An Uncomfortable Topic In An Uncomfortable Situation

No matter how much or how little you eat, it all eventually has to come out somewhere.

Most of the time, you hold it until you get to the next available restroom. Then you do your business, and all is right with the world again.

Unfortunately, in any type of grid-down situation, no matter how much you jiggle the handle, it’s not going to flush.

So what exactly are you supposed to do?

Stay with me now.

I know this is an uncomfortable topic, but it is one that you need to hear.

When a toilet is not an option, you need to make sure that you have an alternative way to contain and get rid of any waste.

Even a small amount of exposure to human waste can turn already uncomfortable situation deadly.

Aside from digging a hole, what can you do?

Growing up, I did a lot of work with my dad as a painter over the summers. It was terrible: long hours, hot days and, most of the time, no running water.

If we were lucky, the home we were working on was near a gas station or even a patch of woods.

Most of the time, we didn’t get so lucky.

In those cases, we were forced to use a big orange bucket from Home Depot — not exactly the most graceful thing to try to use.

I wish we had known back then about toilet seats that fit on 5-gallon buckets.

If you own a home, odds are you have a few extra 5-gallon buckets siting around gathering dust.

I have two 5-gallon buckets in my garage with these little “toilet toppers,” and I have used them on camping trips in the past.

I will tell you that, being a larger guy, going about my business on one of these is much akin to trying to use a child-sized toilet.

It takes a bit to get used to it, but is a good deal better than the “squat and hover” method from my childhood.

The great thing about these is that you can make an entire self-contained bathroom kit that is ready at a moment’s notice.

If you don’t already have at least one of these hanging around in your garage, I recommend you get one as soon as possible.

A few other necessities that you need to make sure are inside your emergency toilet:

  • Toilet paper (You don’t know how important it is until you’re stuck without it.)
  • Heavy duty trash bags
  • Air freshener
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • You have a couple of options when it comes to absorbing moisture and odor:
    Clumping cat litter
    Peat moss
    Untreated, unpainted, heated, no-dust pine shavings
    Cedar chips

Just put a layer of whatever material you choose into the bucket after every use. If you make sure you keep the lid tightly closed, smell shouldn’t be a problem.

Like I said, this is an uncomfortable topic. But a little extra preparation can make it much more bearable in the long run.

–Joe Marshall

P.S. Another option you may want to look at, and one that I actually keep in my garage, is a Honey Bucket Kit. These come with the bucket, toilet topper, a few other  basic toiletries and an entire 72-hour kit inside them.

These are a great option if you are just starting out your preps or if you want a quick, ready-made option.


Glad We Won The Revolutionary War? You’re An Extremist, According To The U.S. Department Of Defense

Late last week, government accountability nonprofit Judicial Watch obtained training materials from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), used by the Air Force to train soldiers how to identify extremist ideologies and hate groups.

Turns out it’s wise to leave the DoD out of the loop if you happen to think the American Revolution was a good idea. Colonial revolutionaries and Confederate secessionists are just two historical examples of “ideological extremism” described in the training documents.

One worldview that’s hateful to the DoD is that of the patriots who earned America’s independence from Great Britain. On page 43 of the training booklet, soldiers learn this:

As noted, an ideology is a set of political beliefs about the nature of people and society. People who are committed to an ideology seek not only to persuade but to recruit others to their belief. In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.

The educational material on offer refers repeatedly to nationalists, rednecks, skinheads, anarchists, “religion,” environmentalists, supremacists and separatists and offers examples of each. But when it comes to offering examples of religious extremism, guess what’s absent? Islamist terror activities against Americans. Here’s the only occurrence of the word “Islam” in the entire 133-page document:

Sudan Holocaust – Since 1983, the Northern fundamentalist Muslim government of Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, has been waging war against the mostly Christian South. The northern government has been killing, displacing, and enslaving the African Christians. Over 1.9 million civilians have died, and over 4 million have been forced to flee their homes. The victims are Christians, moderate Muslims, and African traditionalists who refuse to accept the Sudan government’s policies of Arab control and conformity to Islamic rules and laws. The extremist ideologies of supremacy, nationalism, and religion apply to this event.

Published by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute earlier this year, the document is rife with information mined from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which evidently have earned the DoD’s veneration when it comes to objectivity. The SPLC and ADL data stands alongside data provided by the FBI and the DoD itself to inform students about how many hate groups there are in the United States, what constitutes “hate speech,” and which world views are hateful (one of the SPLC’s special prerogatives).

Where’s Obama?: If I Had A Son, He’d Look Like One Of Those Bored Kids Who Shot Christopher Lane

In the wake of several violent black-on-white crimes grabbing headlines in recent weeks, the White House has been noticeably silent, considering how adamant the President was in inserting himself into the Trayvon Martin tragedy.

Here’s what the President had to say after Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, was exonerated:

You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that — that doesn’t go away.
There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

Since that verdict was handed down, America has been captivated by another interracial shooting in Oklahoma with far more evidence of racist motive than the Florida shooting.

The white victim’s name is Christopher Lane. The young man was an Australian native who was attending college in the United States on a baseball scholarship

But 15-year-old James Edwards Jr. and his bored “niggas” were evidently so disgusted and enraged by Lane’s skin pigment that they pulled up behind him as he jogged and shot him in the back.

Three days before the shooting, the suspect tweeted:

Back in April, he tweeted:


Mainstream media reported the incident… with almost no mention of race.
Edwards and Chancey Luna, 16, have been charged as adults with felony murder in the first degree. Reports indicate the killers were wannabe thugs, likely trying to earn the respect of local gangbangers. Michael Jones, 17, faces two charges: use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact to murder in the first degree.

In a separate incident last week, Delbert Belton, an 88-year-old World War II veteran from Spokane, Wash., was beaten to death by two young black males.

If you’re keeping score, that’s two dead whites at the hands of young black males within the span of one week. What’s more, is that the Lane incident stirred up a bit of international controversy and Belton was a member of a soon-to-be lost generation and a veteran of one of the Nation’s greatest military undertakings.

Yet, President Obama spared not a word in either case. He did, however, manage to speak a little bit about race on Friday.

The President said:

What’s wonderful to watch is the younger generation, each generation seems wiser about wanting to treat people fairly and do the right thing and not discriminate and that’s a great victory that we should all be very proud of. On the other hand, what we’ve also see is the legacy of discrimination, slavery, Jim Crow, has meant that some of the institutional barriers for success for a lot of groups still exist…

When a light-skinned man kills a dark-skinned teenager, in Obama’s eyes, he did it because he feels superior. But when bored people of color murder a young white athlete out for a jog or an elderly white veteran, the only one the President would likely blame is Jim Crow.

Representative Allen West (R-Fla.) pondered via Twitter last week:

As ridiculous as it seems, that’s a question all of America should seriously consider.

For more instances of the growing trend of black on white violence in the United States, read Bob Livingston’s column in today’s edition of Personal Liberty Digest™.

Wealth Is Not Paper Money

Dear Bob,

Is wealth and ownership of paper money the same thing?


Dear Anonymous:

Wealth is not paper money. In fact, paper money destroys wealth. If you are holding your assets in paper money, your assets are melting, causing big losses. People think of rising prices as inflation; but in reality, rising prices means depreciating paper money. If you own gold and silver coins, you are seeing your wealth increase. You are ahead of the crowd and will be able to buy bread when others are starving and their paper money is suitable only for toilet paper.

Best wishes,



Incomes Have Fallen Farther During ‘Recovery’ Than During Actual Recession

Americans’ actual household incomes have fallen more than twice as far during the post-recession “recovery” of the past four years than they fell during the recession itself.

That’s the conclusion of Maryland-based Sentier Research, a data-analysis company led by former Census Bureau officials. Analyzing the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, Sentier estimated that Americans’ median household annual income has cumulatively fallen by an inflation-adjusted 4.4 percent during the recovery period from June 2009 to June 2013. During the recession period, median income fell by 1.8 percent.

In real money, that means an American household is now, on average, bringing in about $2,400 per year less today than when the economic recovery started.

Released Wednesday, the report finds that annual median household income, which stands at $52,098, reached a low point in August of 2011. The current number remains 6.1 percent beneath where it stood in December of 2007 and 7.2 percent beneath inflation-adjusted median income in January of 2000.

To no one’s surprise, it’s the middle class that’s felt the biggest squeeze. As Michael A. Fletcher noted last week in The Washington Post:

Median income, which economists view as a key marker for the well-being of the middle class, is lagging across education levels and racial groups, the report said. Analysts said the report also reflects the increasing economic polarization apparent in other data.

… So far in the current recovery, median incomes are defying efforts by Americans to improve their workforce skills, according to the report, compiled by analyzing data from the Census Bureau’s monthly Current Population Survey. Income is down even though the number of households headed by people who report having a college degree is up sharply since the end of the recession, according to the report.

Importantly, these income tallies include government payouts such as unemployment compensation and cash welfare, an indicator that “[President Barack] Obama’s method of funneling ever-more money and power to Washington, and then selectively divvying some of it back out, clearly isn’t working for the typical American family,” as the Weekly Standard observed. It clearly isn’t working for black households either, which have cumulatively experienced a 10.9 percent drop in their median annual incomes since Obama’s “recovery” began.

The Truth Behind The Exploding Trend Of Black Mob Violence

The mainstream media is the propaganda arm of the state. It has a narrative that it must reinforce on behalf of the state. All information contrary to that narrative is discarded and/or suppressed. Those who stray from the official line are harshly dealt with. (See Amber Lyon, Sharyl Attkisson, Glenn Greenwald and Helen Thomas.)

Last week, as we learned of the assassination of Chris Lane by a trio of amoral predatory racist gangster wannabes looking for street cred, a fact was curiously missing from mainstream media accounts: the race of the thug racist assassins and the victim. From the big networks we learned only the suspects came from the “seedier” side of town and that to satisfy their boredom they shot a man who happened to pass by at the wrong time. The shooters were not black and the victim was not white; he was a college baseball player from Australia.

The story that three black gangster-wannabes gunned down a white man for sport — choosing the victim because he was white and they believed “90% of white ppl are nasty. #HATE THEM” — was not the official story. Nor did the MSM tell us that the trio was also threatening a classmate who they planned to ambush and murder the same day.

Contrast that with the treatment of George Zimmerman, who was crucified by a media that cast Zimmerman as white (he’s Hispanic) and that selectively edited a 911 call to portray him as a racist who hunted down and killed a helpless and unarmed teenager out for Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea. The media ignored Trayvon Martin’s criminal past and the fact that Skittles and Arizona Watermelon Fruit Juice Cocktail — which is what Martin was actually carrying — are two ingredients for “Lean” or “Purple Drank,” a recreational drug popular in hip-hop culture.

Photos the MSM used depicting Martin inevitably were photos from Martin’s early teenage years — when he still had a youthful, cherubic appearance rather than the menacing, gold-toothed, gun-wielding glare that peered from behind raised middle fingers in his Facebook posts at the time of his death. Photos of Zimmerman showed a threatening, plumpish face with a five o’clock shadow of beard growth: again, a dated photo. It was classic bait and switch or doublethink.

The United States is suffering from a moral rot that has become endemic. This is by design. The moral rot is aided and abetted by the MSM, which not only encourages debasement but covers it up with doublethink and obfuscates its results.

Western governments, led by psychopathic Malthusiasts bent on population control and despotism, are working overtime to create a culture of death and depravity. Their efforts are advanced by a dumbed-down noneducation system, Hollywood’s death and consequentless-sex culture, secular humanism, collectivism and altruism — all of which lead to group consciousness and group response to authority. This leads to the acceptance of sexual perversion, destruction of the family, mass medication and inoculation, acceptance of government as democracy and the politics of envy, deceit, economic class warfare and immorality. Welfare, the entitlement mentality, unparented children left to raise themselves like animals pushed from the nest too soon and the abortion culture have dehumanized many of our youths. These are mental gateways leading teens to kill just to watch a person die.

Democracy is an organized system of political, moral and social control. It is the evolution and fulfillment of all systems gone before it. It perfects the New World Order for the ruling international elite. It is the master strategy of taking human liberty and individualism and transferring them to the group herd that clamors for authoritarianism.

Democracy is not freedom. It is not government by the people and for the people. It is the perfect disguise for benevolent totalitarianism. Americans in vast numbers just go along with the system, so its social and moral depravity prospers under the cloak of democracy. The people love democracy because they love evil more than righteousness.

We are now reaping what’s been sown, though you wouldn’t know it from MSM reporting. Media are ignoring the exploding rate of black-on-white crime. If the incidents are reported at all, the racial nature of the attacks is glossed over in a way that dismisses any chance that racism could be construed as the motivating factor.

Here are just a few of the dozens of recent instances you no doubt heard little or nothing about:

  • In New Haven, Conn., Brooks Macquarrie was test-driving a scooter when he stopped at a red light. A group of blacks approached him, including one with an “angry look” in his eye who was riding a bicycle. Macquarrie was hit in the back of the head. The next thing he remembers is waking up in a hospital with broken ribs, a fractured eye socket, a broken nose, head injuries and 21 stitches. Police say he was hit by a car. Onlookers told a different story and said they saw two black youths riding away on the scooter, which has not been recovered. Macquarrie’s attack was preceded and succeeded by numerous attacks by black mobs on joggers and pedestrians in the area and around the nearby Yale University campus. Other instances in New Haven, including those on or near the Yale University campus, can be read here.
  • An 88-year-old World War II veteran named Delbert Belton was found in his car with serious head injuries in Spokane, Wash. He died the next morning. Police were looking for two black teenagers seen on surveillance video.
  • Black mob violence has become as prevalent in Memphis, Tenn., as it is in New Haven, if not more so, though the city’s newspaper and television stations refuse to acknowledge it. It’s especially violent at the city’s downtown Beale Street entertainment district, where nursing student David Santucci was gunned down by three blacks who did not even rob him. Santucci’s shooting occurred two days after and two blocks away from where Emily Anderson was assaulted and robbed at gunpoint by four blacks. In fact, mob fights, shootings, stampedes, bash robberies and armed robberies have become almost weekly occurrences near Beale Street. In the days before Santucci’s murder and while reporting on another Beale Street incident, a local television station called the downtown area “very safe” and said crime there was “rare.”
  • In Pinellas County, Fla., cellphone video captured three black boys on a school bus viciously beating a younger, smaller white boy for about a minute before they opened the emergency exit and ran away. The bus driver, also black, may face charges because not only did he not intervene to stop the attack, but he failed to check on the victim’s welfare after if it was over.
  • Two white off-duty police officers from Minneapolis visiting Green Bay, Wis., were attacked by nine black men. Green Bay police were summoned but made no arrests, and the Minneapolis officers accused Green Bay police of “running a clown show.” In describing the incident, Minneapolis officers reportedly used the word “nigger.” They were subsequently suspended and their chief apologized to the people of Green Bay.
  • In Brunswick, Ga., in March, two black teenagers attempting to rob a white woman shot the woman’s baby as the 13-month-old sat in a stroller. During the trial for 18-year-old De’Marquise Elkins, co-defendant Dominique Lang, 15, said Elkins demanded Sherry West give up her purse and twice counted down from five before shooting into the ground, then into West’s leg and then shooting the baby. Elkins’ mother and sister have been charged with evidence tampering and lying to police in the case.

On his website, author Colin Flaherty documents dozens if not hundreds of recent instances of black-on-white crime and mob violence. As Thomas Sowell pointed out in a review of Flaherty’s book White Girl Bleed a Lot,  the phrase Flaherty used for his website and title of his book about the rise of black violence was uttered by a member of a black youth mob that attacked whites during a Fourth of July celebration in Milwaukee last year.

The ongoing nature of the rising violence is being suppressed by the MSM and elites who wish to cover the effects of their decades-long policies. Meanwhile, the elites push ever harder to disarm the populace — often using some of these very instances in their justification — and to create a nation of victims defenseless before the onslaught, hoping to force them to clamor for relief with the belief that only an authoritarian police state can provide it.

Big Cases On The Docket Early In Supreme Court’s Approaching Term

Last week, the Supreme Court announced its calendar of cases for the first two months of its next annual term beginning on the first Monday of October. Usually, the Court hears about 80 cases in a given year. Of the 45 the Justices have already selected for the coming year, there are a handful of standouts.

On Oct. 8, the court is scheduled to hear arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC. The case is a follow-up to the landmark Citizens United ruling and will address the Constitutionality of biennial limits on certain campaign contributions.

Next, on Oct. 15, the court will shift its focus to race in the United States. In the case Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the Justices will decide whether a State violates the Equal Protection Clause by amending its Constitution to prohibit race- and sex-based discrimination or preferential treatment.

Via SCOTUSblog:

… Schuette presents affirmative action issues in an entirely different context. The case involves a challenge to Proposal 2, an amendment to the Michigan Constitution, approved by voters in 2006, that banned affirmative action in the state. The statewide ban was challenged by a coalition of groups and individuals who support the continued use of affirmative action in Michigan. Other lawsuits were filed as well, but a federal district court largely upheld the ban enacted by the voters.

On Nov. 5, the court will hear arguments in Bond v. The United States, a case with colorful origins that ultimately questions whether there are limits to Congress’s power to implement treaties.

SCOTUSblog outlines the case as follows:

After Carol Anne Bond’s husband had an affair, Mrs. Bond sought revenge by sprinkling toxic chemicals around the car and mailbox owned by the woman involved.  Prosecutors charged her with violating a federal statute implementing the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling, and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (also known as the “Chemical Weapons Convention”), to which the United States is a signatory.  Mrs. Bond argued that Congress lacked the authority to criminalize her conduct, asserting that the statute is a “massive and unjustifiable expansion of federal law enforcement into state-regulated domain.”

The next day, the court is scheduled to delve into a major religious liberties case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, assessing whether prayers offered at legislative sessions violate the Constitution’s Establishment Clause.

This will mark the first time that the Supreme has taken up a government prayer case in three decades.


Another Democrat Bails On Obama; NSA Review Shams; Missouri State Senator Calls Detractor ‘F*cking Idiot’; FDA Launches Assault On E-Cigs; Kentucky Theater Owner Says He Will Not Show Film With Jane Fonda Portraying Nancy Reagan— Personal Liberty Digest™ P.M. Edition 8-23-2013

Brush up on the day’s headlines with Personal Liberty’s P.M. Edition news links.

Another Democrat Flees The Obama Reservation

Writing a recent column for The Guardian, journalism professor and prominent Democrat Jeff Jarvis took President Barack Obama to task for betraying those who voted for him with unConstitutional policies. Read More…

EFF Outlines Three Illusory “Investigations” Of The NSA Spying That Will Never Succeed

Since the revelations of confirmed National Security Agency spying in June, three different “investigations” have been announced. One by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), another by the Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, and the third by the Senate Intelligence Committee, formally called the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI). Read More… 

Missouri State Senator Resorts To F-Bombing Twitterverse Over Knee-Jerk Stance On Obama Rodeo Clown

The Honorable Jamilah Nasheed, Missouri’s State Senator representing District 5, was among the far-left lawmakers and pundits outraged in the extreme by last week’s silly little dustup involving a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair and a cartoonish mask of President Barack Obama. Read More… 

FDA Mulls Banning Internet Sale Of E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inching closer to regulating the burgeoning electronic cigarette industry, with the latest indication coming in the form of talks with E-cig companies about potentially banning outright the online sale of the devices, even as their popularity continues to climb. Read More… 

Kentucky Theater Owner Won’t Show ‘The Butler’ With Jane Fonda

A Kentucky movie theater owner who trained pilots during the Vietnam War says he will not show “The Butler” because Jane Fonda plays Nancy Reagan. Read More… 

Missouri State Senator Resorts To F-Bombing Twitterverse Over Knee-Jerk Stance On Obama Rodeo Clown

The Honorable Jamilah Nasheed, Missouri’s State Senator representing District 5, was among the far-left lawmakers and pundits outraged in the extreme by last week’s silly little dustup involving a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair and a cartoonish mask of President Barack Obama.

So she wrote a column about it, bemoaning the fact that “racism in America in this twenty-first century remains ever alive and well.”

Sensible people who cared enough to countenance Nasheed’s piece, which went on to suggest the State eliminate “institutional racism” by requiring that a percentage of its contracts be awarded to minority vendors, caller her out on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

So the Honorable Senator shot back, telling a Twitter detractor who goes by “Just_a_Texan” to “keep laughing f*cking idiot and YEAH the Senator said it!!!!”

We put an asterisk in the F-word; Senator Nasheed didn’t.

By Friday morning, the post had been removed, but not in time for web users everywhere to preserve it via screen capture:


Another Democrat Flees The Obama Reservation

Writing a recent column for The Guardian, journalism professor and prominent Democrat Jeff Jarvis took President Barack Obama to task for betraying those who voted for him with unConstitutional policies.

Jarvis’s column begins:

What are you thinking, Mr President?

Is this really the legacy you want for yourself: the chief executive who trampled rights, destroyed privacy, heightened secrecy, ruined trust, and worst of all, did not defend but instead detoured around so many of the fundamental principles on which this country is founded?

And I voted for you. I’ll confess you were a second choice. I supported Hillary Clinton first. I said at the time that your rhetoric about change was empty and that I feared you would be another Jimmy Carter: aggressively ineffectual.

Never did I imagine that you would instead become another Richard Nixon: imperial, secretive, vindictive, untrustworthy, inexplicable.

The professor, whose bio flaunts an impressive list of media career accomplishments, goes on to express his disdain for the President’s policies from the perspective of 9/11 survivor, journalist, American citizen, Internet user and Democrat.

He writes:

I do care about security. I survived the attack on the World Trade Center and I believe 9/11 was allowed to occur through a failure of intelligence. I thank TSA agents for searching me: applause for security theater. I defend government’s necessary secrets…

… As a journalist, I am frightened by your vengeful attacks on whistleblowers – Manning, Assange, Snowden, and the rest – and the impact in turn on journalism and its tasks of keeping a watchful eye on you and helping to assure an informed citizenry.

As a citizen, I am disgusted by the systematic evasion of oversight you have supported through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts; by the use of ports as lawless zones where your agents can harass anyone; by your failure on your promise to close Guantánamo, and this list could go on.

As an American often abroad, I am embarrassed by the damage you have caused to our reputation and to others’ trust in us. I find myself apologizing for what you are doing to citizens of other nations, dismissing the idea that they have rights to privacy because they are “foreign”.

As an internet user, I am most fearful of the impact of your wanton destruction of privacy and the resulting collapse of trust in the net and what that will do to the freedom we have enjoyed in it as well as the business and jobs that are being built atop it.

And as a Democrat, I worry that you are losing us the next election, handing an issue to the Republicans that should have been ours: protecting the rights of citizens against the overreach of the security state.

The author goes on to suggest a number of ways that the President could go about regaining the trust of some of his former supporters. Read the full piece here.

Jarvis is one of many Democrats and American liberals who have lost faith in President Obama’s promise of “hope” and “change” in America under his Administration.

In a recent interview with Democracy Now, influential polemicist and MIT professor Noam Chomsky said Sarah Palin was right about Barack Obama: There was no substance to his Presidential campaign.

“I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey changey stuff,’ she was right; there was nothing there,” Chomsky said. “And it was understood by the people who run the political system, and so it’s no great secret that the US electoral system is mainly a public relations extravaganza… it’s sort of a marketing affair.”

Culture critic, author and self-proclaimed eternal optimist for old school liberalism Camille Paglia penned a recent column similar in tone to Jarvis’s for Salon. In her piece she took Obama and Hillary Clinton to task for the Benghazi fiasco.

FDA Mulls Banning Internet Sale Of E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inching closer to regulating the burgeoning electronic cigarette industry, with the latest indication coming in the form of talks with E-cig companies about potentially banning outright the online sale of the devices, even as their popularity continues to climb.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the FDA has been meeting with manufacturers to receive input on whether, and how, it should begin regulating the industry. The agency is expected to reveal its regulatory plans in October.

The talks, which were sought by E-cig executives, included the online ban proposal as a means of potentially preventing minors from buying the devices – many of which contain nicotine or vaporize (but do not combust) actual tobacco. A proposal to establish a minimum age of purchase at the Federal level is also being discussed.

It’s in the business interest of traditional tobacco product manufacturers to bring the power of government to E-cigarette makers’ doorstep. A Wells Fargo analyst told the newspaper that the industry, which expects to earn $1 billion in revenue this year, could see it profits jump to $10 billion within five years.

New FDA Center for Tobacco Products director Mitch Zeller said any announcement of proposed regulations would be followed by a period of time during which the public and industry advocates could provide feedback that ultimately could refine any final FDA policies. But, he added, the question of whether the FDA is getting involved in regulating the electronic cigarette market is now a question of when – not if.

EFF Outlines Three Illusory “Investigations” Of The NSA Spying That Will Never Succeed

This article, written by policy analyst Mark M. Jaycox, was originally published on August 23, 2013 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Since the revelations of confirmed National Security Agency spying in June, three different “investigations” have been announced. One by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), another by the Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, and the third by the Senate Intelligence Committee, formally called the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI).

All three investigations are insufficient, because they are unable to find out the full details needed to stop the government’s abuse of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The PCLOB can only request—not require—documents from the NSA and must rely on its goodwill, while the investigation led by Gen. Clapper is led by a man who not only lied to Congress, but also oversees the spying. And the Senate Intelligence Committee—which was originally designed to effectively oversee the intelligence community—has failed time and time again. What’s needed is a new, independent, Congressional committee to fully delve into the spying.

The PCLOB: Powerless to Obtain Documents

The PCLOB was created after a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission to ensure civil liberties and privacy were included in the government’s surveillance and spying policies and practices.

But it languished. From 2008 until May of this year, the board was without a Chair and unable to hire staff or perform any work. It was only after the June revelations that the President asked the board to begin an investigation into the unconstituional NSA spying. Yet even with the full board constituted, it is unable to fulfill its mission as it has no choice but to base its analysis on a steady diet of carefully crafted statements from the intelligence community.

As we explained, the board must rely on the goodwill of the NSA’s director, Gen. Keith Alexander, and Gen. Clapper—two men who have repeatedly said the NSA doesn’t collect information on Americans.

In order to conduct a full investigation, the PCLOB will need access to all relevant NSA, FBI, and DOJ files. But the PCLOB is unable to compel testimony or documents because Congress did not give it the same powers as a Congressional committee or independent agency. This is a major problem. If the NSA won’t hand over documents to Congress, then it will certainly not give them to the PCLOB.

The Clapper Investigation: Overseen by a Man Accused of Lying to Congress

The second investigation was announced by President Obama in a Friday afternoon news conference. The President called for the creation of an “independent” task force with “outside experts” to make sure “there absolutely is no abuse in terms of how these surveillance technologies are used.” Less than two days later, the White House followed up with a press release announcing the task force would be led by Gen. Clapper and would also report to him. What’s even worse: the task force was not tasked with looking at any abuse. It was told to focus on how to “protect our national security and advance our foreign policy.” And just this week, ABC News reported the task force will be full of thorough Washington insiders–not “outside experts.” For instance, one has advocated the Department of Homeland Security be allowed to scan all Internet traffic going in and out of the US. And another, while a noted legal scholar on regulatory issues, has written a paper about government campaigns to infiltrate online groups and activists. In one good act, the White House selected Peter Swire to be on the task force. Swire is a professor at Georgia Tech and has served as the White House’s first ever Chief Privacy Officer. Recently, he signed an amicus brief in a case against the NSA spying by the Electronic Privacy Information Center arguing that the NSA’s telephony metadata program is illegal under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. Despite this, and at the end of a day, a task force led by General Clapper full of insiders,—and not directed to look at the extensive abuse—will never get at the bottom of the unconstitutional spying.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Has Already Failed

The last “investigation” occurring is a “review” led by the Senate Intelligence Committee overseeing the intelligence community. But time and time again the committee has failed at providing any semblance of oversight. First, the chair and ranking member of the committee, Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Saxby Chambliss (GA), respectively, are stalwart defenders of the NSA and its spying activities. They have both justified the spying, brushed aside any complaints, and denied any ideas of abuse by the NSA.

Besides defending the intelligence community, the committee leadership have utterly failed in oversight—the reason why the Senate Intelligence Committee was originally created by the Church Committee. As was revealed last week, Senator Feinstein was not shown or even told about the thousands of violations of the spying programs in NSA audits of the programs. This is in direct contradiction to her statements louting the “robust” oversight of the Intelligence Committee. Lastly, the committee is prone to secrets and hiding behind closed doors: this year, the Senate Intelligence Committee has met publicly only twice. What’s clear is that the Intelligence Committee has been unable to carry out its oversight role and fresh eyes are needed to protect the American people from the abuses of the NSA.

A New Church Committee

All three of these investigations are destined to fail. What’s needed is a new, special, investigatory committee to look into the abuses of by the NSA, its use of spying powers, its legal justifications, and why the intelligence committees were unable to rein in the spying. In short, we need a contemporary Church Committee. It’s time for Congress to reassert its oversight capacity. The American public must be provided more information about the NSA’s unconstitutional actions and the NSA must be held accountable. Tell your Congressmen now to join the effort.

‘A Lot More’ Needs Doing On Racial Equality, Poll Finds

WASHINGTON (UPI) — About half of Americans say not enough progress has been made toward racial equality, a poll by the Pew Research Center found.

The poll, conducted Aug. 1-11, indicated while 45 percent of respondents said they think a lot of progress toward racial equality had been made, a combined 51 percent said “some” or “little to no” progress had been made, the Pew Research Center said Thursday.

When asked how much work still needed to be done to reach racial equality, 49 percent of respondents said “a lot more” while 16 percent said a little or none and 31 percent said some.

Most poll respondents said racial and ethnic groups get along either “very well” or “pretty well.”

Pew surveyed 2,231 adults living in the continental United States. The poll has a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

President Interrupts High School Soccer Practice

TULLY, N.Y., (UPI) —  Practice hub-bub was a bit more hectic Friday for soccer teams at Tully Central High school in Tully, N.Y, when President Obama stopped by.

“I was driving by and I thought, you know, I need to kick around a ball a little bit,” Obama told the girls’ team after he emerged from his bus.

Obama was on the second day of his two-day bus tour of New York and Pennsylvania to tout his new plan to make a college education more affordable for more students.

“Part of what I’m doing is I’m traveling around the area talking about college, making sure that young people can pay for it,” Obama told the girls. “I’m assuming everybody here’s gonna want to go to college? So part of what we want to do is make sure that whatever school you decide to go to that you can afford to do it, get grants, loans, and don’t end up having too much debt.”

The president then turned to the smallest girl on the team, saying, “You don’t look like a junior.”

One of the other girls said she was the team manager.

The coach urged the girl to tell Obama what she’d said earlier: Meeting the president was on her bucket list.

“How old are you?” Obama asked.

Nine years old, she replied.

“Here’s the general rule: When you’re 9, you don’t need a bucket list,” Obama said. “When you get to be 52 [his age] then you might start wanting to draw one up. But you’ve got a lot of stuff going on ahead of you.”

Military Panel Finds Hasan Guilty Of Murder In Fort Hood Shooting

FORT HOOD, Texas, (UPI) —  A military jury Friday convicted Army Maj. Nidal Hasan of premeditated murder and premeditated attempted murder in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, massacre.

The jury of 13 officers found Hasan guilty during the second day of deliberations.

Hasan was found guilty of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5, 2009, rampage, making him eligible for the death penalty, CNN reported.

Before the verdict Col. Tara Osborn, the military judge, ordered those in the courtroom to remain calm, CNN said.

The panel ended deliberations Thursday after asking the presiding judge two questions. They requested a read-back of testimony from Mark Todd, a police officer who responded to the shootings, and asked to see a map of buildings at Fort Hood, the network said.

Hasan, who acted as his own attorney but did not offer a defense, was left paralyzed from the waist down when wounded during the attack.

Hasan also declined to make a statement during closing arguments.

Prosecutors told the panel the evidence showed Hasan intended to kill as many soldiers as possible as part of a jihadist attack.

“There is no doubt, as I said in the beginning, the accused is the shooter,” Col. Steven Henricks told the panel.

“The only question for you is … is this a premeditated design to kill?”

Osborn barred Hasan from putting on the defense he wanted — that he acted to prevent more killing in an illegal war in Afghanistan.

Man Stands On Philadelphia Street To Beg For Jobs

PHILADELPHIA, (UPI) —  A man who stands on a Philadelphia financial district street wearing a suit and holding a job-wanted sign says he’s had six job interviews on the sidewalk.

Mark Mercer, 54, said he started standing on the street corner with his sign reading, “I Don’t Want Your Change. I NEED A JOB” in June, and has handed out more than 100 resumes, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

Mercer said he was fired from his customer service job in 2011 for refusing to yell at a technician and he lost his job at a car dealership last winter because of his impaired hearing.

Mercer, who wears his only black suit while standing on the street, said he and his two St. Bernard dogs, Stanley and Oliver, are now sleeping in his 1994 Ford Tempo.

However, Mercer said he is optimistic about the future.

“My life is in God’s hands,” he said. “I’m going to be fine. I believe something good is going to happen.”

Woman Settles $105,000 Parking Ticket Bill

CHICAGO, (UPI) —  A Chicago woman who racked up more than $105,000 in parking ticket fines has reached a settlement with the city, officials said.

Jennifer Fitzgerald’s lawsuit against the city alleged her ex-boyfriend registered the offending vehicle in her name without permission before abandoning it at an O’Hare International Airport parking lot, where it received 678 parking tickets in two years, WBBM-AM, Chicago, reported Thursday.

Fitzgerald’s attorney said the car was not towed for 2 1/2 years and should have been removed far earlier.

A judge tossed out Fitzgerald’s lawsuit in April and urged the two sides to reach a settlement.

Fitzgerald has now agreed to pay a reduced bill of $4,470, officials said.

Fitzgerald’s suspended driver’s license will be returned to her when she pays off the fine. Her ex-boyfriend has agreed to contribute $1,600 toward the sum.

Kentucky Theater Owner Won’t Show ‘The Butler’ With Jane Fonda

ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky., (UPI) —  A Kentucky movie theater owner who trained pilots during the Vietnam War says he will not show “The Butler” because Jane Fonda plays Nancy Reagan.

Ike Boutwell owns the two movie theaters in Hardin County. He said Thursday he considers Fonda a traitor for her anti-war activities and especially her 1972 visit to Hanoi, WDRB-TV, Louisville, reports.

“Jane Fonda in my opinion is a treasonist person,” Boutwell said. “Jane Fonda had a wonderful opportunity to show the world how horrible our prisoners were being treated, yet she decided to call them baby killers and support our enemy.”

“The Butler” stars Forest Whitaker as a longtime White House butler with Oprah Winfrey as his wife and a bevy of well-known actors as various presidents and their wives. Fonda is paired with Alan Rickman, best-known as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, who plays Ronald Reagan.

Boutwell said the response was generally positive in 2005 when he refused to show Fonda’s “Monster-in-Law.” He is even angrier about “The Butler” because of Fonda’s part.

“That is a slap in the face,” Boutwell said. “For a treasonous person to play a patriotic person, it is just terrible.”

Boutwell served in the Korean War and trained pilots in Vietnam.

‘Dead’ Woman Turns Up Alive Almost Two Weeks After Funeral

PHILADELPHIA, (UPI) —  A body found on a Philadelphia street was wrongly identified as a woman who had been reported missing but who has since turned up alive, officials said.

Sharolyn Jackson’s family mourned her at a funeral Aug. 3, KYW-TV in Philadelphia reported. Then last week, they learned the 50-year-old woman was at a psychiatric facility in the city.

Officials do not know whose body was interred at Colonial Memorial Park in Trenton, N.J. They plan to apply for an exhumation order.

A Philadelphia Health Department official said the body, found July 20, was released for burial after a social worker and Jackson’s son identified her. But Jackson’s father told KYW his grandson said he was given a black-and-white photo for the identification.

All that is known of the unidentified woman is that she died of natural causes.

Impeachment Chatter; Gore Don’t Need A Weatherman; NM Court Says Businesses Can’t Choose Their Customers; Greenwald’s Government Persecution Starts; Black Dahlia Solved? – TGIF Friday Morning News Roundup 8-23-2013

Here is a collection of some of the stories making the Internet rounds this morning. Click the links for the full stories.


  • Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) joined with a handful of other Republican politicians Wednesday, warning the President that his impeachment could be near. According to Tulsa World, at a convention in Muskogee, Okla., Coburn said Wednesday that the president was “getting perilously close” to the Constitutional standard for impeachment. He also called the Obama administration lawless and incompetent, the news site reported, although he acknowledged the president as a “personal friend.” Source: POLITICO…


  • A Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) expert says Al Gore goofed during his widely circulated Washington Post interview on global warming. Gore, noting stronger storms fueled by climate change, told the paper “the hurricane scale used to be 1-5, and now they’re adding a 6.” But in fact, there’s no new scale, the Union of Concerned Scientists representative said on Thursday. Source: The Hill…


  • The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that, by refusing to photograph a gay wedding, a photography studio violated the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA). Source: National Review… 


  • British counter-terrorism police say they have opened a criminal inquiry against David Miranda, the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald. The two men have been instrumental in publishing and investigating the data released by the fugitive former CIA contractor Edward Snowden. Source: Euronews…


  • A former LAPD homicide detective unveiled new evidence Thursday that he says reveals it was his own father who killed the Black Dahlia. George Hodel, a doctor, was booked in 1949 for incest and child molestation. He was also a prime suspect for the 1947 never-solved Black Dahlia murder. Authorities long believed someone with medical knowledge committed the gruesome torture and slaying. Elizabeth Short, an aspiring actress, was cut in half with medical precision in January 1947. Source: CBS Los Angeles…   


Check back for updates, news and analysis throughout the day. Like us on Facebook. And follow our improved Twitter feed.


Nasty Spying Agency Lacks Sense (And Sense Of Humor)

The Nasty Spying Agency, aka the National Security Agency, has ordered an online retailer peddling a NSA-parody T-shirt to cease and desist, citing copyright infringement.

Online freedom-product marketer designed a shirt with a modified NSA logo with the bottom words “United States of America” replaced by “Peeping While You’re Sleeping.” Beneath the logo was printed the words, “The NSA The only part of government that actually listens.”


Nasty Spying Agency spooks weren’t amused. So their lawyers, schooled in convincing judges to void the Constitution so they can illegally spy on Americans but clueless about public relations, crafted an ominous-sounding “cease and desist” letter and mailed it to Libertymaniac’s online sales site Zazzle caved and pulled it from its site, explaining:

Unfortunately, it appears that your product, The NSA, contains content that is in conflict with one or more of our acceptable content guidelines. We will be removing this product from the Zazzle Marketplace shortly.

Policy Notes: Design contains an image or text that may infringe on intellectual property rights. We have been contacted by the intellectual property right holder and we will be removing your product from Zazzle’s Marketplace due to infringement claims.

As the T-shirt is clearly a parody it is not a copyright infringement and is free speech protected under the 1st Amendment, according to the American Bar Association. In Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, “parody is the ‘use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works.’  Id.  at 580. Like other forms of comment or criticism, parody can provide social benefit, ‘by shedding light on an earlier work, and, in the process, creating a new one.’  Id. In other words, parodies can be considered ‘transformative’ works, as opposed to merely ‘superseding’ works. Since  transformative works ‘lie at the heart  of the fair use doctrine’s guarantee of  breathing space within the confines of copyright,’ the more transformative the  parody, the less will be the importance of other § 107 factors that may weigh  against a finding of fair use.  Id. at 579.”

Libertymaniacs owner Dan McCall told journalist Ben Swann,“I tried to visually take the most obvious direction at pointing at them that I could. It was their logo. I just tried to adulterate it a little bit and put a few jabs in there and that will be it. So it wasn’t a huge design coup and it did the job basically.

“Well, on the positive side,” McCall said, “I could get the unenviable honorific of being ‘the 1st man to receive a cease and desist from the National Security Agency for telling a joke.”

McCall has proven undeterred by this egregious attack on free speech. He found another online sales site,, to sell his NSA-parody shirts.

Before the NSA crackdown the NSA shirts would likely have passed along largely unnoticed in the 29 web pages of shirts McCall was selling. By bringing attention to it, criminal NSA lawyers have ensured McCall will see a spike in sales.

Get yours while they’re hot.

Hat tip: