Posts tagged “John Whitehead

With Government Scandals in the Headlines, New Book Takes a Swipe at Big Brother

Traditionally, June is a good month for new books.  Publishers typically offer some of their best titles in summer, when millions of overworked Americans search for good reads to knock down during vacations. With government scandals on the front pages of many news organizations’ Web sites (formerly the front pages of newspapers), authors of books dealing with issues of bureaucratic excess will likely get an unexpected boost in sales.

One such book, A Government of Wolves: the Emerging American Police State, by John Whitehead, the president of the Rutherford Institute, was set for release on June 25.

http://www.amazon.com/Government-Wolves-Emerging-American-Police/dp/1590799755/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370058590&sr=8-1&keywords=a+government+of+wolves+the+emerging+american+police+state

With timing being the essence, the book’s publisher, SelectBooks, made Whitehead’s critique of post-9/11 America available on Memorial Day.  Inside, the author takes aim at the 77 federally subsidized Intelligence Fusion Centers, which have cost federal taxpayers at least $1.4 billion.  States and local government spent millions, if not billions, each year staffing these centers that use cellular telephone technology to follow and track citizens absent judicial oversight.

Whitehead further provides a scathing critique of the National Security Agency’s Utah Data Center—a mammoth $2 billion facility that records and stores telephone calls, electronic communications, and text messages, once a user types or utters one of 500 select words, many of which are rather benign.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/on_the_front_lines/nprs_all_things_considered_weekend_edition_spotlights_constitutional_attorn

To get an idea of just how widespread the reach of government surveillance has become, visit the below link:

https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/pressure_points_the_electronic_concentration_camp/

MILWAUKEE-BASED CRIME NOVEL NOW AVAILABLE IN TRADITIONAL PRINT VERSION

Readers of the Spingola Files range in age from criminal justice students to veteran law enforcement retirees.  If you’re a member of the latter category, not that technologically savvy, or simply find reading from the screen of a computer or tablet annoying, here’s some good news: author Mitchell Nevin’s crime novel, The Cozen Protocol, an Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award nominee, is now available in print.

Lemon Press—a publisher based in suburban Atlanta—has agreed to produce a second edition of this Milwaukee-based crime novel in print.

Some of you, especially those who have served as members of the Milwaukee Police Department from about 1970 to 2005, might recognize a few of the scenes from Nevin’s novel.  Although described as a work of fiction, I did locate at least three major incidents within The Cozen Protocol’s pages that are eerily similar to actual events.  In fact, the book’s new cover features a picture of a man killed by an arrow, an incident the appears premised on the slaying of Karl Lotharius—the former owner of Von Trier’s tavern on N. Farewell and E. North Avenues, killed when a 30 inch, wood-shaft arrow ripped through his abdomen on December 20, 1981.

The print version of The Cozen Protocol is available at Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Visit the link below for more details.

http://www.bookwire.com/The-Cozen-Protocol-9781936617180.html

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His latest print edition only book, Best of the Spingola Files, Volumes I & II, is now available at Amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Spingola-Files-Volume-Steven/dp/0979683998/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364048098&sr=8-1&keywords=best+of+the+spingola+files

If your organization is on the lookout for an outstanding guest speaker, please consider the Spingola Files’ Psychology of Homicide presentation.

For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com and click the “seminars & presentations” icon.


Coming Soon: An Identification System that Would Make George Orwell Blush

When completed in 2014, the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) will be the world’s most advanced personal identification computer network—so vast that its capabilities will make the concepts depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984 seem like the good old days.

Developed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin at a cost exceeding $1 billion, the system includes iris scan identifiers, biometric facial recognition software, voice recognition, palm print scans, fingerprints, keyboard stroke identifiers, and DNA analysis.

Sources say the FBI already has 13 million photographs on file to scan for biometric facial recognition. Most of these images are booking photos, although driver’s license images from states in compliance with the new Real ID law are also subject to facial recognition searches. 

Images in the public domain—those on Google, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few—might also be extracted for storage and analysis for NGI.

The Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead documents the intrusive nature of NGI in a commentary entitled, Smile, the Government is Watching: Next Generation Identification

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/smile_the_government_is_watching_next_generation_identification

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit

www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Is the U.S. Department of Justice Targeting the Views of Military Veterans?

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, available exclusively at Amazon.com in December of 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Feds Seize Former Marine, Eagle Scout for Facebook Posts

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


When Mistaken Priorities Cost Lives

 Sunday’s heinous shootings at a southeastern Wisconsin Sikh temple—dubbed by the FBI a possible act of domestic terrorism—illustrates that, in some instances, the criminal justice system tragically misallocates precious resources.

While the FBI correctly claims that the current state-of-the-law prevents its agents from collecting data on suspected domestic terror suspects, under the provisions of the Patriot Act, law enforcement can purchase information from privately held companies or non-profit organizations. Corporations, such as ChoicePoint and Acxiom, routinely sell detailed dossiers on American citizens to law enforcement. In the 1990s, the Milwaukee Police Department paid for and received information from the Southern Poverty Law Center—the same group that followed the activities of Sheikh Temple shooter Wade Page for the past ten years.

Even though red flags popping-up around active shooters, such as Colorado’s James Holmes, Tucson’s Jared Loughner, and Page, in hindsight, appeared visible, too often the resources needed to monitor trouble individuals are wasted enforcing trivial laws and incarcerating those who are relatively harmless.

This certainly is the case with an Arizona man locked-up on July 9, 2012, for holding a weekly Bible study in his Phoenix home.

The Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead reports that Michael Salman was “fined more than $12,000 and sentenced to 60 days in jail starting on July 9, 2012, for the so-called “crime” of holding a weekly Bible study in his Phoenix home”—a violation of city building codes.

“In such a society,” Whitehead argues at www.rutherford.org, “we are all petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. In fact, Boston lawyer Harvey Silvergate, author of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, estimates that the average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to an overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal and an inclination on the part of prosecutors to reject the idea that there can’t be a crime without criminal intent. Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork.”

Mr. Salman is currently an unfortunate guest at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 2,000-prisoner tent city, where according to Whitehead, prisoners “battle the heat by positioning themselves in front of a few large fans, but they are of little use when temperatures reach 145 degrees. Stun fences surround the perimeter, with four Sky Watch Towers bearing down on the occupants. Facial recognition software and K-9 units keep track of the people moving about, longing for their freedom.”

In the interim, while law enforcement and our courts incarcerate thousands of people like Mr. Salman for minor offenses, those exhibiting psychotic and/or homicidal behaviors seemingly roam from state-to-state under the radar screen of the newly created American surveillance state.

Moreover, if an organization, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, is able to compile data on individuals like Wade Page and lawfully sell this data to law enforcement, one has to wonder if the 77 intelligence fusion centers—funded in part by federal tax dollars—are up to the task or if these domestic spy operations spend too much time focusing on individuals like Michael Salman instead of keeping their eye on the prize.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


The Debate Over American Airspace

Last December, SF discussed the introduction of unmanned drones over American airspace. 

http://www.badgerwordsmith.com/spingolafiles/2011/12/11/predator-spy-drones-hoovering-above-your-town-soon/

Now, John Whitehead, the leader of the Rutherford Institute—one of this nation’s prominent watchdog organizations for religious rights and civil liberties—details the intrusive nature of drones in his commentary, The Empire Strikes Back: the Attack of the Drones.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones

 SF encourages its readers to write their congressional representatives and request that federal lawmakers pass strict regulations concerning the use of drones over American airspace.

Drones make use of infrared technology—intrusive heat sensors than can monitor the movements of Americans inside of their homes.  Drones can also hit on Wi-Fi connections and intercept Internet data.

Americans who appreicate the small tad of privacy we have left need to get involved and try to put this genie back in the bottle before it is too late.

UPDATE:  On May 7, the Rutherford Institute released this video regarding the use of drones in the United States.

https://www.rutherford.org/multimedia/on_target/the_empire_strikes_back_attack_of_the_drones/

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

© Steven Spingola, Wales, WI, 2012