Category Archives: Police state

Democrats resort to secret informants against President Trump & SCOTUS nominee Judge Kavanaugh

A characteristic feature of totalitarian one-party dictatorships is the party’s use of a powerful tool against citizens — informants. The identities of the informants are secret; nor can the information they provide be verified or disputed.

The Soviet Union, East Germany, Maoist China all made use of secret informants against not just political dissidents, but any and every one. After the Berlin Wall separating West from East Germany came down in 1989, bringing to an end the communist East German regime, officers of the regime’s formidable Stasi secret police tried to destroy their files. But the files were saved by ordinary East German citizens who stormed the Stasi offices in Erfurt to protect the documents.

Beginning in 1992, the Stasi documents were made available to the general public who finally could view the hitherto-secret files on themselves. They were shocked to discover that colleagues, friends and family members had been secret informants. In total, the Stasi’s network of informants numbered one in every 90 East German citizens.

In July, the editorial board of America’s supposed premier newspaper The New York Times openly called on Democrats to go to war against President Trump by deploying mafia “Godfather” tactics. Recent events show that using secret informants is one of the tactics.

On Sept. 5, 2018, the despicable New York Times published an op/ed by an anonymous author who claims to be a senior official inside the Trump administration but part of the anti-Trump “Resistance”. The author claims not to be the only one — that “many of the senior officials” in the administration “are working diligently from within to frustrate” the President’s “agenda and his worst inclinations” in order “to preserve our democratic institutions”.

If you haven’t already read the op/ed, you can read it on Information Clearing House instead of on the click-baiting NYT.

Speculations are rife as to the identify of the anonymous author of the op/ed, the most credible and compelling of which is by former Assistant Secretary of the Reagan administration’s Treasury Department Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. A day after the publication of the NYT op/ed, Dr. Roberts posted an article on his blog stating that:

I know who wrote the anonymous “senior Trump official” op-ed in the New York Times. The New York Times wrote it.

The op-ed is an obvious forgery. As a former senior official in a presidential administration, I can state with certainty that no senior official would express disagreement anonymously. Anonymous dissent has no credibility. Moreover, the dishonor of it undermines the character of the writer. A real dissenter would use his reputation and the status of his high position to lend weight to his dissent.

The New York Times’ claim to have vetted the writer also lacks credibility, as the New York Times has consistently printed extreme accusations against Trump and against Vladimir Putin without supplying a bit of evidence. The New York Times has consistently misrepresented unsubstantiated allegations as proven fact. There is no reason whatsoever to believe the New York Times about anything.

Nine days after the publication of the NYT op/ed, it appears that this latest attempt by Demonrats to bring down President Trump has fizzled. And so Demonrats have deployed the Stasi secret-informant weapon against a new target — Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh’s nomination had been scheduled for a vote yesterday morning in the Senate Judiciary Committee. At the last minute, however, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee whose personal driver of 20 years is a Chinese spy, threw a wrench in the schedule by forwarding an anonymously-written letter to the Justice Department which accuses Judge Kavanaugh of unspecified “sexual misconduct” with an unnamed woman when they were both high school students. Kavanaugh is 53 years old, which means the alleged sexual misconduct took place (if it did) at least 35 years ago.

Bob Fredericks reports for the New York Post, Sept. 13, 2018, that Feinstein  said the information came from a woman who wanted to remain anonymous, and declined to detail the letter’s contents — even to fellow Democrats.

Feinstein would only say this in a statement:

I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.

The information came in a letter that allegedly was first sent to the office of California Democratic Rep. Anna Eshoo, who allegedly passed it along to Feinstein during the summer. It is unclear why Feinstein waited until now to pass the letter to the Justice Department.

The anonymous woman making the claims is being represented by Debra Katz, a lawyer who works with #MeToo “survivors”. Joseph Abboud, a lawyer at Katz’s firm, said the firm declines to comment.

The White House issued a furious response, pointing the finger at Sen. Chuck Schumer in a statement:

Senator Schumer promised to ‘oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have,’ and it appears he is delivering with this 11th hour attempt to delay his confirmation.

Throughout 25 years of public service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has thoroughly and repeatedly vetted Judge Kavanaugh, dating back to 1993, for some of the most highly sensitive roles.

Kavanaugh attended Georgetown Preparatory School, an all-boys’ Jesuit high school in Maryland. It is not known what school the anonymous letter writer attended.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s office said the secret-informant letter would not throw a wrench into the confirmation process:

Sen Grassley is aware of Sen Feinstein’s referral. At this time, he has not seen the letter in question, and is respecting the request for confidentiality. There’s no plan to change the [committee’s] consideration of Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination.

UPDATE #1:

Daily Wire just reported that the FBI has declined to investigate Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over allegations sent to them by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Take that, Feinstein!

Update #2:

A day after Dianne “my driver is a Chinese spy” Feinstein forwarded the anonymously-authored letter to the Justice Dept., 65 women who went to high school with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have written a letter to Dianne Feinstein and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, testifying to Judge Kavanaugh’s character. From their collective letter (Townhall):

We are women who have known Brett Kavanaugh for more than 35 years and knew him while he attended high school between 1979 and 1983. For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect. We strongly believe it is important to convey this information to the Committee at this time,” the letter states. “Brett attended Georgetown Prep, an all-boys high school in Rockville, Maryland. He was an outstanding student and athlete with a wide circle of friends. Almost all of us attended all girls high schools in the area. We knew Brett well through social events, sports, church, and various other activities. Many of us have remained close friends with him and his family over the years.

Through the more than 35 years we have known him, Brett has stood out for his friendship, character, and integrity. In particular, he has always treated women with decency and respect. That was true when he was in high school, and it has remained true to this day,” the letter continues. “The signers of this letter hold a broad range of political views. Many of us are not lawyers, but we know Brett Kavanaugh as a person. And he has always been a good person.

H/t FOTM reader EddieBG

~Eowyn

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Chicago PD has a secret interrogation "black site"

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:33:25 +0000   eowyn2

black site is a location at which a publicly unacknowledged black (or highly classified military/defense) project is conducted.

The term has gained notoriety in recent years in reference to secret prisons operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), generally outside of U.S. territory and legal jurisdiction, which are used by the U.S. government in its War on Terror to detain alleged unlawful enemy combatants. The existence of CIA black sites or secret prisons was acknowledged by then-President George W. Bush in a speech on September 6, 2006.

Well, it turns out black sites are not just run by the CIA or outside of the United States, we have a black site right here in Chicago, Illinois, Obama’s hometown! But it took a foreign newspaper, the UK’s The Guardian, to discover that, not the august New York Times or Washington Post.

Chicago PD black site

Homan Square, the Chicago PD’s black site

On Feb. 24, 2015, The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman had an exclusive on the “equivalent of a CIA black site” operated by police in Chicago. Here are excerpts:

The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.

The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.

Alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:

  • Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
  • Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
  • Shackling for prolonged periods.
  • Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
  • Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.

At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead. […]

The secretive warehouse is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. While those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.

Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.

“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.

Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution. “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”

Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units. […]

A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s.

But in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody.

[…] Chicago police guidelines appear to ban the sorts of practices […] lawyers said occur at Homan Square. A directive titled “Processing Persons Under Department Control” instructs that “investigation or interrogation of an arrestee will not delay the booking process,” and arrestees must be allowed “a reasonable number of telephone calls” to attorneys swiftly “after their arrival at the first place of custody.” Another directive, “Arrestee and In-Custody Communications,” says police supervisors must “allow visitation by attorneys.”

[…] Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods. “I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.

[…] Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report.

Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations. 

The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said. “They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”

Writing for The Intercept, Feb. 26, 2015, Juan Thompson describes the experiences of two Chicago black site detainees.

Kory Wright

Kory Wright

Kory Wright, a Chicago resident and computer program analyst, claims that 9 years ago, he spent some 6 brutal hours at Homan Square, zip-tied to a bench in an intentionally overheated room without access to water, phone, or a restroom. He was never read his Miranda rights and his arrest was not put into the police system until after he gave false statements to try and end his ordeal.

Eventually, Wright was taken to Cook County jail, where he was processed and charged with distribution of heroin and cocaine. In the end, the drug charges against Wright were thrown out, though not before he’d spent six months under house arrest because his mother lacked the money to fund a bond for release.

Deandre Hutcherson, a friend of Wright’s swept up in the same police raid, described attacks to his face and genitals. Hutcherson was shackled to a bench and was being interrogated in another room. “He [a Chicago police officer] gets up, walking toward me,” Hutcherson alleges. “I already know what’s finna happen. I brace myself, and he hit me a little bit and then take his foot and stepped on my groin.” According to Hutcherson, the officer struck him two or three times in the face before kicking his penis. “You must think I’m a fucking idiot,” Hutcherson says his attacker told him. Within an hour, Hutcherson, who was in town for his mother’s funeral, faked an asthma attack that unnerved the police. He says they then released him from detention and sent him on his way.

The Chicago Police Department declined to address the specific allegations from Wright and his friend, providing only a general statement denying abuses at Homan Square. “CPD abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility,” the statement read. “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is not any different at Homan Square.”

Kory Wright was attending Wilbur Wright Community College, and taking criminal justice courses, when he was detained at Homan. He says he had hopes of becoming a police officer in the city of Chicago before that June day. His experience at Homan, and his subsequent arrest, caused him to miss a semester of school. Fortunately, Wright recovered, and today, at age 29, he is working on his master’s degree in network engineering at DePaul University. He lives in Bronzeville, a neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, and is the father of a new baby girl. But the torture he says he suffered at Homan continues to haunt him. “The whole thing caused a rift between me and my mom. I didn’t like being black at all after that, and when I got to DePaul, I started trying to be as white as possible,” a doleful Wright told me. “Being black is a curse.”

Note: Kory Wright is now a programming analyst at Aon Hewitt. Here is his LinkedIn page. Send him a note of encouragement!

H/t Activist Post

~Éowyn

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Homeland Security to compile database to track bloggers, journalists and other 'media influencers'

Amidst “concerns” regarding accuracy in media and the potential for “fake news” to influence elections and policy, the Trump Administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is compiling a database to track “media influencers,” including journalists, correspondents and bloggers.

On April 3, 2018, DHS posted a solicitation notice for a contractor to create a “Media Monitoring Services” database.
According to the DHS’s “Statement of Work” (RNBO-18-00041_SOW_-_Draft.docx), the chosen contracting company will perform the following “media monitoring” services:

  1. Monitor and track traditional news sources as well as social media for coverage relevant to Washington, DHS or a particular event, to include:
    • > 290,000 global news sources.
    • Online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, local sources, national/international outlets, traditional news sources, and social media.
    • > 100 languages, including Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
    • Translation function to instantly translate these articles to English.
  2. Analyze the media coverage in terms of content, volume, sentiment, geographical spread, top publications, media channels, reach, AVE, top posters, influencers, languages, momentum, circulation.
  3. Monitor the public activities of media members and influencers by “location, beat and influencers”.
  4. Create for users to access a 24/7 password-protected, online platform, mobile app, and media influencer database, including journalists, editors, correspondents, social media influencers, bloggers etc.

H/t Chicago Sun-Times and FOTM‘s Stovepipe
Here’s an email I just received from Steve Quayle:

They already have unbelievable algorithms, data bases and kill lists so advanced that they have a complete AI functioning termination list. There are 9 million people on it — gun owners, Constitutionists, Christians, home schoolers, conservative activists, etc. Look up the MIAC Report: Fusion Center MIAC Strategic Report

~Eowyn

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Dutch police confiscate clothing/jewelry from poor-looking young people

Caroline Mortimer reports for the UK Independent, Jan. 20, 2018, that police in Rotterdam have launched a new pilot program of confiscating expensive clothing and bling from young people if they look too poor to own them.
Rotterdam is a city of more than 633,000 in the Netherlands (aka Holland), and Europe’s largest port.
Especially targeted are young men in designer clothes. The idea is to deter criminality by sending a signal that young people cannot hang onto ill-gotten gains. If it is not clear how the person paid for it, it will be confiscated.
Rotterdam police chief Frank Paauw told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf:

“They are often young men who consider themselves untouchable. We’re going to undress them on the street. We regularly take a Rolex from a suspect. Clothes rarely. And that is especially a status symbol for young people. Some young people now walk with jackets of €1800 [US$2,248]. They do not have any income, so the question is how they get there.”

Paauw said the young men targeted often have no income and are already in debt from fines for previous convictions, and yet they wear expensive clothing, which “undermines the rule of law” and sends “a completely false signal to local residents.”
The pilot program is due to start in the Rotterdam West section of the city. Police say they will target one (unnamed) gang in particular. The confiscation of clothing and bling follows a previous pilot that targeted expensive cars driven by suspected criminals who had no income.

I wonder what Dutch police would do in cases of gangstas with diamond-studded teeth?
~Eowyn

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'Explosive' FISA memo: 'Top secret' source document details Obama NSA illegal spying/doxxing of U.S. citizens

Update: Full FISA Memo released!!!
On January 18, 2018, members of the House of Representatives were given a four-page memo, described by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)and journalist Sara Carter as so “shocking” and “explosive”, it could lead to the removal of senior officials in the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ), the end of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, and even people going to jail.

See “Tell Congress to release the ‘explosive’ FISA memo that’ll put officials in jail!

House members have been blocked from discussing the memo in detail due to a waiver they signed, according to The Hill. A day later, on January 19, 65 lawmakers signed a letter calling on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif) to publicly release the memo.
On January 20, Rep. Dave Joyce (R-Ohio) tweeted that the process to release the memo has begun, although it may take 19 or more Congressional work days.
On January 21, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said the memo should not be released because the American people simply can’t understand it because we don’t have the classified information that provides the background for the 4-page FISA memo.
Well, the American people’s inability to understand the FISA memo is no longer a concern for Demonrat Schiff because yesterday morning, a National Security Agency (NSA) whistle blower — former NSA tech head William Binneysent InfoWars a link to a 99-page document that’s been “confirmed” by “congressional sources” to be be “a primary source of information” for the 4-page FISA memo.
The classified (“top secret”) document is a 99-page “United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Memorandum Opinion and Order,” dated April 26, 2017. It is a blueprint of how the Obama administration and the Deep State had spied on President Trump, as well as on U.S. citizens.

Note: FISA or the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 is a federal law that establishes procedures for the U.S. government’s physical and electronic surveillance of foreign powers and domestic (U.S.) agents of foreign powers suspected of espionage or terrorism. The Act created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to oversee requests for surveillance warrants by federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

In 2016, the Obama Administration used the “Russian dossier” and its  baseless claim of a Russian-Trump collusion as the pretext for a FISA court-approved surveillance on then-candidate Donald Trump and members of the Trump campaign, including phone- and wire-taps. But as you will see in the 99-page FISC memorandum, the Obama Administration’s surveillance went way beyond Trump and his team to include innocent U.S. citizens, whose personal identities were doxxed and their personal information leaked.


Below is a summary of the main points in the 99-page FISC memorandum:

(1) The NSA, under the Obama Administration, spied on U.S. citizens through something called the “Section 702 upstream collection”:

As explained by Sean D. Carberry of FCW, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorizes the NSA to monitor internet traffic without a warrant and sweep up any communications that simply mention a foreign target, regardless of the sender or receiver of the email, who may be innocent U.S. citizens. That means the NSA has been spying on and intercepting U.S. citizens’ emails.
Page 33 of the 99-page FISC memorandum states:

Information acquired by FISA electronic surveillance and physical search, which often involve targets who are United States persons and typically are directed at persons in the United States.

(2) The NSA, under the Obama Administration, went beyond FISA’s Section 702 to “unmasking” (doxxing) and leaking information about Americans, including associates of Donald Trump:

All this is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits the government’s unreasonable searches and seizures and requires governmental searches and seizures to be conducted only upon issuance of a warrant, judicially sanctioned by probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.
Below are some relevant quotes from the 99-page FISC memorandum:

Page 15 – “…NSA analysts had used US-person identifiers to query the results on Internet ‘upstream’ collection, even though NSA’s Section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queries.”
Page 19 – “Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of US-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702. The Oct. 26, 2016 Notice informed the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.
Page 21 –The government still had not ascertained the full range of systems that might have been used to conduct improper US-person queries.

Here’s former NSA official William Binney on the FISC memorandum:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) must certify each year that the NSA is in compliance with Section 702 provisions.
In March 2017, some members of Congress threatened that they would have a hard time renewing Section 702 before its expiration at the end of 2017 unless the Trump Administration prosecutes those responsible for the leaks.
In a press release on April 28, 2017, the NSA described the changes it will make so that its Section 702 powers could be renewed:

  • The NSA said it would take steps “as soon as practicable” to delete data already collected in the illegal surveillance of U.S. citizens.
  • The NSA would halt “about” collection of U.S. citizens’ personal information. However, due to limitations of its current technology, the NSA “is unable to completely eliminate ‘about’ communications from its upstream 702 collection without also excluding some of the relevant communications directly ‘to or from’ its foreign intelligence targets.”
  • The NSA will still conduct “upstream” and “downstream” surveillance to collect emails sent to or from a foreign target located outside the U.S., for which the agency, under FISA’s Section 702, does not require a warrant.

In 2017, after an extensive review, the FISC approved changes made by the NSA “to fix the problems” before the government submitted a new application for the agency’s continued Section 702 certification.
Reactions from members of Congress (FCW):

  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has long accused the government of using Section 702 as an end run around warrant requirements to collect the communications of Americans, and he has been calling on the NSA to release data on the number of Americans who have had their communications “incidentally collected.” Wyden said after the NSA’s April press release: “This transparency should be commended. To permanently protect Americans’ rights, I intend to introduce legislation banning this kind of collection in the future.”
  • Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Ca.), a ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, called Section 702 a vital collection tool and commended the NSA for self-reporting the issues and discontinuing “about” collection. Schiff said: “I will continue to expect strict compliance with the FISA Court orders and will push for Section 702’s reauthorization along with any additional reforms needed to further strengthen and institutionalize protections for privacy and transparency.”
  • Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said: “This development represents the due diligence and extensive review applied across the United States Government pertaining to the Section 702 collection activities. I believe we can now look forward to Congress and, in particular, the Senate Intelligence Committee…quickly turning to the consideration and debate of this critical authority prior to its expiration set for December 31, 2017.”

Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander and Admiral Michael Rogers headed the National Security Agency under the Obama Administration. Rogers is still the NSA Director. Alexander, Rogers, NSA agents, and Barack Obama should be indicted and arrested for violating the Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.

Here’s what you can do:

(1) Tell the Department of Justice to arrest the above criminals:

  • Phones: 202-353-1555 (comment);  202-514-2000 (main switchboard)
  • Online form: https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice

(2) Tweet President Trump: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump
(3) Tell your Congress critter(s): http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
This is the message I wrote on the DOJ’s onine Contact Form (feel free to copy and paste as yours):

To Attorney General Jeff Sessions:
The 99-page April 2017 “U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Memorandum Opinion and Order” shows that the NSA’s spying and doxxing egregiously violated the Fourth Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. Why haven’t you arrest NSA Directors Michael Rogers and Keith Alexander, NSA agents who conducted the spying and doxxing, and former President Barack Obama? Are they above the law?

#ArrestNSA
#ArrestKeithAlexander
#ArrestMichaelRogers
#ArrestBarackObama

H/t John Molloy and FOTM‘s greenworxx

Update (Jan. 26, 2018):

Too-stupid-to-understand-FISA-memo Americans inundate Rep. Adam Schiff’s office with ‘I’m not a Russian bot’ phone calls
~Eowyn

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Roomba will sell interior map of your home to highest bidder


Roomba is the name for disc-shaped robotic vacuum cleaners sold by iRobot beginning in September 2002. The little robot is equipped with sensors enabling it to change direction upon encountering obstacles, and to sense steep drops to keep it from falling down stairs.
Founded in 1990, iRobot actually began building bomb disposal robots for the U.S. Army before launching the world’s first “robovac” in 2002. The company sold off its military unit last year to focus on making Roomba for consumers, which claims as much as 88% of the U.S. robovac market. (Reuters)
Roomba ranges in price from $375 to the $899 WiFi-connected model 980.
To maximize efficiency, Roomba models manufactured in the last couple of years are equipped with mapping technology that measures — and stores — the dimensions of a room as well as distances between sofas, tables, lamps and other home furnishings. Now, iRobot plans to sell that data to smart home device manufacturers, turning the cute robot vacuum into a little spy.

Rhett Jones reports for Gizmodo, July 24, 2017:

“While it may seem like the information that a Roomba could gather is minimal, there’s a lot to be gleaned from the maps it’s constantly updating. It knows the floor plan of your home, the basic shape of everything on your floor, what areas require the most maintenance, and how often you require cleaning cycles, along with many other data points. And, according to Reuters, that data is the future of its business strategy:
“There’s an entire ecosystem of things and services that the smart home can deliver once you have a rich map of the home that the user has allowed to be shared,” said [iRobot CEO Colin] Angle. […]

Angle told Reuters that iRobot, which made Roomba compatible with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant in March, could reach a deal to sell its maps to one or more of the Big Three in the next couple of years.
If a company like Amazon, for example, wanted to improve its Echo smart speaker, the Roomba’s mapping info could certainly help out. Spatial mapping could improve audio performance by taking advantage of the room’s acoustics. Do you have a large room that’s practically empty? Targeted furniture ads might be quite effective. The laser and camera sensors would paint a nice portrait for lighting needs that would factor into smart lights that adjust in real time. Smart AC units could better control airflow. And additional sensors added in the future would gather even more data from this live-in double agent.
And while Amazon seems like an obvious buyer—the kind that would pay huge money to shut out its competitors—don’t forget that Apple has its Siri speaker coming and it has a lot of catching up to do. The kind of data that iRobot is offering would give any developer a huge opportunity to fine tune the experience.
Maybe that doesn’t unnerve you, but it probably should. This is all part of the larger quest for a few major companies to hoover up every bit of data about you that they can. Now, they want to know all about your living space. Going through the iRobot terms of service, you can see just how much data is already being collected on a daily basis just by clicking like on a Facebook page or visiting a corporate website. And that data will likely be just as insecure tomorrow as it is today.
The question for iRobot and other manufacturers who are working with robovacs that use mapping is: Will users reject their product in favor of cheaper devices that offer more privacy? Angle doesn’t think that will be a problem. He tells Reuters that user data won’t be sold without permission and he thinks most people will want to take advantage of the greater functionality.
The iRobot Home app does clearly inform users that they are capable of turning off the cloud sharing functions on their Roomba. But the actual terms of service document is written in typically convoluted legal language. The privacy policy frames most data collection as something that will just make your device better and improve overall user experience. A section of the policy on sharing personal information with third parties bullet points out the situations in which iRobot could share this data.
At a glance it might seem like there’s only a narrow set of circumstances for third parties to get ahold of your info, but in reality, these guidelines give the company tons of freedom. It can share your data internally, with subsidiaries, third party vendors, and the government upon request. While a section about sharing data with third parties for marketing purposes specifies that the user must give consent, there’s this separate bullet point below that:
[We may share your personal information with] other parties in connection with any company transaction, such as a merger, sale of all or a portion of company assets or shares, reorganization, financing, change of control or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by another company or third party or in the event of bankruptcy or related or similar proceeding.
Depending on a court’s interpretation of that language, it would appear that your consent isn’t necessarily required if iRobot wanted to sell its user data in bulk to Apple. That doesn’t mean it would go forward with such a transaction without notifying users first.
Dyson, a high-end Roomba competitor, does a better job of giving users a quick breakdown of what’s in its privacy policy. But the particulars aren’t all that different than what iRobot sets out in its agreement. Dyson does promise to never “sell your personal information to anyone and only share it as outlined in this privacy policy or when you ask us to.” Of course, there’s still some wiggle room in there and Dyson also has agreements to interact with third party devices like the Amazon Echo.
[…] People will likely click “agree” to whatever terms are put in front of them. Hell, I never considered buying a Roomba until I started writing this article and thought about how much neater my apartment would be if I had one. Convenience trumps privacy every time. Just remember that the Roomba knows what room your child is in, it’s the one where it bumps into all the toys on the floor.

See also:

~Eowyn

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British government wants to outlaw knives

Britain already has gun control.
Now, the government wants knife control as well.
Tom Newton Dunn reports for The Sun that on July 17, 2017, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd proposed a complete ban on “street weapons” that “glamorize violence,” making possession of them illegal everywhere, whether in public or at home, and putting them on the same legal footing as unlicensed firearms.

The street weapons to be banned include:

  • zombie knives
  • butterfly knives
  • knuckledusters
  • sword sticks
  • blowpipes
  • a range of martial arts weapons such as deathstars and handclaws

Only people having the weapons for bonafied ceremonial or religious reasons — whatever that means — will be exempt from the ban.
Amber Rudd, 53, a member of UK’s Conservative Party, also wants to:

  • Make it compulsory to buy all knives in person rather than via mail or online order, so as to keep them out of children’s hands.
  • Make it an offense to deliver knives to private property.


In a statement for The Sun, Rudd writes:

“Violence such as knife crime has a devastating effect on families, communities and society.
Yet we are seeing knife attacks and the harm and suffering they cause all too often.
Things need to change and today I am setting out further action to help make sure they do.
Those who carry out such horrific attacks must know they face the full weight of the law.
Since I joined the Home Office I have banned zombie knives. I have also worked with major retailers to stop un­derage knife sales.
And last October police forces took part in a week of action to tackle knife crime under Operation Sceptre. This week hundreds of officers will be involved in the operation’s latest wave.
I am launching proposals to make it illegal for knives sold online to be delivered to a private address. Retailers would deliver to a shop or lo­cation where the customer’s age can be checked.
We are also looking to make it illegal to possess a dangerous weapon in the home. Together we can stop a crime that has become a scourge on society and break the vicious cycle of violence.”

The proposals come after police had called for more powers to tackle spiralling incidences on knife crime, despite earlier crackdowns such as longer jail terms. More than 32,000 knife offenses took place last year in Britain – a 14% increase from 2015.
Will Secretary Rudd propose a ban on pencils if criminals commit violence with pencils?
H/t GiGi
~Eowyn

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Threat to free speech: Unconstitutional S720/HR1697 will make it a felony to support anti-Israel boycott

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1791, states:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
The criminalization of political speech and activism against Israel has become one of the gravest threats to free speech in the West:

  • In France, activists have been arrested and prosecuted for wearing T-shirts advocating a boycott of Israel.
  • The U.K. has also enacted a series of measures designed to outlaw such activism.
  • In the U.S., state governors have implemented regulations barring businesses from participating in any boycotts of Israeli settlements in Palestine. On college campuses, punishment of pro-Palestinian students for expressing criticisms of Israel is so commonplace that the Center for Constitutional Rights refers to it as “the Palestine Exception” to free speech.

Now there are two companion bills in Congress which will criminalize free speech by making it a felony to support any boycott of Israel, in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment that members of Congress have sworn to protect.
The bills are S.720 and its companion in the House, H.R. 1697, with an identical name, the Israel Anti-Boycott Act.
Here’s the text of S 720:

Israel Anti-Boycott Act
This bill declares that Congress: (1) opposes the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution of March 24, 2016, which urges countries to pressure companies to divest from, or break contracts with, Israel; and (2) encourages full implementation of the United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 through enhanced, governmentwide, coordinated U.S.-Israel scientific and technological cooperation in civilian areas.
The bill amends the Export Administration Act of 1979 to declare that it shall be U.S. policy to oppose:

  • requests by foreign countries to impose restrictive practices or boycotts against other countries friendly to the United States or against U.S. persons; and
  • restrictive trade practices or boycotts fostered or imposed by an international governmental organization, or requests to impose such practices or boycotts, against Israel.

The bill prohibits U.S. persons engaged in interstate or foreign commerce from:

  • requesting the imposition of any boycott by a foreign country against a country which is friendly to the United States; or
  • supporting any boycott fostered or imposed by an international organization, or requesting imposition of any such boycott, against Israel.

The bill amends the Export-Import Bank Act of 1945 to include as a reason for the Export-Import Bank to deny credit applications for the export of goods and services between the United States and foreign countries, opposition to policies and actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with citizens or residents of Israel, entities organized under the laws of Israel, or the Government of Israel.

S 720’s companion bill, HR 1697, is much longer. It explains that:

“For a half century, Congress has combated anti-Israel boycotts and other discriminatory activity under the Export Administration Act of 1979.”

HR 1697 also specifies the punishment for violating the Israel Anti-Boycott Act: a minimum civil penalty of $250,000, and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison:

Whoever knowingly violates or conspires to or attempts to violate any provision of section 8(a) [of the Export Administration act of 1979] or any regulation, order, or license issued thereunder shall be fined in accordance with section 206 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1705).”

And what are those penalties? From 50 U.S.C. 1705:

“(b) Civil penalty

A civil penalty may be imposed on any person who commits an unlawful act described in subsection (a) in an amount not to exceed the greater of- (1) $250,000; or (2) an amount that is twice the amount of the transaction that is the basis of the violation with respect to which the penalty is imposed.

(c) Criminal penalty

A person who willfully commits, willfully attempts to commit, or willfully conspires to commit, or aids or abets in the commission of, an unlawful act described in subsection (a) shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.”

Both bills have widespread bipartisan support:
(1) S 720 was introduced by Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) and has 45 co-sponsors:

  • 31 Republicans: John Boozman (AR), Richard Burr (NC), Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Bill Cassidy (LA), Susan Collins (ME), John Cornyn (TX), Tom Cotton (AR), Mike Crapo (IA), Ted Cruz (TX), Deb Fischer (NE), Lindsey Graham (SC), Chuck Grassley (IA), Orrin Hatch (UT), Dean Heller (NV), John Hoeven (ND), Johnny Isakson (GA), James Lankford (OK), Jerry Moran (KS), David Perdue (GA), Rob Portman (OH), Pat Roberts (KS), Marco Rubio (FL), Ben Sasse (NE), Tim Scott (SC), Luther Strange (AL), Dan Sullivan (AR), John Thune (SD), Thom Tillis (NC), Roger Wicker (MS), Todd Young (IN).
  • 14 Democrats: Michael Bennet (CO), Richard Blementhal (CT), Maria Cantwell (WA), Christopher Coons (DE), Joe Donnelly (IN), Joni Ernst (IA), Kristen Gillibrand (NY), Margaret Wood Hassan (NH), Joe Manchin (WV), Claire McCaskill (MO), Robert Menendez (NJ), Bill Nelson (FL), Gary Peters (MI), Charles Schumer (NY), Ron Wyden (OR).

(2) HR1697 was introduced by Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and has 240 co-sponsors:

  • 177 Republicans
  • 63 Democrats

S 720 was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on March 23, 2017. Its companion bill, HR 1697, was referred to the House Financial Services Committee also on March 23, 2017.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports on July 20, 2017, that HR 1697/S 720 “was drafted with the assistance of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee” (AIPAC). Indeed, AIPAC’s 2017 lobbying agenda identifies passage of this bill as one of its top lobbying priorities for the year.
The two bills that will make it a felony if you support any boycott of Israel also have the support of the thoroughly-cucked Christians United for Israel.
Did you know that, according to a list compiled in 2012, there are 41 members of Congress (29 in the House; 12 in the Senate) who have dual US-Israeli citizenship, which means they have dual loyalties?

The above list is dated in that Barney Frank, Henry Waxman and Anthony Weiner are no longer representatives.
Sen. Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), 73, who introduced S720 and whose grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, is on the above list. The family name was originally Kardonsky.
In 2015, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL), 55, who introduced HR 1697, wrote a letter to the New York Times condemning the paper for a graphic on members of Congress opposed to Obama’s Iran nuclear agreement, which initially identified Jewish lawmakers with a bold yellow highlight. Roskam, who opposed the nuclear deal, called the graphic “anti-Semitic” and that it “feeds the canard of dual loyalty that legitimizes prejudice toward Jews worldwide.”
What is needed is an updated list. Alas, as L. Michael Hager — co-founder and former director general of the International Development Law Organization, Rome — discovered, it is extremely difficult to identify members of Congress who hold dual citizenship and to ascertain the second nationality of those members.
In October 2014, Hagen filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Congressional Research Service (CRS) for the names of members of Congress with dual citizenship. In January 2015, he finally got a non-answer in a telephone call from a legal officer of the Library of Congress. After reminding Hagen that Congress and the CRS by extension are exempt from FOIA requests, the officer said CRS does not collect dual citizenship data.
Hagen writes:

“That’s bad news for those of us who believe that citizens should know if their representatives in Congress (and senior government officials and judges, for that matter) owe allegiance to any other nation….
Without transparency on dual citizenship, Americans remain in the dark, free to speculate on which representatives may have divided loyalties…. The lack of transparency is dangerous, for it erodes trust in government, creating credibility doubts where there should be none and allowing some conflicts to continue undetected, without question or debate.
Thus the first requirement is transparency. We need a government agency (presumably the CRS) or a non-governmental organization to disclose the names and non-U.S. national affiliations of Members of Congress and senior government officials and to track and report on this issue.
Secondly, we need more media attention to the subject of dual citizenship….
Beyond the threshold issue of transparency are equally important questions of whether a dual citizen elected to Congress or appointed to a senior USG position should be required to renounce his or her citizenship in the second nation. Even if American law continues to allow the government service of dual citizens, should it not require such persons at least to recuse themselves from participating in decisions or policy debates that relate to their second nationality?….
Conflicts of interest and apparent conflicts by public officials erode trust in government. Allowing dual citizenship in Congress (and in the Executive and Judicial Branches) to flourish under cover of non-disclosure puts our democracy at risk.
It’s time to bring this issue into open debate.”

To their credit, both the ACLU and MoveOn.org oppose S720/HR1697. In a letter urging senators to oppose the bill, the ACLU’s national political director Faiz Shakir wrote:

“We take no position for or against the effort to boycott Israel or any foreign country, for that matter. However, we do assert that the government cannot, consistent with the First Amendment, punish U.S. persons based solely on their expressed political beliefs.”

See also:

~Eowyn

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Democrat bill in Congress, HR 1987, to remove President Trump for 'mental incompetence'

Ever since Donald Trump was inaugurated President, Democrats have agitated and schemed for his removal, via either impeachment or the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states:

“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.”

On Feb. 18, 2017, writing in the New York Times less than a month after Trump’s inauguration, Nicholas Kristof ruled out impeachment because “it’s hard to imagine a majority of the House voting to impeach, and even less conceivable that two-thirds of the Senate would vote to convict so that Trump would be removed. Moreover, impeachment and trial in the Senate would drag on for months, paralyzing America and leaving Trump in office with his finger on the nuclear trigger.”
So Kristof turned to the 25th Amendment as a more likely method:

“But the cleanest and quickest way to remove a president involves Section 4 of the 25th Amendment and has never been attempted. It provides that the cabinet can, by a simple majority vote, strip the president of his powers and immediately hand power to the vice president. The catch is that the ousted president can object, and in that case Congress must approve the ouster by a two-thirds vote in each chamber, or the president regains office.
The 25th Amendment route is to be used when a president is ‘unable’ to carry out his duties. I asked Laurence Tribe, the Harvard professor of constitutional law, whether that could mean not just physical incapacity, but also mental instability. Or, say, the taint of having secretly colluded with Russia to steal an election?
Tribe said that he believed Section 4 could be used in such a situation.”

Kristof concludes:

“And what does it say about a presidency that, just one month into it, we’re already discussing whether it can be ended early?”

Kristof should have defined and qualified what he meant by “we” because his observation really is about his fellow Demonrats and himself. If he were honest, he would phrase his question as follows:

“And what does it say about Democrats and me that, just one month into a duly-elected presidency, we’re already issuing death threats and discussing whether it can be ended early?”

The Democrats have moved beyond mere talk to actual action in Congress.

On April 6, 2017, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) introduced a bill, HR 1987: Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity Act, the objective of which is to form a special commission in the House which will be charged with activating Section 4 of the 25th Amendment against President Trump.

Note: Democrat Jaime Raskin, 54, “was born in Washington, D.C. on December 13, 1962 to a Jewish family”. A law professor at American University who teaches constitutional law, Raskin is a former Maryland state senator who became Maryland’s 8th congressional district’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives in January 2017. Raskin’s first action as a Congressman was his objection, with several other members of House of Representatives, to certifying the election of Donald Trump as President because of Russian interference in the election, never mind the fact that to this day, neither the Democrats nor the FBI could actually produce evidence of Russia’s interference. Vice President Joseph Biden ruled the objection out of order because it had to be sponsored by at least one member of each chamber, and there was no Senate sponsor. (Wikipedia)

HR 1987 is co-sponsored by 21 representatives — all Democrats. They are, in alphabetical order:

  • Earl Blumenauer (OR)
  • Anthony Brown (MD)
  • Judy Chu (CA)
  • David Cicilline (RI)
  • Steve Cohen (TN)
  • John Conyers (MI)
  • Lloyd Doggett (TX)
  • Dwight Evans (PA)
  • Raul Grijalva (AZ)
  • Luis Gutierrez (IL)
  • Pramila Jayapal (WA)
  • Henry “Hank” Johnson (GA)
  • Barbara Lee (CA)
  • Sheila Jackson Lee (TX)
  • Zoe Lofgren (CA)
  • James McGovern (MA)
  • Jerrold Nadler (NY)
  • Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)
  • Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)
  • Darren Soto (FL)
  • Mark Takano (CA)

On May 1, 2017, HR 1987 was referred to the House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice.
This is what HR 1987 says:

To establish the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, and for other purposes…. The Commission shall serve as the body provided by law by Congress to carry out section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Section 3 of HR 1987 says that the duty of the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity is twofold:

(a) In general.—If directed by Congress pursuant to section 5, the Commission shall carry out a medical examination of the President to determine whether the President is mentally or physically unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office, as described under subsection (b).

(b) Determination.—The determination under subsection (a) shall be made if the Commission finds that the President is temporarily or permanently impaired by physical illness or disability, mental illness, mental deficiency, or alcohol or drug use to the extent that the person lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to execute the powers and duties of the office of President.

The Commission will be composed of 11 members:

  • The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, the House Speaker and Minority Leader each appoints two members, both of whom shall be physicians, with one of the two a psychiatrist M.D.
  • The Republican Party and the Democratic Party each selects a member, who shall be a former statesman, like a retired president or vice president.
  • The final group of 10 would meet and choose an 11th member, who would be the committee’s chairman.

Within 72 hours after conducting an examination of the President, “the Commission shall submit a report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate describing the findings and conclusions of the examination.”
HR 1987 ends with an Orwellian clincher. Sec. 6(a) says:

Any refusal by the President to undergo such examination shall be taken into consideration by the Commission in reaching a conclusion in the report….

Reporting for the Daily Mail on June 30, 2017, David Martosko points out that although HR 1987:

“has predictably failed to attract any Republicans . . . the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment does allow for a majority of the president’s cabinet, or ‘such other body as Congress may by law provide,’ to decide if an Oval Office occupant is unable to carry out his duties – and then to put it to a full congressional vote. Vice President Mike Pence would also have to agree, which could slow down the process – or speed it up if he wanted the levers of power for himself. […]

Raskin’s plan could have a fatal flaw, however: Legal scholars tend to agree that when the Constitution’s framers first provided for the replacement of a president with an ‘inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the Office,’ they weren’t talking about mere eccentricities. And when the 25th Amendment was sent to the states for ratification in 1965, the Senate agreed that ‘inability’ meant that a president was ‘unable to make or communicate his decisions’ and suffered from a ‘mental debility’ rendering him ‘unable or unwilling to make any rational decision.‘ […]

Raskin has made no bones about the fact that his intentions are specific to President Trump. ‘Trump’s mental incapacity is no laughing matter,’ he tweeted last month. ‘#25thAmendment gives us a way to deal with this problem.’ Raskin summed up his reasoning for Yahoo News on Friday: ‘In case of emergency, break glass.’ ‘I assume every human being is allowed one or two errant and seemingly deranged tweets,’ he said. ‘The question is whether you have a sustained pattern of behavior that indicates something is seriously wrong.'”

President Trump shows no signs of being insane. But if Democrats have their way, the Oversight Committee on Presidential Capacity will declare him mentally incompetent and replace him with a more palatable and malleable President Pence.
The Soviet Union — and China today — used to do that. The Communist Party would declare perfectly sane political dissidents as insane and imprison them in mental hospitals.
That is what America’s Democrats want to do with President Trump — and with you and me.
~Eowyn

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Do you find this cool or creepy?

Below is a Google Earth video:


I don’t know about you, but I find it really creepy that Google Earth can actually take pics of individuals, like the woman “Louise” lying on a lawn at the beginning of the video.
Imagine a government using Google Earth for surveillance of citizens.
~Eowyn

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