Friday, June 7, 2013

The Soapbox: Big Brother is Watching You, North Carolina Student Kicked Out of School for Taking On Common Core, and The IRS' Lavish Spending.

If we want government to do less, we need to do more.
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The Soapbox: If we want government to do less, we need to do more.
Then & Now: History for Today

June 7

1942 - “The Battle of Midway--one of the most decisive U.S. victories in its war against Japan--comes to an end. In the four-day sea and air battle, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers with the loss of only one of its own, the Yorktown, thus reversing the tide against the previously invincible Japanese navy.” (Source)

1966 - “A former actor named Ronald Reagan receives the Republican nomination for governor of California.  He won the election that November and was sworn in on January 2, 1976. Reagan's tenure as the Golden State's governor gave him credibility as a political leader, paving the way for his victory in the 1980 presidential election.” (Source)

1980 - “The first U.S. solar power plant was dedicated. It was sited at the Natural Bridge National Monument, Utah, and at the time the world's largest. An array of over 250,000 solar cells arranged in 12 long rows provided 100-kilowatts. The plant provided elecricity for the park's visitor center, staff residences, maintenance facilities and water sanitation system, which were otherwise 38 miles away from the nearest alternate power line. The power plant was part of a joint venture of MIT's Lincoln Laboratory and the Dept. of Energy.” (Source)

Mercury One Moment

We received this letter with an amazing donation of $3.06 from four siblings who, with big hearts, entrepreneurial spirits, and a lemonade stand, raised funds for the families in Oklahoma. Their letter reads "I donated $3.06 for anyone effected. My brothers and sisters and I did a Lemonade stand and donated $3.06. I hope the people who need it finds it very helpful." Thanks you four! Your $3.06 have profoundly impacted someone's life for the better. As has every donation. Together we have made enormous positive changes in so many lives that have been disrupted by disaster in Oklahoma. Thank you for making all of this possible. If you would like to help provide relief to families struck by disaster in Oklahoma, you can donate to our Midwest Tornado Relief Fund, here
Your Soapbox

Big Brother is Watching: Feds Getting Phone Records of all Verizon Customers. “The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecom providers, under a top secret court order issued in April,” The Guardian reported Wednesday. “...[this] collection would allow the NSA to build easily a comprehensive picture of who any individual contacted, how and when, and possibly from where, retrospectively.” And who is the NSA targeting? Americans, not foreigners. Forbes reports, “...the latest revelation of the extent of the NSA’s surveillance shows that it has focused specifically on Americans, to the degree that its data collection has in at least one major spying incident explicitly excluded those outside the United States.” As John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, states here, “‘The reality is, we no longer live in a free society...The phantom promise of security has trapped a lot of Americans into giving their freedoms over.’"

North Carolina Student Takes Stand Against Common Core. reports that “A North Carolina sixth grader was told to leave school after she refused to take new state tests which are related to the new national Common Core standards.” After becoming “increasingly frustrated in class,” the student and her father began researching Common Core. Her father became alarmed that “teachers were teaching from scripts.” “Kids would ask questions in class and the teachers would say, ‘I can’t answer that – it isn’t part of the curriculum,’” the student said.

IRS Officials to Face Grilling Over Lavish Spending at Employee Conferences. A report says the IRS, “...spent roughly $50 million on conferences between 2010 and 2012.”  The money was spent on luxury hotel rooms, food, gifts, and parties. “‘When I came to IRS, part of my job was to hold people accountable,’ Acting Commissioner Danny Werfel said. ‘There was clearly inappropriate behavior involved in this situation, and immediate action is needed.’"  We think the behavior is a little more than “inappropriate,” don’t you?

American Big Journalism Has Failed. The press is the unofficial fourth branch of the government and supposed to be the watchdog insurance policy on checks-and-balances in Washington. However, no major American news outlet broke the story on a single one of the enormous US government scandals that have come to light in the past few weeks. The Guardian broke the Verizon scandal. points out that: “The IRS broke their own scandal with a planted question,” and that not even the AP broke the story on the DOJ’s seizure of their communiques, the “Justice Department outted itself in a letter notifying the AP of what it had done.” Glenn Beck discovered the IRS targeting more than a year ago and discussed it on his blossoming new network The Blaze. Perhaps the major American investigative effort into the Benghazi terror attack was not done by a news outlet at all, but two special operations military veterans: Brandon Webb and Jack Murphy of, as the former was best friends with one of the fallen: Glen Doherty.

Auditor: TSA Can't Justify Costs of Screening Behavior. A recent report on the “TSA's program, Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT), which now has 2,800 workers, began in 2007 and has so far cost $878 million,” issued by the TSA’s Inspector General, has led the Assistant Inspector General to conclude that the “TSA cannot ensure that passengers at United States airports are screened objectively, show that the program is cost-effective or reasonably justify the program's expansion." The audit request was placed by a lawmaker many will not have expected, who has concluded that “the SPOT program has not improved aviation security and has wasted taxpayer dollars that could have been spent on proven safety measures," and stated plans to “offer an amendment this week to the department's spending bill to prevent more funding for the "failed and misguided effort."”

State Department says US will Sign UN Treaty on Arms Regulation, Despite Bipartisan Lawmaker Opposition. The State Department announced that the United States would sign the “controversial U.N. treaty on arms regulation, despite bipartisan resistance in Congress from members concerned it could lead to new gun control measures in the US,” Fox reports. Thankfully, a “majority of Senate members has come out against the treaty. A two-thirds majority would be needed in the Senate to ratify.”

Something to Look Forward to: Super Expensive Microwaves that Will Probably Leave Your Food Cold in the Center. Thanks, Federal Government. Microwaves are the latest target for federal regulations. Starting in 2016 microwaves will become more expensive due to regulations for increased energy efficiency standards to combat carbon emissions. This is all justified with the flawed metric of being equal to taking X amount of cars off the road (in this case, 12 million). The government doesn’t understand our priorities: Americans want cheap and efficient appliances over the more expensive and so-called “energy efficient” appliances that just don’t get the job done.

Preparedness—Enhancing Personal Security by Learning a Few Simple PSD Concepts, Part 1: Daily Routes. Preparedness is about planning for the possible, but unexpected. ITS Tactical provides an introductory primer on “how you can apply concepts and tactics used by Personal Security Detail (PSD) teams into your daily life,” and though experts undergo years of extensive training, “the average person can learn the basics to help protect themselves and their families.” In fact, “there are things you can do on a daily basis that could prevent you from becoming a victim in the first place.” Properly securing your vulnerability starts with adapting your thinking into a Red Team mindset, or putting yourself in the shoes of your potential intruder/attacker to identify the vulnerabilities they would exploit, in order to better protect yourself.




We want to thank all of you for your generosity in donating to support Mercury One in its mission of providing charity for all with malice toward none. Mercury One aims to improve the human condition in a variety of ways, and one way you can help support all of the Mercury One missions is by donating to the Mercury One General Fund.
Also in the News


Crowd Stunned After Valedictorian Rips Up Speech, Recites Lord’s Prayer.

How Your Wifi Can be Used to Track You In Your Home.

Man Who Tried to Kill Himself Outside of “Today Show” Studio Says the IRS Ruined His LIfe.

Bill O’Reilly Discusses Chris Kyle’s Final Book, the Second Amendment, and Good & Evil with Chris’ Wife, Taya--and Tells Jesse Ventura That if he Wants to Be a Man, he’ll Drop his Lawsuit (Video).

11 Mind-Blowing Technologies That People Are Surprised To Hear Are Actually Real and Let's Not Forget This Quadrocopter Robot That is Controlled by Human Brainwaves!

Firearms Private Sales: How to Protect Yourself.

Flat-Out Incredible: Former Army Ranger’s Unbelievable Off-Hand Shot With .50-Cal Rifle (Video).

‘Don’t Dread Suffering’: Read the Incredible Words of Vietnam POW Hugh Stafford.

Scientists Discover Body of Water they Dub: "God's Bathtub."

LifeHacker: Organize Your Messy Workbench with These 10 Tricks.


Something to Ponder

“All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

Ronald Reagan

*This information was submitted and compiled by Mercury One staffers and volunteers. If you see any problems or have any questions please email If you have an idea or would like to contribute to the Soapbox, please email 

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