Alaska Homeschool Dad Framed by FBI – Social Services Targets Children for Political Reasons

by Brian Shilhavy

Today, Health Impact News is reporting on the story of Francis August Schaeffer Cox. Schaeffer Cox is allegedly a political prisoner today, serving a 26 year prison sentence for crimes he never committed. 

Schaeffer Cox, a well known 2nd Amendment lobbyist who had won 38% of the vote in a State House election, became the subject of an intense FBI investigation after he angered state and federal authorities by openly accusing them of drug trafficking and child prostitution. Oil pipeline service company executive, Bill Allen, who had been spared prosecution on multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors in exchange for his 2008 testimony against pro-2nd Amendment Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, was among those implicated.

The State Wide Drug Taskforce supplied children for sex to a number of state and federal officials in exchange for those official’s cooperation in concealing the ongoing illicit drug trafficking activities of the State Wide Drug Taskforce,” Schaeffer Cox said. Not long after these public statements, the same departments that Schaeffer Cox accused of corruption sent in numerous provocateurs to try to switch his efforts off of exposing corruption and on to violent vigilante-type actions.

Schaeffer Cox, who believes in non-aggression and voluntarism, can be heard on multiple undercover recordings telling the provocateurs, “No, I’m going to pull a Ghandi, NOT a Rambo” and “if we turn violent, people will see us as the bad guys.” In what some have called a deviation from accepted investigative techniques, the FBI responded to Schaeffer Cox’s rejection of their violent proposals by creating a threat to his children that could serve as a motivator. Working with the Office of Child Services, the FBI filed a child neglect complaint regarding Schaeffer and his wife Marti’s 1 and 1/2 year old son. Because they do not require probable cause, child neglect complaints are an attractive tool for investigators who wish to enter a home, but lack any evidence to support a warrant.


Who is Schaeffer Cox? From his own words written from prison in 2013:

Dear Sensible People of a Candid World,

My name is Francis August Schaeffer Cox. I am a 29 year old, husband and a father of two young children.

I am a political prisoner in a secret Federal prison located in Marion, Illinois. I was sentenced to just under 26 years in prison on January of 2013.

I haven’t done anything illegal and I certainly haven’t done anything morally wrong. I will share my story with you as best as can be done in a letter. It is my hope that after investigating what has been done to me and my family you will conclude that it would be right for you to help us. To that end, this is our story.

I was born in Denver, Colorado U.S.A. to Gary and Jennifer Cox. My father, who attended West Point, was the pastor of a small church and taught Greek and Hebrew at a local university.

My mother was a schoolteacher before she had children. After my sister, two brothers, and I were born she stayed home to raise us and see to it that we all got a proper education.

In the early 90’s my father went into business with his brother David Cox, the former Chief of Staff for Senator David L. Boris. As a family we provided residential assisted living to the elderly. The business was very successful and our family became quite wealthy.

In 1999 my parents moved our family from Denver, Colorado to Fairbanks, Alaska where, 11 years later, I would be arrested and sent to prison after being accused of a vague and nonspecific conspiracy against the Federal Government. A conspiracy that, the prosecutors argued [sic], would take place at some unknown future time many years from now.

As a young man I loved the frontier of Alaska. At age 18 I led a month long expedition to the summit of 6100 meter Mt. McKinley. I would lead a second expedition two years later with my father by my side and in 2005 a third expedition that included my beautiful and beloved wife Marti. All three were successful.

My godparents introduced me to the sea and the commercial fishing industry. And together we pioneered new methods to harvest caviar from wild herring and release the fish unharmed. I did an apprenticeship in the construction industry and studied Artic [sic] building techniques. Before going into business for myself, I worked with a large company to build power plants and remote gold ore processing facilities in Alaska’s wilderness.

By age 23, with my faithful and loving wife as my partner, I was an accomplished businessman in my own right. Having achieved enough financial independence to no longer be living paycheck to paycheck I decided to run for public office.

I ran for the State House of Representatives. I came in second in a three way race with roughly 38% of the vote, an impressive feat for such a young, political newcomer. I was positioned well for a win in the next elections, two years later.

Little did I know the Federal government was about to unleash a hellish nightmare on me and my family that would prevent that from ever happening. My platform was simple: The government needs to follow the Constitution because it’s the law. I argued that when the government disregards the law and tramples on others, simply because they are powerful enough to do so and get away with it, it hurts them as a Nation. (continued below)

State Sponsored Kidnapping of Children for Political Reasons


Before continuing on with the Schaeffer Cox story, we need to address the question: Why is Health Impact News and MedicalKidnap.com publishing the Schaeffer Cox family story?

We are one of the few news sources that regularly reports on the state-sponsored kidnapping of children away from families by using “Child Protection Services.” We mostly cover medical kidnapping stories, explaining how families all across the U.S., every day, are losing their children simply because they disagreed with doctors, or were accused by medical professionals of abusing their children, when often such “abuse” is simply failing to take a physician’s advice for medical procedures.

Over the past few years, we have documented how children can be removed from families by the government in what has become a billion dollar child trafficking system. See:  The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking

Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers Called “Foster Care”

While a primary motivation to remove children from families and put them into the custody of the state is financial (many billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of government jobs), there are other reasons such as putting sick children into drug trials, and trafficking them to pedophile groups. See:

Child Sex Trafficking through Child “Protection” Services Exposed – Kidnapping Children for Sex

Arizona Places 2 Year Old Child in Foster Pornographic Pedophile Ring – Foster Mom Burns 80% of Her Body

One of the lesser known reasons why children are removed from their families is for political reasons. We have previously reported on child kidnappings for political reasons with the North Carolina Randy Davis stories, and the story of Arlan Lee, a Native American former social worker turned whistleblower in South Dakota who had his own kids targeted (video here).

Randy Davis is also Native American, and when he went public and reported alleged corruption with “senators, the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, the Coharie Intra-Tribal Council, and entire departments within Sampson County – including Child Protection Services (CPS)” they allegedly tried to silence him by taking away his daughter. (See: EXCLUSIVE: Corrupt North Carolina Officials Try to Silence Whistleblower Using Child Protection Services)

As we look into the Schaeffer Cox story, we see a new twist to using CPS for political reasons, as the FBI allegedly tried to manipulate the strong paternal bond between parent and child by using CPS to target his child.

Why Did the FBI Target Schaeffer Cox?

There is a public website documenting Schaeffer’s case, with links to videos, court documents, etc.   Some excerpts from freeschaeffer.com:


Schaeffer Cox, a well known 2nd Amendment lobbyist who had won 38% of the vote in a State House election, became the subject of an intense FBI investigation after he angered state and federal authorities by openly accusing them of drug trafficking and child prostitution.


Oil pipeline service company executive, Bill Allen, who had been spared prosecution on multiple counts of sexual abuse of minors in exchange for his 2008 testimony against pro-2nd Amendment Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, was among those implicated. “The State Wide Drug Taskforce supplied children for sex to a number of state and federal officials in exchange for those official’s cooperation in concealing the ongoing illicit drug trafficking activities of the State Wide Drug Taskforce,” Schaeffer Cox said.


Not long after these public statements, the same departments that Schaeffer Cox accused of corruption sent in numerous provocateurs to try to switch his efforts off of exposing corruption and on to violent vigilante-type actions. Schaeffer Cox, who believes in non-aggression and voluntarism, can be heard on multiple undercover recordings telling the provocateurs, “No, I’m going to pull a Ghandi, NOT a Rambo” and “if we turn violent, people will see us as the bad guys.”


In what some have called a deviation from accepted investigative techniques, the FBI responded to Schaeffer Cox’s rejection of their violent proposals by creating a threat to his children that could serve as a motivator.  Working with the Office of Child Services, the FBI filed a child neglect complaint regarding Schaeffer and his wife Marti’s 1 and 1/2 year old son. Because they do not require probable cause, child neglect complaints are an attractive tool for investigators who wish to enter a home, but lack any evidence to support a warrant.


Once Schaeffer Cox was made aware of the “writ of assistance” issued for the seizure of his young son, the FBI dispatched undercover provocateur, Bill Fulton, to again try to convince Schaeffer Cox to go on a shooting spree in response to these new developments. Bill Fulton, acting under the supervision of FBI Special Agent Sandra Klein, pointed out that the child neglect complaint was obviously the corrupt work of Schaeffer Cox’s political adversaries in the government, and urged him to go kill all officials involved.


When Schaeffer Cox and his friend, Les Zerbe, refused Fulton’s violent suggestions a second time, Fulton flew into a rage, held a hunting knife to Les Zerbe’s throat, and told him he would “slit his throat open and bleed him out at his feet” if he and Cox didn’t agree to the proposed mass shooting. Cox and Zerbe refused, and escaped, never to see Fulton again.
 

Suspecting foul play by the FBI and local police, and fearing for their lives from Fulton, Schaeffer Cox and his wife went to the military police station on Ft. Wainwright for help. Officers there advised Schaeffer Cox that federal agents had come into the station and bragged of how they planned to “fix the Schaeffer Cox problem” by “going into his home to take out his kid, then just shoot Schaeffer Cox in the process.” The MP’s gave Schaeffer Cox’s attorney affidavits to this effect and would later testify to the same under oath.


At FBI Special Agent Klein’s direction, Fulton made a third attempt to get Schaeffer Cox to do a mass shooting. Fulton did this by issuing a death threat ultimatum and promising to kill Schaeffer Cox himself if he refused the proposal of violence again.


Fearing for their lives, the Cox family packed up and headed for Canada. But the FBI sent another undercover provocateur, RJ Olson, after them, court documents say. Olson, a self described “drug wholesaler” working under the supervision of FBI Special Agent Richard Southerland, held the whole Cox family, including a 2 year old boy and a 3 week old baby girl, hostage, against their will in the attic for 21 days after sabotaging their vehicle, then using death threats from Fulton and a made up story about a truck driver to keep them from leaving.


The government does not dispute the fact that the actions of the provocateurs working under the FBI’s supervision did in fact meet the legal definition of 1st degree kidnapping,” said Robert John, the Fairbanks attorney who got all related state charges against Cox thrown out.

On March 10th, 2011 Schaeffer Cox was taken from the attic to a deserted industrial lot in Fairbanks where he believed he would meet the “truck driver” Olson had promised. No such truck driver existed. Instead, there was a FBI ambush of out of town agents who did not know Schaeffer Cox was a well respected local political voice with popular support. The Agent’s, who had been instructed to shoot Schaeffer Cox on site if he had a weapon, were not advised by the local FBI case agent of Cox’s repeated statements about being like Ghandi not Rambo.

FBI Special Agent Richard Southerland supplied JR Olson with an unregistered, nontraceable pistol and instructed him to “put it in Schaeffer’s lap then get under the truck so there will be some thick metal between you and him when the shooting starts.” The FBI’s plan was interrupted when the owner of the industrial lot happened upon the scene and started asking questions about why men with masks and machine guns were hiding around the corner.

Schaeffer Cox was arrested and put on trial for “conspiracy against the government.” The prosecution was led by Steve Skrocki and Joseph Botini, the same people that were held in contempt of court for hiding evidence in several related trials of Alaska political personalities. The audio recording of Schaeffer Cox repeatedly rejecting violence were hidden from the jury, but are now being made available to the public by Schaeffer Cox’s supporters via YouTube and other means.

Steve Skrocki, who has publically attacked Schaeffer Cox for his belief in Moral Higher Law, built his case primarily on the testimony of Fulton and Olson. Recently released audio recording and email between Steve Skrocki and his boss, US Attorney Karen Loeffler, now show that Skrocki coached his witnesses to lie, then vouched for those lies in his closing arguments to the jury.

Still others have taken issue with Skrocki’s entire theory of the case. “The importance of this case is significant to the whole of humanity” says Larry Pratt, president of Gun Owners of America. He points out that the prosecution conceded that Cox had no actual plans for violence, but convicted him anyway based on Cox’s belief that “We The People” may someday have to stand down an out of control government. 

Schaeffer Cox, who has been in prison since 2011 agrees. “This amounts to sending people to prison for simply believing in the original meaning of the 2nd Amendment” he says. “If we don’t reverse my conviction, it will set a sweeping new precedent allowing for the wholesale round up of those who have not committed any crimes.”

READ the Rest of the Story HERE

















Walgreen’s Pharmacy Leaves Something More To Be Desired

by Allen Williams


Observing operation at Walgreen’s pharmacy located at 78th and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas was a wonder to behold.  It is a modern drug dispensing facility with computer oversight, featuring a drive through, two service lines, an information window and a huge alphabetical prescription holding rack containing drugs for A to Z recipients, ready to dispense.

The first time I was there to have a prescription filled, the two service lines were six and seven persons deep and the drive through window processed a steady line of prescription orders.  (Eat your heart out McDonalds!) From what I could see there were a half dozen or so pharmacy techs of various nationalities scurrying about keeping the drive through window supplied and placing orders in the holding rack.  It was by far the most intensive activity in the entire store and undoubtedly responsible for Walgreen’s 2016 billion dollar profits.  It is for all practical purposes a highly successful retail network pharmacy.  But what about real healthcare?

Only one pharmacist oversaw this circus of activity that I could detect with who knows how many unseen individuals behind the scene hastily filling little plastic pill bottles with various medicines.  It was Obamacare’s assembly line medicine in full operation, a boon to the fortunate few who hold exclusive distribution status.: “The Obama administration decided to make a deal with the PhRMA to get them to support the legislation,” he told Morning Consult. “PhRMA got a number of favorable provisions in the legislation.”

As you might expect, in any quasi chaotic operation born of special interest deals, things were bound to go wrong.  In the multicultural- multinational drug market, the ‘mission statement’ is more important than the reality of care. Walgreen’s president, Greg Wasson claims: “One of the most unifying forces behind Walgreens 113 years of success is our purpose: to help people get, stay and live well.”

Really? But shouldn’t that process commence by ensuring that patients obtain ALL their prescribed medicines and not someone elses? After arriving at Walgreen’s about a month ago, I had requested my prescription records be transferred to Walgreens from CVS.  You AREN’T ALLOWED to retrieve your own prescription from a pharmacy under Obamacare; it has to be requested by ANOTHER PHARMACY. 

On March 27th, I went to get my 2nd prescription filled that clearly indicated there were two remaining refills on the bottle.  However, I was told at the counter that they had NO prescription records for that medication.  I informed them you should have the records as I had requested them to be transferred from CVS the last time I was at Walgreens.  But I had to request the transfer of my 2nd prescription a second time and indicated that I would return on Wednesday of that week to pick it up.  

When I arrived at the counter on Wednesday a multicultural tech informed me that my pain killing medication was ready. I didn’t have a pain killing medication, I replied.  “Oh, then your Prednisone prescription is ready”, the tech said.  I don’t have a Prednisone prescription either; I wouldn’t take that stuff I replied.  Makes you wonder if diabetic customers are getting the correct medication and dosages, hmmm?  Nothing quite like being knowledgeable about whom you’re serving.

But regarding my 2nd prescription they said: “CVS didn’t send that prescription to us because you have no refills remaining.”  But that wasn’t true as the prescription vial I handed Walgreens clearly displayed TWO refills and it had not yet reached the 12-month expiration limit. 

The pharmacy didn’t seem to care about the administrative foul-up and refused to honor my request for a few emergency pills to hold me over until I could get the doctor to write a new prescription because as their pharmacist told me “.. it wasn’t legal.”  KMART did this regularly.  So was it legal to push off narcotic pain killers and prednisone on me because they mistook my identity?  It doesn’t invoke much confidence on my part in their professional capabilities.  Instead they had my third prescription ready (which I didn’t need) and tried to get me to take that in lieu of what I requested.  Starting to get the picture, yet?

Discussion with the pharmacist led to an agreement for Walgreen’s to contact my doctor and their automated system would then call me when my 2nd prescription was filled.  But, there was no call from Walgreen’s automated system and I had to call it myself (and my doctor) to find out that my prescription was ready to pick up nearly a week later.  It doesn’t matter what you arrange with Walgreens, you will only get what they decide you can have.  Is it just me?  Well read some of the 1220 Walgreen complaints and decide for yourself.

CVS and Walgreens are battling it out to control the market for prescription drugs so customer care is way down the line.  Patient care comes in number four right behind legal liabilities, HHS directives and company policy.  Emphasis is on pushing the distribution sales of prescription drugs to the dehumanizing level, everything else is secondary.

I arrived at Walgreens’ on April 3rd to pick up the 2nd prescription, the pharmacist waited on me directly.  I informed him that Walgreen’s automated system didn’t call me and that I had to call it instead.  He did the usual security check with my birth date and then asked me to type in the last four digits of my telephone number which the system didn’t take.  This suggests that I quite possibly could have left Walgreens with narcotics never prescribed for me because of their malfunctioning system.  He continued to try to get the system to accept my phone number and I finally had to tell the Pharmacist to ring up my charges  as he wasn’t responsible for the malfunction. It was the people who installed it.  They could play with their computer later; I just wanted to complete my business and leave.

My first hint that Walgreen’s was more a greed driven enterprise than a healthcare outlet occurred when I was forced into their system from the collapse of KMART’s pharmacy.  And mind you, not that KMART provided inferior products or service but it simply wasn’t as good as Walgreen’s in marketing their slice of the Obamacare drug cartel.  KMART’s final pharmacy closure sent my prescription records to CVS, the bottom of the birdcage in prescription medicine.

The reader is well advised to seek other drug store providers if at all possible.


Overland Park Rental Inspection first steps toward Warrantless Home Invasion

by Allen Williams


Overland Park's rental inspection program is on schedule as work proceeds in identifying the city's property managers and other 'slum' landlords.  The city's propaganda magazine Overview Spring 2017 reports: "Last Month city staff members began reaching out to landlords of single-family dwellings in an effort to verify that the dwelling is being used as a rental. "  The city goes on to reassure residents that ".. this is all part of the initial launch of a new licensing and inspection program that focuses solely on exterior maintenance of residential property (opkansas.org/rentals) beginning July 1, 2017.

However what Overview magazine doesn't tell you is  that the licensing program is just another means of increasing city revenues so expect licensing fees to creep upward several times each decade. But more  importantly Overland Park has paved the way to force redevelopment on the north end of the city.  How's that you say?

Well for starters, how about fining you right out of your rental? What? Well check out This Indiana Town Wants to Fine a Community Out of Existence on Behalf of Private Developers. "Members of a small, low-income community in Indiana are discovering that state-level protections that make it hard for cities to seize their property may not be enough. When city leaders decide to get into bed with private developers, there are all sorts of ways for cronyism to threaten the property rights of owners. " And there's no question that Overland Park has been in bed with developers for years. 

But wait, the Indiana article gets better "While eminent domain was supposed to be used solely for public works projects (roads, schools, et cetera), the infamous Kelo v. City of New London Supreme Court decision set a legal precedent allowing governments to use it to hand over property to private developers for big projects."  That decision has already been put to good use. Remember the Kansas Speedway?  Over 165 homes were seized  to build that monstrosity.  "The condemnation of homes in Wyandotte County for the Kansas Speedway development was one of the more controversial uses of eminent domain power in Kansas."   But Oh, was it rewarding for Wyandotte coffers!: "County officials say the speedway and "Village West" -- the adjoining 400-acre development that includes Cabela's and Nebraska Furniture Mart -- have reinvigorated the local economy, created thousands of new jobs and poured millions of new tax dollars into local coffers."  And there you have it, more money for city coffers, to hell with the people and their homes. It's a small price to pay for economic prosperity, etc.

The US Supreme Court has sanctioned the seizing of private property for others use in Kelo v New London.  But property seizure for other's benefit alone is a nasty pill to swallow but fining owners into oblivion for building code violations, well that's much more palatable. 

The Indiana article continues: "So property rights-minded citizens might be surprised to hear that the mayor and city officials of Charlestown, Indiana, a rural community with a population of less than 8,000, are trying to arrange to hand over hundreds of homes to a private developer. He's not using eminent domain to do so. Instead, the city stands accused of deliberately finding excuses to burden the community's residents with thousands of dollars of fines that will be waived if they sell their properties to the private developer."

Get the drift or am I going too fast for you?

Well, what a coincidence, Indiana started with exterior inspections, too: "Beginning in the summer of 2016, the city unleashed a torrent of code enforcement targeted specifically at the Pleasant Ridge neighborhood. City officials began performing exterior inspections of properties in Pleasant Ridge and mailing citations to the owners. So far, this campaign has primarily targeted landlords who own multiple rental properties, rather than smaller landlords and owner-occupied houses."   Don't fret, Overland Park will include other properties as soon as it's expedient.

Overland Park concocted a rental inspection scheme a number of years back that evicted renters when interior improvements weren't made not unlike Marietta, George's plan: " The City of Marietta enacted a rental-housing inspection ordinance in 2004, requiring landlords to obtain “rental licenses” for all rental properties. To obtain a license, landlords had to hire and pay City-approved “rental housing inspectors” to inspect and certify that properties were in compliance with all housing codes. Nothing in the ordinance, however, required the landlord or the City to obtain the tenant’s consent before conducting the intrusive inspection. Yet, without inspection, no rental license would be issued, and the City Manager could order the property to be vacated." The OP plan was very unpopular and the city abandoned it for the time being.

Here's how city inspection theft works. "The citations state that the owner accrues penalties of $50 per violation, per day. Multiple citations are issued per property, which means that a single property will begin accumulating hundreds of dollars in fines each day. The fines can be for things as minor as a torn screen, weeds taller than eight inches or chipped paint. In many cases, the fines begin the day the citation was issued, not the day the owner received it. So owners can easily be on the hook for thousands of dollars in fines before they even receive notice, and the fines continue to accrue until the owner is able to repair the property."

Sweet, huh? Overland Park has been fining properties for 8-inch weed height (even if there are as few as 6 weeds per 1/3- acre) since April 2000 often as a consequence of protesting city policies.  And now they expand the program to 'exterior' rental inspection which will eventually include the rental Interior as in Minnesota. "Minnesotans have a new reason to remember to empty their dishwashers and keep their bathrooms clean. That’s because the city of Golden Valley is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to grant it a warrant to inspect the rental property of Jason and Jacki Wiebesick to check that their tenants are, among other things, maintaining a clean kitchen and a tidy toilet."

Yes, people, emptying your dishwasher and maintaining a tidy toilet is tantamount to being a good citizen.  The city now has the means to acquire rental property for its developer cronies with out involving eminent domain issues.  Here's the real motive driving rental inspections:: "Mayor Bob Hall decided in 2014 that he wanted to get rid of the houses there and replace it with a more upscale planned community with fancier homes and retail options. But he needed to get rid of the houses (and the people within them) first. Starting in 2016, residents and property owners of Pleasant Ridge discovered Charlestown had a nasty tool to try to get rid of them. City officials started looking for any excuse to cite property owners for code violations. When you're looking at low-income neighborhoods full of working people and retirees, there are likely to be plenty.

Overland Park's north end is full of low income families, obviously another coincidence to Indiana's program. OP has been looking to force the redevelopment of Metcalf avenue on the north end for some years now and it appears that the rental inspection program may be the ticket. 

You can bet the city isn't instituting their inspection program merely to provide renters with a better place to live.  When you have to have a license to rent or to have a home inspection as a rental condition, you no longer live in a free country.

It is a police state.






Parts - Geek .. not a good choice for automobile parts!”

by Allen Williams


Recently, I had to upgrade my automobile air conditioning system from R12 to R134a. Getting AC parts for a 1991 Nissan is no easy task. After some research on the Net, I happened upon Parts Geek which seemed to have exactly what I needed at reasonable prices.

I did most of the AC work on my own car, flushing the lines, installing a new compressor, o-rings, etc. I ordered a new Filter-Drier from Parts Geek and it arrived promptly, now note their return policy:

"Return Policy - IMPORTANT PLEASE READ
We have a 30 day return policy. We must be contacted within 30 days of receipt for an RMA number. We will not accept any returns after 30 days, no exceptions. All returns including cores require an RMA number. You MUST fill out a support ticket on our website for an RMA number. We will NOT accept return requests via phone. DO NOT send back any parts without first obtaining an RMA number via e-mail, or else your credit will be delayed significantly. Please visit our website and click on Customer Service for further details."
I installed the new filter-drier and pulled down the system to 29 inches of mercury but the AC system began to leak as soon as the vacuum pump shut off. I checked the system for leaks but couldn't identify any even though the system had green dye in the PAG oil and had been run briefly.

I had to put my car in a local Kansas AC shop and they called to tell me the new Filter-Drier was defective, leaking around the sight glass. The shop replaced the filter drier, pumped it down and charged the system with R134a. It then worked fine.

Now instead of being able to repair and upgrade my auto AC system for less than $200, I wound up paying over $500 because of that defective drier not to mention the time and aggravation I experienced getting an approved RMA number to get the defective part returned for credit. And then they wouldn't pay the shipping for me to return their defective part!

You get a confirming email from Parts-Geek on any order which contains the customer order number, if you don't have that number they won't assist you. They have no other way to identify your order. And Parts Geek has no telephone contact number on their website, I had to do a separate search to acquire their 800 number. When you call, you get their automated menu so they can screen customers by the type of part ordered. Parts-Geek customer representatives are rude, not very knowledgeable and like to make you keep repeating the order number as you attempt to resolve a parts issue. Here is their order policy:


"Please do not reply to this message. This e-mail was sent from a notification-only e-mail address that cannot accept incoming e-mail. If you need to contact Customer Service, please open a support ticket on our Customer Service page.

To track your package, please visit the carriers website and simply input the tracking number. All UPS tracking numbers begin with 1Z, (e.g., 1Z69R2R70315956544) All FedEx numbers are 15 digits long and do not include any letters (e.g., 04751198048715). All US MAIL tracking numbers are 20 digits long and do not include any letters (e.g., 0123 4567 8910 1112).

* Please note that ALL tracking information may not be available immediately or at the same time. Please allow 24 hours after recieving the tracking number for the shipping carrier to update their web site.

* As indicated on our website, we do not offer weekend or holiday delivery. Therefore, any overnight or second day orders placed on Friday will not arrive until the following business day.

* If you receive a damaged package, do not accept the package. You can either refuse the package or contact the shipping carrier to refuse the package. You have 24 hours to refuse the package. We will not be responsible for the return of carrier damaged products.

* We have a 30 day return policy. No returns are accepted without a return authorization number. We must be contacted within 30 days of receipt for an RMA number. We will not accept any returns after 30 days, no exceptions."

How would you get an RMA for a carrier damaged package? The answer: You wouldn't and if that carrier turned out to be UPS, you'd likely be out the entire cost of whatever you bought.  I had to get an approved RMA to return the defective filter-drier.  I included an email from my local AC Shop indicating the filter-drier was defective.as I wasn't certain they'd take my word for it. I also had to pay to ship back the defective filter-drier; they refuse to pay any return shipping charges no matter what the circumstances. Here are some further testimonies to Parts Geek's crappy service, there are plenty of other complaints.

I was asked to rate Parts Geek on Trust Pilot: Click here to rate us on Trustpilot  I gave them one star out of five because that was as low as the system would let me go. Here was the Parts-Geek credit response on the defective filter-drier I returned.

"Please DO NOT REPLY to this message. (we will not receive it)

To contact us you MUST open a support ticket on our Customer Service page.

This is to inform you that your credit was processed today.

Invoice Number: 15-xxxxxxxx
Shipping: $9.95
Parts: $12.08
Total Credit: $22.03
"

UPDATE 7/15/2016
Bank ledger entries show the following credits from Parts-Geek..same order..same carrier..same destination


06/29/2016

 

CREDIT 1831 

06/28/16 75785902 PARTS 

GEEK, LLC 800-5419352  

NJ 

 

 

9.95

 

06/28/2016

 

CREDIT 1834 

06/27/16 78773002 PARTS 

GEEK, LLC 800-5419352  

NJ 

 

 

22.03

 
But on the second filter-drier I inadvertently ordered I only received $9.95 credit. When I asked the customer rep why I didn't get the full amount of $12.08, he hung up on me. The next time I called, I asked why is there a difference in shipping charges, i.e. (1st -drier) $22.03 - $12.08 = $9.95  and (2nd Drier) $12.08 - 9.95 = $2.13?  He claims I had to pay return shipping on an order that I refused deleivery on. This makes no sense!  You can also read my complaints on Yelp.

During the 2nd call to Parts-Geek, the customer rep said he needed to put me on hold while he checks into the shipping discrepancy and then after about 10+ minutes on hold, listening to their endless repetitive elevator music, the connection was terminated.  Both of these identical parts traveled via the same carrier to the same location, so the refund should have been the same. The order refund was INTENTIONALLY shorted, there is no other plausible explanation. No doubt, it's how they limit their expenses on damaged or defective items. Parts-Geek also overcharges you on the shipping, I spent $9.02 USPS charges to use the same carrier as Part-Geek to return a defective filter-drier to the same location that I was charged $9.95 to have it shipped to me originally from a commercial business. It's not a lot of money to be out for sure but if this is done on small orders what might you expect on a large one when returning a defective item?

Apparently, Parts Geek doesn't bother checking anything before it ships out, What's quality control? Basically you get whatever is on the shelf in whatever condition it is at the time. Who cares? They already got your money. And, they'll probably put your item right back on the shelf when they receive it and then ship it out to someone else.

Update 7/18/2016  I can see why Parts Geek is not a member of the Better Business Bureau but I went ahead and added my complaint to the New Jersey affiliate anyway, complaint ID 11568737.  I'd say the following complaints pretty much characterize Parts Geek practices, i.e. problems with Product/Service.

This business is not BBB accredited.

Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

628 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 201 closed in last 12 months
 
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 59
Billing/Collection Issues 31
Delivery Issues 104
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 20
Problems with Product/Service 414
Total Closed Complaints 628

Read Complaints | Definitions | BBB Complaint Process | File a Complaint against Parts Geek
See Trends in Complaints on Parts Geek | View Complaints Summary by Resolution Pie Chart on Parts Geek

As long as there are no consequences to their business the customer abuses at Parts Geek will continue.  Firing inept and/or rude representatives will not accomplish anything, Parts-Geek will simply train new inept and rude ones to take their place,  

UPDATE 7/22/2016

07/21/2016
CREDIT 1803 
07/20/16 74948702 PARTS 
GEEK, LLC 800-5419352  
NJ 
 
12.08

After this article posted with its BBB Parts Geek complaint history,  the company finally saw the error of their ways and repaid me for the expenses of returning the defective filter-drier and the shipping costs associated with refusing a second filter-drier.  Now that's properly serving your customers, just as JC Whitney and other great companies do.  I now recant my earlier recommendation: They need to be put out of business.

UPDATE 7/33-2018

This article may also be found on Sitejabber at  https://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/partsgeek.com#402
Note that there are 296 Parts Geek reviews at Sitejabber of which 268 are unfavorable.



Bill and Melinda Gates: Controlling Population and Public Education

by Anne Hendershott

Continuing their commitment to controlling global population growth through artificial contraception, sterilization, and abortion initiatives, Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, a self-described “practicing” Catholic, are now attempting to control the curriculum of the nation’s public schools. Subsidizing the Common Core State Standards in English language arts and mathematics, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has committed more than $76 million to support teachers in implementing the Common Core—a standardized national curriculum.  This, on top of the tens of millions they have already awarded to the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to develop the Common Core in the first place.

Working collaboratively with the Obama administration, the Gates Foundation subsidized the creation of a national curriculum for English and mathematics that has now been adopted by 46 states, and the District of Columbia—despite the fact that the General Education Provisions Act, the Department of Education Organization Act, and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act all protect states against such an intrusion by the United States Department of Education.

The Common Core Standards were developed by an organization called Achieve, and the National Governors Association—both of which were funded by the Gates Foundation.  The standards have been imposed on the states without any field testing, and little or no input from those involved in implementing the standards.  In a post entitled “Why I Cannot Support the Common Core Standards,” educational policy analyst and New York University Research Professor, Diane Ravitch, wrote that the standards “are being imposed on the children of this nation despite the fact that no one has any idea how they will affect students, teachers or schools…Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states."

Ravitch is especially concerned about the content of the curriculum—what she called the “flap over fiction vs. informational text.”  Rather than giving English teachers the freedom to teach literature, the Common Core mandates that a far greater percentage of classroom time be spent on “fact-based” learning. Ravitch’s concerns are shared by others.  For example, one teacher claimed that she had to give up having her students read Shakespeare in favor of Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point because it was “fact-based” and Shakespeare was not. Of course, Tipping Point has a political agenda.  Parents may be concerned if they were to learn that Gladwell suggests such “facts” as the belief that parents should stop worrying about their children’s “experimentation with drugs,” including cocaine because “it seldom leads to hardcore use.”

“Fact-based” books on climate change are also replacing classic works of literature because they are viewed as offering students an opportunity to learn “science.” Freakonomics—a book that has already been a favorite of public school teachers—is preferable to Poe because students will learn about the positive effects of abortion on reducing crime rates by reducing the population of those more likely to commit crime.

While the adoption of the Common Core was “voluntary” by the 46 states that adopted it, it was well understood by these states that they would not be eligible for Race to the Top funding ($4.35 billion) unless they adopted the Common Core standards.  The Gates Foundation was very much a part of this.  According to Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post (December 2, 2012), “the Gates Foundation invested tens of millions of dollars in the effort…The Obama administration kicked the notion into high gear when it required states to adopt the common core—or an equivalent—in order to compete for Race to the Top grant funds.

Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post recently reported (February 26, 2013) that there is growing resistance. Alabama, for example, withdrew from the two consortia that are working on creating standardized tests aligned with the standards. Indiana, which adopted the Common Core in 2010 under the state education superintendent Tony Bennett, is now talking about a “pause” in the implementation of the curriculum.  Bennett was defeated in the November elections by an educator who opposed Bennett’s support for the Common Core.

Now, there are concerns that the imposition of the Common Core within the public schools could threaten the autonomy of private schools, religious schools and home schools.  An op-ed published in the Orange County Register by Robert Holland, claims that the Common Core could “morph into a national curriculum that will stifle the family-centered creativity that has fostered high rates of achievement and growth for home education…Many private and parochial schools—including those of the 100 Roman Catholic dioceses across the nation, already are adopting the CCSS prescriptions for math and English classes…Their debatable reasoning is that the rush of most state governments to embrace the national standards means publishers of textbooks and tests will fall in line, thereby leaving private schools with no practical alternatives for instructional materials.  According to October 8, 2012 article in Education Week by Erik Robelin, it is not just Catholic schools that are adopting the Common Core, some Lutheran and other denominations of Christian schools are shifting to the common core, including Grand Rapids Christian in Michigan and the Christian Academy School System in Louisville, KY.  According to Robelin, parochial school leaders claim that they must “remain competitive” with public schools and now feel pressured to adopt the Core. These are real concerns.  As Diane Ravitch points out, “Now that David Coleman, the primary architect of the Common Core standards has become president of the College Board, we can expect that SAT will be aligned to the standards.  No one will escape their reach, whether they attend public or private school.”

On February 14, 2013, Missouri legislator Kurt Bahr filed HB616 that prohibits the State Board of Education from implementing the Common Core for public schools developed by the Common Core Initiative or any other statewide education standards without the approval of the General Assembly. An increasing number of parents are voicing their concerns.  For example, Tiffany Mouritsen, a Utah mother, blogged that the American Institutes for Research (AIR), the primary source for Common Core testing is a major concern for her:  “AIR markets its values which includes promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual agenda for teens, and publicizes its client list (including George Soros and Bill and Melinda Gates).”  In a column published in January, political commentator Michelle Malkin calls the Common Core a “stealthy federal takeover of school curriculum and standards across the country.” And, she maintains that the Common Core’s “dubious college and career read standards undermine local control of education, usurp state autonomy over curricular materials, and foist untested, mediocre and incoherent pedagogical theories on America’s schoolchildren."

The Gates Foundation: Buying Control

The promise of federal funds to states in order to “encourage” them to adopt the Common Core is nothing new.  Our government has been doing this both nationally and internationally for decades.  In a 2008 book entitled Fatal Misconception, author Matthew Connelly writes that in the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson leveraged food aid for family planning during crop failures in India, thus creating an incentive for the sterilization program.  India’s Ministry of Health and Family Planning admitted that, “The large number of sterilizations and IUD insertions during 1967-68 was due to drought conditions.”  Eventually, more sophisticated incentives such as bicycles and radios were used to encourage women to accept sterilization.  Connelly writes that under Indira Gandhi in the mid-1970s sterilization became a condition not just for land allotments, but for irrigation water, electricity, ration cards, rickshaw licenses, medical care, pay raises and promotions.  There were sterilization quotas—especially for the Dalits (the untouchable caste) who were targeted for family planning.

While the Gates Foundation has not been involved in anything this coercive, they have indeed been very much involved in giving aid to those countries willing to participate in family planning initiatives.   For nearly two decades, the Gates Foundation has been generous in providing aid to more than 100 countries—often coupled with family planning opportunities.  Such aid is often framed as a way to foster economic growth.  In an article in American Thinker, Andressen Blom and James Bell wrote that Melinda Gates made that connection explicit in a speech at a population gathering that “government leaders are now beginning to understand that providing access to contraceptives is a cost effective way to foster economic growth.”

Bill Gates revealed his own population goals in February, 2010, at the invitation-only Technology, Entertainment and Design Conference in Long Beach, California, when he gave his keynote speech on global warming: “Innovating to Zero!” In a youtube video available here,  Gates stated that CO2 emissions must be reduced to zero by 2050 and advised those in attendance that population had much to do with the increase in CO2.  Claiming that each individual on the planet puts out an average of about five tons of CO2 per year, Gates stated that “Somehow we have to make changes that will bring that down to zero…It has been constantly going up. It’s only various economic changes that have even flattened it at all.”  To illustrate, Gates presented the following equation: CO2 (total population emitted CO2 per year) = P (people) x S (services per person) x E (average energy per service) x C (average CO2 emitted per unit of energy).  Gates told the audience that “probably one of these numbers is going to have to get pretty near to zero.  That’s a fact from high school algebra.”  For Gates, the P (population) portion of the equation is the most important: “If we do a really great job on new vaccines, health care, reproductive health services, we could lower that by perhaps 10 or 15 percent.”

Gates maintains that improvements in health care—including an expansion of the administration of vaccinations—will encourage families to reduce the number of children they desire to have.  And, in an ongoing attempt to expand the types of birth control, Gates has spent millions of dollars on research and development.  According to Christian Voice, a few years ago the Gates Foundation awarded a grant of $100,000 to researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, to develop a new type of ultrasound described as a “non-invasive form of birth control for men” which would make a man infertile for up to six months.

Such strategies have been effective.   In fact, the Gates Foundation has been so successful in their family planning initiatives that the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) awarded their annual Population Award in 2010 to the Foundation.  According to a June 15, 2010 article in Mercator.net, at the awards ceremony, UNFPA executive director Thoraya Obaid cited the Gates Foundation as a “leader in the fields of global health and global development, particularly in promoting excellence in population assistance, including through the design of innovative, integrated solutions in the areas of reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and neonatal health.”  The International Planned Parenthood Federation is a previous winner of the United Nations Population Fund’s Annual Award.

It is easy to understand why the United Nations Population Fund—a fund which Steven Mosher, the President of the Population Research Institute has exposed as being a direct participant in China’s coercive one-child policy—honored Gates with their prestigious Population Fund award since the Gates Foundation has donated more than one billion dollars to “family-planning” groups including the United Nations Population Fund itself; CARE International—an organization which is lobbying for legalized abortion in several African nations; Save the Children—a major promoter of the population control agenda, the World Health Organizationan organization that forcibly sterilized thousands of women in the 1990s under the pretence of providing tetanus vaccination services in Nicaragua, Mexico and the Philippines; and of course, the major abortion provider, International Planned Parenthood Federation.

Bill and Melinda Gates truly believe that population control is key to the future.  Plans are already in place to track births and vaccinations through cell phone technology to register every birth on the planet.  Gates claims that the GPS technology would enable officials to track and “remind” parents who do not bring their children in for vaccines.   Maintaining that vaccination is key to reducing population growth, Gates predicts that if child mortality can be reduced, parents will have fewer children, following the example of the urbanized West where birth rates have dropped to below replacement levels: “The fact is that within a decade of improving health outcomes, parents decide to have fewer children.”   For Gates, “there is no such thing as a healthy, high population growth country.  If you’re healthy, you’re low-population growth… As the world grows from 6 billion to 9 billion, all of that population growth is in urban slums…It’s a very interesting problem.”

More than a decade ago, on May 17, 2002, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had purchased shares in nine of the largest pharmaceutical companies valued at nearly $205 million.  Acquiring shares in Merck, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson Wyeth, Abbott Labs, and others, the Gates Foundation continues a financial interest in common with the makers of AIDS drugs, diagnostic tools, vaccines, and contraceptives.  But, the commitment to global population control goes well beyond financial interests.  It is likely that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will continue its commitment to global population control, and now, curriculum creation in the nation’s schools because they truly believe that they know better than anyone else how we all should live.

A Product of Poor Catholic Education

It is difficult to believe the claims of Bill and Melinda Gates that they are not involved in the abortion industry when you look at the relationships they have with organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation—the largest abortion provider in the world.  According to the National Catholic Register, Melinda Gates represents herself in the media as a practicing Catholic who has a great uncle who was a Jesuit priest and a great aunt who was an Ursuline nun who taught her to read.  She graduated from Ursuline Academy in Dallas, where she claims to have learned “incredible social justice.”  And, this may indeed be where the problem begins.  For so many Catholics, social justice has been so broadly defined that it now includes giving women access to reproductive rights—including the right to abortion—so that they can play an equal role in contributing to the workplace and the economy.  In an article entitled “Why Birth Control is Still a Big Idea” published in Foreign Policy in December, 2012, Melinda Gates writes:

Contraceptives unlock one of the most dormant but potentially powerful assets in development:  women as decision makers.  When women have the power to make choices about their families, they tend to decide precisely what demographers, economists, and development experts recommend.

Most recently, in a January 2, 2013 article published on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website entitled “Profiles in Courage: Philippines Passes Reproductive Health Bill,” the article congratulates all of those who helped bring expanded access to “reproductive health” through the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012—recently signed by President Aquino. This bill states that women and men—living in the most Catholic of Catholic countries—can now “decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.”   What the Gates Foundation website omits is information about the provision within the bill involving “population management” through mandatory counseling of couples seeking marriage licenses.  In this case, social justice involves a demand that couples learn about the government’s views on an ideal family size of two children—coming one step closer to China in its government’s one-child policy.

This commitment to a distorted definition of social justice by Melinda and Bill Gates will likely continue because they have been lead to believe that such control is what is best for people.  The Core Curriculum is really just another component of population control—it is used to help teach children the “facts” about climate change and problems of over-population.  Indeed, the population agenda is a trap that many wealthy, highly intelligent people have fallen into in the past. From the wealthy eugenics supporters of Planned Parenthood’s Founder Margaret Sanger, to the Rockefeller family and their population control initiatives, this work continues today through their heirs—heirs like David Rockefeller—an ally of Bill and Melinda Gates.  And some influential Catholics have been complicit in this.  At one time, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame served as a trustee, and later, Chairman of the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, a funder of population causes counter to the teachings of the Church.

The population control initiatives promoted by the Gates Foundation will continue to grow nationally and internationally because they have convinced others and themselves that they are saving lives. On their website, they ask: “what is more life affirming than saving one third of mothers from dying in childbirth?”   What they do not seem to acknowledge is how many unborn children have died from their initiatives.

317


Anne Hendershott is Professor of Sociology at Franciscan University in Steubenville. Previously, she taught for fifteen years as a tenured faculty member at the University of San Diego. She is the author of Status Envy: The Politics of Catholic Higher Education and The Politics of Abortion.


The Power to Tax is the Power to Destroy

by Bob Bauman

 

The ghost of Richard Nixon is haunting the halls of power in Washington, D.C.

In 1974, as a 37-year-old member of the U.S. House of Representatives, I counted Dick Nixon as my friend. Then, the Watergate scandal broke. President Nixon was accused of, among other things, trying to get the IRS to harass his political enemies with tax audits. It resulted in a vote for his impeachment.

Now, fast forward nearly four decades to last Friday. A director at the Internal Revenue Service openly revealed that the agency had specifically targeted for special scrutiny 75 conservative groups that had 'Tea Party' or 'Patriots' or other similar terms in their names. They even went so far as to target groups looking to educate citizens on the U.S. Constitution.

I know, it's chilling. It prompts us to ask: If faceless IRS bureaucrats can target Americans for their beliefs at will, are you next?
 

As The Wall Street Journal (May 11, 2013) stated: "Other than the power to prosecute, the taxing authority is the most awesome power the government has. It can ruin people and companies."

And if you offend the IRS, it could ruin you too!

In the face of these appalling attacks on our basic liberties, perhaps the time has come for Americans to protect their fundamental financial and personal privacy rights by considering heading offshore. For decades, The Sovereign Society has been showing members how to implement simple asset protection strategies, take advantage of global investment opportunities and employ safe, cost-effective ways to move assets to safer havens abroad.

As recent events have highlighted, the proverbial government noose around our necks is only getting tighter.


The United Police State of America


Think, for a moment, about the implications of the IRS's actions.

If you dare to advocate a political position that it dislikes, will your taxes be audited? How much will it cost you to defend yourself?

This is not small-time Chicago ward heeler politics. This is serious, criminal official misconduct on a massive scale.

Until now, I think most Americans assumed that the IRS treated us as the law and our Constitution required, although not always courteously or fairly.  In reality, things were much different. High IRS officials knew about and concealed their anti-conservative policy for two years, since at least June 29, 2011.

Equally shocking, one of my least favorite bureaucrats, IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, for a year falsely denied that the IRS had done the very thing they just finally admitted doing.
 

A few months ago, I wrote: "As a former professor of constitutional law, I would hope the president knows that the Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen due process of law. But if the president is willing to ignore the U.S. Constitution, what might such a zealot do to implement his vision of social justice and redistribution of wealth?"

Turns out, some people's names (or at least the names of their organizations) really are on Obama's list.

In anticipation of the tyrannical impulses of our current government, I recently created a survival guide for Washington D.C's new tax assault, wrote about a fast-track residence program in Panama and shared the secrets to the easiest way to enjoy the benefits of European Union citizenship.

It pains me to admit it, but I believe that our best chance to protect our liberties and enjoy financial freedom may exist overseas. I urge you to plan for your future accordingly.

I leave you today with the words of Martin Niemiller, a prominent Protestant pastor who was an outspoken foe of Adolf Hitler. He spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps and is best remembered for this quotation in which we all can find a lesson, we must all speak out against oppression:

First they came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.



Read more: http://patrioteponym.webnode.com/news/power-to-tax-power-to-destroy/

OP's Reich adds License Plate Scanner To Tighten Citizen Surveillance

by Jennifer Lynch and Peter Bibring

Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using sophisticated cameras, called "automated license plate readers," or ALPRs, to scan and record the license plates of millions of cars across the country. These cameras, mounted on top of patrol cars and on city streets, can scan up to 1,800 license plate per minute, day or night, allowing one squad car to record more than 14,000 plates during the course of a single shift.

Automated License Plate Recording System

Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when the data are put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And according to recent research reported in Nature, it's possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial data points (location plus time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifiers.

To better gauge the real threat to privacy posed by ALPRs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Southern California asked the LAPD and LA Sheriff's Department for information on their systems, including their policies on retaining and sharing information and all the license plate data each department collected over the course of a single week in 2012.

After both agencies refused to release most of the records we asked for, we sued. We hope to get access to these data, both to show just how many data the agencies are collecting and to show how revealing they can be.

Automated license plate readers are often touted as an easy way to find stolen cars -- the system checks a scanned plate against a database of stolen or wanted cars and can instantly identify a hit, allowing officers to set up a sting to recover the car and catch the thief. But even when there's no match in the database and no reason to think a car is stolen or involved in a crime, police keep the data.

According to the LA Weekly, the LAPD and LASD together already have collected more than 160 million "data points" (license plates plus time, date, and exact location) in the greater LA area -- that's more than 20 hits for each of the more than 7 million vehicles registered in LA County. That's a ton of data, but it's not all -- law enforcement officers also have access to private databases containing hundreds of millions of plates and their coordinates collected by "repo" men.

Law enforcement agencies claim that ALPR systems are no different from an officer recording license plate, time and location information by hand. They also argue the data don't warrant any privacy protections because we drive our cars around in public. However, as five justices of the Supreme Court recognized last year in U.S. v. Jones, a case involving GPS tracking, the ease of data collection and the low cost of data storage make technological surveillance solutions such as GPS or ALPR very different from techniques used in the past.

Police are open about their desire to record the movements of every car in case it might one day prove valuable. In 2008, LAPD police Chief Charlie Beck (then the agency's chief of detectives) told GovTech magazine that ALPRs have "unlimited potential" as an investigative tool. "It's always going to be great for the black-and-white to be driving down the street and find stolen cars rolling around... But the real value comes from the long-term investigative uses of being able to track vehicles -- where they've been and what they've been doing -- and tie that to crimes that have occurred or that will occur." But amassing data on the movements of law-abiding residents poses a real threat to privacy, while the benefit to public safety is speculative, at best.

In light of privacy concerns, states including Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia have limited the use of ALPRs, and New Hampshire has banned them outright. Even the International Association of Chiefs of Police has issued a report recognizing that "recording driving habits" could raise First Amendment concerns because cameras could record "vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors' offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests."

But even if ALPRs are permitted, there are still common-sense limits that can allow the public safety benefits of ALPRs while preventing the wholesale tracking of every resident's movements. Police can, and should, treat location information from ALPRs like other sensitive information -- they should retain it no longer than necessary to determine if it might be relevant to a crime, and should get a warrant to keep it any longer. They should limit who can access it and who they can share it with. And they should put oversight in place to ensure these limits are followed.

Unfortunately, efforts to impose reasonable limits on ALPR tracking in California have failed so far. Last year, legislation that would have limited private and law enforcement retention of ALPR data to 60 days -- a limit currently in effect for the California Highway Patrol -- and restricted sharing between law enforcement and private companies failed after vigorous opposition from law enforcement. In California, law enforcement agencies remain free to set their own policies on the use and retention of ALPR data, or to have no policy at all.

Some have asked why we would seek public disclosure of the actual license plate data collected by the police -- location-based data that we think is private. But we asked specifically for a narrow slice of data -- just a week's worth -- to demonstrate how invasive the technology is. Having the data will allow us to see how frequently some plates have been scanned; where and when, specifically, the cops are scanning plates; and just how many plates can be collected in a large metropolitan area over the course of a single week. Actual data will reveal whether ALPRs are deployed primarily in particular areas of Los Angeles and whether some communities might, therefore, be much more heavily tracked than others. If these data are too private to give a week's worth to the public to help inform us how the technology is being used, then isn't it too private to let the police amass years' worth of data without a warrant?

After the Boston Marathon bombings, many have argued that the government should take advantage of surveillance technology to collect more data, rather than less. But we should not so readily give up the very freedoms that terrorists seek to destroy. We should recognize just how revealing ALPR data are and not be afraid to push our police and legislators for sensible limits to protect our basic right to privacy.


{Editor Note: Automated License Plate Recorders are merely the precursor ro CCTV which is already in use in many U.S. cities. However, a recent Australian court decision casts doubt as to their real purpose which doesn't appear to be crime.  "A local resident opposed to the introduction of CCTV cameras succesfully proved that public surveillance carried out by his city council not only broke Australia’s privacy laws, but also did nothing to prevent crime – the supposed reason for its installation."}


Daniel Solove, author of Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff Between Privacy and Security, believes these arguments, and many like them, are flawed. They are based on mistaken views about what it means to protect privacy and the costs and benefits of doing so.

Terrorist attacks, while horrific, claim far fewer lives each year than suicide in the U.S. Nearly 30,000 Americans take their own lives each year. According to The Guardian, 3,467 American lives have been lost in terrorist attacks since 1970; 3,003 of those were in 2001.  A version of this article was originally posted here.


Two Supreme Ct. Decisions the Anti-Gunners Don't Want You to See

by Carl F. Worden

There are two Supreme Court rulings that directly relate to the current anti-Assault Weapon issue everyone needs to be reminded of.

The first is United States v. Miller 1939. Miller possessed a sawed-off shotgun banned under the National Firearms Act. He argued that he had a right to bear the weapon under the Second Amendment, but the Supreme Court ruled against him. Why? At the time, sawed-off shotguns were not being used in a military application, and the Supremes ruled that since it didn't, it was not protected. Even though Miller lost that argument, the Miller case set the precedent that protected firearms have a military, and thus a legitimate and protected Militia use. The military now uses shotguns regularly, but not very short, sawed-off shotguns, but an AR-15/AK-47 type weapon is currently in use by the military, therefore it is a protected weapon for the Unorganized Militia, which includes just about every American citizen now that both age and sex discrimination are illegal. (The original Militia included men of age 17-45). Therefore any firearm that is applicable to military use is clearly protected under Article II, and that includes all those nasty-looking semi-automatic black rifles, including full 30 round magazines.

The second important case is that of John Bad Elk v. United States from 1900. In that case, an attempt was made to arrest Mr. Bad Elk without probable cause, and Mr. Bad Elk killed a policeman who was attempting the false arrest. Bad Elk had been found guilty and sentenced to death. However, the Supreme Court ruled that Bad Elk had the right to use any force, including lethal force, to prevent his false arrest, even if the policeman was only trying to arrest him and not kill him. Basically, the Supremes of the day ruled that as a citizen, you have the right to defend against your civil rights being violated using ANY force necessary to prevent the violation, even if the offending party isn't trying to kill you.

Both of these cases are standing law to this day.

The Miller decision clearly includes AR-15/AK-47 type weapons as having a military application. The Bad Elk decision means that if the government tries to confiscate your AR-15/AK-47, or arrest you for having one, you can kill the offenders on the spot, even if they are not trying to kill you.

I didn't make these decisions; the United States Supreme Court did.


Kansas Ethics Head Hazlett in Ethics Trouble Himself

by Mary Kay Culp, KFL Executive Director

Today's KFL blog (read it HERE) examines how the states' legal ethics head, Stan Hazlett, went after one attorney's license, allegedly breaking the rules and repeatedly lying! He now faces his own set of ethics charges. Interestingly, that attorney also had a connection to abortion. Because of his actions it was revealed in a story in the Topeka Capitol Journal that sexual abuse was going on at the women's correction center in Topeka, with abortion being used to hide it!

This strongly echoes the ongoing saga of former attorney General, Phill Kline who Hazlett is also going after. 

Three weeks ago, anti- Kline "tweets" were going on the internet against Phill Kline, at his ethics hearing in the Supreme Court. After complaining about the source of the derisive comments--an appellate court law clerk (who helps the justices write their rulings)--Kline's attorney issued a letter to Hazlett. The letter is HERE. Many substantive charges are made, and Hazlett is asked to release more materials.

Note: Donate to Kline's defense at https://www.lifeissues.org/amistad/donate/index.html

The question remains why Hazlett steadfastly dogged Kline after two investigative bodies and a Wichita judge supported his actions.

Is it because of the fact that Hazlett works for the Kansas Supreme Court, whose member, Justice Carol Beier, has a recognized dislike of Mr. Kline? That assertion is not wholly ours. A December 2008 Supreme Court ruling regarding Kline found he did nothing wrong and yet Beier, who wrote the opinion, devoted 18 pages to denigrate him. The entire ruling written by Beier was so out of the ordinary, that the chief justice at the time, Kay McFarland said this, as part of her separate comments:

" …It appears to me that the majority invokes our extraordinary inherent power to sanction simply to provide a platform from which it can denigrate Kline for actions that it cannot find to have been in violation of any law and to heap scorn upon him for his attitude and behavior that does not rise to the level of contempt. This is the very antithesis of "restraint and discretion" and is not an appropriate exercise of our inherent power.”

Adding:

“I believe it is inappropriate to set forth, as if to threaten [Kline] with, the various penalties that could be imposed if some past or future hypothetical misconduct should "come to light" at a later date….This vague statement seems to anticipate and encompass the discovery of additional past or future misconduct.”

It is difficult not to wonder if there was some tipoff to Beier or her staff (especially as more "bad tweets"have been uncovered) about a CD with work product from then-former KS AG Kline's staff that supposedly appeared "mysteriously" on the desks of abortion attorneys just weeks earlier and that it supposedly contained damning information.  It didn't although they have tried during Kline's ethics allegations journey to make something of it. The origin of the CD, and its transfer to abortion attorneys has never been determined, but certainly needs to be. 

There are other issues related to Kansas corruption that we are working on because they too demand further exploration and action, and we will be reporting on them soon--especially the destruction of evidence related to the Planned Parenthood charges that have all now been dropped by Johnson County DA Steve Howe. 

Again, read the KFL blog article (here) about another Kansas attorney who Hazlett pursued who is fighting back allegedly with facts that proved Hazlett is not above lying, and note the similarities to how Hazlett has treated and continues to treat Phill Kline! Also, again, please read the great letter Kline's attorney Condit has written to Hazlett HERE.  




How a Sebelius judge saved Planned Parenthood

by Jack Cashill {WND.com}


With her first appointment to the Kansas Supreme Court as governor in 2003, Democrat Kathleen Sebelius chose the proudly “third-wave” feminist, Carol Beier. It was a timely choice.  That same year, Republican Phill Kline took office as Kansas Attorney General.  From Beier’s perspective, Kline represented a serious threat to the “reproductive freedom” that she, Sebelius, and other third-wavers espoused.

As Kline sensed before taking office, the state’s two dominant abortion providers, Comprehensive Health of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri (CHPPKM) in suburban Kansas City and George Tiller’s Women’s Health Care clinic in Wichita, were ignoring state restrictions on late term abortion, Tiller flagrantly.  What Kline discovered only after a multi-year fight with Sebelius’s people to get access to relevant records was that both clinics were grossly ignoring mandatory reporting laws on child rape.

Of the 166 abortions performed on girls under-fifteen in the years 2002 and 2003, the clinics reported only three cases to the state department of Social and Rehabilitation Services. They should have reported all 166.

Kline was prepared to press charges against both Tiller and CHPPKM. For reasons of ideology and campaign finance, Sebelius could not let this happen.

To begin, Sebelius persuaded Paul Morrison, a popular Republican district attorney from Johnson County in suburban Kansas City, to change parties and run against Kline in 2006. The state abortion industry invested nearly $2 million to help the local media defeat Kline.

To the dismay of the abortion industry, however, Kline was elected to fulfill the remaining two years on Morrison’s term as Johnson County DA. From that position, he was able to continue the investigation into CHPPKM he had begun as attorney general.

In October 2007, Kline filed 107 counts, 23 of them felonies, against CHPPKM. District Court Judge James Vano found “probable cause” of crimes having been committed and allowed the case to proceed.

Planned Parenthood and new AG Morrison sued Kline to derail the prosecution.  When the case reached the Kansas Supreme Court, the justices grudgingly ruled in Kline’s favor and allowed his case against Planned Parenthood to go forward.  If the facts supported Kline, Judge Beier clearly did not. “His attitude and behavior are inexcusable,” she wrote for the majority , “particularly for someone who purports to be a professional prosecutor.”

Associated Press writer John Hanna uncritically described her summary as “a public tongue-lashing.” A Topeka reporter termed her opinion “a searing condemnation.” The Kansas City Star headlined its story, “Kansas Court Rebukes District Attorney Kline.” And remember, Kline won the case.

If the media were blind to what was happening, then Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice, Kay McFarland, was not.  She called Beier’s opinion “ the very antithesis of ‘restraint and discretion’ and . . . not an appropriate exercise of our inherent power.”  McFarland scolded Beier and the majority for attempting “to denigrate Kline for actions that it cannot find to have been in violation of any law and to heap scorn upon him for his attitude and behavior that does not rise to the level of contempt.”


McFarland may have suspected that Beier’s hectoring of Kline was not spontaneous. Earlier that year, in fact, Beier co-authored a provocative paper that endorsed a strategy very much like the one used to defame Kline.  The paper was written for the Feminist Legal Theory and Feminisms (sic) Conference sponsored by the University of Baltimore School of Law and dealt with what is called third-wave feminism and its effect on parenting law.


The article’s closing quote by Gloria Steinem captures the spirit of this radical feminist incarnation. “We are talking about a society in which there will be no roles other than those chosen or those earned,” said the feminist icon and all-purpose leftist. “We are really talking about humanism.”  Understanding that tradition is not easily discarded in a state like Kansas, Beier and Walsh cite approvingly a strategy suggested by feminist law professor Bridget Crawford.

Write the authors, “Crawford posits that the third-wave’s reclamation of feminism through engagement with the media is powerful ‘cultural work’ that may be a necessary pre-condition to an evolution in the law.”

According to Crawford, “The media are tools to produce cultural infrastructure, without which even the best intentioned and artfully designed legal reforms are ineffective.”  Beier knew something about the media. Before going to law school, she worked several years for the Kansas City Times, the then sister publication of the Kansas City Star.

The Star proved to be the most useful of all media “tools” at Beier’s disposal. Indeed, the paper won Planned Parenthood’s top 2006 national editorial honor for its work defeating “anti-choice zealot” Kline and attacked him relentlessly thereafter.  So powerful was the media’s “cultural work” that in May 2007 Sebelius had no qualms about letting Planned Parenthood celebrate her birthday at a big Kansas City blow-out.

Leading the “conga line around the concert hall” was Peter Brownlie, the local CEO whose abortion clinic was then at the center of Kline’s investigation.  The partiers “sure know how to have fun!” enthused the Planned Parenthood newsletter.  With the cultural infrastructure so well established, Kline lost his re-election bid and was forced to leave the state to find employment.

Wanting to make an example of Kline lest some other prosecutor challenge Planned Parenthood in the future, the activists on the Supreme Court prompted an ethics investigation into Kline’s handling of the abortion cases.  Ironically, one of the charges was that Kline did not share the scope of his investigation with Sebelius. This was true. Kline feared her people would hamper the investigation and possibly destroy evidence.

As it turned out, they did both. Planned Parenthood will likely escape prosecution because Sebelius’s health department and her attorney general’s office separately destroyed key evidence.  Last week, as the decision in the ethics case neared, Kline filed a recusal motion showing that Beier’s 2008 opinion was “flagrantly dishonest in its presentation of facts.” After reading Kline’s motion, four other justices decided that they too had previously complained about Kline’s behavior and recused themselves, as did Beier.

In doing so, the justices gave Beier cover. A public airing of the Beier-led assault on Kline would have seriously damaged the court’s reputation and Sebelius’s.  Planned Parenthood stood to lose over $300 million in federal funding if CHPPKM had been successfully prosecuted. Sebelius protected Planned Parenthood’s interest in Kansas and now oversees its funding as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The ladder goes up, Kathleen, but the circles go down.