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May 2017

As SWAT teams circle, Obama in Berlin complains about walls By Monica Showalter

Attempting to upstage President Trump as he travels in Europe, President Obama made an appearance in Germany at the Brandenberg Gate for a rock star welcome. He also appeared with Chancellor Angela Merkel, in a bid to boost her campaign.

Seeking to help Merkel get re-elected (a woman he spied on to much brouhaha at the time, but this is politics), it’s clear that Obama’s new game out of office is to have a cadre of like-minded world leaders to obstruct President Trump as he seeks to work with Europe. (So much for returning to his community organizer roots and helping the black youth or watching Sasha graduate). Obama laid out and advocated the full Eurotrashian platform parade of leftist tax-spend-appease-and-open the borders positions at his events, and the German crowds went wild, quite likely in a way they never would with Merkel alone. Not having had to live with the effects of Obama’s low-growth economy, his corruption of the agencies, or the nightmare of Obamacare up close and personal, the man was easy to cheer.

‘We can’t isolate ourselves. We can’t hide behind a wall,’ he said, to cheers from the audience.

Merkel, who has taken political heat for her open door policy on refugees, including from Trump who called it a ‘catastrophic mistake,’ got reassurance from Obama.

‘In the eyes of God, a child on the other side of the border is no less worthy of love and compassion than my own child,’ Obama said. ‘You can’t distinguish between them in terms of their worth or inherent dignity.’

Here’s the irony of all that scolding about walls, and Obama’s sudden newfound interest in God as a political ally:

Police helicopters patrolled the skies and snipers with balaclavas watched the scene from nearby rooftops.

Get that? Cause. Effect. Obama was surrounded by de facto SWAT teams. Looking for terrorists, rioters and assassins. All of these elements are linked to Germany’s open door on immigration and its failure to assimilate immigrants so that even their offspring have become human bombs, desperate to go from zero to hero as they listen to radical imams, get drunk on Internet chat boards, and join Islamist terrorist groups. The rabid left, of course, helps out with the riots.

Instead of a world of safety for everyone which is the democratic effect of walls keeping out Islamic terrorists, what’s seen here, with the balaclava crowd and the highly trained rooftop snipers keeping guard, is the logical result of Obama’s and Merkel’ open door policy. Walls for elites, zero walls for people. And don’t think this isn’t just what Obama wants. In Obama’s case, he’s knowingly let in MS-13 members to wreak havoc on Long Island and in the skeevier parts of Los Angeles County. Let the little people take the murders. The elites get SWAT team cordons. Who knows how many ISIS members have been let in by Obama’s policy as well? We know Merkel has let them in.

The SWAT teams are evidence of Obama’s howlings about walls: a new normal of constant terrorist vigilance, of a casual willingness to accept losses among the citizenry, even as world leaders merit the finest in protective cordons. The elites get security cordons. The people have to sit there and take it, as leaders like Merkel and Obama virtue-signal about the superiority of having no walls, and the wickedness of building any. They don’t care about miscreants and killers getting in. There are too many political goodies in them. They want votes, Social Security dollars and bureaucrat employment opportunities, particularly in the social welfare sector. Open walls make all that possible.

Middlebury College fails to discipline violent protesters at Murray speech By Rick Moran

More than two months after Charles Murray went to Middlebury College in Vermont to give a lecture and was shouted down and roughed upon his leaving, school authorities have concluded their review of the incident and will not suspend or expel any students involved.

The school announced that 67 students had received various slaps on the wrist. The 8 masked demonstrators who violently attacked Murray and a professor from the school when they were trying to leave could not be identified, so police will take no action.

Inside Higher Ed:

While the department said that “it had identified a number of other people who were in the crowd of more than 20 people outside the event venue, on consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated in damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot.”

Ever since the Murray visit, Middlebury has been subject to national scrutiny over how it would punish those involved. Some have argued for tough punishments, while others have said that no punitive sanction would be appropriate. Murray is the co-author of The Bell Curve, a book widely denounced as racist for its conclusions on race and intelligence, but he was not planning to speak about that book. Stanger was the professor selected to lead questioning of Murray. While she defended his right to speak, she never endorsed his views.

Middlebury policy permits protests of speakers but not activities that prevent someone from speaking. While many were involved in doing just that (and were seen on social media doing so), still others were involved in what has widely been seen as a more serious incident after the talk, when Stanger was attacked outside and the car carrying her and Murray from the event was attacked. Middlebury announced early on that it asked the town police to investigate that part of the incident. In addition, college officials said early on that they believed some of those involved in the more violent portion of the protest were not students or otherwise affiliated with the college.

Middlebury officials have refused to answer detailed questions about the punishments, citing privacy issues with regard to the students. But they have indicated that they expected to have different punishments for different groups of students, depending on their level of involvement.

The college’s announcement Tuesday said of the more serious “college discipline” punishment that some received that it “places a permanent record in the student’s file. Some graduate schools and employers require individuals to disclose official college discipline in their applications.”

So ends one of the more shameful episodes of suppressing free speech on campus in recent history. What made this incident so damaging was the actual, physical violence that erupted following the event’s cancellation that was reminiscent of Nazi storm troopers suppressing opposition speech. The irony of referring to Murray as a “fascist” as many protesters did was lost on the troublemakers whose knowledge of history is deficient as were their manners.

If colleges were serious about enforcing the free exchange of ideas, they would have suspended most of those 67 students and expelled others. Until universities show these fascists that they are serious about protecting free speech, the suppression of opposing viewpoints will continue – and get worse.

On collusion, John Brennan’s incomplete story by Byron York

Former CIA Director John Brennan’s appearance before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday rekindled the hopes of Democrats and others searching for proof that Donald Trump or his associates colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. But Brennan gave the committee old information — he frankly admitted it was old — that did not take into account what has been learned in recent months from other sources.

In short, this is what Brennan said: In the summer of 2016, I saw contacts between Russians and people in the Trump circle. I worried that the Russians were trying to use the Trump people for their own purposes. I gave the information to the FBI. But I have no idea what the FBI did with the information.

Brennan publicly provided the rationale for beginning the FBI counter-intelligence investigation that former FBI Director James Comey has said began in July 2016.

“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign,” Brennan testified. “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to act on their behalf, either wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons and so therefore, by the time I left office on Jan. 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion. And so therefore I felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well-founded and needed to look into those issues.”

But Brennan could not tell the Intelligence Committee the results of the FBI investigation, or if the FBI had found, or not found, anything in the course of the investigation, which is now in its 10th month.

“Since you passed that information to the FBI director [in summer 2016], have you reviewed the FBI’s development of that evidence or any other evidence?” asked Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell.

“I am unaware of what the bureau has done with that information, and I have no knowledge of anything, even, that the [CIA] has done since Jan. 20th,” Brennan answered.

But others do have knowledge of what the FBI has done with Brennan’s information. The FBI has briefed members of the so-called “Gang of Eight” — that is, the top Republican and Democrat on both House and Senate intelligence committees plus the two leaders of each house of Congress — on developments in the case. The bureau has also briefed the top members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as well.

Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California who last year was vice chair of the Intelligence Committee, was part of the Gang of Eight until January of this year, and since then has been ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. So she, unlike Brennan, has been kept up on what the FBI did with the information Brennan gave the bureau in the summer of 2016.


In an appearance on CNN May 3, Feinstein noted that she had been briefed by the FBI and had also recently visited CIA headquarters to review documents. “Do you believe, do you have evidence that there was in fact collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign,” anchor Wolf Blitzer asked Feinstein.

“Not at this time,” Feinstein answered.

It was a careful response — most people involved with the investigation have noted that while they haven’t seen proof of collusion to this point, some previously unseen evidence might still emerge. But on May 18, Feinstein appeared again on CNN.

“The last time we spoke, senator, I asked you if you had actually seen evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and you said to me — and I’m quoting you now — you said, ‘Not at this time.’ Has anything changed since we spoke last?”

“Well, not — no, it hasn’t,” Feinstein responded, going on to note that she expected the new Robert Mueller special counsel probe could “bring forward any criminal activity.”

“But I just want to be precise, senator,” Blitzer said. “In all of the — you’ve had access from the Intelligence Committee, from the Judiciary Committee, all the access you’ve had to very sensitive information, so far you’ve not seen any evidence of collusion. Is that right?”

“Well, evidence that would establish that there’s collusion,” Feinstein said. “There are all kinds of rumors around. There are newspaper stories, but that’s not necessarily evidence.”

Other members of Congress with access to updated information have said similar things. And Feinstein’s statement was last Thursday, which is considerably more recent that Brennan’s testimony that he gave the FBI information in the summer of 2016 and did not know what had happened with that information since.

That doesn’t mean Brennan’s concerns weren’t real. But it does mean the story he told the House on Tuesday was incomplete.

College Professor Arrested as Suspect in Berkeley Assault By Debra Heine

A former Diablo Valley College professor who was identified by online sleuths as the “anti-fascist” protester who assaulted a Trump supporter at the so-called “Battle of Berkeley” last month has been arrested and taken into custody.

Eric Clanton, who had reportedly been under investigation for weeks, is being held on $200,000 bail after being booked into Berkeley City Jail Wednesday evening.

Via the East Bay Times:

He was arrested on suspicion of use of a firearm during a felony with an enhancement clause and assault with a non-firearm deadly weapon.

No date was immediately listed for upcoming arraignment hearings.

A former Diablo Valley College staff directory Web page said Clanton, who earned a bachelor’s degree at California State University, Bakersfield, and a master’s degree at San Francisco State in philosophy, worked at the school since 2015, teaching an “introduction to philosophy with a background in teaching ethics, critical thinking, and comparative philosophy East/West” with “primary research interests” of ethics and politics.

Employee records for 2015 and 2016 listed Clanton as a lecturer with the California State University system and a philosophy instructor with the Contra Costa Community College District, according to Transparent California.

Berkeley police were not immediately available to confirm any connection between Clanton’s arrest and social-media-fueled accusations within the last month about attacks during at least one of a series of protests earlier this year.

The altercation in question took place when Antifa agitators crashed a pro-Trump, free-speech demonstration dubbed “the Patriots Rally” on April 15. The assault, captured on video, shows a protester in a face mask bludgeoning a young man in the head with a U-shaped bike lock, leaving him bleeding profusely. The attacker quickly disappeared back into the crowd. CONTINUE AT SITE

Muslim Brothers Arrested in MN After Arsenal of Guns, Ammo, Bomb-Making Materials, and DRONE Found in Car By Debra Heine

Earlier this month, Minneapolis police stumbled across an arsenal of guns, ammunition, and bomb-making materials — including a drone — inside the car of two brothers with ties to the Middle East. The pair were arrested, but now a concerned citizen is “outraged” because one of the men is already out of jail.

The police discovered the arsenal after the man reported 27-year-old Abdullah Alrifahe and 26-year-old Majid Alrifahe to law enforcement on May 11 following an incident outside a federally subsidized senior housing project. When the Good Samaritan confronted the brothers about littering from their car, they jumped out and “moved aggressively toward him,” WCCO reports.

Abdullah is being held in the Hennepin County Jail. His brother, Majid, has been released and is facing minor charges.

WCCO-TV has confirmed that both Homeland Security and the FBI are involved in the investigation, which started outside a federally-subsidized senior housing project. A good Samaritan confronted the men about littering from their car.

The man, who asked that his name not be used for fear of his safety, said the brothers jumped out of their car, moved aggressively toward him and used the N-word. He then called police.

Inside the brothers’ car, police found a loaded AK-47, another rifle, a handgun, a grenade, large amounts of ammunition, and what would later be identified as bomb-making materials, including a drone.

Abdullah Alrifahe had recently been released from jail after serving time for a weapons conviction. He is now facing a single felony weapons charge.

His brother, Majid, has been released from jail and is facing a low-level misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct.

The good Samaritan is outraged the charges aren’t more serious.

“For what they found in their car, that is way too light,” he said. CONTINUE AT SITE


The three men on the golf course didn’t look like superheroes. But Nick Bradley, Saul Martinez and Rod Rodriguez are just that. So are the other combat veterans who joined them on the links Monday at this year’s Warrior Open in Dallas. The tournament, sponsored by the George W. Bush Presidential Center since 2011, celebrates wounded veterans’ recovery and their continuing service to America.

For these three comrades in arms, it was another reunion, since they have played in the tournament since its first iteration.

Staff Sgt. Nick Bradley joined the Air Force in 2001. He did two tours in Iraq and a fateful one in Afghanistan providing security for generals in Kabul. On Aug. 3, 2008, his team was moving in a small convoy when a Taliban antitank mine exploded under his Land Cruiser’s gearshift.

The blast broke every bone in his face, right arm, hand, hip, knee, shin and foot. Knitting him back together took 16 surgeries and left Nick with six screws in his face, 51 in his arm and 11 in his hand. The doctors told him he wouldn’t walk for a year or even sit up without assistance.

“I didn’t like that answer,” he says. “It cut me deep.” He taped a picture of his daughter next to his bed. Two days later, he was sitting up. While exploring the ward in a wheelchair, he discovered a putting green. Against doctor’s orders, he was soon standing and hitting balls one-handed. Two months after arriving at Walter Reed, Nick walked out of the hospital.

On Tuesday he celebrated this year’s Warrior Open by fixing dinner for his wife and daughter, Khaila, who will turn 11 next month, a few days after her baby sister is due. Nick credits his family and golf for his recovery. While he brags that he “played great” this year, the highlight was having his daughter meet the former president, who he says “inspires me every day to get better in life.”

Army Sgt. Saul Martinez enlisted because of 9/11. He served in Iraq during the 2007 surge, when an explosively formed projectile ripped apart his vehicle. The blast killed two friends and left him a bilateral amputee—without most of his legs.

Saul says he made it back mostly because of his wife, Sarah: “She pushed me, motivated me, and told me I could do things I never thought I could do again.” After leaving the service in 2010, he moved to Montana, where he is director of services for Warriors and Quiet Waters. This program, inspired by Psalm 23—“He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul”—uses fly-fishing to help veterans regain their physical health and overcome post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.

Sgt. First Class Michael “Rod” Rodriquez joined the Army in 1992, later becoming a Green Beret. He had dozens of concussions in training and combat. Then, more than a decade ago in Afghanistan, he suffered three traumatic brain injuries within a few weeks, including one from a bomb that temporarily cost him sight in his left eye. As his team’s senior medic, he hid his injuries to stay with his comrades.

Will Yale Ever Learn? Guess who just received awards from the Ivy League school.By James Freeman

You might expect Yale University President Peter Salovey to be hanging his head in shame after allowing radical students to run former administrator Erika Christakis off campus because she dared to defend free expression. Specifically, in 2015 Ms. Christakis suggested that instead of having the university ban Halloween costumes that some students didn’t like, perhaps offended students should simply try to ignore them. You would be wrong.

Mr. Salovey’s Yale not only chose not to support Ms. Christakis and her husband Nicholas in the face of screaming, threatening campus bullies. (The couple stepped down from their administrative posts in 2016.) Now the university has decided to underline its commitment to unwritten limits on free speech by handing out awards to two of Yale’s most prominent Christakis critics.

At its annual Class Day ceremony, Yale awarded its Nakanishi Prize, “to two graduating seniors who, while maintaining high academic achievement, have provided exemplary leadership in enhancing race and/or ethnic relations at Yale College.”

Yale stated that Alexandra Zina Barlowe “has focused her scholarship on issues of land usage, cooperative economies, and reparations in the American South.“ According to the university:

She is described as a fierce truthteller who illuminates the challenges affecting her communities, rooting them in history and context in order to promote a deeper understanding of them. Her peers say of her “Lex never fights for just one issue. Her moral imagination operates with the knowledge that issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. are all interconnected.”

Lex has also worked tirelessly to build bridges among organizations and individuals, pushing relentlessly for a more equitable and just campus — and world — through her activism. Serving as past President and Social Justice Chair for the Black Student Alliance at Yale (BSAY), a Communication and Consent Educator (CCE), and an organizer for the group Fossil Free Yale, she brings womanist, feminist, anti-racist work to the fore with academic rigor and a deep integrity, and she has, by example, taught her peers, faculty and administrators about inclusive leadership.

Yale also honored Abdul-Razak Zachariah, claiming he “has worked to improve Yale’s racial and ethnic relations through his academic work, both within his Sociology major and in the Education Studies program.”

The school seems to view the events of 2015 as some kind of triumph, instead of the offense they represented against the basic idea of a university. And as Ms. Christakis has written, it is not just a problem at Yale:

For seven years I lived and worked on two college campuses, and a growing number of students report avoiding controversial topics — such as the limits of religious tolerance or transgender rights — for fear of uttering “unacceptable” language or otherwise stepping out of line. As a student observed in the Yale Daily News, the concept of campus civility now requires adherence to specific ideology — not only commitment to respectful dialogue.

Police Investigate ‘Network’ in Connection With Attack on Ariana Grande Concert Authorities holding five men in England, including suspect’s brother; Libya militia says brother held there confessed Islamic State membership

A suicide bomber who killed 22 people at a Manchester pop concert likely had the help of a terror network, U.K. authorities said, and his brother confessed to a Libyan militia that the two of them belonged to Islamic State.

The allegations came as a portrait emerged of how Salman Abedi, the 22-year-old perpetrator of Britain’s deadliest attack since 2005, grew up straddling middle-class Britain and the tumult of Libya, playing street soccer as a schoolboy before heading off as a teenager to fight alongside his father in their homeland.

Once he returned to Manchester, he nursed a strong sense of anger. Twice, for different reasons, he spoke of wanting revenge. “Whether he got that is between him and God,” his sister, Jomana, said.

The suspected bomber’s brother, Hashem Abedi, is in the custody of Radaa, one of several large militias responsible for security in the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Ahmed Dagdoug, a militia spokesman, said Hashem Abedi confessed that he was in the U.K. during preparations for Monday’s attack and aware of the plans.

Radaa said the younger Abedi was arrested late Tuesday in the city as he picked up a wire transfer of 4,500 Libyan dinar, or about $3,260, sent by his late brother, Salman.

It was impossible to independently confirm Radaa’s claim or to ascertain how such a confession may have been obtained. Libyan militias routinely resort to harsh tactics to extract information from terrorism suspects.

The group’s spokesman, Mr. Dagdoug, said it was also holding Abedi’s father, Ramadan Abedi, to aid in the probe of the attack, which killed 22 people outside a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Libyan group was in contact with British investigators, who on Tuesday in Manchester arrested a man one Western official identified as 23-year-old Ismail Abedi, another brother of the suspect.

British intelligence agencies and police made raids on more properties on Wednesday and are piecing together how Salman Abedi came to use a sophisticated bomb to carry out Monday’s attack.

“I think it’s very clear that this is a network that we are investigating,” said Ian Hopkins, chief constable of the Greater Manchester Police. “There’s extensive investigations going on and activity taking place across Greater Manchester as we speak.” CONTINUE AT SITE

North Korea’s Missile Advances The latest tests mean American cities will soon be in Kim’s reach.

Pictures of dictator Kim Jong Un applauding as another North Korean missile ascends into the sky have become routine. But the Hermit Kingdom’s two most recent launches deserve special attention because they show Pyongyang nearing its goal of deploying a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could destroy American cities.

On May 14 the North launched a new intermediate-range missile it calls the Hwasong-12. The missile traveled fewer than 500 miles, but that’s because it was fired at a very steep angle to avoid flying over neighboring countries. If launched at the optimum angle, it could have a range of 2,800 miles, which means it threatens the U.S. island of Guam. That’s the farthest of North Korea’s missiles so far, not counting the rockets it used to launch satellites.

The Hwasong appears to use a new high-performance engine tested in March that it developed from scratch instead of adapting a Russian or Chinese design. The missile appears to be a single-stage, liquid-fueled rocket that could become the first stage of a new ICBM. That would allow the North to abandon the derivative designs it previously cobbled together to achieve the thrust for longer ranges. In its current form the Hwasong is also road mobile, making it more difficult to find and destroy. The North Koreans further claim the Hwasong can carry a “large, heavy nuclear warhead.”

On Sunday the North successfully tested another relatively new missile, the Pukguksong-2. While its range is shorter at about 1,000 miles, it is solid-fueled and can be moved using a domestically produced transporter, both of which improve survivability.

Based on a submarine-launched missile that may be a modified Chinese design, the Pukguksong’s first test in February was also successful. That suggests the missile will prove reliable, and North Korean media are reporting that Kim has ordered mass production.

The North also took advantage of the steep trajectory of both missiles to work on one of the last remaining obstacles to ICBM deployment—a re-entry vehicle capable of withstanding the heat and vibration of the fall through the atmosphere. The North Koreans say the Hwasong “verified the homing feature of the warhead under the worst re-entry situation,” and that may be more than a boast. The U.S. and South Korea have confirmed that the test warhead survived and transmitted data.

The North still has to overcome obstacles to targeting the U.S., not least designing an ICBM re-entry vehicle. While the Kim regime is believed to have partially miniaturized an atomic weapon, it hasn’t tested a hydrogen bomb. But that is little comfort. On Tuesday when Senators asked Lt. Gen. Vince Stewart, director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency, how long North Korea needs before it can deploy an ICBM, he answered that it “is on a pathway where this capability is inevitable.”

This month’s tests mean advances in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs are coming much faster than analysts thought possible. If the U.S. and its allies don’t take steps to stop it now, the world will soon wake up to a nuclear North Korea far more dangerous and disruptive than the one we have today.

A Council America Shouldn’t Keep The U.N.’s ‘human rights’ panel is a travesty and a sham. By Anne Bayefsky

The United Nations Human Rights Council is preparing a blacklist of American and other companies doing business with Israel—and U.S. taxpayers are paying a quarter of the bill.

The council’s move embraces the “boycott, divestment and sanctions” campaign, which seeks to accomplish through economic strangulation what Israel’s enemies have been unable to achieve through war and terror. How did the U.S. get on the wrong side of this battle?

When the Human Rights Council was created in 2006 as a “reform” of the original U.N. Human Rights Commission, the Bush administration voted against, because no membership conditions required actually respecting human rights.

But Barack Obama jumped on board and, playing Gulliver at the U.N., allowed the American giant to be tied up by foes contributing a fraction of our moral and financial weight. In 2016 Americans sent the U.N. almost $10 billion.

On Thursday a U.S. Senate subcommittee will meet to “assess” the Human Rights Council. Reconsidering U.S. membership and walking away—now—is the right choice. Successive White Houses have tried and failed to correct the entrenched anti-Israel and anti-Jewish bias of the council (and commission) for decades Simply put, the Lilliputians have more votes.

The council has condemned Israel more than any of the other 192 U.N. states, notwithstanding 500,000 dead in Syria, starvation and mass torture in North Korea, and systematic, deadly oppression in Iran. Saudi Arabia and China have used their seats on the council to avoid condemnation altogether.