The Tonka Report

Real News In A Changing World

Archive for January 15th, 2010

Majority Of Americans Would Give Up More Liberties For Security?

leave a comment »

The Truth – January 14, 2010

“They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” – Benjamin Franklin

It is now official.  A majority of Americans are willing to give up liberty in order to be safer from terrorism.  A stunning new McClatchy-Ipsos poll has found that 51 percent of Americans agree with this statement: “it is necessary to give up some civil liberties in order to make the country safe from terrorism.”

Only 36 percent of those polled agreed with this statement: “some of the government’s proposals will go too far in restricting the public’s civil liberties.”

So are Americans really this stupid? Have they really been brainwashed into willingly giving up their essential liberties just so they can feel a little safer? Maybe they have.

After all, a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll says that 78 percent of Americans approve of the new full body scanners that the U.S. government wants to install in all U.S. airports.

So almost 4 out of 5 Americans are perfectly fine with letting airport security officials gawk at their naked bodies just so they can feel a bit safer from terrorists. How sick is that?

The truth is that when Americans allow themselves to become so wimpy and so fearful that they are willing to throw many of their most important freedoms out the window, those responsible for the terror scares have won.

In fact, Amerika (formerly America) is very quickly becoming a brutal police state where privacy is a thing of the past and where free speech and alternative points of view are openly repressed.

For example, in a 2008 academic paper President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories”.

Infiltration of groups with alternative viewpoints that the government doesn’t like? Do we live in East Germany? Apparently we do.

Americans do not care about their freedoms and liberties anymore, so now they are being taken away. And apparently the message of the most recent polls is that Americans are perfectly fine with that.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: If these polls are a true representation of the American people, who the hell are these idiots? If not, these polls are rigged just like our elections. Let us pray for the latter! – SJH 

Link to original article below…

New ‘Office Of Government Information Services’ Hosts Briefing

leave a comment »

Judicial Watch – January 15, 2010

The federal government’s new Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) hosted a briefing on Thursday, January 14, to discuss the agency’s responsibilities and priorities. OGIS is a new outfit tasked to deal with government-wide transparency and openness issues. At Thursday’s briefing, OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet, and Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero answered questions regarding the agency’s operations and its role in improving government compliance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Specifically, OGIS is charged with:

• Providing services to mediate disputes between FOIA requesters and Federal agencies;
• Reviewing policies and procedures of administrative agencies under FOIA;
• Reviewing agency compliance with FOIA; and,
• Recommending policy changes to the Congress and President to improve the administration of FOIA.

OGIS opened its doors in September of 2009 — two years after it was officially established through the OPEN Government Act of 2007. The lengthy delay resulted from a battle between Congress and President Bush over the funding and location of the new agency. Congress originally placed OGIS within the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), finding that the relatively apolitical NARA would limit the amount of political interference in OGIS activities. However, in President Bush’s 2009 FY budget proposal, there was no funding for OGIS within the NARA. Instead, the President’s budget proposed that OGIS be established in the Department of Justice.

Critics decried the prospect of moving OGIS into the Department of Justice, asserting such a move could undercut the agency’s mission of non-partisan transparency. The Justice Department defends the government’s position in FOIA actions — a role that struck many as conflicting with the mission of OGIS. Because of these potential problems, OGIS was an agency only on paper until last June, when President Obama appointed OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet, and located OGIS in the National Archives. Congress also funded OGIS with a $1 million budget for establishment, provided by the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriation Act. For 2010 the agency’s budget will grow to $1.4 million.

OGIS Director Miriam Nisbet explained on Thursday that the agency, with a total staff of 6, has a threefold mission. First, the agency will review government-wide compliance with FOIA and recommend policy and procedural changes to Congress and the President. Nisbet said OGIS is working on the development of an Electronic Case Tracking System for FOIA requests. Like tracking a package in the mail, requesters would be able to track the status of their FOIA requests online — a system Nisbet foresees as the “next step” for FOIA.

OGIS’ second mission is to facilitate mediation in order to prevent costly lawsuits. Nisbet declared that the agency is “committed to avoiding litigation” and will explore various Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs. However, Nisbet spoke only vaguely about what types of mediation OGIS would consider. These include both formal mediation procedures and informal discussion, and would utilize both government officials and mediators from outside the government. Nisbet also suggested the idea of online dispute resolution as a possibility for the future, but did not offer any specifics

OGIS’ third task is to be a “FOIA Ombudsman” serving as a place people could turn to for “anything related to FOIA.” The OGIS website has posted its case log for public review, and the Office is soliciting comments and questions from the public regarding the administration of FOIA.

OGIS has laudable goals, but it is yet to be seen if the agency will prove effective and useful, or whether it will simply be an extra level of bureaucracy in the FOIA process. Both Miriam Nisbet and David Ferriero declared that the agency’s staff would have to grow beyond 6 if it is going to really perform the government-wide functions stated as its mission. Also, review of FOIA policy and procedures is long overdue, but OGIS may have limited effectiveness as an “ombudsman” when the agency has no legal authority to compel document production. The agency needs to elaborate further what specific shape its mediation efforts will take and who will be doing the mediation. As an agency committed to avoiding litigation, it would be devastating if the agency became just another cog delaying serious and effective FOIA litigation – which is often the only means of achieving document production.

Documents: OGIS Handouts

Link to original article below…

NASA Scientists Go On Attack After Climate Data Error Exposed

leave a comment »

Judicial Watch – January 14, 2010

Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained internal documents from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) related to a controversy that erupted in 2007 when Canadian blogger Stephen McIntyre exposed an error in NASA’s handling of raw temperature data from 2000-2006 that exaggerated the reported rise in temperature readings in the United States. According to multiple press reports, when NASA corrected the error, the new data apparently caused a reshuffling of NASA’s rankings for the hottest years on record in the United States, with 1934 replacing 1998 at the top of the list.

These new documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), include internal GISS email correspondence as NASA scientists attempted to deal with the media firestorm resulting from the controversy. In one exchange GISS head James Hansen tells a reporter from Bloomberg that NASA had not previously published rankings with 1998 atop the list as the hottest year on record in the 20th century.

Email from Demian McLean, Bloomberg to Jim Hansen, August 14, 2007: “The U.S. figures showed 1998 as the warmest year. Nevertheless, NASA has indeed newly ranked 1934 as the warmest year…”

Email Response from James Hansen to Demian McLean, August 14, 2007: “…We have not changed ranking of warmest year in the U.S. As you will see in our 2001 paper we found 1934 slightly warmer, by an insignificant hair over 1998. We still find that result. The flaw affected temperatures only after 2000, not 1998 and 1934.”

Email from NASA Scientist Makiko Sato to James Hansen, August 14, 2007: “I am sure I had 1998 warmer at least once on my own temperature web page…” (Email includes temperature chart dated January 1, 2007.)

(This issue also crops up in email communications with New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin a little over a week later.)

According to the NASA email, NASA’s incorrect temperature readings resulted from a “flaw” in a computer program used to update annual temperature data.

Hansen, clearly frustrated by the attention paid to the NASA error, labeled McIntyre a “pest” and suggests those who disagree with his global warming theories “should be ready to crawl under a rock by now.” Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.”

“This email traffic ought to be embarrassing for NASA. Given the recent Climategate scandal, NASA has an obligation to be completely transparent with its handling of temperature data. Instead of insulting those who point out their mistakes, NASA scientists should engage the public in an open, professional and honest manner,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

Link to original article below…

Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura – Thankyou, Governor!

leave a comment »

Chuck Baldwin / Infowars – January 15, 2010

Former Navy SEAL, professional wrestler, and Minnesota governor, Jesse Ventura, recently launched a new television show on the truTV (formerly known as Court TV) cable channel. The first episode debuted on Wednesday, December 2, 2009. And the final episode of this season aired this past Wednesday, January 13, 2010.

According to press reports, 1.6 million viewers watched the premiere episode on December 2, which set a record for the network. I was one of those viewers. And I’ve seen each of this first season’s 7 episodes.

Predictably, mainstream critics have universally condemned the series. Linda Stasi of The Washington Times said the show is “Mindless, good fun and a hoot to watch aging action stars still taking action.” Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times said, “Whatever truth is out there, it’s filtered here through what is arranged more as an adventure series than a documentary.”

First of all, let me state up front that I typically disdain “reality” shows. The only ones that are any good are Les Stroud’s Survivorman and Bear Grylls’ Man vs. Wild (and I really enjoy both of those programs). The rest of the so-called “reality” shows are junk, as far as I’m concerned (okay, I did enjoy watching a few episodes of Ice Road Truckers).

Contrary to the rants of modern critics, however, Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory is not “reality” television or “mindless, good fun.” It is better investigative reporting than anything I’ve seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or FOX NEWS in a long, long time.

Here is the official web site for truTV’s Conspiracy Theory:

For the most part, the mainstream media have become lackeys and lap dogs for the established political order and the powerful potentates that control it. Yes, I’m saying it: we have a tightly controlled mainstream media in America today (especially at the national level). Reporters are told what to report (or more fittingly, what NOT to report) and how to report it; and any reporter or journalist who dares to step outside the box will quickly be unemployed. And for those of you journalists and reporters who are reading this right now, if you smirk at what I just said, why don’t you try it and see what happens? Anything that challenges the establishment’s order is totally off-limits. Every reporter and journalist working for the establishment media knows where the “third rail” is–and they avoid it at all costs. And the cost is TRUTH.

No wonder the critics hate Ventura’s show: here was the first season episode lineup (taken from its web site):

Link to entire article below…

Communist Cass Sunstein Attacks The Second Amendment

leave a comment »

Kurt Nimmo / Infowars – January 15, 2010

In a lecture at the University School of Law on October 27, 2007, Obama’s administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs emphatically stated that you do not have a right to own firearms. “It is striking and noteworthy,” said Cass Sunstein, “that well over two centuries since the founding, the Supreme Court has never suggested that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to have guns.”

It is said Sunstein is a constitutional scholar. And yet he fails to mention that opinions dealing with the Second Amendment come from almost every period in the Court’s history and almost all of them are consistent with the proposition that the Second Amendment is an individual right. See David B. Kopel, The Supreme Court’s Thirty-five Other Gun Cases: What the Supreme Court Has Said about the Second Amendment.

“My coming view is that the individual right to bear arms reflects the success of an extremely aggressive and resourceful social movement and has much less to do with good standard legal arguments than [it] appears,” Sunstein said elsewhere in the lecture (not included in the below clip). “My tentative suggestion is that the individual right to have guns as it’s being conceptualized now is best taken as a contemporary creation and a reflection of current fears — not a reading of civic-centered founding debates.”

“Mr. Sunstein’s overt hostility to the idea that the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms, including for purposes of self-defense, is not something that should be welcomed from somebody whose job might entail weighing in on the value of anti-gun regulations. It also makes his more recent assurances that he is a Second Amendment stalwart seem rather disingenuous, at the very least,” an editorial published by The Washington Times stated last September.

In July of 2009, Sunstein sent a letter to Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia assuring him that he strongly believes the Constitution protects an individual right to bear arms. “Your first question involved the Second Amendment. I strongly believe that the Second Amendment creates an individual right to possess and use guns for purposes of both hunting and self-defense. I agree with the Supreme Court’s decision in the Heller case, clearly recognizing the individual right to have guns for hunting and self-defense. If confirmed, I would respect the Second Amendment and the individual right that it recognizes.”

In response, Chambliss dropped his hold on the nomination of Sunstein to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In other words, Sunstein lied about the Second Amendment in order to fool Congress into accepting his nomination.

It’s too bad Chambliss didn’t see the above video before voting to confirm Sunstein. If he had, Sunstein would probably not be in the government now. He would not be threatening to close down the First and Second Amendments.

Lou Dobbs reports on concerns the Obama administration will attempt to outlaw firearm possession…

“The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that… it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.”
Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.

The Tonka Report Editor’s Note: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”Second Amendment: United States Constitution

Link to original article below…

Cass Sunstein, Obama’s Choice For Next Supreme Court Justice, Wants To Ban Guns And Free Speech In America

leave a comment »

Steve Watson / Prison Planet – January 15, 2010

Cass Sunstein, president Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the man who outlined a plan for the government to infiltrate “conspiracy groups” in order to undermine them, is in direct line for a promotion to Supreme Court Justice.

Sunstein, already in an advanced position of power in the White House as Regulatory czar, has already called for strict restrictions on gun ownership, an internet “Fairness Doctrine”, and an effective ban on free speech where dissenting opinions to those of the government are expressed.

Sustein’s name was on various shortlists to replace Justice David Souter last year following his retirement, and prior to the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor. Sunstein’s name was also touted for the Supreme Court before Obama even took office in November 2008.

His close personal relationship with Obama should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who values the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, particularly as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, now aged 75, is likely to take retirement soon following illness, and with Justice John Paul Stevens now aged 90.

Link to original article below…

Times Square’s FBI Billboard Mirrors “Running Man” Police State

leave a comment »

Paul Joseph Watson / Prison Planet – January 15, 2010

The FBI’s unveiling of a digital billboard in Times Square as part of an effort to enlist public help in finding suspects and displaying other “security messages” sounds like a hybrid of George Orwell’s 1984 and the wacky dictatorship portrayed in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man.

“The FBI’s most wanted will soon be staring at tourists in Times Square. The agency will unveil a digital billboard there Friday,” reports the Associated Press.

“It will air pictures of fugitives and missing persons. It also will publicize high-priority security messages. Besides criminals, it will draw attention to kidnap victims and missing children. The FBI hopes the public can help find them.”

What these “high priority security messages” will actually be remains unclear – perhaps the word OBEY in huge black letters on a white background? Or just more fearmongering about why you have to submit to those friendly NYPD officers searching your bags in the name of fighting Al-Qaeda? And in a few years – who knows? Report illegal gun owners? Report thought criminals?

Huge telescreens barking out messages from the government and turning the population into honorary Stasi members constantly on the lookout for criminals and terrorists –  where have we seen that before?

A more contemporary comparison can be drawn with the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie The Running Man, in which one of the opening scenes shows a giant TV in downtown Los Angeles encouraging citizens to turn in their own family members.

The opening text of The Running Man doesn’t sound too far away from the situation in 2010. Since the film is set in 2017, give it seven more years and we’ll probably get there.

“By 2017 the world economy has collapsed. Food, natural resources and oil are in short supply. A police state, divided into paramilitary zones, rules with an iron hand.”

“Television is controlled by the state….All art, music and communications are censored. No dissent is tolerated (Cass Sunstein’s free speech ban has been implemented) and yet a small resistance movement has managed to survive underground.”

9 minutes and 30 seconds into the film, the telescreen barks out: “Cadre kids – don’t forget – October is bonus recruitment month – earn a double bonus for reporting on a family member!”  Watch the clip.

Since the fact that increasing numbers of Americans becoming informants and turning in their own family members to earn cash is now being celebrated by the corporate media, how long will it be before the FBI billboards encourage the public to be on the lookout for disobedient slaves who refuse to take their microchip or turn in their firearms?

Link to original article below…