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7 Questions for Secret Service Director Julia Pierson After White House Intrusion

 

 

ABCNews: On the heels of the Washington Post’s revelation that the armed man who scaled the White House fence earlier this month not only entered the executive mansion but bolted past a guard and into the East Room, the Secret Service has come under fire once again.

According to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, President Obama was “obviously concerned” about the September 19 perimeter breach – and in a rare moment of accord, the Republican-controlled House share his concern.

Today, members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will grill Secret Service Director Julia Pierson about the agency’s repeated lapses. Here’s seven questions lawmakers are likely to ask:

1. Why the lack of transparency?

Yesterday’s revelations don’t exactly square with the agency’s original explanation, which seemed to imply that the 42-year-old fence jumper, Omar Gonzalez, had been apprehended just inside the entrance.

The day after the incident, the Secret Service released a statement saying simply, “Gonzalez failed to comply with responding Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers’ verbal commands, and was physically apprehended after entering the White House North Portico doors.”

2. Didn’t Gonzalez’s erratic history raise a red flag?

Secret Service investigators interviewed Gonzalez, an Iraq vet, at least twice before he stormed into the White House on September 19.

Two months before the incident, authorities in Virginia discovered a sawed-off shotgun and a map marking the White House stashed in Gonzalez’s car. They confiscated the weapons but concluded he wasn’t a threat to the president. And about a month later, officers spotted Gonzales wandering along the south fence with a hatchet in his waistband. They determined they didn’t have enough evidence to hold him.

Gonzalez’s motives aren’t clear: Though he had armed himself with 3 ½ inch knife, he claims his only intent was to warn the president that the “atmosphere was collapsing.” Still, the fact that a man repeatedly flagged by Secret Service managed to make it so far into what was once considered most secure residence in the nation is troubling.

3. Why didn’t agents fire?

The Secret Service Uniformed Division supposedly maintains “five rings” of protection to create a secure perimeter around the executive mansion. But it was a counterassault agent patrolling the interior – an agent who was never supposed to come face-to-face with a would-be fence jumper – who eventually subdued Gonzalez.

The first apparent failure came at the North Gate, where a plainclothes surveillance team posted outside the gate failed to notice Gonzalez clambering over the eight-foot fence.

Then, in quick succession, a guard booth officer, SWAT team, and K-9 unit all failed to respond.

According to the Associated Press, agents decided to hold their fire when they (incorrectly) assessed that Gonzalez wasn’t carrying weapons, nor was he wearing clothing that could easily conceal explosives.

They allowed Gonzales to dart into the White House, which had been vacated by the first family just minutes before.

4. Why didn’t they release the dogs?

The K-9 unit, a team of Belgian Malinois dogs trained to attack intruders, was also not deployed.

Sources say officers were afraid the dogs would attack the officers pursuing Gonzalez instead of the intruder himself.

5. Why wasn’t the door secured?

Gonzales didn’t have to force the front door or pick the lock. It wasn’t locked.

Secret Service agents generally wait for notice of an intruder to lock the front door – but the officer guarding the entrance on September 19 wasn’t aware of a fence jumper until he was almost upon her.

Gonzales dashed past her and ran past the entrance to the first family’s private quarters and into the ceremonial East Room on the first floor.

6. Why is the Secret Service taking direction from hospitality staff?

According to the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig, someone had apparently muted a “crash box” alarm designed to alert officers of intruders – at the behest of the usher’s office.

Apparently, the alarm frequently went off without provocation, disturbing the staff. Even so, some lawmakers are chiding the agency for disabling the crash box “to appease superficial concerns of White House ushers.”

7. How did the President actually react?

In public, President Obama appeared calm, saying that the Secret Service “does a great job.” But previous security breaches have reportedly left the president and first lady fuming.          By Erin Dooley

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Obama admits ISIS threat was misjudged as U.S. splits emerge

 

Time: Washington (CNN) — A week after U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria began, lawmakers continued to question President Barack Obama’s strategy for defeating the militant group ISIS, which he admitted in a televised interview Sunday was more powerful than the U.S. initially believed.

Echoing sentiments also expressed by James Clapper, the head of U.S. intelligence services, Obama said the government “underestimated what had been taking place in Syria” during its civil war, allowing Syria to become “ground zero for jihadists around the world.”

Speaking in a taped interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes,” Obama said the terrorists were remnants of al Qaeda in Iraq, which after being diminished by U.S. forces “went back underground.”

“Over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said, adding later the U.S. also overrated Iraq’s security forces, which were quickly overrun by ISIS when it took over the northern city of Mosul this summer.

The President stressed that the issue in Iraq is not simply a military problem; it’s a political one.

“This is America leading the international community to assist a country with whom we have a security partnership with, to make sure that they are able to take care of their business,” he told “60 Minutes.”

The President added: “If we do our job right and the Iraqis fight, then over time our role can slow down and taper off.”

Obama spent much of last week rallying international support for his mission against ISIS at the United Nations, telling leaders there the fighters represent a “network of death” that must be defeated.

An air campaign, which began last week and included coalition support from five Arab nations, continued over the weekend with strikes on the northern Syrian city of Ayn al-Arab, where Kurdish forces have been battling ISIS.

The mission is meant to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, Obama says. The White House has remained adamant there won’t be any U.S. combat forces deployed in Iraq or Syria, though military “advisers” have been sent to Iraq in the hopes of fortifying local security forces.

The President warned the campaign probably won’t conclude any time soon.

“There is a cancer that has grown for too long that suggests that it is acceptable to kill innocent people who worship a different God.

“And that kind of extremism, unfortunately, means that we’re going to see for some time the possibility that in a whole bunch of different countries, radical groups may spring up — particularly in countries that are still relatively fragile, where you had sectarian tensions, where you don’t have a strong state security apparatus.

“And that’s why what we have to do is, rather than play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops wherever this occurs, we have to build strong partnerships,” Obama told “60 Minutes.”

Aides to Obama have been careful to underscore that the military operation in the Middle East won’t resemble the wars of the past decade, which left many Americans skeptical of intervention abroad.

“We’re doing this in a very different way than in the past,” Tony Blinken, a deputy national security adviser, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” with Candy Crowley.

“We’re not sending in hundreds of thousands of American troops,” Blinken continued. “We’re not spending trillions of American dollars. What we are doing is empowering local actors with some of the huge assets we can bring to this, like our airpower, intelligence, training and equipping, advising and assisting.”

The “no boots on the ground” mantra was questioned Sunday by House Speaker John Boehner, who said if local forces aren’t trained to battle ISIS quickly enough, U.S. troops would be required.

“Maybe we can get enough of these forces trained and get ‘em on the battlefield. But somebody’s boots have to be there,” the Republican leader said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Boehner added later that if Obama advanced a new resolution authorizing the military action in Syria, he would be willing to call lawmakers back from the campaign trail to vote on it.

Obama claims he doesn’t need Congress’ permission for the air campaign under way in Iraq and Syria, citing the 2001 authorization to go after al Qaeda. He has said he would “welcome” Congress showing its support for the mission.

Sen. Chris Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut, said Sunday an authorization vote would allow lawmakers — and by turn the American public — to hear more about long-term plans in Syria.

“I think the reason that we need to have the debate is so that we can get a better explanation as to what the endgame is in Syria,” Murphy, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, said on “State of the Union.”

“In the end, that’s the check on a war without end: a Congress speaking for the American people who can put an end date on an authorization for military force or put a limitation, so that you can’t use ground troops,” he said. By Kevin Liptak, CNN White House Producer

By Lorra B. Chief Writer Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Political Correctness–Treading On My Rights to Get Yours?

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September 26, 2014

Whether you consider yourself politically far to the Right, far to the Left, or somewhere in between, Political Correctness has probably had some type of effect on you.

“The cliché term Political Correctness or ‘PC’ usually refers to upholding a social taboo against language and attitudes that might be considered offensive and/or stupid,” according to RationalWiKi.

Wikipedia defines “Political correctness…[as] the attitude or policy of being excessively careful not to offend or upset any group of people in society who are believed to have disadvantages.”

How did this liberal degrading of our freedom of speech begin in which the words we speak or the actions we take can be deemed politically incorrect? Not surprisingly, this political trend can be pin-pointed to the 1960’s and in American Universities.

It began, innocently enough some would say, when feminists took great notice of the inequality when gender neutral pronouns where being used, such as him, he or his. It was at this point that emphasis was stressed in the importance of using politically correct terminology such as he, she or them.

The argument for this revelation was “that no one would be able to understand that the masculine gender included the feminine gender in neutral contexts,” according to Conservapidia.

imageedit_5_8690305944It was at Universities all across America that PC sprung up with undeniable speed and liberals began to push this new ideology down the throats of every citizen. Political correctness was used by liberals to prevent acknowledgment of gender, sexual orientation, nationality, and religious differences.

What, then, did this new world of political correctness mean to Americans? It meant that freedom of speech rights would start to look a little different, a little stifled. It meant that Americans would have to alter the way they chose to speak in order that no one would be offended. It meant that “groups which (or whose putative leaders or other activists) claim some status a systemically oppressed of discriminated against will periodically attempt to change the terms by which they are referred to and demand that society as a whole change its usage of words as well,” according to Conservapidia.

The Constitution recognizes that freedom of speech, the First Amendment, is one of Americans most fundamental rights and is the foundational stone of our freedom.

But something has happened to our First Amendment rights since the 1960’s and they look much different today then they did then.

“Most people use the term political correctness to describe different things—but in the end it does not matter what the issues are—because all political correctness is designed to control the actions and behaviors of others,” stated nbcnews.com.

In our new world citizens are asked to do things such as to remove the American Flag from their work stations, lockers and their school children. Soldiers are asked not too wear their uniforms to schools. God is being taken out of most everything, including holidays. Many common words are no longer acceptable and the list goes on and on and on. How, then, are First Amendment rights being honored? In the name of PC, topics, symbols, expressions and ideas have been deemed off-limits for Americans.

There are vast miles between the idea of not wishing to offend another to the destination we have arrived, thus causing conflict, intimidation, censorship, and a restriction to our fundamental freedoms which is spreading through our society like wildfire. 

These are only a few examples of PC in our country. Most citizens might agree that they seem extreme. Most might even go so far as to admit they can see where freedom of expressional rights had been violated. Yet, this is the road America is driving down.

There are those who believe PC is a good and a just thing because, after all, who wouldn’t want to make the world a better place, a kinder place? Who wouldn’t want to knock out phrases constructed to hurt people or put a stop to racial hatred completely? In theory this is a great idea.

For Pro-PC citizens, banishing things that can be interpreted as Politically Incorrect is viewed as a blessing necessity.

By banning offensive speech, wearing particular items of clothing, writing in a way as not to offend, or a plethora of other activities in the name of political correctness, you tread on the rights of other citizens and threaten the very ideal of what this great nation was founded on. Those who scream for their rights to PC step all over the rights of others who scream for their First Amendment rights. How is this justice exactly?

imageedit_8_2557589951“In this day and age those willing to make the biggest fuss, the PC vigilantes or PC Police, so to speak, seek to set the agenda for what constitutes offensive or unacceptable speech…But this violates the principles of freedom of speech and freedom of expression,” stated The Pendulum: Political Correctness Has Gone too Far.

For example: Some holidays have been robbed of their former glory. Jesus, who is the whole reason Christians celebrate Christmas, has been all but eliminated in the name of PC as not to offend those who don’t believe in Him. Easter Eggs (though not the reason for Easter, but that’s a whole other topic) are no longer what some kids are allowed to bring to school. They bring Easter Spheres instead. Halloween has been banned in many school districts claiming it to be an overly religious holiday. Let’s not forget Frosty the Snowman. He is now called a Snowperson.

“Other than just robbing us of our cardinal civil liberties, the over-the-top PC movement has further, unintended ramifications that are lost on all of those who further push its absurd agenda,” The Pendulum went on to say. “Not only does political correctness wrongly censor personal opinions, but it does nothing to address any underlying problems driving statements and actions in question. Often times it just breeds increased resentment or relegates the topic to non-discussion—that is not progress.”

What if you were fired or forced to resign because of your opinions or because of the causes you supported? If you think that’s only something that could happen in, say, Hitler’s time, think again because it’s happening today and all in the name of PC.

For example: 

  • Mozilla CEO and co-founder, Brendan Eich was forced to resign because he donated to a campaign to ban gay marriage in California. It is his right, whether you agree with him or not, to donate his money where he chooses, right? 
  • NPR fired Juan Williams for admitting he was concerned when he saw Muslims on an airplane even though he cautioned not to brand Muslims as terrorists. Where are his rights protected to express himself freely? 
  • NBA’s Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5million for his racist comments. Where the comments awful and offensive? Most would agree that, yes. Not the point.

We are not talking about whether a person used unbelievably bad judgment or even if the comments were in bad taste. What we are talking about is the slow and meticulous death of the foundations this country was built on.

“The obsession of the morally superior, sensitive, and conspicuously compassionate elite with the subjective feelings of people is part of today’s prevailing therapeutic vision of man,” writes Rebirth of Reason.

“This infatuation with sensitivity has spread throughout the media and academia, leading to the creation of feel-good euphemisms which part with accuracy and unambiguity in the interest of feeling and sympathy.

“Unfortunately, these ‘linguistic smile buttons’ simply camouflage reality rather than change it.”

The mind can not be forced into submission simply because it is deemed politically correct to do so. How does changing the language we use erase a history of belief systems or the cruelty of eons of bad behavior? Will policing our behavior, our language, our self expression keep hate or any other ignorant forms of prejudice from rearing its ugly head in future generations?

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Because the facts are presented to us in pretty packages with pink bows does not mean that what’s inside of it isn’t ugly.

Understanding can only come through open dialogue. You cannot change someone’s mind by censoring thoughts or words.

“When the policing of this thought crime occurs, minds are not being changed—but hearts are being hardened,” Elon University’s Student News Organization. 

 

By, Lorra B. Chief Writer Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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50 Years Ago, Doctors Called Domestic Violence ‘Therapy’

 

imageedit_2_2960416607Time: In light of recent news about domestic violence, looking back at a 1964 study that extols its benefits

In the last month, issues of domestic violence in the news have spurred discussion about why women stay in abusive relationships. The Twitter campaign #WhyIStayed allowed victims to share their rationales: some felt too scared to leave, some had grown up with domestic abuse and others always thought that their partners would finally change.

Though the NFL’s handling of domestic violence scandals suggests that our society still has a long way to go when it comes to understanding domestic abuse, we’ve made a lot of progress since 50 years ago when doctors thought “wife beating” was therapeutic. An article in the issue of TIME dated 50 years ago today — Sept. 25, 1964 — highlights a mind-boggling study that concludes couples stay in abusive relationships because their fighting can “balance out each other’s mental quirks.”

Yep, seriously. “Mental quirks.”

The study, which was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, looked at 37 cases of assault between couples in Massachusetts courts and found a common trend: “though reasonably hard-working and outwardly respectable, [the husbands] were in reality ‘shy, sexually, ineffectual mother’s boys.’ The wives also fitted a pattern—’aggressive, efficient, masculine and sexually frigid.’”

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that 1960s scientists subscribed to such rigid gender norms wherein shy men were “mama’s boys” and bold women were “frigid.” But the science behind alcohol causing a role reversal in every couple, which was another element of the study, is questionable at best: “Usually the wife was boss, and her weak-willed husband was content to play the subservient role — until he had a few drinks. Then ‘role alternation’ would take place, and the husband would insist belligerently upon his conjugal rights.” (By “insisting on conjugal rights” the writer does probably mean rape.)

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What’s most shocking is that doctors believed that a man beating his wife under these circumstances was actually a good thing. They called it “violent, temporary therapy”:

‘The periods of violent behavior by the husband,’ the doctors observed, ‘served to release him momentarily from his anxiety about his ineffectiveness as a man, while giving his wife apparent masochistic gratification and helping probably to deal with the guilt arising from the intense hostility expressed in her controlling, castrating behavior.’

The idea that women ought to feel guilty for being more assertive than their husband is tantamount, of course, to victim blaming. But the study also overly simplifies the assailant-victim relationship to a temper tantrum. We now know that physical violence is only one part of domestic abuse: abusers often use other means like isolation, threats to family members and pets, controlling of personal finances and psychological abuse to hurt their victims. Domestic violence is not a way to sort out issues: it’s a systematic and calculated means for perpetrators to control their victims.

And, of course, it’s very possible we’ll yet learn more about the causes of such violence. Though the science of the ’60s can be cringe-worthy, articles like these are also a reminder that studies can be the product of their times, used to justify the cultural norms: perhaps in 50 years some of our psychological research will seem backwards too. By, Eliana Dockterman

 

Read the article here, in TIME’s archives: The Wife Beater & His Wife

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Transgender, Formerly Army Private Bradley Manning, Files Lawsuit Against U.S. Government

imageedit_2_4927925840September 23, 2014

Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Army private Bradley Manning, is back in the news from her prison cell stating that the military is just giving her “lip service” and not addressing the gender-reassignment treatment she asked for last year.

In August of 2013 Manning was found guilty of 20 charges that ranged from espionage to theft. For the disclosing of hundreds of thousands of classified documents Manning received 35 years imprisonment at Fort Leavensworth.

“I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” Manning stated. “Given the way that I feel, and felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transaction.” It has been a year since she made those statements. 

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On Tuesday, Manning stated that the military has failed to provide her with the medical treatment for the condition she has been diagnosed with, Gender Dysphoria.

“Gender identity disorder (GID), also known as gender dysphoria, is the formal diagnosis used by psychologists and physicians to describe persons who experience significant dysphoria (discontent) with the sex they were assigned at birth and/or the gender roles associated with that sex,” according to Wikipedia.

Manning was diagnosed with GID in 2010. According to the suit, the American Civil Liberties Union states that it was the Army medical personnel who diagnosed her.

Because of the pending litigation, Army Lt. Col. Alayne Conway, a spokeswoman from the Pentagon, stated that she could not comment of the situation.

Filed in U.S. District Court, the lawsuit points out that Manning is a high risk of ‘self-castration.’ The suit also indicates that if she does not receive the proper treatment for her gender dysphoria she is at a high risk for suicide as well.

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ACLU attorney Chase Strangio stated, “Such clear disregard of well-established medical protocols constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.”

Grooming principles are also at the heart of the lawsuit. Manning is seeking the right to groom herself according to female standards, including the length of her hair and her attire. She would like to use cosmetics and receive hormone treatments “in order to express her female gender,” the suit explains.

Manning’s lawyers stated that she “will suffer continued pain, depression and anxiety…,” all of which can to lead to suicidal inclinations.

Excited that she had been granted the rights to be formally know as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, she said, “I’ve been working for months for this change, and waiting for years.”

“I requested that the military provide me with a treatment plan consistent with the recognized professional standards of care for trans [gender] health. They quickly evaluated me and informed me that they came up with a proposed treatment plan.

“However, I have not yet seen their treatment plan, and in over eight months, I have not received any response as to whether the plan will be approved or disapproved, or whether it follows the guidelines of qualified health professionals,” Manning said.

The truth is, having never dealt with this type of situation, that the Army has struggled with just how to handle Manning’s situation. Federal prisons have the ability to handle cases of transgender inmates. Military prisons, on the other hand, do not. Technically, a person who is transgender would not even be able to serve in the military.

Manning, according to the Army, is still considered a male and she will continue to be held with male inmates.

Read Chelsea Manning’s ‘The Fog Machine of War.’

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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When A Soldier Cries

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September 23, 2014

When A Soldier Cries

A tattered picture, nearly faded to white
Faces of the ones for whom a soldier fights
In the empty silence of a world so far away
On the rocky ground, the only place to lay

A father dreams of home, family, and friends
In war, there is no guarantee he will see them again
Thunder roars with fury, lightning burns the darkened skies
The mighty angels shed a tear, when a soldier cries

She walks across the street, a young child stands alone
Memories haunt her dreams of the daughters she left at home
She tries to smile, show happiness through the tears
Although she wants to help, the child retreats in fear

At night she dreams of home, bedtime hugs and kisses
She prays to one day have again, everything she misses
She can still see their faces as they spoke their last goodbyes
Nothing can soothe a heart, when a soldier cries

In the pouring rain he stands guard, rifle in hand
Just two years out of high school, his parents don’t understand
He wanted something greater than just video games and fun
He dedicated his life to become more than just an ordinary son

A young man dreams of home and wishes upon a distant star
The letters are few and far between, only time can heal a wounded heart
In the gathering shadows, just beyond where the unseen lies
Those who have gone before, bow their heads when a soldier cries

The growl of crunching metal, searing heat and flames surround
Voices of the wounded, silent screams that have no sound
She left college early and signed up to answer the call
Now lying in the wreckage, she wonders if it’s time to give it all

The young woman dreams of home, but she doesn’t surrender to the fear
She knows if they’re alive, they will come back and find her here
Chaos and confusion, in a place where hope and fate collide
She fights for every breath, there’s no shame when a soldier cries

They stand in single file, one hand raised to touch their brow
Men and women, young and old, bound together by a sacred vow
Silently they watch as each car drives slowly past
A beautiful flag covers every casket, heroes returning home at last

Mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, bravery at its best
Defined by the unselfish act of sacrifice, courage passed the ultimate test
With a will stronger than iron, nerves of steel and no compromise
There’s nothing to give but respect and honor…when a soldier cries

 

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When a Soldier Cries
Copyright 2013 Chris Martin

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us 

 

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Secret Service to beef up presence after two White House security incidents

imageedit_6_8135381046WASHINGTON (CNN) — The U.S. Secret Service is planning to boost its presence and its surveillance measures around the White House on Monday after an Iraq war veteran, who is apparently suffering from PTSD, jumped over a White House fence.

Officers patrolling the area will be out in greater numbers and will be “looking for individuals who don’t look like tourists,” a federal law enforcement officer told CNN.

Two security incidents in two days have raised concerns about the safety at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

On Friday, Omar Gonzalez hopped the north fence and sprinted just past the north portico White House doors when he was stopped, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said.

Gonzalez carried a Spyderco VG-10 folding knife with a 3-and-a-half inch serrated blade in his pants pocket, according to an affidavit.

A Secret Service officer said he yelled at the intruder to stop. Gonzalez told a Secret Service agent “that he was concerned that the atmosphere was collapsing and needed to get the information to the President of the United States so that he could get the word out to the people,” according to the affidavit.

President Barack Obama and his family were not at home at the time.

Deteriorating mental state

Gonzalez’s former stepson told CNN’s Mary Grace Lucas that Gonzalez is an Iraq war veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Gonzalez did three tours in Iraq and is a “great, great guy,” his ex-stepson Jerry S. Murphy said. He said the knife that was found in Gonzalez’s pocket was a weapon the veteran routinely carried.

Murphy said Gonzalez’s eight-year marriage to Murphy’s mother ended two years ago — information that marriage records supports.

He said he last spoke to Gonzalez around the time of the split but knows that Gonzalez was seeing a therapist on base at Fort Hood in Texas. Murphy said his former stepfather was diagnosed with PTSD and paranoia, and his base psychiatrist had prescribed medication for both conditions.

Murphy views Gonzalez as a “hero” who took great pride in serving his country.

But after each deployment, Gonzalez’s mental state seemed to deteriorate, Murphy said.

Gonzalez is accused of unlawfully entering a restricted building or grounds while carrying a deadly or dangerous weapon, officials said. He is set to appear in court Monday.

Minutes before Gonzalez jumped the fence, the President and his daughters left the South Lawn by helicopter. It is not clear where First Lady Michelle Obama was, but officials tell CNN that the family was staying at Camp David, Maryland, for the weekend.

Another security incident

In the second security incident over the weekend, Kevin Carr is accused of driving up to a security barrier Saturday and trying to walk to and enter the White House.

Carr, of Shamong, New Jersey, was arrested and charged with unlawful entry, Leary told CNN. Records show Carr was born in 1995, making him about 19 years old.

According to Leary, the incident happened at the entrance at 15th and E streets, where the driver did not stop when the Secret Service ordered him to do so.

The man’s car did not hit the barriers at the entrance, and the driver got out of his vehicle. Carr was arrested after he refused to leave, Leary said.

The Obamas were not at home at the time of the second incident either.

Criticism of White House security

The Secret Service said Gonzalez should have been stopped faster and are investigating personnel and reviewing security policies and procedures.

Rep. Peter King, R-New York, demanded a full investigation and called for a congressional hearing to ensure that changes are made.

“There can be a lot of conspiracies against a President. A lot of very complex assassination plots,” King said on Fox News. “This is the most basic, the most simple type of procedure and how anyone, especially in these days of ISIS, and we’re concerned about terrorist attacks, someone could actually get into the White House without being stopped is inexcusable.”

In a statement from White House on Saturday night, spokesman Frank Benenati said the President expressed his support for the Secret Service.

“The President has full confidence in the Secret Service and is grateful to the men and women who day in and day out protect himself, his family and the White House,” the statement read.

“The Secret Service is in the process of conducting a thorough review of the event on Friday evening, and we are certain it will be done with the same professionalism and commitment to duty that we and the American people expect from the USSS.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta, Cassie Spodak, Erin McPike and Evan Perez reported from Washington. Holly Yan and Ashley Fantz reported and wrote from Atlanta.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http:SilentSoldier.us

 

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2016 – What the next US President should do

 

 

imageedit_2_6043179251September 20, 2014

Don’t Tread On Me: Vernon Pope: Tell us what YOU think; do you agree or disagree and why? Many thoughts you will agree with and some you won’t. We would truly like you to speak your mind and let the chips fall where they may! Thank you!

Ok, since the mainstream press is already salivating over the next presidential election cycle (never mind that we haven’t had this year’s mid-term elections yet!) – I’m going to put forward the platform I would support, endorse, or at least like to see some candidate use.  This is a living document, subject to periodic reviews by me, and updated as I feel it is needed.

Islam -

I have many posts on my blog about the nature of Islam and what Muslims believe and are willing to do.  I don’t want to belabor that point here, but suffice it to say that if all of humanity is a single living organism, it is my belief that Islam behaves like a cancer cell in that organism.  We’d be foolish to not address it in the same way medicine would address a cancer.

If I were to suddenly find myself filling Obama’s shoes, I would use an Executive Order to put Islam and all parasitic support organizations (Nation of Islam, Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, Hamas . . .) on the list of officially recognized terrorist groups, and order all Islamists expelled from the country – as a start. Freeze, no confiscate, all their assets in this country, and divert the cash to compensation funds for the relatives & survivors of the acts of terror they have committed against the US.  Sell all real estate holdings and add those proceeds to the compensation funds as well. Back Israel in securing it’s borders and providing for their defense. Help all our North American and European allies to move towards implementing the same rules towards Muslims that Japan uses – and move us that direction as well. That’s a good start.

Jobs -

I’ve seen estimates saying we currently have 20 million legal US residents who are either completely unemployed, or working only part-time while wanting full-time work.  I’ve also seen estimates putting the number of illegal immigrants who currently hold full-time jobs in the US at around 12 million.  This means, by taking those jobs from the illegals and giving them to tax-paying citizens, we could effectively reduce unemployment by more than HALF.  Putting US citizens and LEGAL residents back to work should be a major priority. As such, here is a suggestion that would actually work:

Mandate the use of E-Verify for all employers nationally, no exceptions. This would need teeth – I propose a $10k fine, per undocumented worker per incident. Which would mean that if INS raided a factory and found 200 non-documented workers there, that one incident would generate a $2 Million fine. If it happened again 30 days later, that’s another $2 Million. We should use the fines to cover the cost of immediately deporting the illegal workers; no free time in our jails on the taxpayer’s dime. Also, no corporate bailouts or tax breaks for any corporation that imports more than 10% of the parts used in manufacturing or imports more than 15% of the retail goods it sells. No imported parts are to be used AT ANY POINT in the manufacture/repair of government or military equipment, as a national security concern.

Government -

Lobbying is one of the largest parasites in the US, and only serves to move our Republic towards becoming an oligarchy. We need a total firewall between civil service and private sector employment, not a revolving door. We also need to totally prevent corporations from funding the studies that federal agencies use to determine the safety of products, medicines, and foods. The reason for that should be obvious – it creates a conflict of interest. Besides, even a dog knows not to bite the hand that feeds it. You will hear that phrase again.

Direct corporate lobbying shall be prohibited. Private sector employment at any corporation that employs over 1000 US workers shall be grounds for disqualification from civil service appointments, and vice-versa. US government branches like the EPA and FDA shall be directed to put public safety ahead of corporate profits, and where the two clash to always assume that nature’s own solutions are better than manufactured ones.

Taxes -

I support totally abolishing the income tax system, and transitioning to a flat national sales tax. However, that does not go far enough to disengage the government from your pockets. Beginning with those who are under 30 years old now, we need to begin making individuals responsible for their own retirement plans for the future. This nation’s original architects did not envision a society where Uncle Sam took care of you – you were supposed to take care of yourself. Churches and family were the expected backups, the government was NOT supposed to be a part of the process. I believe that you can take care of yourself, if we get rid of a lot of government interference and incentive not to.

Voting Rights -

Originally, only males who owned land could vote. Voting has always been a privilege that you had to meet qualifications for, not a right. Back in the early days of the Republic, you had to work for a living to have a voice in government. To some degree we still need this. While the definition of citizenship has changed, and needed to, in the last 2 centuries, what has not changed is that outside influence and internal entitlement are tearing our country apart.

So, another change to voting law is needed, IMHO. Only those legal citizens who work full-time jobs, are self-employed, or have been honorably discharged from the US Military, should have the right to vote. That not only excludes those who support themselves on welfare alone, but those who make more money from investments than they do from wages. A government-issued photo ID should be required.

Additionally, we need to reform the Electoral College. As it stands right now, candidates can focus on less than 6 states and have a viable shot at winning the Presidency. That is totally ridiculous. Every state matters, and anyone who dismisses the heartland of the country as “the Fly-Over States” doesn’t deserve to be our national President. So, instead of apportioning Electoral College votes by population, they should reflect the number of seats each state holds IN THE US SENATE.

Education -

This is probably going to be controversial, but I’m going with it anyhow. All post secondary education centers should be privatized and treated as for-profit organizations, subject to taxation. While nothing should prohibit those who can afford to do so from studying “impractical” liberal arts courses, the focus should be on graduating job-ready candidates who meet acknowledged industrial or commercial needs. This means a lot less need for “BA or MA” schools, and a lot more Vo-Tech. I would salute anyone who completed a vo-tech school, went to work, and then took his/her own money and continued their education along lines they were personally interested in. In the words of JFK, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Health Care -

For the last 50-60 years, we’ve been engaged in the wrong discussion. The practice of medicine should be focused on maintaining health/wellness first, and repairing it second. Every high school graduate should know as much about health and nutrition as they do about mathematics. Every medical doctor, and every pharmacist, should know as much about nutrition as they do about human anatomy and pharmacology.

The United States has the finest trauma and crisis centers in the world, and we do need them – but trauma care should be the END of the for-profit medical journey. When dealing with illness, we need a system more like the older oriental approach, where each “general practitioner” would have a specific group of people under his/her care, and as long as they stayed well, they pay him a set fee every month. If they get ill during that month, not only do they not pay the fee, but treatment of the illness is free. Patients would be allowed to seek out the best caregiver they could find, creating competition between caregivers to do the best job of keeping people healthy. There would be NO need for insurance companies or other parasites between the doctor and the patient, and no reason why the doctor’s treatment records would need to be seen by anyone else.

Foreign Policy -

When I was in the US Army, I loved traveling abroad. The year I spent in Germany was magical, to me. However, I was not blind to the undercurrents of anti-US sentiment (specifically in Europe, since that was where I was stationed, but more generally around the globe as well). Therefore, the next president should immediately order the following:

End all international aid programs except NATO and Israel, and keep the money at home where we can spend it on our own prosperity and security. Make it official policy to allow all other nations to decide for themselves how to live, and turn in our “World Police” badge. Immediately recall all troops assigned outside the physical boundaries of the US, except those directly attached to Embassy Security details (which should be doubled immediately). Those troops returning to US soil who are wishing to remain on active duty should be assigned to the border patrol. All National Guard units and assets are returned to the control of their respective state governors, for use as those governors see fit.

Domestic Policy -

Even the most minimalist estimates say our current national debt is over $17 Trillion – and that is money we’re borrowing from our kids and grandkids before they even start school. It is inexcusable. While there has been a lot of talking about balanced budgets, that only tries to keep the beast from getting larger. We need to curtail spending to sustainable levels that enable us to responsibly pay down the debt, with a clear (and achievable) goal of being debt-free within 20 years. That means paying the full interest on our debt every year, plus paying down 5% of the principle based on the current debt level.

We also need to learn the lessons of the past – specifically regarding Prohibition. The US needs an end to the domestic “War on Drugs” immediately, and re-purpose that $50 Billion/year on long-term, in-patient mental health facilities, and paying down the debt. All non-violent drug offenses of the past should be granted a Presidential Pardon, and the prisons directed to return those so incarcerated to civilian life. Finally, we need a Constitutional Amendment to prevent any more experiments with imposing morals on society as a whole through national law. Prohibition failed, the War on Drugs failed, and there are 2 or 3 other experiments currently working their way through either Congress or the Courts that I predict will fail because of one thing – Nobody Ever In History has ever been capable of getting over 300 Million people to all agree on anything. Trying to force it is only asking for trouble. Look at history for lessons on this.  Ghengis Khan & Rome may have had two of the largest empires in global history, but their longevity was not because of imposed uniformity. Instead, both integrated local societies that were empowered to continue pretty much as they already were, except that they were sworn to loyalty to the empire. The lesson for the US is that State Governments should have more influence on their residents than the Federal Government, and each state should be allowed (even encouraged) to be as individual and distinct as it wants to be, in comparison to the others.  Citizens who dislike the social environment in one state should be encouraged to relocate to a state more to their liking.

Immigration -

As long as we have over 20 million of our own workers either unemployed or working in jobs outside their field of training, we have no need to import new labor of any kind. Especially when we have engineers who are unemployed because their job was given to a sponsored immigrant who cost the company 20% less. Here is my immigration/naturalization proposal:

1. No automatic birth citizenship unless at least one parent is already a permanent citizen of the US, regardless of where the birth occurs. Yes, I know we’d probably have to change the wording of the 14th Amendment through another Amendment, but it’s what we need to do for the good of the United States.  It is possible that the Supreme Court could fix this by simply overturning the earlier ruling.  It wouldn’t be the first time a sitting SCOTUS overturned a ruling by an earlier SCOTUS.  It’s worth looking into.

2. Anyone caught illegally entering the US (or illegally overstaying a visa by more than 30 days) will be automatically deported and prohibited from legally returning for at least 10 years, regardless of familial ties.

3. Anyone illegally within the US who is convicted of any felony will be automatically deported and placed on a list of persons permanently prohibited from re-entry.

4. Anyone who is not able to produce verification of legal residence is prohibited from utilizing any of our national entitlement programs, either for their own benefit or on behalf of any dependents. Anyone who can’t pass a credit check is prohibited from renting any place of residence.

5. English will be the language of national business – if you can not speak or read it well enough to properly fill out the paperwork, you are not eligible to become a naturalized citizen. Government employees who primarily deal with the US public should not need to be bi-lingual, and government offices should not need to employ translators for any non-English language.

6.  One of the major motivations of those who illegally enter the US is the ability to quickly make much more money than they would be able to earn legally in their home country, and then use wire transfers to send a lot of that back to relatives still at home.  The final (I think) plank in a sound plan to reverse illegal immigration would be to block all wire transfers to Mexico and Central America.

7. Every legal resident of the US keeps ID with them almost constantly. You must have it to drive a car. You must have it to cash a check, or pay with a check at any merchant. You must have it if a police officer asks you for it. Additionally, anyone who has traveled abroad can confirm that US Citizens are required to have ID to check in at any motel or hotel, anywhere in the world – and in developed nations like Europe most hotels will HOLD your ID at the desk, available to police inspection upon request.

THERE IS NOTHING unreasonable about expecting legal visitors to our country to expect the same conditions we confront internationally. If any US police officer encounters someone who refuses to produce papers that verify legal entry and/or legal residence, it is fair to assume that is an illegal and begin processing them for deportation.

2nd Amendment -

Let’s face it – after the Revolutionary War, our Founding Fathers’ had two unifying fears; that the world’s greatest existing military would return to continue the fight; or that our nation’s government would some day be as bad or worse than the one they had just kicked out. The purposes of the 2nd Amendment were to ensure that anyone, anywhere, would have the physical means of mounting an effective resistance to an armed invasion force landing on our soil, and that if it was ever necessary, the citizens of this country would have the means to resist the abuse of power by our own government. Thanks to technology and our standing military, we don’t have to worry about being surprised by an armed invasion. However, the revelations by Edward Snowden have shown us that the threat of our own government abusing it’s power has never been more real. The 2nd Amendment applies to individuals, and to any firearm or weapon an ad-hoc group of civilians might use to defend themselves against armed government agents/military. If the government can justify arming cops with it, law-abiding citizens should be allowed to buy it. The same also goes for defensive gear – if the police and military have Kevlar, no private citizen should be prohibited from buying it if they can afford to. We also need to fully reinstate the “Posse Comitatus” Act, and set it in stone that our military forces will NEVER have authority to act against our own civilian population.

Military Reform -

Many of the veterans my age or older will confirm that we were taught that we had a duty to disobey illegal orders. However, in talking with some of them more recently, I’ve seen some serious “rose-colored glasses” about the consequences of doing such. Having been in that position myself, I can tell you that disobeying a direct order results in an automatic non-judicial punishment (Article 15, when I was in the Army). If, however, you want to seek legal counsel on whether or not to fight the Article 15, the act of doing so automatically escalates the punishment to a Courts Martial proceeding. For the record, I chose the Article 15, for reasons to be explained as I continue. Conviction at a Courts Martial will usually mean, at a minimum, a dishonorable discharge with loss of pay and pension/benefits. The Courts Martial will be judged by an officer of the same branch of service, usually from your current chain of command, and the prosecutor and defense attorneys will both usually be officers from your unit, or at best the local post’s own JAG office.

It’s a stacked deck, and it’s no wonder that most Courts Martial trials result in conviction. Add to that the fact that the ENTIRE military takes orders from the POTUS, and Private Manning never had a chance at a fair trial. To fix that, I propose that the UCMJ be abolished, and that all military disciplinary actions be handled in civilian courts, under civilian judges, and open to the public and media scrutiny. The members of the military should never obey an order to do anything they would feel needs to be hidden from the public they serve.

Government Reform -

I struggled to try to include these thoughts in one of the areas above, but they are so large that they didn’t fit anything specifically. Anyhow, here we go:

The original architects of the US government envisioned that it should be a controlled beast, kept on a short leash, run by people who themselves worked and lived under the policies invoked in it’s name. From 1776 to the advent of the Civil War, most of the routine business of the US government could be done in a few weeks, up to 3 months – mostly during the winters. This was by design – the elected officials went back home to run farms and businesses that needed attention through the rest of the year. Doing this kept them plugged into their local communities, where they knew the problems their friends faced and whether national or international policy had caused any of those problems. The more remote the government is from those it governs, the LESS power it should wield directly over their lives.

The only elected officials who should be paid directly from the coffers of the national government are the President and Vice-President. All congress electees of both chambers should be paid by the states that elected them – for the reason that this keeps them more accountable to the state than to the national behemoth. Congressional benefits packages should be identical to the benefits available to any military service member or G-2 employee, and to adjust congressional pay should require a super-majority of the participating voters at the next national election to ratify it.

National elected officials should be prohibited from serving more than 2 terms of elected office, as an accumulated total. This would cause a constant turnover, which would reduce the likelihood of corruption. A 2nd term senator could not run for the house or the presidency. An appointed Vice-president who then serves one term as an elected Vice-president would be eligible for a maximum of one term as the President, unless he/she has previously served in the national Congress. Those currently serving elected terms who have already exceeded that limit would be allowed to complete the current term, but prohibited from running for national office ever again.

As a matter of national policy, we need to strip corporations of “person-hood”. The only thing a corporation has in common with a person is it’s natural inclination towards self-preservation. It does not create anything – the people working in it do. It does not make anything – the people working in it do. It often seeks to preserve itself at the expense of those working for it. It should not have the ability to own Intellectual Property, nor should it have the ability to influence elections.

The NSA should be directed to immediately shut down all domestic surveillance operations that are not supported by unsealed, non-classified judicial warrants. All judicial surveillance warrants should be available to public/media scrutiny. The TSA should be fully de-funded and dismantled, having failed to accomplish any of it’s mission objectives.

Written by Vernon Pope

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer For Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Stop Glorifying Football Players and Start Glorifying Soldiers

 

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September 19, 2014

TIME: No football player is a hero in the way that a man or woman who risks his or her life in a just cause is a hero

And yet one still wonders what this misbehavior is all about.

When I posed the question to a friend of mine, he responded directly. What do you expect? They’ve been worshipped like gods ever since they were kids, he told me. And that’s true enough. Adults have melted in awe at their ability to fling a ball down a field, dodge a tackler, or knock another player on his can. Of course some have outsized egos and a royal sense of entitlement. Of course some think they can get away with more than the rest of us. If someone had treated you like a monarch from the time you could wear shoulder pads, so would you. If people took you for a hero because you could create first downs or stop them, what would you be like?

I thought about what my friend said (and what I heaped on to his observation myself) and after a while I suspected that he was on to something. The operative word here was a common enough one. The operative word was “hero.”

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In our culture we treat sports players as heroes. Of course we do: because what they achieve on the playing field is amazing. Baseball players and hoop stars and of course gridiron greats perform spectacular feats all the time. And so we worship them—of course we do.

But is a football player (or an ace b-baller or a twenty game winning pitcher) really a hero? If you think so, you are parting company with tradition.

In the Western tradition a hero is, in the earliest manifestation, a warrior. It’s someone like Homer’s Hector, or Virgil’s Aeneas, who is willing to fight and if necessary to die to defend his people. Hector has to face the amazing Achilles in defense of Troy—and of course Hector loses. Aeneas fights all enemies, including the formidable Turnus, to secure the founding of Rome. In the Hebrew tradition, David steps up to Goliath to save his nation.

Other heroic archetypes come along over time. People learn to stand in awe not only of warriors, but of saintly individuals like Jesus and Buddha and Confucius. People learn to salute great thinkers like Plato and Aristotle and later major scientists like Einstein. Human beings first find their heroes among warriors and spiritual leaders and men and women of imposing intellect. The saint, the warrior, the true thinker: these were the original heroes.

We still need heroes. Everyone at every time has. But we cannot find our martial heroes on the battlefield anymore. We do not know if our recent wars are just. We do not know if our causes are true. Were we right to invade Afghanistan? Were we ultimately justified in going into Iraq? Most people are not sure.

The newspapers don’t tell us many stories of the men and women who fight under our colors in the Middle East. We usually do not know who they are and what they are doing. Right now we do not have bona fide martial heroes to praise.

So we worship football players instead. We worship athletes: we swoon at the feet of simulation heroes. The average NFL fan can probably name 20 football heroes. How many heroes from the war in Iraq or the war in Afghanistan can the fan name?

Football players can be brave: it’s true. What they do on Saturday and Sunday afternoons is graceful, beautiful and dangerous. But no football player who ever lived or ever will live is a hero in the way that a man or woman who risks his or her life in a just cause is a hero. Those are real heroes. The Greeks were devoted to sports: they were, of course, the inventors of the Olympic games. But no Greek would tell you that an athlete was more important than Leonidas and the three hundred Spartans who stopped the Persians at Thermopylae. No Greek could imagine that an athlete was more to be praised than Themistocles and his sailors, who won the victory at Salamis.

Sports heroes are simulation heroes. I love sports—don’t get me wrong. But we’ve blown the games and the players all out of proportion.

The players: we treat them like Hector and Achilles and Aeneas and Ajax. We look at them as though they were man-gods. And after a decade and a half of being worshipped, is it surprising if pro athletes turn out to be willful, spoiled, bullying and selfish? Remember how the gods in the Greek myths were prone to act? They were willful and selfish and all the rest.

If we could start worshipping real heroes—true thinkers and just warriors and lovers of humanity—we could take back a little bit of our investment in football idols. That would be a fine change for us all—and I’ll bet it wouldn’t be a half bad thing for the players, either.

Written by  

 

By Lorra B. Chief writer for SilentSoldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

 

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“Banning Word of ALLAH is Liking Banning Word of GOD” Reports AceWorldNews

imageedit_2_2250760853AceWorldNews: South East Asia News      September 18, 2014

The following article was written by AceWorldNews and isn’t about religious beliefs but about censorship and the absurdity of what is being done in Malaysia.

For long, Malaysia has been a multi-religious country where most people can adhere to their own religion even though Islam is the official religion. A state with a history of its diverse faith followers that lived in peace with each other. However, recent years have seen a drastic rise in growing intolerance towards the religious and ethnic minorities.

In recent developments, are the infamous Malay Court Ban limiting the use of the Arabic word Allah for Muslims “ONLY.

The country has come under fire for its systematic evidence of targeting Christian community; the church burnings, grave desecration and the seizure of 300 Bibles. This Bible raid was justified under the Court ruling as it contained the word Allah. Come again.

When one thinks that the word Allah has been used by Malaysians for over 600 years and the name Allah was used in the Gospel printed in Malaysian 400 years ago, we can better comprehend the senselessness and impropriety of this prohibition. Ridiculous:.

The followers of Christ in the Arabian Peninsula, including some 12 million followers of Christianity are using the word Allah without any qualms or statutory rulings.

So why and what is wrong in Malaysian Christians using the word Allah?

The Koran itself is very clear on this subject, by affirming that Muslims should say to Jews and Christians that “our God and your God is one”.

However, many Malay Muslims have a rigid and schematic view of Islam. The challenge is to “educate the masses” and to promote religious freedom. Moreover, the government says Allah should be reserved exclusively for Muslims — who make up nearly two-thirds of the country’s 29 million people — because if other religions use it that could confuse Muslims and lead them to convert.

For crying out loud, is this really happening?

The Allah ban is a direct result of our failure in Nation Building as a peoples. Everyone is responsible for it and everyone should play a role in the reconciliation process. We will have to look back as a nation and ask where did we go wrong. Then from there, we will need to find new creative ways to bridge the cross cultural gaps that led to this point,” says Malaysian human rights defender and Director, Dignity International (an international human rights based organization) Adrian Periera.

On-ground human rights groups have joined hands with Malaysian Catholics in campaigning against this ruling. One good that came out of this inanity, is the renewal of the Malaysians spirit that is seen into coming together as a united force. Needless, the Malays Catholics don’t find themselves alone in this battle and can count on the support of Muslim groups.

Organizations like Sisters in Islam (SIS) and the Front for Islamic revival (IRF) have launched initiatives on social networks to promote accurate information removed from the ideology and propaganda of the government and extremist movements.

God, what is your religion?” This cryptic question, spotted on a T-shirt worn by a Malay Muslim woman demonstrator in a public protest for expressing solidarity with minority Christians over who can use the term ‘Allah’.

This debate has crossed national borders and sparked a debate among Muslims around the world.

In Pakistan, the English daily newspaper Daily Times questioned the ruling, asking why Malaysia would deny people of other faiths to “own God in all His attributes”. Similarly a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates called the court ruling “wrong”, and said the word Allah was never exclusive to Islam but used by both Christians and Jews to refer to God even before the advent of Islam.

“So. My God is not your God. And your God is not mine”

Is this making sense to any sane person within Malaysia and elsewhere? I guess not.

Reza Aslam, Muslim Academic writer said that the world was “laughing” at Malaysia over the court ruling that he described as a political decision more than anything else. “That you can control people’s ideas, their behavior, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarrassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia,” said the religious scholar.

Indeed, congratulations to Malaysia being the first country to ban God’s name and to limit God to themselves.

Source: 

#ASEAN2014

Ace Related News:

1. Malaysia’s Top Court Rules Non-Muslims Cannot Use the World Allah to        Refer to God 

2. Ban on use of Allah is Dangerous  

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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‘Hard Choices’ Will Face Hillary Clinton Should She Seek Another Presidential Run

imageedit_2_7401037219Hillary Clinton ran and lost in the 2008 presidential elections and many Americans wonder if and why she would run again. Others, however, eager to see her as our next president, wonder what would keep her from seeking the elusive office for a second time.

In July CNN asked the question, “What would cause Hillary Clinton not to run for president?”

Two months ago Clinton answered that question and said, “It would be wholly personal…Because I know so much about the job and how hard it is; I am very struck by the historic nature of a campaign that I might, in the future, undertake.”

Explaining that the job has gotten more difficult and is now a much bigger undertaking, Clinton addresses that issue by saying, “You’ve got to get the money from the Congress to really improve what you’re doing, personnel policies, and all the rest. So the job is as challenging as it’s always been, but I would say almost to a degree of amplification that’s hard to imagine.”

Now, in September, things are looking a little clearer.

It has been since 2008 that Clinton has graced Iowa with her presence. Her visit there on Sunday began fanning the flames of speculation about a possible 2016 presidential run stating that she has “a few things on [her] mind” of late.

“There’s that other thing [referring to the rumored presidential run]. It is true I am thinking about it.”

Why would Clinton want to run for president again? Clearly, the ultimate goal of becoming the first female American President has its own rewards but is it worth going through the process again? In July President Obama was interviewed by New Yorker and was asked if he believed Hillary Clinton [and/or Joe Biden] was ‘Oval Office material.’imageedit_8_3242661770

“For both Joe and Hillary, they’ve already accomplished an awful lot in their lives. The question is, do they, at this phase in their lives, want to go through the pretty undignifying process of running all over again?” stated Obama.

That is a question that we are still left wondering as Clinton told reporters on Sunday that the reason for her Iowa visit was “to support candidates.”

“It is true, I am thinking about it,” Clinton said. “But for today, that is not why I am here. I am here first and foremost for Tom [Harkin], for [Tom’s wife] Ruth and for the great candidates that you have a chance to elect.”

Clinton has stated that she will make a decision “probably after the first of the year.”

America is in a very different place than in 2008 and its issues are tremendous. Being the first woman president would be an enormous milestone but with issues like war and terrorism, not to mention financial and social upset, Clinton may have an upward climb.

“To win the nomination, let alone the general election, Clinton will have to lay out her vision of the way forward,” reports TruthDig.

Tom Harkin told Dan Balz of The Washington Post that “…she is much more progressive in her thoughts and her inclination than most people may think.”

“There is much we know about Hillary Clinton by whatever label she chooses to wear or hide behind,” reported Quad-City Times. “She has been in the national spotlight for more than two decades and most people have already decided what they think of her.”

At this point Clinton has a 43% approval rating, a 41% negative rating, and 16% are undecided or neutral, according to a Wall Street Journal poll.

The question then becomes whether she can bounce back from a very high negative rating when the campaign has not even begun yet nor have the political ads.

imageedit_5_9417111910“Some Democrats who backed other candidates in the state’s caucuses in 2008 say they haven’t yet warmed to Mrs. Clinton,” stated Peter Nicholas of The Wall Street Journal. “Others bristled at her recent criticism of President Barack Obama’s Mideast policy…some say they want to see a more accessible and authentic candidate than the one who finished third behind Mr. Obama and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina (in 2008).”

Negative ratings are not Clintons only obstacle. What memorable things did she do when she was first lady that sticks out in voter’s mind? She did vote to give authority to President Bush to carry out the Afghanistan and Iraq wars when she was senator. But most of Clinton’s resolutions and legislation were not memorable except when she failed to protect the three Americans and U.S. ambassador who were killed in Benghazi. I can see the political ads now and they won’t be pleasant.

Clinton was also notoriously unkind to her Secret Service detail, according to the book ‘In the President’s Secret Service.’ There were agents who had been assigned to her that referred to there assigned detail as “a form of punishment.”  This, too, will not play well in the media.

“An indication of how difficult it will be to sell Mrs. Clinton as a competent president comes from a column by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, who tries his best to create a positive record for her,” reports Quad-City Times. “Clinton achieved a great deal and left a hefty legacy—just not the traditional kind. …For starters, Clinton recognized that our future will be more about Asia than Europe.”

“More fundamentally, Clinton vastly expanded the diplomatic agenda. Diplomats historically focused on hard issues, like trade or blowing up stuff, and so it may seem weird and soft to fret about women’s rights or economic development.”

Advocates for Clinton, however, have a different view her. Harkin praised Clinton’s dedication to health care reform, (though ‘Hillarycare’ did not go over well). “Her fingerprints are all over that legislation (Obamacare). It would not have happened but for her strenuous advocacy all those years.”

A union member from Fort Dodge, Cindy Sturtz, stated, “I honestly believe she will be the next president.”

The support for Clinton was obvious in Iowa during the annual steak fry with over 5,000 Democratic activists. There were chants of “Hillary, Hillary, Hillary!” and much applause as she tip-toed around the possibility of her re-run for presidency.

imageedit_14_7279605843Though the overall popularity polls show Clinton in the negative, early polls have shown her leading other Democrats by a large margin, including Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Traveling to Des Moines next week, Biden has not dismissed the possibility of another campaign. O’Malley has made many trips to Iowa and plans on dispatching staff members this fall.

Mitt Romney chimed in his opinion of Clinton running for president and stated, “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are two peas in the same pod, and the American people have tasted that and have said, ‘Look, that’s not a good taste. It’s not right for the American people.”

imageedit_11_8644819550Romney went on to say, “You watched a president who just doesn’t understand how to make an administration work, how to interact with Congress, how to get things done. You have to have those things. I don’t think Hillary Clinton has that experience.”

We will have to wait until after the first of the year to discover what Hillary Clinton will do but it is clear she will have an up-hill battle if she chooses to run for the presidency again and many “Hard Choices” to make concerning the issues facing the United States.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Joint Chiefs Chairman Opens Door to US Boots on Ground in ISIS Fight

imageedit_2_7392884321Fox News.com: The top U.S. military leader opened the door Tuesday to U.S. troops on the ground in the fight against the Islamic State, testifying before Congress that he could recommend “U.S. military ground forces” if the international coalition being formed proves ineffective against the terror group. 

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey made the statement during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Though President Obama vowed last week that the U.S. would “not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq” and military leaders say ground troops are not needed at the moment, Dempsey said he could change his recommendation if he found circumstances “evolving” in the region. 

“My view at this point is that this coalition is the appropriate way forward,” Dempsey said. “I believe that will prove true, but if it fails to be true and if there are threats to the United States, then I of course would go back to the president and make a recommendation that may include the use of U.S. military ground forces.” 

Dempsey provided one example of a scenario where he might recommend U.S. ground forces, saying they could be used to help Kurdish and Iraqi forces retake Mosul, now controlled by the Islamic State, or ISIS. 

The statement comes as the administration faces a deep divide in Congress that muddies traditional partisan lines over the possibility of ground forces being introduced. Many Democrats and Republicans oppose U.S. combat troops entering the fight. But some Republican lawmakers have criticized the president for appearing to rule out that option. 

“ISIS is an army,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., top Republican on the committee, said Tuesday. “It will take an army to beat an army.” 

Inhofe also criticized the administration for its “indecision and hand-wringing” before last week and expressed concern that the administration is still treating the mission as a chiefly counterterrorism mission. 

Dempsey and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, though, defended the U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria. And, for those uneasy about the U.S. entering yet another conflict in the Middle East, they claimed the group will directly threaten the U.S. homeland if left unchecked. 

“It considers itself the rightful inheritor of Usama bin Laden’s legacy,” Hagel said. 

The testimony was interrupted several times by anti-war protesters, who appeared to be from the group Code Pink and shouted “no more war” before being led out of the room. 

The military leaders stressed the differences between this campaign and the last Iraq war. 

“This won’t look like a ‘shock and awe’ campaign because that’s simply not how ISIL is organized, but it will be a persistent and sustainable campaign,” Dempsey said. 

In a lengthy opening statement, Hagel said ISIS has gained strength by exploiting Syria’s civil war and sectarian strife in Iraq. 

“As it has seized territory across both countries and acquired significant resources and advanced weapons, ISIL has employed a violent combination of terrorist, insurgent, and conventional military tactics,” he said.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Feds Step Up Terrorist Recruitment Fight in U.S.

In a video message posted on the Justice Department’s website, Holder said a series of cities “across the nation” will be chosen to participate in a pilot program that will involve an extra effort to combat the message of groups like ISIL and to intervene with those susceptible to that message before they take action.

“These programs will bring together community representatives, public safety officials, religious leaders, and United States Attorneys to improve local engagement; to counter violent extremism; and – ultimately – to build a broad network of community partnerships to keep our nation safe,” Holder said. “Under President Obama’s leadership, along with our interagency affiliates, we will work closely with community representatives to develop comprehensive local strategies, to raise awareness about important issues, to share information on best practices, and to expand and improve training in every area of the country….Ultimately, the pilot programs will enable us to develop more effective – and more inclusive – ways to help build the more just, secure, and free society that all Americans deserve.”

A Justice Department official said the specific communities participating in the new effort will not be announced until next month. Last week, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced that the White House will host a conference in October on what government officials refer to as “countering violent extremism.”

The same official said the new pilot program is aimed at broadening current outreach efforts to involve more people from outside the ranks of law enforcement. “This new initiative will supplement existing efforts by engaging the resources and expertise available from a range of social service providers including education administrators, mental health professionals, and religious leaders to provide more robust support and help facilitate community-led interventions,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The U.S. Government’s current efforts to stem terrorist recruitment and so-called “lone wolf” attacks by people receptive to extremist rhetoric have been criticized for being unfocused and underfunded. In addition, many experts have questioned whether U.S. Attorneys—the top federal prosecutors in various communities—are best-suited to lead the government’s anti-extremism campaign.

Many leaders in the Muslim community are reluctant to work with prosecutors because of deep concern over Federal Bureau of Investigation sting operations used to target potential terrorists. However, efforts in the U.S. to use means other than traditional law enforcement to intervene with individuals susceptible to extremist messages have been few, due to concerns about civil liberties as well as fears about what could happen if that kind of intervention failed in a specific case.

Holder’s statement Monday seemed to acknowledge some of those concerns. While the outreach efforts are expected to focus primarily on communities with large Muslim populations, his video message made no reference to the religion aside from his use of the acronym for the terrorist group which has grabbed attention for its brutal tactics assembling territory across Syria and Iraq.

“As we move forward together, our work must continue to be guided by the core democratic values – and the ideals of freedom, openness, and inclusion – that have always set this nation apart on the world stage,” Holder said. “We must be both innovative and aggressive in countering violent extremism and combating those who would sow intolerance, division, and hate – not just within our borders, but with our international partners on a global scale.  And we must never lose sight of what violent extremists fear the most: the strength of our communities; our unwavering respect for equality, civil rights, and civil liberties; and our enduring commitment to justice, democracy, and the rule of law.”

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

 

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Which is it – ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’ – What’s the Difference

imageedit_2_7986459359Many Americans are becoming confused as The White House has bounced between the two acronyms “ISIS” and “ISIL” and are left wondering what the difference is.

The majority of media are using the acronym ISIS so it is no wonder that when government officials of the United Nations, U.S. State Department and President Obama, have switched to using ISIL confusion ensues.

ISIS and ISIL refer to the same terror group, however, there are differences. ISIS is an acronym for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria while ISIL stands for Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. ISIS’s group is on both sides of the border between Iraq and Syria while ISIL is in the entire area east of the Mediterranean from Egypt, east to Iran and Turkey.

This distinction is very important because our administration use “ISIL instead of ISIS to emphasize the group’s goal to expand its influence beyond the borders of Syria and Iraq,” according to WCHS6.

imageedit_5_5717958629ISIS is an al-Qaeda associated faction and is accountable for thousands of deaths during the Syrian civil war and also in Iraq. Building a new country is their aim. This new country would consist of Syria, Iraq and some other Middle Eastern Countries.

ISIL, on the other hand, is “now being used by the U.S. State Department as well as the United Nations, since the group wants to extend that influence even further,” reported CBS5. “That reach is called…the Levant. Therefore they are the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.”

CNN reported, “The U.S. has stuck with ISIL because the group appears to have to set its sights beyond Iraq and Syria. And also because Washington doesn’t want to recognize their plans for a caliphate.”

“We believe this is the most accurate translation of the group’s name and reflects its aspirations to rule over a broad swath of the Middle East,” vice president for The Associated Press reported. “…so better stick to ISIL and clarify that it’s the same as ISIS, but a more accurate translation from the Arabic.”

CNN went on to report that “The jihadists,” on the other hand, “like to refer to themselves simply as the Islamic State, a term more accurately reflecting the organizations aspirations of creating a caliphate across national borders.”

Though both ISIS and ISIL are both correct to use and refer to the same terrorist group. The term ISIL encompasses more geographical territory and is, therefore, being used by government officials to avoid confusion. The irony isn’t lost on many.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Lower Manhattan, the world marks 9/11 anniversary

imageedit_8_9383749082NEW YORK — With The Star-Spangled Banner, a bagpipe tribute and a moment of silence, a ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks solemnly kicked off in Lower Manhattan on Thursday.

The White House marked the anniversary with a moment of silence. Events also took place at the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pa., where the other planes crashed that day.

In New York, the roll call of the victims began shortly after 8:46 a.m., the same time 13 years ago that the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center.

Faith Tieri read several names including that of her brother, Sal Edward Tieri, Jr. “Your memory and my love for you will last forever,” she said. “This day should be a day of reflection and memory only.”

Mary Ann Marino also read names including that of her son, Kenneth Marino. “We love you,” she said. “We miss you everyday. You are in our hearts and we cherish the memories.”

Others reading names included a young man who had never met his uncle killed on 9/11, a wife who lost her husband of 30 years and Barbara Pandolfo whose only child, a daughter, was killed.

As the readings continued, some family members stood silently staring at those uttering the victims’ names. Others pushed strollers holding children who were not yet born during the terrorist attacks while some walked around the memorial looking at the names etched into the nearby memorial.

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Thursday, the museum was opened only to family members. However, at 6 p.m. the public will be allowed to visit the plaza.

“We wanted to take it back to the state where it was freely accessible to the public at night,” said Joe Daniels, president and CEO of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

“The memorial pools will be lit themselves, which looks absolutely stunning at night,” Daniels said. Additionally, the “Tribute in Light” twin beams representing the two destroyed towers will shine from sunset Sept. 11 until sunrise Sept. 12.

In Washington, President Obama and members of his staff honored the victims of 9/11 at 8:46 a.m. with a moment of silence on the South Lawn of the White House. The solemn ceremony took place at 8:46 a.m. A bell tolled and a military bugler played Taps as the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and aides stood with hands over hearts.

Obama then spoke at a Pentagon commemoration hosted by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey. A moment of silence was observed at 9:37 a.m., the moment a jet hit the Pentagon.

“Over more than a decade of war, this 9/11 generation has answered our country’s call,” Obama said. “Today, we honor all who have made the ultimate sacrifice over these 13 years.”

In Shanksville, Pa. The Flight 93 National Memorial will be open to the public all day. An observance there included the reading of the names of Flight 93 passengers and crew, ringing of Bells of Remembrance, a wreath laying and brief remarks by former House speaker Dennis Hastert.

USA Today   Contributing: David Jackson in Washington

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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The CIA Has Legal Justification to Kill American Citizens

imageedit_2_2876208674Monday a federal court released the outline of the legal justification for the 2011 killing of Anwar al-Awlaki which was previously declared a secret government memo. Al-Awlaki, killed in a drone strike in Yemen, was a U.S. Citizen and had been accused of being an al-Qaeda operative.

It was David Barron from the First Circuit Court of Appeals who gave President Obama the legal justification, without a trial, to kill this American citizen.

Because of his suspected dealing and ties to al-Quada, al-Aulaki was targeted and killed by our administration. Barron and another lawyer, Marty Lederman, were the authors of the first two memos on how the administration could rationalize this act.

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The Central Intelligence Agency’s first memo consisted of only seven pages and was deficient. “As that length suggests, the memo, which could have resulted in a human’s death at any moment, was woefully incomplete as a legal analysis,” stated The Atlantic.

The judicial logic in the memo was lacking to say the least. Both Barron and Lederman agreed and they became uncomfortable with the content of their first memo.

imageedit_10_6173133797The next memo the Barron and Lederman drew up was much longer and went into much more description of how al-Aulaki was not only guilty but that he needed to die.

 

The 22-page memo entitled “Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency against a U.S. Citizen” provides the reasoning behind fatal operations by the agency.

Because of a very lengthy lawsuit against the Justice Department, the document was released under the order of the U.S, Court of Appeals and the memo was given to Vice News. The Obama administration had fought for years to keep the memo secret from the public, not to mention several other aspects of the targeted-killing agenda.

imageedit_14_5545698773“We do not believe that al-Aulaki’s U.S. citizenship imposes constitutional limitations that would preclude the contemplated lethal action,” by the CIA or United States military, the memo stated, and made it possible for a drone strike knowing it would cause powerful political and legal debate.

Ex Parte Quirin, the 1942 Supreme Court decision, states that “by universal agreement and practice, the law of war draws a distinction…between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants. [A]n enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property” is an illustration of a confrontational individual who is an “offender against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by a military tribunal.”

It was the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union who filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuits to obtain the release of the document in July 2012.

“The release of this memo represents an overdue but nonetheless crucial step towards transparency,” stated Jameel Jaffer. Jaffer is the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Jaffer stated, “The release of this memo will allow the public to better understand the scope and implications of the authority the government is claiming.”

Legal analysis, Conor Friedersdorf wrote, “Barron and Lederman signed off on an American’s death before delving into intelligence reports and doing other due diligence they completed for the later memo, which would be more than four times as long as their earlier effort.”

“High-Level government officials have concluded, on the basis of al-Aulaki’s activities in Yemen, that al-Aulaki is a leader of al-Qaeda [in the Arabian Peninsula] whose activities in Yemen pose a ‘continued and imminent threat’ of violence to the United States persons and interests…The contemplated DoD operation, therefore, would be carried out against someone who is in the core of individuals against whom Congress has authorized the use of necessary and appropriate force,” stated Barron and Lederman in the second memo.

However, reports state that sections of importance in the Justice Department’s legal analysis were omitted and revised before being released to the public. The accusation states that the sections explaining why the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel “determined that killing Awlaki in a drone strike would not violate the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees due process to U.S. citizens accused of crimes,” reports The Washington Post.

Kevin Jon Heller, an international law expert and professor of criminal law at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said that the government is worried about the status of the CIA.

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“There’s absolutely no question that if any of these CIA agents involved in al-Awlaki’s killing ever went on vacation in Yemen or ever went on vacation in a state that has universal jurisdiction over war crimes, they could be arrested and prosecuted for murder. They certainly have committed murder under the laws of other states. Whether they have committed murder under American domestic law is another question.”

There are three statutes that could forbid the CIA from lethal force against U.S. citizens who are abroad, the War Crimes Act, the foreign murder statute, and conspiracy to murder a citizen outside the U.S.  There are also two provisions in the constitution that apply here, the Fourth Amendment that prohibits unreasonable seizures or searches, and the Fifth Amendment that guarantees due process.

There are two doctrines, however, the 2001 Authorization to use Military Force (AUMF) and the not so well-known doctrine called the “public authority justification” that were used to prove Barron and Lederman’s point. They used these doctrines to explain that the CIA’s actions were well within the legal realm and that no law prohibited the killing of a U.S. citizen by the CIA.

Barron and Lederman stated that “Awlaki’s relationship with al-Qaeda brings him within the scope” of the use of military force, according to the document. CIA and Pentagon were cited as references by the memo and stated that Awlaki “has operational and leadership roles [with al-Qaeda] and continues to plot attacks intended to kill Americans.”

According to The Washington Post, “The administration has acknowledged killing three other U.S. citizens in Yemen, including Awlaki’s teenage son in a separate strike a month after his father was killed. But only the elder Awlaki was targeted intentionally, according to U.S. officials who have said the others were killed incidentally in strikes against other targets.”

As long a U.S. citizen possess “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and to capture them alive is not an option, Eric Holder is in agreement that killing them is acceptable as a last resort.

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Heller told Vice News, “They clearly realize they needed to come up with their independent justification of why [the CIA] has public authority to kill. Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t really tell us anything because of the way it’s been redacted. If the Question is, Where does the CIA get their authority to use lethal force abroad?, given that’s the necessary condition for them to avoid this foreign murder statute, this memo doesn’t tell us anything. It could be there. But if it is, it’s behind a redaction.”

When another memo was written by the Justice Department on November 8, 2011, explaining the “lawfulness” of assassinating a U.S. citizen, it took seven months for the Justice Department to share the memo with the Judiciary Committee and Senate Intelligence Committee, among other departments.

“Obama nominated the author of the targeted killing memo, David Barron, to serve as a judge on the First Circuit Court of Appeals,” reports, Vice News. His nomination was held up by lawmakers over the White House’s refusal to share a copy of his memo with them. The administration relented, and in late May he was confirmed by the Senate in a near party-line vote of 53-45.”

Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky refused to support the nomination of Barron’s, however.

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Paul, on the senate floor, stated, “I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the president has the power to kill an American citizen not involved in combat and without a trial. I rise to say that there is no legal precedent for killing citizens not involved in combat and that any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a president is not worthy of being one step away from the Supreme Court.”

A member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) stated a hope that “the memo would generate new pressure for the executive branch to answer other pressing questions.” Wyden wanted to know if a president can order the killing of an American citizen “anywhere in the world” and also what it means “to say that capturing an American must be unfeasible.”

Paul is not alone in his concerns and many commend his public stand against the nomination.

Americans are donning a new age in American citizenship and they, too, want to know the answers to Wyden’s questions and more.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Fast-Food Wage Wars Comparison: Who’s right, Who’s Wrong?

imageedit_2_6108274973Improved benefits, a $15 minimum wage increase, respect, and the right to organize are the reasons stated for fast-food workers going on strike from cities such as California, Missouri, New York, and many other cities throughout the United States.

However, not everyone’s convinced a pay increase will be the answer and that it will lead to unemployment, large price increases and the use of robot technology.

But protesters still took  to the streets in numbers and on September 4 hundreds of workers and supporters were arrested during the protests.

“’The ‘Fight for 15,’ a movement by fast food and other low-paid workers across America, began in November 2012. Actions took place in eight cities on a Day of Action in June 2013; 4 September saw actions in over 100. They are the result of an intense summer of organizing, including a national convention held in Chicago at the end of July,” reported Lemberge Cooper.

A Chicago Police tactical officer stated “Paddy Wagon’s on its way.”  This was in the morning of September 4. Before long the crowd began to grow to over 300 demonstrators, including over 100 of the fast food strikers. They all began to chant, “Take the Street!”

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Take the street is exactly what the crowd began to do. Traffic was blocked on Chicago’s South Side’s 87th Street for approximately 20 minutes.

“As Tyree Johnson awaited arrest by advancing police officers, he explained to Working In These Times why he was willing to go to jail. ‘I’m still living at the poverty level,’ said Johnson, who has been employed by McDonald’s since 1992. ‘After 22 years, they refuse to pay me a decent living wage.’ Johnson and his compatriots were taken to patrol cars, and 19 were cited and released this morning,” reported SocialistWorker.org. Events such as this went on around different protester sites.

The fast food wars are causing much debate and much frustration on both sides of the fence. While low-income workers deserve a fighting chance to have the means to get by, pay their bills, or even get themselves off of welfare, companies who employ these workers deserve the right to run their business the way they choose and the right to raise prices to cover their costs. So, the fight continues.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 and both The White House and Labor unions are also demanding the wages be increased for these workers, although a vote for an increase stalled last spring in the house.

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Reportedly, fast food workers are hit hard in this economy. On average, the median wage is about $8.25 compared to an $18 median wage for other non-related industries and, as of now, fast food workers are not allowed to have a union though they are fighting tooth and nail to attain one.

“No surprise: It’s a debate that has divided an already extremely partisan capital. In a speech before a crowd of minimum-wage-hike supporters on Monday, President Barack Obama said, ‘There is no denying the simple truth: America deserves a raise,’ and referred back to his executive order calling for raising the rate to $10.00 an hour,” stated Bianna Golodrya of Yahoo News.

“Minimum-wage workers have not had a raise for seven years. CEOs are making a whole lot more money than they did before; the stock market has rebounded far more than it did before. The Fortune 500 companies are making money, and people stuck at the bottom can’t even pull themselves out of poverty. Now, my view on this is we raise the minimum wage as one of the ways that we help families that work hard, protect themselves. Give ’em a little chance to build something, to stabilize the—themselves and to go forward,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

But those are fighting words too many in the business community and to many Republicans. They say that to have a fixed minimum wage would actually hurt low-paid workers, not protect them.

“The minimum wage, they say, is an artificial, government-imposed value for an individual worker,” stated HowStuffWorks. They suggest that a “workers value should be decided in the open market.”

If a worker is new to a job, like factory work, he will not produce the same amount of product than an employee that has been there a while will produce. Therefore, a lower pay scale is applied and they earn their increases.

The opponent of the minimum wage would dispute that if the owner is forced into paying new workers an inflated wage he would not hire the worker at all because it doesn’t make financial sense to him and because the new worker would be bringing in much less money to the factory. Now the worker is unemployed.

“Another argument against minimum wage is that it contributes to inflation. Here’s how it works: if a manufacturer is suddenly forced to pay his workers $7.25 an hour instead of $6.55 an hour, he needs to raise the price of his product to recoup the costs. This is called cost-push inflation and some economists believe the minimum wage is one of the worst culprits.”

Fast food restaurants confirm that in order to afford to pay their employees $15 an hour a nearly two-fifth price raise will be needed. It is predicted that this would cause sales to drop “by more than one-third, and profits to fall by more than three-quarters,” stated The Heritage Foundation.

The Heritage Foundation went on to say that, “Absent the widespread adoption of labor-saving technology, the union-led ‘fight 15’ would make fast food much more expensive for Americans.”

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These are the 10 reasons stated by Demos for a price increase in wage for low-wage earners:

  1. It would create jobs. “Economic growth is being held back by low wages.”
  2. It would reduce poverty. “More than 10 million…live below the poverty line.”
  3. Companies can afford it. “With profits in the billions…they can afford it.”
  4. It would reduce inequality. “Inequality is correlated to a host of social problems.”
  5. Companies that invest in their workers thrive. “This investment …pays off in lower turnover and higher worker productivity….”
  6. It would reduce…public assistance to the working poor. “…would not have to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, or other poverty alleviation programs.”
  7. Workers make the Company. “Workers…are stakeholders in the fast food industry and deserve a say in what they do.”
  8. It would push up wages for other underpaid workers. “The ripple effects start with increased consumer demand and economic growth, and create pressure in the labor department to raise wages…”
  9. Workers are leading where government and business have failed. “Economic gains have…largely accrued to the top earners, and low-wage earners have seen their earnings drop, even as they become better educated and productive.”
  10. It would reaffirm the fundamental American value that work pays. “The American Dream is a commitment to the opportunity for every person to achieve a better live if she works hard and plays by the rules.”

 

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 What most Republicans are not hearing is a plan or an argument to quiet those who believe this to be a grave mistake to our country. What are they saying about a rate increase leading to roughly 500,000 job cuts? What are they saying about the cost of fast-food skyrocketing and increases across the board if this “ripple effect” takes place?

Will this rate increase really help them or will it put them right back in the same predicament? Although raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour will bring about 1 million out of poverty, and as one protester stated, “It would just give me a little more money to help my dream and move along better,” how long will this last before price increases take up the wage increase?

There are many questions left unanswered. But what is being considered by the fast food restaurants to solve the problem could cause more unemployment.

“Fast-food restaurants could reduce labor costs by (a) substituting entry-level workers for more skilled and more productive workers and (b) replacing workers with machines,” reports The Heritage Foundation. “Fast-food jobs involve many routine tasks that are particularly susceptible to automation.”

According to studies, if the fast food industry is forced to raise wages it will hurt consumers and workers. Prices would increase by 38 percent and the profit margin would drop by 77 percent. Many restaurants would be forced to close their doors or use robot technology and, therefore, eliminating jobs.

Who’s right, who’s wrong? Time will tell.

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier.

http://silentsoldier.us

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The Modern American Patriot: A New Hope

imageedit_6_3203503698The Modern American Patriot: A New Hope

The SHTF Journal

american_patriot_0905The modern American patriot is an anomaly in our country. In a nation full of self absorbed and vapid people, the American patriot stands as a symbol for everything that makes this nation great. We patriots are the last holdouts, the last bit of resistance in a nation that is imploding into apathy and delusion. While everyone else focuses on who will win the Super Bowl or who will be on The Bachelor next season, the patriot stands ready to defend our nation and the Constitution. This nation was founded by tough men and women who wouldn’t take crap and who understood that liberty was worth fighting and dying for and this nation will be saved by the same people.

It is interesting to consider the varying backgrounds of the modern American patriot because we are not universally anything. We are not exclusively Christian, we are not exclusively a specific gender, we are not exclusively veterans, nor are we exclusively anything else. It is just something inside of a small percentage of this nation, a seed in our souls that has told us that we cannot sit idly by and watch our nation burn. We, the few who are willing to lay down our lives, our relationships, and are very freedom in defense of what we know is right is so unusual in a nation full of sheep who have their eyes blindfolded to the truth. No matter what some will say, we are the best of this nation. American patriots hardly align on almost anything and our ranks are rife with infighting and discord, but we universally understand the value of what this nation means and everything that we are losing.  We understand that our lives mean nothing without freedom and we understand that liberty, more than anything else granted to us by God, is worth fighting for.  We patriots stand ready to defend the rights of people who aren’t willing to fight for anything greater than themselves.

It is not easy to be a modern American patriot and it comes with many dangers and pitfalls. We are scorned by the individual citizen all the way up to the highest levels of government. We have been labeled domestic terrorists and wing nuts. We are monitored and we are threatened. Our belief in a nation where all men have the right to life, liberty and property has created a separation between us and the rest of a nation that worships a concept where everyone is part of a collective. We are mocked when we speak of the concept of the strength of the individual.  We are feared when we say that we believe that every man and woman should have the right to be able to defend themselves from criminals and tyrants. We believe that this right, which is granted to us by God shall not be infringed by any man or by any governmental agency.

revowarleadDo you want to see what our founding fathers and those who stood with them against British tyranny looked like? Move away from your laptop, your tablet or your phone.  Stand in front of a mirror and see the face of those who pulled together with will and blood the greatest nation the world has ever seen.  Look at the face of America and the face of America’s salvation. When or if it becomes necessary to wrestle our country back from the brink. When there are no more options left and there are no ways left in the current political system to affect change, the face staring back at you in the mirror will be part of what will bring our nation back. Your dedication and willingness to sacrifice for what is right will make the difference between destruction and rebirth. God bless you all and God bless the Republic.

 


Editor of SHTF Journal. Served as a Cavalry Scout from 2005-2009. Iraq Veteran.

 

By LorraB. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

 

Bill Clinton and Charlie Crist: The odd couple

imageedit_2_7718281298Politico: While everyone’s focused on Hillary Clinton’s next potential campaign, it’s Bill Clinton who’s been racking up frequent-flier miles, trying to get Democrats elected in the midterms.

He’s crisscrossed the country in the past eight months, doing more than 20 events for Democratic hopefuls from Florida to Kentucky to Rhode Island as the party’s most sought-after surrogate and rainmaker. In some cases, he’s gone to bat for candidates who supported his wife six years ago; in others, he’s gotten behind contenders who have long relationships with the former first couple. And the former Arkansas chief has an obvious soft spot for governors, a group that has received little attention from the current president.

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At a campaign rally in Miami Friday, Clinton will test the strength of a relatively new relationship, with Charlie Crist, the Republican-turned-Democrat who’s running for his old job as Florida’s governor. Crist was once a harsh Clinton critic, denouncing him during the impeachment scandal in the late 1990s — a fact states Republicans have been quick to resurrect.

But now, as his wife is eyeing another national campaign, the perennial battleground of Florida looms potentially large for the Clintons. And Bill Clinton and Crist have developed a rapport, speaking a number of times since Crist launched his candidacy, multiple sources familiar with the conversations told POLITICO. Clinton, a famous dispenser of campaign advice with an eye for the granular in a race, has occasionally chewed over Crist’s own bid against GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

“Whoever wins Florida is the next president of the United States,” said John Morgan, a major Democratic donor whose law firm employs Crist. “That’s just math.”

The governor is “extremely important,” Morgan added. “They control the secretary of state, voting days, voting hours.”

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It wasn’t until Crist won his primary last week against Nan Rich that Clinton was able to formally back him. Rich was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, Morgan noted, and now that Crist is the nominee “I think [Clinton’s] hands are untied.”

Clinton and Crist had their first real dealings in 2010, when Crist was running for the U.S. Senate as an independent. His advisers sought help from Bill Clinton to get the Democrat, Rep. Kendrick Meek, a longtime Clinton ally, to drop out of the race and thwart then-state Sen. Marco Rubio from winning. Clinton tried, but Meek stayed in and Rubio won. Still, it established some level of political discussion between the Clinton and Crist camps.

The appearance with Crist will cap a week of campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidates by Clinton. Earlier, he attended events for Connecticut Gov. Daniel Malloy and Maine candidate Mike Michaud. While in Maine, he stopped by Kennebunkport to pay a visit to former President George H.W. Bush, with whom he has forged a bond since working with him on post-Hurricane Katrina relief.

Clinton will attend a fundraiser on Saturday for embattled Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and another one the following weekend for Georgia Democratic Senate hopeful Michelle Nunn.

The former president did an ad for Rhode Island treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner, the son of Clinton’s longtime adviser Ira Magaziner. He is doing a direct mail piece for Nina Turner’s secretary of state race in Ohio, another key presidential proving ground.

Clinton’s team prefers to let campaigns he helps announce the visits as they see fit. That typically means as much local exposure as possible to move voters but little attention in the national media, meaning some events slip under the Beltway radar.

This month, Clinton will also host a fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, before joining his wife in Iowa for the final Sen. Tom Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola. Clinton’s appeal is global in a way that few other surrogates’ is, a far cry from 2010, when the White House asked him for surgical help in a brutal mid-terms cycle.

This time around, it’s President Barack Obama whom many campaigns are steering clear of, and Bill Clinton who is in high demand.

“I’d like to think these are just previews to a robust schedule over the next eight weeks,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, saying there are 70 House districts in which either Clinton could be a huge help.

At the same time, Bill and Hillary Clinton are expecting a grandchild, which will most likely affect their political schedule.

“I would imagine … that if the baby is born before the election, he or she will also be in great demand in these districts,” Israel joked. “I do not imagine that grandma and grandpa will allow that to happen, however.”

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Bill Clinton’s focus has been both future-looking but also personal. He is deeply invested in races in Arkansas, talking frequently with people there about how Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor and gubernatorial hopeful Mike Ross are faring.

Clinton is known for being difficult to control as a principal, with a deep love for campaigning and a willingness to stop in front of a waiting microphone even as aides try to shove him along. But despite that free-wheeling aspect to his political approach, his allies believe the perception that he is quick to go off-message is unfair.

“There are two politicians who are best at staying on-message and sticking to the script, and that’s Bill Clinton and Jeanne Shaheen,” said Terry Shumaker, a co-chair of Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 campaigns in New Hampshire.

“When he campaigns for other candidates, it comes across as very sincere and also genuine — he’s also knowledgeable about issues in an election which a lot of surrogates frankly aren’t,” he added. “He just connects with people in a way that I’ve never seen any other politician do.”

Written By MAGGIE HABERMAN, Politico

 

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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No Military Dogs Should Ever be Left Behind

imageedit_2_3850556936“A dog is a man’s best friend,” is a popular quote that most of us have heard of. But have any of you heard that “A man’s best friend is his equipment?” Well, that’s how the Pentagon labels military dogs, “equipment” and as such can be left behind after their troop owners are sent home.

Brenner Brief reports, “In a small, nondescript cemetery a stone’s throw from Highway 17 running alongside the sprawling Camp Lejeune Marine Corps base on the North Carolina coast, 30 Marines have been laid to rest over the years with special markers on each grave recounting the history of each fallen Leatherneck. All those buried in the quiet little cemetery died in the service of their country, all were interred with every honor due a fallen hero. It’s fitting that the 30 Marines laid to rest at the Camp Lejeune Special War Dog Cemetery are surrounded by Live Oak and Cyprus trees shrouded by Spanish Moss, that’s exactly the kind of place dogs love.”

A number of military dogs, however, will never receive those honors or resting place because they have been left behind and abandon overseas in shelters in war zones.

Military Dogs save around 150 American lives during their service but when they become too old, shell-shocked or simply combat fatigued, they are left behind instead of bringing them home for adoption.

USA Today’s, Jonah Goldberg, stated, “It is one thing to ask these warriors to say goodbye to their dog when it is still on active duty and is assigned a new handler, which often happens. It is quite another to ask them to leave these dogs behind when the dogs are effectively abandoned overseas, left to languish in shelter—or worse. That’s why handlers are sometimes forced to make incredible sacrifices to get their four-legged comrades home on their own.”

The expense to these combat veterans can be devastating and well into thousands of dollars.

Things have gotten better for combat dogs since President Clinton signed a 2000 law, but its still happening, “even with half-empty cargo planes transversing the globe daily,” reports CNN.

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“It would be more than feasible to place a retired military working dog on the transport plane back to the continental United States,” CNN added. “Uncle Sam got them over there, and it’s a point of honor for Uncle Sam to get his soldiers, whether they are four-legged or two-legged, back to the U.S.”

For years, understanding the moral wrongness of leavening military dogs behind, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) has been fighting to change this, though without success. Jones has tried to have military dogs reclassified to “canine member of the Armed Forces” from being labeled as “equipment.”

However, getting any politicians to consider the K-9 Corps is almost hopeless when politicians have their hands full dealing with human vets and the VA scandals.

Thor, who former Marine Corps Sgt. Deano Miller was forced to leave behind, was finally reunited recently. “They said they’d give us time to say goodbye. They didn’t.” Miller could barely contain his tears when he gazed upon the large yellow Labrador.

“It was like I was abandoning my best friend and he couldn’t understand why.”

The question on many American hearts is why? All military working dogs are completely recognized as members of our Armed Forces. They receive medals and are promoted right on up the ranks, just like their masters. Each military dog even has its own Service Record Book. Why, then, are we leaving our military soldiers behind? They are heroes who save lives, yet are tossed away like so much trash. It seems unconscionable.

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Gerry Proctor, a spokesman for Lackland Air Force Base, told CNN, “While there is a proper, legal classification for a working dog, we know they are living things, and we have great respect and admiration for them. A handler would never speak of their dog as a piece of equipment. The dog is their partner. You can walk away from a damaged tank, but not your dog. Never.”

If you still feel you need convincing how wrong this all is, watch the 2013 Animal Planet documentary covering U.S. war dogs in Afghanistan. The documentary goes over how very important these animals are and how tight the bond is between canine and handler.

“Your dog has to be able to trust you,” stated Lance Cpl. Kent Ferrell. Ferrell’s German shepherd, Zora, was trained to not only find explosives but to attack the enemy. “The relationship between you and your dog is the most important part of your partnership.”

It must feel much like leaving a sibling behind. Just a most siblings have your back, so do these brave canines. Our heroes come home dealing with so many issues; does this too have to be added to their plate?

“Organizations such as the United States War Dog Association, the American Humane Association and K9’s of the War on Terror do heroic work to reunite them when possible, at no taxpayer expense,” reports Goldberg.

Jones has been pushing legislation that military dogs could only be retired upon return to the U.S. though has been decaying in Congress for years.

“Politically, and morally, it’s understandable that the top priority must be given to providing human veterans with adequate care, particularly amid the horrific Veterans Affairs scandals plaguing the Obama administration,” reports USA Today. “No politician wants to be accused of caring more about dogs than people. But that’s largely a false choice. The cost of finding room on military transports is negligible, according to many. Private organizations can handle the rest.”

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“During the invasion of Sicily, Chips and his handler were pinned down on the beach by an Italian machine-gun team,” reports Brenner Brief. “Chips broke from his handler and jumped into the pillbox, attacking the gunners. The four crewmen were forced to leave the pillbox and surrendered to US troops. In the fight he sustained a scalp wound and powder burns. Later that day, he helped take 10 Italians prisoner. For his actions during the war, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart; however, these awards were later revoked due to an Army policy preventing official commendation of animals. His unit unofficially awarded him a Theater Ribbon with an Arrowhead for an assault landing, and Battlestars for each of his eight campaigns. Chips was discharged in December of 1945.”

If our country and military are responsible for these brave dogs and benefit from their service, then there is a moral obligation to do the right thing and bring these K-9 soldiers home. No military dog should ever be left behind.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Obama: Vision of peaceful Europe threatened by “Russia’s aggression”

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Washington (CNN) — As Air Force One landed in Estonia’s capital Wednesday, President Barack Obama’s message to Vladimir Putin — only 500 miles away in Moscow — was clear: Stay put.

Obama’s trip to the former Soviet state, ahead of this week’s NATO summit in Wales, is meant to reassure nervous Eastern Europe that Putin’s support for separatists in Ukraine doesn’t mean he has a free pass for territorial gains elsewhere.

In a speech in Tallinn, Obama said the vision of a Europe dedicated to peace and freedom is “threatened by Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” but said NATO will not allow that aggression to go unchecked.

“We will defend our NATO allies, and that means every ally,” he said. “We will be here for Estonia. … You lost your independence once before. With NATO, you will never lose it again.”

Added to the schedule only last month, the stop in Estonia supplements the message coming from NATO leaders gathering in Cardiff, Wales, who are set to announce the positioning of troops and equipment closer to Russia in Eastern Europe.

“In order for us to accomplish that, the first phase has been to make sure we’ve got an Iraqi government that’s in place, and that we are blunting the momentum that ISIL was carrying out.

“And the airstrikes have done that. But now, what we need to do is make sure that we’ve got the regional strategy in place that can support an ongoing effort, not just in the air, but on the ground, to move that forward.”

Analyst: NATO must adapt

The original reason for the summit was to determine how NATO’s mission will proceed in Afghanistan when combat troops depart at the end of the year.

But the global unrest, while causing political strife for Obama in the United States, could provide a new purpose for the 65-year-old NATO alliance, which is suffering an “identity crisis,” according to one analyst.

Russian official: Russia is emotionally in Ukraine, its troops are not.

Putin’s actions in Russia have “required NATO to really adapt and change fairly dramatically,” said Heather Conley, who directs the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

“In some ways, NATO should thank Vladimir Putin, because it was really searching for its purpose,” Conley said.

Warning Putin

NATO members that border Russia, watching the once unthinkable breach of Ukraine’s borders, are looking to the military alliance to affirm its commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty’s Article 5, which provides for collective defense of states under attack.

Ukraine isn’t a NATO member, though leaders did invite the country’s new President, Petro Poroshenko, to Wales this week. Other former Soviet states, like Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, joined NATO in the past decade, hoping to bolster ties to the West while increasing their own security frameworks.

As reassurance to those countries, NATO leaders plan to approve the creation of a “high-readiness” force that places new equipment and thousands of troops in Eastern Europe.

Ukraine warns of return to ‘full-scale war.’

White House officials say the move is meant to be defensive rather than a provocation for Russia, though initial reaction from the Kremlin — which called the move an “external threat” — foreshadowed a potential escalation of the crisis.

NATO and Russia have agreed since 1997 that no permanent NATO troops will be positioned in Eastern Europe, meaning member states will rotate forces through bases closest to Russia.

Charles Kupchan, Obama’s top adviser for European affairs, said leaders will describe the new effort as a “persistent” force in the easternmost countries, rather than “permanent.”

“We will see persistent rotation, persistent exercises to ensure that Estonia and that other countries in Central and Eastern Europe are provided the reassurance from NATO and the presence of NATO needed to meet their security needs,” he said.

Opinion: What’s Russia doing in Ukraine, and what can the West do?

Battling ISIS

Not on the official agenda in Wales, the ongoing spread of ISIS fighters in Iraq and Syria will nonetheless play a major role in Obama’s discussions in Wales.

The meeting comes after a video posted Tuesday that shows the beheading of a second American, Steven Sotloff.

The killing of Sotloff follows a threat made by ISIS last month during the videotaped beheading of American journalist James Foley. The latest video threatens the life of another man, a British citizen.

Obama has said he wants to form a coalition of governments willing to take on the group, which has taken over huge swaths of territory and terrorized ethnic minorities. Officials say that could include a role for NATO, though in what capacity is so far unclear — after all, Obama himself hasn’t yet decided whether to undertake airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.

Western European leaders must also confront the growing threat of “homegrown terrorism” — citizens leaving to fight with militant groups in Syria and Iraq, and potentially returning to stage a terror attack at home.

The host of the NATO summit, British Prime Minister David Cameron, already announced new measures to combat that threat after a London-accented militant was filmed beheading journalist James Foley.

ISIS video shows beheading of second journalist.

“There will have to be an acknowledgment that individual European countries, and certainly the United States, are taking action, actively working militarily on issues relating to Iraq and then potentially Syria,” said Kathleen Hicks, the director of the international security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Afghanistan‘s future

Just as the United States is anxiously watching the final outcome of Afghanistan’s recent election, NATO member states are wondering what their role will be there after this year ends.

Both candidates in the contested vote have said they’ll sign an agreement allowing U.S. troops to remain there past 2014. But without a winner, the Bilateral Security Agreement remains unsigned.

Hanging over the decision is the security situation in Iraq, which completely unraveled after U.S. troops’ withdrawal. Neither Obama nor his NATO counterparts want the same thing to happen in Afghanistan.

“We’re moving into a world in which NATO will be less salient in Afghanistan, but in which we want to capitalize on the lessons that we’ve learned, the partnerships that we’ve built,” Kupchan said.

No expansion

NATO last admitted new members in 2009, but leaders are quick to note this year’s summit isn’t about expansion.

The appetite for letting countries like Bosnia and Macedonia — labeled “aspirant countries” — into the club has waned. It’s hard enough to get the 28 current members to agree on things, officials say.

Case in point: NATO is having a tough time convincing its members to spend more on their militaries, a requirement for membership. The United States spends about 4.4% of its gross domestic product on defense, according to NATO figures; the European average is 1.6%.

NATO’s guidelines encourage countries to spend at least 2% of their GDP on defense.

“Part of the reason I think this NATO meeting is going to be so important is to refocus attention on the critical function that NATO plays to make sure that every country is contributing in order to deliver on the promise of our Article 5 assurances,” Obama said at a news conference last week.

But analysts say that as long as economic conditions in Europe remain bleak, countries will remain hesitant to ramp up their military spending, even as external threats grow.

“The Ukraine crisis has been a wake-up call,” said Conley, the Europe program director at CSIS. “Now, whether the Europeans will hit the snooze button or not, again, I don’t know, but it has certainly shaken them that they have allowed their military defense spending to atrophy to a point where they are now vulnerable.”

Written by Kevin Liptak

 

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Boys Witnessing the Horrors of ISIS—From Beheadings to Crucifixions

imageedit_2_4524093277One might never know when looking into the young, angelic faces of these boys, who likely have no real understanding of how dark the world can be, that you might be gazing upon trained, methodical killers–The horrors of ISIS. 

Shocking to contemplate but killers these young boys are being trained to be. They aren’t playing in the playground with their friends or involved in sports. They aren’t going to school dances or pondering their first kiss. Instead, these boys are being trained in ISIS camps in northern Syria, their innocents forevermore obliterated. 

Wearing a black balaclava, a small boy clenching an AK-47 “…pulls the trigger and the recoil of the shot knocks him back, his limbs unable to control the rifle,” reports CNN.

“An adult takes the weapon from the boy’s hands as he stands up and steps away, casting a blank glance into the camera.”

To the shock and concern of most Americans, these are the videos being seen, around the world. The United Nations [UN] have also stated concerns about the boys who are being forced to join Islamic State training camps. The UN said that many horrifying acts where done in the presence of young children, many of which being crimes of war.

 

 

Barrel bombs have been dropped on civilian areas by the Syrian government, including bombs with poisonous gas chlorine, according to Express.

“We’ve looked at eight instances of alleged chlorine attacks and we found specifically that according to our evidentiary test, they were dropped—the chlorine came with the barrel bombs—dropped from government helicopters particularly onto civilian areas,” stated UN commissioner Vitit Muntarbhorn.

“Children have been present at the executions, which take the form of beheading or shooting in the head at close range.”

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“Bodies are placed on public display, often on crucifixes, for up to three days, serving as a warning to local residents.”

The UN went on to say that and choice by the United States to bomb the “Sunni militant group must respect the laws of war. We are aware of the presence of children in training camps, we think this decision by the United States must respect the laws of war and we are concerned about [the] presence of children,” stated chairman of the UN panel, Paulo Rinheiro.

Declaring an independent Islamic state – from northern Syria to central Iraq—the Sunni brag of its young recruits and begin to cram the ISIS’s twisted ideologies down the youngster’s throats, youngsters who are mostly too immature to grasp their new and sickening reality.

According to CNN, a young boy, Mohammed, was one of them. His name has been withheld for reasons of his safety.

Mohammed was just 13 when ISIS suggested he go to a northern Syrian children’s camp.

“My friends and I were studying at the mosque, and they taught us that we should enroll in jihad with the [Islamic State]. I wanted to go, but my father did not allow me to,” Mohammed told CNN.

Not going to the camp was not an option and their home was visited by a militant patrol. Mohammad was told that if he failed to go they would cut off his fathers head. His father, who refused to be named, stated, “They were armed…and you saw the slaughter in your own eyes.”

So, off to the camp Mohammed went where he was groomed with their teachings, took oaths that he had a hard time understanding and watched boys, men and women being tortured and killed.

Mohammad was lucky though. His father was finally able to get him out of the camp and they fled to Turkey where they remain hidden.

Mohammed is not the only child with an ISIS story. Abdullah, a 10-year-old, is the youngest volunteer known to be fighting with ISIS.

The Daily Beast tells of a young Abdullah sauntering into a local grocery store. What should have been an every-day occurrence was nothing short of shocking. Abdullah was not only masked but also carrying a machine gun that was “about as big as him.”

Reportedly, Abdullah is optimistic about the prospects for the ISIS. 

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A gunman, who The Daily Beast reports as responsible for the young Abdullah, stated, “We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem. They have a dream and their dream is to establish an Islamic state.”

Unlike Mohammed, Abdullah volunteered to join ISIS, following in the footsteps of his father and brothers.

 The moment that ISIS overruns a city, Sunni jihadists begin praying on the young boys and men, between 10 and 30 years-of-age, “both to control the territories they have and to join the fight on other fronts within Iraq,” reports The Syria Deeply.

 These ISIS camps are being presented to the boys and young men as places designed specifically to teach the Quran and the foundation of Islam, according to Mohammed. But, as he quickly learned, that was not the case because these camps were so much more than that.

“The training was divided into two parts,” Mohammed said. “In religious classes, they taught us their version of Islam, the extremist methods they follow, and the necessary foundations of creating an Islamic caliphate state—their ultimate goal. They also try to convince us of jihadist ideology, like the greatness of martyrdom.” Combat lessons are also included in this training and lasts about 25 days.

 Clearly, these are just two examples in a sea of youngsters who face an unfortunate and horrifying future. Many hundreds upon hundreds of children and young adults are being recruited, many forcefully, into camps. They are said to be ‘brainwashed’ by ISIS and put immediately into service, claim the boys who were lucky enough to escape.

“We are teaching children who are less than 15 years old to fight and use arms in order to build a generation of strong fighters who follow the righteous path,’ stated Abou al-Ghanem, an ISIS fighter who trains children in these camps. “To fulfill the duty upon us all to fight the enemy and learn the foundations of jihad and the true teachings of Islam,” is the reason stated for snatching up all these children.

 “That’s why we created these camps.”

 

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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The First Spacecraft to Orbit a Comet, Europe’s Rosetta

imageedit_2_3828765429Europe’s Rosetta spacecraft encountered a comet in deep space on Wednesday and is already sending incredible photos of it. Rosetta is the first spacecraft to ever catch up with a comet.

The images show great details on the surface of this comet, Comet67/Churyumov-Gerasimerko, as none have seen before, an accomplishment that took a decade. There is great hope that scientists will be able to unlock some of the mysteries of the solar system with this landmark mission.

There were cheers all around Darmstadt, Germany’s ESA’s (European Space Agency).

mission control center when Rosetta swung alongside the comet. It is a mission that went beyond many expectations.

It wasn’t an uncomplicated mission. Rosetta, since it launched in 2004, was forced to make three “gravity-assist flybys of Earth and one of Mars to help it on course to its rendezvous with the comet.” Because of this, Rosetta was able to pass alongside the asteroids Steins and Lutetia. This maneuver allowed Rosetta to collect scientific data and extraordinary views of the asteroids.

“Comet 67/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and Rosetta now lie 405 million kilometers from Earth, about half way between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55000 kilometers per hour,” according to ESA.

Mark McCaughrean, the senior scientific advisor with the ESA’s Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration, stated during a webcast from Rosetta, “We’ve arrived. Ten years we’ve been in the car waiting to get to scientific Disneyland, and we haven’t even gotten out of the car yet and look at what’s outside the window. It’s just astonishing.”

“After ten years, five months and four days traveling towards our destination, looping around the Sun five times and clocking up 6.4 billion kilometers, we are delighted to announce finally, ‘we are here,’ stated Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA’s Director General.

The chief investigator for Rosetta’s OSIRIS instrument, Holger Sierks, stated that “This is a very, very emotional moment. You see a lot of detail coming out here. We see the bright areas. We see the head. We see the depression and a lot of stuff laid out there. We see the sides, the body of the nucleus and a lot of detail.”

The mission’s objective is to orbit the comet at a distance of 100 kilometers and watch as it rushes toward the sun.

In November, if all goes as expected, Rosetta will be the first to drop a robotic lander, Philae, onto a comet’s surface.

“We know what the comet’s shape is,” stated Rosetta’s flight Director Andrea Accomazzo to Reuters. “But we haven’t really measured its gravity; we don’t know yet where the center of mass is.” Needing to learn as much about the comet as possible, scientists are running ragged to collect as much data as possible.

“We have come an extraordinary long way since the mission concept was first discussed in the late 1970’s and approved in 1993, and now we are ready to open a treasure chest of scientific discovery that is destined to rewrite the textbooks on comets for even more decades to come…Today’s achievement is a result of a huge international endeavor spanning several decades,” stated Alvaro Gimenes, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

ESA says that for the next few weeks Rosetta will “be in a triangular orbit until it gets to about 18 miles of the surface when it starts to close observations.” Hoping to collect data about the comet’s composition and if they could have possibly brought water or even chemicals to the Earth that might have begun life as we know it.

“It really is such a step forward to anything that has come before”, stated Matt Tayor, project scientist.

When a comet begins to approach the sun, ice begins to melt and turn into an “ionized gas tail.” A close proximity study is the goal of Rosetta scientist. This study will enable the team to understand and observe the comets nucleus, now and as it approaches the sun.

Taylor went on to say, “We are there for over a year to see this complete development to the extent that you may even be able to measure the decrease in the volume of the nucleus…see how much material has left the comet. We [then] will begin final preparations for another space history: landing on a comet.”

Unlike Chury’s comet, that reappears every six years, or Halley’s Comet that won’t be visible from Earth until 2061, comet 67P will not be visible to the naked eye but will be shown on Rosetta’s blog for those interested in watching this unfold.

 

By, Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Russian Hackers Have Stolen Over 1.2 Billion Email Addresses and Passcodes

imageedit_2_9009810421A group of Russian-based hackers have pulled off what has been called the largest security breach known in America.

It took Hold Security, a firm based in Milwaukee, 18 months to uncover the breach. This gang stole 1.2 billion email addresses and passcodes. They also took over 500 million email addresses, according to the New York Times. These hackers, however, do not appear to be connected to the Russian government.

The criminals have compromised large companies and websites, even websites within Russia. It seems they are using the information to spread spam and have not of yet sold any of the information online.

Hold Security is not releasing the names of the hackers, the victims or how it acquired the data. It will, however, for a fee, offer “breach notification services” to those worried about their computers being  infected and to also offer monitoring for ongoing threats, according to their website.

The founder and chief information security officer of Hold Security, Alex Holden, stated that he wanted “to avoid discussing details about the hacker’s whereabouts and names in case law enforcement has an ongoing investigation.”

The fees Hold Security is charging, according to Holden, is to recoup the expense of confirming “website ownership and prove to them that we are the good guys. Believe it or not, it is a hard and often thankless task.”

It took Hold Security seven months to research and identify the criminals dubbed CyberVor, or Cyber-thief in Russian.

“The hackers pulled off the data heist, which ultimately scooped up 4.5 billion records, using unsuspecting systems of botnet network victims (in this case, computers with viruses that allowed a single operator to control a large group of affected systems) to test websites for SQL vulnerabilities. When a vulnerability was discovered, the hackers were then able to execute SQL injections, enabling them to send malicious comments to a website and steal its data, including usernames and passwords,” according to Mashable.

Botnets are incredibly dangerous and allows hackers to contaminate thousands upon thousands of computers with malware which enables them remote access.

Based in south central Russia, the gang started as amateur spammers in 2011. It is not know if they then partnered with a larger unit since that time.

In a statement to Business Insider, Todd Morris, CEO of the security firm BrickHouse Security, said “These remote capabilities can allow the hacker to try and penetrate other systems without the user’s knowledge.”

This would make it almost impossible to detect that your computer was even attacked, let alone discover the starting place of the attack.

So, how do you protect yourself? Morris stated that the surest way to protect all your data is by being sure you do not use the same password for all of your accounts. “So many people use the same password over and over again for different websites. If people were using more unique passwords, it would be a more limited threat.”

Facebook, after costumer’s credentials were ripped off from Adobe last fall, revealed that a lot of their users had used the very same passcodes for their Facebook accounts.

“It doesn’t really matter which websites they get passwords from,” according to a security analyst at Garner, Avivah Litan.  She went on to say that this type of theft has been around “for a long time,” although the number of records being stolen was remarkable.”

420,000 Web addresses were hit, including both small and large sites. The sites affected “include many leaders in virtually all industries across the world, as well as a multitude of small or even personal websites,” according to Hold.

There is a way to protect yourself, according to Nicholas Percoco, vice president of strategic services at security firm Rapid7. By enabling two-factor authentication, a “feature that sends a code to your smartphone that’s required to log in after entering your username and password,” even if a hacker gets your information, they cannot access your account.

If you have not taken the time to update your passwords, today would be a good time. “Adam Kujawa, head of malware intelligence at security company Malwarebytes Labs,’ told Mashable, “Make sure it’s a strong password containing capital and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters. Also, don’t use the same username and password combo for every site. This is especially true for sites that have personal information like the site to your bank or credit card,” according to Mashable.

 

By, Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Fear of Ebola Virus Outbreak Growing in the United States

Thimageedit_2_3900182019e United States is warning that the Ebola Virus is out of control. Dr. Tom Frieden stated that the U.S. is “surging its response” to the situation and claimed this to be the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

In a statement to ABC America, Frieden said “The plain truth is that we can stop Ebola…We know how to control it.”

However, the fear the Ebola virus is generating is growing rapidly. Ebola “is moving faster than our efforts to control it,” stated director-general of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan. “This is an unprecedented outbreak accompanied by unprecedented challenges. And those challenges are extraordinary.”

The strain in West Africa is the first Ebola outbreak, and the most deadly strain of Ebola. “If the situation continues to deteriorate, the consequences can be catastrophic in terms of lost lives but also severe socioeconomic disruption and a high risk of spread to other countries,” stated Chan.

We now have an American infected with Ebola in our United States. The medical plane brought this unfortunate victim from Liberia to Georgia on Saturday.

Dr. Kent Brantly was quickly rushed to Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital to be treated. Brantly contracted this deadly virus while working on the outbreak in West Africa and is one of two Americans who have been stricken.

Nancy Writebol, a fellow missionary with Brantly, has also contracted the Ebola virus while in Africa and will arrive in the U.S. early next week.

Brantly seems to be improving with the treatments, though it is too soon to predict if he will survive. His wife, Amber Brantly, stated that her husband was in good spirits and able to walk with help. “He thanked everyone for their prayers,” she said.

The number of deaths, as of Monday, has reached an alarming 887 in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The number of cases confirmed by the World Health Organization is 909, though they believe the number to be closer to 729 deaths and 1323 cases.

“The outbreak is by far the largest ever in the nearly four-decade history of this disease,” stated Chan. “It is the largest in terms of numbers of cases and deaths. It is the largest in terms of geographical areas already affected and others at immediate risk already affected and others at immediate risk of further spread.”

The United States is sending 50 public health officials to Africa to aid in the fight to control the Ebola virus.

American heath experts will begin their work in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone over the next 30 days.

Moving faster than the efforts to control the Ebola virus, the World Health Organization warned that the risk of Ebola evolving into even deadlier strains increases with each person infected.

This has heightened concerns over the risk of bringing these Americans victims back to the U.S. for treatment.

“I certainly understand that concern,” stated Frieden. “At CDC we had lapses in our laboratories, fortunately no one was hurt and nothing was released into the laboratory environment.”

“If there are patients with possible Ebola or confirmed Ebola in hospitals, that doctors and the entire healthcare team are super careful, they have protocols in place and make sure that everyone of those protocols is followed.”

Infectious diseases specialist at Emory University Hospital, Bruce Ribner, also stated that bringing the American victims home does not pose a threat. “We do not believe any health care worker, any other patient or any visitor to our facility is at any way at risk of acquiring this infection.”

The mortality rate for the Ebola virus is 57 percent. There are no vaccines for Ebola. The only way to contain it, according to health officials, is to stop the spread of infection by isolating patients.

U.S. health officials, responding to Social Media and public concerns, don’t seem worried about it spreading, although other officials say it’s just a matter of time before it is also in the U.S.

According to CNN Health,” Ebola is aggressively infectious, which means that those infected are highly likely to get sick. But it’s not very contagious, meaning it doesn’t spread easily. It’s transmitted only through bodily fluids while the infected patient is exhibiting symptoms. “Experts say our health care system would be able to identify and contain the virus swiftly.”

“To date, more than 60 health care workers have lost their lives in helping others. Some international staff are infected,” Chan said. “These tragic infections and deaths significantly erode response capacity.”

Although the Ebola virus is at just below 60 percent fatality rate, up to 90 percent of those who catch it can die.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Eric Cantor to leave Congress altogether on Aug. 18

imageedit_2_9583802394Rep. Eric Cantor, the just-departed House majority leader, announced Friday morning that he would also resign altogether from Congress, effective Aug. 18.

The seven-term congressman, stunned by a June 10 upset in Virginia’s primary, stepped down from his Republican leadership position on Thursday.

“It has been the highest honor of my professional life to serve the people of Virginia’s 7th District in Congress,” Cantor said in a statement Friday morning. “That is why it is with tremendous gratitude and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign from Congress, effective Aug. 18.”

In his statement, Cantor says his resignation would allow his successor, likely to be Republican nominee David Brat, to get an edge in seniority by taking office in November rather than January.

The surprise decision caps off a nearly 14-year career in Congress for the hard-charging 51-year-old Virginian, whose name became synonymous with ambition as he soared through leadership ranks at a relatively young age and charted the course for a new generation of Republicans in the Capitol.

Some congressional leaders have made similar decisions to retire altogether after brief stints returning to rank-and-file status, but Cantor’s move remains unique because he’s the highest ranking House member to ever lose his own party’s nomination.

Rather than stay in the House through the end of December, he said he would pave the way for his successor — presumably Brat in the Republican-tilting district surrounding Richmond — to be an active participant in the expected lame-duck session after the November elections. “That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents [because] he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor told the Richmond Times-Dispatch, which first reported his plans to leave Congress early.

Cantor has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) to schedule two elections Nov. 4, one that will fill out the remaining weeks of his existing House term and the other for the next full tw0-year term. The decision will leave Virginia’s 7th Congressional District without a representative for two-and-a-half months, but most of that time the House will be adjourned to allow lawmakers to campaign before November.

The move also allows Cantor, a lawyer with strong ties to Wall Street and the financial community, to begin his private-sector life several months earlier than if he had served out his term.

Cantor’s sudden departure, after so many years at the center of fiscal drama in showdowns with President Obama, is somewhat dizzying.

Unaware of the revolt brewing among his district’s conservative voters, Cantor left the Capitol the afternoon of June 10 for the 100-mile drive to Richmond expecting a coronation in his primary race against Brat, a conservative professor at Randolph-Macon College. Brat had run a shoe-string campaign and seemed unaware that he was on the verge of one the great upsets of modern politics.

Instead he routed Cantor by more than 10 percentage points, even as outside conservative groups who have elevated long-shot bids against other Republican incumbents doubted Brat’s credentials.

Easily poised to succeed House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), his sometime internal rival, Cantor announced the next day he would resign as majority leader effective July 31, keeping to himself his plans to quit Congress outright in mid-August before his seventh term expired.

The final coda for Cantor’s public service came in an unusually bipartisan moment Thursday just before noon, when he delivered a farewell address. He received long standing ovations from friend and foe, including Democrats who often decried his partisanship and Republicans who distrusted his ambition.

As Cantor addressed the House chamber Thursday in his last act as majority leader, the always emotional Boehner dabbed his eyes with a handkerchief.

Cantor told the House that his friend was an “example of firm leadership” who was unafraid to show his “kind heart and soft spot from time to time.” Cantor mentioned Boehner’s “patience” during their regular meetings, which he said took place at least once a day, every day the House had been in session the past five years.

The one-time rivals have led in lock step in recent years as they struggled to wrangle an unruly bloc of conservatives into line with the rest of the Republican caucus. Cantor’s last official day was emblematic of much of his tenure, with the leadership team battling another tea party-fueled rebellion, this one against immigration legislation backed by Boehner (R-Ohio).

Boehner has been magnanimous to his partner in those battles as Cantor has bowed out from the GOP leadership. This week, Boehner paid his own tribute at a meeting of the National Leadership Assembly for Israel. Before discussing the urgent matter of the day — the situation in Gaza — the speaker thanked the only Jewish Republican now in Congress.

A three-minute video was released that charts Cantor’s ascension to House majority leader and the highlights of his leadership — including the passage of the Gabriella Miller Kids First Research Act, which diverted $126 million in federal funds to fight childhood cancer and other pediatric diseases. Cantor has said the bill is a highlight of his tenure.

In the House, Cantor told the assembled members that it had been “an honor and a privilege” to serve as majority leader and thanked his colleagues for “their service, their friendship and their warmth.” He also warned that “our nation and our economy cannot meet its full potential if we in America are not leading abroad,” citing the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine. “We’ve got to make leadership abroad a priority.”

Cantor was given a standing ovation for several minutes from across the House chamber and received hugs from two of his closest allies — the incoming majority leader, Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

Thursday marked the unexpected end of a star’s rise. It was assumed that Cantor would play a key role in the GOP’s leadership for some years to come. He sat in the House for two years before rising to chief deputy whip, later taking the role of minority whip and then, in 2011, majority leader.

Although his name was not mentioned as a future presidential candidate, no one expected his fall to come so soon. Cantor was knocked off his perch despite outspending Brat 40 to 1.

Former Virginia governor James S. Gilmore has known Cantor most of his life and witnessed the evening he lost the primary for Virginia’s 7th District. Gilmore describes a “sense of frustration” among voters and believes that Cantor’s reelection loss had more to do with anger toward the GOP’s leadership than toward the congressman himself.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t like the direction of the country, and Eric was a symbol for the state of the affairs,” Gilmore said. “Maybe if he had talked up his accomplishments in the leadership and the 7th District more, he might not have lost.”

What’s next for the still relatively young Cantor? “I do want to play a role in the public debate,” he told ABC’s “This Week.”

Even his political opponents think he isn’t quite finished. During his tribute in the House, Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “I know that he will not be leaving the public community, the public square, that his voice will still be a voice of influence and he will make a difference in whatever area he pursues.”

The GOP leaders have similar thoughts. At the end of the House Republican’s video tribute, which had 3,500 views on YouTube by late Thursday afternoon, Cantor’s voice concludes that “each setback is an opportunity, and there’s always optimism for the future.”

Reported by The Washington Post

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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WHISTLEBLOWER: L.A. Planning to Forcibly House Homeless Citizens in FEMA Camps

imageedit_2_9137855630Insider: Supervisor told U.S. citizens “cannot leave” housing facilities

A whistleblower who claims to work inside the Los Angeles Department of Health Services has told Infowars that L.A. officials are planning to forcibly remove homeless people from the streets later this summer and house them in facilities which they will not be permitted to leave.

The source, an office clerk within the LADHS, said that during a policy meeting on the morning of June 18th last month, his supervisor announced that the Los Angeles County Dept. of Health Services had struck a deal with the government to open up “low cost housing” facilities for homeless people, otherwise known as “FEMA camps.” The source said that his supervisor ordered staff not to use the term “FEMA camps.”

The program is focused around removing or relocating homeless people from the streets of downtown L.A., starting with Skid Row.

“We will approach them on the street asking if they need or want help usually offering food to get their direct attention, if they come into the office it makes our jobs twice as efficient,” said the supervisor. “In most cases the decision is already made for them unless they become combative or belligerent in which case we send them in for a 72 hour psych evaluation and then transfer them while under sedation or heavy medication to the “facility.”

The supervisor stressed that the program would be “humane,” that it would help clean up the streets, and that the citizens being processed into the housing units would receive medical treatment, an RFID chip, room and board, but that “they cannot leave.” The supervisor elaborated that the facility was not a prison, but that its population would be kept there “for their own health and safety.”

The whistleblower points to a page on the Department of Health Services official website which details how “roving teams” will help “provide short-term housing with health oversight to homeless DHS patients who are recovering from an acute illness or injury or have conditions that would be exacerbated by living on the street or in shelters.”

The post also mentions “a 38 bed recuperative care site in South LA” which will be opened “this summer” to cater for the homeless.

The notion of forcing homeless people off the streets into detention facilities is not a conspiracy theory and has already been taking place across the United States. Los Angeles is already making moves to force charities for the homeless off the streets as part of plans for the “gentrification” of entire areas.

Last year, the city of Columbia, South Carolina voted to make homelessness a crime, creating police patrols which gave homeless people the choice of either forcibly entering a shelter on the edge of town or being sent to jail.

More than 50 cities all over the nation have also made feeding the homeless a crime, while in places like Camden, N.J., authorities are bulldozing entire tent cities.

Reported by D.C. Clothesline

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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PELOSIUM – The Most Dense Element Ever Found

imageedit_5_2911831460PELOSIUM:

A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Pelosium.

 

Pelosium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 223 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311.

 These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

The symbol of Pelosium is PU.

Pelosium’s mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons within the Pelosium molecule, leading to the formation of isotopes.

The characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration.  Author, unknown.

Please, use caution when coming into contact with this unstable matter.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Silence – 104,366 Brave, Silent American Soldiers

imageedit_6_6717250909About six miles from Maastricht, in the Netherlands, lie buried 8,301 American soldiers who died in “Operation Market Garden” in the battles to liberate Holland in the fall winter of 1944.

Every one of the men buried in the cemetery, as well as those in the Canadian and British military cemeteries, has been adopted by a Dutch family who mind the grave, decorate it, and keep alive the memory of the soldier they have adopted. It is even the custom to keep a portrait of “their” American soldier in a place of honor in their home. Annually, on “Liberation Day,” memorial services are held for “the men who died to liberate Holland.” The day concludes with a concert. The final piece is always “ll Silenzio,” a memorial piece commissioned by the Dutch and first played in 1965 on the 20th anniversary of Holland’s liberation. It has been the concluding piece of the memorial concert ever since.

This year the soloist was a 13-year-old Dutch girl, Melissa Venema, backed by Andre` Rieu and his orchestra (the Royal Orchestra of the Netherlands). This beautiful concert piece is based upon the original version of taps and was composed by Italian composer Nino Rossi.

http://www.flixxy.com/trumpet-solo-melissa-venema.htm

After you watch the above site, check out our European arrogance, in alphabetical order:

  1. The American Cemetery at Aisne-Marne, France…A total of 2289
  2. The American Cemetery at Ardennes, Belgium…A total of 5329
  3. The American Cemetery at Brittany, France…A total of 4410
  4. Brookwood, England – American Cemetery…A total of 468
  5. Cambridge, England…A total of 3812
  6. Epinal, France – American Cemetery…A total of 5525
  7. Flanders Field, Belgium…A total of 368
  8. Florence, Italy…A total of 4402
  9. Henri-Chapalle, Belgium…A total of 7992
  10. Lorraine, France…A total of 10,489
  11. Luxembourg, Luxembourg…A total of 5076
  12. Meuse-Argonne…A total of 14,246
  13. Netherlands, Netherlands…A total of 8301
  14. Normandy, France…A total of 9387
  15. Oise-Aisne, France…A total of 6012
  16. Rhone, France…A total of 861
  17. Sicily, Italy…A total of 7861
  18. Somme, France…A total of 1844
  19. St. Mihiel, France…A total of 4153
  20. Suresnes, France…A total of 1541

Apologize to no one.

Remind those of our sacrifice and don’t confuse arrogance with leadership.

The count is 104,366 dead, brave Americans.

And we have to watch an American elected leader who apologizes to Europe and the Middle East that our country is “arrogant!”  How many French, Dutch, Italians, Belgians and Brits are buried on our soil…after defending us against our enemies?

We don’t ask for praise…but we have absolutely no need to apologize! Do think about this. Author – Unknown.

104,366 brave, silent American Soldiers. 

 

By, Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Millions in Taxpayer Vacations – Isn’t Life Grand Mr. President?

imageedit_7_4252998750Vacations are a beautiful thing indeed, especially when taxpayers are footing the bill. Having been nicknamed our “most well-traveled, expensive” president to date, by many Americans, President Obama has spent an unimaginable 44 million dollars on vacations and travel.

Granted, it is a well know fact that a president is rarely fully on vacation-mode due to the nature of the job and may merely be enjoying a different sense of scenery but the expense of these outings are arguably outlandish. When the taxpayer is the one who is mostly responsible for footing the bill, it’s a problem.

Yes, each president elect has claimed that because he always travels with staff and handles key communications business, location isn’t an issue. Compared to former President George W. Bush, who visited his Crawford ranch repeatedly, Obama’s foreign travels require much more revenue, staff, security and communications.

“Any American would understand that sending the president and Secret Service to a small Texas town is a lot cheaper than an ostentatious vacation in Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii,” stated Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a taxpayer watchdog group.

Since taking office in 2009 Obama has taken 31 international trips, more than any other president. That’s 119 days spent overseas as of March of this year and has cost taxpayers millions.

Obama, in addition to all of his international travels, spends a considerable amount of time accompanied by his family while traveling. The Obama’s have vacationed on “exclusive beaches in New England, private clubs in Key Largo and, of course, luxurious beaches in Hawaii,” according to The Daily Caller.

Next month is Obama’s 16-day summer vacation break to “Martha’s Vineyard in Mass…he will have taken all or part of 141 days of vacation, time split between summers on the island, winters in his native Hawaii and birthday weekends at his Chicago home,” stated the Washington Examiner.

“Obama has been criticized for taking costly and lengthy vacations, especially compared to the short trips most Americans take. The U.S. Travel Association reports that the average American vacation lasts just 3.7 days.”

The cost of the Obama’s trip to Hawaii, from June 27 to July 3, included three countries in Africa, Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. According to Air Force records, transportation costs for flights were a whooping $228,288 an HOUR. $8,104,224 was the flight expense alone!

According to the Washington Post, the African trip cost taxpayers just around $100 million. The Honolulu vacations cost taxpayers right around $15,885,585.30 according to Judicial Watch. “Here we have a president that gets on the budget line by line, but this apparently doesn’t apply to his travel…We’ve got this financial crisis here in Washington and the president and his family need to be more sensitive as to the cost concerned with his travel. We are especially concerned about the excessive luxury travel, such as his trip to Hawaii,” stated Fitton.

It also seems we taxpayers are not privy to the actual cost of the Obama’s escapades. Information pertaining to items such as the cost of housing, Secret Service and their equipment, staff, meals and beverages are frequently not available to view or missing completely from the data reports.

According to Fitton, “The Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary luxurious vacations and travel. These staggering costs show why these documents were covered up and we had to sue in federal court to get them. Another transparency fail for the Obama gang.”

It is disconcerting, to say the least, that one would have to sue our public servant in order to get an expense report. The answer is yes, Mr. President, you work for us. Indeed, there are things of a security nature that would make it unwise to share with the public…but a vacation expense report?

These are the expense items that we do know the White House refuses to disclose for “security reasons,” according to Watchdog.org:

 

  • An entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the president’s stay.
  • Security upgrades, such as bulletproof glass and additional phone lines added to private homes; existing security systems are disabled.
  • Rental cars and fuel for staff and security, as well as additional costs for Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the president.

 

“The cost to taxpayers of President Obama’s travel, especially his luxury vacation travel, are beyond pale…and the secrecy surrounding these costs shows that Obama’s vows of transparency are rubbish,” said Fitton.

 This begs the question that if you’re trying to hide vacation expense reports what other, much more important items, are you hiding from us?

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Washington Pot Shop Customers Cheer 1st Legal Sale

imageedit_4_9062128745Cale Holdsworth strode to the counter at Top Shelf Cannabis, inspected and sniffed a glass jar filled with marijuana, and said: “I’ll take two grams.”

Holdsworth paid $26.50 and held up the brown bag containing his pot as people applauded the store’s first transaction as Washington on Tuesday became the second state to allow people to buy marijuana legally in the U.S. without a doctor’s note.

“This is a great moment,” said the 29-year-old from Abilene, Kansas, as a swarm of reporters and television cameras recorded the moment.

People began buying marijuana at 8 a.m. at Top Shelf Cannabis, which started selling the drug as soon as it was allowed under state regulations. Before it opened, several dozen people lined up outside the shop in this liberal college town of about 80,000 north of Seattle.

Holdsworth was first in line, along with his girlfriend, Sarah Gorton, and her younger brother. They showed up at 4 a.m.

Gorton said the trio was in Bellingham for her grandfather’s 84th birthday. State law allows both Washington residents and people from out of state to purchase a limited amount of pot.

“It’s just a happy coincidence and an opportunity we’re not going to have for a long time,” said Gorton, a 24-year-old with dreadlocks and homemade jewelry. “I’m really thrilled to be a part of something that I never thought would happen.”

In Seattle, hundreds of people waited in the warm sunshine outside the city’s first pot shop, CannabisCity, which opened at noon.

Store owner James Lathrop, holding a large scissors to cut the ribbon for the official opening, said it was time to “free the weed.”

The first customer, 65-year-old retiree Deb Greene, hugged and thanked Alison Holcomb, the author of Washington’s marijuana law, before she placed her order for 8 grams, total $160.01 with tax.

“It’s so remarkable,” Greene said. “We’re showing the way.”

The start of legal pot sales in Washington marks a major step that’s been 20 months in the making.

Washington and Colorado stunned much of the world by voting in November 2012 to legalize marijuana for adults over 21, and to create state-licensed systems for growing, selling and taxing the pot. Sales began in Colorado on Jan. 1.

Washington issued its first 24 retail licenses Monday. An Associated Press survey of the licensees showed only about six planned to open Tuesday: two in Bellingham, one in Seattle, one in Spokane, one in Prosser and one in Kelso. Some were set to open later this week or next, while others said it could be a month or more before they could acquire marijuana to sell.

It’s been a bumpy ride in Washington, with product shortages expected as growers and sellers scrambled to prepare. Pot prices were expected to be higher than what people pay at the state’s unregulated medical marijuana dispensaries.

That was largely due to the short supply of legally produced pot in the state. Although more than 2,600 people applied to become licensed growers, fewer than 100 have been approved — and only about a dozen were ready to harvest by early this month.

Colorado already had a regulated medical marijuana system, making for a smoother transition when it allowed those dispensaries to start selling to recreational pot shops Jan. 1.

Washington’s medical system is unregulated, so officials here were starting from scratch as they immersed themselves in the pot world and tried to come up with regulations that made sense for the industry and the public.

The rules include protocols for testing marijuana and requirements for child-resistant packaging. Officials also had to determine things like how much criminal history was too much to get a license, and what types of security systems pot shops and growers should have.

Washington law allows the sale of up to an ounce of dried marijuana, 16 ounces of pot-infused solids, 72 ounces of pot-infused liquids or 7 grams of concentrated marijuana, like hashish, to adults over 21.

Brian Kost, a 45-year-old Bellingham man, was among the first in line at Top Shelf Cannabis, in an industrial area off Interstate 5. He said he hadn’t smoked marijuana in 17 years because he didn’t like the hassle of trying to find it on the illegal market.

“With the chance to buy it legally, I just couldn’t pass it up,” Kost said. “I never thought I’d see the day.”

Gorton said she, her brother and boyfriend planned to head back to their relatives’ house and sample their purchase.

“We’re probably going to break open a bottle of wine, sit on the porch and enjoy this,” she said.

By GENE JOHNSON Associated Press

                                                                                   

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Could the White House be Coming Down Like a House of Cards?

imageedit_5_2203792702Could the Internal Revenue Service scandal bring down the White House? Republican Michele Bachmann (Minn) believes it could do just that.

The IRS blames dated technology for the loss of emails from 2009 through mid-2011 do to a computer crash and says that they will likely never be recovered. Ironically, or not, this is the time period encompassing the first year the IRS in Cincinnati began looking through Tea Party applications more closely.

Republicans in Congress became incensed and began accusing the IRS commissioner John Koskinen of not being truthful. Republicans, and most, understand that back-ups are required. Not having a back-up of years of emails did not set right with most.

Democrats, however, were quick to point out that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing or that the computer crash was intentional in the slightest. Democrats accuse Republicans of stirring the pot with new and unfounded allegations.

Lois Lerner, former IRS official, has been pleading her Fifth Amendment rights and has only spoken through her lawyers since this scandal over lost emails erupted over a year ago.

“This is a so-called congressional investigation with no pretense of objectivity or bipartisanship,” stated Taylor, Lerner’s attorney. “Critics of Ms. Lerner and the IRS seize indiscriminately on small pieces of fact to claim they prove scandal.”

“It’s a scandal of epic proportions, big enough that it could bring down a presidency…The only thing that’s phony are all of the denials that are coming out of the White House,” stated Bachmann.

In May 2013 Lerner admitted publicly that certain political groups had inappropriately been targeted by the agency.  Over the months, the scandal has escalated with new stories fueling suspicions that the Obama administration has used the IRS as a political tool.

“In the absence of a special prosecutor, the best opportunity for piercing the veil of secrecy and evasion that surrounds the IRS handling of groups perceived as enemies of the Obama administration lies is civil litigation. The National Organization for Marriage has just obtained a $50,000 settlement from the IRS for its criminal release of confidential donor information to an opposition group.”

“Confidential tax return information about the National Organization for Marriage donors was published on the website of a political adversary. But so far Eric Holder’s Justice Department is not pursuing inquiries into who feloniously released that information,” according to American Thinker.

When her computer crashed, Lerner lost an untold about of emails, items that were actively being sought by congressional investigators. Lerner is being investigated for her role in the agency’s controversy that they improperly scrutinized application by some Tea Party groups,” and publicly admitted as much.

There are also claims that Lerner singled out GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley implying she was in “cahoots” with the justice Department.  Taylor stated that Lerner neither saved nor printed official emails on a backup computer and many dispute this claim. Email back-up is a record-keeping law.

“Lerner’s admission…that the IRS had been singling out applications for tax-exempt status using terms such as “tea party.” Followed by a critical inspector general report days later, set off the original storm. The groups in question were seeking status as a social welfare organization, or a 501(c)(4), which is allowed to engage in a limited amount of political activity.”

Yesterday, a pro-Israel group seeking a tax exempt status was told its application was being held up because “…these cases are being sent to a special unit in the DC office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

Unlawful viewpoint discrimination is what Z-Street’s lawsuit claims. Washington, DC’s federal court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, an Obama appointee, dismissed the lawsuit stating that Z-Street was suing over “viewpoint discrimination evidenced by what it was told by IRS agent Diane Gentry about contradicting administration policies – the process by which the IRS made the determination on tax exempt status.” In other words, and according to the Jerusalem Post, “The Z Street case may be what forces the IRS to pull its carefully constructed curtain and reveal how it made decisions regarding organizations deemed out of step with the current US administration.”

Published in 2012 by the Human Rights Campaign, which are supporters of gay rights, is the donor information of John Eastman’s association that opposes same-sex marriages.

“As a former tax official, if I would have done that as an employee of the IRS, I would have been refereed to the Justice Department, the criminal division,” stated Bachmann. “I would have been subject to a felony of five years hard time, in a federal penitentiary. That’s what we are talking about, that’s how serious this is. The IRS has broken laws and the American people need a redress of this grievance.”

On Monday, an MSNBC panel believed this premise of the IRS targeting “conservative groups, misleading investigators, and then failing to produce evidence relating to that investigation because they had destroyed it,” wasn’t that big a problem or worry but declared it “the single most important issue of our time.”

According to HotAir, MSMBC also stated, inaccurately, that “the liberal groups were also targeted by the IRS with equal fervor.”

A Fox News poll from last week, however, shows quite a different story. It showed that “74 percent support a congressional investigation into the targeting scandal, including 86 percent of Republicans, 65 percent of surveyed independents, and 66 percent of Democratic respondents.” The poll went on to declare “76 percent believe the IRS intentionally destroyed hardware in order to hide evidence relating to the targeting scandal from investigators.”

A survey from A Quinnipiac University last week also showed that “74 percent want a special counsel appointed in order to investigate the scandal. Again, there is no partisan, age, gender, or race gap in the findings…63 percent of Democrats and 78 percent of independents calling for a special prosecutor,” reported The Hill.

Bachmann stated that the IRS scandal “is only the beginning…We also know that over 1.1 million documents were wrongfully sent by Lois Lerner to the Justice Department criminal division. The criminal division only looks at employee behavior but yet Lois Lerner wanted the Justice Department to look at the behavior of the non-profits themselves.”

We may never know how many emails are gone but the IRS was able to piece together emails from 82 IRS employees and come up with around 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009-2011.

“The IRS is committed to working with Congress…the IRS has remained focused on being thorough and responding as quickly as possible to the wide-ranging requests from Congress while taking steps to protect underlying taxpayer information,” stated the IRS.

Lerner’s case is now held by the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia after having been found in contempt of Congress in May, and after having refused to answer questions that could incriminate her.

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Aborted Fetuses Burned For Fuel in Oregon – Graphic

Human, aborted imageedit_2_9577583126fetuses are being shipped to the United States from British Columbia and being incinerated to provide electricity for Oregon residents.

Thinking this too outlandish and, frankly, quite unsettling, I checked with Snopes.com to make sure this wasn’t some sick prank. I can assure you it is quite true.

The remains of aborted humans are being shipped to a US power facility, in order to provide electricity to Oregon residents.

“The British Colombia Health Ministry has confirmed that ‘medical waste’ is sent to our country to be converted to electricity in waste-to-power plants. ‘Medical waste,’ in this brave new world of ours, includes amputated limbs, cancerous tissue, and the bodies of murdered children,” according to Snopes.com.

The Oregon incinerator was stopped by the County commissioners on Thursday from receiving any waste from medical facilities until it is ensured that fetal tissue will no longer be burned for fuel.

Sam Brentano and Janet Carlson, Marion County commissioners, said they strongly disagree with abortions and that they were “horrified” that the Marion County Resource Recovery Facility could actually be using human remains to fuel Oregon.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of it,” said Carlson. “I want to know who knew, when they knew, how long they had known this was going on.

Brentano acknowledged that all human tissue can be accepted at the waste-to-energy plant, but stated, “No rule or law has been broken, but there’s an ethical standard that’s been broken.”

“We provide an important service to the people of this state and it would be a travesty if this program is jeopardized due to this finding. We thought our ordinance excluded this type of material at the waste-to-energy facility. We will take immediate action to ensure a process is developed to prohibit human tissue from future deliveries,” continued Brentano.

“We are outraged and disgusted that this material could be included in medical waste received at the facility,” Carlson stated. “We did not know this practice was occurring until today. We are taking immediate action and initiating discussions with Covanta Marion to make certain that this type of medical waste is not accepted in the future.”

The United Kingdom went through a similar experience last month when similar reports of aborted fetuses being incinerated for energy caused upheaval and caused the U.K. authorities to halt the “totally unacceptable” practice.

According to reports, over 15,000 babies, miscarried or aborted, were included in the clinical waste and incinerated.

“As many as 10 employees at England’s National Health Service admitted to having burned fetal remains that had been mixed with garbage, and two other employees said the aborted or miscarried bodies were used in the country’s “waste-to-energy” plants to generate power for heat,” reported Britain’s Telegraph newspaper.

The Obama administration’s Securities and Exchange Commission stated on February 28, 2012, that this type of use is well within the confines of “ordinary business.”

An email from Gayle Atteberry, an Oregon Right to Life’s Executive Director, was sent to LifeNews when she got wind of this new “alternative energy.”

As horrified as I am to hear of the bodies of Canada’s smallest citizens being burned to create electricity for our homes, I am not surprised. When we do not respect the unborn babies’ right to life, what is stopping us from using their bodies for our own gain, whether that be burning them for electricity or destroying them for embryonic stem cell research? The next question is: are Oregon’s babies being burned as well?”

Many pro-life advocates tend to compare abortion with the Holocaust for which the pro-abortion quickly condemn them. Though, the comparison is a gruesome reminder of the despicable way humans were treated in Nazi Germany.

According to Jeff Bickford, the environmental services division manager in Marion County, waste material has been taken from British Columbia for up to 7 years. “You’ve got biological agent and infectious diseases in there”…that need to be incinerated.

Brentano stated that in order to insure that no fetus tissue enter the incinerator, new ordinances need to be written.

Carlson asked during a meeting, “So if someone loses an arm, loses a finger?”

Brentano replied, “That should go in and be burned, as gross as that is.”

The Department of Health issued a ban prohibiting hospitals from the misuse of the bodies of babies “victimized by abortion any further.”

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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Sudanese Christian Mom Spared From Death ReArrested 24 Hours Later

imageedit_2_4608762815It was for renouncing Islam and embracing Christianity that Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to hang for apostasy, igniting outrage from at home and from overseas. She was released on Monday and arrested again Tuesday as she and her family were trying to leave the country of Africa.

The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) agents, about 40 of them, detained her, her husband and their two children at Khartoum Airport, just 24 hours after her release.

A head Sudanese official said she would be released “soon,” according to BBC News. “Abdullahi Alzareg from the ministry of foreign affairs told BBC’s Newshour program that Mrs. Ibrahim had been arrested because she did not have the correct travel documents.”

Then why did it take almost 40 agents to arrest her at the airport and why did they detain the family?

“We don’t have a reason as to why,” said Al-Sharif Ali, a member of her legal team. “Her husband is also being detained. We have tried to see them, but it has been very difficult. The National Security Force will not allow us to meet with them.”

Ibrahim is Sudanese and she was using emergency South Sudanese papers with a U.S. visa. Her husband, a Christian from South Sudan, has U.S. nationality.

The facility Ibrahim, Daniel Wani and their children were taken to is used by Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service. “A source close to the family told FoxNews.com…They have travel documents furnished by the U.S. embassy, but Ibrahim did not have a passport, the source said.”

“She is either banned from traveling or the NISS could also create “paper issues” if they don’t want her to leave the country.”

A man who claims to be the brother of Ibrahim, Al-Hadi, said on Tuesday that his family’s honor had been tarnished because of the case and he is seeking revenge.

Ibrahim, while in court, denied being related to Al-Hadi.

The whole can of worms started when a relative of Ibrahim’s, a Muslim, said her family was stunned to realize she had married a Christian after having been missing for a number of years, according to her lawyer.

Because Ibrahim’s father was a Muslim the courts considered her a Muslim even though she said she had never practiced Islam and professed to be a Christian. “She was charged with adultery, because a Muslim woman’s marriage to a Christian man is illegal in Sudan, and with apostasy, accused of illegally renouncing what was alleged to be her original faith,” stated CNN.

“I am a Christian,” Ibrahim stated during her hearing last month, “and I will remain a Christian.” Her mother is an Ethiopian Orthodox Christian and raised her children as such. Ibrahim’s father, a Muslim, abandoned her at the age of 6.

“It’s very disappointing,” Elshareef, the family’s lawyer, said. “They were very angry. They took us (family’s lawyers) outside, and took the family to a NISS detention center. They have not been given access to lawyers.”

Because the appeals court had overturned all of Ibrahim’s convictions, Elshareef believes that political differences within their government about the case could have played a role in preventing her from leaving.

“I’m very concerned. When people do not respect the court, they might do anything,” said Elshareef.

This case attracted international criticism and more than 1 million people supported a crusade by Amnesty International to set her free.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said he was “absolutely appalled” by the treatment given to her. Political and “religious leaders, celebrities and human rights organizations” condemned her imprisonment. The British Foreign Office and U.S. sate department welcomed her release.

“This is a deeply troubling development,” stated Jordan Sekulow, executive director of the American Center for Law and Justice. The ACLJ collected over 300,000 signatures in a petition demanding her release. “The decision to take the entire family into custody is a violation of international law and we call on Sudan to release them without delay. Meriam and her family’s fate are now unclear.”

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

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One of the Greatest Intelligence Failures in American History

imageedit_2_5041333720One thing about the advance of ISIS is the deathly silence from our best ally in the Middle East, Israel. What concerns me is that the U.S. seems to believe time is on our side relating to ISIS – and we’re not taking this sophisticated threat seriously. I pray Israel is.

It’s always helpful to gain a window into the enemy by reading the enemies’ words. Franklin Lamb, writing for Media With Conscience was afforded an opportunity to interview members of the Islamist army, who clearly laid out their frightening plans.

He writes, “One need not be present to understand the unfolding “Jihadi Spring” is fueling the plans and perhaps destiny of ascendant Islamists in this region with the increasing help of in-country nationalists, including remnants of the Iraqi Baath Party. This, according to more than a dozen ardent supporters of The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), known locally as DAASH, whose representatives allowed this observer over the past six months to interview some of its supporters.”

Lamb explains that the final “S” in the acronym “ISIS” relates to the Arabic word “al-Sham” which itself is variously used to refer to the Levant, Syria or even Damascus. But DAASH (ISIS) means the Levant or Eastern Mediterranean including Cyprus, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and southern Turkey. ISIS has just announced that Raqqa, the only one of 14 Governorates it controls in Syria, is now the “Capital” of their emerging “Caliphate” which so far is a swathe of territory encompassing much of eastern and northern Syria and western and northern Iraq. The Emir is to be their military strategist and leader and successor of Abu Mus’ab Zarqawi, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

What we fail to comprehend is that an Islamic caliphate is a borderless empire ruled by singular leader under strict Islamic law, the Koran. It does not respect secular leadership, as we are witnessing in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere in the Islamic world. In Egypt, the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood set back their march towards being a part of an Islamic caliphate – which our own Secretary of State has problems understanding.

So what does ISIS think of Israel’s existence?

Lamb says jihadist recruiters working with a claimed new specialized DAASH unit organized at the beginning of 2013 are “focusing exclusively on destroying the Zionist regime occupying Palestine.” DAASH’s “Al Quds Unit” (AQU) is currently working to broaden its influence in more than 60 Palestinian camps and gatherings from Gaza, across Occupied Palestine, to Jordan, and Lebanon up to the north of Syria seeking to enlist support as it prepares to “Liberate” Palestine.

How in God’s name did the Obama administration not see this coming? This may be one of the greatest intelligence failures in American history. President Obama referred to this as “whack-a-mole” – hardly, this is not just some terrorist organization; it is an army with a structure. It is no different from Hezbollah in Lebanon or Hamas in Gaza.

A DAASH member supposedly claims, “Zionists call us masked, sociopathic murderers but we are much more complicated and representative of those seeking justice than they portray us. Are we more barbaric than the Zionist terrorists who massacred at Dier Yassin, Shatila twice at Qana, and committed dozens of other massacres? History will judge us after we free Palestine. DAASH claims it can do the job in 72 months.

Lamb says there are several reasons why Palestinians should hold out hope for ISIS succeeding in their cause when all other Arab, Muslim, and Western-claimed resistance supporters have failed. “All countries in this region are playing the sectarian card just as they have long played the Palestinian card but the difference with ISIS is that we are serious about Palestine and they are not. Tel Aviv will fall as fast as Mosul when the time is right,” a DAAH ally explained. Another member insisted, “DAASH will fight where no one else is willing.”

ISIS appears uniformly contemptuous of the “Zionist regime” and its army and also appears eager to fight them in the near future despite expectation that Israel will use nuclear weapons.

“Do you think that we do not have access to nuclear devices? The Zionist knows that we do and if we ever believe they are about to use theirs we will not hesitate. After the Zionists are gone, Palestine will have to be decontaminated and rebuilt just like areas where there has been radiation released.”

This is a real threat and nothing ISIS has done is contrary to their intent and purpose. We do not want an entrenched Islamist army as we have in Hezbollah and Hamas. The situation for Israel is dire since those two Islamic terrorist formations exist to their north and south. If ISIS is successful in moving against Jordan, then there is a greater threat to the east. The clock is ticking and truly, I don’t believe Barack Hussein Obama gives a damn.

Written by Allen West

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

Is the Obama Administration Posturing to Start Another War?

 

imageedit_2_8484186291“Recently I was asked why I am writing so much about “politics.” Well, I have not written too much about U.S. politics because the two party system is hopelessly broken where a vote either way is either thrown away counted incorrectly and really doesn’t matter because your choices are two sides of the same coin. Writing about U.S. internal politics is pointless. I have written quite a bit recently about international or “geo” politics and even make comments on religion. There is a valid reason for this, because when all is said and done it all boils down to the dollar which is becoming like a political ping pong ball.

“If you ignore geopolitics or religion (in the Middle East) today then you might as well spin your self around 3 times with a blindfold on and then try to walk a straight line. Without understanding global politics, you will have zero percent chance of ever understanding where “this” is headed. I believe that there is now a raging fire behind the financial scenes. The tried and true way to divert attention from anything “internally bad” has always been to either start a war overseas or create some other scandal or false flag event.

“The above said, we (the U.S,) are pushing and shoving in two areas, the Ukraine and Iraq situations. Let me take these one by one so that I can add them up for you. First, let’s look at Ukraine. There exists anecdotal evidence that we in fact stirred up this pot to get it boiling in the first place, but let’s assume that the unrest would have started and did start as we are “told.” So far we have sanctioned Russia twice which are like pokes in the eye. They have remained relatively restrained to their point. Today, Russia has somewhat turned the tables on the U.S. and rather than go tit for tat, they announced an “anti dollar” policy. Putin’s aide proposes anti-dollar alliance to force U.S. to end Ukraine’s civil war.

“Please understand what is happening here, or I should say “already” happened. For Russia to announce an “Anti Dollar” policy is the equivalent of a declaration of war. Were this to have been done by anyone, anywhere on the planet even 10 years ago would have resulted in immediate military action by the U.S,. Maybe this is Russia’s way of getting Washington to throw the first punch but I don’t think so. Rather, I believe that Russia has already held talks with many other foreign nations to get their anticipated response were Russia to announce this anti dollar policy. We know that the Chinese are on board, we know that 9 our of 10 Gazprom customer are OK with non dollar settlement and who knows how far and wide Russia may have had high level discussions on this topic. My point is this, Russia would NEVER, EVER make a leap (and do it publicly) as big as announcing an anti dollar policy if they had not already lined up 99% of their ducks. Do you see what I am saying here? The deal, in my opinion, to dump the dollar had already been planned and is being hatched right here and now by the Russians! I will get back to this momentarily but we have another hot spot in Iraq that I believe is connected and needs to be explained.

“ISIS” has run wild in northern Iraq taking 5 city/towns and leaving a trail of murdered and beheaded Iraqis in their wake. Again, there is evidence that ISIS in Syria has received U.S. funding but let’s assume they did not so as not to muddy the waters further. ISIS is now about 30 miles outside of Baghdad and the U.S. has received requests from Iraq for help. Iraq is run currently by Shia’s, ISIS are Sunni so there is your religious divide. Now, Saudi Arabia is Sunni while Iraq is primarily Shia, another divide but one that is very important. Saudi Arabia has now warned Iran to stay out of the fray in Iraq and it turns out that we (the U.S.) have had talks with Iran about helping their Shia brethren in Iraq. Do you see the problems here? Oh, and to illustrate the problems, Saudi Arabia has now warned Iran to stay out of the fray as the U.S. negotiate their help. This is the current picture; our Middle East policy looks like it is being formulated and implemented by a bunch of moronic clowns trying to play one side against the other but ends up in a dead end of logic.

“OK, so let me add this 1+1 together for you. We have pushed Russia far enough for them to publicly announce an unprecedented “anti-dollar policy.” As I said above, they would never have done this on their own as it would mean their financial destruction. Russia has also shut off the gas supply to Ukraine…knowing full well that Ukraine would then shut Russia’s supply of gas through their pipelines to Europe into the mix. Will this bring Europe closer to the U.S.? Or, will it prod Europe to tell the U.S. to ease up on sanctions as their economy starts to shut down and the weather begins to get cold? This is “1” which is the ridiculous policy we are following in the Middle East. Iran is and has already been shut off of the dollar, what will happen if (I believe “when” is a foregone conclusion) Saudi Arabia announces that they will no longer accept only dollars for oil? Actually, what if they were to announce that they will no longer accept dollars at all? And that if you want their oil you must pay in something OTHER THAN dollars? How would this work out?

“To do the “addition” for you, this works out to the death of the dollar. It would not, in my opinion, be a long and convoluted process. Jim Sinclair believes that the dollar will trade down to the 70-72 level from here which would be a 10-12% drop…on its way down to 56. I don’t usually disagree with Jim on many topics but I do on this one because if Russia were to attract Saudi Arabia to their anti dollar policy, country after country would then follow (or are already lined up to). It would be like flipping a light switch and the dollar’s light would just go out. Maybe we move to the 56 level but I cannot see it holding for long without a reset or going to an internal/external dollar which is another subject altogether.

“Before finishing, I’d like to mention one other aspect that you should expect. When this happens, “dollars” which are now largely held overseas will come back home to…buy “stuff” (dumped) in a frenzied and panicked manner. This will be incredibly inflationary. Some of these dollars will be pointed at “our” gold. You can expect a massive amount of contracts for silver and gold standing for delivery that will not be willing to accept “dollar bribes” to accept a premium and “go away” quietly in the night; I believe that a force majeure will be the result. If I am correct about my 1+1 premise, it would be foolish for “the world” not to finish off the COMEX and LBMA.

“So, why so much politics? Because foreign politics seems to be aimed directly at the dollar at the same time our own foreign policies (and internal) seem to simultaneously be aimed at our own currency’s Achilles heel. What is happening right now is all about the dollar and its planned demise. Let me remind you that gold IS the “anti dollar.” I believe that right now you are witnessing the reason for these many years I have screamed “gold” from the rooftops for anyone willing to listen. I believe the plan is to destroy thoroughly the dollar. Externally for sure and possibly even from within if you view our official financial and economic policies, no one could be this ignorant. Could they? If this is the case and I 100% believe it is, you would then want to own as much “anit-dollar” as possible.”

Regards, Bill Holter

 

By, Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

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Rising Gasoline Prices – Do All Roads Lead to the White House?

 

imageedit_2_4711911138The price of gasoline seems to be out of control with the average price per gallon in the United States at a whooping $3.74, and most likely rising. That is a 29-cent increase within the last month alone. According to the Associated Press, the price of gasoline has never been more costly during the summer months.

Today, June 19, is the 1274rd day that the national average price of regular gasoline costing above $3 a gallon. That’s almost three and a half years.

Many American’s tend to blame President Obama for the continuing cost increases for gasoline but are they correct in their assumptions?

Summer consistently brings high gas prices and people have begun placing responsibility for the price escalation on Obama. “Blaming presidents for gas prices is nothing new, and the upcoming election hasn’t helped curb the attacks,” reported US News.

The president isn’t putting forth the effort to control rising gasoline prices, critics say, by utilizing U.S. oil reserves. “The president actually has some opinions that make a lot of sense to a lot of Americans and that option, of course, is to increase American energy production,” stated Sen. John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican.

The Obama supporters believe that the cost of gasoline is out of his hands. They believe that spikes in oil prices are hard to analyze and they indicate that conflict with Syria, strain with Iran and demand from China are the real culprits to the increases in oil prices.

There are others who believe the EPA is to blame for the continued spike in gasoline prices. “Part of the blame lies with the EPA, which monitors the renewable fuel standard and is responsible for determining what the ration of crude to renewable in the gasoline mix will be each year. The figures for 2014 have not been finalized and are, in fact late. The proposal currently on the table would require 15.21 billion gallons to be blended in 2014, considerably less than the 16.55 billion gallons blended in 2013. This first ever cut in the required amount was lauded as a step in the right direction by industry leaders, including, Charlie Drevna, (president of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufactures Association), when it was first announced but, he told reporters Tuesday, it was worrisome that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy ‘has been remarking that the volumetric requirements for the finalized [standard] may be different than the proposed rule.’ The powerful pro-ethanol lobby would benefit if the number was revised upwards in the final rule, requiring more corn-based ethanol be produced and sugar-based ethanol be imported from Brazil to meet the standards, but at the expense of American consumers who, because the promise of cellulosic ethanol has not yet been realized, are putting part of their food money in their fuel tank every time they fill up,” reported Frontiers of Freedom.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported biofules being made from the waste of harvested corn plants could actually be harmful to the environment. $500 million dollars was spent on a university study, paid for by the federal government (us), that disputes arguments from the Obama Administration that biofules help to deter climate change. “Released in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Climate Change, it found biofules made with corn residue release 7 percent more greenhouse gases in the early years compared with conventional gasoline. It may be the whole business was a fool’s errand from the start,” reports Frontiers of Freedom.

The corn ethanol was supposed to be a conduit to improved and non-crude renewables “such as cellulosic ethanol.” But things like cellulosic ethanol are not available yet and won’t be made commercially available until the year 2022. “Meanwhile we’re supposed to keep on putting more and more corn into the system in order to meet the requirements of the renewable fuel standard year after year.” Does this make sense?

“They can export more if you’re in the export market because this law doesn’t apply to exports or they could cut runs, neither of which is good for the American consumer. The only way out of the mess Congress has created, it seems, is to repeal the renewable fuel standard, once and for all,” stated Drevna.

The EPA could certainly be blamed for the rising costs of gasoline but they wouldn’t be alone. Many are also blaming the unrest in Iraq and Syria. So just what is the impact of Iraq and Syria on the oil prices in the United States?

One of the largest oil reserves on the planet is in Iraq and has surpassed the Islamic Republic of Iran as the second largest manufacturer of crude oil. The world’s economy, as well as the price of oil, is largely impacted by any unsteadiness in Iraq. In turn, this instability greatly affects the ordinary citizens of the U.S.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria have already been capable of bringing a significant surge in oil prices. Brent crude hit 114.69 dollars a barrel this week; the largest weekly gain this year. And, of course, countries such as the Islamic Republic of Iran and monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar will be the ones that benefit from this rise. On the other hand, ordinary people in the U.S. will have to pay the price.”

The swift rise of Jihadi Islamists is much more treacherous than Al-Qaeda, according to Front Page, both economically and ideologically. “There recent triumph and captures of several parts of Iraq and Syria may have tremendous repercussions on American national security, the global economy, and the lives of every American. Unfortunately, President Obama still insists on ignoring the danger and seriousness of these extremist movements.”

There are many factors that contribute to the rising cost of fuel in our country, from issues with the EPA to the ongoing situations in Iraq and Syria, all over the world for that matter. Unlimitedly, however, don’t all roads lead to the white house?

 

By Lorra B. Chief Writer for Silent Soldier

http://SilentSoldier.us

 

Fast Food Chain Bans Alcohol-Based Hand-Wipes – So Muslim Customers Won’t Be Offended

Originally posted on tomfernandez28's Blog:

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by Jason DeWitt | Top Right News

A stunned KFC customer was refused a sanitary hand wipes after workers told him it may offend other eaters — MUSLIM eaters, that is.

Graham Noakes was stunned when staff said they could not provide him with a wipe because they are soaked in alcohol – which is banned in Islam.

The 41-year-old at first thought he was the victim of a prank by staff at the Leicester, England location – but KFC bosses confirmed the policy was genuine, the Mirror reported.

He said: “They told me it might offend other customers. I explained that it wouldn’t affect me. In fact – I told them I like alcohol, so it wouldn’t bother me in the slightest. When they wouldn’t give me one, I was disgusted. I will never be going to KFC again.“

The father-of-two added: “I’ve never experienced anything like this before…

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This ‘Bra Cam’ Shows How Often Woman’s Breasts Get Ogled

Originally posted on TIME:

In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, Nestlé FITNESS launched a campaign encouraging women to #CheckYourSelfie.

How did the company drill the message home? By chronicling how often people ogle women’s breasts by implanting a camera in a bra. And it turns out that the volunteer’s breasts get checked out a lot, by men, women, babies, and dogs, alike.

To be fair, though, the woman in the video is walking around with a bright pink bra sticking out of her shirt, which is likely to draw attention — although far be it from us to knock a breast cancer awareness campaign.

This isn’t Nestlé’s first go at smart-bra innovation. In 2013, the company created a bra that tweets every time it gets unclasped:

We can only imagine what undergarment-related promotions 2015 will hold.

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British hostage in new ISIS propaganda video panning Obama strategy

Originally posted on tomfernandez28's Blog:

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The Islamic State (IS) has released a third video showing John Cantlie, a British journalist held prisoner for two years, in which he delivers a scripted propaganda speech criticizing US President Barack Obama’s strategy against IS in Iraq and Syria.

Cantlie slams Obama’s tactics of using airstrikes and coalition plans to use Iraqi troops, Kurdish Peshmerga and Syrian rebels to fight the IS. The journalist delivered a response to Obama’s recent speech on the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which he described as “prideful chest banging.”

“It was all disappointingly predictable; America is good, the Islamic State [formerly ISIS] is bad; and they will be defeated using aircraft and a motley collection of fighters on the ground,” he said, commenting on Obama’s speech.

Criticizing the US airstrikes in Iraq, Cantlie said, “Air power is good at taking out specific targets, but it is not good at taking and holding…

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1 student shot; 2nd in custody at NC high school

Originally posted on Kansas First News :

ALBEMARLE, N.C. (AP) — Police say a student was shot after an argument at a central North Carolina high school just before school began.

Albemarle Police Chief William Halliburton said at a news conference the wounded student was shot in the lower extremities around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday at Albemarle High School. His condition wasn’t released.

Halliburton says the student who fired the shots put down his gun and waited for police. The names and grades of the students haven’t been released.

The chief says the shooting happened in a campus courtyard minutes before classes started. Investigators don’t know what the argument was about. Police don’t think any other students were involved but they are still interviewing witnesses.

Albemarle is in Stanley County, about 35 miles east of Charlotte.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The False Promise of Background Checks: A Specious Argument

Originally posted on Political Vel Craft:

FAST FURIOUS GUN REPOSNSIBLE NOTHING

The idea of background checks for firearm purchases seems to sound sensible, but the reality is much different from the appearance.

In truth, expecting firearm background checks to stop criminals is like trying to catch a few particular salmon during spawning season by placing a rock in the middle of the stream and watching for the specific fish to jump over the rock.

specious: adjective: superficially plausible, but actually wrong.
“a specious argument” ~ misleading in appearance, especially misleadingly attractive. – merriam-webster.com

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Wal-Mart to Tracy Morgan: Hey, why weren’t you wearing a seatbelt when our truck hit you?

Originally posted on Twitchy:

We understand Wal-Mart’s need to defend itself, but is this really the card they’re going to play? Seems like a P.R. disaster in the making:

Yeah, Wal-Mart — not many are buying your argument:

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Louisiana restaurant becomes a hit after offering gun owners a discount

Originally posted on tomfernandez28's Blog:

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The restaurateur responsible for a Cajun eatery in Louisiana hoped law enforcement would take advantage of an unusual discount offered during lunchtime, but says his eatery has since become a hot destination for gun enthusiasts.

Bergeron’s Restaurant owner Kevin Cox says the plan was meant as a way of giving thanks to the local police. Little did he know, however, that the “Thank You for carrying your gun today. 10% Discount” sign displayed next to a menu of poboys at his Port Allen, LA establishment would attract other firearm owners as well.

Business is now booming at Bergeron’s Restaurant, and Cox says his pro-Second Amendment promotion is paying off.

“It makes us all feel better when state patrol, police and sheriff’s department come in and have lunch here because you know when they’re here we’re safe,” Cox told the Huffington Post. “And I realized that we have a lot of…

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West: See-No-Islam Basis of 13 Yrs Nation-Building Failure in Iraq & Afghanistan Under Sorry Banner of COIN

Originally posted on The Counter Jihad Report:

By Andrew Bostom:

My friend and colleague, Diana West, just gave the following address earlier today (~ 2 PM, Monday, 9/29/14) at The National Security II Conference sponsored by The Center For Security Policy.

The extracted video of her comments are embedded below, followed by the text she prepared, and kindly shared with me.

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For anyone still puzzled as how it could be that our leaders and pundits keep hammering home the big lie that Islam has nothing to do with jihad, that the religion of conquest is a “religion of peace,” it’s important to know that such widespread brainwashing is nothing new.

Just as today’s opinion-makers seek to divorce Islam from its impact — brutal conquest, forced conversion, religiously sanctioned sex slavery, beheadings — past opinion-makers worked equally hard to divorce communism from its impact — brutal conquest, forced collectivization, concentration camps (Gulags), mass murder.

It worked. Unlike…

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Morning Miscellany ……..

Originally posted on Freedom Is Just Another Word...:

A few ‘facts’ for Journalists..

Not that ‘facts’ mean a damn thing to them anymore..They either ignore them or are ignorant and do not do their homework and make crap up as they go!!

So how about they read this!!!

Lesson #1: They’re “Cartridges,” Not Bullets

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5 Tool Rule..

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Snark…

Range time…

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Ooops…Race Card!!!

Did not work…and a Lawyer whom was an idiot..

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