Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pastor Ken Hutcherson to Rev. Al Sharpton: ‘Not Again’

Ken Hutcherson “Hutch” is the senior pastor of Antioch Bible Church near Seattle. Born in Alabama in the era of segregation, he is a former middle linebacker for the Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys and San Diego Chargers, he has spent more than two decades training adults and young people to be on the offensive for Jesus Christ.

He is featured on numerous radio and TV programs as well as in newspapers and magazines for his stand on biblical principles and standards, no matter what the cost.

I was born in Anniston, Alabama, in the 50s and had to fight for my equality most of my life. You see, there were many who thought I should be treated like a second class citizen, drink from a different water fountain, sit in the back of the bus, be counted as three-quarters of a person, go to a different school, eat and sit in the black section of restaurants, use a different bathroom; you know, be separate but equal. Then came Dr. Martin Luther King and all that started to change and praise God! I became a Christian in 1969. Today, I find myself again being put in that same category as a second class citizen, and I am not going to have that same fight.

I did not become a Christian to live the 50s and 60s all over a second time. Muslims have more rights and freedom of religion than I do as a Christian. Tell a Muslim he can’t pray at school or at the airport or downtown when prayer time is called for, and see what happens. Tell a Muslim cleric serving as a chaplain in our brilliant military that he has to marry a same-sex couple, and see what happens. Some of you are saying “what is that about?” Well hold on to your hat, there is more to come.

But as a Christian, let me say Merry Christmas on a national holiday called Christmas and you’d think Satan incarnate himself just showed up. I’m sorry that is a bad example because if Satan did show up, he would get more respect than Christians, Jews, Tea Partiers, patriots and conservatives. Thus all the forenamed groups, and any like them, must stand and fight for their equal rights that are disappearing faster than San Antonio fans after game seven of the NBA championship in Miami. This brings me to the point of Al Sharpton’s recent comments about our movement of taking back our civil rights as conservatives.

You mocked Glenn Beck, thus all of us, with your insult on the tea party fighting for their equal rights. Do you think we are going to go find a hole and hide somewhere?  Mr. Sharpton that is not going to happen anymore. We refuse to sit by and let you or anyone else mock, attack, demean or laugh at our beliefs, and think it is okay to push us to the back of the Capitol in DC assuming we will just shut up.

Let me see if I can explain something to you, Al, that it seems you have forgotten. When you and Dr. King fought for our civil rights, was it because no one else had their equal rights? Black people were the first to get their equal rights, right? I presume you think that is correct the way you are talking. We both know that the reason why Dr. King and thousands of others fought during the Civil rights movement was because someone else had their rights and liberties, and blacks didn’t.

My question to you Mr. Sharpton is who had those rights when we as a black people didn’t? It is true then that equal rights existed first for us to want them. Seems to me it was the white race that enjoyed that freedom. We saw it, said we wanted some of that, and fought and died until we got it. So why is it that you think Judeo-Christian believers, the religious right, tea partiers, patriots and white people in general who are starting to feel like second class citizens and separate but equal; are being scrutinized by the IRS and  spied on by the NSA. Why should they not stand up and demand equal treatment under the law and the Constitution of these United States of America?  The greatest nation ever founded under the banner of freedom, one nation under God, gives its citizens certain inalienable rights and the promise that they have the right to pursue their happiness. I believe we are endowed with those rights Mr. Sharpton, and deep down you know we are too.

As a black man Al, who went through the Civil rights fight in the 60s just like you did, and saw the first freedom bus burn in my home town of Anniston, Alabama, on May 14, 1961; I hated Dr. King for his non-violent philosophy. That did not change until I became a Christian later in life. Then I understood God’s biblical truth of love your enemy and do good to those who hate and persecute you.

I think I have the right to tell you this sir; I think the likes of you and Jesse Jackson have done more damage to the black race than any white man will ever accomplish. You see as long as you can produce an ethnicity with a victim mentality to keep them in poverty, as the two of you get richer – you know like poverty pimps – and convince them that it is the white man’s fault because he has his boot on their necks, and as long as you teach our beautiful black women that there is a government out there to be their baby’s daddy, the two of you win.  You are the self-proclaimed, appointed leaders of the black people. How we as black people have swallowed the lie that we have to have certain black leaders to get on the government teat escapes me.

I have to tell you Al, I have seen your work, it has been weighed, it has been measured, and it has been found wanting.  Daniel 5:27.



One grower’s grapes of wrath

In the world of dried fruit, America has no greater outlaw than Marvin Horne, 68.  Horne, a raisin farmer, has been breaking the law for 11 solid years. He now owes the U.S. government at least $650,000 in unpaid fines. And 1.2 million pounds of unpaid raisins, roughly equal to his entire harvest for four years.

His crime? Horne defied one of the strangest arms of the federal bureaucracy — a farm program created to solve a problem during the Truman administration, and never turned off.

He said no to the national raisin reserve.

“I believe in America. And I believe in our Constitution. And I believe that eventually we will be proved right,” Horne said recently, sitting in an office next to 20 acres of ripening Thompson grapes. “They took our raisins and didn’t pay us for them.”

The national raisin reserve might sound like a fever dream of the Pillsbury Doughboy. But it is a real thing — a 64-year-old program that gives the U.S. government a heavy-handed power to interfere with the supply and demand for dried grapes.

It works like this: In a given year, the government may decide that farmers are growing more raisins than Americans will want to eat. That would cause supply to outstrip demand. Raisin prices would drop. And raisin farmers might go out of business.

To prevent that, the government does something drastic. It takes away a percentage of every farmer’s raisins. Often, without paying for them.

These seized raisins are put into a government-controlled “reserve” and kept off U.S. markets. In theory, that lowers the available supply of raisins and thereby increases the price for farmers’ raisin crops. Or, at least, the part of their crops that the government didn’t just take.

For years, Horne handed over his raisins to the reserve. Then, in 2002, he refused.

Since then, his life has now become a case study in one of Washington’s bad habits — a tendency never to reexamine old laws once they’re on the books. Even ones like this.

When Horne’s case reached the Supreme Court this spring, Justice Elena Kagan wondered whether it might be “just the world’s most outdated law.”  “Your raisins or your life, right?” joked Justice Antonin Scalia.

Last month, the high court issued its ruling and gave Horne a partial victory. A lower court had rejected Horne’s challenge of the law. Now, the justices told that court to reconsider it.

Horne does not have the persona of a live-wire revolutionary. He used to be a tax auditor for the state. Now, in his second career, he watches fruit dry.

“If I knew we were going to go through all this, I would have just pulled the grapes out and put in almond” trees, he said.

But get Horne talking about the national raisin reserve, and the spirit stirs. Suddenly he can’t find a metaphor hairy enough to express his contempt. It’s robbery. It’s socialism. It’s communism. It’s feudalism. It’s....



Stasi, American Style

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

Obama mandated the program in an October 2011 executive order after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from a classified computer network and gave them to WikiLeaks, the anti-government secrecy group. The order covers virtually every federal department and agency, including the Peace Corps, the Department of Education and others not directly involved in national security.

Under the program, which is being implemented with little public attention, security investigations can be launched when government employees showing “indicators of insider threat behavior” are reported by co-workers, according to previously undisclosed administration documents obtained by McClatchy. Investigations also can be triggered when “suspicious user behavior” is detected by computer network monitoring and reported to “insider threat personnel.”

Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have “regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms.

Over the years, numerous studies of public and private workers who’ve been caught spying, leaking classified information, stealing corporate secrets or engaging in sabotage have identified psychological profiles that could offer clues to possible threats. Administration officials want government workers trained to look for such indicators and report them so the next violation can be stopped before it happens.

But even the government’s top scientific advisers have questioned these techniques. Those experts say that trying to predict future acts through behavioral monitoring is unproven and could result in illegal ethnic and racial profiling and privacy violations.

“Doing something similar about predicting future leakers seems even more speculative,” Stephen Fienberg, a professor of statistics and social science at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and a member of the committee that wrote the report, told McClatchy.

The emphasis on individual lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors comes at a time when growing numbers of Americans must submit to extensive background checks, polygraph tests and security investigations to be hired or to keep government or federal contracting jobs. The U.S. government is one of the world’s largest employers, overseeing an ever-expanding ocean of information.

While the Insider Threat Program mandates that the nearly 5 million federal workers and contractors with clearances undergo training in recognizing suspicious behavior indicators, it allows individual departments and agencies to extend the requirement to their entire workforces, something the Army already has done.

Training should address “current and potential threats in the work and personal environment” and focus on “the importance of detecting potential insider threats by cleared employees and reporting suspected activity to insider threat personnel and other designated officials,” says one of the documents obtained by McClatchy.

The White House, the Justice Department, the Peace Corps and the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security and Education refused to answer questions about the program’s implementation. Instead, they issued virtually identical email statements directing inquiries to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, declined to comment or didn’t respond.

Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in her statement that the Insider Threat Program includes extra safeguards for “civil rights, civil liberties and privacy,” but she didn’t elaborate. Manning’s leaks to WikiLeaks, she added, showed that at the time protections of classified materials were “inadequate and put our nation’s security at risk.”

Reply from the National Security Council

Even so, the new effort failed to prevent former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden from taking top-secret documents detailing the agency’s domestic and international communications monitoring programs and leaking them to The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers.

Although agencies and departments are still setting up their programs, some employees already are being urged to watch co-workers for “indicators” that include stress, divorce and financial problems.

When asked about the ineffectiveness of behavior profiling, Barlow said the policy “does not mandate” that employees report behavior indicators.  “It simply educates employees about basic activities or behavior that might suggest a person is up to improper activity,” he said.

Departments and agencies, however, are given leeway to go beyond the White House’s basic requirements, prompting the Defense Department in its strategy to mandate that workers with clearances “must recognize the potential harm caused by unauthorized disclosures and be aware of the penalties they could face.” It equates unauthorized disclosures of classified information to “aiding the enemies of the United States.”

All departments and agencies involved in the program must closely track their employees’ online activities. The information gathered by monitoring, the administration documents say, “could be used against them in criminal, security, or administrative proceedings.” Experts who research such efforts say suspicious behaviors include accessing information that someone doesn’t need or isn’t authorized to see or downloading materials onto removable storage devices like thumb drives when such devices are restricted or prohibited.

Much more HERE


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