State Dept Announces $95K Grant to Teach Haitian Inmates How to Sew

State Dept Announces $95K Grant to Teach Haitian Inmates How to Sew

(CNS News) – The State Department did not have success finding a grant recipient last year, so it decided to again announce a $95,000 grant opportunity for a pilot program to train Haitian inmates in textile production and assembly so that they can sew uniforms for other inmates.

“The objective of the program is to provide training to inmates that will provide them with valuable skills for employment in textile production and assembly, which they will then use to create standardized uniforms for Haiti’s inmate population,” the grant announcement said.

“The grantee will need to work closely with the Haitian Department of Prison Administration (DAP) to hold trainings within DAP facilities, involve DAP personnel through a ‘train the trainer’ model, and coordinate details on inmates’ uniform production,” the announcement said.

“Having standardized uniforms is important for DAP, because corrections officers cannot differentiate between inmates and civilians. Differences in inmates’ street clothes can prompt discrimination in how they are treated by corrections officers, or can incite theft from other inmates,” the grant said.

The grant recipient “should aim to train at least 100 DAP inmates in textile production skills, and at least one DAP personnel in each participating prison.” The training is expected to be delivered to “at least four prison facilities in Haiti’s Ouest Department, including the Youth Offenders’ facility in Delmas 33 and the PetionVille Women’s facility.”

Applicants are expected to propose “key personnel and trainers who are fluent in French and/or Haitian Creole, and all course materials must be delivered in French and/or Haitian Creole (not through interpretation).”

Haiti’s prisons are severely overcrowded with the current prison population exceeding the intended capacity by 5,487 inmates. “Women, men, juveniles, and serious/petty offenders are not separated consistently across the system,” the grant announcement said.

Not only is the program an effort to alleviate “severe overcrowding and improve humane conditions” within Haiti’s prison system, but it is expected to provide inmates with skills they can use to re-enter society and reduce recidivism. Inmates can use these skills to “facilitate their entry into the job market.”

“Inmates targeted for participation should be convicted prisoners with remaining sentences between 2-5 years, with higher priority on those with less time remaining.”

The grant is being issued by the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. One grant is expected to be awarded with an award floor of $40,000 and an award ceiling of $95,000.

“The award may be extended up to two years based on INL’s program priorities, good performance on the award, and pending funding availability,” the State Department said. previously reported on the grant on July 16, 2013, but the grant was never awarded, according to a State Department spokesman, who told Tuesday that the grant opportunity posted on Feb. 3, 2014 is a continuation of the grant announced on June 3, 2013. Since that grant was never awarded, the grant opportunity was announced again.

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Snowden: The NSA is ‘setting fire to the future of the Internet’

Snowden: The NSA is ‘setting fire to the future of the Internet’

(Yahoo) – National Security Agency contractor-turned-leaker Edward Snowden told attendees at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas, on Monday that they are “firefighters” against mass surveillance.

“The NSA … they’re setting fire to the future of the Internet,” Snowden said. “The result has been an adversarial Internet.”

Snowden spoke via teleconference from Russia — where he was granted asylum from U.S. espionage charges — through seven proxies, organizers said. A green screen behind Snowden projected an image of the U.S. Constitution.

“It’s nothing we asked for,” Snowden said of the NSA’s surveillance. “It’s not something we wanted.”

Snowden dismissed U.S. lawmakers who say his leaks have threatened national security.

“These things are improving national security,” Snowden said. “We rely on the ability to trust our communications.”

People should be able to open emails without fear of spying, “whether they be journalists or activists,” Snowden said.

“We’ve actually had tremendous intelligence failures because we’ve been monitoring everybody’s communications rather than suspects,” Snowden said.

He said tips that could’ve alerted authorities to accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear bomber, were missed as a result.

“What did we get from bulk collections?” Snowden said. “We got nothing.”

Snowden also criticized U.S. intelligence officials like James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, for “cheering” the NSA rather than holding it accountable.
“We have an oversight that could work,” Snowden said. “The overseers aren’t interested in oversight.”

The session — billed as “A Virtual Conversation with Edward Snowden” — was moderated by Ben Wizner, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project and Snowden’s legal advisor.

“If he were here in the United States he would be in a solitary cell,” Wizner said.

Snowden’s appearance at SXSW comes two days after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gave a similar speech to the conference from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, where he has been living in asylum.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., wrote a letter calling on SXSW conference organizers to cancel Snowden’s appearance.

“I am deeply troubled to learn that you have invited Edward Snowden to address SXSW on privacy, surveillance, and online monitoring in the United States,” Pompeo wrote. “Certainly an organization of your caliber can attract experts on these topics with knowledge superior to a man who was hired as a systems administrator and whose only apparent qualification is his willingness to steal from his own government and then flee to that beacon of First Amendment freedoms, the Russia of Vladimir Putin.”

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Top 10 Idiotic Quotes to Justify ObamaCare Impact

 Top 10 Idiotic Quotes to Justify ObamaCare Impact

ObamaCare, ObamaCare, how shall we excuse you? Although the justifications and excuses for job and wage loss bound, we searched for some of the most idiotic excuses and pseudo-explanations to be found to date. The list of possibilities is almost infinite, but we found a fair representation, although the inclusion here reflects the author’s personal opinion and are listed in no particular order.

“At the beginning of this year, we noted that as part of this new day in health care, Americans would no longer be trapped in a job just to provide coverage for their families and would have the opportunity to pursue their dreams.” – White House spokesperson Jay Carney.
“So it’s not going to cost jobs. It’s going to shift how people make a living and reach their aspirations. … This was one of the goals. To give people life, a healthy life, liberty to pursue their happiness. And that liberty is to not be job-locked but to follow their passion.” – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“We have the CBO report, which rightfully says that people shouldn’t have job lock. If they — we live in a country where there should be free agency. People can do what they want.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev).
“In some cases these people might have two jobs right now … one of those jobs they’re no longer going to work. … these jobs will be filled. It’s not going to have an impact on our economy. We have people waiting to work.” – Senator Ben Cardin (D-Maryland)
“How many of you are single women with children, in a dead-end job? You’re there because of your health insurance. You would rather have the opportunity to spend the next couple of years with your child.” – Obummer, Jr. (Joe Biden, VP)
“It also allows people to take risks that further their careers and benefit the economy as a whole, like going part-time in order to go back to school, leaving a job in order to start a business, or moving to a better job, perhaps at an employer that does not offer coverage.” – Chairman, Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman.
“What the CBO really said is that people are going to have freedom and choice. Something — liberty — something we thought Republicans were for.” – Rep. Gwen Moore.
“What CBO said is that many American workers would have freedom. Now that’s a good word. Freedom to do things that they couldn’t do. The single mom who’s raising three kids has to keep the job because of health care can now spend some time raising those kids. That’s a family value.” – Senator Chuck Schumer (D-New York)
“What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is that we’re going to discourage kids having to have latchkeys. We’re going to have parents being able to come home, working reasonable hours; people are going to be able to retire. People might be able to actually cook dinner rather than have to order out and get some takeout.” – Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
“I find it really kind of ironic that back in 2007 when Sen. [John] McCain proposed a health plan, conservatives hailed it as a plan that would break job lock. … Well, the Affordable Care Act does end that job lock, that is not a bad thing, it’s a good thing.” – Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) in a statement made during a House Budget Committee Hearing.

My personal response?

“Are you on DRUGS?”

If liberty is your goal, how ’bout liberating people from paying their bills that this idiotic requirement prohibits?

Liberty? Get real.

People Are Signing Up For Health Insurance, They’re Just Not Paying For It

 People Are Signing Up For Health Insurance, They’re Just Not Paying For It

The headlines were alive today with a proclamation that ObamaCare is a raging success based on a new poll. That’s right, a poll, not actually hard numbers but a suggestive poll. In any case, this poll shows that the rate of uninsured people has gone down slightly. I’m not sure that classifies as a homerun, but one thing is for certain: most of the people that are signing up are not paying for it either because they are eligible for Medicaid or they simply refuse to send in a check.

Let’s start out in California. Covered California, the Golden State’s ObamaCare exchange, has been hailed as one of the few success stories in an otherwise miserable rollout. That success is based largely on the state extending Medicaid benefits, but at least the website kind of works. A new report says that California is nearing 1 million enrollees, but also points out that 15% of those haven’t bother to send in a check.

So around 150,000 people who have signed up for health care have not actually paid for it. And really, it’s the paying for it part that matters the most. Let’s assume that the California non-payment rate is fairly consistent across the entire nation you can drop the Obama administration’s figures of 3 million sign-ups to about 2.5 million. Again, this is not the health care coup the president would like us to think it is.

In the California study, the authors offered up some reasons why so many people haven’t paid for their health insurance coverage. First, they figured many looked at the inflated rates of their new policies and said, “ To hell with that. I’ll pay the $95 penalty.” Others may have backed away because the new plans didn’t allow them to see their own doctors.

Also, a huge problem with Covered California is that even the people trying to pay for their coverage can’t get confirmation from the insurers. The information is going in from the consumer side, but isn’t making it out the back to the insurance companies. So it is possible that many people who think they have insurance, including Medicaid, are not really covered after all. And it begs the question as to whether these people are included in the “success numbers” officials have been giving out.

Ignoring the non-payment aspect for a second, we still have the problem that most of the enrollees in ObamaCare are also non-payers. A majority of the people that have signed up did so because, due to expanded Medicaid, they now qualify for free health insurance. It would be like a car company giving away millions of cars and proclaiming that sales were through the roof.

The Affordable Care Act is a pyramid scheme that relies on healthy premium paying folks at the bottom, subsidizing sick and non-paying people at the top. Currently the bottom of the pyramid is virtually empty, pointing toward a collapse. The Obama administration already has $5.5 billion bailout ready for the insurance industry and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

ObamaCare can only be considered a success if healthy people sign up and send in premium checks. A slight decrease in the uninsured or inflated sign-up numbers are meaningless.

Taser Drone Capable of Unleashing 80,000 Volts Debuted at SXSW

Drone with 80 kilowatts of intense voltage waits for you to approve, detain or fire on visitors
March 10, 2014

An Austin-based tech firm took SXSW by surprise this past weekend when it unveiled what it believes is the future of security technology – an unmanned aerial vehicle capable of deploying taser nodes and dishing out 80,000 electrifying volts.

Billed as a “personal security” drone, Chaotic Moon Studios’ CUPID UAV, an acronym for Chaotic Unmanned Personal Intercept Drone, proved Friday it is more than ready to indiscriminately fire on human targets deemed “threats.”

In a live, taped demo, a group of hipster techies gather around a small production eager to see one of their peers rendered incapacitated.

The test run goes off without a hitch. A poor guinea pig volunteer turns to run from the drone only to collapse onto a collection of mats after being stung with 80 kilowatts of intense voltage.

“The drone can be deployed when an alarm is triggered,” Chaotic Moons Studios stated in a press release. “It can find a subject and send live video to the owners phone and ask if you want to authorize the subject or detain them. If you detain them, it drops into fully autonomous mode to detain them until police arrive. If need be stunning them with 80,000 volts of electricity to render them incapacitated.”

The drones will “shock the world,” Chaotic Moon cynically jests, but the joke may soon be on all of us if and when law enforcement and military agencies begin taking an interest.
Drone shocks man via taser nodes / Screen grab via

Drone shocks man via taser nodes / Screen grab via

Military drones around the world already have notorious reputations for circumscribing due process and extrajudicially murdering foreigners deemed “militant” threats, but we have also seen what happens when these drones make “mistakes.”

Last December, a US drone struck a Yemeni wedding party killing 17, five of whom were merely “suspected” of being affiliated with the Al Qaeda terror group.

And as the drone killings of suspected Al Qaeda affiliate Anwar Al-Alwaki and his 16-year-old Denver-born son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki illustrated, the US is more than willing to fire on American citizens.

For those who think a taser drone would be infinitely safer than one armed with a tomahawk cruise missile, consider there have been 547 taser-related deaths in the US since 2001, quite a few for something billed as “non-lethal.”

Chaotic Moon is also working on a drone with the ability to emit an EMP signal capable of knocking other pesky personal surveillance drones – such as those used by paparazzi – out of the sky, according to RT.

However, unlike the “emergency response” PETMAN, LS3 and Cheetah robots of DARPA lore, Chaotic Moon says it is a creative technology company that is absolutely not funded by the government.

“No definitely not. ha. you must have seen the drone,” they responded during a chat session on their site.

While the new CUPID drone sets a precedent as a novel security gadget, it is in reality merely a stepping stone to realizing a future of autonomous devices that will be able to independently seek out individuals, determine threat levels and mete out punishments accordingly – fully devoid of accountability.

This article was posted: Monday, March 10, 2014 at 1:23 pm

CBS Journalist Resigns After Being Pressured Over ‘Anti-Obama’ Reporting

CBS Journalist Resigns After Being Pressured Over ‘Anti-Obama’ Reporting

But don’t expect a Liz Wahl-style media circus

Paul Joseph Watson
March 10, 2014

CBS journalist Sharyl Attkisson resigned today after facing pressure over reports she filed that were deemed to be overly critical of President Obama, but don’t expect the mainstream media to create a circus around Attkisson’s resignation like they did that of RT host Liz Wahl.

“Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air,” reports Politico, noting that Attkisson’s work was characterized as “agenda-driven” because she was hard on the Obama administration.

In the world of American state media, there is no room for adversarial reporting. Despite the fact that it used to be the role of the fourth estate to speak truth to power, Attkisson’s apparent unwillingness to let White House talking points go unchallenged has cost her her job.

Attkisson’s work over the past five years has primarily focused on Obama scandals such as the Fast and Furious gunrunning controversy and the attack in Benghazi, but she did also skewer Republicans. A source close to Attkisson told Politico that she was frustrated as CBS’ lack of support for anti-Obama investigative reporting.

While RT’s Liz Wahl received global attention and a slew of mainstream media appearances after she quit the Russian network for similar reasons, don’t expect the corporate press to afford Attkisson anything like the same level of attention.

As is documented in the video below, Wahl’s resignation was a cynical pre-planned stunt that had little to do with Russia’s actions in Crimea and everything to do with Wahl putting herself in the shop window for a job with CNN.

However, it was exploited by the establishment media as a tool with which to bash RT, which is stealing a good chunk of audience share from the likes of CNN and MSNBC, which have both lost around 50% of their viewership in the last year alone – precisely because they employ so few hard-hitting journalists like Sharyl Attkisson.