(FEDERALJACK) On this edition of DTRH Popeye breaks down three topics. First he covers the subject of martial law, and the recent statement by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia that the nation’s highest court was wrong to uphold the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, but he wouldn’t be surprised if the court issued a similar ruling during a future conflict. Next he gets into geoengineering. Hey covers the topic by playing a speech by Air Force veteran, and whistleblower Kristen Meghan. She shares her story of awakening upon finding out that the Air Force takes part in geoengineering, and what she went through. Finishing up Popeye plays the most recent interview of Edward Snowden done by a German TV network which has been blacked out of the media in the United States altogether. Tune in to hear why they don’t want you to hear it.
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(FOXNEWS) That’s what first responders were left to do after being deployed by FEMA to assist in the storm-ravaged areas in the initial days after superstorm Sandy, FoxNews.com has learned. A FEMA worker who spoke to FoxNews.com described a chaotic scene at New Jersey’s Fort Dix, where emergency workers arrived as the storm bore down on the Atlantic Coast. The worker said officials at the staging area were unprepared and told the incoming responders there was nothing for them to do for nearly four days.
“They told us to hurry, hurry, hurry,” the worker, who works at the agency’s headquarters in Washington and volunteered to deploy for the storm recovery effort. “We rushed to Fort Dix, only to find out that our liaison didn’t even know we were coming.”
“The regional coordinator even said to us, ‘I don’t know why you were rushed here because we don’t need you,’” said the worker, who spoke out of frustration with the lack of planning and coordination following the devastating storm.
‘I worked in Katrina and Katrina was run better than Sandy.’
– Anonymous FEMA first responder
After arriving in New Jersey, the worker and others waited for three full days and parts of another, even as reports dominated the television of the devastation and suffering wrought by the storm, which struck land on Oct. 29. When they asked for assignments, they couldn’t believe the response, according to the worker.
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(NY POST) Is your workplace getting shot up by a crazed gunman? No problem — just grab a pair of scissors and fight back! That’s some of the helpful advice in a new instructional video from the Department of Homeland Security that was posted on the agency’s Web site just a month after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
“If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available,” says the narrator in the video, which shows an office worker pulling scissors out of a desk drawer.
(Cristina Corbin) A California family whose home burned down claims they cannot rebuild because of a recent FEMA flood regulation requiring them to elevate the house by 20 feet — an expensive fix not covered by their insurance.
Brad and Jennifer Taylor lost their Sacramento home in a fire last August. When the couple hired a contractor to rebuild it, they say they were told that FEMA recently changed the flood zone designation — meaning the family would have to raise the new home at least 20 feet above the ground.
The damage caused by the fire was covered by insurance, but not the cost of elevating the home — which the Taylors say is estimated at $200,000.
“The city won’t let me fix my house because of FEMA regulations,” Jennifer Taylor said in an interview Friday. “This is so wrong.”
“We bought this home in 1998 because FEMA had certified the levees as 100-year flood protection,” Taylor told FoxNews.com. “Homes are just not being fixed here. … There’s at least a handful of us in this situation.”
Taylor claims she and her husband contacted the agency on multiple occasions and received a letter “explaining that they didn’t have the authority to grant a waiver or exception.” “They said that Congress had to give them the authority,” she said.
The Taylors took their case to Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., who introduced legislation in November that would require FEMA to “create a waiver process to consider on a case-by-case basis allowing these homeowners to rebuild their homes without elevation requirements, while ensuring their flood insurance costs remained the same as their neighbors.”
The bill gained little traction among lawmakers caught up in fiscal crisis negotiations, but Matsui is planning to reintroduce the legislation in the coming weeks, her office said.
“Homeowners who have played by the rules but have had the tragic misfortune of having their homes burn down should have the ability to rebuild with the fabric of their neighborhood intact,” Matsui said in an email statement to FoxNews.com.
Matsui’s office says FEMA won’t allow cities to issue permits in areas covered by the federal flood insurance program for improvements that exceed 50 percent of the home’s value before the damage.
“The rules have left a number of homeowners, including a small number in Sacramento, unable to rebuild their fire-damaged homes because the cost to repair a home is often more than the actual structure is worth, and far above the 50 percent threshold,” Matsui’s office said last year. “In order to get a permit to rebuild, homeowners are forced to elevate their structure which often is not practical given the cost or community design.”
The lawmaker said Friday that her bill is “common-sense legislation that would allow these homeowners to move forward and rebuild their homes without being forced to pay more for flood insurance.”
A FEMA spokesman said Friday that due to privacy laws, the agency could not discuss the specifics of the Taylor case.
New FEMA building restrictions are being implemented around the country as more communities are being included in the Special Flood Hazard Areas. The provisions apply to the construction of new homes as well as to ones in need of repair after major damage, like in the Taylors’ case.
(WSVN) This is only a drill. (FOR NOW…)
Black Hawk choppers soared into the skies in downtown Miami, Wednesday night. The joint military training exercise also involved local police.
In the shadow of the Adrienne Arsht Center, several police cruisers crossed Biscayne Boulevard, presumably as part of the drill. Police have blocked off traffic on Biscayne Boulevard, although this measure might be related to the Miami Heat game about to finish at the American Airlines Arena.
The exercises, which began Tuesday night, are being executed to meet requirements, which include upcoming overseas missions and ensuring their equipment is in good working order.
Miami residents up on the balconies overlooking downtown Miami have been making amateur videos and posting them on YouTube. Tuesday night one of these videos showed the military helicopters flying over 395, right by the Miami Herald Building.
The amateur footage, shot by Atlanta resident Josh Epperson, also captured the sound of blank rounds being fired. In town for work, Epperson admitted he had no idea what was happening when he filmed the footage. “I heard the machine gun fire and then I hit the deck,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and it was one of the loudest things I’d ever heard.”
Additional training exercises have been taking place across Miami-Dade County. Police have been vague about specific locations and how long the drills will continue. They say public safety is their top priority, which is why the exercises are being held at night.
(CBS) Residents in one Queens neighborhood are crying foul after they were written up for failing to clean up the city’s own mess. It is yet another new complication in life after Superstorm Sandy. Rosanne and Joe Cavaliere are still trying to clean up from the hurricane. They have branches through their roof, busted front windows, and, to add insult to injury, they recently received a citation notice from the city.
(YAHOO NEWS) It is hard to sleep at night inside the tent city at Oceanport, New Jersey. A few hundred Superstorm Sandy refugees have been living here since Wednesday – a muddy camp that is a sprawling anomaly amidst Mercedes Benz dealerships and country clubs in this town near the state’s devastated coastal region.
Inside the giant billowy white tents, the massive klieg lights glare down from the ceiling all night long. The air is loud with the buzz of generators pumping out power. The post-storm housing — a refugee camp on the grounds of the Monmouth Park racetrack – is in lockdown, with security guards at every door, including the showers.
No one is allowed to go anywhere without showing their I.D. Even to use the bathroom, “you have to show your badge,” said Amber Decamp, a 22-year-old whose rental was washed away in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.
The mini city has no cigarettes, no books, no magazines, no board games, no TVs, and no newspapers or radios. On Friday night, in front of the mess hall, which was serving fried chicken and out-of-the-box, just-add-water potatoes, a child was dancing and dancing — to nothing. “We’re starting to lose it,” said Decamp. “But we have nowhere else to go.”
The tent city is emblematic of the crisis left by Sandy: the tens of thousands of people who have no place to live. Some are without power and heat – even if the utilities have their power back, their electrics and heating systems in their homes may have been destroyed by the floods. They are the short-termers. Others have a longer-term problem – their houses were made completely uninhabitable by flooding, ripped apart, or burned to the ground. And they pose a far more daunting challenge.
For now, all are without homes in one of the harshest housing markets in the world, with low vacancy rates and high rents. “There’s inventory in other parts of the country, but not here,” said University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor Susan Wachter.
To be sure, no one has been forced to stay in the tent city. But many say they have no other immediate option.
“This is an incredibly tough situation trying to find housing for these people,” said Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Affairs Manager Scott Sanders. “With winter coming, they obviously can’t stay there.”
FEMA has plans to bring trailers into New Jersey to increase the amount of temporary housing.
While FEMA is helping at the tent city, it is being run by the state of New Jersey. The state’sDepartment of Human Services did not immediately return calls seeking comment on Saturday morning.
Brad Gair, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s new emergency housing czar, has also talked about the complexities of post-disaster housing. The authorities in the region simply don’t have access to enough alternative housing or hotel rooms for all those who have been displaced. And all the problems this creates are on display here, where life has been even worse than during the storm, evacuees say.
BLANKETS AND PARKAS
One reason: the information blackout. Outside of the tightly guarded community on Friday, word was spreading that the Department of Human Services would aim to move residents to the racetrack clubhouse on Saturday. The news came after photos of people bundled in blankets and parkas inside the tents circulated in the media.
But inside the tent city, which has room for thousands but was only sheltering a couple of hundred on Friday, no one had heard anything about a move – or about anything else. “They treat us like we’re prisoners,” says Ashley Sabol, 21, of Seaside Heights, New Jersey. “It’s bad to say, but we honestly feel like we’re in a concentration camp.”
Sabol, who is unemployed and whose rental home was washed away in the hurricane, remembers being woken up on Wednesday at the shelter she was staying in at Toms River High School. Conditions there were “actually fine,” said Sabol.
Sabol was told that she had half an hour to pack: everyone was getting shipped to hotels in Wildwood, New Jersey, where they would be able to re-acquaint themselves with showers, beds and a door.
Sabol and about 50 other people boarded a New Jersey Transit bus, which drove around, seemingly aimlessly, for hours. Worse, this week’s Nor’easter snow storm was gathering force, lashing the bus with wind and rain.
After four hours, the bus driver pulled into a dirt parking lot. The passengers were expecting a hotel with heat and maybe even a restaurant. Instead they saw a mini city of portable toilets and voluminous white tents with their flaps snapping in the wind. Inside, they got sheets, a rubbery pillow, a cot and one blanket.
There was no heat that night, and as temperatures dropped to freezing, people could start to see their breath. The gusts of wind blew snow and slush onto Sabol’s face as her cot was near the open tent flaps. She shivered. Her hands turned purple.
It has taken three days for the tents to get warm.
Power workers from out of state who are helping utilities restore electricity to the area were starting to bed down in the tent city, too. Some empty vodka bottles appeared on the muddy street. There were now far more men than women or children, and the women said it was impossible not to notice the leering of some men.
Brian Skorupski, a manager with Tolland, Connecticut-based Asplundh Line Construction, had just rolled in with 50 workers, who were there to help restore power. Skorupski is used to his house in the suburbs. He missed his king-sized bed with his Hotel Collection sheets. “The only thing worse than this is sleeping in your truck,” he said.
(FOXNEWS) A former top U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in South Florida has been sentenced to 70 months in prison on a federal child pornography charge.
Anthony Mangione faced a minimum of five years in prison after pleading guilty in July to using his home computer to receive and transmit images of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Mangione ran ICE’s South Florida operations from 2007 to 2011, including numerous child pornography investigations. He retired a few months after investigators searched his home and office computers in April 2011.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that Mangione told U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra on Friday that he began having problems with drinking and prescription pills about three years ago.
Prosecutors wanted Marra to sentence Mangione to 87 months in prison.
(SHELTER ISLAND REPORTER) Televised and published pictures plus personal appeals of Hurricane Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey touched the hearts of Shelter Islanders who generously filled truckloads of clothing and other goods bound for Island Park and Long Beach last week. But the word from the Federal Emergency Management Agency now is “stop.”
It’s not that the victims of Sandy have their needs met, but that FEMA has strict rules what can and can’t be accepted.
“We stopped taking things now,” said Marie Eiffel whose boutiques on Shelter Island and in Sag Harbor have been drop-off centers for goods that Sweet Tomato’s Jimi Rando trucked to neighborhoods devastated by Sandy.
“It was great,” Ms. Eiffel said. “We did get to those people before FEMA stepped in and it was a great turnout,” she said of the goods contributed by her friends and neighbors to boost the relief effort. Not only did Ms. Eiffel make her stores a drop-off point, but she contributed some of her own store inventory.
Shelter Island Police Officers Tom Cronin and Terrance LeGrady have suspended their efforts launched by Officer Cronin’s wife Susan, who posted a Face Book plea for contributions.
“We brought up a huge load and it was gone in 48 hours,” Officer Cronin said.
Officer Cronin said he understands FEMA’s need to coordinate what’s coming in and where it’s being distributed. At the same time, he resists the FEMA plea for people to give money, saying he prefers to know exactly what is being received by disaster victims.
Cash is the most efficient method of donating, according to the FEMA website, because it gives agencies flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Cash also saves staff from sorting through donations in order to redirect them to where they’re needed.
FEMA suggests contributing through various trusted organizations in the community, including church groups. And in addition to national groups like the Red Cross, each state maintains its own list of volunteer organizations that spring into action when a disaster hits.
A community in need can “become easily overwhelmed with the amount of generous people who want to help,” according to FEMA. “Contacting and affiliating with an established organization will help to ensure that you are appropriately trained to respond in the most effective way.”
(Dave Hodges) There are no FEMA camps and anyone who believes that not to be the case is a conspiracy theorist who wears a tin foil hat. The government has no interest in building detention facilities for innocent American citizens who simply have strong political views such as being a Ron Paul supporter, supporting the Constitution, supporting the Second Amendment and advocating for enforcement of the Tenth Amendment. America has the First Amendment and that right is zealously protected by the politicians in Washington DC. Can we please move on to something worthwhile to talk about? Doesn’t our country have enough to worry about rather than to engage in wild-eyed fantasies regarding some remote conspiracy about FEMA camps?
Americans should sleep securely in their beds knowing that the specter of concentration camps of Nazi Germany will never be visited upon Americans for simply being the wrong race, being the wrong religion or having the wrong political views. For goodness sake, even Congressman Steve Cohen (D) from Tennessee, stated on Jesse Ventura’s show, Conspiracy Theory, that there are no FEMA camps. Please visit the clip below and forward to 9:40 and listen to Congressman Cohen’s indignant denial in which he Cohen attacks would-be conspiracy ‘theorists’ claiming that only those who believe in little green men and interstellar war would believe such things as the existence of FEMA camps.