“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

March 23, 2009

Are You Pro-Life? The Government May Assume You're a Militia Member

And I'm not talking about St. Maximilian Kolbe's Militia Immaculatae either. The rapid spread of what are known as "fusion centers," government-operated data processing sites (58 of which are currently known to exist across the U.S.) that use highly sophisticated data-mining programs to correlate vast amounts of personal data about U.S. citizens, are raising questions about how that data will be used. This news story is reporting that there may be evidence to suggest that completely non-violent groups, such as pro-life organizations and, for that matter, individual pro-life citizens, are being classified as potentially dangerous. See what you think:

If you're an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.

That's according to "The Modern Militia Movement," a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities.

"Due to the current economical and political situation, a lush environment for militia activity has been created," the Feb. 20 report reads. "Unemployment rates are high, as well as costs of living expenses. Additionally, President Elect Barrack [sic] Obama is seen as tight on gun control and many extremists fear that he will enact firearms confiscations."

MIAC is one of 58 so-called "fusion centers" nationwide that were created by the Department of Homeland Security, in part, to collect local intelligence that authorities can use to combat terrorism and related criminal activities. More than $254 million from fiscal years 2004-2007 went to state and local governments to support the fusion centers, according to the DHS Web site.

During a press conference last week in Kansas City, Mo., DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called fusion centers the "centerpiece of state, local, federal intelligence-sharing" in the future.

"Let us not forget the reason we are here, the reason we have the Department of Homeland Security and the reason we now have fusion centers, which is a relatively new concept, is because we did not have the capacity as a country to connect the dots on isolated bits of intelligence prior to 9/11," Napolitano said, according to a DHS transcript.
"That's why we started this . . . Now we know that it's not just the 9/11-type incidents but many, many other types of incidents that we can benefit from having fusion centers that share information and product and analysis upwards and horizontally." (continue reading)

Twitter: Through the Eyes of a Skeptic

Even though I do like Twitter (been on it for four whole months now), not everyone does. And this look at Twitter through the eyes of those who don't like it is actually rather accurate, at least with regard to those users who really do love to answer the question, "What are doing?" over, and over, and over again throughout the day.

Needless to say, that's not how I use Twitter, and the folks who are joining my network typically do not use it that way either. But some folks surely do. And to all of them, I dedicate this little video.

And now, if you'd like the positive side of Twitter, check out this serious, approving article from PC Magazine"Nine Ways to Use Twitter" — (and then click to join my network!).