Feds Urge Banks to Call Cops on Customers Who Withdraw $5,000 or More

The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying.

Banks are already required to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions don’t meet quotas.

But as investor and financial blogger Simon Black points out, last week, “A senior official from the Justice Department spoke to a group of bankers about the need for them to rat out their customers to the police.”

Assistant attorney general Leslie Caldwell gave a speech in which he urged banks to “alert law enforcement authorities about the problem” so that police can “seize the funds” or at least “initiate an investigation”.

As Black highlights, according to the handbook for the Federal Financial Institution Examination Council, such suspicious activity includes, “Transactions conducted or attempted by, at, or through the bank (or an affiliate) and aggregating $5,000 or more…”

Black provides a chilling scenario under which an attempt to withdraw your own money from your bank account could end with a home visit from the cops.

“As you pull into your driveway later there’s an unexpected surprise waiting for you: two police officers would like to have a word with you about your intended withdrawal earlier,” writes Black, who accuses banks of already operating as “unpaid government spies”.

“Do you need to withdraw cash to purchase a used car from a private seller? Or perhaps you are pulling out some emergency cash for a loved one,” writes Mac Slavo.

“Either one of these activities are now considered suspicious and if your cash withdrawal amounts to even a few thousand dollars your bank teller is under a legal requirement to alert officials about your suspected criminal activity. And before you argue that you can’t possibly be a suspect because you have done nothing wrong, consider that even being suspected of being a suspect is now enough to land you on a terrorist watchlist in America.”

The war on cash is intensifying as authorities attempt to crack down on one of the few remaining modes of anonymity.

Report Says Former IRS Employees–Think Lois Lerner–Can Still Peruse Your Tax Returns

Could Lois Lerner still take a look at your tax returns on IRS computers? It sounds preposterous, but a new watchdog report says former IRS employees still have access to IRS computer systems long after they have no official business with the information. The report is by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. The GAO investigates how the federal government spends taxpayer dollars. In the case of IRS security, the report says not well.

This report cites significant deficiencies in the security of IRS financial reporting systems. Millions of Americans who are legally required to file taxes are fearful about fraud. The report says the IRS needs to continue improving controls over financial and taxpayer data. In the case of former IRS workers with continuing access to IRS data systems, they need to be cut off.

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One co-author of the report said the IRS horde of taxpayer data can be used by identity thieves. The timing couldn’t be worse for the IRS. The IRS is failing to secure its massive computer systems, leaving private taxpayer data vulnerable to fraudsters and hackers, the new report from the GAO reveals.

The agency is still reeling from budget cuts, and taxpayer confidence in the security and credibility of the IRS is not high. Its release caps a bad two months for the IRS and taxpayers. The annual tax filing season arrived with a bang, punctuated by a big uptick in fears about fraud. There was nearly a bank run when TurboTax suspended filing state tax returns over fraud.

Kent Hovind Will Face A New Trial

Independent Baptist Minister and Young Earth Creationist, Kent Hovind, nearing the end of a long prison sentence for tax related crimes, was tried on new charges earlier this month. He and his co-defendant Paul John Hansen were charged with contempt of court, fraud and conspiracy because of filings that they made affecting property seized by the government. The seizures related to Hovind’s earlier conviction. The jury found Hovind and Hansen guilty of contempt, but was unable to reach a verdict on the more serious fraud and conspiracy charges. Today federal prosecutor Tiffany Eggers has filed notice that the Government intends to proceed to retrial on the charges that the previous jury did not reach a verdict on.

Kent Hovind had warned his supporters earlier this week that a retrial was likely.

Hovind’s supporters have waged a vigorous social media campaign documented at their flagship website #FreeKent. On Monday, Kent had a long sought after interview with Alex Jones of InfoWars

The depth of Hovind’s support is somewhat questionable. Despite many appeals they were not able to put a lot of “boots on the ground” in Pensacola during the last trial and when it comes to the thriving church community in Pensacola, Kent Hovind appears to be a prophet with no honor in his own country. A full pardon petition on We the People has gathered 683 signatures in the week that it has been up.

New Wave Of Islamic Immigration Planned for U.S.

Congress is considering new immigration laws that would flood the U.S. with “guest workers” from the Middle East and Asia, a plan some are calling an open invitation for jihadists to walk right through America’s front door.

Critics say lawmakers – including top Republican leaders – are playing with fire and could jeopardize national security with the proposals to double or even triple the number of H1B work visas.

The legislation’s potential impact on the American worker has been widely debated on Capitol Hill, with experts warning lawmakers at a Senate subcommittee hearing last week that the plan would eliminate certain technology and IT jobs for Americans. But, so far, little has been said about the risks to national security.

The bills’ proponents in Washington and among Silicon Valley’s technology centers say America is not producing enough university graduates with so-called STEM degrees (science, technology, engineering and math). Their argument, put forth most passionately by presidential contender Jeb Bush, is purely economic. By inducing more foreign STEM students to immigrate to the U.S. and by expanding the visa program for skilled workers, it will fuel growth and bolster the tax base, they say.

But that argument falls flat on critics of the two bills floating in Congress — the so-called I-Squared bill in the Senate and the SKILLS Visa Act in the House.

They point to research from several think tanks that indicates, if anything, the U.S. has a glut of STEM graduates who are coming out of universities and not finding work in STEM fields. And by radically increasing the number of H1B visas issued, the United States will further increase the number of high-risk immigrants entering the country from Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Pakistan.

Citizens of Muslim countries already have several paths into the United States – as refugees through the State Department’s refugee resettlement program, as students attending U.S. universities, and as employees of an American company willing to sponsor them on an H1B (temporary) visa or a permanent green card. Once in the country, these immigrants are joined by thousands of their family members.

The H1B visa lasts for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years. At this point, many H1B workers are able to obtain a permanent green card.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/03/new-wave-of-islamic-immigration-planned-for-u-s/#TJAcWqYPuQfoPSzl.99

Report: Cops Kill Hundreds of Disabled Americans Every Year

The American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief arguing that hundreds of disabled Americans are killed in police encounters every year. It was filed in support of a mentally ill woman suing police for shooting her five times.

In the case of San Francisco v. Sheehan, Teresa Sheehan argued that police shot her five times even though she was experiencing a “psychiatric emergency.” The US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on Monday.

Sheehan argued that when police came to her room in a group home in 2008 to take her to a hospital, they violated her Fourth Amendment rights and her rights under the American Disabilities Act (ADA). Sheehan’s home aide called police to take her to a hospital for an evaluation after he noticed she had stopped taking her medication, stopped eating and hadn’t changed her clothes in a few days.

During the police encounter, Sheehan threatened officers with a knife. The interaction escalated and police ended up shooting her five times. She survived and consequently sued the city. At issue for the nation’s highest court is whether and how the ADA applies to interactions between police and people with disabilities.

The case comes amid an increasing number of news stories about police officer-involved shootings of people with mental illness, many of whom are people of color. Body camera footage just released showed Jason Harrison, a mentally ill black man in Dallas, Texas, was shot by police after his family called for help and Harrison threatened officers with a screwdriver.

Earlier this month, Los Angeles police killed a homeless black man, Africa, who had told a friend that he had spent ten years in a psychiatric facility. And on January 5, police killed a North Carolina teenager, Keith Vidal, whose family had called for help as he was in a “psychiatric emergency.” He also threatened police with a screwdriver.

U.S. Marine Corps urges ‘vigilance’ after ISIS online threat

The U.S. Marine Corps on Sunday urged “vigilance” among staff after the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group published the alleged names and addresses of 100 military personnel and urged supporters to kill them.

“Vigilance and force protection considerations remain a priority for commanders and their personnel,” U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. John Caldwell said in a statement.

“It is recommended Marines and family members check their online/social footprint, ensuring privacy settings are adjusted to limit the amount of available personal information.”

The warning came after a group calling itself the Islamic State Hacking Division put the allegedly hacked information about members of the air force, army and navy, included photos and ranks, on the Internet, according to monitoring group SITE Intelligence.

The hacking group said it took the information from government servers, databases and emails and called on its followers to mount attacks.

A defense source, however, told The New York Times most of the information was in fact available in public records and did not appear to have been hacked from government servers.

“With the huge amount of data we have from various different servers and databases, we have decided to leak 100 addresses so that our brothers residing in America can deal with you,” the group wrote.

“Now we have made it easy for you by giving you addresses, all you need to do is take the final step, so what are you waiting for?”

The self-proclaimed hackers said the 100 military staff had targeted ISIS in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

A Defense Department official told AFP they were looking into the posting.

“I can’t confirm the validity of the information, but we are looking into it,” the official said.

The United States is leading an international coalition targeting ISIS in Iraq and Syria, where the Islamist militants have taken over swaths of territory.

ISIS has claimed responsibility for hacking attacks in the United States in the past, including against U.S. Central Command, which oversees the air war against ISIS.

In January, the hacked Centcom Twitter feed posted what appeared to be an office phone directory of officers that was slightly out of date, forcing the military to take down the command’s Twitter feed for a period.

Police departments hiring immigrants as officers

Law enforcement agencies struggling to fill their ranks or connect with their increasingly diverse populations are turning to immigrants to fill the gap.

Most agencies in the country require officers or deputies to be U.S. citizens, but some are allowing immigrants who are legally in the country to wear the badge. From Hawaii to Vermont, agencies are allowing green-card holders and legal immigrants with work permits to join their ranks.

At a time when 25,000 non-U.S. citizens are serving in the U.S. military, some feel it’s time for more police and sheriff departments to do the same. That’s why the Nashville Police Department is joining other departments to push the state legislature to change a law that bars non-citizens from becoming law enforcement officers.

Department spokesman Don Aaron said they want immigrants who have been honorably discharged from the military to be eligible for service.

“Persons who have given of themselves in the service to this country potentially have much to offer Tennesseans,” he said. “We feel that … would benefit both the country and this city.”

Current rules vary across departments.

Some, like the Chicago and Hawaii police departments, allow any immigrant with a work authorization from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to become an officer. That means people in the country on temporary visas or are applying for green cards can join.

Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Justin Mullins said the department usually struggles to fill trooper positions in less populous corners of the state, including patrol sectors high up in the mountains. He said immigrants from Canada, the Bahamas, the United Kingdom, Mexico and Central America who are willing to live in those remote places have helped the agency fill those vacancies.

Scientists Have Created ‘DNA Scissors’ That Can Alter Your Genes, but Should They Use Them?

Biotechnology that can rewrite the genome heralds “a new era of human biology” and raises ethical questions for the medical community, experts in bioethics, and everybody else, according to a group of prominent researchers writing in Science.

The fuss is over “DNA scissors” discovered in microbes in 2012 that can be adapted to edit genetic material, potentially removing disease-enabling mutations and adding in “corrected” DNA strings. Known by its scientific acronym, the CRISPR-Cas9 protein may eventually help realize precision or individualized medicine, the ability to treat or avoid illness such as cancers, muscular dystrophy, and HIV/AIDS by tinkering with the actual genetic coding that makes a person that particular person.

“The simplicity of the CRISPR-Cas9 system allows any researcher with knowledge of molecular biology to modify genomes,” write the 18 scientists, from institutions that include Caltech, Berkeley, Harvard and Stanford. They are led by Nobel-winning biologist David Baltimore of Caltech.

That’s a complicated, and potentially dangerous, power. The group recommends that scientists avoid human genome-editing experiments, even where they’re legal, and that research and funding sources be transparent. This is the second call to arms in two weeks. An essay last week in Nature called for a moratorium on experiments on human embryos, eggs, or sperm.

Genome engineering has become so powerful that civic leaders and the general public should be brought into the debate, the scientists say. What happens if CRISPR snips out the wrong DNA, or adds in a sequence in the wrong place? If these techniques are ever deemed safe and effective, who would qualify for treatment, and when? The mind reels. When’s the next remake of The Fly? Don’t it make my brown eyes blue?

Top Hacker: Chicago Nuke Attack Planned For 2015

Guccifer – the Romanian hacker who accessed private email accounts of numerous top government & military officials as well as the Bush & Rockefeller family – is quoted in the New York Times as predicting a nuclear attack on Chicago sometime in 2015.

by Paul Joseph Watson

Guccifer – the Romanian hacker who accessed private email accounts of numerous top government & military officials as well as the Bush & Rockefeller family – is quoted in the New York Times as predicting a nuclear attack on Chicago sometime in 2015.

California Police Department Ordered to Get Rid of MRAP Military Vehicle

In the aftermath of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Davis City Council has ordered its police department to get rid of an MRAP military vehicle within 60 days.

The $700,000 dollar vehicle was acquired for free just a few weeks ago through the U.S. military surplus program that has seen police departments across America obtain vehicles and equipment that were formerly used by the Army to occupy towns and hunt insurgents.

However, after numerous complaints and protests by residents, Davis City Council has given its police department two months to either destroy or otherwise remove from operation the mine resistant ambush vehicle.

“My understanding is that these vehicles were designed to help reduce casualties and fatalities among our military personnel in places like Iraq and Afghanistan where they were being blown up by mines and being ambushed… I don’t think these things are happening very often in Davis,” said one resident during the public forum, which was attended by a large crowd of demonstrators.

Police Chief Landry Black asserted that there was a “legitimate need” for the vehicle in order to protect officers from high powered weapons, but residents fear the MRAP will be used to quell dissent.

During riots and looting in Ferguson earlier this month, numerous concerns were expressed about how the militarization of police departments only served to escalate tensions, with numerous instances of cops pointing guns at protesters and journalists stoking controversy.

Rand Paul: Obama Is Not A King

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul went on the offensive once more Wednesday against President Obama’s promise to circumvent Congress, this time regarding climate change policy.

Appearing on Fox News, Paul warned that such actions would not only be an extreme abuse of power, but would also lead to a constitutional crisis.

“Not only is it an abuse of power, I think it almost leads us to a constitutional crisis of sorts,” Paul said.

“It’s one thing after another. You know, he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen and a phone and he is going to act. That doesn’t sound like our republic.” The Senator stated.

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