Government to teach parents how to raise children

GOVERNMENT workers will teach Victorian parents how to raise their children under a radical overhaul of the state’s child protection system.

Over 50 new social workers will be hired as part of a pilot project to fix troubled homes and help struggling parents, the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper says.

The move comes after months of controversy surrounding the state government’s handling of child services.

An ombudsman’s report raised serious questions about the capacity of the department of human services to protect children, detailing cases where children were living with convicted sex offenders.

In September last year, state officials admitted they knew nothing of a case in which a woman was allegedly abused by her father for 30 years until it was featured in media reports.

Community Services Minister Lisa Neville is expected to announce the details of the parenting pilot project on Sunday, the paper says.

Under the plan, newly-hired social workers will spend up to a year teaching parents basic skills such as disciplining children, making healthy meals and managing school schedules.

“They may also help parents manage the family’s budget,” Ms Neville told the Sunday Herald Sun.

“Developing schedules for a new baby, safe sleeping arrangements, how to manage a toddler or a difficult adolescent and even how to play educational games with their kids are all activities the mentors can help families with.”

The parental workers will be trained in identifying family violence, substance abuse and mental health issues as well.

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Integrating Skype Into the Family TV: Net-connected mic & camera in every living room

COMMENT: We have long warned you about the many cable-boxes and computer systems that already monitor households via hidden microphones. Many video game systems now admittedly monitor users inputs and report them back to a database. Now, here is a system where the potential to monitor homes is built-in to the user interface. Embrace at your own risk.

BRAD STONE
NY Times

SAN FRANCISCO — There will soon be something new to watch on the living room TV: your relatives and friends in different parts of the world.

n Tuesday, Panasonic and LG Electronics, two of the top television makers, are to announce that they are integrating the free online calling service Skype into their Internet-connected high-definition televisions.

People who buy these TVs, along with an extra Web camera and microphone accessory designed for the living room, can conduct free, live video chats and phone calls from the couch.

The announcement is the first of many expected from TV manufacturers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Television makers are trying to give consumers reasons to begin replacing their high-definition TVs that they bought only in the last few years. TV makers are also trotting out ever-slimmer TVs, adding Internet connections and preparing to introduce 3-D technology.

“This is the year when Internet-connected TVs will start to take off, and there is no doubt that soon every TV that ships will have built in Wi-Fi, webcams and microphones,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, chief technology strategist of Skype. “This is our first step.”

The domestic TV market survived the recession in surprisingly good health, shipping 33.86 million units during 2009, up 17 percent from 2008, while retail sales were generally flat, according to the research firm iSuppli. But furious competition among manufacturers cut deeply into prices and profits, with the price of a 46-inch LCD TV, for example, falling under $1,000 for the first time.

Internet-enabled TV sets, though they have not yet proved a hit with consumers, can restore some of those shrunken profits. A 50-inch plasma, high-definition TV with a broadband connection from LG runs about $300 more on Amazon.com than a TV of the same size without the connection. In some cases, TV makers also get a slice of the revenue when customers make Web purchases from their TVs.

That is where Skype comes in. Until now, Web-connected TVs have accessed only a limited number of online services, like widgets from Yahoo that offer weather and news updates, or Netflix’s streaming movie service. By adding other services and making a television more like a PC, TV makers now want to change the very identity of the primary screen in the house.

“The TV is not just a one-way entertainment device, but a two-way communications device and a portal into other people’s lives,” said Bob Perry, a senior vice president at Panasonic.

The Skype service on a TV will work much as it does on a PC, but with some limitations. A TV program will stop playing once a Skype call is made or answered; TV processors are not yet powerful enough to allow people to chat while they watch a show, the companies say.

Panasonic, based in Japan, and LG, based in South Korea, will sell specially designed Web cameras for their Skype-enabled sets, which should cost $100 to $200. These cameras, unlike typical webcams, are customized for the technically challenging environment of the living room, where there can be a wide range of distances between the TV and viewers.

The deals give the newly independent Skype, formerly a division of eBay, another valuable foothold in the home. About 520 million people around the world use the service to place free phone calls and have video chats with one another from their computers and other devices that run Skype software. The company makes money by charging competitive rates for people to call regular phone numbers and for add-on services like voice mail.

Video chatting has become an increasingly important feature of Skype. The company says video chats account for 34 percent of calls on the service, and as many as half on days like Christmas and New Year’s, when families seek to connect face to face.

To further nurture this activity, Skype is also announcing on Tuesday that its software for Windows PCs and televisions will support high-definition video calling in the 720p HD format, if users have webcams that support the technology.

Skype makes no money from video chats, at least for now. But Mr. Rosenberg of the company says that it may soon start charging for add-on services, like the ability to set up a video conference call for three or more parties.

“What we finally created with the Skype network is a community of users that are available via video. Having Skype on the TV is a big part of building that,” he said.

Not everyone believes Internet-enabled TVs, with features like Skype, are going to make much of a difference to consumers. Riddhi Patel, an analyst at iSuppli, says he thinks that innovations like LED-backlighting for LCDs, which can result in a picture with a crisper contrast ratio and a thinner screen, are what catch shoppers’ eyes in stores.

“When a consumer walks into the store, they make a purchase when they can instantly see the benefit of upgrading to a new TV,” Ms. Patel said.

National Guard ad revives Nazi oath to Hitler: “Always place mission first,” not US Constitution

This directly states that the FIRST duty of an American soldier is to achieve the mission dictated by military leadership, NOT the defense of the US Constitution. Brain-washing soldiers to place the mission first, that is, “just follow orders” given by der Fuehrer (“the leader” in German) rather than being responsible for obeying the Constitution and laws of war dramatizes the US shift into fascism.

This fascist propaganda is highlighted in the National Guard’s new 2-minute ad playing in movie theaters, shown below.

Nazi German soldiers had  such an oath:

“I swear by God this sacred oath that I shall render unconditional obedience to Adolf Hitler, the Führer of the German Reich, supreme commander of the armed forces, and that I shall at all times be prepared, as a brave soldier, to give my life for this oath.”

Another way to say this: “I will always place the mission first, as dictated by the Commander-in-Chief, Adolf Hitler.”

The  US Soldier’s Creed states the  Army Values; its first component is “loyalty” to the US Constitution. But the creed and the new commercial favors “place the mission first” in its communication rather than “protect and defend the US Constitution.”  And again, stating the “mission” dictated by the leader is first rather than the US Constitution is revealing.

I am an American Soldier.

I am a Warrior and a member of a team.

I serve the people of the United States, and live the Army Values.

I will always place the mission first.

I will never accept defeat.

I will never quit.

I will never leave a fallen comrade.

I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills.

I always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself.

I am an expert and I am a professional.

I stand ready to deploy, engage, and destroy, the enemies of the United States of America in close combat.

I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life.

I am an American Soldier.

Another way to say this: “I will always place the mission first, as dictated by the Commander-in-Chief, President (blank).”

“I will always place the mission first, as dictated by the Commander-in-Chief, Adolf Hitler.”

“I will always place the mission first, as dictated by the Commander-in-Chief, President X.”

Beyond any reasonable doubt, current US wars are unlawful. Stop and research this if you are unclear on the simple rules of lawful war and why the US is in obvious violation. You cannot argue you are a responsible citizen if you do not understand these laws that govern trillions of our long-term tax dollars and so dramatically affect millions of lives.US wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and threats for war with Iran are as unlawful as a football middle linebacker kicking the opponent’s center in the head as he touches the ball, claiming it a fumble, and taking possession. What we have in our country is political “leaders” and corporate media reporting this violation as, “The enemy initiated an offensive maneuver that intelligence confirmed was going to be illegal and cause injury. Our defensive forces delivered a blow that pre-emptively stopped their attack. This prevented certain harm from their clear intent to violate their obligation under law.” That is, what we get is propaganda and lies of omission that disinform the public and our troops in Orwellian magnitude.

Showcasing “always place the mission first” in the Soldier’s Creed has a clear purpose: US troops should obey their American Fuehrer. The Oath Keepers is a principle organization to reorientate our current soldiers, veterans, and members of government, law enforcement, and all others with oaths to honor their oath to the US Constitution.

Policy response: Gandhi and Martin Luther King advocated public understanding of the facts and non-cooperation with evil. I’m among hundreds who advocate:

1. Understand the laws of war. These were legislated after WW2 and are crystal-clear that only self-defense, in a narrow legal meaning, can justify war. This investment of your time takes less than an hour and empowers you to legally stand for ending these Wars of Aggression.

2. Communicate. Trust your unique, beautiful, and powerful self-expression to share powerful information as you feel appropriate. Understand that while many people are ready to embrace difficult facts, many are not. Anticipate your virtuous response to being attacked and give it in the spirit of competition, just as you do in other fields.

3. Refuse and end all orders and acts associated with these unlawful wars and constant violation of treaties. Those involved with US military, government, and law enforcement have an oath to protect and defend the US Constitution. Unlawful acts only move forward with sufficient cooperation and public tolerance. Stop cooperating with the most vicious crime a nation can commit: war.

4. Support global security through cooperation, dignity, justice, and freedom. End poverty through global cooperation to achieve the UN Millennium Goals by developed countries investing 0.7% of their income. End extremism by providing all humanity with an opportunity to live a life of peaceful creativity.

5. Prosecute the war leaders for obvious violation of the letter and spirit of US war laws. You can only understand how these wars are specifically unlawful by investing the time to do so. Because the crimes are so broad and deep, I recommend Truth and Reconciliation (T&R) to exchange full truth and return of stolen US assets for non-prosecution. This is the most expeditious way to understand and end all unlawful and harmful acts. Those who reject T&R either by volunteering their name and/or responding when named are subject to prosecution after the window of T&R closes.

TSA Agent: “I am god, I’m in charge”

They are the first line of defense in airport security but two troubling incidents involving TSA agents at LAX are raising concerns.

A TSA agent was arrested on January 3rd in Terminal One at LAX, a source told NBCLA. He had just gotten off duty and was behaving erratically, saying, “I am god, I’m in charge.”

Meanwhile, a TSA Internal Affairs investigation turned up evidence of LAX TSA agents using drugs at an after-hours party.

TSA officials say a videotape of the party was of poor quality and the employees were not in uniform, but 4 employees were tentatively identified.

All 4 were tested for drugs. One came back positive and that employee was fired.

The Federal Security Director at LAX, Larry Fetters released the following statement:

“TSA’s internal affairs team discovered video evidence that potentially depicted a few members of our workforce consuming illegal drugs. TSA management at LAX immediately identified these individuals, subjected them to reasonable suspicion drug testing and terminated the one who tested positive. TSA practices a zero-tolerance policy for illegal drug use and conducts random drug and alcohol testing at over 450 airports across the country to enforce this rule. We show no leniency to employees who violate the public trust and shame the uniform that is proudly worn by 50,000 men and women in service to this nation.”

Gordon Brown promises full body scanners at UK airports

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has given the go-ahead for full body scanners to be introduced at Britain’s airports.

BAA, which runs six UK airports, said it would now install the machines “as soon as is practical” at Heathrow.

Experts have questioned the scanners’ effectiveness at detecting the type of bomb allegedly used on Christmas Day in an attempted plane attack over Detroit.

The US is also introducing tougher checks for air passengers from nations deemed to have links with terrorism.

Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show, the prime minister said the government would do everything in its power to tighten security and prevent a repeat of the US attack.

Hand luggage checks

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who is now in custody, is accused of trying to detonate a bomb on a plane bound for the US.

Mr Brown said travellers would see the “gradual” introduction of the use of full body scanners and hand luggage checks for traces of explosives.

Brown on Yemen threat and airport security

He added transit passengers as well as transfer passengers would undergo these checks.

Currently, not everyone has to pass through full body scanners already introduced at some major airports overseas – particularly if they are in transit from another country – due to concerns about cost and time delays.

A spokesman for BAA said: “It is our view that a combination of technology, intelligences and passenger profiling will help build a more robust defence against the unpredictable and changing nature of the terrorist threat to aviation.”

The spokesman said nothing had been decided yet on exactly which passengers would undergo the full body scans.

And he declined to give specific details about timing or comment on extending the use of scanners to other airports, costs or the potential for passenger delays.

‘Strip search’

The government’s move has been largely welcomed by the Liberal Democrats.

But home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne did say the scanners could have been rolled out sooner as they had been kept in storage since being trialled.

Meanwhile in the US, President Barack Obama promised “to act quickly to fix flaws” in the security system, and condemned lapses following the alleged Christmas Day bomb plot against a US plane.

Reports say people flying from Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Yemen and Cuba will have pat-down body searches and have carry-on baggage searched.

A computer screen showing the results of a full body scan

Electromagnetic waves are beamed onto passengers to create a 3-D image

The new US security directives will come into effect on Monday.

Philip Baum, editor of Aviation Security International, said scanners were not the only solution and profiling passengers was, in fact, the best way to prevent terrorist acts.

“We’ve got to face the fact that you can build a bomb in the duty free shop, after you’ve gone through screening. Bearing that in mind, we need to look at what people’s intent is, not what they are carrying on their person.”

On Friday, Gordon Brown announced he had ordered a review of existing security measures, and advisers are expected to report within days.

The £80,000 full body scanners, which produce “naked” images of passengers, remove the need for “pat down” searches.

They work by beaming electromagnetic waves on to passengers while they stand in a booth. A virtual three-dimensional image is then created from the reflected energy.

Some have voiced concerns about privacy, with campaigners saying they are tantamount to a “strip search”.

The machines are currently being trialled at Manchester airport following tests at Heathrow airport from 2004 to 2008.

They are also being rolled out across the US, with 40 machines used at 19 airports.

Napolitano announces international airport security campaign

The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced it would launch a campaign next week to strengthen security screening procedures at a host of international airports.

The effort is part of the White House’s heightened response to a Christmas Day attempt to bomb Delta Flight 253 in Detroit, a flight that originated in Amsterdam.

“As part of the ongoing review to determine exactly what went wrong leading up to Friday’s attempted terrorist attack, we are looking not only at our own processes, but also beyond our borders to ensure effective aviation security measures are in place for U.S-bound flights that originate at international airports,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement Thursday.

Senior Homeland Security officials will meet with leaders at major airports in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East in the coming weeks “to review security procedures and technology being used to screen passengers on flights bound for the United States,” the department announced this afternoon. Napolitano said she would follow up on those meetings with her own “ministerial level” discussions.

Europe will be the first leg of the wide outreach effort, where U.S. officials will brief their European counterparts “on the findings of President Obama’s aviation security review,” which he ordered last week, according to the department.

The secretary did not provide any other schedule or meeting details.

White House officials have scrambled since Christmas Day to assure passengers that air travel is safe, a mission that has resulted in a host of new security rules on international flights that land in the United States.

Some countries have since followed suit, announcing they would require international passengers to pass through full-body scanners prior to boarding their planes. But U.S. officials perhaps still hope to spearhead a larger, more unified effort to increase airport security.

Leaked: Homeland Security’s Post Underwear Bomb Airplane Rules

Editor’s note: The new rules do not apply to the elite and their nomenklatura.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
Transportation Security Administration
Aviation Security Directive
Subject: Security Directive
Number: SD 1544-09-06
Date: December 25, 2009
EXPIRATION: 0200Z on December 30, 2009
This Security Directive (SD) must be implemented immediately. The measures contained in this SD are in addition to all other SDs currently in effect for your operations.
INFORMATION: On December 25, 2009, a terrorist attack was attempted against a flight traveling to the United States. TSA has identified security measures to be implemented by airports, aircraft operators, and foreign air carriers to mitigate potential threats to flights.
APPLICABILITY: THIS SD APPLIES TO AIRCRAFT OPERATORS THAT CARRY OUT A SECURITY PROGRAM REGULATED UNDER 49 CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS (CFR)1544.101(a).
ACTIONS REQUIRED: If you conduct scheduled and/or public charter flight operations under a Full Program under 49 CFR 1544.101(a) departing from any foreign location to the United States (including its territories and possessions), you must immediately implement all measures in this SD for each such flight.

1. BOARDING GATE

1. The aircraft operator or authorized air carrier representative must ensure all passengers are screened at the boarding gate during the boarding process using the following procedures. These procedures are in addition to the screening of all passengers at the screening checkpoint.
1. Perform thorough pat-down of all passengers at boarding gate prior to boarding, concentrating on upper legs and torso.
2. Physically inspect 100 percent of all passenger accessible property at the boarding gate prior to boarding, with focus on syringes being transported along with powders and/or liquids.
3. Ensure the liquids, aerosols, and gels restrictions are strictly adhered to in accordance with SD 1544-06-02E.
2. During the boarding process, the air carrier may exempt passengers who are Heads of State or Heads of Government from the measures outlined in Section I.A. of this SD, including the following who are traveling with the Head of State or Head of Government:

1. Spouse and children, or
2. One other individual (chosen by the Head of State or Head of Government)
3. For the purposes of Section I.B., the following definitions apply:

1. Head of State: An individual serving as the chief public representative of a monarchic or republican nation-state, federation, commonwealth, or any other political state (for example, King, Queen, and President).
2. Head of Government: The chief officer of the executive branch of a government presiding over a cabinet (for example, Prime Minister, Premier, President, and Monarch).

2. IN FLIGHT

1. During flight, the aircraft operator must ensure that the following procedures are followed:
1. Passengers must remain in seats beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
2. Passenger access to carry-on baggage is prohibited beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.
3. Disable aircraft-integrated passenger communications systems and services (phone, internet access services, live television programming, global positioning systems) prior to boarding and during all phases of flight.
4. While over U.S. airspace, flight crew may not make any announcement to passengers concerning flight path or position over cities or landmarks.
5. Passengers may not have any blankets, pillows, or personal belongings on the lap beginning 1 hour prior to arrival at destination.

AIRCRAFT OPERATOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT: The aircraft operator must immediately provide written confirmation to its assigned PSI indicating receipt of this SD.
AIRCRAFT OPERATOR dissemination required: The aircraft operator must immediately pass the information and directives set forth in this SD to all stations affected, and provide written confirmation to its PSI, indicating that all stations affected have acknowledged receipt of the information and directives set forth in this SD. The aircraft operator must disseminate this information to its senior management personnel, ground security coordinators, and supervisory security personnel at all affected locations. All aircraft operator personnel implementing this SD must be briefed by the aircraft operator on its content and the restrictions governing dissemination. No other dissemination may be made without prior approval of the Assistant Secretary for the Transportation Security Administration. Unauthorized dissemination of this document or information contained herein is prohibited by 49 CFR Part 1520 (see 69 Fed. Reg. 28066 (May 18, 2004).
APPROVAL OF ALTERNATIVE MEASURES: With respect to the provisions of this SD, as stated in 49 CFR 1544.305(d), the aircraft operator may submit in writing to its PSI proposed alternative measures and the basis for submitting the alternative measures for approval by the Assistant Administrator for Transportation Sector Network Management. The aircraft operator must immediately notify its PSI whenever any procedure in this SD cannot be carried out by a government authority charged with performing security procedures.
FOR TSA ACTION ONLY: The TSA must issue this SD immediately to the corporate security element of all affected U.S. aircraft operators.
FOR STATE DEPARTMENT: Retransmittal to appropriate foreign posts is authorized. Post must refer to STATE 162917, 201826Z Sep 01, Subject: FAA Security Directives and Information Circulars: Definitions and Handling, for specific guidance and dissemination.

Gale Rossides
Acting Administrator