May 23rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Thursday at a Family Research Council pastors’ retreat, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) discussed Senate Joint Resolution 19, which is a effort aimed at reversing the effects of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision.
“When you think it can’t get any worse, it does,” Cruz said. “This year, I’m sorry to tell you, the United States Senate is going to be voting on a constitutional amendment to repeal the First Amendment.”
“I am telling you — I am not making this up. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has announced the Senate Democrats are scheduling a vote on a constitutional amendment to give Congress the authority to regulate political speech because elected officials have decided they don’t like it when the citizenry has the temerity to criticize what they’ve done,” he added.
“I’ll note this amendment, which has 41 Democratic senators as co-sponsors – 41 Democrats have signed on to repealing the First Amendment, It explicitly says nothing in this new amendment shall abridge the freedom of the press,” Cruz said.
“So The New York Times is protected, but it doesn’t say the same thing about the freedom of speech,” he continued. “It doesn’t say the same thing about religious liberty, what is says it that politicians in Washington have unlimited constitutional authority to muzzle each and every one of you if you’re saying things the government finds inconvenient.”
May 23 rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Army prepares to replace thousands of troops with military robots
An all-out drone war seems inevitable given the rapid rate at which battlefield technology is advancing in this day and age, but a United States Army commander expects an arsenal of robotic warriors could be but a few years away.
Gen. Robert Cone, the chief of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, said during a recent symposium that he thinks there’s a chance the size of the military’s brigade combats teams will shrink by a quarter in the coming years from 4,000 total troops down to 3,000. Picking up the slack, he said, could be a fleet of robotic killing machines akin to the ground versions of the unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, increasingly used by the world’s armies.
The Military Times’ Paul McLeary was the first to report this week on remarks that Cone, a four-star general, made during the Army Aviation Symposium January 15 in Arilington, Virginia.
“I’ve got clear guidance to think about what if you could robotically perform some of the tasks in terms of maneuverability, in terms of the future of the force,” Cone told his crowd, according to McLeary, adding that he also has “clear guidance to rethink” the size of those infantry squads, which currently are manned by nine troops apiece.
Brigade combat teams are the smallest units of decent size that can be sent into war on their own, Popular Science acknowledged. Even if they are limited to just nine troops apiece, however, trimming their size by a quarter and tacking on still in-the-works robotics could give those brigades unmatched ability on the battlefield.
“If the Army can reduce number of people in squads, it can reduce the total manpower everywhere, and it can acquire vehicles that are both smaller and cheaper,” Kelsey Atherton wrote for PopSci. “In order to reduce manpower without reducing fighting ability, the Army will need to make sure that Brigades have everything they need to be just effective.”
According to Gen. Cone, that could be just a couple of years away and exactly what’s needed.
“Don’t you think 3,000 people is probably enough probably to get by” with increased technological capabilities, he said during last week’s symposium.
As RT has reportedextensively in the past, the Pentagon has for years now been tinkering with robotic warriors made to someday replace real life soldiers on the battlefield of the future. Some of those drone troops have already undergone extensive testing, and Cone suggests that they could soon come into good use as the military considers further scale backs amidst sequester-induced spending cuts.
According to McLeary, the general said he envisions “a smaller, more lethal, deployable and agile force” in the Army’s future. The Military Times reported that the Army is on track to cut its number of soldiers by 60,000 before 2015 is over, and then could trim just as much by 2019 to bring the total number of troops — human troops — to 420,000.
“When you see the success, frankly, that the Navy has had in terms of lowering the numbers of people on ships, are there functions in the brigade that we could automate — robots or manned/unmanned teaming — and lower the number of people that are involved given the fact that people are our major cost,” he said.
Last May, the US Navy unveiled a first-of-its-kind fleet for the military branch that relies on both manned and unmanned vehicles to accompany warships into battle. Then in November, a US Navy drone crashed into a battleship and caused roughly $30 million in damages.
May 23rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Army of robots to invade Amazon warehouses
These robots scoot around warehouse floors picking up items to fulfill customers’ orders.
Amazon will be using 10,000 robots in its warehouses by the end of the year.
CEO Jeff Bezos told investors at a shareholder meeting Wednesday that he expects to significantly increase the number of robots used to fulfill customer orders.
There are currently about 1,000 robot workers on Amazon floors. The increase won’t change the number of actual people employed, an Amazon spokeswoman said.
Related: Robots will replace fast-food workers
The robots are made by Kiva Systems, a company Amazon bought for $775 million two years ago.
While robots are playing a growing role in fulfilling orders in the warehouse, it could still be years before Amazon sends packages via drones to customers’ homes. Bezos plans to have drones deliver packages to your door in 30 minutes, but there are a number of legal and technological hurdles before that can happen.
For now, you’ll have to visit the warehouses to see a robot helping to deliver your package. Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) started offering public tours this month.
May 23rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Living with Wolves
For Centuries. Wolves have been characterized as bloodthirsty beasts and the bane of helpless livestock. determined to overcome this misconception, filmakers Jamie and Jim Dutcher-creators of the Emmy Award Winning Wolves at Our Door, spean six years in a tented camp in the wilderness of Idaho-living with a pack of wolves!
May 23rd 2014 By Fire Stone
Allan West Story:
Today as I returned from Detroit, I had a moment that I truly felt was God sent, as I don’t believe in coincidences. It happened on one of my flights, and it was two hours I will never forget.
I was seated beside someone who personally knew one of the men who was there on the roof in Benghazi. This person was excited to share with me the “ground truth” of what happened September 11, 2012.
My seat mate drew schematics to orient me to the “time and spacing” and the direction of the attack. I learned about the repeated orders to the men at the CIA annex to stand down and do nothing — thank God two of them, Glenn Doherty and Ty Woods, lived up to their code of honor and ran to the sound of the guns, resulting in their loss of life — but the preservation of life for others, their fellow Americans.
I learned about the proximity of the staging area of the attack to the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, and the attackers were indeed Ansar al-Sharia, a group affiliated with al-Qaida. I came to understand why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there in the first place and that he had in fact requested better security but was denied – the question is, by whom? And I learned that the Martyrs of 17 February Brigade were in charge of security and were the ones who opened the gates, then fled.
I learned there are those who are being threatened with their pensions being cut off if they come forth to speak.
And I learned, as I presumed, that there was a covert weapons scheme going on in Libya, Benghazi. We had been supplying radical Islamists with weapons against Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi, effectively supplying the enemy and destabilizing that country. And it seems that there was a CIA weapons buy-back program, the aim of which was to ship the retrieved weapons out of Libya through Turkey, and to the Islamist forces in Syria.
Benghazi and the operations in Libya are shrouded in a fog of lies, deceit, manipulation, threats, intimidation, coercion, abandonment, and worst of all, potentially treason.
No, it was not about a kidnapping scheme, it was about something, as I’ve stated, that will make Iran-Contra look like Romper Room. The web of lies spun is coming apart, and all other committee hearings on this matter should be shut down.
The House has established a Select Committee — quite telling that the same has not been done in the Senate — and those involved, to include the President, MUST appear before Rep. Trey Gowdy.
And to those Democrats appointed to the committee: if you seek to obstruct the revelation of the truth, you are complicit and guilty as well.
Am I afraid because of what I now know? Heck no. I’m honored to have been entrusted, so I for one can be on the right side of history.
May 23rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Two ‘Huge’ Men Allegedly Cornered Her During a Theater Confrontation — Big Mistake
UFC Women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who is also set to star in an upcoming movie based on Brad Thor’s book “Athena Project,” once beat up two “huge” men so badly that they went to the police and filed charges, UFC President Dana White said.
“Listen, this is a true story. [Ronda] got into a street fight with two huge guys in a movie theatre. She hurt them both so bad they went to the police department and filed charges against her, when they’re the ones that started the fight with her,” he told EsNewsReporting.com recently. “That was before she started fighting. That was when she was doing judo alone.”
Rousey also told the story in more detail during an appearance on Power 106 FM earlier this month.
Rousey explained that she went to see the movie “Juno” in a packed movie theater. The tension began to swell after a woman in Ugg boots and miniskirt allegedly put her feet up on Rousey’s seat and even nudged her head with her foot. This went on for some time, even after Rousey repeatedly asked the woman to stop.
When the movie was over, Rousey says she grabbed the girl’s shoe off of her foot and threw it across the theater, telling her to “get some manners.” It was at this point that two men with her group cornered Rousey, refused to let her leave and told her to go get the shoe.
She refused — and when she tried to leave, the guys allegedly pushed her back. Pretty soon, there were fists flying.
Rousey says she punched one of the men in the face several times and threw the other guy on the ground by flipping him over her shoulder. She says the group was so loathed in the theater that people actually applauded her for putting them in their place.
Stripped of their dignity, the men reportedly tried to file assault charges against Rousey. However, police reportedly declined to press charges after investigating what went down.
The moral of this story: Don’t mess with Ronda Rousey. This story also teaches us that it’s never a good idea to be an obnoxious jerk, because you never know who you are dealing with.
LAS VEGAS — Ronda Rousey isn’t even in Sin City this week. She spent most of the week in Cannes, France, promoting the new “Expendables” film after strings were pulled by Hollywood bigwigs to get the UFC women’s bantamweight champ there for promotion. She isn’t present, yet her presence always seems to be felt.
All along the walls of the MGM Grand press room, giant banners of the UFC champions hang. So Rousey was never very far from attention.
The Californian has her next fight lined up, Alexis Davis on July 5 at UFC 175, but that hasn’t stopped all of the hypothetical debate over Rousey against current pound-for-pound boxing king Floyd Mayweather. It’s a fight that will never happen, of course. No commission would sanction it, and they’re not even in the same sport, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation.
UFC president Dana White, for one, isn’t backing off his position: Of course, Mayweather would dominate Rousey in his own sport, White said, but put Mayweather in an octagon, and he’s a fish out of water. Not only would Rousey win, but she’d win big.
“Listen I get it. It’s hard for guys to wrap their brains around that one,” White said in his UFC 173 pre-fight media scrum. “Ronda wouldn’t beat him. She’d hurt him badly. She’d hurt him badly.”
White said the only people who doubt that are men who blindly believe men will always beat women in combat sports. But anyone with any real experience in training MMA knows better, he believes. Mayweather, with no experience in anything other than boxing, would go for a ride and maybe get an arm ripped off.
“She’ll kick the living s*** out of me. And you. And everybody else standing here, whether you like it or not,” White said.
May 23 rd 2014 By Fires Stone
Jail Sentence for Selling Hot Dogs
It should be obvious that throwing people in jail for selling hot dogs is profoundly un-American. But in the state of North Carolina, it could happen to you.
In fact, it has already happened. In 2011, a judge sentenced Steven Pruner to 45 days in the custody of Durham County’s sheriff. His sin? Selling dogs from a food cart near Duke University Medical Center.
In case you’re wondering, no, Pruner’s dogs didn’t make anyone sick. But Pruner sold food without a license. And, under North Carolina law, that’s enough to make you a criminal. Pruner was charged with, and convicted of, operating a business without a license. His sentence of 45 days in jail was suspended and he was placed on 12 months of unsupervised probation.
Why do North Carolina’s citizens put up with this nonsense? Most of them probably don’t even know about it. According to a recent issue brief from the Manhattan Institute, entire sections of North Carolina’s regulatory code, even those dealing with public health, “make the violation of any of their provisions criminal.” Worse, certain provisions of the code don’t require individuals to know or understand that their actions are wrong. The fact that most reasonable North Carolinians wouldn’t expect selling hot dogs to be something that the criminal law has anything to say about doesn’t matter.
We’ve written about the explosion of federal criminal laws over the past few decades, and the swelling of the federal register beyond any ordinary citizen’s capacity to make their way through it, let alone understand it. We’ve also written about how many of these laws don’t target activities that are inherently wrong, or require that people be aware that those activities are illegal before they can be punished—even if most reasonable people wouldn’t expect them to be illegal. Such laws make a mockery of the Constitution’s due process guarantees, which, as the U.S. Supreme Court stated in Bouie v. City of Columbia (1964), provide that the criminal law “must give warning of the conduct it makes a crime.” Fair notice was central to the Framers’ understanding of the rule of law.
But it’s important to remember that states can abuse the criminal law as well. The constitutional requirement of fair notice binds government at all levels.
Using the criminal law in this way isn’t just petty and stupid. It’s unjust and quite possibly unconstitutional. The Framers knew better than to allow politicians this kind of leeway to jail citizens. Unlicensed hot dog hawking isn’t something that anyone should have to worry about being locked up for, at least without fair notice that it is a crime. It’s time for North Carolina policymakers to free their states’ frankfurter vendors.