Malware may knock thousands off Internet on Monday

The warnings about the Internet problem have been splashed across Facebook and Google. Internet service providers have sent notices, and the FBI set up a special website.

But tens of thousands of Americans may still lose their Internet service Monday unless they do a quick check of their computers for malware that could have taken over their machines more than a year ago.

Despite repeated alerts, the number of computers that probably are infected is more than 277,000 worldwide, down from about 360,000 in April. Of those still infected, the FBI believes that about 64,000 are in the United States.

Users whose computers are still infected Monday will lose their ability to go online, and they will have to call their service providers for help deleting the malware and reconnecting to the Internet.

The problem began when international hackers ran an online advertising scam to take control of more than 570,000 infected computers around the world. When the FBI went in to take down the hackers late last year, agents realized that if they turned off the malicious servers being used to control the computers, all the victims would lose their Internet service.

In a highly unusual move, the FBI set up a safety net. They brought in a private company to install two clean Internet servers to take over for the malicious servers so that people would not suddenly lose their Internet.

But that temporary system will be shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT Monday, July 9.

Most victims don’t even know their computers have been infected, although the malicious software probably has slowed their Web surfing and disabled their antivirus software, making their machines more vulnerable to other problems.

But popular social networking sites and Internet providers have gotten more involved, reaching out to computer users to warn of the problem.

Read more here.

Obama gambles, America loses

The latest Obama 2012 campaign slogan is “Betting on America.” However, the latest round of dismal economic news shows that when it comes to the economy, President Obama is a poor gambler, and the country is headed for bust.

June figures showed 8.2 percent official unemployment. This is unchanged from the previous month, which is very bad news for the administration. A month ago, Mr. Obama declared confidently that “the private sector is doing fine,” but there was nothing in the new job numbers to back him up. Only 84,000 private-sector jobs were added in June, a third of which were temporary jobs. That number is below already gloomy estimates.

Second-quarter job growth dropped an average of 226,000 per month in the first three months of the year to 75,000, which doesn’t even keep pace with population growth. At the same time, 85,000 people left the work force and filed for Social Security Disability Insurance. This fits a general pattern in recent years. The Obama campaign trumpets the 2.6 million jobs it “created” since June of 2009, but over the same period, 3.1 million workers went on disability. The private sector isn’t fine, it is on life support.

The gambler-in-chief has delivered far below what he promised when he sat down at the table. According to the Obama administration’s official projections of the job effects of the 2009 stimulus plan, unemployment was supposed to be around 5.5 percent by now and would have been (Democrats said) around 6 percent without it. Thus, according to the administration’s own figures, the American people took on close to a trillion dollars of new debt in order to produce more joblessness than would have existed had the government done nothing. Unemployment is currently higher than even the highest rates the Obama administration predicted back in 2009.

Mr. Obama wants the country to double down, but there are signs that the economy is headed for a double-dip. Consumer confidence has fallen for four straight months, according to the Conference Board. The Thomson Reuters index of same-store retail sales showed a 0.1 percent increase in June, the worst showing in years. Growth in the gross domestic product dropped to 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, and major forecasts for the second quarter range between 1.6 percent and 2 percent. This is bad news going into a re-election effort; better GDP numbers in 1992 prompted challenger Bill Clinton’s campaign to declare a “crisis” and charge that President George H.W. Bush’s policies had “driven the country into a ditch.” In 2012, it is still the economy, stupid.

Read more here.

Illegal charged in death of honor student

A St. Paul man with no driver’s license was speeding when he lost control of his SUV and barreled off a city street, killing a teen as she sat in the grass waiting for a bus on the city’s East Side, according to charges filed Friday.

Carlos Viveros-Colorado, 50, of St. Paul, was charged with criminal vehicular homicide in the death of Clarisse Grime, 16, who died Thursday after being struck in front of Harding High School, about 40 feet from E. 3rd Street. Grime was with her boyfriend, Eduardo Vazquez-Torres, 17, waiting in a shady area for a bus after finishing the day’s summer school classes.

Witnesses reported that the driver of a Ford Expedition was speeding east on 3rd Street when the driver lost control, hit a fire hydrant and then drove over a sidewalk and into the grassy area, according to a complaint filed by Ramsey County prosecutors.

Viveros-Colorado has never had a Minnesota driver’s license, according to Doug Neville, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety. Public records show that he previously was convicted of drunken driving in 2001, and in April was fined $100 after pleading guilty to driving without a license in Newport.

Viveros-Colorado told police after Thursday’s crash that his left leg and right arm had gone numb while he was driving, and that both of his legs went numb before he lost control. He also told police that his foot was stuck on the accelerator.

Read more here.

Army manual: Kill rioters, demonstrators in America

A newly leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.

The document (PDF), which is dated 2006 and was used for a self-learning course at the U.S. Army Military Police School at Fort McClellan, makes it clear that the operations described in the manual apply to both “CONUS and OCONUS,” meaning inside the Continental United States and outside the Continental United States.

The document outlines how military assets will be used to “help local and state authorities to restore and maintain law and order” in the event of mass riots, civil unrest or a declaration of martial law.

The primary function of military assets will be focused around, “breaking up unauthorized gatherings and by patrolling the disturbance area to prevent the commission of lawless acts,” states the document, adding, “during operations to restore order, military forces may present a show of force, establish roadblocks, break up crowds, employ crowd control agents, patrol, serve as security forces or reserves, and perform other operations as required.”

The manual also describes how prisoners will be processed through temporary internment camps under the guidance of U.S. Army FM 3-19.40 Internment/Resettlement Operations, which as we reported earlier this year, outlines how internees would be “re-educated” into developing an “appreciation of U.S. policies” while detained in prison camps inside the United States.

On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”

The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.

The document also explains how the military will be involved in spying on and gathering information on dissidents to identify the, “Existence of persons, groups, or organizations which have distinctively threatened or are creating disturbances.”

“Crowd control agents” will also be deployed for the purpose of “reducing resistance,” states the manual, which also implies that troops will be used to confiscate firearms.

“Restrictions on the sale, transfer, and possession of sensitive material such as gasoline, firearms, ammunition, and explosives will help control forces in minimizing certain forms of violence,” states the document on page 40.

Read more here.

Atheist Billboard in TX Quotes JFK‘s ’Absolute‘ ’Separation of Church & State’ Speech

Wayne Brady Calls Out Bill Maher for Racial Comments

780,000 More Women Unemployed Today Than When Obama Took Office

The number of women unemployed in June was 5,785,000, an increase of 780,000 from when Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009 – at that time, the number of unemployed women in the United States was 5,005,000.

The number of unemployed is for women ages 16 and older in the civilian work force and is seasonally adjusted, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The BLS data also show that the unemployment rate for women in June was 8.0 percent, up from 7.9 percent in May. That’s also up from 7.0 percent in January 2009 when Obama became president.

Read more here.

Judge says man can’t hand out Bibles at Twin Cities Pride fest

A Wisconsin man who wants to hand out Bibles at the 40th Annual Twin Cities Pride festival in Loring Park this month will have to confine himself to a booth just outside of the event.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis issued a 41-page order Monday denying Brian Johnson’s request for an injunction that would force the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board to allow him unfettered access to the festival grounds, reasoning that his constitutional challenge was unlikely to succeed.

Dot Belstler, Twin Cities Pride’s executive director, said the ruling came as welcome news.

But it’s unlikely to end the matter, which has been bouncing around the courts since 2009.

Nate Kellum, chief counsel with the Center for Religious Expression and Johnson’s lead attorney, issued a statement Monday indicating that other legal options are being explored.

“We are certainly disappointed in this ruling that fails to take Mr. Johnson’s First Amendment freedoms into account,” Kellum wrote. “Mr. Johnson should be allowed to hand out Bibles in a public area during a public festival and not be relegated to a ‘no pride’ zone where nobody bothers to go. Without an audience, Mr. Johnson is utterly deprived of his right to free speech.”

Johnson, an evangelical Christian and taxidermist from Hayward, said in his lawsuit that he has distributed Bibles at the annual event since 1995 and that he had no problems until 2009, when the organization refused to rent him a booth after an exchange about his views on homosexuality.

Johnson and his family planned to walk through the 2009 event distributing Bibles, but festival officials told them they weren’t welcome, his suit says. A police officer allegedly told Johnson that the park was “private property” that day, and Johnson was arrested when they didn’t leave. The charges were dropped.

Festival planners sued the Park Board in 2010, seeking an injunction that would head off Johnson’s plans to return to the festival, but lost when U.S. District Judge John Tunheim ruled that a broad restriction based on the content of Johnson’s speech would violate his rights under the First Amendment. He returned to the festival.

Seeking to head him off in 2011, Twin Cities Pride and the Park Board reached a settlement agreement stipulating that the board would set up booths in the park but outside of the festival area for people excluded by the festival planners. All literature distributed inside the festival area must be done from booths approved by Twin Cities Pride. But the organizers also agreed to set up an unattended “drop zone” inside the festival where anyone could leave information. The agreement does not bar anyone from walking through the festival to share their views with willing listeners.

Read more here.