The Startling New Way Big Brother Is Tracking Your Health





Photo credit: TexasGOPVote.com (Creative Commons)

As ObamaCare continues to eat away at the private American healthcare system that the rest of the world once envied, the federal government now has a hand in virtually all aspects of the medical industry.

The intrusion is well-documented and is not limited to any particular federal agency.

Among the most recent developments is the Environmental Protection Agency’s promise to scour social media posts for clues about potential outbreaks of disease. Apparently taking a page out of the NSA’s playbook, the EPA announced last week that it is seeking a contractor capable of scanning millions of Twitter posts for users posting specific symptoms.

According to reports, the agency is interested in tracking cases of acute gastroenteritis infections – or AGI – to determine where the disorder is most prevalent. In a public notice, the EPA offered a number of “search terms” for the prospective contractor to look for, including “[s]tomach flu, stomach bug, stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.”

The apparent mission involves comparing results from Twitter with studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control. Of course, the social media site is known to be the home of countless saboteurs and wiseacres who could easily skew results, thus invalidating any of the contractors’ findings.

Nonetheless, the EPA appears anxious to begin the project. Considering the emphasis on influenza, this could be an effort to further indoctrinate Americans with the ostensible benefits of the flu vaccine.

In any case, it is another step toward a society in which no information – especially personal health data – is immune from government snooping. Obviously, those posting their symptoms to Twitter have no expectation of privacy; however, it is doubtful many expect to have those posts dissected by federal contractors.

The incremental attack on privacy in the U.S. has increased in speed and severity throughout the Obama administration. As he implements his plan to bypass Congress whenever it suits him, the problems associated with an invasive government bureaucracy are sure to become more pronounced.

–B. Christopher Agee

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Photo credit: TexasGOPVote.com (Creative Commons)





Video: Obama’s Plot To Black Out 40 Percent Of US Power Supply





A new EPA rule on power plant emissions promises to slash as much as 40 percent of the nation’s power supply and possibly even doubling Americans’ energy bills.





EPA Fraudster Gets 32-Month Sentence





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A Washington, D.C. federal court judge handed down her sentence this week in the case against the Environmental Protection Agency’s top earner. Despite bringing home more than $200,000 a year as a global warming expert, John C. Beale engaged in an elaborate scam over 13 years during which he falsely claimed to be a CIA operative to avoid actually working.

He spent long periods – including 18 uninterrupted months in 2011 and 2012 – away from his office while colleagues believed he was on a mission overseas or at CIA headquarters. Earlier this year, he admitted his guilt in the scheme, through which analysts say he fleeced taxpayers out of nearly $1 million.

Judge Ellen Huvelle called his actions “unbelievably egregious” before sentencing him to 32 months in federal prison and issuing a $1.3 million fine for restitution.

Beale did not try to defend his behavior, instead admitting that he merely embraced his selfish nature for more than a decade.

“Why did I do this?” he asked the court rhetorically. “Greed – simple greed – and I’m ashamed of that greed.”

He went on to describe the fraud as “an addiction,” explaining he experienced euphoria in convincing others he was a spy. Taking year-and-a-half paid vacations probably wasn’t too bad, either.

Beale really didn’t do much during his extended hiatuses. According to his testimony in court, he “spent time exercising” and “working on my house” while his fellow EPA employees believed he was engaged in international espionage.

Jim Smith, a prosecutor in the case, said Beale represents the “poster child for what is wrong with government.”

Of course, Beale’s actions were just a microcosm of the overarching waste associated with our government. While his brazen lies have been exposed, billions in taxpayer dollars are similarly squandered each year on frivolous programs and executive vacations.

Though his fraud was serious and his punishment well-deserved, many see Beale’s actions as just an exaggeration of ordinary public-sector behavior. Our government is notoriously unaccountable, which might explain why he was able to keep the wool over his superiors’ eyes for 13 years.

–B. Christopher Agee

Have an idea for a story? Email us at tips@westernjournalism.com





Video: EPA Official Bilked $900,000 from Taxpayers





John Beale was a high-ranking, highly-paid EPA official who pretended to be a CIA operative. He seldom went to his $200,000 a year job as a global-warming expert and defrauded the agency of $900,000 in first-class travel expenditures.





The 4th Branch Of Government: The Bureacracy





Photo credit: terrellaftermath

We all remember being taught in school about the Three Branches of Government: legislative, executive, and judicial.  But, perhaps a new branch has sprung up while no one was looking. Perhaps a new branch was created over time, with the American people sitting idly by.

We were all told that it was necessary with the growth of the country, that it was necessary with the changing of the times.

The Fourth Branch of Government, the Bureaucracy, has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. It’s grown to hold millions of employees.  Billions upon billions are spent yearly on and by this new branch of government.

It harbors a vast array of regulatory powers. This power constrains businesses, impedes economic growth, and crushes entrepreneurs’ dreams of innovating. Ultimately, it limits what individuals may purchase.

The problem with this vast branch of government is simple: it contains way too much power. It wields it quite well too, and I don’t really need to point out much; but here are a few examples of this power:

  • Rain tax
  • Mandatory seat belts
  • Prescription Drugs
  • The NSA (in general)

They might not mean much to you, but it goes back to me saying that this branch contains too much power. If people wanted seat belts in a car, then they’d buy a car with seat belts. If they didn’t want them, then they’d buy cars without them. Same thing with airbags, which a lot of people don’t want.

The Rain Tax was instated in Maryland by the state government after lots of pressure from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so they could get funding for a project used to help reduce run-off to the Chesapeake Bay. So they came up with this, and it passed. The base fee is $100, but fees are mostly to be calculated via the surface area of “properties as the theory is that roofs, driveways, and carparks create more potential for drainage problems and water contamination”. How will they do this? Naturally, of course, by drone.

Then there’s the NSA. This government institution is one hell of a problem for everyone. They know what you do basically most if not all of the time. They say you have nothing to fear, but there’s always something to fear when it involves the government. They say it’s for protecting us against terrorists, and those pesky “anti-government extremists” (which they later defined as basically the majority of conservative, tea party, and libertarian groups, if not all.)

My point is this; we’ve allowed the Federal government to grow too big, gain too much power, and take more control of our daily lives and purchasing power. But, as usual, many still won’t care. Many won’t say it affects them. They’ll simply ignore the issue. The government loves that. The less people awake to realize this all, the more power they can grant themselves.

It’s important to stress the amount of power that’s been taken from the people over time. It’s time to stop this nonsense. It’s time to end crappy departments like the Department of Energy, Education, and the IRS. It’s time to repeal stupid, pointless laws like the ACA, and many more that infringe on the free market.

 

Photo credit: terrellaftermath