Eritrea is one of only two countries in the world that applies citizenship-based taxation in addition to residence-based taxation.
The other? The United States of America.
In fact, the US is the ONLY industrialized country in the world to impose taxation on the basis of citizenship—even if the American is working overseas.
The immediate result for Americans employed overseas is a nightmare of confusing and complex filing and reporting requirements. When I worked abroad, my U.S. tax return could easily come to fifty pages—requiring the expense of a paid tax accountant to do the job.
Consequently, a business must offer a higher gross pay an American working overseas than to a non-American. Unfortunately for Americans, not all companies are going to offer an American a higher salary over and equally qualified non-American.
In fact, over a 20 year period, the number of Americans employed by foreign subsidiaries of US firms fell by a staggering 50%—even as those firms continued to expand their overseas hiring.
In addition, the complex U.S. reporting requirements for the income of American workers abroad, and their bank accounts, are so onerous on businesses that some companies have ceased hiring Americans altogether. Many foreign banks now refuse to open accounts for Americans due to the burdensome U.S. reporting requirements.
The US should change America’s tax system from a system based on citizenship to a territorial system based on the American individual’s country of residence. This would level the playing field for Americans working abroad. It would also make it make it less costly for companies operating abroad to hire American workers and stop the outsourcing of jobs to foreign nationals.
An American seeking employment abroad must now consider both how the foreign country and the US government will tax earnings. Many Americans working abroad are subject to double taxation and must pay income taxes to the country in which they reside, in addition to US income, taxes. While some countries do have tax treaties with the United States that limit this burden, most do not.
A non-American worker, on the other hand, has no such concerns.
The U.S. argues that Americans working abroad are important source of tax revenue.
However, under the auspices of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the U.S. bestows lavish tax and other benefits on U.S. businesses willing to transfer their operations to a foreign country (while firing their American workers back home). An investigation by the U.S. government has uncovered a sophisticated scheme by Apple involving the creation of an international web of subsidiaries to avoid taxes. Thanks to its foreign subsidiaries, Apple has paid no tax, zero, nada, on $74bn profits.
The American working abroad has none of these benefits.
The WTO’s benefits include the U.S. financing (for free) of all foreign capital expenses for the business. In addition, under the WTO, the U.S. provides a free financial guarantee to the company against losses.
Finally, thanks to the WTO, the U.S. does not tax the revenues of U.S. companies abroad, so long as the company does not repatriate their tax-free profits back to the U.S. This keeps profits overseas where they can be invested instead of bringing them back to create jobs in the U.S.
Viewpoint by Conrad Steinhoff originally published in the Lebanon Advertiser (Lebanon, Illinois)
Members of the Senate Permanent Committee on Investigations are looking into the tax-paying behaviors of large American corporations. They are coming to regret it. Rand Paul, senator from Kentucky, put it well. He said the senators’ attention is directed at corporate CEO’s when “we should be holding up a mirror.” He is right on target.
The most recent corporate executive to appear before the Committee is Tim Cook, CEO of Apple. Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, chairman of the committee, laid out Apple’s tax avoidance schemes. Apple bas managed to manipulate the tax laws between the U.S. and Ireland so that Apple Operation International literally exists nowhere geographically. Thus, it is beholden to no nation’s tax laws. As Senator Levin says, “Magically, it is neither here nor there.” In this way, it avoided paying taxes on $76 billion over the past four years. In 2012, this saved the firm about $12 billion in U.S. taxes.
Kevin Horrigan, in his column in this past Sunday’s Post-Dispatch, asks, “Why does this matter?” It matters because that $12 billion could have funded the entire Interior Department for a year; it could have paid for the entire FBI with $3.6 billion left over. And it matters because you and I, with our taxes, pay for these and a lot of other government activities.
But Tim Cook fired back with an angry edge. “We pay all the taxes we owe—every single dollar. We don’t depend on tax gimmicks.” Horrigan comments that Apple’s maneuvers look pretty gimmicky to him. He’s right but so is Cook. Technically, everything Apple has done with its tax practices is perfectly legal. That’s when Senator Paul made his mirror comment. The U.S. Congress created the tax code and passed every law creating every loophole through which Apple and most other large U.S. corporations slither.
Well, that’s not quite fair. Most of the loopholes are so big the tax lawyers can drive an SUV through them. They don’t have to slither.
How did that happen? Did the Congress just decide it would be good for the country for corporations to pay less and less taxes over time? Well, actually, no. It wasn’t really their idea. It was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s idea. It was Exxon-Mobil’s idea; Citi-Bank’s idea, and so on—and on. Corporate America has been on a campaign over the past forty years to shape the U.S. government in its own image. They have made excellent progress. The Congress rarely does anything that displeases Corporate America. As the old saying goes, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.
A recent example: Depending on which survey you look at, either 85% or
90% of the American electorate favors universal background checks for gun buyers. Restrictions on sales of assault-type weapons and multi-shot ammunition clips are also favored by large majorities. But none of this, not even background checks, could make it through Congress. Even with the parents of kids killed at Sandy Hook Elementary school looking on from the Senate gallery, their elected representatives voted no.
How could this happen? How could members of Congress ignore these numbers and the public sentiment they reflect and still hope to stay in office?
Those are naive questions, of course, because they assume members of Congress represent the electorate. They don’t. They represent the rich and powerful who have bought them with campaign fund donations. By bloating the cost of getting elected/re-elected into the multi-millions, these wealthy donors have made it next to impossible to succeed without their patronage.
By the time one is elected, he/she has already sold him/herself into slavery to the agenda of those who pay his/her way into office.
Meanwhile, regular folks struggle along. Did any of you out there notice how the big bailout of 2008-09 turned out? All those home-owners out there whose houses went underwater got help, right? When they faced foreclosure, there were bailout funds at the ready, right? Not! The big financial institutions got most of the money, largely with no strings attached. They weren’t even required to help all those homeowners whose gimmicked up mortgages were largely responsible for the debacle in the first place.
In the face of this dismal picture, l am an enthusiastic subscriber to Yes! Magazine. Its very name tells its story. It is about all the good and hopeful stuff that is happening to change the world from the bottom up—to form our economy, our relationship to the earth, and more. The cover of the summer 2013 edition points to what’s inside: “Don’t Wait for the Revolution. Live It.” “What to Say When You Hear ‘It’s impossible.’” “Love and the Apocalypse: Why Radical Is the New Normal.” If Yes! is new to you, check it out at yesmagazine.org. Although it’s not explicitly religious, faith and hope ooze from every page.
Even the conservative Drudge Report suggests that the Senator is visiting the wrong people in Syria. The Drudge May 28th headline reads, “War Drums: McCain’s Memorial Day with “Rebels”.
Is McCain is out for more U.S. boots on the ground, and U.S, bodies under the ground? And, if so, for whom?
On April 10, 2013, the BBC stated, “The leader of the al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group fighting in Syria, has pledged allegiance to the leader of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri.”
The al-Nusra Front is one of the leaders in the revolution against the Syrian government—one of the last two non-sectarian governments left in the Middle East. (Webster defines non-sectarian as being “not affiliated with or restricted to a particular religious group.”)
The only other remaining non-sectarian government in the Middle East, at least for now, is Lebanon.
It is worthwhile noting that the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein was also non-sectarian. Iraq now is a de-facto religious state, controlled by the Shia branch of Islam, as is its controlling neighbor, Iran.
With war profits no longer coming in from the Iraq War, and the war in Afghanistan coming to an end, the U.S. military-industrial complex is desperate for another way—and what candidate is better than Syria?
Now, either through delusion, or at the behest of the U.S. military-industrial complex, Senator John McCain has taken it upon himself to visit Syria to provide support for a war in Syria. More specifically, Senator McCain has visited Syria drum up sponsorship for Syria’s revolutionaries. By so doing, Senator McCain is joining hands with al-Qaeda.
Is Senator McCain’s visit to the Syria’s al-Qaeda led revolutionaries not an act of treason? Were Senator McCain an “ordinary” American citizen, would he not be a possible target for a drone.
Fortunately, for Senator McCain, he is protected by those who seek profits from another war.
The Lit Motors C-1 is something like a motorcycle version of a Segway on steroids.
The Segway uses a collection of microprocessors instead of a brain and a set of sophisticated tilt sensors instead of an inner-ear balancing system. Like your brain, the Segway knows when you are leaning forward. To maintain balance, it turns the wheels at just the right speed, so you move forward.
The Lit Motors C-1 works in an entirely different way. It uses gyroscopes. Where a single spinning gyroscope seemingly defies gravity by standing up, the Lit Motors C-1 uses a two-gyroscope counter-rotating system. As long as the two gyroscopes are spinning, the C-1 also appears to defy gravity. Once the C-1’s electric motor is turned off, the vehicle is maintained upright by two side stands, which extend to the ground.
The C-1 is one meter wide with space for the driver and a passenger (or groceries). On a full charge of batteries, it has a range of 200 miles.
The C-1’s top speed is an impressive (and daring) 125mph and the C-1 can go from zero to 60mph in a snappy 7 seconds.
The first limited production run of 1,000 C-1s is to be manufactured in USA in 2014 and sold with a $19,000 price tag. Once full production is established, the price should drop to $12,000 in North America.
The C-1 is not an entirely new concept. Back in the 90’s a similar vehicle, the Gyro Hawk, appeared in prototype form. Like the C-1, the Gyro Hawk was a gyro-stabilized. Like the C-1, the Gyro Hawk used a two-gyro counter-rotating system. The Gyro Hawk never reached production status.
There was even a gyro-stabilized monorail—Brennan’s Monorail. It was exhibited in London in way back in 1910. It carried 50 passengers around a circular track at 20 mph. Even Winston Churchill, had a ride and was reported to have shown considerable enthusiasm. Unfortunately, Brennan’s Monorail, and other similar vehicles failed to attract financing and wound up in the junk yard.
Hopefully, the C-1 will have a happier fate.
May 21st, 2013 | Category: Technology | Comments are closed
Viewpoint by Conrad Steinhoff originally published in the Lebanon Advertiser (Lebanon, Illinois)
President Obama made a startling but little noted request in his State of the Union speech. While addressing national security issues, he directly challenged the congress to “rein me in.” He referred to the use of drone warfare. He commented that we are in uncharted territory. (I was reminded of the lipstick on the bathroom mirror, “Stop me before I kill again.”). Not one given to mea culpa, his plea was couched in a rational bit of analysis. The nature of warfare has changed. Our existing policies no longer serve the new environment. Implied was the responsibility of Congress to create a legal framework for 21st Century warfare.
There is no question that the Congress has long since abdicated its war declaring responsibility as laid out in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8). Congress hasn’t declared war since World War II. Nor has any president since Franklin Roosevelt asked them to do so.
President Obama’s plea is heartening in that it indicates discomfort with what he has been doing. In a recent column, “Protecting our Children,” I expressed consternation at his apparent hypocrisy, on the one hand declaring we must protect our children, while on the other hand ordering drone strikes that kill other people’s children. At the same time, I recognized the complexity of the situation.
The president is indeed caught in a web of complexity. A flood of hard questions rise out of it. Basic is our engagement in a “war on terror.” Early in his first term, he said his administration was putting that label out to pasture. But just this past week, he declared that Republican stalling on confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense was reprehensible “in a time of war.”
The war on terror is so imbedded in our national psyche and policy it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference what we call it; it still dominates our choices. And it spills over into every aspect of our national life. Spying on our own citizens through electronic surveillance in the name of national security becomes just part of our way of life. In the name of national security, we surrender our civil liberties (see “Patriot Act”). We arrest and detain even our own citizens without trial, as “prisoners of war.” Remember Jose Padilla?
Wars have historically been undertaken in response to an enemy attack. The attack on Afghanistan was justified thus, although the congressional authorization declared Al Qaeda to be the target, not Afghanistan itself. Declaring Al Qaeda to be the enemy has been pointed to as justification for attacking alleged Al Qaeda operations wherever they are found without reference to national borders.
But in our present situation, we are seeking out those who, we believe, intend to attack us, who are plotting attacks. Are these attacks acts of war, or are they targeted assassinations? Is “the war on terror” now being run by the CIA? The methodology, especially the fact that the drones are under CIA command, certainly appears that way. The Obama administration claims its killing of alleged Al Qaeda operatives is authorized by the War Powers Act.
So are we at war or not? If we are, and Al Qaeda is our enemy, we are doomed to an endless state of war. We fight an elusive enemy whose location and identity is diffuse and which shows no signs of being defeated. We’ve been there before. Remember Viet Nam? We’re there now in Afghanistan as we attempt to defeat the Taliban. In Viet Nam, we eventually beat an ignominious retreat with our tail between our legs. We’re covering our abandonment of the Afghanistan war with presidential declarations of success, but claiming no victory.
There is something more ominous than perpetual war. That is a perpetual state of high alert to perceived yet ephemeral threats of terrorism. It is so dangerous because it creates fear and paranoia. The fear becomes intolerable. To allay it, we give more and more power over our lives to those who would be our protectors—the FBI, the CIA, the police, the military—all agents who operate in secrecy—until they strike. Is our fear relieved? No, and now we add to it fear of loss of our civil liberties. Paranoia ensues. Remember Senator Joe McCarthy?
But what if the threat is real? Doesn’t it make eminently good sense to seek out and eliminate terrorist threats before they are carried out? It makes no sense, if we can accomplish that, to wait to be attacked. Where does all this leave us? In a muddle, at cross purposes with ourselves. It’s not hard to see why President Obama wants Congress to share the angst and take up these questions. Do you find referring a problem to Congress reassuring? God help us.
Below is a copy of the United States Federal Court Criminal Complaint against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
This document has been converted from the original PDF, with optical recognition to make it scannable. Due to the conversion and optical recognition, there may be several items in the Complaint which did not resolve clearly. We will be working to correct this.
1\0 91 (Rev. 11/11) Criminal Complaint
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
District of Massachusetts
United States of America
I, the complainant in this case, state that the following is true to the best of my knowledge and belief.
On or about the date(s) of April 1_5, 2013 _ in the county of Suffolk— - in the District of Massachusetts , the defendant(s) violated:
Code Section Offense Description
18 U.S.C. s 2332a(a) Use of a Weapon of Mass Destruction
18 u.s.c. s 844(1) Malicious Destruction of Property Resulting in Death
This criminal complaint is based on these facts:
See Attached Affidavit of Special Agent Daniel R. Genck
[2( Continued on the attached sheet.
Sworn to before me and signed in my presence.
Date: 04/21/2013 @ Ct, ‘, i ?\;
Daniel R. Genck,Special Age t,£13_1_
Printed name and title
City and state:
— ‘.<’ n, Massachuse_tts
AFFIDAVIT OF SPECIAL AGENT
I, Daniel R. Genck, being duly sworn, depose and state:
1. I am a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and have been so employed since 2009. I am currently assigned to one of the Boston Field Office’s Counter-terrorism Squads. Among other things, I am responsible for conducting national security investigations of potential violations of federal criminal laws as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (“JTTF”). During my tenure as an agent, I have participated in numerous national security investigations. I have received extensive training and experience in the conduct of national security investigations, and those matters involving domestic and international terrorism.
2. During my employment with the FBI, I have conducted and participated in many investigations involving violations of United States laws relating to the provision of material support to terrorism. I have participated in the execution of numerous federal search and arrest warrants in such investigations. I have had extensive training in many methods used to commit acts of terrorism contrary to United States law.
3. This affidavit is submitted in support of an application for a complaint charging DZHOKHAR A. TSARNAEV of Cambridge, Massachusetts (“DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV”) with using a weapon of mass destruction against persons and property at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, resulting in death. More specifically, I submit this affidavit in support of an application for a complaint charging DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV with (I) unlawfully using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (namely, an improvised explosive device) against persons and property within the United States used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity that affects interstate and foreign commerce, which offense and its results affectedinterstate and foreign commerce (including, but not limited to, the Boston Marathon, private businesses in Eastern Massachusetts, and the City of Boston itself), resulting in death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2332a; and (2) maliciously damaging and destroying, by means of an explosive, real and personal property used in interstate and foreign commerce and in an activity aJJecting interstate and foreign commerce, resulting in personal injury and death, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i).
4. This affidavit is based upon my personal involvement in this investigation, my training and experience, my review of relevant evidence, and information supplied to me by other law enforcement officers. It does not include each and every fact known to me about the investigation, but rather only those facts that I believe arc sufficient to establish the requisite probable cause.
FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES
The Boston Marathon Explosions
5. The Boston Marathon is an annual race that attracts runners from all over the United States and the world. According to the Boston Athletic Association, which administers the Marathon, over 23,000 runners participated in this year’s race. The Marathon has a substantial impact on interstate and foreign commerce. For example, based on publicly available information, I believe that the runners and their families — including those who travel to the Boston area from other states and countries — typically spend tens of millions of dollars each year at local area hotels, restaurants and shops, in the days before, during, and after the Marathon. In addition, a number of the restaurants and stores in the area near the finish line have special events for spectators.
6. The final stretch of the Boston Marathon runs eastward along the center of Boylston Street in Boston from Hereford Street to the finish line, which is located between Exeter and Dartmouth Streets. Low metal barriers line both edges of the street and separate the spectators from the runners. Many businesses line the streets of the Marathon route. In the area near the finish line, businesses are located on both sides of Boylston Street, including restaurants, a department store, a hotel and various retail stores.
7. On April 15, 2013, at approximately 2:49 p.m., while the Marathon was still underway, two explosions occurred on the north side of Boylston Street along the Marathon’s final stretch. The first explosion occurred in fl’ont of 671 Boylston Street and the second occurred approximately one block away in front of 755 Boylston Street. The explosive devices were placed near the metal barriers where hundreds of spectators were watching runners approach the finish line. Each explosion killed at least one person, maimed, burned and wounded scores of others, and damaged public and private property, including the streets, sidewalk, barriers, and property owned by people and businesses in the locations where the explosions occurred. In total, three people were killed and over two hundred individuals were injured.
8. The explosions had a substantial impact on interstate and foreign commerce. Among other things, they forced a premature end to the Marathon and the evacuation and temporary closure of numerous businesses along Boylston Street for several days.
B. Surveillance Evidence
9. I have reviewed videotape footage taken from a security camera located on Boylston Street near the corner of Boylston and Gloucester Streets. At approximately 2:38p.m. (based on the video’s duration and timing of the explosions) — i.e., approximately II minutes before the first explosion –two young men can be seen turning left (eastward) onto Boylston from Gloucester Street. Both men are carrying large knapsacks. The first man, whom I refer to in this affidavit as Bomber One, is a young male, wearing a dark-colored baseball cap, sunglasses, a white shirt, dark coat, and tan pants. The second man, whom I refer to in this affidavit as Bomber Two, is a young male, wearing a white baseball cap backwards, a gray hooded sweatshirt, a lightweight black jacket, and dark pants. As set forth below, there is probable cause to believe that Bomber One is Tamer!an Tsarnaev and Bomber Two is his brother, DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV.
10. After turning onto Boylston Street, Bomber One and Bomber Two can be seen walking eastward along the north side of the sidewalk towards the Marathon finish line. Bomber One is in fi·ont and Bomber Two is a few feet behind him. Additional security camera video taken from a location farther east on Boylston Street, as well as contemporaneous photographs taken from across the street, show the men continuing to walk together eastward along Boylston Street towards Fairfield Street.
11. I have also reviewed video footage taken from a security camera affixed above the doorway of the Forum Restaurant located at 755 Boylston Street, which was the site of the second explosion. This camera is located approximately midway between Fairfield and Exeter Streets and points out in the direction of Boylston and is turned slightly towards Fairfield. At approximately 2:41p.m. (based on the video’s duration and the timing of the explosions), Bomber One and Bomber Two can be seen standing together approximately one halt:block from the restaurant.
12. At approximately 2:42 p.m. (i.e., approximately seven minutes before the firstexplosion), Bomber One can be seen detaching himself from the crowd and walking east on Boylston Street towards the Marathon finish line. Approximately 15 seconds later, he can be seen passing directly in tt·ont of the Forum Restaurant and continuing in the direction of the location where the first explosion occurred. His knapsack is still on his back.
13. At approximately 2:45p.m., Bomber Two can be seen detaching himself from the crowd and walking east on Boylston Street toward the Marathon finishing line. He appears to have the thumb of his right hand hooked under the strap of his knapsack and a cell phone in his left hand. Approximately 15 seconds later, he can be seen stopping directly in front of the Forum Restaurant and standing near the metal barrier among numerous spectators, with his back to the camera, facing the runners. He then can be seen apparently slipping his knapsack onto the ground. A photograph taken from the opposite side of the street shows the knapsack on the ground at Bomber Two’s feet.
14. The Forum Restaurant video shows that Bomber Two remained in the same spot tor approximately four minutes, occasionally looking at his cell phone and once appearing to take a picture with it. At some point he appears to look at his phone, which is held at approximately waist level, and may be manipulating the phone. Approximately 30 seconds before the first explosion, he lifts his phone to his car as if he is speaking on his cell phone, and keeps it there for approximately 18 seconds. A few seconds after he finishes the call, the large crowd of people around him can be seen reacting to the first explosion. Virtually every head turns to the east (towards the finish line) and stares in that direction in apparent bewilderment and alarm. Bomber Two, virtually alone among the individuals in front of the restaurant, appears calm. He glances to the east and then calmly but rapidly begins moving to the west, away from the direction of the finish line. I-Ie walks away without his knapsack, having left it on the ground where he had been standing. Approximately I 0 seconds later, an explosion occurs in the location where Bomber Two had placed his knapsack.
15. I have observed video and photographic footage of the location where the second explosion occurred from a number of different viewpoints and angles, including from directly across the street. I can discern nothing in that location in the period before the explosion that might have caused that explosion, other than Bomber Two’s knapsack.
C. Photographic Identifications
16. I have compared a Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (“RMV”) photograph of DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV with photographic and video images of Bomber Two, and I believe, based on their close physical resemblance, there is probable cause that they are one and the same person. Similarly, I have compared an RMV photograph of Tamerlan Tsarnaev with photographic and video images of Bomber One, and I likewise believe that they are one and the same person.
D. The Bombers Emerge
17. I base the allegations set forth in paragraphs 18 through 27 on information that has been provided to me by fellow law enforcement officers, including members of the JTTF and state and local law enforcement who responded to the crime scenes, as well as on publicly available information that I deem reliable.
18. At approximately 5:00 p.m. on April 18, 2013, the FBI published video and photographic images of Bomber One and Bomber Two on its web site. Those images were widely rebroadcast by media outlets all over the country and the world.
19. Near midnight on April18, 2013, an individual catjacked a vehicle at gunpoint in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A victim of the carjacking was interviewed by law enforcement and provided the following information. The victim stated that while he was sitting in his car on a road in Cambridge, a man approached and tapped on his passenger-side window. When the victim rolled down the window, the man reached in, opened the door, and entered the victim’s vehicle. The man pointed a firearm at the victim and stated, “Did you hear about the Boston explosion?” and “I did that.” The man removed the magazine t!·om his gun and showed the victim that it had a bullet in it, and then re-inserted the magazine. The man then stated, “I am serious.”
20. The man with the gun forced the victim to drive to another location, where they picked up a second man. The two men put something in the trunk of the victim’s vehicle. The man with the gun took the victim’s keys and sat in the driver’s seat, while the victim moved to the front passenger seat. The second man entered the victim’s vehicle and sat in the rear passenger seat. The man with the gun and the second man spoke to each other in a foreign language.
21. While they were driving, the man with the gun demanded money from the victim, who gave the man 45 dollars. One of the men compelled the victim to hand over his ATM card and password. They then drove to an ATM machine and attempted to withdraw money from the victim’s account. The two men and the victim then drove to a gas station/convenience store in the vicinity of 816 Memorial Drive, Cambridge. The two men got out of the car, at which point the victim managed to escape.
22. A short time later, the stolen vehicle was located by law enforcement in Watertown, Massachusetts. As the men drove down Dexter Street in Watertown, they threw at least two small improvised explosive devices (“IEDs”) out of the car. A gun fight ensued between the car’s occupants and law enforcement officers in which numerous shots were fired. One of the men was severely injured and remained at the scene; the other managed to escape in the car. That car was later found abandoned a short distance away, and an intact low-grade explosive device was discovered inside it. In addition, fi·om the scene of the shootout on Laurel Street in Watertown, the FBI has recovered two unexploded IEDs, as well as the remnants of numerous exploded IEDs.
E. Identification of the Carjackers
23. I have reviewed images of two men taken at approximate!y 12:17 a.m. by a security camera at the ATM and the gas station/convenience store where the two cmjackers drove with the victim in his car. Based on the men’s close physical resemblance to RMV photos of Tamerlan and DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV, I believe the two men who carjacked, kidnapped, and robbed the victim are Tamerlan and DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV. In addition, the carjacker who was severely injured during the shoot-out in Watertown was tal(en to Beth Israel Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. FBI fingerprint analysis confirms that he is Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and the man’s face matches the RMV photograph of Tamerlan Tsarnaev. RMV records indicate that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV share the same address on Norfolk Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts. According to Department of Homeland Security immigration records, Tamerlan Tsarnaev and DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV are brothers. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a Lawful Permanent Resident. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV entered the United States on Aprill2, 2002, and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
F. Preliminary Examination of the Explosives
24. A preliminary examination of the remains of the explosive devices that were used at the Boston Marathon revealed that they were low-grade explosives that were housed in pressure cookers. Both pressure cookers were of the same brand. The pressure cookers also contained metallic BBs and nails. Many of the BBs were contained within an adhesive material. The explosives contained green-colored hobby fuse.
25. A preliminary examination of the explosive devices that were discovered at the scene of the shootout in Watertown and in the abandoned vehicle has revealed similarities to the explosives used at the Boston Marathon. The remnants of at least one of the exploded IEDs at the scene of the shootout indicate that a low-grade explosive had been contained in a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker was of the same brand as the ones used in the Marathon explosions. The explosive also contained metallic BBs contained within an adhesive material as well as green-colored hobby fuse. The intact low-grade explosive device found in the abandoned car was in a plastic container and wrapped with green-colored hobby fuse.
G. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV is Located
26. On the evening of April 19, 2013, police investigation revealed that there was an individual in a covered boat located at 67 Franklin Street in Watertown. After a stand-offbetween the boat’s occupant and the police involving gunfire, the individual was removed from the boat and searched. A University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth identification card, credit cards, and other fmms of identification were found in his pockets. All of them identified the man as DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV. He had visible injuries, including apparent gunshot wounds to the head, neck, legs, and hand. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV’s wounds were triaged and he was brought to an area hospital, where he remains for medical treatment.
27. On April 21, 2013, the FBI searched DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV’s dormitory room at 7341 Pine Dale Hall at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, pursuant to a search warrant. The FBI seized from his room, among other things, a large pyrotechnic, a black jacket and a white hat of the same general appearance as those worn by Bomber Two at the Boston Marathon on April15, 2013, and BBs.
28. Based on the foregoing, there is probable cause to believe that on or about April 15, 2013, DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 2332a (using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, resulting in death) and 844(i) (malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device, resulting in death). Accordingly, I respectfully request that the Court issue a complaint charging DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV with those crimes.
<=Daniel R. Genck Special Agent, Federal Bureau oflnvestigation
Tamerlan Tsarnaev and Family Received Welfare
“Marathon bombings mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was living on taxpayer-funded state welfare benefits even as he was delving deep into the world of radical anti-American Islamism, the Herald has learned,” reported the Boston Herald on April 24.
“State officials confirmed last night that Tsarnaev, slain in a raging gun battle with police last Friday, was receiving benefits along with his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and their 3-year-old daughter. The state’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services said those benefits ended in 2012 when the couple stopped meeting income eligibility limits. Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney has claimed Katherine — who had converted to Islam — was working up to 80 hours a week as a home health aide while Tsarnaev stayed at home.
“In addition, both of Tsarnaev’s parents received benefits, and accused brother bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan were recipients through their parents when they were younger, according to the state.”
Viewpoint by Conrad Steinhoff originally published in the Lebanon Advertiser (Lebanon, Illinois)
Recently, I encountered a friend on the sidewalk in front of her house. “We have a pope,” she said; smiling big. “About two hours ago. He’s from Argentina.” We chatted a bit more about the new pope. I was intrigued. My friend is not Catholic, and rarely attends church. Yet she obviously was pleased about the news, and felt included in it. The next day I had occasion to speak with another friend, a nun of the Daughters of Charity. “Well,” I said, “you have a new pope.” (I’m a slow learner.) “The world has a new pope,” she said emphatically.
The elevation of a new pope is indeed an event important to the whole world. He represents more than the head of the Roman Catholic Church. He represents the Christian faith, as the most elevated and influential Christian on Earth. So the persona of the pope is looked upon with intense interest everywhere as he steps onto the balcony at the Vatican to greet the throng gathered there to receive him.
Who is this man, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, standing there blessing the throng of the faithful in St. Peter’s Square? He is a groundbreaker. He is the first Jesuit ever to be named pope. He is the first pope from Latin America, the first non-European pope ever. And he is the first ever to adopt the name Francis, after St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis I. His choice is revealing.
St. Francis gave up great wealth, became poor, and went among the poor, the sick, the outcasts to minister to them as one of them.
Pope Francis is a man with a well-earned reputation for being a humble man of the people. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he eschewed the archbishop’s palace to live in a rented apartment. He did his own shopping and cooked his own meals. He rode the bus to work. He was out and about among the people. He championed the poor. He considers social outreach to be the essential business of the church. As pope, his first act was to go off and pray by himself. Then he told the cardinals, all lined up for their turn to greet him, they would have to wait. The people were waiting. “Let’s not keep them waiting,” he said. When all the ceremony and celebrating was over, the cardinals piled onto waiting buses to return to the lodgings where they were billeted. The Papal limousine awaited Francis. He ignored the limo, walked to one of the buses and climbed aboard.
These are announcements of a sort. They communicate a determination to downplay the worshipful pomp and the isolation that accompanies it, to stay connected with others. This is consistent with the Jesuit tradition, one of simple unadorned life-style, deliberately never seeking elevation to higher office. Standing on the balcony in a white robe, he said to the multitude, “The work of the conclave is to give a bishop to Rome. It seems as if my brother cardinals went to find him from the end of the earth, but here we are. Thank you for the welcome.” With these words, he made clear he had not sought the office, but was in a way picked out of the crowd, the most unlikely of choices.
A day into his papacy, Pope Francis made his first public address. He spoke some truly prophetic and electrifying words: “We have to avoid the spiritual sickness of a self-referential church. It’s true that when you get out into the street, as happens to every man and woman, there can be accidents. However, if the church remains closed in on itself, self-referential, it gets old. Between a church that suffers accidents in the street and a church that’s sick because it’s self-referential, I have no doubts about preferring the former.“
April 16th, 2013 | Category: The Pope | Comments are closed
I thank the Lord that I can celebrate this Holy Mass for the inauguration of my Petrine ministry on the solemnity of Saint Joseph, the spouse of the Virgin Mary and the patron of the universal Church. It is a significant coincidence, and it is also the name-day of my venerable predecessor: we are close to him with our prayers, full of affection and gratitude.
I offer a warm greeting to my brother cardinals and bishops, the priests, deacons, men and women religious, and all the lay faithful. I thank the representatives of the other Churches and ecclesial Communities, as well as the representatives of the Jewish community and the other religious communities, for their presence. My cordial greetings go to the Heads of State and Government, the members of the official Delegations from many countries throughout the world, and the Diplomatic Corps.
In the Gospel we heard that “Joseph did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife” (Mt 1:24). These words already point to the mission which God entrusts to Joseph: he is to be the custos, the protector. The protector of whom? Of Mary and Jesus; but this protection is then extended to the Church, as Blessed John Paul II pointed out: “Just as Saint Joseph took loving care of Mary and gladly dedicated himself to Jesus Christ’s upbringing, he likewise watches over and protects Christ’s Mystical Body, the Church, of which the Virgin Mary is the exemplar and model” (Redemptoris Custos, 1).
How does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.
How does Joseph respond to his calling to be the protector of Mary, Jesus and the Church? By being constantly attentive to God, open to the signs of God’s presence and receptive to God’s plans, and not simply to his own. This is what God asked of David, as we heard in the first reading. God does not want a house built by men, but faithfulness to his word, to his plan. It is God himself who builds the house, but from living stones sealed by his Spirit. Joseph is a “protector” because he is able to hear God’s voice and be guided by his will; and for this reason he is all the more sensitive to the persons entrusted to his safekeeping. He can look at things realistically, he is in touch with his surroundings, he can make truly wise decisions. In him, dear friends, we learn how to respond to God’s call, readily and willingly, but we also see the core of the Christian vocation, which is Christ! Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
The vocation of being a “protector”, however, is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents. It means building sincere friendships in which we protect one another in trust, respect, and goodness. In the end, everything has been entrusted to our protection, and all of us are responsible for it. Be protectors of God’s gifts!
Whenever human beings fail to live up to this responsibility, whenever we fail to care for creation and for our brothers and sisters, the way is opened to destruction and hearts are hardened. Tragically, in every period of history there are “Herods” who plot death, wreak havoc, and mar the countenance of men and women.
Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment. Let us not allow omens of destruction and death to accompany the advance of this world! But to be “protectors”, we also have to keep watch over ourselves! Let us not forget that hatred, envy and pride defile our lives! Being protectors, then, also means keeping watch over our emotions, over our hearts, because they are the seat of good and evil intentions: intentions that build up and tear down! We must not be afraid of goodness or even tenderness!
Here I would add one more thing: caring, protecting, demands goodness, it calls for a certain tenderness. In the Gospels, Saint Joseph appears as a strong and courageous man, a working man, yet in his heart we see great tenderness, which is not the virtue of the weak but rather a sign of strength of spirit and a capacity for concern, for compassion, for genuine openness to others, for love. We must not be afraid of goodness, of tenderness!
Today, together with the feast of Saint Joseph, we are celebrating the beginning of the ministry of the new Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, which also involves a certain power. Certainly, Jesus Christ conferred power upon Peter, but what sort of power was it? Jesus’ three questions to Peter about love are followed by three commands: feed my lambs, feed my sheep. Let us never forget that authentic power is service, and that the Pope too, when exercising power, must enter ever more fully into that service which has its radiant culmination on the Cross. He must be inspired by the lowly, concrete and faithful service which marked Saint Joseph and, like him, he must open his arms to protect all of God’s people and embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important, those whom Matthew lists in the final judgment on love: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:31-46). Only those who serve with love are able to protect!
In the second reading, Saint Paul speaks of Abraham, who, “hoping against hope, believed” (Rom 4:18). Hoping against hope! Today too, amid so much darkness, we need to see the light of hope and to be men and women who bring hope to others. To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman, to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope! For believers, for us Christians, like Abraham, like Saint Joseph, the hope that we bring is set against the horizon of God, which has opened up before us in Christ. It is a hope built on the rock which is God.
To protect Jesus with Mary, to protect the whole of creation, to protect each person, especially the poorest, to protect ourselves: this is a service that the Bishop of Rome is called to carry out, yet one to which all of us are called, so that the star of hope will shine brightly. Let us protect with love all that God has given us!
I implore the intercession of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, Saints Peter and Paul, and Saint Francis, that the Holy Spirit may accompany my ministry, and I ask all of you to pray for me! Amen.
The first vote for the new pope is just being counted. According to our source, Milan Cardinal Scolia (our choice) has taken a strong lead. In its present sorry condition, only an Italian Pope would have the ability to clean up the Catholic Church.
Only a man like Cardinal Scola can end the sexual excesses of the leading Vatican prelates in Rome. There was no way that the last Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, could do the job.
Especially after it was discovered that he was flying around in the Papal airplane with women—one of the discoveries that led to his resignation—a proven fact, available in the Internet.
The next Pope—Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan. You heard it here, and we heard it from our source in the conclave.
The predictions of St. Malachy and Nostradamus
According to two ancient predictions one by St. Malachy, the other by Nostradamus, this next pope will be the last.
That theory dates back more than 900 years to when St. Malachy, the 12th century Archbishop of Ireland, had a vision on a trip to Rome. St. Malachy “saw” all the names of the future popes–complete with identifying characteristics–who would rule the church until the end of the Papacy.
St. Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” named Benedict XVI as the 111th–and next-to-last – pope. St. Malachy’s vision ended with the 112th pope.
The 20th century pope during World War II, Pius X, was convinced that Malachy’s vision was indeed divine.
The first pope on St. Malachy’s list would be “from a castle on the Tiber.” This was clearly a spot-on prediction for Pope Celestine II who was born on the bank of the Tiber River.
Ominously, in St. Malachy’s vision, the last pope–who will soon be elected–is described as, “in extreme persecution, the seat of the Holy Roman Church will be occupied by an Italian Pope.
Nostradamus, the 16th century French astrologer, predicted almost exactly the same as did St. Malachy.
Pan-STARRS – the comet
Nostradamus warned that the next-to-last pope would “flee Rome in December when the great comet is seen in the daytime.”
True to this prediction, an obscure, comet known as C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS), is starting to light up the skies and be visible from earth during the papal conclave. Observers around the world can now catch a glimpse of comet PanSTARRS and the barely lit crescent moon, as long as there are clear skies.
Brightening a million fold since its discovery only in June 2011, the comet has already become easily visible by the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere with its enormous 40,000-mile tail.
Also, taking into account that the calendar months were different hundreds of years ago, Nostradamus was spot on as Benedict XVI abdicated and fled from Rome to the nearby refuge for Popes, Castel Gandolfo.
Just hours after Benedict XVI abdicated, a bolt of lightning struck the very top of St. Peter’s Basilica, the very heart of Christianity. A few days later, a huge meteor crashed into Russia.
For the astrologists, it is significant that, during Saturn’s retrograde in Scorpio, we will have the rise of the next and final pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
The next pope will be the one to end the Church.
Both St. Malachy and Nostradamus are in full agreement with this—dates, comets, names and all!
So we were wrong. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, son of a railway worker, was named leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics and will be known as Pope Francis I. He is a Jesuit, and speaks perfect Italian. In Argentina, he moved from his impressive Cardinal’s mansion to live in a small apartment. Pope Francis I speaks perfect Italian with no accent, so he should be accepted in Italian, even though the Italians were rooting for Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan.
What is most surprising is that Francis I is a Jesuit. The Jesuits are know for brilliant and controversial priests.
On 15 August 1534, St. Ignatius of Loyola , a Spaniard of Basque origin, and six other students started the Jesuit movement.
In 1537, Ignatius of Loyola traveled to Italy to seek papal approval for his order. Pope Paul III gave them a commendation, and permitted them to be ordained priests. This led to the founding of the Society of Jesus later in 1540.
Today, Jesuit priests are in the minority. The Jesuits specialize in educational, missionary, and charitable works, and have been the leading force in modernizing the church.
So, maybe St. Malachy and Nostradamus were correct that this will be the last pope, in the sense that Francis I will “rebuild” the Catholic Church.
St. Francis, from whom Francis I took his name, had vision of a talking crucifix in an abandoned chapel: “Francis, rebuild my church.” By taking the name of Francis I, the current pope may well transform the Catholic Church as we know it.
Like St. Francis before him Francis I may set out to rebuild the church.
In just 10 minutes, US-alleged terrorists Mr. Lim Yong Nam’s and the glamorous Ms. Wong Yuh Lan’s 10-month ordeals were over. This was thanks to Singapore Judge Choo Han Teck.
This is the first time that a Singapore court has ordered the release of detainees requested for extradition by another country.
The to be released are 38-year-old Lim Yong Nam (a.k.a. Lin Rongnan, Steven Lim and Yong Nam Lim) and 39-year-old attractive Ms, Wong Yuh Lan, (a.k.a. Huang Yulan, Jancy Wong and Yuh Lan Wong) were among four Singaporeans arrested in October because of an extradition request from the United States.
That’s a lot of aliases for two “innocent” people to use.
At Singapore’s High Court, the charges against Mr. Lim Yong Nam and Ms Wong Yuh Lan were dismissed by Judge Choo Han Teck said, “dual criminality has not been met,” agreeing with the defense that the alleged offences fall outside the list of extradition crimes under the US-Singapore treaty.
The other alleged terrorists who will be extradited (hopefully) are, Lim Kow Seng (a.k.a. Alvin Stanley, Eric Lim, James Wong, Mike Knight and Seng Lim Kow) and Benson Hia Soo Guan (a.k.a. Benson, Soo Gan Benson Hia and Thomas Yan). More aliases.
Both Lim Kow Seng and Hia will be extradited to face charges of funneling thousands of radio frequency modules from the US to Iran via Singapore.
Judge Choo agreed with an earlier ruling by the Subordinate Court that both Lim Kow Seng and Hia were part of a conspiracy to export the parts without a license from the US government. The two should now be sent to the US shortly to face trial.
However, since Singapore is a haven for criminals and fugitives, who knows if Lim Kow Seng and Hia will ever be extradited.
The four Singaporeans had allegedly shipped from Singapore to Iran 6,000 radio frequency modules they had bought from a US company, Digi International. These modules were destined for use in Iraq to kill American soldiers. In fact, the parts were said to have been found later in improvised explosive devices in Iraq.
According to the US indictment, the defendants profited considerably from their illegal trade, making tens of thousands of dollars for arranging these illegal exports.
A brief rundown of the four alleged terrorists
Ms. Wong Yuy Lan, 39
The beautiful Ms. Wong Yuh Lan, an agent of Opto Electronics, was allegedly supervised by a source in Iran.
Lim Yong Nam, 38
The U.S. indictment also charged NEL Electronics Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company, along with NEL’s owner and director, Singapore citizen Lim Yong Nam.
The address for NEL Electronics, where Lim Yong Nam worked, led to an office unit in an industrial area at Kallang Way. The name on the door, however, read “Fe-De Electronics.”
Lim Kow Seng, 42 & Hia Soo Gan Benson, 44
The indictment also charges Corezing International Pte. Ltd., a Singapore company that maintained offices in China, as well as Singapore citizen Lim Kow Seng, an agent of Corezing, and Singapore citizen Hia Soo Gan Benson, a manager, director and agent of Corezing.
Danger to U.S. Troops
U.S. prosecutors say that at least 16 of the modules turned up in unexploded improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Who knows how many of the modules killed Americans in IEDs that exploded?