Cuban Twitter — The Untold Story By Humberto Fontova
It’s not often that a U.S. government agency gets caught red-handed abiding by its charter and performing its publicly-avowed and legislatively-approved duties. But last week the AP “broke” a long and breathless story from Havana that nailed the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) for just that.

In their own words, “a secret plan aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government,” was courageously exposed by the AP’s intrepid Havana bureau.

Such is the magnitude of the scandal that a red-faced and snarling Senator Patrick Leahy is now chairing hearings on Capitol Hill where he grills USAID director Rajiv Shah on his agency’s “cockamamie!” plan.

The diabolical cloak and dagger scheme hatched in 2008 during George Bush’s term, (which may account for Democratic Senator Leahy’s dudgeon) amounted to setting up a “Cuban Twitter” named ZunZuneo (Cuban slang for a hummingbird’s tweet) in order for Cuban youths to text each other without snooping by Castro’s KGB-mentored secret police…..

Caught your breath back?….Yes, amazingly such a scheme somehow escaped the imaginations of Ian Fleming, John Le Carre’ and Tom Clancy.

In sum, a brief effort was made (lasting from 2008-12, and involving 68,000 of Castro’s hapless subjects) to allow Cubans (who pre-Castro enjoyed more phones and TVs per-capita than most Europeans) to communicate with each other in the same manner as do teenagers today in such places as Sudan, Papua New Guinea and Laos.

Understandably this scheme to facilitate a tiny window of freedom for a tiny fraction of their subjects greatly alarmed Cuba’s Stalinist rulers. After all, it wasn’t easy converting a free and prosperous nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe, a flood of immigrants from same and the first Mercedes dealership in the Americas into a totalitarian pesthole that repels Haitians and features a glorious rebirth of communications by bongo-drum and transport by oxcart.

Well, the news was barely broken by Castro’s U.S. media allies when, as mentioned, Castro’s U.S. legislative allies picked up the signal from Havana and erupted in outrage—not against the KGB-mentored censorship by a terror-sponsor mind you. But against the U.S. attempt to foil it. No. This is not your father’s cold war.

Senator Patrick Leahy, true to his historic role as U.S. legislative messenger for Castro’s every whim and wish, promptly denounced the program as “dumb, dumb, dumb.” “What in heaven’s name are you thinking?”‘ Leahy complained to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC about the USAID scheme. “This makes no sense at all.”

Slaughter in Nigeria — Where Is the State Department? By Faith J. H. McDonn
An explosion devastated a busy bus station on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital of Abuja on Monday, April 14, 2014. It was the latest in a series of terrorist attacks on Africa’s most populous nation. No group had claimed credit for the attack as of Monday, but Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan laid the blame at the feet of Boko Haram, the Islamist terrorist group seeking the eradication of Christians and the Islamization of Nigeria.

The blast took place at 6:55 a.m. according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Reuters reported at least 71 dead and 124 injured, but on Tuesday, Punch raised the number dead to 89, including three perpetrators, with 257 injured. And this was not the week’s only attack.

Just days earlier, Boko Haram jihadists killed some 200 in Borno, a northeastern Nigerian state that has seen far more than its share of jihad terrorism. Punch reported that on April 9-10 attacks took place on communities in several towns, as well as on a teachers’ training college and a group of students traveling to their matriculation exams. Boko Haram seemed determined to show that “western education is forbidden.”

Rarer was Monday’s attack on Abuja’s Nyanya Mass Transit Park – demonstrating the terrorists’ brazenness, operating in the country’s capital, as well as the northern and middle state belts to which they have already laid claim. The blast destroyed 16 high-capacity buses and damaged another 24, as well as affecting smaller vehicles, a police spokesman told Reuters. Many of the buses were loaded with commuters, so the attack left a hellish scene of charred bodies, body parts, and twisted metal. In Tuesday’s report, Punch told of an eyewitness who said that the attack was carried out by four insurgents in a Volkswagen Golf.

According to NAN, many of the commuters in this transit point for the satellite communities of the Federal Capital Territory surrounding Abuja were on their way to work and their businesses. But Nigerian attorney and human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe pointed out that this attack took place on the first day of Holy Week in a country in which Easter is a major holiday.

“Abuja is emptying out as people travel to their home states for the long holiday,” said Ogebe. He believes the bus station was targeted deliberately on the week of Easter. This would be no surprise, as a majority of Islamist attacks in Nigeria target Christians, Christian holidays (holy days), and have occurred at churches and Christian schools and universities.

When President Jonathan visited the scene of the carnage, Reuters said he denounced “the activities of those who are trying to move our country backwards,” mentioning Boko Haram by name. The Nigerian government has not been successful in stopping Boko Haram, nor in assisting those who have been victimized the jihadists. But even their efforts in that direction have been constantly criticized for heavy-handedness and/or unfairness by the US State Department. The State Department favors a more nuanced approach to northern Nigerian Islamists.

NYPD Disbands Unit that Spied on Muslims to Go After ‘Real Bad Guys’…..See note please
I hope they start to look into the seditious activity in all those “old folks” residences and social clubs….where over danish and mahjong they are plotting a takeover of the pentagon….rsk

The New York Police Department has disbanded its special unit that was tasked with putting Muslim communities under surveillance.

The unit sent plainclothes officers to neighborhoods with large Muslim populations and into their mosques and restaurants, in hopes of gathering intelligence about looming terrorist attacks — and in so doing, ignited fire among some civil liberties groups. So Police Commissioner Bill Bratton agreed that the program had to go, the New York Post reported.

The unit, called the Demographics Unit, was largely kept secret, until The Associated Press revealed its existence in 2011. By then, it had been in operation since 2003.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said, of the unit’s disbanding: “Our administration has promised the people of New York a police force that keeps our city safe, but that is also respectful and fair. This reform is a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys,” the New York Post said.

Wilson and Obama … 100 Years Apart, But so Alike: By Charles Hurt
When Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Revenue Act of 1913, it probably sounded like a good idea.

Most people would pay less in taxes and the prices of everyday goods would drop, he promised. And the rich would — finally! — start paying their fair share.

In those days, tax collection was a highly diffuse business with various states and localities collecting taxes at various rates. The federal government mostly skidded by on exorbitant and uneven tariffs, and on booze and tobacco taxes.

This was always tough and disorganized business for the federal government. Those hardships became especially acute for the federal government when it wanted to launch wars thousands of miles away on other continents.

And, anyway, who could question the motives of Woodrow Wilson?

He was a celebrated professor with a sterling Ivy League background who ran for president on the promise to govern sensibly and never go to war. He maintained a grand worldview and would later be awarded the Nobel Peace prize in the category of “world organizing” on his gallant promises to establish lasting peace to end World War I, which would become mankind’s last war.

Cubans Remember Something Else That Happened on April 15th :Silvio Canto, Jr.
Like you, April 15th is “IRS day” or the day that you rush to the post office to get that tax return in the mail. More recently, it’s the day that we file online. Or, maybe the day that we renew our call for a “flat tax”.

In baseball terms, April 15th is the day that Jackie Robinson broke what they used to call “the color line” in the major leagues. He opened the game at first base and made history.

For Cubans, and especially those of my parents’ generation, April 15th is the day that Fidel Castro visited the US in 1959, a few months after taking power.

Castro’s visit was rather controversial because he faced skepticism from many in the US. He was asked about the promised elections that were delayed and delayed. He also heard over and over about communists in the background:

“The trip got off to an inauspicious start when it became clear that President Dwight D. Eisenhower had no intention of meeting with Castro. Instead, Eisenhower went to the golf course to avoid any chance meeting with Castro.

Castro gave a talk to the Council on Foreign Affairs, a New York-based group of private citizens and former government officials interested in U.S. international relations.

NYPD drops surveillance of mosques
See also: Al Qaeda holds big rally in Yemen

Candidate Bill de Blasio was “deeply troubled” by NYPD surveillance of mosques, and now his police commissioner is dropping the program. Matt Apuzzo and Joseph Goldstein report ion the New York Times:

The New York Police Department has abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said.

The decision by the nation’s largest police force to shutter the controversial surveillance program represents the first sign that William J. Bratton, the department’s new commissioner, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor. The Police Department’s tactics, which are the subject of two federal lawsuits, drew criticism from civil rights groups and a senior official with the Federal Bureau of Investigation who said they harmed national security by sowing mistrust for law enforcement in Muslim communities.

The fact that thousands of New Yorkers were killed in the name of Allah by devout Muslims inspired by what they heard at mosques and that millions of Muslims worldwide believe that they can gain access to paradise and 72 virgins by slaughtering infidels means nothing to Mayor de Blasio, apparently. I can only hope that more New Yorkers do not die as a result of his political correctness.

To many Muslims, the squad, known as the Demographics Unit, was a sign that the police viewed their every action with suspicion. The police mappedcommunities inside and outside the city, logging where customers in traditional Islamic clothes ate meals and documenting their lunch-counter conversations.

Well, when devout members of your community proclaim that your religion requires them to slaughter New Yorkers, Americans, Jews, infidels, and even Muslims who don’t meet their standards of religious practice and devotion, then surveillance is reasonable, it seems to me.

Fort Hood and Disarmament By Mike McDaniel
The latest active shooter attack at Fort Hood, Texas on April 2, 2014 left three dead and 16 wounded. As is almost always the case, the killer, confronted with armed resistance, choose suicide, ending the rampage. The Army has released a timeline [1] that indicates that the attack lasted something over eight minutes, but the timeline fails to note how much time passed between the first shot and the first 911 call, which means the actual time was likely about ten minutes.

This will become significant shortly. The gun that anti-freedom forces love to demonize, the AR-15 with its standard 30 round magazine, was not involved. Instead, the killer used only a commonly available .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun.

As all mass attacks do, this one has reanimated the gun control debate, but this time, anti-freedom advocates have a unique handicap. It may seem counterintuitive and surprising to many, but continental United States military installations are a gun-free anti-gunner’s dream. They are even more strictly regulated than many schools. Soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines are nowhere as thoroughly disarmed as they are on American military bases.

The only people allowed to bear arms on military bases are usually military police officers, and then, only during the hours they are actually on duty. They draw their weapons and ammunition from an armory just before their duty hours begin and turn them in when done. There are a few exceptions, among them Criminal Investigation Division investigators who may sometimes wear civilian clothing and are authorized to carry concealed weapons even when technically off duty. Pilots, under certain circumstances, are also allowed to carry weapons as part of their issued equipment. And officers on duty in missile silos and in other duties where nuclear weapon security are involved are also armed. However, most members of our military, from the lowliest private to a general commanding a base, are disarmed.

Consider the irony. A seasoned combat veteran abroad in Iraq or Afghanistan may usually carry their weapon wherever they go, at all hours. When they return to the United States, they may obtain a concealed carry permit in the state where they are stationed and carry a handgun most places in that state, but the moment they step on base, they lose not only their Second Amendment rights, but the ability to protect their very lives. They are less well protected on base in the United States than they were in an active war zone. In most states, Joe Average Civilian is better protected than our warriors. At least Joe has a choice.

Military regulations allow gun ownership for those living on base, but their weapons must normally be stored in a military armory and may be removed only to take the gun off base for hunting, shooting, etc. and returned when they return to the base. With few exceptions, such as civilian police officers, no one may bring a privately owned firearm on base.

Washington is aroused to the level of talk. President Obama sprang into action: [2]

Speaking at a fundraiser shortly after the killings became public knowledge, President Obama told donors he was ‘heartbroken’ and promised to get answers as to the cause.” No doubt he’ll seek those answers with all of the determination and transparency used to get answers in the Fast and Furious Benghazi and IRS cases.

Homeland security chairman Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas, told Megyn Kelly he thinks soldiers should be able to carrying arms on base. ‘The problem here, and with Fort Hood, the prior Nidal Hasan case, is that they couldn’t defend themselves because they were not allowed to carry weapons’ McCaul said, adding he thinks lawmakers need to revisit the current restrictions. In Hawaii, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was asked about the safety and security of military posts and bases. ‘When we have these kinds of tragedies on our bases, something’s not working,’ Hagel said.

“You have survived, and you have soared. It was worth it, just to hear each of you speak.”
And to think how close we came in 2008 to having a vice president whose phrasing and sentence choices during speeches we’d have to parse and explain and justify.

Either America’s oldest living graduate of the Vic Arpeggio Hipster Speech Academy is saying that what the survivors went through during the terrorist attack last year was worth it — losing loved ones and/or being injured themselves — as some sort of catharsis, or that it was worth it for Joe himself to benefit from hearing their statements. Either way doesn’t speak well of the man.

On the other hand, this speech, and Joe’s willingness to at least be in the same room with victims of Islamofascist terrorism puts him one up on his boss.

Exit tweet, via Twitchy:

@RickLeventhal Confusing AND insulting. Textbook Biden.

Legal Immigration: Lifeblood of the Left Most Immigrants are not Republicans Mark Krikorian
Federal immigration policy has allowed about 30 million legal immigrants to settle permanently in the United States since 1980. This has affected all areas of American life, not the least being electoral politics.

Progressives openly debate the immigration issue in political terms. Labor-union official Eliseo Medina, for instance, has promoted amnesty and increased immigration as a means to “expand and solidify the progressive coalition for the future” in order to “create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.”

Is Medina right?

A new report published by my organization, the Center for Immigration Studies, suggests he is. The study, by University of Maryland political scientist James Gimpel, shows how mass legal immigration is remaking the electorate in favor of Democrats. Gimpel examines the results of every presidential election from 1980 to 2012 and finds that, in the nation’s 100 largest counties, each one percentage-point increase in the immigrant share of the population on average reduced the Republican share of the vote by nearly 0.6 percentage points. When all the nation’s counties are included, the decline was a somewhat less, but it was still about 0.45 percentage points.

This is an enormous impact when one considers that the immigrant share of the U.S. population more than doubled from 1980 (6.2 percent) to 2012 (13 percent). Gimpel’s results imply that immigration may have reduced the Republican’s share of the presidential vote nationally by 3 or 4 percentage points. Remember, Obama won in 2012 with 51 percent of the popular vote to Romney’s 47 percent.

Think of it this way: Obama won in 2012 by 5 million votes. But legal immigration will add 15 million new potential citizens over the next two decades — and that’s just from today’s level of 1 million–plus total immigrants per year, without even counting the amnesty and immigration increases in the Schumer-Rubio bill passed by the Senate. (The 15 million figure takes into account residency requirements, age, and return migration.) As a recent Eagle Forum report concluded, “If immigration is not reduced, it will be virtually impossible for Republicans to remain nationally competitive as a conservative party.” The title of the Eagle Forum report sums up the problem: “How Mass (Legal) Immigration Dooms a Conservative Republican Party”.

Obama’s Whistling Lap Dog Eric Holder Plays the Race Card Yet Again: Jonah Goldberg
Last week, the president’s lap dog blew his dog whistle.

In case you didn’t know, in politics a “dog whistle” is coded language that has a superficial meaning for everybody, but also a special resonance for certain constituencies. Using dog whistles lets politicians deny they meant to say anything nasty, bigoted, or controversial.

Speaking to the National Action Network the day after a testy but racially irrelevant exchange with Republican members of a House panel, Attorney General Eric Holder said, “The last five years have been defined . . . by lasting reforms even in the face of unprecedented, unwarranted, ugly, and divisive adversity.” He continued: “If you don’t believe that, you look at the way — forget about me, forget about me. You look at the way the attorney general of the United States was treated yesterday by a House committee. . . . What attorney general has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment? What president has ever had to deal with that kind of treatment?”

Now, bear in mind the audience. The National Action Network is Al Sharpton’s plaything, often providing the shock troops Sharpton needs for rent-a-mob protests, shakedown operations, and MSNBC photo ops. Holder didn’t say criticism of him and Obama is racially motivated, but the notion the audience (or the media) would take it any other way doesn’t pass the laugh test.