November 23rd, 2014
Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday continued to slam President Barack Obama’s move to shield nearly 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, saying the president was getting into the business of counterfeiting.
“For 4 to 5 million people here illegally, he’s promising to print out and give out work authorizations — essentially, he’s gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there’s no legal authority to do what he’s doing,” the Texas Republican charged on “Fox News Sunday.”
Cruz, who has been weighing a bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, said Obama’s action also sets a precedent for future presidents to be able to impose their own laws, “whether it’s immigration, whether it’s tax, whether it’s labor, whether it’s environmental.”
Still, while he’s been a vocal critic of Obama’s immigration plan, Cruz said he “actually can’t put it any better than ‘Saturday Night Live’ put it last night.”
“They reprised the old ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ — you remember, how a bill becomes a law? And ‘Saturday Night Live’ literally had the president pushing the bill down the steps of the Capitol because we no longer need the steps in the Constitution for how we pass laws,” Cruz said, adding, “because the president now is claiming unilateral authority the Constitution doesn’t give him.”
More from Politico
November 23rd, 2014
livescience.com/By Stuart Gibson, University of Kent
Faking photographs is not a new phenomenon. The Cottingley Fairies seemed convincing to some in 1917, just as the images recently broadcast on Russian television, purporting to besatellite images showing the MH17 airliner being fired upon by a jet fighter, may have convinced others.
In fact, recently there’s been a proliferation of images appearing in the media that are not all they seem. Did Malaysian politician Jeffrey Wong Su En really receive a knighthood from the Queen? Has Iran exaggerated its missiles, or North Korea its assault hovercraft? Was this cover of Nature manipulated for artistic symmetry? The widespread use and high quality of digital cameras and photo editing software has made the art of faking a whole lot easier and more commonplace – whether convincing or not.
WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Images can mislead the viewer by modifying, inserting or removing objects from the scene. Many photo editing applications include tools that can remove objects cleanly from their surroundings with a few clicks. This is known asinpainting.
An early method was to fill the void left in the image by smoothly interpolating inwards, based on sampling the pixels at the edge of the missing area. Other techniques include seam carving, content-aware image resizing in which an algorithm establishes the image’s important areas in order to remove or expand sections around them without affecting the subject of the image.
An alternative is to clone an area of the image (or another) and copy it into the gap. This technique can also be used to replicate objects – such as Iranian missiles, or North Korean hovercraft – and is easily implemented in editing software, although the edges of the copied region may need to be skilfully blended into the background to be convincing.
So the content – and therefore the interpretation – of an image can be dramatically altered. But creating really convincing images is more challenging than you might think; the direction and strength of lighting must be consistent between the altered region and the rest of the image, and this is hard to fake.
Unmasking a forgery
Digital image forensics is the science of detecting tampered regions in images and connecting images to the cameras or devices that created them.
Broadly there are two lines of investigation: those forgeries revealed by inconsistencies in the image’s composition and those with detectable disturbances introduced during editing.
A poorly constructed composite photo will exhibit gross inconsistencies in lighting and perspective that will be noticed even by the untrained eye. For more accomplished forgeries, a rigorous analysis of shadowand reflection geometry may be required to detect tampered regions. This is a method developed recently by researchers at Dartmouth College in the US, whose approach is to superimpose lines on an image connecting objects to their shadows in order to indicate the position of a light source within the scene. Objects inserted into the image are likely to exhibit shading that is inconsistent with what would be expected given the position of the light source in the image.
When white light passes through a lens it can separate into red, green and blue wavelengths of light, producing an effect called lateral chromatic aberration which can be seen in photographs. The strength of the chromatic aberration depends on the properties of the lens and the distance of objects in the image from the lens' focal centre. So any elements of the composition added from another photograph, captured using a different lens, will show detectable differences in chromatic aberration.
An image composite of foreground and background objects.
Credit: Stuart Gibson
Our research group designed software that detects differences in image noise to identify the edited region.
Credit: Stuart Gibson
All photographs contain artefacts – regular patterns, distortions, or errors – caused by the imaging process which are mostly imperceptible to the human eye but play an important role in digital image forensics.
For example, colour digital images are created by applying a filter of alternating red, green and blue over the pixels of a camera’s sensor, so that each absorbs only one colour. A process called demosaicing then renders this information as a full colour image, but leaves a regular pattern. Any interruption to this pattern indicates tampering.
An interesting, growing trend is counter forensics, where the forger attempts to cover their tracks in order to evade these and other detection methods. For example, the image noise present in the original can be sampled and fake noise applied to any inserted image objects so that they appear to match the original. Clearly, faking it and finding fakes are two disciplines that are going to keep evolving as technology advances.
Stuart Gibson does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read theoriginal article. Follow all of the Expert Voices issues and debates — and become part of the discussion — on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on Live Science.
November 23rd, 2014
By Barry Secrest
The ever narcissistic Obama is now being lampooned by SNL over his autocratic 'going it alone' address to the nation concerning the granting of at least 5 million illegal aliens, unconstitutional amnesty.
In the comedy skit aired Saturday night, when the congressional bill, standing atop the capitol steps begins singing to a young boy concerning its purpose, Obama appears and promptly shoves the bill down the Capitol steps while the astonished school boy looks on in bewilderment.
The skit then breaks into a cartoon showing the bill tortuously tumbling down the steps while emitting a series of groans and grunts. Each time the bill staggers back up the steps Obama promptly shoves the bill down once again.
When a cigarette smoking executive order shows up to explain itself to the school boy, even it becomes stunned to learn what it actually contains. Hint: Watch the position of the eyebrows on both the bill and the executive order.
The comedy skit includes numerous veiled references to other autocratic measures undertaken during Obama's increasingly lost decade on behalf of a now politically exhausted America.
The crestfallen school boy poignantly concludes, by the way, that his future probably belongs within the private sector, at the end of the skit.
The cartoonish comedy skit was a satirical play on the popular "School House Rock" series of cartoons that aired in the 70's to young children across the US on Saturday mornings.
November 22nd, 2014
Obama and numerous others with the US Government are continually now abusing the US Constitution to a degree unprecedented in US history--the following is yet another instance of what is rapidly becoming the "devil's trampling ground of tyranny" in the "land of the Free"~ Refocus Notes
The New American
Even if a controversial provision of the USA Patriot Act used to justify the legality of warrantless searches expires on June 1 without congressional action, NSA and White House officials have already determined the warrantless surveillance program will continue on unchanged without Congress, the New York Times reported November 20.
Senators have been laboring under the idea that the program is operating under the permission of actual legislation. “I believe that if we do not pass this bill, the metadata program is at risk because the 215 program sunsets next year,” Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)said in Senate debate on an NSA reauthorization measure November 18, the misnamed USA Freedom Act.
But Feinstein's own former staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee are now stating publicly that the program would go on whether Congress reauthorized it or not. “It was always understood that no investigation should be different the day after the sunset than it was the day before,” former Senate Intelligence Committee lawyer Michael Davidson told the New York Times. “There are important reasons for Congress to legislate on what, if any, program is now warranted. But considering the actual language of the sunset provision, no one should believe the present program will disappear solely because of the sunset.”
Such a comment is perhaps the strongest admission that Congress has become irrelevant, and that the executive branch of government has become autocratic and without check.
Virtually all of the unconstitutional warrantless surveillance by the NSA is allegedly justified by an obscure executive order issued by President Reagan, the ACLU reported October 30. The executive order did not grant authority to surveil Americans without warrant, but NSA documents reveal that this is how intelligence officials have “interpreted” it. One training document used by the NSA acknowledges that “Executive Order 12333 was issued by the President of the United States to provide for the effective conduct of US intelligence activities and the protection of the rights of US persons. It is the primary source of NSA's foreign intelligence-gathering authority.” But it also notes:
Executive Order 12333 permits collection, retention, and dissemination of the following types of information concerning US persons, such as:
• Information that is publicly available or collected with the consent of the person concerned
• Information constituting foreign intelligence or counterintelligence
• Information needed to protect the safety of any persons or organizations
• Information needed to protect foreign intelligence or counterintelligence sources or methods from unauthorized disclosure
• Incidentally obtained information that may indicate involvement in activities that may violate federal, state, local, or foreign laws
A separate training document also acknowledges that in the NSA's foreign intelligence collection program “it is not possible to determine what communications are to or from U.S. persons nearly as readily as is the case with telephony, and often not possible at all.”
The USA Freedom Act was originally drafted by Wisconsin Republican Representative James Sensenbrenner, the author of the original 2001 USA Patriot Act, who was horrified that it was being used to justify destruction of the Fourth Amendment. But as the legislation worked its way through Congress, many of the original cosponsors of the bill dropped off the support list because Sensenbrenner's bill had been highjacked by the surveillance state lobby. House Liberty Caucus Chairman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and his chief ally Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) both voted against the bill by the time it reached the House floor, despite the fact they had been original cosponsors of the bill....
November 22nd, 2014
By Walid Shoebat (Shoebat Exclusive)
In what we consider to be the most shocking video recordings of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at two speeches in Istanbul which reveals the amazing evidence to what Shoebat.com has been saying over a decade, the spirit, goal and aim of the Muslim Antichrist which seems to all manifest in Turkey’s star leader.
Erdogan expressed his desire to catapult Turkey into an Islamic Empire stemming from Istanbul and covering the entire Muslim world in support of the Caliphate dream map of a ten-Muslim state confideracy.
In two remarkable astonishing recorded speeches one can summarize the definition of Antichrist, who is a Hitler type figure, except this arising prince is not originating from Europe’s Germany but from Turkey (1). The Turkish Sultan wanna be Caliph, Hitler-Erdogan, who is beginning to fit the bill as he displayed his demonic tirades and hallucinations proclaiming Muslims as a special people going as far as propounding the “Sun Language Theory”, which described how the Turkish language was the world’s original language from which all others were derived as in the original Babel.
He claimed Muslims discovered America before Columbus and that when Cuba was first discovered it had a mosque on a hill and thereby a mosque should be built there.
Erdogan in intent was really reiterating the Quran in which it stated that the “earth belongs to Allah” and that Turkey will usher the Prince of the Faithful who will be the Caliph, Allah’s custodian of the Muslim world.
The dignitaries watching were elated at the myth though they had the pleasure of believing it. Bertrand Russell’s book Power analyzes tyranny is that it depends on a “huge system of organised lying” to keep “their followers out of contact with reality”, therefore Erdogan and Hitler have much in common, even that Hitler as in Erdogan admired Islam and wanted it for Germany instead of what he termed “flabby Christianity” when Hitler stated: “”You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good?
The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness….” (Quoted from Albert Speer’s memoirs)
And in another recording of yet a more significant speech, Erdogan’s statements bears a rather striking resemblance to some of the propaganda that has come out of ISIS when the Turkish president blasted the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret understanding that divided up the Middle East after World War I between British and French spheres of influence showing a serious convergence of views between ISIS and Erdoğan. (2) In this remarkable speech Erdogan says it all....