The FBI conducted more gun-related background checks this January than in any other January since the system was created.
With 2,545,802 checks processed through the National Instant Background Check System, January 2016 beat the previous record, set in January 2013, by 50,326 checks. Though January’s number represents a drop from the all-time single month record set in December 2015, it is also marks the ninth month in a row that has set a record. It is also the third month in a row with more than two million background checks.
The number of background checks conducted by the FBI is widely considered the most reliable estimate for gun sales in the country since all sales conducted through federally licensed gun dealers and some sales conducted by private parties are required by law to obtain a check.
However, the number is not a one-to-one representation of gun sales. Many private sales are not included in the system. Also, in some cases a single background check can apply to the sale of multiple guns. Some states use background checks for their gun carry permitting process, which does not involve the sale of a gun.
The new record comes in the wake of President Obama’s executive action targeting gun sales. The White House had signaled that those selling even one firearm in their lifetime could be subject to federal licensing requirements, though it was later revealed that the written guidance issued by the ATF was at odds with the administration’s public comments.
A steady stream of comments supportive of gun control by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton may also have contributed to record sales.
A move by Virginia Democrats to unilaterally eliminate gun carry reciprocity agreements with 25 states also received national attention in January. The policy was instituted by the state’s attorney general after the party failed to recapture the state Senate despite millions from gun control advocates. The backlash to the plan was strong enough that the state’s Democratic governor reversed it in a deal with Republicans.
The Second Amendment Foundation said the continued spike in gun sales was in line with other indicators from around the country.
“The Boston Globe reported last week that tens of thousands of new gun licenses were issued in Massachusetts last year,” Alan Gottlieb, the group’s founder, said in a statement. “In New Jersey, with tough gun laws, applications for gun purchases last year nearly tripled over what they were in 2005. One Missouri county reported a three-month back-up in processing permit applications. A county sheriff in North Carolina is so overwhelmed, he’s asking that citizens make appointments.”
“Add to this the fact that scores of sheriffs and police chiefs have encouraged citizens to arm themselves. Suddenly, gun ownership sounds like a very good idea to people concerned about personal safety,” Gottlieb said.
Now, it’s just a matter of time before Johnny Manziel is an ex-Brown.
Johnny Football is almost officially a cautionary tale after the Browns released a harsh statement Tuesday condemning the troubled quarterback’s recent actions – and making clear their intention.
“We’ve been clear about expectations for our players on the field. Johnny’s continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization,” Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown said in the statement.
“His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time.”
Under league rules, Manziel cannot be cut until Feb. 8, the day following the Super Bowl. However, according to ESPN, salary cap math means the Browns will wait until March 9, when the NFL calendar flips to a new year and the cap goes up. Releasing Manziel will count $4.6 million against the cap.
Manziel has spent most of the offseason being documented at various parties in cellphone videos, but the final straw came over the weekend. Manziel is being investigated by police in Fort Worth and Dallas for potentially assaulting ex-girlfriend Colleen Crowley in an incident early Saturday. The police used a helicopter to search for the former Heisman Trophy winner until he was found.
The league is now investigating the incident. Crowley was uncooperative with officers, but said she was involved in a disturbance with an ex-boyfriend.
The Browns gave Manziel multiple chances over his first two seasons in the league, but he wasted them all. Manziel entered rehab last offseason, following a wasted rookie season, and earned the respect of his teammates even as he was named the backup behind Josh McCown.
Manziel was on the field intermittently throughout the 2015 season as McCown battled injuries, and was given a four-game audition to end the season and prove he should be the starter heading into the 2016 season. On the field, he showed sparks of the playmaker that made him a first-round by the Browns. Off the field, he showed why he was a risky first-round pick.
After suffering a concussion in Week 16 against the Chiefs, Manziel went AWOL and missed a checkup with Browns doctors, earning him a fine. He was reportedly wearing a disguise and going under the alias “Billy” while clubbing in Las Vegas.
Since that time, he has been partying in Texas amid reports new Browns coach Hue Jackson only accepted the position on the condition the team would part ways with Manziel.
There is no doubt that will happen now.
This weekend’s alarming report was not the only time Manziel and Crowley were allegedly involved in a domestic dispute. When the two were still dating in October, police in Avon, Ohio, received an emergency call after she and Manziel were spotted fighting as they drove near the quarterback’s home on the west side of Cleveland. Manziel was not arrested, but the matter prompted an NFL investigation into whether he violated the league’s personal conduct policy.
If Manziel can clear his legal hurdles, the question will then become: Is another team willing to take a risk on him?
Manziel has been linked to the Cowboys since owner Jerry Jones had to be talked out of drafting him to be Tony Romo’s predecessor. But even Jones must be wary of giving Manziel a second chance after he so badly screwed up his first.
Highly classified Hillary Clinton emails that the intelligence community and State Department recently deemed too damaging to national security to release contain “operational intelligence” – and their presence on the unsecure, personal email system jeopardized “sources, methods and lives,” a U.S. government official who has reviewed the documents told Fox News.
The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record and was limited in discussing the contents because of their highly classified nature, was referring to the 22 “TOP SECRET” emails that the State Department announced Friday it could not release in any form, even with entire sections redacted.
The announcement fueled criticism of Clinton’s handling of highly sensitive information while secretary of state, even as the Clinton campaign continued to downplay the matter as the product of an interagency dispute over classification. But the U.S. government official’s description provides confirmation that the emails contained closely held government secrets. “Operational intelligence” can be real-time information about intelligence collection, sources and the movement of assets.
The official emphasized that the “TOP SECRET” documents were sent over an extended period of time – from shortly after the server’s 2009 installation until early 2013 when Clinton stepped down as secretary of state.
Separately, Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., who sits on the House intelligence committee, said the former secretary of state, senator, and Yale-trained lawyer had to know what she was dealing with.
“There is no way that someone, a senior government official who has been handling classified information for a good chunk of their adult life, could not have known that this information ought to be classified, whether it was marked or not,” he said. “Anyone with the capacity to read and an understanding of American national security, an 8th grade reading level or above, would understand that the release of this information or the potential breach of a non-secure system presented risk to American national security.”
Pompeo also suggested the military and intelligence communities have had to change operations, because the Clinton server could have been compromised by a third party.
“Anytime our national security team determines that there’s a potential breach, that is information that might potentially have fallen into the hands of the Iranians, or the Russians, or the Chinese, or just hackers, that they begin to operate in a manner that assumes that information has in fact gotten out,” Pompeo said.
On ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, one day before the Iowa caucuses, Clinton claimed ignorance on the sensitivity of the materials and stressed that they weren’t marked.
“There is no classified marked information on those emails sent or received by me,” she said, adding that “Republicans are going to continue to use it [to] beat up on me.”
Clinton was pressed in the same ABC interview on her signed 2009 non-disclosure agreement which acknowledged that markings are irrelevant, undercutting her central explanation. The agreement states “classified information is marked or unmarked… including oral communications.”
Clinton pointed to her aides, saying: “When you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”
But according to national security legal experts, security clearance holders are required to speak up when classified information is not in secure channels.
“Everybody who has a security clearance has an individual obligation to protect the information,” said national security attorney Edward MacMahon Jr., who represented former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling in the high-profile leak investigation regarding a New York Times reporter. “Just because somebody sends it to you… you can’t just turn a blind eye and pretend it never happened and pretend it’s unclassified information.”
These rules, known as the Code of Federal Regulations, apply to U.S. government employees with security clearances and state there is an obligation to report any possible breach by both the sender and the receiver of the information. The rules state: “Any person who has knowledge that classified information has been or may have been lost, possibly compromised or disclosed to an unauthorized person shall immediately report the circumstances to an official designated for this purpose.”
The Clinton campaign is now calling for the 22 “TOP SECRET” emails to be released, but this is not entirely the State Department’s call since the intelligence came from other agencies, which have final say on classification and handling.
“The State Department has no authority to release those emails and I do think that Secretary Clinton most assuredly knows that,” Pompeo said.
Meanwhile, the release of other emails has revealed more about the high-level exchange of classified information on personal accounts. Among the latest batch of emails released by the State Department is an exchange between Clinton and then-Sen. John Kerry, now secretary of state. Sections are fully redacted, citing classified information – and both Kerry and Clinton were using unsecured, personal accounts.
Further, a 2009 email released to Judicial Watch after a federal lawsuit – and first reported by Fox News – suggests the State Department ‘s senior manager Patrick Kennedy was trying to make it easier for Clinton to check her personal email at work, writing to Clinton aide Cheryl Mills a “stand-alone separate network PC is… [one] great idea.”
“The emails show that the top administrator at the State Department, Patrick Kennedy, who is still there overseeing the response to all the inquiries about Hillary Clinton, was in on Hillary Clinton’s separate email network and system from the get-go,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.
Kennedy is expected to testify this month before the Republican-led Benghazi Select Committee.
Hillary Clinton was finally asked on Sunday about a non-disclosure agreement she signed in Jan. 2009 which completely undermines the defense she uses to downplay the existence of classified information on her private email server. But as is often the case with the Democratic presidential candidate, she dodged the question and gave an inconsistent answer.
“You know, you’ve said many times that the emails were not marked classified,” said ABC News “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos.
“But the non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state said that that really is not that relevant,” he continued.
He was referring to the “Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement” – or Standard Form 312 – that Clinton signed on Jan. 22, 2009, a day after taking over as secretary of state.
“It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of your training to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference,” said Stephanopoulos, describing the document.
Clinton responded to Stephanopoulos but did not address the meat of his question. In fact, she appeared to reject the language of the SF-312, saying that “there has to be some markings” on classified information.
“I take classified information very seriously,” Clinton said. “You know, you can’t get information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system, no matter what that system is.”
“We were very specific about that and you – when you receive information, of course, there has to be some markings, some indication that someone down the chain had thought that this was classified and that was not the case.”
However, as the SF-312 makes clear, classified information does not have to be marked as such in order to require being handled as classified information. The document applies not just to physical documents and emails but also to oral communications.
Clinton revised her defense of the classified information on several occasions, as federal agencies release more damaging information about her home-brew email system.
“I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified materials,” she said in March, when news of her personal email account and server first broke.
In July, after the State Department began retroactively classifying many of Clinton’s emails, she revised her claim saying that she was “confident” that she “never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent or received.”
Days later, she changed her tune again, adopting the now-familiar claim that she did not send or receive information that was “marked” as such. That was after it was reported that the Intelligence Community’s inspector general had found highly classified emails which were classified when originated.
Clinton’s statement to Stephanopoulos about the inability to transfer “information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system” also fails to hold water.
Earlier this week, Fox News reported on a 2013 video showing Wendy Sherman, who served as Clinton’s Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, discussing how State Department officials often used Blackberries during overseas negotiations to send and receive information that “would never be on an unclassified system.”
We wrote here about the refugee crisis in Europe, including the fact that hundreds of Moroccan “youths” have taken over Stockholm’s central train station, stealing, assaulting women and attacking security guards. Last night, fifty or more Swedish men, described in some accounts as suspected soccer fans, decided they had had enough and swept through the train station, attacking and driving out the Moroccans who were living there.
The Daily Mail reports:
Before the attack, the group of 200 people handed out xenophobic leaflets with the message “Enough now”.
Swedish media reported that the thugs, allegedly linked to Sweden’s football hooligan scene, were targeting unaccompanied minors with a “foreign” background…
The mob, wearing all-black balaclavas and armbands, “gathered with the purpose of attacking refugee children” Stockholm police spokesman Towe Hagg said. “Police are now looking into the leaflets that were handed out by masked people before the attack”.
Authorities confirmed that at least 40-50 people went on a rampage at 9pm on Friday night attacking migrants.
This video shows the scene, which doesn’t appear to have been very violent:
“All over the country, reports are pouring in that the police can no longer cope with preventing and investigating the crimes which strike the Swedish people,” reads the leaflet.
“In some cases, for example, in the latest murder of a woman employed at a home for so called ‘unaccompanied minor refugees’ in Molndal, it goes as far as the National Police Commissioner choosing to show more sympathy for the perpetrator than the victim,” it continues.
We wrote about that incident, and the perverse reaction of Swedish authorities, here.
“But we refuse to accept the repeated assaults and harrassment against Swedish women. We refuse to accept the destruction of our once safe society. When our political leadership and police show more sympathy for murderers than for their victims, there are no longer any excuses to let it happen without protest.
“When Swedish streets are no longer safe to walk on for normal Swedes, it is our DUTY to fix the problem,” the leaflet reads.
“This is why, today, 200 Swedish men gathered to take a stand against the north African ‘street children’ who are running rampage in and around the capital’s central station.
“Police have clearly showed that they lack the means to stop their progress and we see no other way than to hand down the punishment they deserve ourselves.
“The justice system has walked out and the contract of society is therefore broken – it is now every Swedish man’s duty to defend our public spaces against the imported criminality.”
Is such vigilante action a good thing? Of course not. But it is inevitable when a nation’s authorities put ideology above their most basic duty to protect the citizenry. Across much of Western Europe, the authorities would rather cling to their discredited illusions than do their jobs.
Thus we have the absurd spectacle of the leaders of the European Union denying any connection between the sexual assaults perpetrated against hundreds of women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve and the million migrants who have recently entered Europe:
The sex attacks that took place in Cologne on New Year’s Eve were simply a “matter of public order” and had nothing to do with the refugee crisis, Jean-Claude Juncker’s inner circle believe.
The European Commission will be the “voice of reason” and tell the public that there is no link between the migration crisis affecting the continent and attacks on women in Germany, internal minutes disclose, amid growing concerns at a “xenophobic” backlash.
The minutes of the European Commission’s weekly cabinet meeting from January 13 hint at officials’ fears that the events in Cologne could turn public opinion sharply against the million migrants who have entered Europe.
That and many other events, yes.
“As far as the crimes in Cologne were concerned, he said that these were a matter of public order and were not related to the refugee crisis,” the minutes say.
European democracy is broken, to an even greater extent than our own.
It has now been confirmed – The photograph of Ted Cruz campaign shaming letters is legit (see below). The letters are officially from the Ted Cruz campaign.
Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler confirmed to IJ Review that the mailer was theirs in a phone call Friday evening, saying that the targeting had been “very narrow, but the caucuses are important and we want people who haven’t voted before to vote.” (link)
The personalized letters target individual Iowa voters and identifies them as having failed to vote in prior elections. They are admonished and then encouraged to vote this year. In addition the letters identify the neighbors of the voter, and provides their voting history.
The text reads:
“You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors’ are public record. Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. CAUCUS ON MONDAY TO IMPROVE YOUR SCORE and please encourage your neighbors to caucus as well. A follow-up notice may be issued following Monday’s caucuses”.
In an effort to shame the recipient, the notice also informs the targeted voter their neighbors have also been notified of the recipients poor voting record.
How the Cruz Team would think a public shaming campaign is a good idea is just staggeringly unbelievable.
The campaign scheme was exposed via Twitter where “Tom Hinkeldy, a resident of Alta, Iowa, tweeted a photo (which was later deleted because it included his personal address) on Friday evening of a mailer Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign sent addressed to his wife, Steffany” – link –
Word spread rapidly.
10:30 PM – 29 Jan 2016
The first name on the mailer list matches the name on the envelope at the top of the page. The envelope also has a returned address as “Paid for by Cruz for President”, the official campaign name of Ted Cruz’s presidential campaign (not a super-pac):
Another Iowan, Braddock Massey, tweeted a photo of the mailer he received:
This has the very real potential to be a massive fail and seriously backfire against the Ted Cruz campaign. He might have just given Marco Rubio a considerable gift with the Iowa election only two days away.
From the candidate who prefers to keep his own records, well,… sealed.
UPDATE 5:00am: It looks like Howie might have found the trail, via a professor in Northern Iowa named Christopher Larimer. Describing a previous stunt like this in Alaska. As outlined in a 2014 PBS article:
[…] “Why would they think that shaming would make people comply?”
Because, well, it does. That’s according to Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa. And he’s done the research to prove it.
“We found that when you make people aware of the norm of voting and that somebody else is going to observe whether or not you vote, people are more likely then to vote,” he said.
The letter from the so-called Alaska State Voter Project is nearly identical, word for word, to one that Larimer and other researchers tested in Michigan, right down to the typography and punctuation. In that 2006 research, Larimer and colleagues sent voters one of four different letters.
The softest message just urged people to do their civic duty and vote. The most aggressive letter matched the Alaska mailer. It included the addressee’s voting history as well as those of their neighbors, and contained something of a threat by promising a follow-up letter to show the results of the upcoming election.
Larimer says they got complaints, but the technique worked quite well. (read more)
That emboldened segment describes the current Cruz Campaign mailer 100%. Also, Chris Larimer is noted in this recent Texas Tribune article about the controversial debate:
[…] For Cruz, the No. 2 candidate in many polls, Trump’s snub could make him the center of action at the Iowa Events Center, a role that comes with both risks and rewards.
“If Trump’s not there, it affects the strategy other candidates take toward Cruz,” said Christopher Larimer, a political science professor at the University of Northern Iowa. “Do they treat Cruz like the frontrunner, or do they talk about Trump?”
At the same time, Larimer added, the debate could be a “lost opportunity” for Cruz to challenge Trump on his conservative credentials in what’s likely their last meeting before the caucuses. (read more)
Looks like another one of those ever brilliant political consultant types sold the Cruz campaign on a version of their already extensive “psychographic analytics“. Wouldn’t be surprised if billionaire Phd Robert Mercer, via Cambridge Analytica targeting – isn’t involved in the engineering of this too.
UPDATE: Chris Larimer distances himself from this fiasco via the Washington Post:
The blogosphere rumor is completely false. I do NOT work for the Cruz (or any) campaign and have absolutely nothing to do with mailings.
2:13 PM – 30 Jan 2016
[…] “As a researcher who has done randomized field experiments with get out the vote mailings,” Larimer wrote in an email, “what I can say is that mailings that call attention to an individual’s vote history as well as that of their neighbors’ have been shown to be effective in terms of significantly increasing voter turnout. We draw on norm compliance theory which suggests that publicizing behavior regarding a social norm increases the likelihood of norm compliance.”
That was if the ad was crafted in a smart way. “The Cruz mailing is more negative than anything we have done and has the potential to elicit a negative response or what psychologists call ‘reactance’ or ‘boomerang effect,’” warned Larimer. “The mailing also states that a ‘follow up notice’ will be sent following the caucuses on Monday. This is not possible as caucus turnout is private and maintained by the parties.” (link)
Sarah Palin – Former Alaska Governor/Former Republican Party Vice Presidential Nominee
Ted Nugent – Rock Star/Television Star/2nd Amendment Activist
Willie Robertson – Christian Minister/Businessman/Television Star
Ann Coulter – Book Author/Columnist/Television-Radio Commentator
Joe Arpaio – Former DEA Special Agent/Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff
Mike Ditka – Former NFL Player/Former Coach/Hall Of Fame Inductee
Geert Wilders – Founder And Leader Of Dutch Party For Freedom/Anti-Islam Activist
Carl Icahn – Business Magnate/Philanthropist
Jeffrey Lord – Former Reagan Administration Political Director/Strategist
Virgil Goode – Former U.S. Representative From Virginia/Former Constitution Party Presidential Nominee
Louie Gohmert – U.S. Representative From Texas
Brent Bozell – Founder And President Of The Media Research Center/Columnist
Glenn Beck – Former Television Host/Talk Radio Host/Book Author
Phil Robertson – Businessman/Television Star
Andrew C. McCarthy – Former Assistant U.S. Attorney From New York/Book Author/Columnist
Adam Carolla – Former Television Host/Talk Radio Host
R. Lee Ermey – Former U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant/Movie Star/Television Host
Tom Tancredo – Former U.S. Representative From Colorado
Steve King – U.S. Representative From Iowa
C.L. Bryant – Christian Minister/Talk Radio Host
By the way, these are the sort of folks who endorse Democrat candidates for President:
From the UK Guardian:
Donald Trump has been roundly denounced by MPs from all parties in a debate in the British parliament. But most of those MPs who spoke were critical of the call in a petition signed by 575,000 people for Trump to be banned from the UK because of his proposal for Muslims to be prevented from entering the US and the debate, which took place in an annex outside the main Commons chamber, ended without a vote. One of the functions of a parliament is to allow a nation to let off steam and effectively that is what happened this afternoon.
And with that little snippet, please allow me – an American – to spout off to this miserable pack of limey ASSHOLES for a moment.
Look here, it’s one thing for a U.S. citizen to criticize, mock and even damn one of his own, but when a bunch of pasty-faced, neo-socialist politicians from another country decide to spend the afternoon repeatedly labeling the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination every variety of bigot known to humanity, that’s where I draw the line!
To put it in terms that everyone on both sides of the pond can understand, FUCK YOU!
In the first place, The Donald ISN’T a bigot. He may be a loud, obnoxious prick at times, but he’s always been an equal opportunity prick in my estimation, so every time somebody in the Jurassic media accuses him of trashing women or Hispanic illegals, understand that they are intentionally leaving out the fact that he has trashed far more men and Caucasian citizens over the years.
As for his position on banning Muslim migrants from our shores, keep in mind that he is only talking about what he intends to do in the short-term, and his main concern is with people who hail from a country in the Middle East that is currently embroiled in a civil war and whose various factions are ALL hostile to the west. In fact, he probably wouldn’t have even brought up the subject if our lunatic president hadn’t promised to force thousands of these unvettable people upon our society despite opposition from the vast majority of Americans.
Sure, Trump says dopey, unrealistic shit every once in a while. So what? The smoothest politicians say dopey, unrealistic shit too, only they’re more practiced at sounding reasonable when they do it, and in the final analysis, they’ve generally been far less successful at getting things done over the years than The Donald has.
But whatever your opinion on the matter, that’s an argument for we, the people of the United States of America to have, isn’t it? What it definitely is NOT is a subject for the men and women of Parliament to discuss in their capacity as representatives of the BRITISH people!
In case you self-loathing, dhimmi bastards hadn’t noticed, Donald Trump isn’t a citizen of your rapidly declining nation. He’s a citizen of OUR rapidly declining nation, so mind your own business, you incessant whiners, and try expending your energies on saving YOUR country from the growing threat of Islam instead of pissing on everyone in the world who happens to recognize just how completely buggered your leftist opinions are!
By the way, I’m an American of both Irish and English lineage, but today I consider myself completely Irish. I, hereby, disassociate myself from my English heritage, because if England is a country where its leaders don’t have the balls to stand up for the fundamental right of all people to speak their minds plainly and openly without fear of reprisal, then England is a fascist, pussy nation.
In fact, I ban MYSELF from Great Britain!
Hundreds of anti-refugee rioters have gone on the rampage in the German city of Leipzig after a demonstration where they called for asylum seekers to be deported and their nation’s borders closed.
The attacks come just hours after Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that Europe had lost control of the crisis. The right-wingers broke away from a largely peaceful march in the eastern city to trash the suburb of Connewitz.
Doner kebab fast food stalls were destroyed, cars set ablaze and shop windows smashed by around 250 hooligans of LEGIDA – the local branch of PEGIDA, the anti-migrant, anti-EU organization which marched against the refugees earlier in the evening.
At one point the demonstrators, who threw fireworks at police, attempted to build a barricade in a main street with signs and torn up paving stones before they were dispersed.
Firemen had to tackle a blaze in the attic of one building set alight by a wayward rocket fired by the rioters. A bus carrying leftist pro-asylum demonstrators was also attacked and seriously damaged.
Police said they have identified and arrested 211 of the crowd of right-wing hooligans, many of them with criminal records for violence.
‘This was a serious breach of the peace,’ said a police spokesman, confirming that several police officers were injured in the clashes triggered by simmering anger over the New Year’s Eve mass sex attacks against women in Cologne and several other German cities.
‘Rape Refugees stay away’ was one of the banners carried during the march, the wording above a silhouette of women running from knife-wielding attackers, one of whom resembled a caricature from Aladdin.
Earlier in the day Mrs. Merkel said; ‘Now all of a sudden we are facing the challenge that refugees are coming to Europe and we are vulnerable, as we see, because we do not yet have the order, the control, that we would like to have.’
She also said the euro was ‘directly linked’ to freedom of movement in Europe, adding: ‘Nobody should act as though you can have a common currency without being able to cross borders reasonably easily.’
Merkel said that if countries did not allow their borders to be crossed without much difficulty, the European single market would ‘suffer acutely’ – meaning that Germany, at the centre of the European Union and its largest economy, should fight to defend freedom of movement.
The EU has struggled to cope with a tide of refugees from war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa, most of whom have landed in Greece or Italy before heading for wealthier northern EU states.
Germany has taken in the bulk of them, more than a million last year alone.
Some EU countries have re-established border controls within the passport-free Schengen zone, where they had been abolished, while efforts to share out the asylum-seekers across EU member states have floundered.
Merkel said that, to preserve the Schengen zone within the EU, it was necessary to make the bloc’s external borders more secure.
The violence in Leipzig followed on from weekend attacks in Cologne by a vigiliante mob which used the social networking site Facebook to marshall young men – rockers, bodybuilders and club bouncers – to go on a ‘manhunt’ for immigrants.
Two Pakistani men were hospitalized and a third Syrian man was lightly injured before a stiff police presence on the streets thwarted further attacks.
It is unclear what their condition is although the police are looking to press charges of ‘serious bodily harm’ against their attackers who kicked, beat and abused them verbally.
The Express said the Facebook vigilante groups had promised an ‘orderly clean up’ of the old town centre in their ‘manhunt.’
Police confirmed one Syrian man was also hurt in an attack on Sunday, which took place just 20 minutes after the first, but is believed to have been carried out by a separate group of five men.
German police say the number of criminal complaints filed after the events on New Year’s Eve in Cologne has risen to 516 – 40 per cent relating to allegations of sexual assault.
Germany’s FBI, the Federal Criminal Office, said it had information that the surrounding and sexual molestation of women was a ‘familiar phenomenon in some Arab countries.’ Now it is liaising with police in all 16 states of Germany to formulate a strategy on how to combat it in future on German streets.
The minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, the German state where Cologne is located, admitted that people of foreign descent were responsible for virtually all of the violence on New Year’s Eve in the city.
‘Based on testimony from witnesses, the report from the Cologne police and descriptions by the federal police, it looks as if people with a migration background were almost exclusively responsible for the criminal acts,’ Ralf Jaeger, interior minister from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia told a special commission on the Cologne violence.
‘All signs point to these being north Africans and people from the Arab world,’ he added. ‘Based on what we know now from the investigation, asylum seekers who arrived in the past year are among the suspects.’
Cologne has a significant first and second generation immigrant population and racial tension has heightened in the wake of New Years Eve.
The city, which has a population of just over one million, has more than 120,000 practicing Muslim residents and the largest Jewish communities in Germany. Just over 5.5 per cent are born in Turkey.
Over the past week, the police presence in the city has been heightened, but many called the efforts ‘too little too late’, questioning why officers had not been able to stop the attacks.
On Monday, a regional parliamentary commission in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia, whose largest city is Cologne, will question police and others about the events on New Year’s Eve.
The attacks on women in Cologne have also sparked a debate about tougher rules for migrants who break the law, faster deportation procedures and increased security measures such as more video surveillance in public areas and more police.
The Constitution Of The United States – Article V
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Click HERE to purchase Mark. Levin’s book The Liberty Amendments: Restoring The American Republic.
The high mucky-muck of the Republican establishment crowd, otherwise known as Dubya’s younger, less interesting brother.
Not since the failed candidacy of Howard Dean has an early front-runner in a Presidential race taken such a sustained beating in the polls. The once great, white hope of the Republican elitist class is now a single-digit joke whose big-money backers are starting to regret they ever laid eyes on this no-trick pony.
The radio host, turned minister, turned Governor, turned Presidential candidate, turned TV host, turned Presidential candidate again.
Why this man hasn’t started his own televangelist network by now is beyond me. He is clearly better suited to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ on cable channel 287 than run for political office. At least as a TV pastor he’d be competitive in his chosen field of endeavor, instead of pointlessly clinging to his status as a second-tier political hack.
The Senator from Kentucky and middle child of former Congressman, libertarian Presidential candidate and prattling lunatic, Ron Paul.
Let’s face it, the only reason most people even know about this freshman lawmaker is because his father made a name for himself promoting pretty much the same policies that Rand has since adopted. Apparently, the nut doesn’t fall far from the nut-tree when it comes to blaming America for the rise of Muslim terrorism since the 1970s, and while the good doctor in question doesn’t seem nearly as crazy as his old man did when he ran for President, the things he says have just enough batshit mixed in with them to remind most of us why we’re not libertarians.
The morbidly obese Governor of New Jersey, former Obama rump-swab and RINO squish, otherwise known as El Jefe Grande.
He’s big, he’s fat and he’s loud. Okay, so he’d make a great Ralph Kramden if CBS ever decides to bring back ‘The Honeymooners’, but beyond that, he’s a waste of space… WAY too much space. Did I mention he’s really fat?
The former corporate CEO, failed Senatorial candidate and fake conservative, whose only claim to fame is that she managed to turn a largely destructive business career into a multi-million dollar personal fortune.
What can I say about this woman that Donald Trump hasn’t already said in far more entertaining and sexist terms before? Hmmm… well, for starters she’s the single most left-leaning candidate on the GOP debate stage, despite her well-rehearsed assertions to the contrary. In essence, she’s a would-be Susan Collins pretending to be the next Sarah Palin, only she doesn’t have the credibility or the gams of Mama Grizzly.
The extremely annoying Governor of Ohio, former Congressman, former TV host and snarky know-it-all, otherwise known as the guy who just won’t shut the fuck up already.
To say this man is irksome would be an insult to irks everywhere. I’d add more, but I’m too irritated by the very thought of this idiot to continue insulting him right now.
The former Congressman, former Senator and former Presidential candidate from Pennsylvania who can’t seem to understand why a sweater vest is not a viable substitute for charisma.
Ya know, there was a time when I honestly believed that Mr. Santorum would evolve into a credible, top-shelf candidate for President one day. That was over a decade ago, and now I’m convinced that – like stupid – you just can’t fix boring. The upside is that Mr. Rogers’ old job is still wide open.
The former Mayor of Peekskill, New York, former State Assemblyman, former State Senator and former Governor, who, despite being in politics since 1981 has yet to garner the name recognition of your average, small-town Comptroller.
Just the fact that this assclown has bothered to stay in the game longer than superior candidates like Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal makes me want to smack him over the head with a plastic snow shovel. Cripes, George, you’re not even gaining traction at the kiddie-table debates anymore. If you look in the dictionary, there’s a picture of Lindsey Graham right next to the word ‘pathetic’. Why? Because you’ve yet to rise to the level of pathetic. You are a catastrophic loser, George, yet you need not lament your absolute failure. After all, very few people have even noticed so far.
NOTE: It has just come to my attention that Lonesome George dropped out of the race last week. Gee, how could I have possibly missed that? (sarcasm off)
‘Bring Your Guns And Come’: Militiamen Including Cliven Bundy’s Three Sons Take Over Oregon Federal Building And Call ‘U.S. Patriots’ To Arms In Protest At Pending Imprisonment Of Two Ranchers – Daily Mail
A group of militiamen on Saturday occupied the headquarters of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon in support of two brothers who are slated to report to prison on Monday on arson charges – and the protesters don’t plan on leaving any time soon, saying it’s ‘kill or be killed’ time.
Militia members claimed to have as many as 150 supporters with them at the Malheur National Wildlife refuge building in Princeton, which is federal property managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that was closed for the holiday weekend.
They later rescinded the number and said they would not disclose how many people were in the building, because of ‘operational security’. Local reporters have said that there only appears to be a dozen cars outside of the building.
‘We’re planning on staying here for years, absolutely,’ Ammon Bundy, one of the occupiers, told the Oregonian via telephone. ‘This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute.’
Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan, who is another occupier, are the sons of of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who was involved in a 2014 standoff with the government over grazing rights.
The occupation came shortly after 300 marchers paraded through Burns, Oregon, about 50 miles away, to protest at the prosecution of father and son Harney County ranchers Dwight Hammond Jr and Steven Hammond, who were ordered returned to prison by a federal court which ruled their original sentences were insufficient.
The group is demanding that the Hammonds be released and that the federal government give up control of the Malheur National Forest.
Dwight Hammond, 73, and Steven Hammond, 46, said they lit the fires in 2001 and 2006 to reduce the growth of invasive plants and protect their property from wildfires.
The two were convicted of the arsons three years ago and served time – the father three months, the son one year.
But a judge ruled their terms were too short under federal law and ordered them back to prison for about four years each.
Ammon Bundy, an Idaho militia leader, said that while the occupiers were not looking to hurt anyone, they would not rule out violence if police tried to remove them, the Oregonian reported.
Bundy’s brother Ryan Bundy, who is also an occupier, told the Oregonian that they’re ‘willing to kill and be killed’ if necessary, adding that the federal officials’ actions have been ‘in violation of the constitution’.
‘The best possible outcome is that the ranchers that have been kicked out of the area, then they will come back and reclaim their land, and the wildlife refuge will be shut down forever and the federal government will relinquish such control,’ Ryan Bundy told the Oregonian.
He added: ‘What we’re doing is not rebellious. What we’re doing is in accordance with the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land.’
The brothers said, however, that their real goal is to simply start a movement. It is unknown what types of weapons are now at the refuge building, but there are no hostages in the area.
‘The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,’ told the Oregonian.
Ammon Bundy posted a video on his Facebook page asking for people to come help him. Below the video is this statement: “(asterisk)(asterisk)ALL PATRIOTS ITS TIME TO STAND UP NOT STAND DOWN!!! WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! COME PREPARED.”
Ammon Bundy said the group planned to stay at the refuge indefinitely.
‘The facility has been the tool to do all the tyranny that has been placed upon the Hammonds,’ the Oregonian quoted Ammon Bundy as saying.
‘This is not a decision we’ve made at the last minute,’ he added, calling on other militiamen to join them.
The Bundys are the sons of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. The Bundy family ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada, some 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, was the site of an armed protest against the US Bureau of Land Management in April 2014.
The stand-off gained nationwide attention as the agency sought to seize cattle because the elder Bundy refused to pay grazing fees.
The federal agents ultimately backed down, citing safety concerns, and gave back hundreds of Bundy cattle which they had rounded up.
In a video posted to Facebook by Sarah Dee Spurlock, two men – one donning camouflage gear – explain why they are taking the measures they are.
‘This will become a base place for patriots from all over the country to come to be housed and live here. We’re planning on staying here for several years, the first man said.
He added: ‘One time [Harney County] were the wealthiest county, now they’re the poorest, and we will reverse that in just a few years by freeing up their land and resources.
‘And we’re doing this for the people. We’re doing this so the people can have their land and their resources back where they belong.’
He appealed to the public for people to join the group in Oregon.
‘We’re calling people out here to come and stand. We need you to bring your arms and we need you to come to the Malheur National Wildlife refuge,’ he said.
The second man, dressed in camouflage gear, said the group is challenging the government.
‘Until that line is drawn to say “We’ve had enough of this tyranny, you are going to leave us alone”, it will not change,’ he said. ‘This is the power of America right here.
‘People got together for this and it doesn’t have to stop here. This could be a hope that spreads through the whole country.
‘Everybody’s looking for this hope because the government has beat us, oppressed us and took everything from us. They will not stop until we tell them no.’
In another video, Jon Ritzheimer, a Phoenix-based anti-Islam activist and militiaman, says goodbye to his family, suggesting he plans to occupy the federal lands as well.
‘The oppression and the tyranny that’s taken place in Oregon – we know it’s taken place all across the US – the Bundy Ranch was prime example. And we the people need to take a stand,’ he said in the 13-minute video.
He goes on a lengthy rant about the legal system and how it treated the Hammond family.
‘They are not terrorists… This oppressive, tyrannical government who really has no jurisdiction here – this is Hardy County’s land,’ he said.
He added: ‘The Hammonds were not tried by a jury of their peers. There’s an indictment with no signatures on it.
‘This is a cruel and unusual punishment. But this federal government comes in here and says no, that’s not enough, they need to do a minimum of five years.’
Ritzenheimer then makes a call to arms.
He said: ‘It’s real simple, Dwight. Do you want to die in prison labeled a terrorist by these oppressors or do you want to die out here with us as a free man? I want to die a free man.’
‘If you do not spearhead this and take a stand, it’s going to set a new precedent across the US.
‘They get stronger and think they can continue to go around and bully we, the people. But when we unite and you take that stand there’s no stopping us.’
Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman in Portland, told The Associated Press that the agency was aware of Saturday’s situation at the national wildlife refuge. She made no further comment.
Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward released a statement late on Saturday night.
Ward said: ‘After the peaceful rally was completed today, a group of outside militants drove to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, where they seized and occupied the refuge headquarters.
‘A collective effort from multiple agencies is currently working on a solution. For the time being please stay away from that area.
‘More information will be provided as it becomes available. Please maintain a peaceful and united front and allow us to work through this situation.’
Some local residents feared the Saturday rally would involve more than speeches, flags and marching. But the only real additions to that list seemed to be songs, flowers and pennies.
As marchers reached the courthouse, they tossed hundreds of pennies at the locked door. Their message: civilians were buying back their government. After the march passed, two girls swooped in to scavenge the pennies.
A few blocks away, Hammond and his wife Susan greeted marchers, who planted flower bouquets in the snow. They sang some songs, Hammond said a few words, and the protesters marched back to their cars.
Dwight Hammond has said he and his son plan to peacefully report to prison January 4 as ordered by the judge.
The decision to extend the Hammonds’ prison terms has generated controversy in a remote part of the state.
In particular, the Hammonds’ new sentences touched a nerve with far right groups who repudiate federal authority.
Ammon Bundy and a handful of militiamen from other states arrived last month in Burns, some 60 miles from the Hammond ranch.
In an email to supporters, Ammon Bundy criticized the US government for a failed legal process.
Mississippi Democrat Kenneth Stokes urged his community this week to hurl rocks, bricks and bottles at police.
His bio page says Councilman Stokes always puts God first.
Stokes says his constituents should throw rocks, bricks and bottles at police.
The Epoch Times reported:
A Mississippi councilman has sparked controversy after calling for dramatic action against police.
Kenneth Stokes, a councilman in Jackson Ward, says he wants his constituents to send a message to police officers from other jurisdictions who chase misdemeanor suspects through their territory.
“What I suggest is we get the black leadership together, and as these jurisdictions come into Jackson we throw rocks and bricks and bottles at them. That will send a message we don’t want you in here,” he said, reported WLBT.
Stokes also said he’s looking into suing police from other jurisdictions who enter Jackson Ward.
According to Stokes’ bio on the Ward’s website, he was first elected in 1989. He served for six terms before becoming a county supervisor, but returned to the council in a special election after his wife was made a county judge.