Archive for the ‘News’ Category

sarahM-photo

** BREAKING NEWS **

During a news conference tonight, authorities confirmed that a body found in the D&R canal during the search for Sarah Majoras is believed to be that of Sarah’s. Foul play is not suspected, but authorities are not ruling it out and will continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.  The public is asked to continue to contact authorities with information that can aid in the remaining investigation.

More information at ABC 6.

** ONGOING UPDATES APPENDED TO THE END OF THIS POST **

Family and friends of Sarah Majoras need your help.

The 39 year old resident of Lambertville, NJ went missing in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, January 26th.  She is a popular bartender of 16 years at the well-known John and Peter’s bar in New Hope, PA – a favorite spot for checking out local bands – just on the other side of the bridge that connects the two towns.  She was not working on Friday evening; she is said to have gone to John and Peter’s to hang with friends and listen to live music, then left at about 2:00am Saturday morning for the usual walk to her home from the bar.  She walked home alone and has not been seen since.  Authorities have said that video from closed circuit cameras on the bridge shows that Majoras successfully made it across the bridge.

As a former nearby resident of the area, I’ve spent much time in the bucolic sister towns of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ.  And every year for the last several years, my mother and I have also spent time there exhibiting artwork at the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce’s annual New Hope Arts and Crafts Festival.  Walking alone in that area is not something that is typically considered very unsafe.  It’s a quiet, beautiful area, with a friendly tight-knit community, lined with historical colonial homes and charming village shops.

This morning, I received the following email from the Greater New Hope Chamber of Commerce:

Your help is urgently needed to help find our friend and local John and Peters bartender, Sarah Majoras.  She was last seen leaving John and Peters at approximately 2am on Jan 26th.  She did not make it home and did not report to work last night for her shift at 9pm.  If you have any information, heard anything strange, have surveillance video from your house or storefront, please call New Hope police (215) 862-3033 .  Someone must know something or have seen something that can help.  Please help to spread the word to the local community, press, social media, anyone.  See picture below on twitter…we are using #findsarah on twitter.

pic.twitter.com/IBjBvxwJ

Thank you!

I have also spent much time at John and Peter’s over the years, and while I did not know Sarah, I was shocked and saddened when I opened the email and recognized her young and vibrant face.

Merchants in the area are being urged to check any available surveillance video for potential information that could be helpful to the investigation.

The community is also urging those who wish to assist to please help spread the word in any way you can – blogs, social media, phone, and on foot if you’re nearby.  Again, if you’re tweeting, they are using #findsarah as the hashtag.

There is a Facebook page that has been set up to assist in helping to communicate information about the search for Sarah.  The group has recently added an Information Portal tab to the page that includes photos and downloadable posters, donation information and more.

The following flyer is also available to post online and to print and pass around in nearby areas.

Local and national media outlets have since picked up the story, you can read a few of them below.

NJ.com/Hunterdon County Democrat: Scuba divers search beneath canal ice for missing Lambertville woman

PhillyBurbs.com: 100 volunteers join officials in search for missing Lambertville woman

NBC News: Missing Bartender Made it Across Bridge: Investigators

Daily Mail: Scuba divers search under frozen canal for woman, 39, who went missing after walk home alone from nightclub

FOX News: Divers search Delaware River for missing bartender

Once again, if you have any information, or surveillance video that you think can assist in the investigation, please contact the New Hope Police at (215) 862-3033 or the Lambertville Police Department at (609) 397-3132.

————————————————————

UPDATE on 1/30/2013 at 3:30pm EST:

The prosecutor’s office and investigators on the case are holding a live press conference today to begin sometime between 3:30 and 4:00 pm EST.  Livestream is available here at ABC-6.  Hunterdon County, NJ prosecutor to press: “You are our mouthpiece.”

I will add that the area of New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ  is a popular tourist area in NJ.  Visitors from out of town could have been in the area and seen or heard something before leaving the area without ever having known about Sarah having gone missing – this is why spreading this story outside of the immediate community is so important.

UPDATE on 1/30/2013 at 12:00pm EST:

No new leads; the search continues.

“Underwater searches are focused on the canal and are no longer taking place in the Delaware River, since authorities determined Majoras made it into Lambertville.”
More at LehighValleyLive.

UPDATE on 1/29/2013 at 2:30pm EST:

Planet Princeton reports that the prosecutor’s office has released an update, as well as footage of Sarah Majoras crossing the bridge from New Hope, PA into Lambertville, NJ in the hopes that “it may trigger someone’s memory if they saw her that night.”  View their article to see still photos of the footage.

ABC / Action News has also posted a complete set of photos of the search activities, including additional photos of the surveillance footage.

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by Liberty Chick at BigGovernment

The hacker collective Anonymous has struck government websites again, this time the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the National Consumer Protection Week websites.  According to the Associated Press, “both sites were replaced with a violent German-language video satirizing the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA.” A pastebin page to which some of the Anonymous associated Twitter accounts are linking outlines the message that was distributed by the hackers, as well as a link to the violent video mentioned in the AP article.

acta-anon

The hackings were in response both to Google’s recent changes to its terms of service and, more prominently, to the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which  22 of the European Union’s 27 member states signed last month in Tokyo. Pressure from Anonymous and anti-ACTA activists caused Poland to suspend the bill last week, where members of its Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks in protest. Poland and Slovenia are now distancing themselves from the treaty.

ACTA is an international treaty aimed at curtailing copyright infringement, counterfeit and pirated goods, and other forms of intellectual property theft across multiple member states.  The agreement is meant to provide a framework for member countries, which have differences in legal systems and practices, to work together cooperatively “to address the problem of infringement of intellectual property rights, including infringement taking place in the digital environment, in particular with respect to copyright or related rights, in a manner that balances the rights and interests of the relevant right holders, service providers, and users.”  In light of controversy over the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, ACTA has generated a good deal of discussion and debate in the same political and activism circles.  Some fear it’s too much government intrusion for a solution that they believe may not ultimately address the problem adequately anyway.  Others have argued that while such legislation may be flawed, the need to protect against international stealing online does exist.

(Read the rest at BigGovernment…)

More articles on Anonymous by Liberty Chick at Breitbart.com.

by Liberty Chick & Adam Baldwin  ~  at BigJournalism.com

Police warn UC Davis protesters

UC Davis protesters encircle police to prevent them from leaving. Police issued multiple warnings to those in the path to clear access. Just prior to the pepper spray, Officer Pike gives a final warning to each protester, "Do you understand that if you stay here when the police squad comes, you will be subject to the use of force?

On Monday, students, faculty and supporters at the University of California, Davis, attempted a mass general strike to protest tuition hikes and to demand the resignation of Chancellor Linda Katehi after police pepper-sprayed eleven protesters who blocked a public access way at an #OccupyUCDavis event on November 18th. Students maintain it was Chancellor Katehi who requested the police remove the Occupy encampment and clear access to the facility.  The incident sparked a firestorm of media all across the world and has become a viral phenomenon, and now even an Internet meme.

We stand behind those calling for Chancellor Katehi’s resignation.  But not for the reasons they might think.

The events of UC Davis and the way in which the pepper-spray was handled has set a number of dangerous precedents.  In the setting of academia, the rights of the majority of students are being trampled on to appease the tyranny of a minority.  Further, the very system of law and order and its public servants instituted to protect the rights of the public at large have been undermined by incompetent leaders, unable to withstand the growing pressure of a noisy minority and the corrupt media that supports it.  Most importantly, propaganda has established a foothold that is now stronger than ever, and far more dangerous than the short-term effects of pepper spray.

Over the last week, we have seen the media pick up the UC Davis story and run with it, always highlighting the same twenty seconds of one Officer Pike, methodically pepper-spraying eleven “peaceful protesters,” as onlookers gasp and scream in horror and dismay.  The public was almost undivided in its immediate condemnation of the act.

But just as Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” Perhaps in this case, it’s not so much a lie, but a lot of omissions.

Continue…

Peen State?  Tweeted earlier today:  https://twitter.com/#!/Liberty_Chick/status/133625836250218496

h/t for the pic to @mollybuckley

Freudian slip.  Ouch.

Someone over at CNN’s really got peen on the brain: Sandusky’s autobiography titled ‘Touched'”

If you don’t know the backstory, you’ve apparently been under a rock.

Here’s one to get you started on the catch-up: 
Former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky arrested in child sex case; AD Tim Curley charged with perjury

 

by Adam Baldwin and Liberty Chick

UPDATE: UW-Stout has retreated.  “…Therefore, UW-Stout has reconsidered its decision to remove the two posters from outside the professor’s office, meaning he can display them if he so chooses.”  Popehat has the analysis.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is one of America’s most sacred freedoms and our public universities often among its staunchest defenders.  But at the University of Wisconsin-Stout (UWS), it seems this sacred freedom is in the eye of the beholder.

UWS theater professor Dr. James Miller is relatively new to the short-lived, now cult hit TV series “Firefly.”  Some of his students are loyal fans and asked Dr. Miller to check it out for himself. He liked it enough to hang a Firefly poster on his office door. Given its remote location in the theater wing, where mostly only theater students would see it, who would have expected the poster to cause such a firestorm?

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly and a line from an episode: “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.” On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter notified Miller that she had removed the poster because it “refer[s] to killing.” After Miller replied, “respect my first amendment rights,” Walter wrote that “the poster can be interpreted as a threat.” Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: “If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.”

In response to Walter’s censorship, Miller placed a new poster on his office door on the 16th. The poster read “Warning: Fascism” and mocked, “Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.”

Walter escalated the absurdity. On September 20, she wrote that this poster, too, had been censored because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death” and was expected to “be constituted as a threat.” She added that UWS’s “threat assessment team,” in consultation with the university general counsel’s office, had made the decision. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes then scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team.”

Read the rest here at BigHollywood

Memories of Hurricane Floyd, only a tropical storm by the time it reached New Jersey in 1999.

Listen to Gov Christie:  “You’ve maximized your tan. Get the hell off the beach….Do not waste any more time working on your tan.”

Additional photo galleries:

The Flying Kiwi, Richard Seaman: 1999 Bound Brook Flood

NJ Office of Emergency Management

NJ Task Force One deployment to Bound Brook, NJ

“We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less guess what you’re thinking about.”
—  former Google CEO Eric Schmidt at a Washington Ideas Forum last October


[Start at 16:02]

 Much has been said about Google’s evolution from a hip, niche technology outfit to a behemoth advertising machine over the years.  As the company has grown in its product offering, so has all that valuable user data – and their users’ online habits.  With almost 200 million users monthly of the Gmail service alone, there’s no shortage of juicy email content from which Google can serve up a cacophony of those automated “creepy” integrated advertising links in and around your email messages based upon your email habits.  When Google launched its Buzz product and automatically opted all of its users IN rather than OUT, the outcry for privacy and data protection was deafening.  And most recently, we’ve read the news reports of Facebook blocking the Google Chrome extension Facebook Friend Exporter, citing its violation of Facebook’s terms of service for vacuuming data right out of other users’ Facebook accounts without their permission.  Names, email addresses, websites, addresses and even phone numbers of users’ friends were being sucked out of their Facebook accounts straight onto Google’s servers where the information could be used by Google in any way they saw fit.  I share my info with my Facebook friends, but that doesn’t mean I want them extracting it for other applications they might want to use.  (But hey, how dare I complain, when Google calls this openness.)

Now, it’s copyrights that Google is seeking to hijack from users.

The Washington Post reports that under the fine print of the Google Terms of Agreement for Google+ there is a provision that robs photographers of the ability to sell their works if they upload their pictures on the site.

The Post noted:

Google’s Terms of Service on photography, Photofocus cautions, should be read carefully, especially these sections:

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services.

You agree that this license includes a right for Google to make such Content available to other companies, organizations or individuals with whom Google has relationships for the provision of syndicated services, and to use such Content in connection with the provision of those services.

You understand that Google, in performing the required technical steps to provide the Services to our users, may (a) transmit or distribute your Content over various public networks and in various media; and (b) make such changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to the technical requirements of connecting networks, devices, services or media. You agree that this license shall permit Google to take these actions.

Scott Bourne at Photofocus writes that there’s a reason he doesn’t use Google photo sharing services and won’t be signing up for Google+.

“If I do share images on Google services – under the current terms of service – I will risk genuine harm to my ability to earn income from those images. As a professional, I don’t see the reward of using the Google services as being worth more than the risk.”

At least this time Google had the courtesy to notify users upfront that they’ll have to abandon rights to their intellectual property–unlike the launch of Google Books, where Google uploaded copyrighted material without even asking the authors, which resulted in a class action suit.

Some will argue that the Google+ terms state that users do retain any rights they already hold, but the practical application of protecting those rights simply isn’t assured under Google’s model, and most certainly not under its current terms.  In these times of open source and file sharing, artists of all stripes can barely avoid making some of their content available for free to keep customers happy.  In fact, most will find it beneficial to do so to increase their traffic and to build up a customer following.  But many of those artists make their money in exclusive licensing agreements, the boundaries of which become a bit blurred by portions of Google policy, especially now that Google+ has launched. My mother is an artist and as someone who helps her market her work, the Google dilemma is one with which we struggle all the time.  Her artwork is quite unique and sometimes a customer may inquire about an exclusive licensing agreement to use a work of hers, for a line of fashion t-shirts, for example.  If she uploads photos of her paintings to Google+, it might be great to have millions of eyes looking at and sharing her work, but at the same time, she can’t necessarily promise her customer that the “exclusive” image he’s purchasing won’t show up in a Google ad or at a trade show booth someplace.

We frequently hear people in our country say, “we used to make things here in America, we used to create things.”  The truth is, we still do. We now create ideas, innovations, inventions, technology.  We create inspiration: words, music, art.  And while our society is speedily growing accustomed to sharing these creations collectively and openly, and expecting them at zero cost, we must remember that for some – for many, in fact – these creations are the very lifeblood of their creators.

Google itself started as the creation of two young college graduate students.  In the end, Google is built on the acquisition and use of more and more data from more and more people that is used to build marketing profiles and sell advertising. And that insatiable need coupled with a long track record of outright disregard for privacy and property rights should prompt users to exercise caution.

After all, these are the same do-as Google-pleases and take-whatever-Google-wants policies that Congress and the FTC are currently investigating.

“If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” 

— Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt [video]

 

Until the June 23rd deadline, when the 8 hour Troopathon show begins, these blogs will battle it out – competing to see who can raise the most sponsorships for care packages that will go to our brave troops serving overseas.  Packages start as low as $24.99.

Liberty Chick is part of the competition and is raising awareness of this event as a member of the COINS team (yes, as in counter insurgency…how appropriate?).  Anytime you donate a care package from this link, team COINS will receive points for that purchase.  Just a little friendly competition amongst bloggers.  The special URL for the COINS page is http://www.thecampaignstore.com/store/default.asp?parentid=448&rname=teamcoins2011.

Here are some of the other teams with which we’re competing:

Why Donate?  Here’s Troopathon’s goal:

The goal of Troopathon is simple: Send care packages to our troops, as many as we can get sponsored in a single 8-hour show. In our first year (2008) our inaugural program brought in over $1.5 million for care packages for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was the single largest shipment of care packages ever recorded. Over the succeeding two years, our innovative webcasts have raised over $2 Million for our troops. Since our organization began sending care packages in 2006, we’ve sent over 168 TONS of high quality beef jerky, Gatorade, Oreo cookies and gourmet coffee to our troops, and that’s just the beginning!

A little more about the Troopathon event:

Troopathon is groundbreaking and innovative in that we bring together famous celebrities from radio, television, the movie, musicians, journalists, and more to create a one-of-a-kind event with one purpose – to support our troops on the front lines in the war on terror and honor their service and sacrifice for our nation. It’s like a “Jerry Lewis-style” telethon but on the web for a most worthy cause.

So please, donate a care package to the troops today, and do it with team COINS!  Packages start as low as $24.99.

If you want to help me spread the word with my team, pass along this page or the URL below:

http://www.thecampaignstore.com/store/default.asp?parentid=448&rname=teamcoins2011

View all the hosts and personalities on the Troopathon program here.

LIVE WEBCAST on June 23rd, 4pm EST to 12 Midnight EST.

THANK A SERVICE MEMBER TODAY!

And thanks to you!

— Mandy


21 days after Weinergate first broke, the Congressman from NY finally resigned today.  For the record – for me, it was never about the sexting or the pics.  This was about the false accusations and the sociopathic lying of a man who was elected to hold the public’s trust.  That trust was shattered three weeks ago.  It never should have taken this long.  (TMZ has confirmed that the heckler is in fact Benjy Bronk from the Howard Stern show).

For the best, most complete coverage out there on every step of this story, please visit Patterico’s site.  It was Patterico who first reported the details on the 17yr old girl from Delaware with whom Weiner was communicating via Twitter.  Hopefully, our research will continue on this part of the story and others to which it is connected.  We have not been permitted to publish certain components, but perhaps this will change soon.  We hope.

Also, this post from The Prudence Paine Papers entitled Weiner and the Teen is fantastic – a comprehensive look into the girl we’ve come to know anonymously as “Ethel.”

 

 

Labor unions and leftist activists are expected to once again descend upon the Captiol in Madison, WI on Tuesday. They plan to protest Governor Scott Walker’s first 2-year budget proposal, which seeks to cap entitlement programs and make cuts in education while expanding school voucher programs, in an attempt to close a $3 billion budget deficit. Republicans also expect to add the collective bargaining provisions that were passed in March, unless the State Supreme Court issues a ruling before then.

Opponents of Walker’s proposal view their side as an issue of human rights and a statement against corporations, and have not surprisingly ratcheted up the rhetoric. On its website announcing Tuesday’s protest, the Wisconsin state AFL-CIO posted:

Debate will be limited, democracy will be circumvented and the balance will greatly tip in favor of ramming through an anti-worker, anti-family, anti-community agenda. Come bear witness to this denial of democracy… Please take part in democracy and bear witness to the extreme attack on the people of Wisconsin. Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, June 14, as we continue to stand strong against a budget that guts public schools, attacks health care, raises taxes on workers and seniors, and jeopardizes public services like police and fire. All while handing over $300 million a year in tax breaks to the rich.

Oh, the drama….

(more…)