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Snap Scouts: Crowd Sourcing Crime Prevention
Want to earn tons of cool badges and prizes while competing with you friends to see who can be the best American? Download the SnapScouts app for your Android phone (iPhone app coming soon) and get started patrolling your neighborhood.
It's up to you to keep America safe! If you see something suspicious, Snap it! If you see someone who doesn't belong, Snap it! Not sure if someone or something is suspicious? Snap it anyway!
Play with your friends and family to see who can get the best prizes. Join the SnapScouts today! - SnapScout Features:
* Colorful interface and sounds makes reporting a potential crime fun and easy!
* Submit reports anonymously to stay safe and secure!
* Help law enforcement collect evidence in real-time!
* Collect a variety of awards and badges to compare with friends!
* Makes civic duty and community fun!
* Coming soon: Multi-crime tagging to catch more crimes at once!
Stop the Internet Blacklist! (Petition) Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block. (The first vote is scheduled Thursday, November 18!)
This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you'd expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you're not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill quickly -- and Senators say they haven't heard much in the way of objections! That's why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist. (Demand Progress)
Suspicious Activity & Behaviors Indicators: Homeland Security
It is important to the Dallas Police Department that citizens are alert, vigilant and report suspicious activity. The importance is as critical today as it was immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001 on the United States. We ask citizens to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity. A quick accurate description of events can make a big difference in both Criminal and Terrorism related investigations.
Possible Indicators of Suspicious behavior or Terrorist Activities:
* Unusual or extended interest in public utilities, large public gatherings, transportation centers, government buildings and other possible terrorist targets.
* Unusual requests for information, particularly about security or procedures for at-risk buildings.
* May try to have a “cover story” or appear ‘normal’ in their behavior such as portraying a student or tourist
* Identity Documents may be in various names
* May carry and use large amounts of cash
* Unusual rentals, purchases, deliveries, or thefts, particularly of poisonous or flammable chemicals, explosives, weapons or vehicles (including planes or boats).
* Multiple sightings of the same suspicious person, vehicle, or activity. (Dallas Police Department)
Taylor lawyer suspects a cover-up Sandra Berchtold, an FBI spokeswoman in Detroit, and a Department of Justice representative in Washington, D.C., both declined to comment. Haskell is the only known passenger to provide an account of Abdulmutallab being helped by a second man. Haskell's wife, Lori Haskell, said she was distracted by the couple's card game. (Free Press)
The Wizard of Oz: Parable on Populism by Henry M. Littlefield - On the deserts of North Africa in 1941 two tough Australian brigades went into battle singing:
Have you heard of the wonderful wizard,
The wonderful Wizard of Oz,
And he is a wonderful wizard,
If ever a wizard there was.
It was a song they had brought with them from Australia and would soon spread to England. Forever afterward it reminded Winston Churchill of those "buoyant days." Churchill's nostalgia is only one symptom of the world-wide delight found in an American fairy tale about a little girl and her odyssey in the strange land of Oz. The song he reflects upon came from a classic 1939 Hollywood production of the story, which introduced millions of people not only to the land of Oz, but to a talented young lady named Judy Garland as well.
Ever since its publication in 1900 Lyman Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has been immensely popular, providing the basis for a profitable musical comedy, three movies, and a number of plays. It is an indigenous creation, curiously warm and touching, although no one really knows why. For despite wholehearted acceptance by generations of readers, Baum's tale has been accorded neither critical acclaim, nor extended critical examination. Interested scholars, such as Russel B. Nye and Martin Gardiner, look upon The Wizard of Oz as the first in a long and delightful series of Oz stories, and understandably base their appreciation of Baum's talent on the totality of his works.
The Wizard of Oz is an entity unto itself, however, and was not originally written with a sequel in mind. Baum informed his readers in 1904 that he has produced The Marvelous Land of Oz reluctantly and only in answer to well over a thousand letters demanding that he creation another Oz tale. His original effort remains unique and to some degree separate from the books which follow. But its uniqueness does not rest alone on its peculiar and transcendent popularity. (Henry M. Littlefield)
TipSoft SMS TipSoft SMS is a Text-a-Tip application which allows tipsters to anonymously submit information to our participating law enforcement agencies, schools, universities and corporations. Many of these agencies are utilizing this application through their Crime Stoppers Program which is an excellent deployment choice, although not required. This secure application allows the tipster and the investigator to have two-way dialog while keeping the tipster's identity completely anonymous.
Short Message Service (SMS), often called text messaging, is a means of sending short messages to and from mobile phones. Want tipsters to send tips to you as text messages from their cell phones? If so, contact us.
TipSoft SMS is seamlessly integrated within our TipSoft Online web application and as a mobile application that runs securely on many PDA devices. All modules allow for the simple and secure reception and response to tips via text message. (TipSoft)
Two Million Strong for Net Neutrality (Petition)
This is a crucial time in the fight for Net Neutrality. The FCC is pursuing new Net Neutrality rules; Congress is weighing legislation; and President Obama wants Net Neutrality to become the law of the land.
More than 1.9 million people have already urged Congress and the FCC to stand with the public and pass strong Net Neutrality protections. If we can reach 2 million people, we will send a resounding message that Washington can't ignore.
Urge Congress and the FCC to support Net Neutrality. (SaveTheInternet.com)
True sustainability needs an ethical revolution Obsessed with technology, we have overlooked something critical that lurks in our institutionalised notion of sustainability - Technology increases our ability to exploit the environment and the efficiency of exploitation. But it does not determine how we ought to exercise that ability and efficiency. In the 1970s, technology and economic incentives led to more efficient home heating and insulation in America. What did we do with that ability? Use less energy? No. We built bigger houses, because we could heat bigger houses more affordably.
Society is a ship whose engine is technology and rudder is ethics; history bears plenty of witness to the wrecks caused by technologies that developed ahead of ethics. There is no reason to think sustainability is any different. Technology is important, but not as important as understanding how sustainability is first and foremost a relationship: a relationship with the environment; a relationship where ethics (or a lack of attention to ethics) is the predominant influence on how we exploit nature. (The Ecologist)
Airline industry trapped in nosedive Does The Threat Of Terrorism Affect Your Plans? - Federal Transport Minister Anthony Albanese told the 7.30 Report this week the scanner trials had been "somewhat successful" and the Government was open to introducing them. (Adelaide Now)
Is security worth a revealing look? "I'm on an airplane every three or four days; I want that plane to be as safe and secure as possible," Chaffetz said. However, he added, "I don't think anybody needs to see my 8-year-old naked in order to secure that airplane." (Star Tribune)
Obama could expedite full body scans in U.S. Investors bid up the stocks of imaging companies like American Science and Engineering, OSI Systems, and ICx Technologies Inc between 10 percent and 26 percent on Monday and Tuesday, the first two trading days after the incident. (National Post)
Scanner debate follows terror attack The possibility of increased use as the terror threat continues has affected the stocks of the companies who make the devices. Some smaller companies such as ICX Technologies and OSI Systems, worth only a few hundred million dollars to begin with, rose 10 percent or more on Monday. Larger players like Smiths Group and L-3 Communications have also benefited, with their machinery already in trials in airports around the world. (Xinhuanet)
Second airport arrest unrelated to attack Federal officials did take a second person into custody at Detroit Metropolitan Airport shortly after an attempted bombing incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 253, but the passenger who got handcuffed was off a different flight, and the incident was not related, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official said today. (The Detroit News)
Heightened Airport Security Is Lifting Many Companies Many companies could benefit from any requirement that airports get more security equipment. While Lockheed Martin (LMT), Northrop Grumman (NOC), Raytheon (RTN) and General Dynamics (GD) also operate in the market, passenger-screening devices make up a small fraction of their revenues, according to analysts, and will more orders won't have a great impact on them. But several smaller companies are worth watching: OSI Systems, ICx Technologies, L-3 Communications, American Science and Engineering, L-1 Identity Solutions, Analogic (Daily Finance)
Could Terror Suspect Have Had Outside Help? Interview with Kurt Haskell - Did someone help Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab get onboard the flight from Amsterdam to Detroit? Well, according to two American passengers on Flight 253, an older man - tall and elegantly dressed - accompanied the young Nigerian to a counter before boarding. And they say the older man explained to a woman at the counter that the younger man had no passport. (National Public Radio)
Detroit terror attack: profile of Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab But behind his innocent chiding about the perils of alcohol and western decadence lay a burgeoning pull towards radical Islam, which on Christmas Day, saw him try to take the lives of 278 passengers aboard an American bound airliner. - "I was really shocked when I saw the reports. You would never imagine him pulling off something like this." (London Telegraph)
Financial Industry Invests Heavily in Key Lawmakers
(Originally published Nov. 16, 2009; Updated with third quarter Senate data Dec. 28, 2009)
As Congress considers legislation to reregulate the financial services industry in response to the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression, the industry is focusing campaign contributions on the congressional leadership and members of the committees crafting reform legislation.
Between November 2008 (when the current election cycle began) and Sept. 30, 2009, the financial industry – including banks, investment firms, insurance companies and real estate companies – has given $48.3 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress and their leadership political action committees, according to data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics (www.opensecrets.org). - Between November 2008...and Sept. 30, 2009, the financial industry...has given $48.3 million in campaign contributions to members of Congress and their leadership political action committees...
...The 94 members of the two finance committees have received $16.9 million overall. The top 10 committee recipients include the Democratic chairmen: Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (Mass.); and the ranking Republicans on the committees: Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (Ala.). (Public Citizen)
Why It's Not Easy to Detonate a Bomb on Board But in one small way, the system did work, because screening effectively forced the alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to use a liquid chemical rather than a more basic or reliable detonator to trigger the powdered explosive that was sewn into his underwear and smuggled on board. And it turns out that pulling off such an explosion on a plane is no simple feat. (Time)
Sick Nigerian Prompts Security Alert in Detroit “A passenger on today’s Northwest flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit spent an unusually long time in the aircraft lavatory,” she said in the statement. “Due to this unusual behavior, the airline notified T.S.A. and the agency directed the flight to taxi to a remote area upon landing to be met by law enforcement and D.H.S. “The passenger in question, a Nigerian national, was removed from the flight and interviewed by the F.B.I.; indications at this time are that the individual’s behavior is due to legitimate illness, and no other suspicious behavior or materials have been found." (New York Times)
Source: Terror suspect's father tried to warn authorities The father -- identified by a family source as Umaru Abdul Mutallab -- contacted the U.S. Embassy "a few weeks ago" saying his son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, had "become radicalized," the senior administration official, who is familiar with the case, told CNN. - Abdulmutallab was granted a multiple-year, multiple-entry tourist visa at the U.S. Embassy in London in June 2008, the administration official said. He was a student in London at the time, and there was "no derogatory information that would have prevented him from getting a visa," the official said. (CNN)
Yemen: New frontier in US 'war on terror' The increased violence in Yemen is a clear indication that military campaigns to crush al-Qaeda-inspired violence extend far beyond the borders of Afghanistan and Pakistan. - The US has invested some $70m (£40m) in military aid in Yemen in the past year, believed to include training, the use of drones and intelligence to pinpoint al-Qaeda camps and activity. (BBC)
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