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Submission + - IRS doesn't tell 1 million taxpayers that illegal immigrants stole their SSNs (washingtontimes.com)

schwit1 writes: The IRS has discovered more than 1 million Americans whose Social Security numbers were stolen by illegal immigrants, but officials never bothered to tell the taxpayers themselves, the agency’s inspector general said in a withering new report released Tuesday.

Investigators first alerted the IRS to the problem five years ago, but it’s still not fixed, the inspector general said, and a pilot program meant to test a solution was canceled, and fell woefully short anyway.

As a result most taxpayers don’t learn that their identities have been stolen and their Social Security files may be screwed up.

“Taxpayers identified as victims of employment-related identity theft are not notified,” the inspector general said.

And we should put the federal government in charge of healthcare?

Submission + - DHS eyes special declaration to take charge of elections (washingtonexaminer.com)

schwit1 writes: Even before the FBI identified new cyber attacks on two separate state election boards, the Department of Homeland Security began considering declaring the election a "critical infrastructure," giving it the same control over security it has over Wall Street and and the electric power grid.

"Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything." Stalin

Submission + - Weaponizing Disinformation (nytimes.com)

XXongo writes: With a vigorous national debate underway on whether Sweden should enter a military partnership with NATO, officials in Stockholm suddenly encountered an unsettling problem: a flood of distorted and outright false information on social media, confusing public perceptions of the issue. As the defense minister, Peter Hultqvist, traveled the country to promote the pact in speeches and town hall meetings, he was repeatedly grilled about the bogus stories.
The planting of false stories is nothing new; the Soviet Union devoted considerable resources to that during the ideological battles of the Cold War. Now, though, disinformation is regarded as an important aspect of Russian military doctrine, and it is being directed at political debates in target countries with far greater sophistication and volume than in the past, using everything from paid internet trolls to faked documents to dubious news stories planted in conventional media.
The fundamental purpose of dezinformatsiya, or Russian disinformation, experts said, is to undermine the official version of events — even the very idea that there is a true version of events — and foster a kind of policy paralysis.

Submission + - Michigan court rules against civil forfeiture

schwit1 writes: The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled that civil forfeiture denies citizens their due process rights under the Constitution. As the court wrote:

“Because of her indigency and inability to pay the required bond, [Kinnon] was excluded ‘from the only forum effectively empowered to settle [her] dispute.’ Ultimately, Michigan’s civil asset forfeiture scheme operated to deprive [Kinnon] of a significant property interest without according her the opportunity for a hearing, contrary to the requirements of the Due Process Clause.”

This shouldn’t be rocket science, as the language and intent of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution is quite plain.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

The problem today is that this has become rocket science. Too many people either don’t know this plain language, or work dishonestly to distort it to empower government to oppress us.

Submission + - State: Benghazi emails involving Clinton recovered by FBI (ap.org)

An anonymous reader writes: With Hillary Clinton continuing her run of days without a press conference, the nation is growing increasingly concerned as day after day more headlines — from even the mainstream media — cast shadows over her actions as Secretary of State. With more records reported to be released tomorrow, AP reports another nail in the coffin of Clinton honesty today as The State Department is forced to admit that The FBI has discovered dozens of emails related to Benghazi that Clinton failed to hand over.

One can't help but agree with Colin Kaepernick's assessment of Hillary Clinton...

We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally...That doesn't make sense to me because if that was any other person you'd be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?

Good question Colin.

Submission + - New and very distance outer solar system objects beyond Neptune

schwit1 writes: Astronomers have discovered several new objects orbiting the Sun at extremely great distances beyond the orbit of Neptune.

The most interesting new discovery is 2014 FE72:

2014 FE72, is the first distant Oort Cloud object found with an orbit entirely beyond Neptune. It has an orbit that takes the object so far away from the Sun (some 3000 times farther than Earth) that it is likely being influenced by forces of gravity from beyond our Solar System such as other stars and the galactic tide. It is the first object observed at such a large distance.

This research is being done as part of an effort to discover a very large planet, possibly as much as 15 times the mass of Earth, that the scientists have proposed that exists out there.

Submission + - SPAM: Québec politician vows to nationalize internet

Pig Hogger writes: Québec (Canada) official opposition Parti-Québécois leadership candidate Martine Ouellet says that she would nationalize ISPs if they fail to be able to deliver consistent high-speed (in the gigabit range) for an affordable price.
It is, however, doubtful that they would be able to achieve this, because in Canada, telecommunications are solely regulated by the federal government.
But, nevertheless, it’s a good acknowledgement that Internet is being recognized as a necessity.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lightning blamed for deaths of 300 reindeer (nationalgeographic.com)

mi writes: More than 300 wild reindeer were recently killed by lightning at a Norwegian national park, officials say.

The Norwegian Environment Agency has released haunting images of reindeer — including women and children — that seemingly fell over where they stood in the grasses of Hardangervidda, the largest high mountain plateau in northern Europe.

Submission + - CNN removes "Crooked" from Trump's tweet about Hillary (breitbart.com)

mi writes: Whether or not you share Mister Trump's opinion on Senator Clinton's corruption, you probably agree, that, when a news organization purports to quote someone, the quote sall be unaltered. Even when the change is simply to improve grammar, journalism rules advise against it...

Well, on Sunday CNN published Trump's challenge to "Crooked Hillary" to share their health records with voters together — without the "Crooked" part.

Submission + - FBI warns of foreign hackers penertating state election sysems (yahoo.com)

mi writes: The low-information article, complete with the vague accusations against "Russians", claims, FBI is aware of foreign hackers' efforts to penetrate election systems of various states. In cases of two (unspecified) states, the hackers have, supposedly, already been successful.

The article's vagueness seems due to FBI being secretive about the highly-sensitive investigation.

"People, who vote, decide nothing. People counting votes decide everything."

— Joseph Stalin

Submission + - Mediterranean diet better for the heart than taking statins, major study suggest (telegraph.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A Mediterranean diet could be better than statins at reducing the risk of an early death for millions of Britons, research suggests.

Leading heart experts said patients should be prescribed the diet — rich in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil — before being put on drugs.

In the first major study to look at the impact of the Med diet on survival of heart patients, experts found it cut the chances of early death by 37 per cent.

Previous research has found just taking statins cuts mortality by 18 per cent. Experts said the figures were not directly comparable, and that many heart patients could get maximum benefit by doing both.

Submission + - The Unintended Consequence of Congress's Ban on Designer Babies (technologyreview.com)

schwit1 writes: By tucking two crucial sentences inside a federal spending bill last year, the U.S. Congress effectively banned the human testing of gene-editing techniques that could produce genetically modified babies. But the provision, which is up for renewal this year, has also flustered proponents of a promising technique that could help mothers avoid passing certain devastating genetic disorders to their children.

The language in the bill is a clear reference to the use of techniques like CRISPR to modify the human germline (see “Engineering the Perfect Baby”). Most scientists agree that testing germline editing in humans is irresponsible at this point. But regulators have decided that the description also fits mitochondrial replacement therapy, which entails removing the nucleus from a human egg and transplanting it into one from a different person to prevent the transmission of debilitating or even deadly mitochondrial disorders to children.

Submission + - EPA spills again in Colorado (washingtonexaminer.com)

schwit1 writes: The Environmental Protection is admitting to a spill from a treatment plant it set up after it dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river last year.

The EPA said Thursday night that the spill happened on Tuesday, and officials are still attempting to determine how much and what metals were contained in the sludgy discharge, according to the Associated Press.

Submission + - The court that rules the world (buzzfeed.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court’s authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as “The Club” or “The Mafia.”

And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing — and its decisions so unpredictable — that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

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