I’ve got a lot of #NeverTrump friends. Heck, I bet most of my friends are #NeverTrump. Hell, my wife is #NeverTrump. I like #NeverTrump people, even though I think they’re wrong. We share the same goals. We just have really crappy choices and are making different ones.
I assume they all think I’m wrong too, and I’m not going to argue with them. For one thing, they’re my friends. I don’t want to argue with my friends. I want to mock stupid libs with my friends while consuming red meat and redder wine. The second reason is that I’m not going to change their minds, nor are they going to change mine (although Donald Trump himself still retains that power should he become sufficiently annoying).
So we should just sit down, have some beers, and talk about something else until November because we’re not going to change and fighting each other redirects the fire away from our real enemy.
That’s Hillary Clinton. She’s the real enemy.
So these aren’t arguments. These are reasons. Why am I giving my general election vote to somebody who is often demonstrably unconservative, can be dreadfully immature, and who has a past that’s absolutely bloodcurdling to any conservative? Well, I’ll tell you.
Hillary is worse.
It’s that simple.
Hillary is worse…
Homeowner Fills Yard With Memorial Day Flags, Crosses Honoring Fallen Heroes – Fox News
A Central California homeowner is turning his front yard into a fallen heroes memorial for Memorial Day.
Dan Joseph tells tells Fox40 the display in the front yard of his home in Modesto is dedicated to those from the Central Valley who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. He says it is the least he can do to honor their memory.
“I feel saddened, you know for the loss, but I also feel very grateful because it’s because of their sacrifice that we are free today,” Joseph told Fox40.
There are 55 flags and crosses on display, one for each Central Valley service member who was killed. There’s also a big sign that says “Here We Remember the Cost of Freedom.”…
Vietnamese Communist Leader Says U.S. Anti-War Activists Helped Their Victory – Daily Caller
In the weeks leading up to Memorial Day and President Barack Obama’s scheduled trip to Vietnam, a prominent Vietcong communist leader privately thanked American anti-war activists for helping defeat the U.S.-allied government in Vietnam in the 1970s, saying protest demonstrations throughout the United States were “extremely important in contributing to Vietnam’s victory.”
For Vietnamese guerrilla leader Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, who sent the private letter from Hanoi dated April 20, “victory” meant the communist takeover of South Vietnam. The letter addressed veteran American anti-war activists who gathered in Washington, D.C., at a May 3 reunion of radical “May Day” anti-war leaders.
The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained a copy of the letter at the meeting.
Binh, now age 90, originally served as the highest ranking Vietnamese delegate to the Paris Peace Talks that imposed a ceasefire in the country in 1973.
The “Vietcong” was a ragtag group of communist guerrillas who were allied with the official communist government in North Vietnam. The country was cut in two in 1954, with the south seeking to build a democratic state allied to the West.
Binh’s frank admission highlights a secret side of the communist’s effective lobbying influence in the United States. Rather than live in the southern part of the country, which for decades she represented as a diplomat, it appears after the war Binh was living in Hanoi, the original capital of North Vietnam…
Trump Exposes California Drought As Man-Made, Caused By Over-Protecting A 2-Inch Fish – TruthFeed
Friday, during a rally in Fresno, California Trump asked farmers “Is there a drought?” he then exposed a little known truth “No, we have plenty of water. We shove it out to see.”
You see, radical environmentalists have been starving California farmers of water in order to protect a 2-3 inch fish called the “delta smelt.” The slithery fish is said to smell like cucumbers and is only found in the San Francisco Bay area.
In order to protect this little fish, California officials have been shutting down massive water pumps, depriving farmers of the ability to create food and choosing the fish over humans.
This problem has been ongoing for years. March 2014, the Committee on Natural Resources held an oversight field hearing in Fresno, CA on “California Water Crisis and Its Impacts: The Need for Immediate and Long-Term Solutions.”…
Why The “Scar Tissue” Excuse For Hillary’s Document Destruction Fails – Paul Mirengoff
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post offers a familiar excuse for Hillary Clinton’s insistence on using a private email server. According to Marcus, “the scar tissue built up over years of politically motivated attacks and endless investigations reinforced Clinton’s instinct for the protective crouch.”
Marcus’ explanation sounds plausible, but it happens to be false (except for the part about “instinct for the protective crouch”).
We know the explanation is false because Clinton engaged in similar behavior before she came to Washington as First Lady. I’m referring to her handling of her law firm’s billing records in the Castle Grande matter, which I discussed at length here,” in a post based mainly on the evidence developed by the Office of Independent Counsel that investigated “Whitewater.”
Clinton stole and/or caused to be destroyed the records that established her role as the attorney for participants in the fraudulent Castle Grande scheme. She did so to avoid the political price she feared would be exacted if, with candidate Bill Clinton decrying the “decade of greed” that had brought on the S&L scandals, she was exposed as having been the lawyer for a crooked S&L.
For this purpose, Clinton, working with Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster, stole hard copies of the billing records of the Rose law firm where they were partners. They erased the electronic version of these records. One set of the documents was later found in the White House, just outside Hillary’s private office, by an employee. Another set was found in Foster’s attic by his widow, some years after he committed suicide. Clinton’s time sheets (handwritten, as was the practice back in the day) were never found…
Louisiana Lawmaker Labels Declaration Of Independence Racist In Debate – Fox News
The Declaration of Independence came under attack from an unlikely quarter – a state legislator.
Louisiana lawmaker Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport), argued that America’s founding document was racist during debate on a bill requiring public school students in the state to recite the Declaration of Independence daily, Fox & Friends reported Saturday.
“For the Declaration of Independence only Caucasians (were) free,” Norton, who is black, said Wednesday during the debate on the floor of the Louisiana House of Representatives. “And for you to bring a bill to require that our children will recite the Declaration of Independence I think it’s a little bit unfair.”
Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs) shelved the bill before lawmakers could vote on the proposal, which she sponsored…
27-Year-Old Thug Arrested For Intentionally Driving Vehicle Over Memorial Day Cross Display – 100PercentFedUp
A Henderson, Ky. man has been arrested after he allegedly damaged more than 150 crosses in the city’s Memorial Day cross display with his vehicle early Saturday, according to officials.
According to Henderson Police Public Information Officer Jennifer Richmond, Anthony Burrus, 27, was arrested in connection with the incident that took place in Central Park at around 6 a.m. Roughly 160 crosses were knocked down and about 20 were destroyed.
The vehicle Burrus was driving, a 1979 Ford Thunderbird, was found with pieces of a cross and ground stake embedded in the tires after he left it at the McDonald’s restaurant on South Green Street. Richmond said Burrus denied causing the damage in the park, but confirmed he was driving the vehicle earlier this morning and left it after it stopped working.
Henderson police officers and deputies from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the incident.
Burrus was found and arrested at his sister’s apartment complex on Zion Road, and is being held at the Henderson County Detention Center. He is charged with first degree criminal mischief and leaving the scene of an accident.
Richmond said a large number of tips, Facebook posts, and vehicle searches helped officers make the connection and arrest Burrus…
Trump Vows To Undo Paris Climate Agreement – Daily Insider
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has unveiled his energy policy, calling for stripping back Environmental Protection Agency protections, reigniting the coal industry, increasing fossil fuel drilling and withdrawing from the 2015 Paris climate agreement.
On May 26, Trump delivered a speech outlining his energy plan in Bismarck, North Dakota. The policy proposals seemed to be a complete reversal of President Barack Obama’s energy achievements, The New York Times reports.
“We’re going to deal with real environmental challenges, not the phoney ones we’ve been hearing about,” Trump said.
The business mogul vowed to rescind the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, an ambitious effort to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent by 2025…
As Charters Grow, Public Schools See Sharp Enrollment Drop – Associated Press
Standing before the Los Angeles Unified School Board, Susan Zoller delivered a startling assessment: More than 100,000 students in the nation’s second-largest district were now enrolled in charters, draining more than $500 million from the budget in a single academic year.
“The financial future of Los Angeles is difficult,” said Zoller, a consultant hired by the district’s union. Board member Richard Vladovic leaned anxiously toward his mic.
“We are bleeding,” he said.
If current trends continue, the district could be significantly diminished in another 10 years – at least a third smaller than at the start of the century.
In financially struggling urban districts from LA to Philadelphia – and most notoriously, Detroit – the increasing popularity of charter schools, combined with family flight to the suburbs and declining birth rates, have caused enrollment to plummet. The changes have unfolded slowly for years and recently accelerated in some places.
“It’s come to a tipping point for many of these districts like Detroit,” said Ron Zimmer, an education professor at Vanderbilt University…
The Romanian hacker who claimed he easily breached Hillary Clinton’s email server pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to two counts of computer hacking charges, as part of a deal with the Justice Department.
In exchange for a reduced sentence, Marcel Lehel Lazar – also known as Guccifer – has agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in the future.
Lazar pleaded guilty to the unauthorized access of a protected computer and aggravated identity theft, counts tied to his illegal intrusion into systems belonging to former U.S. government officials, including former Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal and former Secretary of State Colin Powell…
Fish-Keeping Father-Of-One Is Told To Demolish His Garden Pond Because Burglars Could Fall In It And Drown – Daily Mail
A fish fanatic has been told to get rid of the pond in his back garden because it could potentially be a hazard for burglars.
Sovereign Housing have told Kevin Sheehan to demolish the water features at his home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.
When he asked why, the 62-year-old claims they told him the measure had to be adopted because ‘if someone breaks in they could fall in’.
Mr Sheehan, who lives with his partner and their one-year-old daughter Olivia, has slammed the ruling as ‘ridiculous’.
He told the Oxford Mail: ‘It’s my home, I am going to fight it as much as I can – there is no rule in the tenancy about fish ponds.
‘The reason they gave was if someone breaks into the back garden they can fall in the pond because there’s a six-foot fence all round and they can’t see it.
‘I said: “Well they shouldn’t be breaking in.”‘
‘I’ve got about 80 fish in the pond, where can I put these fish if I’ve not got a pond? I can’t put them in the river, I’d get into trouble. They can’t die because of this.’…
VA Admits To Wrongly Declaring Over 4,000 Veterans Dead – Washington Free Beacon
The Department of Veterans Affairs admitted it wrongly declared more than 4,000 veterans dead over the past five years, cutting off benefits for them and their dependents.
The agency disclosed that it wrongly terminated benefits for 4,201 veterans between 2011 and 2015 in a letter to Rep. David Jolly (R., Fla.) this month. The admission came more than six months after Jolly initially requested information on veterans whose VA benefits had been erroneously cut off following a series of mistaken death cases by the VA in the Tampa Bay area.
More than 1,000 veterans had their benefits disrupted in 2015 alone when the VA erroneously declared them deceased…
State Department Sets New Single-Day Record For Syrian Refugee Approvals – Washington Times
The State Department admitted 80 Syrian refugees on Tuesday and 225 on Monday, setting a single-day record, as President Obama tries to meet his target of 10,000 approvals this year – renewing fears among security analysts who say the administration is cutting corners to meet a political goal.
Officials insist they are moving faster because of improvements in screening and say they are still running all the traps on applicants.
But the spike is stunning, with more people accepted Monday alone than in the entire months of January or February.
“The Obama administration is on full throttle to admit as many people as possible before the time clock runs out on them,” said Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies. “This is the classic scenario when political expediency trumps prudence, and someone slips through who shouldn’t have, and tragedy ensues.”
Powerless to stop the civil war in Syria, Mr. Obama has instead offered the U.S. as a haven for some of those fleeing the conflict.
He promised to accept 10,000 refugees from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. As of Tuesday evening, the administration had approved 2,540 – an average of about 10 applications a day…
Protests Turn Violent Outside Trump Rally In New Mexico – Chicago Tribune
In one of the presidential campaign year’s more grisly spectacles, demonstrators at a Donald Trump rally in New Mexico threw burning T-shirts, plastic bottles and other items at police officers, injuring several, and toppled trash cans and barricades. Authorities labeled it a “riot.”
Police responded by firing pepper spray and smoke grenades into the crowd outside the Albuquerque Convention Center.
During the rally, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee was interrupted repeatedly by protesters, who shouted, held up banners and resisted removal by security officers.
The banners included the messages “Trump is Fascist” and “We’ve heard enough.”…
DNC Chair’s PAC Has Paid More In Salaries Than It Has Given To Democrats – Washington Free Beacon
The leadership PAC of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D., Fla.) has paid out nearly $100,000 more in salaries than it has given to Democratic candidates during the 2016 election cycle, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.
The Democrats Win Seats PAC, or DWS PAC, has a stated mission of directing “resources to help elect Democrats around the country.” However, records show the PAC has spent more on staff than helping campaigns.
Between Jan. 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, the PAC paid $153,453 to Lindsey Schulte, the committee’s highest-paid employee, according to a review of the DWS PAC’s finances.
Jason O’Malley, the second highest-paid employee at the PAC, collected $69,112 in salary and an additional $20,000 for “fundraising consulting fees.”
Meredith Swan made $37,463 and Anna Stolitzka made $3,164 since January 2015, bringing the PAC’s payroll to $283,282.
The DWS PAC contributed just $186,000 to the committees of Democratic politicians, with the largest donation of $15,000 going to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The PAC disbursed $97,282 less to candidates than it paid to the people running the committee.
The four individuals collecting paychecks from Wasserman Schultz’s leadership PAC were simultaneously being paid by her official campaign…
Army Officer Dealing With Terror Threats Denied Concealed Carry Permit In N.J. – Washington Times
The state of New Jersey told an Army officer dealing with terror threats at Picatinny Arsenal in Wharton that there is no “justifiable need” for him to have a concealed carry permit.
Lt. Col. Terry S. Russell, the product manager for the Army’s Individual Weapons and Small Arms program, requires a Top Secret Sensitive Compartmented Information clearance for his job. The base where he works was chosen as a terrorist “dry run” for a a Vehicle Borne Improved Explosive Device, and hackers have tried to obtain information on personnel.
Regardless, Oceanport Police Chief Daniel W. Barcus still denied the solider a permit, a decision ultimately backed last month by Superior Court Judge Joseph Oxley…
Oberlin Progressives Want Low Grades Thrown Out, Conversations Instead Of Written Exams – Truth Revolt
The list of demands from social justice college students around the country is growing daily. Most of them demand bully-proof safe spaces just to escape from any and all perceived oppression. Now, some at Oberlin College are asking for a bit more from administration: throw out all grades below ‘C’ and convert written exams to conversations.
With having to juggle protests, general activism, and avoiding contrary ideas written in chalk, these students are finding little time left to study and need someone to throw them a lifeline, and fast. What’s worse, as Reason points out, the stress, mental anguish, and living in a “toxic” atmosphere, is leading many students to drop out altogether.
The latest in desperate pleas on campus were discovered in a piece for The New Yorker that introduced several student activists at Oberlin who are asking the impossible.
One of them is Megan Bautista, a self-described “Afro-Latinx.” She expressed frustration at having to drive back and forth to attend the protests for cop shooting victim Tamir Rice forty minutes away and keep up school work back in 2014.
“A lot of us started suffering academically,” Bautista noted.
She had hoped that Oberline would see the needs of the Black Lives Matter movement and once again follow its previous grade modifications offered during the Vietnam War protests and the Kent State shooting in 1970. She signed her name along with over 1,300 other students to a petition asking for the elimination of average grades and below. However, the administration didn’t oblige…
Google Offices Raided In Paris As Prosecutors Announce Fraud Probe – The Guardian
French investigators have raided Google’s Paris headquarters, saying the company is now under investigation for aggravated financial fraud and organised money laundering.
In a major escalation of France’s long-running enquiry into Google’s tax affairs, magistrates revealed on Tuesday that the software giant is suspected of evading taxes by failing to declare the full extent of its activities in the country.
Prosecutors said they want to establish whether the Irish company through which Google funnels the majority of its European revenues does in fact control a “permanent establishment” in France…
‘An Abuse Of Power:’ IRS To Face Lawmakers After Thousands Seized From Small Business Owners – Daily Signal
For more than four years, Maryland dairy farmer Randy Sowers has been fighting the federal government, asking it to right what many say was a wrong.
In Feb. 2012, two federal agents told Sowers, who owns South Mountain Creamery in Frederick, Md. that the Internal Revenue Service was seizing more than $60,000 from his farm’s bank account under a subset of civil forfeiture laws governing cash transactions.
According to the IRS, Sowers had committed structuring violations. Structuring is the act of making consistent cash deposits or withdrawals of under $10,000 to avoid government reporting requirements.
But the dairy farmer didn’t know he was doing anything wrong, and because Sowers and his wife sold milk at local farmer’s markets – where customers paid primarily in cash – they frequently made cash deposits into the business’s bank account.
Sowers and his wife tried to fight to the government to get their money back, but ultimately decided to settle.
The IRS returned $33,436 to the Sowers and kept $29,500…
Milo Mayhem: Activists Storm Stage, Threaten Milo At DePaul Event – Breitbart
Milo Yiannopoulos’ event at DePaul University had to be cut short Tuesday night after protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer’s hand, and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos in the face.
Yiannopoulos attempted to continue the event, but protesters refused to leave the stage and the group of security guards (which DePaul forced both the organisers and Breitbart to pay for) refused to intervene.
The male ringleader continued to pace along the stage with his whistle, refusing to let Yiannopoulos speak for extended amounts of time, while the female ringleader forcibly snatched the microphone from the interviewer’s hand and shouted at Yiannopoulos just inches away from his face…
Kasich Joins Cruz, Rubio In Keeping Delegates As Campaign Leverage – Fox News
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has become the latest Donald Trump rival to take a clenched-fist approach to the delegates he won during the primary season, moving this week to keep those delegates as bargaining chips going into the party’s July nominating convention.
A former top aide to the Kasich presidential campaign confirmed to Fox News on Tuesday that he is instructing his delegates to stay bound to him through the convention.
Kasich joins Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in keeping delegates on lockdown despite suspending his presidential primary campaign weeks ago. Though Trump is expected to formally clinch the nomination during the final June 7 primaries, his ex-rivals are thought to be holding onto delegates as a means of leverage.
Kasich thinks that holding onto them will force or at least persuade Trump to run a more positive general election campaign and try harder to unify the party, a Kasich aide told The Washington Post, which first reported the story.
According to The Washington Post, Kasich on Monday told party officials that the 161 delegates he won in state primaries and caucuses should keep their allegiance to him through the Cleveland convention…
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sensationally claimed that one of the Brussels bombers was arrested for terror offences and deported back to Belgium last June.
Erdogan claimed that Turkish authorities informed Belgium that the arrested man – believed to Ibrahim El-Bakraoui – was “a foreign fighter” but investigators allowed him to walk free because they couldn’t establish terror links.
The news raises yet more questions about the embattled Belgian security forces’ ability to prevent acts of terror being plotted and carried out in jihadi hotbeds in the country.
Speaking this afternoon, Erdogan said that Belgian authorities released the suspect despite Turkish warnings that he was “a foreign fighter” who had been captured on the border with Syria.
Erdogan did not identify the individual but NTV television named him as Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the two men who blew themselves up at Brussels airport.
He added that Belgian authorities had failed to confirm the suspect’s links to terrorism “despite our warnings” following his deportation.
Erdogan went on to say Belgian consular authorities were formally notified of his deportation on July 14, 2015. He added that he was then released by the Belgian authorities.
“Despite our warnings that this person was a foreign terrorist fighter, the Belgian authorities could not identify a link to terrorism,” he said at a news conference alongside visiting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.
Erdogan said that the Netherlands were also implicated in the issue as the man had initially been deported to the Netherlands at his own request and the Dutch authorities informed.
He did not specify how he had been transferred from the Netherlands to Belgium where 31 people died in bomb attacks on Tuesday.
“I believe that we can work this out (the fight against terror) if world leaders form an alliance against terror. For that, we need to redefine global terror and terrorists,” Erdogan added.
Turkey has previously complained that Western countries did not heed warnings of the dangers posed by jihadists it had expelled back to Europe after arresting them on the Syrian border.
European officials have also urged Turkey to improve intelligence sharing and praised an increase in cooperation in recent months.
31 people were killed and 270 injured after a series of blasts in Zaventem airport, and an hour later a Metro station in Maalbeek.
One of the airport suicide bombers was named as Ibrahim El-Bakraoui, while his brother Khalid El-Brakraoui has been confirmed as the Metro attacker.
Both brothers were well known to police before the attacks, with Khalid even being hunted by Interpol.
But despite the international manhunt for the pair due to their links with last November’s Paris attacks, the pair appear to have been freely moving around Brussels.
There are also serious concerns over the ease with which Belgium-based jihadis have been able to escape despite huge manhunts.
Paris attacker Salah Abdesalem vanished during one police raid last before being captured.
And there appears to have been no trace of Najim Laachraoui since his suitcase nail failed to explode at Brussels airport yesterday morning.
The Islamic State group has trained at least 400 fighters to target Europe in deadly waves of attacks, deploying interlocking terror cells like the ones that struck Brussels and Paris with orders to choose the time, place and method for maximum chaos, officials have told The Associated Press.
The network of agile and semiautonomous cells shows the reach of the extremist group in Europe even as it loses ground in Syria and Iraq.
The officials, including European and Iraqi intelligence officials and a French lawmaker who follows the jihadi networks, described camps in Syria, Iraq and possibly the former Soviet bloc where attackers are trained to target the West. Before being killed in a police raid, the ringleader of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks claimed he had entered Europe in a multinational group of 90 fighters, who scattered “more or less everywhere.”
But the biggest break yet in the Paris attacks investigation – the arrest on Friday of fugitive Salah Abdeslam – did not thwart the multipronged attack just four days later on the Belgian capital’s airport and subway system that left 31 people dead and an estimated 270 wounded. Three suicide bombers also died.
Just as in Paris, Belgian authorities were searching for at least one fugitive in Tuesday’s attacks – this time for a man wearing a white jacket who was seen on airport security footage with the two suicide attackers. The fear is that the man, whose identity Belgian officials say is not known, will follow Abdeslam’s path.
After fleeing Paris immediately after the November attacks, Abdeslam forged a new network back in his childhood neighborhood of Molenbeek, long known as a haven for jihadis, and renewed plotting, according to Belgian officials.
“Not only did he drop out of sight, but he did so to organize another attack, with accomplices everywhere. With suicide belts. Two attacks organized just like in Paris. And his arrest, since they knew he was going to talk, it was a response: ‘So what if he was arrested? We’ll show you that it doesn’t change a thing,'” said French Senator Nathalie Goulet, co-head of a commission tracking jihadi networks.
Estimates range from 400 to 600 Islamic State fighters trained specifically for external attacks, according to the officials, including Goulet. Some 5,000 Europeans have gone to Syria.
“The reality is that if we knew exactly how many there were, it wouldn’t be happening,” she said.
More than four sources with access to tallies of fighters tasked with Europe attacks independently corroborated the numbers of fighters who trained for specific attacks in Europe, including some who have spoken to fighters directly. Others have cross checked information regarding fighters leaving or returning.
Two of the suicide bombers in Tuesday’s attacks, Belgian-born brothers Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui, were known to authorities as common criminals, not anti-Western radicals until an apartment one of them rented was traced to Abdeslam last week, according to Belgian state broadcaster RTBF. Similarly, an Algerian killed inside that apartment on March 15 had nothing but a petty theft record in Sweden – but he’d signed up as an Islamic State suicide bomber for the group in 2014 and returned to Europe as part of the Nov. 13 plot.
In claiming responsibility for Tuesday’s attack, the Islamic State group described a “secret cell of soldiers” dispatched to Brussels for the purpose. The shadowy cells were confirmed by the EU police agency, Europol, which said in a late January report that intelligence officials believed the group had “developed an external action command trained for special forces-style attacks.”
French speakers with links to North Africa, France and Belgium appear to be leading the units and are responsible for developing attack strategies in Europe, said a European security official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss briefing material. He is also familiar with interrogations of former fighters who have returned to Europe. Some were jailed after leaving IS while others were kicked out of the terror group, and they include Muslims and Muslim converts from all across Europe.
Fighters in the units are trained in battleground strategies, explosives, surveillance techniques and counter surveillance, the security official said.
“The difference is that in 2014, some of these IS fighters were only being given a couple weeks of training,” he said. “Now the strategy has changed. Special units have been set up. The training is longer. And the objective appears to no longer be killing as many people as possible but rather to have as many terror operations as possible, so the enemy is forced to spend more money or more in manpower.”
Similar methods had been developed by al-Qaida but IS has taken it to a new level, he said. Another difference is that fighters are being trained to be their own operators – not necessarily to be beholden to orders from the IS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, or elsewhere.
Several security officials have said there is growing evidence to suggest the bulk of the training is taking place in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa.
In the case of Tuesday’s attacks, Abdeslam’s arrest may have been a trigger for a plot that was already far along.
“To pull off an attack of this sophistication, you need training, planning, materials and a landscape,” said Shiraz Maher, a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at Kings College in London, which has one of the largest databases of fighters and their networks.
“Even if they worked flat out, the attackers in Brussels would have needed at least four days,” said Maher, who has conducted extensive interviews with foreign fighters.
The question for many intelligence and security officials is now turning to just how many more fighters have been trained and are ready for more attacks.
A senior Iraqi intelligence official who was not authorized to speak publicly said people from the cell that carried out the Paris attacks are scattered across Germany, Britain, Italy, Denmark and Sweden. Recently, a new group crossed in from Turkey, the official said.
On Wednesday, Turkish authorities said one of the Brussels suicide attackers, Ibrahim El Bakraoui, was caught last June near the Syrian border and deported to the Netherlands, with Ankara warning Dutch and Belgian officials that he was a “foreign terrorist fighter.” But he was released from Dutch custody due to lack of evidence of involvement in extremism.
Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens said Wednesday that authorities had no reason to detain El Bakraoui because he was “not known for terrorist acts but as a common law criminal who was on conditional release.”
The latest new name to surface this week, Najim Laachraoui, turned out to be the bombmaker who made the suicide vests used in the Paris attacks, according to French and Belgian officials. Attackers used an explosive known as Triacetone Triperoxide, or TATP, made from common household chemicals. DNA evidence indicates he died on Tuesday in the suicide attack on the airport, two officials briefed on the investigation told AP.
Fifteen kilos of TATP were found in an apartment linked to the Brussels attackers, along with other explosive material.
The unidentified man seen on security footage wearing a white jacket and black hat at the Brussels airport on Tuesday remains at large, a fugitive link in a chain still being forged.
The Brussels terrorists were preparing an attack on a nuclear power plant and had recorded 12 hours of reconnaissance footage, it has been reported.
The ISIS cell were spying on the Belgian’s nuclear power chief, possibly as part of a kidnap plan to force him to let them into an atomic facility, according to newspaper Derniere Heure.
Hours of film of the home of the Research and Development Director of the Belgian Nuclear Programme were discovered in an apartment in Brussels raided by anti-terrorist police following the attack in Paris.
The footage confounded investigators at first – as it showed the entrance to the director’s home in Flanders, an area outside the capital.
But detectives made the chilling deduction that the group was attempting to gain entry to an atomic facility after watching all 12 hours of footage, which included images of a local bus.
Armed troops were sent to defend French and Belgian nuclear facilities following the discovery and both countries nuclear programmes were put on the highest state of alert.
Reports of the plan first emerged as early as February and was at that time linked back to the cell responsible for the Paris attacks.
The footage was discovered ‘as part of seizures made following the Paris attacks,’ a Belgian prosecutor said, refusing to divulge the individual’s identity ‘for obvious security reasons’.
At the time, Belgium’s federal agency for nuclear control stressed the importance of not revealing the name of the person involved so as ‘not to endanger the enquiry or nuclear security’ or indeed the person involved and their family.
The images were captured by a camera hidden in nearby bushes and recovered by two suspects who left the area in a vehicle with the lights off, Derniere Heure reported.
However, reports in February did not publicly name Ibrahim and Khalid El Bakraoui – the brothers we now know are responsible for the Brussels bombings – as the creators of the footage.
The claims give further credence to the links now established, at least publicly, between the Paris and Brussels bombings.
The bombings in the Belgian capital on Tuesday which killed 31 people are now believed to have been carried out because the authorities were closing in on the fugitive members of the terror cell.
Leading lawmakers identified Belgium as a hotspot for terrorism months ago and are warning that many of the radicalized individuals living there are still able to travel to the United States without first obtaining a visa and undergoing thorough security checks.
Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the Washington Free Beacon Tuesday afternoon that current flaws in the U.S. visa waiver program – which facilities travel to the United States from partner nations including Belgium – have created a loophole that could permit radicalized individuals to legally enter the United States with minimal background checks.
DeSantis is warning of these flaws on the heels of deadly mass terrorist attack in Brussels on Tuesday that has killed at least 30 and wounded hundreds more.
“The visa waiver reform, this is something we have been perusing and the [Obama] administration has brushed us off at every turn,” DeSantis said, explaining that current policy does not mandate more strenuous checks on individuals identified as coming from terrorist hotspots, such as the small Belgian town of Molenbeek, which has emerged as a principal training site for jihadists.
“It’s the case that if those folks are citizens of Belgium they qualify for the visa waiver program and can hop on a plane and get here,” he added. “Clearly, that is not adequate given what happened.”
The Obama administration “even takes the position it’s safer to allow someone to come in on a visa waiver than make them get one, it’s kind of crazy,” DeSantis said. You’re not going to be able to have intelligence on everyone there because there are so many potential recruits. It’s a clear vulnerability.”
What is worse, DeSantis said, is that the Obama administration has been lax about deporting individuals who overstay their visas, meaning that a radicalized person could disappear in America as they plan a potential attack.
“There’s no enforcement once they get here,” DeSantis said. “Hundreds of thousands of people come over and then overstay” their visas. “You are not going to be removed under current policy under this administration.”
DeSantis and other lawmakers first labeled Belgium as a hotspot for ISIS terrorists in the aftermath of the 2015 attacks in Paris. At least five of the Paris attackers were French nationals, two of whom had been living in Belgium. Another one of the terrorists was a Belgian national.
Citizens from both countries are still able to freely travel to the United States under the visa waiver program, which facilitates travel between the American and a host of foreign countries.
“At least six of the Paris attackers could have attempted to enter the country under this program,” DeSantis said in December, during a congressional hearing on the visa waiver program’s flaws.
Molenbeek in particular “is a hellhole that is filled with Belgian national Islamic radicals who qualify to travel to the U.S. without a visa under the visa waiver program,” DeSantis warned during the hearing.
DeSantis said on Tuesday that following the attack in Paris, he realized that the United States is vulnerable from threats in Europe, in addition to those from Syria and other terror strongholds.
“The problem was not just people coming from Syria,” he explained. “There was a major vulnerability from places in Europe and this Molenbeeck neighborhood was one of the most egregious that I had seen.”
The Department of Homeland Security acknowledged on Tuesday that Belgium is still a part of the visa waiver program, and that policy has not shifted in the wake of the attack.
“Though we do not require Belgian citizens to have a visa to travel here for business or tourism purposes, both the Transportation Security Administration and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have procedures in place to identify and prevent travel here from Belgium by individuals of suspicion,” Jeh Johnson, DHS secretary, said in in a statement on Tuesday.
“All travelers arriving in the United States are vetted against the U.S. Terrorist Screening Database, regardless of whether they arrive with a visa or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization,” Johnson said. “We continually evaluate whether more screening is necessary, particularly in light of today’s attacks.”
Asked about these screening methods, DeSantis cast doubt on the United States’ ability to thoroughly vet these individuals, explaining that gaps in U.S. intelligence cannot account for the large number of radicalized Europeans.
A student at Columbia University has authored an editorial saying Belgians deserve to be blamed for Tuesday’s Islamic terrorist attack in Brussels because their society is a front of “Islamophobia.”
“Columbia’s vigils and memorial services allow us to mourn victims and condemn terrorism,” writes student Brian Min in the Columbia Daily Spectator. “Moving forward, however, they should condemn not only terrorism, but also the specific Islamophobic attitudes and policies that facilitated the recent attacks.”
Min, a freshman planning to study French as well as women, gender, and sexuality studies, argues that the Brussels attack and other terrorist attacks, are “usually not arbitrary events without any justification – they often are responses to institutionalized hate and oppression.”
“Belgium remains the only other country in the world besides France to have a national ban of full-face veils,” Min says. “Employers too often get away with discriminating against Muslim employees. It comes as no surprise that the municipality Molenbeek – the site of one of the explosions – has an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent where the majority of Muslim youths are denied equal access to the labor and housing market.”
Despite his remarks, Min claims he is not condoning terrorism, because “hate should never be used to fight against hate.”
Min then argues in favor of repurposing vigils and other mourning events for political purposes, saying they should be used to denounce specific policies he disagrees with.
“[I]t is not enough for vigils and memorial services to broadly condemn Islamophobia and other forms of hatred that helped breed terrorist attacks,” he says. “They should also verbally denounce the specific forms of Islamophobia and hatred in relation to targeted nations and their policies of institutionalized discrimination, such as Belgium’s ban on full-face veils. In order to fight against Islamophobia and hate crimes that dramatically increase after major tragedies like the Brussels attacks, we must localize the specific Islamophobic policies and attitudes that helped to facilitate such attacks.”
Despite Min’s argument, there’s ample reason to believe Belgium is not a strong center of Islamophobia. For instance, in 2013 a Belgian man was sent to jail for hate speech for tearing up a Quran near some Muslims, and the country’s hate speech legislation has been interpreted as generally restricting any rhetoric that is overly hurtful towards Muslims.
Teddy bears, tears, candles, cartoons, murals, mosaics, flowers, flags, projections, hashtags, balloons, wreaths, lights, vigils, scarves, and more. These are the best solutions the Western world seems to come up with every few months when we are slammed by another Islamist terrorist attack. We are our own sickness.
Since the world learned of the dozens dead, hundreds injured, and hundreds of thousands affected by Monday’s attack on the NATO and European Union capital, we have seen an outpouring of what is commonly known as “solidarity”.
This word – most commonly associated with hard-left politics, trades union activism, socialism, and poseur indie rock bands – has come to mean very little in reality. In effect, “standing in solidarity” with someone now means that you have observed the situation, changed your Facebook profile picture accordingly, and patted yourself on the back.
And if like dead bodies Facebook profile pictures lost heat, it would be accurate to say that the Tricolores that adorned the social media profiles of many had hardly become cold before we were all changing the colours of the bands on the flags. From blue to black. From white to yellow. The blood red remains.
Because nowadays, teddy bears are the new resolve. They symbolise everything we have become in response to our way of life being threatened, and our people being slaughtered on our streets: inanimate, squishy, and full of crap.
Our security services and our police, hamstrung by political correctness, are just as interested (or more?) in rounding up Twitter “hate speech” offenders than criminal, rapist, or terrorist migrants. Our borders are as porous as our brains. We refuse to realise that there are now literally millions of people amongst us who hate us. Who hate our way of life, and who will, one day, dominate our public life.
But of course, such statements are dismissed as fear-mongering, alarmist, or “out of touch with reality”. As if the data doesn’t exist, or the demographics aren’t shifting quickly enough to notice.
As if vast parts of our towns and cities haven’t become ghettos, or no-go zones, or hubs of child grooming activity, or terrorism.
As if mosques, schools, prisons, and universities aren’t used as recruiting grounds for radicals.
As if the blood of our countrymen hasn’t even been spilled at all.
Instead, we will now think deeply about how we can “reach out” to these populations. How we can “co-exist” and “be tolerant” of one another. As if toleration – which is actually the permittance of what is not actually approved or desired – is a healthy aspiration for a society.
It is as if we model our countries on the practice of bending over and “taking one for the team”, chastising those who fail to “tolerate” the most barbaric traditions of alien cultures. It is everything this cartoon – obviously branded “racist” – suggests.
“But come on, Raheem, not all immigrants, or Muslims, are criminals, or rapists… you’re not!”
Yeah – and look at me. Excoriated daily by Islamists on Twitter. Why? Because I’ve integrated and I love my country. Because I refuse to believe that an Islamic caliphate is the best thing for Britain, or anywhere, quite frankly. Where is my white (or brown) knight? Where are the voices of the moderate Muslim world defending me?
Not that I need protection, or defence, but some people aren’t as hard headed or resolved as I am.
Thusly, the albeit minority evil amongst British Muslims is thriving because good Muslims are doing nothing. At some point, we have to question why. I’m not sure most people are ready for the answers to that one.
So continue to sit there with your head in your hands. Mourning only to make yourself feel better. Missing people you never knew. Exclaiming, as the most immature of minds does: “Why can’t we all just get along?”
Expressing sympathy is no bad thing. But to be truly sympathetic towards someone under attack, one must be chivalrous, gallant, and unafraid.
Watching someone getting raped, and tweeting your solidarity with them is not enough. Human nature and goodness calls upon us to intervene. To assist. To free someone from their torture, and to save them from their demise.
It is not enough to scrawl “no fear” on a post it note, and stick it onto some £3 flowers.
We must be fearless in electing leaders who we feel will best keep us safe. It is one of the few areas of our lives in which we should be able to feel comfortable. We pay our taxes, you keep us safe.
If not, then we must arm ourselves. If our governments refuse to protect us, or even begin to use the tools with which we empower them against us: surveillance, counter-terror laws, detention, then we will need to take the law back into our own hands. We cannot be afraid of doing so. It is where our societies all sprung from.
The defence of ourselves as individuals. The defence of our families, our properties, our means of production, our communities, and our neighbours.
It is why arms sales to individuals has shot up since the migrant crisis in Europe. Many Germans are losing their faith in their elected leaders to protect them. The same applies in Sweden, and in Austria. Some people refuse to take being wiped out laying down. How quaint.
It is also time to start to make serious, wide-reaching demands of our politicians on the subject of immigration and Islamism.
When U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump said what he said about a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, the tolerance lobby went into overdrive: full condemnations across the board from politicians – including presidents and prime ministers, across the media sphere, and you will recall the House of Commons debating a petition to ban the man from the country.
Now even the most politically correct of Hollywood luvvies is asking: is he really that wrong on this?
Because Mr. Trump has thought in a cycle longer than his potential presidency: what does the Western world look like in 20, 30, 50 years? What kind of societies do we leave to our children?
Do we leave cities with soldiers on patrol. With “peace” signs scrawled onto bomb-struck buildings? Or do we leave them safe places, with real promise for the future. Like our parents, or at least our parents’ parents, left us.
In order to confront this question, we have to get to the root cause of the problem. There is too much immigration, or at least, not enough hand-picked immigration, into the Western world today.
People of my age had no choice that our post-war leaders felt the heavy hand of post-colonial guilt on their shoulders, and decided to open up our countries, and flood us with “diversity”.
But we do have a choice to not make the same mistakes again. And we have a duty to correct the ones that were made.
And yes, that does mean exactly what you think it means. It means ending mass migration. It means smashing apart ghettos and no go zones. It means repealing laws that allow for Sharia councils. It means asserting what it means to be British, or European, or American, without fearing a backlash from the political left, or the media classes who scarcely see a face my colour let alone darker.
Let them riot. Let them cry.
I would far rather be subjected to ceaseless “direct action” by the scourges of my own society than import others.
At least if my fellow countrymen are deplorable, I won’t get called a racist for pointing it out.
So put down the teddy bears, burst the balloons, and let’s start demanding again that our countries are safe and civilised. And if we can’t find people who’ll make that happen for us… let’s do it ourselves.
A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.
The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Department lawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith – compounding the initial targeting – by fighting the disclosure.
“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws – all of them, not just selective ones – in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in a unanimous opinion for a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “We expect that the IRS will do better going forward.”
Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.
The case stems from the IRS‘ decision in 2010 to begin subjecting tea party and conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.
An inspector general found several hundred groups were asked inappropriate questions about their members’ activities, their fundraising and their political leanings.
The IRS has since apologized for its behavior, but insisted the targeting was a mistake born of overzealous employees confused by the law rather than a politically motivated attempt to stifle conservatives.
Tea party groups have been trying for years to get a full list of nonprofit groups that were targeted by the IRS, but the IRS had refused, saying that even the names of those who applied or were approved are considered secret taxpayer information. The IRS said section 6103 of the tax code prevented it from releasing that information.
Judge Kethledge, however, said that turned the law on its head.
“Section 6103 was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers,” he wrote.
Edward Greim, a lawyer at Graves Garrett who is representing NorCal Patriots, said they should be able to get a better idea of the IRS‘ decision-making once they see the list of groups that was targeted.
“What we’ll be able to see is how, starting in the spring of 2010, with the first one or two groups the IRS targeted, we’ll be able to see that number grow, and we’ll even be able to see at the tail end their possible covering up that conduct,” he said.
He said they suspect the IRS, aware that the inspector general was looking into the tax agency’s behavior, began adding in other groups to try to muddle the perception that only conservatives were being targeted.
Tuesday’s ruling is the second victory this year for NorCal Patriots.
In January U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott certified their case as a class-action lawsuit, signaling that she agreed with NorCal Patriots that the IRS did systematically target hundreds of groups for special scrutiny.
Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. But until the IRS complies with the appeals court’s ruling this week, the list of those groups is secret.
Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.
The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations.
The Justice Department has concluded its own criminal investigation into the IRS and said the targeting was the result of bad management. But investigators said they found no criminal behavior, and specifically cleared former IRS head Lois G. Lerner, saying her fellow employees said she tried to correct the problems when she learned of them.
Republicans dismissed that investigation as a whitewash by the Obama administration.
Unfortunately for the establishment, the ongoing acts of sponsoreds civil disobedience are not creating the groundswell of anti-Trump terror they had hoped would bring down the anti-establishmentarian. In fact things have gone so far that even Arizona cops questioned their safety among Soros’ puppet-protesters. As African-American police officer Brandon Tatum exclaims, the profane-language-using demonstrators “were the most hateful, evil people he has ever seen.”
As EndingTheFed.com reports, Brandon Tatum, an officer in the Tucson Police Department, shared a video Saturday night giving his perspective on Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tucson, Arizona – and the disruptive protesters who hurled obscenities at the Republican candidate.
As he explains, Tatum says that as a black man, he did not feel unsafe around Trump’s supporters but was ready to fight protesters in self-defense. He calls them the most hateful, evil people he has ever seen. The demonstrators, who he recalls chanting the phrase “Black lives matter,” used profane language and gestures, leading a mother to cover her child’s ears.
One protester, he recounts, got beat up, but Tatum says that the man instigated a fight either by spitting on or assaulting a rally attendee. He hopes that his message makes it into the news so that typical CNN coverage of just the retaliation against the agitator doesn’t become the prevailing narrative about the rally.
As for Trump himself, Tatum says he went to the rally to decide for himself what he thought of the candidate rather than trusting someone else’s word. He states that he gained respect for the businessman and didn’t hear anything bigoted from his stump speech. “His character’s a lot different than what you would perceive it to be in the media,” he says.
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Once more the tried and tested efforts of the ‘management’ to disrupt the democratic process in favor of their wealth-maintaining status quo is suffering unintended consequences are everywhere amid the blowback from these organized protests.