Orrin Hatch May be Next to Quit – Romney to Take his Seat

from Breitbart:

Staff for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) are not outright denying a new report from The Atlantic magazine that Hatch, another ally of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, plans to retire at the end of his current term—another death blow for the failing Senate Majority Leader.

The headline of the latest piece in The Atlantic from McKay Coppins is: “Orrin Hatch Tells Friends He Plans to Retire.”

In the opening sentences, Coppins writes that “has privately told allies in Utah that he is planning to retire at the end of his term next year.”

Hatch’s spokesman did not outright deny the report, he just said that the McConnell ally is not willing to make his plans public yet. read more

Special Forces AXE Their Plan to Infiltrate Utah

Locals complain about exercise ‘imposing martial law’

 

The U.S. Army chose a quiet community in central Utah as the training ground for Special Forces soldiers needing to develop Jason Bourne-like skills and to learn how to build a resistance movement by infiltrating the town leadership.

With the deeply religious culture present in Manti, Utah and the desert landscape of the area,  residents were deemed ideal candidates by the Defense Department to role play with soldiers in the 10th Special Forces as part of a several week training exercise in July on unconventional warfare tactics.

Now that sequestration is in full effect, the Utah mission was called on Thursday, to the relief of residents who had feared their community would turn into a scene out of Hunger Games.

Unconventional
 The Defense Department had selected a central Utah community to participate in a training exercise for Army Special Forces soldiers

 

Setting
 The town of Manti, Utah was deemed an ideal location because of the desert landscape and the strong religious conviction on its residents

The exercise, named Robin Sage, is a component of Phase Four training for Army Special Forces soldiers, also known as the Green Berets.

Lasting four weeks, the large-scale exercise is typically held at Fort Bragg in North Carolina but officials were looking for a closer locale for soldiers of the 4th battalion of the 10th Special Forces, stationed at Fort Carson near Colorado Springs.

‘Every place we go [to train] is a different culture… a different mentality throws them off and requires [soldiers] to adapt,’ Staff Sgt. Ryan Sabin, a spokesman for the 10th Special Forces, told The Salt Lake Tribune.

Last fall, officials representing the DOD met with communities across Central Utah, including Sanpete, Sevier, Emery and Carbon counties, to recruit local governments to host the training exercise scheduled for July 2013.

Mormon
The town of Manti has a population of just over 3,000. It is home to one of the first temples built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsSoldiers develop skills in the training to mobilize foreign guerrilla fighters, like the Allied Forces who recruited French resistance fighters during World War II.

As part of the planned Utah training three teams of 12 soldiers would approach residents, who were respected leaders in business and in the Mormon church, and enlist their help in building a coalition.

A total of 30 citizens would participate in the missions, mainly during the evening hours, in Sanpete and Sevier counties and in Emery-Carbon county.

Over a two week period the plainclothes soldiers would depend on their civilian allies for food, lodging, transportation and supplies.

No live ammunition would be used and no private property would be entered without the owner’s permission, according to the rules of the mission.

Army officials said that utilizing real-life community leaders in their own setting would be more cost effective than having to create a fake setting for the training at the National Guard training site at Camp Williams.

Brave men of the Green Beret

Army Special Forces soldiers, also known as the Green Berets, train foreign troops in unconventional warfare tactics

But the prospect of a military infiltration raised concern among the residents.

At a Manti City Council Meeting on November 7, one resident accused the government of dishonorable and deceptive motives for the mission.

Another citizen, Alan Braithwaite, said the training exercise was the first step in the U.S. government turning the country into a police state.

Concerned parents wondered if their children would be safe and if tanks and helicopters would fill the streets and skies. Others feared that soldiers looking for some R&R would run rampant and would corrupt the youth.

So when the plan fell by the wayside due to budget cuts, many welcomed the news but some are still hopeful the exercise will go forward at some point in the future.

‘This is not a one-time shot, lost to Utah. There will be other opportunities,’ Paul Weddle, a retired Green Beret contracted to help the Army set up the exercise in Utah, told the Tribune.

‘There’s a chance that it may be rescheduled for next year but that remains to be determined,’ he added.

Saran Wrap Sledding

Utah native Stuart Edgington decided to have  some fun in the snow at Rock Canyon Park in Provo but without the use of a  snowboard or sled.

Instead, he wrapped himself up in saran wrap  and took a ride down the snowy slopes with the plastic protection helping him  slide all the way down.

He was able to convince his friends to don  the slimy outwear and join him in the adventure and posted a YouTube video of  the wintery sport on Friday. In total 1,400 square feet of the plastic wrap was  used for the exercise.

Scroll down  for video.

Away we go:

Utah native Stuart Edgington decided to have  some fun in the snow at Rock Canyon Park in Provo

Wrap it up:

After trying it out for himself, Stuart  wrapped up his friends to give it a go

 

It's a wrap:

Several brave souls decided to give it a  go

Get closer:

 A pair of snow revelers bundled up to take  the slopes together

 

‘We want to see how many random  things we  can gather up and take down a hill and see if we don’t die,’  Edgington said in  the introduction of the footage.

Though the viral  video primarily showed clips of people sledding wrapped in the clingy covering, there  were  also clips of people crowded onto a sofa that descended a snowy  hill and people  using various types of boogie boards as sleds.

Shots of the sledders were compiled in the  three minute video, set to the hip hop tune, Place  To Be by Can’t Stop Won’t Stop (feat.  Eyes Lips Eyes).

‘Overall we had four injuries while making  this video. No one died so the video was a success!’ the  filmmaker announced on his YouTube page about the brave souls who participated  in the stunt.

The 23-year-old said that  ‘people were a little nervous at first,  but after seeing how much fun it was,  everyone was excited.’

‘I think the  thought of being in a potential  viral video helped convince them,’ he added. The video was uploaded early on  Friday and has already garnered over 3,000 views.

‘Overall I am very pleased with how it turned  out. It was a ton of fun to make, and I don’t get sick of watching it!’ he  added.

Let's get together:

 A group opted to try it as a  team

 

Along for the ride:

This man decided to wear a helmet as  he descended the slope

 

Lovely weather for a sled ride:

 Onlookers enjoyed the  show as the sledders took the plunge

Attribution: Mail Online

But We Did it for the Children

From:  of The Blaze

When Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) heard that a school in his home state was fined $15,000 for accidentally selling soda during lunch, thus violating federal law, he was angry. But that’s only part of the story. While The Blaze brought that story national attention on Thursday, now we come to find out that it wasn’t the only school that had to fork over thousands of dollars for selling soda at the wrong time.

As it turns out, Box Elder High School in Brigham City, Utah, was fined $19,000 for its own violation of the Healthy, Hunger-free Kids act of 2010.

That led Bishop to deliver a passionate House speech on Wednesday where he lectured his colleagues on the Constitution.

“It is restated in the 10th Amendment where each level of government had a specific and distinct responsibility. When the states were interfering with the federal government, it produced historical catastrophic consequences,” Bishop said on Thursday. “But also when the federal government interferes with the role of states, the consequences will range from being catastrophic to just plain silly.”

He wasn’t done:

“In 2010, this congress passed the Healthy and Hunger-free Kids Act. We were wrong to pass it for five reasons. Number one, it was a Senate bill–that should have been our first tipoff. Number two, it was opposed by the National Governor’s Association. Three, it was opposed by the school boards association. Four, it violated the Constitution. Finally, number five, we created a one-size-fits-all federal program, not defined by us.”

Bishop explained both schools are important to him: he graduated from one and taught at the other for 23 years.

“It was wrong for Congress to invade the role of states. It was wrong to punish kids for these silly reasons. It is wrong to violate federalism,” he concluded. “If a community, school, and their PTA wanted to create the standards themselves, fine. It is wrong for this body to think that every issue has to be decided here in this room and it is wrong for us to forget that the 10th amendment has a purpose. It is there for a reason and should be respected.”

You can watch the speech below:

By the way, Bishop pleaded with his colleagues in 2010 not to pass this exact legislation for fear of a federal power grab (that would replace local and parental common sense). It seems he was right:

Ever Feel You Were Being Watched?

In the little town of Bluffdale, Utah, between the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is building what will be the nation’s largest spy center.

 Dubbed the Utah Data Center, the project is already employing thousands of hardhat workers in its construction and will soon have some 10,000 construction workers building a data center that will be more than five times the size of the nation’s capitol.

“We’ve been asked not to talk about the project,” Rob Moore told a local reporter. Mr. Moore is president of Big-D Construction, one of the three major contractors working on the project. Plans for the center include a $10 million antiterrorism protection program, a fence designed to stop a 15,000-pound vehicle traveling 50 miles per hour, closed-circuit cameras, a biometric identification system, a vehicle inspection facility, and a visitor-control center.

Why all the fuss? Why all the security?

Well, the lead story in Wired magazine for April exposed the Stellar Wind program for its intended purpose: to spy on every jot and scribble of any American citizen’s life all the way down to his “pocket litter:” parking-lot stubs, receipts from McDonalds, tickets from his haircut at Cost Cutters, as well as all the way up to the content of his every e-mail, every Google search, every telephone or cell phone conversation.

Stellar Wind is the code name for an effort approved by President George W. Bush following the September 11, 2001 attacks, to mine a large database of communications of American citizens but which was allegedly terminated when Congress pushed back against it.

However, the National Security Agency, awash with funds provided by Congress, is nearly finished constructing the Utah Data Center as the collection point for data provided from around the country and around the world. Its purpose: “to intercept, decipher, analyze and store vast swaths of the world’s communications … [including] all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls and Google searches.”

In other words, according to James Bamford, author of The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America, when the $2 billion facility (consisting of four 25,000 square-foot buildings full of computer servers and their air conditioning units plus a 900,000 square-foot building to house its technical and administration people) is completed in September, 2013, virtually everything one communicates through any traceable medium, or any record of one’s existence in the electronic medium, which these days is everything, will … become the property of the US government to deal with as its sees fit.

William Binney, a former NSA crypto-mathematician who quit NSA after he realized it was openly and deliberately ignoring privacy limitations built into the Constitution, said in an interview with Bamford, holding his thumb and forefinger close together: “We are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state.”

Binney headed up a team that built the infrastructure to spy on everyone all the time and, at the time, recommended that NSA install its “tapping gear” only at the nation’s “landing sites” — physical locations where fiber optic cables come ashore — to limit its eavesdropping to international communications only and preserving Americans’ right to privacy.

But NSA ignored Binney’s recommendation and instead decided to build its spy center in Utah, connecting it with satellites and listening posts in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, Hawaii, and elsewhere, with direct links to NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, NSA’s research facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and last but not least, the White House.

In addition NSA has two huge data-gathering facilities, each with three 105-foot satellite dishes, one at Catawissa, Pennsylvania, called Roaring Creek, the other at Arbuckle, California, called Salt Creek.

Says Binney, “They violated the Constitution setting it up. But they didn’t care. They were going to do it anyway, and they were going to crucify anyone who stood in their way. When they started violating the Constitution, I couldn’t stay.”

One of the challenges NSA faced was decrypting data, such as that encoded by PGP or the much more robust encryption software used by governments. The Advanced Encryption Standard is used to protect most commercial e-mail programs and web browsers and has, until very recently, been considered unbreakable.

To break a 128-bit encryption code, for example, the number of trial-and-error attempts — call “brute force” — requires an incomprehensibly large number of attempts before succeeding: 340 undecillion (10 to the 26th power). But current breakthroughs by NSA, using Cray super computers, now can break such codes in fractions of a second, exposing all information to the light of day and the peering eyes of NSA observers.

At the moment it appears that the two strongest barriers to intrusions on privacy, technological and constitutional, have been shredded. But courts are involved in a variety of challenges to the NSA’s efforts, and the project isn’t due to come online in full flower until a year from September. Such an operation, now out in the open, requires enormous funding.

Congress, given sufficient encouragement and electoral change of heart this November, could just shut it down by defunding it. It’s really up to informed Americans to see where their elected officials stand on privacy versus security and then take appropriate action in the voting booth.

Attribution: Patriot Update, The New American