How do you steal millions if not billions of dollars and not go to jail? Be rich beforehand. When confronted with the truth the Justice Department responded less maturely than I’d expect a federal agency to. I am going to let the article speak for itself. This isn’t about political parties or race, this is specifically about entrenched forces in American society that are not held responsible for their crimes by an administration that had promised to do so. Though with all the promises that have been broken, including reforming the Patriot Act, I am not surprised in the least.
Adam Steinbaugh uncovered this post below by Craig Brittain in which he claims he went to Stanford and graduated with “Latin Honors.” Luckily for Brittain lying in the comment section of YouTube isn’t illegal, but making up blatant bullshit is probably still a crap shoot. Chalk it up to another example of the Brittain/Trahan duo’s philosophy of “when confronted with resistance, lie, lie, lie.”
Another great take away from today was Brittain claiming that he was no racist as his YouTube comments would show. However with a little research (google) and no need for luck I found a couple of examples of Brittain’s further disassociation from the truth:
Here we have the denial.
Then we have the truth.
Of course we also have Steam profiles linked to Brittain’s IP address.
Brittain of course will find reasons to act racist but not actually be racist. Probably he will use the usual excuses of youth or misanthropy. Just as Brittain always blames his bad behavior on anything that he thinks will stick. An arrest for evading a police officer and driving away with the officer attached to his car? Panic attack. Blatant, repeated racism? He likes to make people upset. Creating a revenge porn website? He couldn’t find a job. Life must be quite convient for a person who lacks all personal responsibility. It can’t hurt when you have a blind follower who doesn’t even realize he’s being ruined by supporting you.
So as always we are left with Craig Brittain denying any wrong doing and lying through the teeth as he does so. For a man of such small stature he sure contains a lot of bile.
The Department of Homeland Security was formed to bring 22 separate government agencies under a single organization in order to better direct their missions and increase interagency communication. Unfortunately this new agency has not bucked the trend of big government in Washington D.C. and has wasted billions of dollars of taxpayers money with little accountability, apparently lining it’s own employees pockets all the while. Couple this ongoing waste with the Obama administration’s lack of transparency and you have a recipe for rampant unaccountability.
A recent report from the department’s inspector general that the $430 million radio system the department has deployed was only usable by 1 of 479 surveyed employees. Additionally only 20 percent of the radios were even able to access the shared channel they were designed to implement. In response to the report’s recommendation that DHS overhauls the office overseeing the radio system DHS liaison Jim H. Crumpacker wrote, “DHS believes that it has already established a structure with the necessary authority to ensure” that its various agencies can communicate. A preposterous assertion when only one person surveyed can even use the communication equipment correctly. The fact that the agency doesn’t even seem concerned that it can’t accomplish one of it’s founding goals is a warning sign to all Americans.
This isn’t the first time the DHS has been found to be spending millions of dollars with diminishing returns. In 2006 the New York Times reported that more than 9,000 employees had spent at least $420 million dollars on government issued credit cards. Some of these expenditures include 2000 unused dog boots, a beer brewing system, $7,000 in iPods, and $2,492 in rain jackets for use at a firing range that closes when it rains. Another credit card bought boats for $208,000 at twice the retail value, maybe someone got cash back?
Looking at the budget requirements of the DHS highlights the built in waste the department is underwriting. Compared to the FBI the DHS budgets approximately $27,000 more per employee. With 240,000 employees this amounts to $6.4 billion of the department’s $60.4 billion budget. Compare this to the Texas Department of Safety and you see an increase of $110,000 in per employee budgeting. The New York Police Department operates at $130,000 less per employee than the DHS. How does a department that has consolidated the resources of 22 agencies spend more money than single departments not less?
In the time span of the DHS founding in 2002 to 2010, the DHS increased contracting from $3.4 billion to $14 billion according to the Center for Strategic & International Studies. These massive expenditures are coupled with the fact that a congressional report in 2008 found that the DHS had spent a whopping $15 billion on failed contracts, a number so large that it could fund the FBI for 2 full years.
“KPMG was unable to express an opinion on the department’s balance sheets as of September 30, 2010 and 2009, and the related statements of custodial activity for the years then ended. DHS was unable to represent that certain financial statement balances were correct and was unable to provide sufficient evidence to support its financial statement”
The DHS is so incapable of keeping track of the money it spends auditors were unable to verify the department’s accounting statements. KPMG goes on to list six significant deficiencies in DHS accounting and six laws and regulations that the DHS is violating. The DHS has become a caricature of government waste and it’s leadership accepts no responsibility to American taxpayers to correct these deficiencies.
This is just another example of unaccountable federal agencies burning through money that we are borrowing to spend. The DHS has been given a blank check and has thus far shown itself to be as responsible as a teenager with a credit card. Still there are people in our government who claim that hard working Americans should be paying more to deal with our budget problems. How can we afford to give our federal government more money when it refuses to be held accountable for the billions it’s already wasted?
Lying by telling the truth is an art that seems to be experiencing a renaissance in modern American politics. I could truthfully say that I am undefeated in MMA fighting. What that sentence would leave out is that I fought only amateur fights on private residences against either smaller or out of shape opponents. The one fight I had against someone more athletic and larger than I, I won by submission but at the cost of a broken toe.
The best, most recent example of political use of this strategy is the exchange over the Benghazi attacks between Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney during their debate. President Obama argued that he had called the Benghazi attacks an act of terror saying, “I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror.” When reviewing his quote from the Rose Garden it even sounds accurate, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.” However when reviewing the context of this one sentence it becomes more clear that President Obama is referencing general terror and the 9/11 attacks. (Full Text)
Of course, yesterday was already a painful day for our nation as we marked the solemn memory of the 9/11 attacks. We mourned with the families who were lost on that day. I visited the graves of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hallowed grounds of Arlington Cemetery, and had the opportunity to say thank you and visit some of our wounded warriors at Walter Reed. And then last night, we learned the news of this attack in Benghazi.
As Americans, let us never, ever forget that our freedom is only sustained because there are people who are willing to fight for it, to stand up for it, and in some cases, lay down their lives for it. Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and military who represent us around the globe.
No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.
So while many people still tout that as a gotcha example of Romney getting his facts mixed up, both sides can easily argue convincingly their point of view. The President’s point of view is easily argued with narrow quotes of his speech and Romney’s can be argued with the context of this quote. These sort of political tactics are akin to arguments I have with my son which go like this.
Me: What are you doing playing video games, I grounded you.
Son: You grounded me from T.V. not video games.
Me: You’re still using the T.V. to play your games.
Son: But I’m not watching T.V.
My son is evidently a future contract lawyer which I am sure is a tough and rewarding profession. Our leaders on the other hand should not be speaking to the American public as if they are contract lawyer or petulant 8 year old. This is why when reading any source of media including sources I personally trust I always fact check entire answers, quotes, or speeches. I am not saying that media sources are all unreliable, reporters should build their articles on good research, however ultimately your learning is your own duty.
Here is an example of twisting words to frame an argument from a recent blog post at geek/law blog popehat. Ken writes innocuously, “sometimes, in court as in life, the bad guys win.” Which I can distort and argue as this:
In a rare moment of defeatism, Ken argues that the bad guys win sometimes. Under this logic Ken is giving all criminals, evil doers, and pedophiles the green light to commit their crimes because as he says “sometimes, in court as in life, the bad guys win.”
In conclusion, check your sources. Also, I invite you to turn Ken’s quote into something more sinister in my comment section.
So I have been following a small internet skirmish over a porn website that uses pictures of people without their consent. This happens from time to time, but what distinguishes these clowns from the rest is the fact that they put up the victim’s personal information like phone number and workplace. It’s called revenge porn, usually motivated by an unhappy ex-lover. Terrible yes, but even then it might be expected or mundane compared to some of today’s internet culture.
Further distinguishing themselves as feces posing as human beings, they seek out these women via Craigslist and Facebook using fake profiles and often times targeting women who are looking for other women. The beauty of this scheme is that online women are more trusting of other women, hence their success in obtaining nude photographs posing as potential romantic (or casual sexual) encounters. This is different than a boyfriend or girlfriend posting pictures of an ex because it’s no longer a user generated affair it’s fully under the helm of the people running the site. This removes all sorts of legal protections given to upload services like Flikr, Youtube, Instagram, Dropbox etc.
Sadly they don’t stop there. Takedown requests via email by the victims of their crimes start to flood in. It turns out when you post someone’s phone number with their nude pictures, perverts call them. What do the site administrators do? They ridicule the victims. They tell them crazy things like “you would have to get a business license and patent your pictures” in order for them to be taken down. That’s mind boggling as copyright protects pictures and patents protect ideas/inventions. The owner of the site suddenly gets an idea and begins advertising on his site Takedown Lawyer David Blade III. The idea is that if you pay this lawyer $250 he’ll get your pictures down. For some, that obviously seems like a unfortunate but reasonable expense. I know if my daughters pictures were on that site I’d pay the $250 before anyone else could see them.
Like every bad horror movie though, there’s a twist at the end. David Blade III never existed, his domain was on the same servers of the porn site, and his emails came from the same IP address as the porn site owner. This weasel decided to appropriate young girls pictures, post them online with contact information, ridicule them, and then con them out of money. He impersonated a lawyer which is a felony and the beauty of this? He never got a single legitimate advertiser on the site, so his whole business model was fraudulent.