANDERSON

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

FBI informant who stung RNC 2008 anarchists connected to ‘firebomb plot’ on Brave New Books and “suicided” Palestinian activist Riad Hamad


Is Austin-area FBI Informant Brandon Darby, who allegedly provoked anarchists into plotting with ‘molotov cocktails’ at the RNC 2008 connected to plans to "firebomb" patriot bookstore Brave New Books and a sting on "suicided" Palestinian activist Riad Hamad?

Aaron Dykes
Infowars
December 8, 2009

Remember Riad Hamad, the Palestinian man who’s "suicide" left him at the bottom of Lady Bird Lake in Austin with his mouth gagged and arms duct-taped behind his back? (Kurt Nimmo, Did Palestinian Activist Riad Hamad Commit Suicide? )

According to reports, he was observed at meetings with now-outed FBI informant/provocateur Brandon Darby, who admittedly set up two anarchist/leftists from Austin with "molotov cocktails" who were subsequently arrested for alleged plans to attack police cars outside the RNC 2008 in Minnesota in connection with the "RNC Welcoming Committee."

Since Darby’s exposure as an admitted FBI informant, flyers have been seen in coffeehouses across Austin reading “Wanted: Brandon Darby An Informant Rat Loose in Austin.”

featured stories   FBI informant who stung RNC 2008 anarchists connected to firebomb plot on Brave New Books and suicided Palestinian activist Riad Hamad
Flyers circulated across Austin coffeehouses reading “Wanted: Brandon Darby An Informant Rat Loose in Austin.”

WHAT’S MORE– Scott Crow, anarchist/leftist who formed the Hurricane Katrina relief group "Common Ground Collective" has made a number of interesting connections with fellow member Brandon Darby, whose role in Common Ground may have coincided with his FBI/Police Informant role, which may have begun in 2004, 2005 or 2006.

Scott Crow claims that in 2006, after Brandon Darby was admittedly an FBI informant, Darby attempted to recruit Crow on a plot to "firebomb" Brave New Books of Austin, Texas. Crow writes:

In Darby’s ‘revolutionary rhetoric’ over the years he tried to get numerous people, including myself, to do the things the two men were eventually taken down for. I believe now he tried to set me up in 2006 (after he, according to FBI documents began informing and provoking) to firebomb a bookstore called Brave New Books in Austin. I was NOT interested at all and thought it was stupid. I tried to talk him out of it. The event never happened. He was allowed to change his mind and move on. What if the Feds had raided him at the time?

This astonishing information was brought to my attention by Harlan of Brave New Books, but the connection to Riad Hamad I found only afterwards in Crow’s posts. Harlan writes:

The vitriol that seems to chase Darby to this day is due to the fact that two young activists David McKay and Bradley Crowder have been sentenced to a combined six years in prison for possessing several Molotov cocktails that were to be used during demonstrations at the 2008 Republican National Convention and were convicted in large part through the testimony of Brandon Darby. The possession of the cocktails is not in question, but what seems peculiar is why Darby an older, seasoned activist would agree to take part in a plan to firebomb a flock of police cars at the RNC, according to the FBI, and not just persuade the younger protégés to avoid instigating violent action? According to the defendants, Darby had encouraged the violence and had provoked the younger activists to take this direction, an allegation Darby denies. Darby admits that he was asked by the bureau to be the “eyes and ears" to monitor the small, loose-knit group of activists that included McKay.

featured stories   FBI informant who stung RNC 2008 anarchists connected to firebomb plot on Brave New Books and suicided Palestinian activist Riad Hamad
Scott Crow (left) with Brandon Darby (right)

Crow initially defended Darby against allegations that he was reporting to the FBI , warning against ‘divisive rumors’ and COINTELPRO, even after claims had spread that he was an FBI informant. After Darby publicly admitted his role as an informant, Crow expressed regret for his support in a post titled "Eating Crow", and the later expressed several suggestive claims about the extent of Brandon Darby’s political provocateuring in the Austin political scene, as posted on the PM Press.

Darby has appeared on ‘This American Life’/ NPR and in papers like the Austin Chronicle to talk about his background as an activist and his account of how he became an FBI informant through a New Orleans cop– once opposed to his groups’ actions until he was swayed by community relief efforts he witnessed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Or so the story goes…

Crow claims that Darby began contacting the FBI earlier, however, when he traveled to New Orleans in 2004 (prior to Hurricane Katrina) to "see what [the FBI] had on him" in their files. Clearly, in light of certain revelations, this may demonstrate a much longer-lasting relationship inside the FBI.

Brandon Darby has some wild claims, as stated in ‘This American Life,’ that he traveled to Venezuela to convince Chavez to fund their Hurricane Katrina relief effort. While there, he says he was referred to a meeting with the FARC rebels who tried to recruit him to start a revolutionary group ‘in the swamps of Louisiana.’ Darby says he turned them down.

featured stories   FBI informant who stung RNC 2008 anarchists connected to firebomb plot on Brave New Books and suicided Palestinian activist Riad Hamad
FBI Informant Brandon Darby claims he went undercover to stop Riad Hamad from ‘recruiting people for ‘terroristic’ like activities. Could Darby have been really entrapping Hamad? Why was Hamad found dead, gagged and duct-taped at the bottom of a lake?

Shortly afterwards, while back in Austin, he admits to having reported to the FBI what he claims was a Palestinian man trying to recruit him for a bombing. This may have been connected to Riad Hamad. Crow mentions the NPR stories’ account of the interaction with Riad Hamad:

In the ['This American Life']/NPR story, they mention Darby going undercover to stop a Palestinian peace activist named Riad Hammad [sic] from recruiting people for potentially ‘terroristic’ like activities. They don’t mention that Riad was found dead at the bottom of a river here in Austin under very unusual circumstances which the Feds ruled a suicide, but looked like was done to him. And that there is NO public evidence that anything that Darby is saying is true. I don’t know myself, but Riad cannot defend himself against the accusations.

Scott Crow claims that Brandon Darby introduced him to Riad Hamad and other Palestinians at Green Muse Cafe coffee shop in Austin, telling him that "these were real revolutionaries" and not just "anarchists."

This inciting rhetoric, which Crow believes was another attempt to provocateur him into revolutionary action/violence was very similar to supposed accounts of Darby’s goading the "Texas 2" prior to the RNC 2008 that they were ‘weakling vegetarians’ and ‘couldn’t handle potentially violent revolutionary acts at the RNC.’ McKay claims Darby further goaded them to find out if they would take ‘revolutionary’ action or not. When he apparently agreed, it led to the bust. Crow writes:

They also don’t mention that when I went to meet Darby at the Green Mews [sic] coffee shop in Austin during this time he was often with Riad and some men he described in excited tones as ‘real revolutionaries’ not activists. He could not wait to tell me, as if I would be impressed. I told him, as always that he needed to watch out for people he didn’t know, but what I didn’t know was working for the Feds. Silly me. So he is bragging about this in a public place, did he entrap Riad for the Feds like Brad and David? I have no idea, but I know that Riad is dead either because he took his own life because he thought someone was after him, or someone else took his life, because they figured there was an informer in their midst. Either of those scenarios are completely sad and scary, and not the world I want to create or be a part of.

Crow points out that Darby’s accounts of when he first contacted the FBI do not add up:

On at least THREE different and unrelated times Darby has stated that it was the FIRST time or reason he contact the FBI. The first was in 2004 when he, according to what he told me and my partner, went to visit the New Orleans office of the FBI to see what they had on him. It sounded SOOOO paranoid. He explained the story in great detail about his visit. The second time was in recent interviews where he has stated he saw that Brad and David were going to do something ‘harmful’ at the RNC in Minneapolis and he had to intervene. And now he is saying that he had to visit the Feds when he saw that Riad Hammad [sic], his friend, was not in fact a school teacher in Austin, but was involved in some other ‘nefarious’ activities. So which is the truth? I know he met commander Bryson of NOPD in Oct/ or Nov. of 2005. He has stated in interviews that Bryson is the one who introduced him to the Feds. Did he begin his work to spy on Common Ground and all of us then? Where is the real Darby?

Crow says that while he knew Brandon Darby for more than six years inside the Austin activist community, his actions were consistently violence-oriented, and with grandstanding, in opposition to the views held by most of the other anarchist members.

For years he advocated ‘blowing things up’ and later using arson. I don’t know if he did, but he sure did try to get other to do it. So was it revolutionary zeal or agent provocateur sh*t straight out of the manual?

Crow states that Darby seemed to merely adopt the rhetoric of various activist groups while differing from their common behaviors (most of the activists were vegan, yet he ate meat; was in favor of dictation over consensus, and ’slept with a lot of women’ and acted in a macho or chauvinistic manner). Crow wrote:

Darby was NOT an anarchist. He actually never claimed to be for the longest time. He disagreed with horizontal organizing and many of the underpinnings of anarchism. He DID however absorb the language, when necessary for interviews or speaking in public. He NEVER absorbed the practice during the 6 years I have known him. He actually was more of a quasi ‘central-democratic’ Marxist. He thought anarchist wasted time, energy and resources. Myself and few excluded of course . He would blurt in the same breath. He aligned himself with what he thought the Black Panther Party central committee would do–whether it was true or not. He didn’t have a liberation or even an anti-oppression analysis, but enough information to get by
within radical circles.

He was the only ”’anarchist”’ I have ever known that wanted to ‘overthrow the government’. I debated and argued with him about the impossibilities and reasons why that was a bad idea on so many levels, but he took that message many places to the chagrin and dismay of many radical circles.

Further information is found on the Rag Blog (more)

Harlan at Brave New Books writes:

Why was Darby choosing a bookstore as a target for a direct action? Was his plan a way to ensnare fellow activists in a plot that would eventually be foiled by the heroic FBI? Or was this plan another classic government provocateur attempting to firebomb an actual threat to the FBI and the state, wielding his useful idiots as his accomplices all the while knowing he would be provided the full protection of the FBI? The latter seems justifiably more accurate given the history of the FBI and its long train of abuses using agent provocateurs to carry out its dirty work. One need not look any further than the FBI’s clear infiltration of Elohim City using Timothy McVeigh as their asset. One could also look at the semi-retarded young religious men in Florida that were drafted by the U.S. government through the work of a joint terrorism task force agent who had infiltrated their group and persuaded them to express that they would be willing to help the terrorism task force blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago. Also, one should never forget that the FBI helped train an informant and provided materials to the informant that were used in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The bombing was allowed to occur with full knowledge of its planning by the FBI. There are loads of other examples that support the notion that the FBI routinely uses agent provocateurs in an effort to undermine its political enemies and swell its rank and budget.

In regrards to Brandon Darby, it is interesting to note that he was committed to seeing the Molotov cocktail bombing through at the RNC. According to the radio show This American Life, that featured Darby and people who knew him, Darby was willing to go ahead with the plan to bomb the police cars with David McKay in the early morning hours but the younger McKay never materialized and the plot was called off. This doesn’t describe the behavior of an innocent observer and sounds more like the actions of an active participant willing to commit an act of terrorism and then scapegoat a pair of useful idiots. So would Darby’s same zeal for terrorism had occurred if there would have been someone that would have been willing to help in Darby’s plan to attack the bookstore? Luckily, we will never know because he was never able to execute his plans

Sunday, October 25, 2009

City Council Take Stance on Collecting DWI Blood Evidence



Tony Plohetski
Austin American-Statesman
October 22, 2009

Austin city council members, in a unanimous vote, approved a resolution today that said it is their “clear will” and the community’s desire that police officers not personally collect blood from drunken driving suspects — an idea Police Chief Art Acevedo had floated for months.

The resolution stopped short of directing City Manager Marc Ott to ban such draws, which had been the original proposal by council members Bill Spelman and Laura Morrison and Mayor Lee Leffingwell.

Assistant City Attorney David Douglas told the council before their vote that the earlier measure appeared to conflict with state law, which requires officers to use “all lawful means” to enforce the law.

Also before the vote, Assistant Police Chief David Carter, who is the department’s chief of staff, told council members that the agency has no plans to train officers to draw blood. He said the idea was first mentioned last year after police officials reviewed practices in other Texas cities.

“We have not trained anybody, nor are we currently training anyone,” Carter said. “We do not expect to train anybody.”

Carter said that police officials have been and will continue to have blood drawn at Austin hospitals. He said they also are in talks with Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton about creating a partnership in which blood would be drawn from phlebotomists at the county’s central booking facility.

The resolution directs Ott to develop clear guidelines for the collection of blood specimens and bring them to the council by Feb. 19.

“The guidelines must explain who will collect the specimens and under what circumstances,” the resolutions said.

Ott also must prepare a cost study for the new blood specimen program.

Civil libertarians, including representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union of Central Texas and Texans for Accountable Government, had initially asked city officials to ban police officers from drawing blood.

They also had asked that police officers be prohibited from conducting so-called “no refusal” operations in which they seek the blood of drunken driving suspects who refuse to provide breath tests. Such operations usually are conducted on holiday weekends.

The resolution did not address that concern.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Police Ready To 'Take On' Commenters, Chief Says



People who misrepresent themselves as officials in online comments could face civil, criminal penalties, Acevedo says.

Tony Plohetski
The Austin American-Statesman
September 18, 2009

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo says he and some of his officers have been harassed, lied about and had their identities falsely used in online blogs and in reader comment sections on local media Internet sites.

They've had enough.

In a meeting this month with department brass, Acevedo and the group discussed how they think such posts erode public trust in the department and how they have been wrongly maligned.

They have since researched their legal options and decided that from now on, they might launch formal investigations into such posts, Acevedo said. He said investigators might seek search warrants or subpoenas from judges to learn the identities of the authors — he thinks some could be department employees — and possibly sue them for libel or file charges if investigators think a crime was committed.

"A lot of my people feel it is time to take these people on," Acevedo said. "They understand the damage to the organization, and quite frankly, when people are willfully misleading and lying, they are pretty much cowards anyway because they are doing so under the cloak of anonymity."

The effort to crack down on potentially illegal statements or comments that are possibly libelous — those published with the goal of defaming a person — is the second time in recent months that the department has confronted new social media.

In March, the social networking site Twitter shut down a fake account that pretended to issue official Austin police bulletins after the department and the Texas attorney general's office complained.

University of Texas law professor David Anderson said the hosts of sites where potentially libelous comments are posted are granted immunity by federal laws. Those who post comments can still be sued, however.

State lawmakers this year passed a law that took effect Sept. 1 making it a third-degree felony to use another person's name to post messages on a social networking site without their permission and with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten.

Along with Internet blogs that offer readers a chance to give their opinions, media outlets — including the American-Statesman — in recent years have begun allowing readers to make comments online about stories and blogs.

The American-Statesman has a policy on what people can write in online comments. The newspaper asks that people keep their comments civil, not engage in personal attacks and not use profanity or racial or ethnic slurs. Comments about a person's sexual orientation or religion also are grounds for the removal of a comment.

Acevedo said he and other officers in recent months have faced allegations of sexual impropriety and suggestions that they engaged in quid pro quo behavior. A police commander has had his name falsely used as the author of comments about the department.

Acevedo said that in several cases, he thinks department employees were responsible for comments that appeared on sites such as Statesman.com. Officers and civilian workers who were responsible for the comments could face disciplinary action.

According to police policy, employees are barred from criticizing or ridiculing the department, its policies or employees in speech or in writing when it is "defamatory, obscene or unlawful." Rules also prohibit such speech or writing when it affects "the confidence of the public in the integrity of the department and its employees."

"If you want to criticize, critique, question actions, that's allowable under the First Amendment, and we encourage that," Acevedo said. "When you start actually representing facts, when they are absolutely outright lies, that can lead to civil liability and, potentially, criminal liability."

Austin Fire Chief Rhoda Mae Kerr recently updated department policies prohibiting people from posting obscene or defamatory comments on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Department spokeswoman Michelle DeCrane said Thursday that officials have not yet discussed how they will enforce the updated policy.

According to published reports, lawsuits have been popping up nationally involving anonymous online speech.

However, the Associated Press has reported that most of the cases fail because statements of opinion are protected under the First Amendment. Courts are requiring officials to show they have a legitimate defamation claim — that is, one involving a false assertion of fact that hurts someone's reputation.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Austin City Council Meeting 8/6/2009 Item #9: Austin Regional Intelligence Center


http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/cityclerk/edims/2009/20090806-reg.htm#009

Fusion Centers Draw Outcry From Local Residents

Ben Wermund
The Daily Texan
August 7, 2009

John Bush stood before city council Thursday morning, his face half-hidden behind a red plastic mask.

“You’ll have to excuse the mask,” he said, taking his place at the podium. “The whole idea of these fusion centers has me a little paranoid.”

Bush was one of several Austin residents — some of whom’s faces were also concealed behind colored plastic — speaking out against the creation of a new Austin fusion center, a place where the police department will collect and monitor information on criminal activity.

But the residents were concerned the center will have its eye on more than just criminal activity.

Fusion centers, which began popping up across the U.S. with the purpose of preventing terrorism in a post-9/11 America, started as a joint effort between Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to coordinate intelligence between federal agencies and local police forces.

The Austin City Council approved a resolution for the use of Homeland Security grants to turn an existing Department of Public Safety building into the new Austin Regional Intelligence Center.

The issue will be brought before Austin residents and council again before the fusion center begins operation. The cost of transformation of the building was capped at $200,000.

Laura Martin, an American Civil Liberties Union of Texas policy analyst, said already-existing fusion centers across the nation have tracked information beyond just criminal activity.

“The ACLU of Texas believes these fusion centers undermine our basic right to privacy,” Martin said. “They were initially focused on terrorism, but have grown to include not only arrest information, but also credit reports, library records, bank statements and travel records.”

She said the fusion centers not only invade privacy, but are also ineffective when trying to solve crimes because of the sheer volume of intelligence they hold.

“With so much info on ordinary folks, this creates a needle in a haystack scenario,” she said. “They undermine democracy by chilling free speech.”

Jim Stetsman, a local business owner, said the police department does not need to know private information.

“What do you want my Randall’s card for? Why do you need to know how much beer I drink?” he said. “This is a camel’s nose under the tent.”

Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said the center will only be used to solve crime, not to monitor residents.

“It will only have predicated information that the agencies already have access to,” Acevedo said. “The only difference is, at a local level, there will be an automated process where we can connect the dots.”

He said APD is aware of the problems that have developed at other fusion centers.

“We are well aware of the mistakes of the other fusions centers,” Acevedo said. “I share these concerns. It’s kind of like an older brother — we learn form his mistakes. Well, those older fusions centers, we’re going to learn from theirs.”

Before council passed the resolution, councilwoman Laura Morrison, who originally proposed the resolution, withdrew her motion and asked to postpone the vote until the matter could be discussed with the community.

“I think that what the comments have made clear is that we, as a community, have not finished this conversation,” Morrison said. “There needs to be a broad and inclusive conversation.”

The resolution to fund the building passed shortly afterward, with a stipulation that the police department takes measures to ensure the fusion center will have community approval.

“I want to vet it out to the public and these folks before we even bring it to [council],” Acevedo said. “The bottom line is, we cannot go operational until you feel comfortable.”




Item #9 Introduction


Laura Martin Addresses the Council


Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Addresses the Council


Debbie Russell Addresses the Council


Jim Stetsman Addresses the Council



John Bush Addresses the Council


Fancy Fairchild Addresses the Council


Texas Impact Addresses the Council


Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo Addresses the Council


Mike McDonald, Art Acevedo, and David Douglas Address the Council


Final Segment

Local Cops Get Access to Pentagon “Domestic Terror” Database



Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
September 16, 2009

On Monday, the Pentagon posted a news release on its website announcing the DoD and the Department of Homeland Security will “grant select state and major urban area fusion center personnel access to classified terrorism-related information residing in DoD’s classified network.” Federalized cops around the country will now be able to “access specific terrorism-related information” on Pentagon and DHS computer systems “in order to detect, deter, prevent and respond to homeland security threats.”

These “homeland security threats” have nothing to do with al-Qaeda or Muslims radicalized by the CIA in the 1980s.

In June Infowars posted an article revealing how the Pentagon indoctrinates its employees and soldiers. A multiple choice question included on a Level 1 Antiterrorism Awareness training course required for all DoD personnel asked the following question: “Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorist activity?” The correct answer was “protests.” Of course, this nothing new — the Pentagon, the FBI, and the police have considered political activists terrorists for decades, a fact revealed Senator Frank Church’s Select Committee on Intelligence in the 1970s.

A FOIA request in 2006 by the ACLU revealed widespread surveillance of the antiwar movement during Bush’s reign. “The documents come in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU earlier this year after evidence surfaced that the Pentagon was secretly conducting surveillance of protest activities, anti-war organizations and groups opposed to military recruitment policies. The Pentagon shared the information with other government agencies through the Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) database,” noted an ACLU press release. “The TALON database was intended to track groups or individuals with links to terrorism, but the documents released today show that the Pentagon gathered information on anti-war protesters using sources from the Department of Homeland Security, local police departments and FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces.”

TALON, short for Threat and Local Observation Notice, was authorized in 2002 by then Deputy Defense Secretary and high-level neocon Paul D. Wolfowitz. The database was maintained by the United States Air Force. On August 21, 2007, the US Defense Department announced that it would shut down the database, along with the secretive and classified CIFA that was given responsibility for analyzing the TALON reports. Many civil libertarians applauded the decision. However, data from TALON was not sent to the dumpster — it was migrated over to the FBI and included in its Guardian database. The Guardian Threat Tracking System, created in 2004, was created by the FBI “to manage the resolution of threats and suspicious incidents.”

Local cops with federal security clearances will now be able to access TALON and related data. “Increasing the breadth of law enforcement that have access to terrorism-related data will further improve the ability of fusion centers to prevent, detect, deter, and respond to terrorist attacks, and advance the combined missions of DHS and DoD to protect the nation’s security,” largely from “domestic terrorists” and “extremists” of the sort spelled out by the DHS in their now infamous “rightwing extremism” report.

In other words, the next time the cops pull you over because you have a “Don’t Tread On Me” bumper sticker on your car — designated as terrorist symbolism by the MIAC report — they will be calling in to see if you’re a “homeland security threat.”

“As fusion centers gain more and more access to Americans’ private information, the information about them being made available to the American public remains woefully inadequate,” according to Michael Macleod-Ball, Acting Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “There is a stunning lack of oversight at these fusion centers and, as we’ve seen, these centers are rapidly becoming a breeding ground for overzealous intelligence activities. Opening the door for domestic law enforcement to gain access to classified military intelligence coupled with no guidelines restricting the military’s role in fusion centers is a recipe for disaster.”

It is not a “recipe for disaster” — it is a recipe for a police state that rivals anything accomplished by East Germany’s Stazi, the KGB, SIDE, DINA, or other alphabet soup secret and political police organizations.

Obama will facilitate the process when he extends the USA Patriot Act later this year. The Patriot Act gives “the government the authority to access business records, operate roving wiretaps and conduct surveillance on ‘lone wolf’ suspects with no known link to foreign governments or terrorist groups,” the New York Times reports today.

As the DHS under the influence of the ADL tells us, the typical “lone wolf” is not a fellow traveler of the CIA’s al-Qaeda, but is influenced by “rightwing extremism,” defined as Second Amendment and pro-life activists, people opposed to illegal immigration, returning veterans, and the “racists” – as Jimmy Carter would have it – opposed to the globalist agenda of Obama.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Texas Taxpayers Pay Spanish Firm for Failed Toll Road Bid


The loser in a bidding war for a toll road in Texas to receive $3.6 million from taxpayers.

The Newspaper.com
8/18/2009

An unaccountable transportation body in North Central Texas on Thursday awarded $3,615,214 in taxpayer money to a foreign corporation for its failure to produce a winning toll road project bid. The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Texas Council of Governments approved the payment to Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, a Spanish company, as a "stipend for unsuccessful bidders" and for costs associated with applications the company made for loans that would have been backed by federal taxpayers.

Although Cintra received a conditional green light in February 2007 for its bid to construct a 26-mile extension of State Highway 121 as a toll road through Denton and Collin Counties, the state legislature within a matter of weeks expressed second thoughts about the deal. New legislation restricted the private development of certain toll roads and forced the consideration of an alternative bid from the North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA), a public agency.

On June 28, 2007, the RTC voted 27 to 10 to approve the NTTA proposal which was described as "more lucrative" than Cintra's. In return for an up-front payment of $2.5 billion, plus $1.5 billion in future payments, NTTA would have free reign to impose tolls on motorists for the next fifty years. The $4 billion in payments to the state would, in effect, be an advance loan of money that the agency expected to collect from motorists, less the substantial costs for overhead.

The switch to NTTA came in spite of Governor Rick Perry's strong support for Cintra throughout the process. In 2004, Perry had even hired his legislative director, Dan Shelley, away from his work as a consultant for Cintra. After the company landed several major state deals, Shelley returned to Cintra in 2006. By 2008, Shelley had collected an estimated $300,000 from the Spanish firm for his work as a registered lobbyist.

The payments to Cintra were made possible by Governor Perry's approval of legislation in June authorizing unlimited compensation to losing bidders on toll projects. Denton County taxpayers will pay the most, $1,961,063, to Cintra. Collin County will pay $1,446,086 and Dallas County $253,065. The anti-toll group Texans Uniting for Reform and Freedom (TURF) expressed outrage at the decision to send taxpayer money to Cintra.

"Wanna know why there's no money for roads?" TURF Founder Terri Hall asked. "Here's your answer. We're paying losers for not even building the roads. The cronyism is only getting worse, and it's at the expense of the taxpayers."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Police, Sheriffs Establishing Regional Intelligence Center



Centers nationally have been target of complaints by civil libertarians.


By Tony Plohetski
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF
Sunday, August 16, 2009

For months, detectives from two law enforcement agencies had been on the trail of the culprits in a series of home burglaries in Southeast Austin and southern Travis County. Neither group knew the other had similar unsolved cases.

They say they got a lucky break last week. While responding to separate burglary calls within minutes of each other Monday, Austin police officers and Travis County sheriff's deputies realized they were looking for the same thieves.

They soon found and charged three people, and they say they hope the arrests will help close other unsolved cases.

"It was just happenstance," Austin police Detective John Hardage said. "We should have been sharing information months ago."

Authorities say the case — and dozens like it — highlights the need for agencies in Central Texas to routinely exchange data about crimes, trends and suspect descriptions, an information flow they think will help solve more cases and decrease duplicate policing.

Beginning next year, they plan to start doing so at a federally funded, multimillion-dollar intelligence center — one of dozens of such "fusion centers" across the nation.

But some centers have sparked controversy after critics said officials overstepped their bounds and violated people's civil rights.

As part of the information exchange, the Austin Regional Intelligence Center will give investigators broader access to confidential information about suspects or criminal organizations.

For instance, officers now can troll national and state databases to see whether a suspect has been convicted of crimes or has outstanding warrants. The center will also allow investigators to access reports from neighboring departments that show any involvement suspects may have had with police there, including investigations into crimes they may not have been charged with.

Investigators at the center also will be able to access certain databases created by other agencies, such as those documenting suspected gang members and drug traffickers.

Officials currently don't have immediate access to such information from neighboring agencies but can seek it as part of an investigation, a process that detectives said can take days and stall their work. Too often, they said, they may not know when to turn to neighboring towns or counties to further their investigations.

David Carter, an Austin assistant police chief in charge of the intelligence center project, said analysts stationed at the facility also will stitch together information collected by various agencies to create new files on suspects in criminal cases or on suspects they think may be planning to carry out crimes and merit further surveillance.

"Law enforcement has been behind the curve in terms of our ability to exchange information," Carter said. "I think we also have been behind the curve when it comes to analysis and understanding. If there is something going on in this region, we need to understand it and get on top of it."

Civil liberties at risk?

To some civil rights advocates, the new effort to nab criminals has raised questions about the volume of information investigators will have at their fingertips, how they will use it and the types of files they will create.

Although Carter said center workers will abide by state and federal intelligence-gathering laws, incidents at other centers nationally have raised doubts for some.

"We do recognize that there are concerns in some people's minds concerning fusion centers in general," Carter said.

Earlier this year, for instance, an intelligence center in Collin County, north of Dallas, issued a bulletin that said, "It is imperative for law enforcement officers to report" activities of Muslim civil rights organizations and anti-war protest groups in their areas.

Among other things, federal laws bar law enforcement agencies from creating databases concerning political, religious or social views, but civil liberties groups have cited similar incidents in recent years at other intelligence centers, including those in Maryland and Missouri.

Laura Martin, a policy analyst for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said organization leaders hope to meet soon with Austin police and other officials to more specifically discuss their worries.

Intelligence centers nationally have been "a huge priority for the ACLU," Martin said. "We have a lot of concerns."

In a 2007 report on the centers, the ACLU called on agencies to use the "utmost care" in the collection of personal data.

"Clearly not all fusion centers are engaging in improper intelligence activities and not all fusion center operations raise civil liberties or privacy concerns," the report said. "But some do."

Born of 9/11

The first intelligence centers were created soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Jack Thomas Tomarchio, former deputy undersecretary for intelligence and analysis operations at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said law enforcement agencies in several regions wanted to work more closely to monitor the possibility of more attacks.

Agencies around Los Angeles, Boston and New York were among the first to create intelligence centers, Tomarchio said. Federal officials have since made millions of dollars available to local officials to establish such centers, which total about 70 nationwide.

In Texas, the Dallas and Houston police departments operate their own intelligence centers. The North Central Texas Fusion Center, which opened in 2006, serves 16 counties, including Dallas and Tarrant. San Antonio also is working to establish a center.

Among its other criticisms, the ACLU contends that the centers have produced little solid evidence that they are helping solve crimes or thwarting terrorist activity.

Tomarchio agreed that few, if any, studies have generated statistics or other data about the centers' successes.

"These things are brand new," he said. "They haven't been around 20 years, and even the ones that have been around three or four years are still in their formative years. In many cases, they don't have a track record."

Support, opposition

Austin police officials and other Central Texas law enforcement representatives began last year trying to get money to create an intelligence center.

The city received a $1.8 million grant in 2008 for the center and got a $2.7 million grant this year.

Carter said most of the money will be used to buy computer equipment and to pay crime analysts from different agencies who will be stationed there. Officials have not yet established an annual operating cost.

The Austin and Round Rock police departments and the sheriff's offices in Travis, Williamson and Hays counties are the primary agencies involved in the project and will staff its operation with about eight to 10 crime analysts and detectives, some of whom will be hired using grant money. Carter said that if grant money runs out, departments probably would begin covering the salaries of the analysts.

Smaller agencies in the region will also have access to the center.

Opposition to the center surfaced at a recent Austin City Council meeting, when the council approved using $200,000 in grant money to renovate a Texas Department of Public Safety building in North Austin for the center.

Police officials said at the meeting that an agreement between agencies on privacy matters would probably be drafted next month with input from the ACLU and others. They also said there will be at least one public hearing before the council votes on the agreement.

John Bush, executive director for Texans for Accountable Government, said he wants to make sure officials seek public input on employee training, among other matters.

"There are definite benefits, without a doubt," Bush said. "They are going to be able to more efficiently solve crime."

But, he added, "I also see the potential for abuse."

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Broken Spoke on South Lamar in Austin, Texas



I've chatted with Kinky Friedman a couple times in this fine place.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 5/11/2009



* Cyberbullying Bill and the UN's Declaration of Human Rights.
* Integration of military and local law enforcement.
* Rightwing extremism document from Homeland Security (Bob Dacy: domestic terrorist/insurgent)
* HR2159 bill to deny firearms from terrorists.
* AND....more gun control.
* Sobriety checkpoints coming?
* More economy news.
* Poem of "The One."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 4/6/2009



* Police State Alert: Vampire Cops continued: clips of conference. Feds to make refusal to take tests a criminal offense.
* MIAC report disseminated.
* Oathkeepers.
* Texas Transportation Institute: Mileage based user fees.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 3/23/2009



• Police State Alert: Vampire police in Austin.
• Guests: John Bush and Katie Brewer of TAG: Texans for Accountable Government.
• Bob responds to MIAC report and...
• Barack Obama's National Service Bill.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ron Paul: If America Were Occupied

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 3/16/2009



• Police State Alert: Ron Paul, Libertarians are extremists.
• Ron Paul video and speech.
• Chuck Norris article.
• More 2nd Amendment news: list of banned guns.
• Greenhouse gas registry: new taxes coming?
• Another Obama lie: Healthcare taxes coming.
• Bill HR 875: Home gardens banned?
• JBS clip: Dollars and Sense.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dr. Katherine Albrecht Speaks on Microchips at Brave New Books 3/2/2009


Katherine Albrecht speaks on microchips at Brave New Books in Austin, Texas along with Randall Mock, Lisa Marie Coppoletta, Judith McGeary, and Sheila Dean.

Pet Lovers Protest Micro-Chipping Law
CBNNews.com
March 6, 2009

The city of San Marcos, Texas is taking a second look at its mandatory pet micro-chipping law.

Protestors shot video at a candlelight vigil held this week to oppose the new policy. They say it violates pet owner’s rights and also poses a health risk.

Several studies show chip implants can cause malignant tumors in lab rats and mice.

“People are becoming very concerned that the government is becoming more and more intrusive in their lives,” microchip expert Katherine Albrecht said. “And when you start talking about the micro-chipping of animals we’re talking about a pretty invasive procedure.

“And I think for a lot of people there’s a real worry that if we allow the government to say we must microchip our animals then it’s just a matter of time before that government says we must microchip our children and even ourselves,” she added.

Animal control officers in San Marcos say dog collars often come off and they are trying to avoid euthanizing unidentified pets.

Several large cities in Texas and California have already passed mandatory pet chipping laws.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 3/9/2009



* Flashback to Trans Texas Corridor rally in 2006.
* Katherine Albrecht success: San Marcos overturns mandatory pet chipping.
* Mileage tax RFID chip studies: recording where you have been.
* Bailout funds Texas toll roads for triple taxation: Clip of Hank Gilbert confronting TxDOT.
* Mexico crisis worsens.
* "Accidental" deadly virus error.
* JBS Dollars & Sense clip.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 3/2/2009 - Special Guest Dr. Katherine Albrecht: MICROCHIPS



* Guest: Dr. Katherine Albrecht on Spychips and the future of RFID and surveillance.
* Bob gives examples of mainstream media lies, spin, and omission on today’s current issues:
* Vaccines
* Bailouts
* “Climate Change”
* and Gun Control.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 2/23/2009



* Barack: The Usurper, The Communist.
* Alan Keyes crticism of Obama and the Constitutional implications of the Obama administration.
* Global Warming agenda scam pursued by the Obama administration.
* Obama list of lies.
* Mexico instability.
* Gerald Celente grim predictions.
* Iowa National Guard gun confiscations.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Texans Unknowingly Donate Children's Blood to Research



Austin American-Statesman
February 22, 2009

For almost seven years, the state has been indefinitely storing blood from nearly all newborns in Texas without their parents' consent for possible use in medical research.

The blood is collected as part of a 44-year-old state-mandated newborn screening program in which hospitals, birthing centers and midwives draw blood from a baby's heel — parental consent isn't required for that, either — so the state can test for a host of birth defects. The state either discarded the blood after six months or, more recently, stored it for three years before destroying it.

But starting in 2002, the state health department began collecting and keeping blood indefinitely for current or future medical research, a practice that has been the subject of a legal challenge in Minnesota.

Five dots of blood are collected on paper for the screening and then stored.

Under the health department's policy, the samples can be used by the medical community for things like cancer research, birth defects studies and calibration of lab equipment, said Doug McBride, spokesman for the Department of State Health Services.

The law doesn't require that parents be told how the blood might be used. But if parents are aware of the blood draws, Texas law lets them opt out only for religious reasons.

Parental consent isn't obtained, McBride said, because "requiring permission might be more costly and could require more time of hospital staff. But our real concern would be for the babies with detectable disorders that weren't detected because their parents declined the screening — babies who had no say in that decision."

The blood spots are stored at Texas A&M University's School of Rural Public Health, and each card bears a code number instead of a name, McBride said. The names matching those codes are kept at the state health department and are not released to researchers without parental consent, McBride said. The state considers the stored samples to be "de-identified."

Since 1965, Texas law has required the screening of newborns for birth defects, and the state now checks for 27 different health conditions — ranging from a gene that can cause severe mental disability to sickle cell anemia.

In 2002, the state health department's Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch asked that the blood be stored for research rather than discarded; the department's leadership agreed.

It contracted with Texas A&M in 2006 to store the samples because the agency did not have room to keep them indefinitely, according to a Nov. 15, 2006, health department memo.

The agency says in the memo that it did not need to change state law to store the blood samples because "the agency's position has been that health-related research that uses these bloodspots is consistent with this agency's overall mission."

The same memo says the department considers the blood samples to be "state records," which state law allows agencies to store indefinitely.

Quinn Godfrey, a 32-year-old father of two from San Antonio, said he had no idea when his daughter was born three years ago that newborn blood was being collected or stored indefinitely.

"My concern is they might not be able to do much with it right now, but 10 years from now? They could do a lot with it the way technology is going," Godfrey said.

When his second child was born Feb. 9, Godfrey said, he objected and asked to have an outside lab do it. But when he was told that wasn't possible, he gave in, he said.

Researchers in Texas said they hope to allay any parental concerns by pointing to the good being done with the blood and the future benefits to society.

"I'm using it to extract genetic variations and causes of certain birth defects: cleft lip and cleft palate and club foot," said Jacqueline Hecht, a professor of pediatrics and vice chairwoman for research at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Hecht gets selected blood samples of children known to have those defects from the state's birth defects registry, but the names are excluded, McBride said.

By knowing the genetic fingerprints of disorders, researchers can suggest ways to prevent birth defects, Hecht and others said.

Without access to the blood samples, Hecht said, "we might miss the opportunity to make huge breakthroughs to help humanity. I'm using them to try and make life better."

Hecht said she considers privacy concerns to be overblown because she and her colleagues have no idea to whom the blood belongs.

"There are a lot of hoops you have to jump through" to use samples, she said, such as getting approval from an institutional review board, which looks out for patients' rights. "I don't see what the issue is."

But if the stored blood is so scientifically beneficial, "why isn't it more publicized?" asked Godfrey, the San Antonio father. "It just seems like they're being awfully sneaky about it."

James Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, said that although his three grown children were all born in Texas, he had no idea of the practice and was "stunned by the whole thing."

Harrington said that he has no problems with screening newborns for birth defects but said he opposes storing samples without consent.

"I believe it's a violation ... of unlawful search and seizure," he said. "We're dealing with the most confidential information we have, and (for the government) to say, 'Trust us,' ... I find it impossible to believe."

McBride said, "There is nothing illicit, untoward or threatening going on. The purpose is to save lives, not to steal them." He's heard no complaints from anyone in Texas, he said.

"I would bet most parents aren't aware in Texas," said Twila Brase, a nurse who is president of the Citizens' Council on Health Care in St. Paul, Minn. The nonprofit has advocated patient and physician relationship rights since 1998.

Her group is fighting the practice in Minnesota after learning about it six years ago, she said.

"Our greatest concern is that this blood is being stored unbeknownst to the parents, and genetic research is being conducted without the consent or knowledge of the parents," Brase said. "And it's available for whatever legislators would decide to do with it in the future. When parents here discovered that, they got absolutely steamed."

What surprised Brase and others even more than not requiring parental consent was what they call the "warehousing" of the blood samples. Minnesota has stored more than 815,000 samples in the past 11 years, and as in Texas, no law authorizes that, Brase said.

Texas has stored 4.2 million samples since July 2002 — two per child, McBride said.

In Minnesota, Brase's organization won a ruling from an administrative law judge ordering that the state get informed consent from parents to store the blood, and the group aims to start a national outcry against the policy. Already, Brase said, blood from 52,000 Minnesota children has been used for genetic research without their parents knowing.

What if someday someone's genetic information got out to insurers and employers and was used to discriminate against certain people, Brase asked. "This is my DNA; it's not yours," she said. "Ask me if you want to use me for some project."

McBride said the state is bound by state and federal laws to protect the privacy rights of patients so it would not release the names to researchers or anyone else without parental consent.

Andrew Olshan, chairman of the epidemiology department at the University of North Carolina, said there is strong interest among researchers in creating a national database drawing on research from the samples to help solve the riddles of what causes autism, cancer and various birth defects. He said the potential benefits outweigh privacy concerns.

Art Caplan, a nationally known ethicist who directs the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, said he isn't troubled by the lack of consent or the indefinite storage. He said he sees a "ton of benefits" to having the blood available for research but said Texans should be educated about it and a public commission should control the samples.

But a Texas medical ethicist said parental consent should be obtained at the time the blood is drawn.

"Even if something is a social good, there can be a social harm," said Dr. Howard Brody, director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the UT Medical Branch at Galveston. "It's important to have trust in the scientific community ... and the more things that are done without consent, the more trust goes down."

The argument that scientists have a right to the blood because what they are doing with it is good "runs roughshod" over the rights of others, Brody said.

At minimum, the issue deserves more public discussion and transparency, he said.

"This is exactly the kind of issue," Brody said, "that is going to come back and bite us as a scientific community."

Sunday, February 22, 2009

TX Rep. Leo Berman on Alex Jones Show 2/20/2009 "The Tenth Amendment"



Alex talks with Representative Leo Berman of Texas who authored House Concurrent Resolution No. 50 declaring Texan sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment.

http://www.house.state.tx.us/members/dist6/berman.php

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Texas Representatives Introduce Resolution Asserting Sovereignty Under Tenth Amendment


Texas Rep. Leo Berman joins Alex Jones to talk about the H.C.R. 50 and states’ rights on Friday, February 20.

Infowars
February 19, 2009

Texas has joined the states’ right and Tenth Amendment movement by introducing House Concurrent Resolution No. 50, filed earlier this week by Republican state representatives Leo Berman, Brandon Creighton, and Bryan Hughes. H.C.R. 50 cites Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment.

“The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp,” the resolution declares, while “Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, ‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,’ and the Ninth Amendment states that ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’”

A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States…

H.C.R. 50 serves “as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers” and that “all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.”

Finally, the resolution directs the Texas secretary of state to forward official copies of the resolution to president Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, the president of the Senate, Joe Biden, and all members of the Texas delegation to the Congress. In addition, there is an official request that the resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a “memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.”

Texas joins Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Georgia, states that have all introduced bills and resolutions declaring sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are also considering such measures.

“While the ramifications of these resolutions are still uncertain, one thing is clear,” writes Barbara Minton. “People are sick and tired of the federal government’s usurpation of power not granted to it by the Constitution. They have had enough of fear based economic terrorism and underhanded promotion of policies and procedures that bypass public scrutiny and the will of the people.”

It should be noted that a resolution is a statement and not law and does not necessarily represent a consensus of a state legislature. “Still, the fact that two states, California and Georgia, have already passed their versions of state sovereignty may be setting the stage for secession down the road if the federal government continues to show its scorn for the Constitution. The Oklahoma resolution has already passed in the House and is awaiting vote in the state Senate to be codified,” writes Minton.

For more information on the Tenth Amendment and states’s right movement, see this Infowars resource page on the subject.

As should be expected, the corporate media has all but ignored H.C.R. 50, while Vince Leibowitz of Dallas-based Pegasus News calls the resolution “bizarre” and intimates that Berman, Creighton, and Hughes are insane. Leibowitz’s comments are a sad testament on how out of touch many Americans are when it comes to the Constitution and the increasing encroachments of the federal government.

On Friday, February 20, Rep. Leo Berman of District 6 will be on the Alex Jones Show to talk about the resolution and states’ rights.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 2/9/2009



* Perry: true conservative?
* Obama's nominees.
* Burning Beijing skyscraper doesnt collapse.
* Osama, FBI, and mainstream media.
* Huge oil deposits in Alaska capped in secret and Obama doing his part.
* More implied gun control by Obama and Obama cabinet.
* Too much news to print here this week.

Kinky Friedman May Run Again for Governor



Kelley Shannon
Associated Press
February 11, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Humorist and author Kinky Friedman is toying with another run for Texas governor, but if he does enter the race, he says he's serious this time.

"I'm toning down the one-liners a bit. If I run, it's going to be a serious run," Friedman told The Associated Press on Tuesday, peppering the interview with one-liners.

Friedman said he learned some hard lessons from his fourth-place defeat in 2006 to Republican Rick Perry in a race with three political veterans.

He said he found out he couldn't win as an independent and that he shouldn't crack so many jokes. He'd rather run now with the help of a major party — the Democrats

Friedman also noted that Democratic comedian Al Franken did well in his U.S. Senate race in Minnesota, though his victory is still being debated in court.

"So this can be done," Friedman said.

Friedman, known for his signature black cowboy hat and cigar, has written more than 24 books, including "Cowboy Logic: The Wit and Wisdom of Kinky Friedman (And Some of His Friends.)" Some of his quips include "Never take a whiz on an electric fence."

He said he's been a Democrat all his life — though "not the kind of Democrat that goose-steps to the polling box" — and that he likes the direction the state party is taking.

During the 2006 campaign, Friedman said he would increase the number of National Guardsmen on the border from 1,500 to 10,000, fine companies for hiring illegal immigrants and require immigrants seeking jobs to apply for taxpayer identification cards and pass a background check.

Friedman now says Democrats can win the state's highest office if they pull in what he calls grass roots voters and small-town Texans. He considers rural support one of his strengths.

As he did many times in 2006, he criticized the Perry administration for being beholden to corporate interests. He said if he runs it will be as a "man of the people." Friedman said he wants to provide more support for teachers, improve health care coverage for Texans and abolish the death penalty.

"I do tend to ride to the left of the herd on most issues," he said.

Friedman said he has been actively talking to Democrats in the Legislature and elsewhere and encouraged any party members to call him. He says he's getting positive responses so far.

"I'm not a shy little bugger. I don't mind getting out there," Friedman said. He said he would have to make his decision on running soon. "It's not a done deal that I'm going to run at all."

Other potential Democratic candidates include former ambassador Tom Schieffer and state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio.

On the GOP side, Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison plans to challenge fellow Republican Perry, the longest-serving leader in state history.

Monday, February 9, 2009

G. Edward Griffin Speaks on Collectivism in Austin, Texas 4/29/2008


13-Part Video Playlist

Frequency Clear from Houston, Texas 1/26/2009: Reality Check



Bart Black speaks on the response of the individual to the New World Order system.

Gardening Trend Sprouting with Vigor in Wilted Economy



Karina Kling
News 8 Austin
February 8, 2009

The gardening world is sprouting with vigor in light of the poor economy and more people are becoming gardeners in an effort to be more mindful their spending habits.

As the price of produce spikes, first time gardeners are uprooting old fashioned habits of sustainable living to save money, while fostering healthier eating habits.

Christina Smith is a first time gardener who went out to The Natural Gardener in West Austin to get some tips and seeds to start planting.

"We're out here to ask as many questions as possible because we have no idea what we're doing," Smith said.

Smith is just one example of a growing group of first time gardeners hoping to save some money at the store by digging into their own dirt.

Lyda Guz with The Natural Gardener said business couldn't be better as more people pass through their produce aisle and opt to produce their own fruits and vegetables.

"We're seeing almost a 500 percent increase in sales of our vegetables," Guz said. "We're having trouble meeting the demand."

If you think you need a lot of room to grow a garden, you're wrong. If all you have is a square foot, or even simply a bucket, that's all you need to get started.

"Square foot gardens are four-by-four. Some things like broccoli you plant only one per square. Others like spinach are four to a square. It's a very compact way to grow a lot of food," Guz said.

So if you have a little sun and some good soil, you can join the hundreds like Christina Smith, planting their own produce.

It's a past time that's possibly once again becoming a popular way of life.

Back during World War II, 40 to 60 percent of people had personal or family gardens. They were called victory gardens.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 2/2/2009



* And no, the Trans-Texas Corridor is not dead.
* Governor Perry grandstands and lies about his intentions of veto to protect private property.
* Police State Alert: FEMA/DHS Bill creates detention/emergency camps in US.
* Change!!!: Outsourcing torture from Guantanamo.
* Agent Provocateur frame up.
* Supreme Court: Police screw ups don't matter.
* San Marcos, Tx: microchipping pets required.
* Obama's energy independence.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Doug Stanhope & Alex Jones Live in Austin, TX 8/13/2004

Truth Be Tolled - TTC Special Edition


12-Part Video Playlist

First Texas, then the nation.

Government has found a new way to make money on public infrastructure.

The plan is not only to convert existing roadways into toll ways without a public vote, but to seize over half a million acres of Texas soil and replace it with a 4,000 mile road, rail and utility network.

Many citizens are crying highway robbery. Corporations stand to profit as lobbyists and lawmakers pave the way for private foreign interests.

The political establishment is not listening to the people--but their voices will be heard.

This award-winning documentary follows the process as citizens exercise their most important power as members of a democracy:
freedom of speech.

Grassroots organizers to working-class Texans, all unite to state their loud opposition. The strongest voices rise from small rural communities whose farms, homes, schools, businesses and churches face the largest forcible eminent domain acquisition in U.S. history.

The Trans-Texas Corridor, the first leg of the proposed NAFTA superhighway, will not only rip the heart out of Texas-- it will kill a way of life that has been in the Lone Star State forever.

http://www.truthbetolled.com/

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 11/24/2008



* The bailout bill and the Constitution.
* Change? Not in the Obama Administration. Biden, Powell warn of d-day after inauguration.
* More bailouts on the way.
* Kashkari in front of Congress.
* Bob's analogy of the Banker elites and Cecil Rhodes.
* Protecting the taxpayers?
* JFK secret society clip.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Simple Truth with Bob Dacy 1/12/2009



* The Trans Texas Corrridor is Dead!!!
(uh no, not really)
* The Statesman doing its part to keep it quiet.
* How did Israelis in New York KNOW that 911 was going to happen?
* Israelis genociding Palestinians?
* Military officer sues Cheney and Rumsfeld for prior knowledge of 911Pentagon attack.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cow Tax Proposal Rankles Ranchers



David Schechter
WFAA Channel 8 Dallas - Fort Worth
January 13, 2009

SAGINAW — Of all the problems on president-elect Barack Obama's plate, add this one: Beef.

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules to regulate cow emissions as a cause of global warming. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, comes from the manure of large animals like cattle.

Pete Bonds is a veteran rancher in Saginaw. He's one of many ranchers fighting the "cow tax" proposal, which is still in a early phase.

By some estimates, a methane permit could cost as much as $175 dollars per animal. And that could place a premium price on favorite foods like hamburgers and steaks.

"That takes us time, and that takes us money and cost to be able to do that," Bonds said. "Unfortunately, if it does, we're going to have to pass that on to the consumer — and we don't want to do that."

When it comes to climate change, some scientists say methane is worse than the carbon dioxide that spews from cars and factories.

But Bonds half-wonders whether the whole thing is just a vegetarian plot.

"If you've ever been in a room full of vegetarians, a lot of methane is being produced," he said. "I'm wondering if they're going to start putting a permitting process on them."