Thursday, January 29, 2015

Canada' s Project Levitation: 'They' really ARE watching you...and you...and you

Canada's majority government is under attack for the data mining activities being secretly foisted on all of us.  From the CBC:

Project Levitation and your privacy: Politicians call for cybersurveillance oversight

Surveillance meant to protect homeland security may not protect Canadians' privacy rights

January 28, 2015

Canadian politicians called for heftier intelligence oversight Wednesday after a CBC News special investigation in collaboration with the U.S.-based publication The Intercept revealed Canada's cybersleuthing capabilities include a mass surveillance project dubbed "Levitation."

In the project, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Canada's electronic spy agency, sifts through millions of videos and documents downloaded online every day by people around the world.

Politicians reacted with arguments on varying degrees of oversight needed for projects like Levitation, to make sure Canadians' privacy is protected while also making sure Canada's homeland security is protected.

The CSE and Associate Minister of National Defence Julian Fantino argue these surveillance practices are in accordance with the law and sufficient oversight already exists.

Those defending CSE's intelligence practices say sufficient oversight is provided by Jean-Pierre Plouffe, who has been the Canadian government’s independent spy watchdog since 2013....

Much more here.

[Related: CSE's Levitation project: Expert says spy agencies 'drowning in data' and unable to follow leads  ]

THIS springs to mind:

Russia tests the skies over Britain - again

Remember Alec's column last week on the 'down-sizing' of the British Military?  Refresh your memory:I hate to say I told you so but... I bloody told you so!

Now comes news that the Russians are again (still?) exploring British vulnerabilities in the skies.  From Daily Mail:

Russian bombers in the skies over Bournemouth: RAF jets scramble to intercept intruders 

  • Typhoon jets flew alongside the long-range bombers over the Channel
  • Experts say Russians may have been probing weaknesses in UK defence
  • Bombers were in international airspace, but deviated from a standard route


British war planes were yesterday scrambled to intercept two Russian bombers capable of carrying nuclear missiles as they flew south of Bournemouth.

Typhoon jets on high alert were dispatched from two RAF bases and flew alongside the long-range Russian Bear aircraft until they were out of the region.

Last night experts said Vladimir Putin’s move to send planes capable of carrying cruise missiles so close to British shores could be seen as an act of aggression.

Off you go: A Russian Bear is escorted by an RAF jet during an alert in September. (File picture)

They said the manoeuvre in the English Channel could have been designed to ‘probe the RAF speed of reaction’ – raising fears that the Russians were looking for weaknesses in the British fighter force.

Within seconds of the bombers deviating from their usual flight path, the British quick reaction alert (QRA) jets were scrambled.

A defence source said the RAF always ‘maintains the highest level of readiness’, just as in the days of Battle of Britain.

The Typhoons were dispatched from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire. They were so close to the Russian planes – roughly 1,000ft away – that they could signal to the pilots....

There is more here.

Pay attention.  There WILL be more of these sorties - guaranteed.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hey Al Jazeera: How about "Islamist Terrorist Murderous Thugs"????

It seems Al Jazeera is instructing its reporters to not use the words Islamist Terrorists to describe the errrrrrr ....Islamist Terrorists wreaking murder and mayhem around the globe.

Take a look:

Al Jazeera adopts the White House stylebook
Jan. 28, 2015 - 4:18 -

Leaked e-mails show broadcaster banning use of  'terrorist'

Unless we ALL call these terrorists what they ARE, we will never defeat those sworn to destroy us.    Here we follow the Bratville Style Guide:  If it looks like a Terrorist, walks like a Terrorist, beheads like a Terrorist, it IS a Terrorist!  PERIOD.

GO watch :  Greg Gutfeld commentary   "Would this suggest a bit of bias on their part?"

Surprise! US border control bill vote delayed

As usual, politics continues to be the driving factor behind securing the US borders.

From Homeland Security NewsWire: 

House delays vote on “the toughest border security bill ever”

27 January 2015

The House was supposed to vote on Wednesday on what Republicans have called “the toughest border security bill ever,” but the bill encountered harsh criticism from different sides of the GOP caucus. Some complained the measure does not address the pressing issue of immigration reform, while others complained it was the first step on slippery slope toward such reform. The border security bill, Secure Our Borders First Act (H.R. 399), sponsored by House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), would impose harsh penalties for federal agencies that fail to meet certain requirements. One mandate aims for DHS to achieve “operational control,” or prevent illegal entry across the southern border, within five years. If DHS fails to achieve that objective, political appointees at the agency would be prohibited from traveling in government vehicles, receive reimbursement for nonessential travel, or receive pay increases or bonuses.

Republicans who tried to reach a consensus with Democrats on immigration in the previous Congress, said McCaul’s bill could help make the task more reachable this time around.

“I actually think this makes other pieces easier to vote for, if you’re comfortable that an adequate security piece is in place,” said Representative Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma). “I don’t think doing border security and stopping would be the appropriate thing to do when we know there are other areas where we can get some things done.” Cole admits that he is uncertain of how the border security bill fits in Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) larger immigration plan, but he believes discussions on the topic are occurring. “I think the speaker is very, very determined,” Cole said....

Business as usual: all politics all the time.  Meanwhile the borders are wide open.

Video: ISIS threat to behead Obama

From JihadWatch:

“Know, oh Obama, that will reach America. Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.” The always hopelessly idiotic Daily Mail twice calls this “biblical,” calling it a “biblical-sounding tirade” and “biblical-sounding threats.” In reality, it is a Qur’an-sounding tirade. But characterizing it as such would be “Islamophobic.”

“ISIS issues direct threat to Obama in new beheading video after Japanese hostage says jihadis will execute him and Jordanian airman within 24 hours unless jailed female terrorist is released,” by Damien Gayle and Simon Tomlinson, MailOnline, January 27, 2015 [...]

Islamic State militants threaten to cut off Barack Obama’s head and turn the U.S. into a Muslim province in the latest gruesome video to emerge from their self-styled caliphate.
‘Know, oh Obama, that will reach America,’ proclaims a black-clad militant. ‘Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.’...
More here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Auschwitz-Birkenau: "The world must know"

(source:  Jewish Virtual Library)

Today, from the BBC:

Auschwitz 70th anniversary: Survivors mark camp liberation

27 January 2015

About 300 Auschwitz survivors have gathered at the site of the former Nazi death camp to mark the 70th anniversary of its liberation.

The commemoration will be held at the site in southern Poland where 1.1 million people, the vast majority Jews, were killed between 1940 and 1945.

It is expected to be the last major anniversary event that survivors are able to attend in considerable numbers.

Heads of state and representatives from wartime Allies will also be present.

Events include the laying of a wreath, a church service, and the lighting of candles at a memorial in the former death camp of Birkenau, which was part of the Auschwitz complex.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Red Army of the Soviet Union on 27 January 1945. It opened as a museum in 1947....

The emphasis this year is on the survivors of the atrocities of the Holocaust.

One of those survivors is Angela Orosz, who was born in Auschwitiz.  From the CBC:

Angela Orosz, Auschwitz-born Montrealer, returns to Poland for liberation anniversary

One of the youngest Holocaust survivors, Orosz was an infant when Auschwitz was liberated

26 January 2015

Angela Orosz came into this world in one of the most horrific places imaginable.

As thousands of Jews around her were sent to the gas chambers, Orosz's mother hid her pregnancy for months from her Nazi captors.

On Dec. 21, 1944, Orosz was born in Auschwitz.

Within the month, Orosz and everyone else who had managed to cling to life in the desolate camp were liberated.

Seventy years later, Orosz — now a Montrealer — is returning to her birthplace to honour those who perished there, in an act of defiance against those who tried to erase her future.

A portrait shows Angela Orosz as a child. Her mother was sent to a Nazi concentration camp when she was two months pregnant, but managed to hide her pregnancy. (Submitted by Angela Orosz)

"My daughter said, 'We have to go there, and we have to show it that we are alive, we have [a] big family, and we have to show Hitler didn't achieve what he wanted.'"...
Film director Stephen Spielberg is in Poland and gave a short speech:

Spielberg, the Oscar-winning director of the 1993 Holocaust film “Schindler’s List,” was introduced by an 81-year-old survivor, Paula Lebovics, who praised him as “a man who has given us a voice in history.”

In a short speech, Spielberg spoke of how his own Jewish identity evolved, first as a boy learning to read numbers from the numbers tattooed on the arms of survivors, and as an adult when he filmed “Schindler’s List” in Krakow.

But he warned of “anti-Semites, radical extremists, and religious fanatics” who are again provoking hate crimes — a warning that comes after radical Islamists massacred Jews at a kosher supermarket earlier this month in Paris...
“These people … want to all over again strip you of your past, of your story and of your identity,” he told them. He stressed the importance of countering that hatred with education and preserving Auschwitz and other historical sites...

Preserving the memory of those dark days of history is even more important today, as the world again ignores atrocities against other innocents around the world. 
One of the survivors who determined to keep the stories alive is Yehuda Bacon.

Jewish Holocaust survivor Yehuda Bacon: three months after liberation, and now

1945: 'It was a miracle to leave Auschwitz'

Czech-born Yehuda Bacon was just 14 years old when he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in December 1943.

Six months later his father was killed in the gas chambers. His mother and sister, Hanna, were sent to another camp in Austria where they died two weeks before the war ended.

"I remember the day I left Auschwitz very well - January 18 1945.

The Russians were coming nearer and the Germans were emptying the camp, sending those who could work to other camps.

Only a couple of thousand prisoners were left and we knew we would be sent away but we didn't know where.

I had been there a whole year so I had good connections with prisoners who had important jobs like distributing clothes. Those prisoners had been told to get clothes ready for those who were leaving.


We were liberated on 5 May.

That morning the guards had abandoned the camp but they had poisoned the food before they left.

When we realised the guards had gone we rushed to the store room to look for food.

I tried to take a huge piece of margarine.


It was a miracle to leave Auschwitz. But that was the beginning of the so-called death march.


Trying to tell our story

After the war, I dedicated my life to being an artist - at first to describe what I saw, in a childish way.


I think I am somehow obliged because I survived to tell the story of the people who didn't survive but what happens to the story is beyond my control. I hope that maybe someone, some time, somewhere will learn something from it...

The Telegraph shares the survival story of Zigi Shipper.  GO. Read, learn and honour.

As we remember these victims, we also honor the survivors, soldiers, reporters, and others who bore witness to Nazi crimes and reflect on the challenges we face 70 years after liberation.


In the months prior to the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, an elderly French inmate urged Jewish prisoner Olga Lengyel to observe everything that transpired, telling her, “When the war is over the world must know about this. It must know the truth.” Auschwitz prisoner Seweryna Szmaglewska recalled yet another powerful impulse to speak out: the eyes of her expiring comrades, “the last testament of the dying.” Like Lengyel, she penned her memoirs in the years immediately following the war to give voice to those who could no longer speak.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, also understood the need to witness. In a cable to General George Marshall in Washington, he wrote about his experiences at the recently liberated Nazi camp of Ohrdruf:
The things I saw beggar description. . . . The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were . . . overpowering. . . . I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in [a] position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to “propaganda.”

The Museum has a whole archive library of videos by survivors.  Rene Slotkin is one who talks of his liberation:

Uploaded on Jan 6, 2015René Slotkin (né Guttmann) and his twin sister Irene Hizme (née Renate Guttmann) were born in Czechoslovakia in December 1937. During the Holocaust, they were deported with their mother from Prague to Theresienstadt before being sent to Auschwitz, where as twins they were subjected to medical experiments. René was liberated from a death march that had just left Auschwitz in January 1945, a little over a month after his seventh birthday.

Watch René Slotkin and Irene Hizme's joint oral history online:

As we remember those lost and those who survived the horrors of Man's inhumanity to man,  the efforts must continue to ensure that the world never forgets.

The World MUST know.

Related:  Holocaust survivors: Europe is forgetting about the whole thing

A Special Kind of Hate

This is Gavriella

The final return to hell: 70 years after they were liberated, Auschwitz survivors make last landmark pilgrimage to death camp where more than a million were murdered

Monday, January 26, 2015

Terrorism: US claims more than 6,000 ISIS killed

From Homeland Security News Wire:

U.S. officials: 6,000 ISIS fighters and “more than half” of the group’s leadership killed

23 January 2015

The U.S.-led airstrikes campaign has “taken more than half” of the Islamic State’s (ISIS) leadership, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones said. Jones said the airstrikes were having a “devastating” effect on ISIS. “We estimate that the airstrikes have now killed more than 6,000 ISIS fighters in Syria and Iraq,” Jones said. He added that the airstrikes have “destroyed more than a thousand of ISIS vehicles inside Iraq.”

The ambassador noted that the numbers were “not so important in themselves,” but that “they do show the degradation of ISIS.”

“They show ISIS inability to supply forces inside Iraq,” he said.

CNN reports that the estimate used by the ambassador was calculated by U.S. Central Command, according to a U.S. military official.

As is the case with any military command, CENTCOM has been keeping a running estimate of ISIS fighters killed, but has not made this estimate public.

The U.S. intelligence community estimates that ISIS forces total between 9,000 to 18,000 fighters, but that the Islamist group can also draw on thousands of other fighters whose loyalty to the group is not as intense, bringing the force it could muster to around 31,000 fighters...