In the early hours of Thanksgiving morning, three Bronx thugs who were out for a game of “Knock Out” with what they thought was an unsuspecting victim, a white male in his late fifties to early sixties, got more than they bargained for.
The three men, all in their early twenties, were trailing the man down Morris Park Avenue, heading toward Williams Bridge Road when their prey veered into an alley way. They followed him into the alley and around a sharp, dark bend, only to find the barrel of a .45 magnum waiting on them. Two of them men were shot in the foot and the third was pistol whipped. Authorities nearby responded to 911 calls reporting the gunfire and called for ambulances. The men were taken to nearby Calvary Hospital where they were treated and released.
The men were not charged, but authorities are asking anyone who has any information on the individual who shot two of the men and pistol whipped the third to come forward. He is described as a white male, approximately late fifties to early sixties. He is approximately 5’10″ and 165 pounds.
Newt it was your leadership in the House that brought about the New Security measures... With Clintons more than happy to comply as el-presidente... It was you guys who thought Reagan was just too conservative.... Too late Newt... It was just a matter of time... You and which army is gonna enforce those broken laws that you're talking a out... Or even investigate them...
DOJ warns Muslim bashing on social media may be federal offense
It’s come to this: The two top U.S. Department of Justice officials inTennessee have organized a meeting to discuss the fact that not allAmerican Muslims are terrorists and those who trash Muslims on social mediamay be violating civil rights.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Bill Killian, and the special agent in charge of the state’s FBI office, Kenneth Moore, will speak next week at a meeting called, “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society.”
The American Muslim Advisory Council of Tennessee is sponsoring the event to promote understanding about the Muslim culture, the Tullahoma News reported.
If you didn’t know that inflammatory postings about Muslims on social media could be a federal civil rights violation, you aren’t alone. Which is why Killian and Moore will address just that topic.
According to the article:
Killian and Moore will provide input on how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.
“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion,” Killian told The News Monday. “This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”
Killian said Internet postings that violate civil rights are subject to federal jurisdiction.
“That’s what everybody needs to understand,” he said.
And what speech on “not all Muslims are terrorists” would be complete without some comparison to Christian Timothy McVeigh and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing? Or the Christian, white-supremacist Wade Michael Page and the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012?
So, the state’s top attorney for the federal government will try to make sure people understand there really isn’t a difference:
Killian said the presentation will also focus on Muslim culture and how, that although terrorist acts have been committed by some in the faith, they are no different from those in other religions.
“Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were both Christians as was the guy who shot up the Sikh temple,” Killian said. “Sikhs are not Muslim. Many people think they are Muslim, but they split off with the Hindu religion.”
Killian said he has made other presentations in the state about Muslim culture and civil rights laws, and the Muslims he’s become acquainted with are outstanding citizens.
“Some of the finest people I’ve met are Muslims,” he said, adding later: “We want to inform everybody about what the law is, but more importantly, we want to provide what the law means to Muslims, Hindus and every other religion in the country.”
“It’s why we came here in the first place. In England, they were using Christianity to further their power in government. That’s why the First Amendment is there.”
The difference Killian fails to point out here is that domestic terrorists McVeigh and Page were not religious extremists. I do not recall ever hearing that either yelled, “God is great” while killing people, or ever said they acted in the name of Christianity.
KABUL: Death by stoning for convicted adulterers is being written into Afghan law, a senior official said on Monday, the latest sign that human rights won at great cost since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 are rolling back as foreign troops withdraw.
"We are working on the draft of a sharia penal code where the punishment for adultery, if there are four eyewitnesses, is stoning," said Rohullah Qarizada, who is part of the sharia Islamic law committee working on the draft and head of the Afghan Independent Bar Association.
Billions have been invested on promoting human rights in Afghanistan over more than 12 years of war and donors fear that hard won progress, particularly for women, may be eroding.
During the Taliban's 1996-2001 time in power, convicted adulterers were routinely shot or stoned in executions held mostly on Fridays. Women were not permitted to go out on their own, girls were barred from schools and men were obliged to grow long beards.
Providing fresh evidence popular support for the brutal punishment has endured, two lovers narrowly escaped being stoned in Baghlan province north of Kabul, but were publicly shot over the weekend instead, officials said.
"While they were fleeing, suddenly their car crashed and locals arrested them. People wanted to stone them on the spot but some elders disagreed," the provincial head of women's affairs, Khadija Yaqeen, told Reuters on Monday.
"The next day they decided and shot both of them dead in public. Our findings show that the woman's father had ordered to shoot both man and woman."
The public execution was confirmed by the provincial police chief's spokesman, who said the killings were unlawful.
"It is absolutely shocking that 12 years after the fall of the Taliban government, the Karzai administration might bring back stoning as a punishment," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
The US-based rights group has urged funding to be tied to commitments and last month, Norway took the rare step of cutting aid on the grounds that Afghanistan had failed to meet commitments to protect women's rights and fight corruption.
Most donors, however, have stopped short of using money to pressure President Hamid Karzai's administration and US and United Nations officials were aware of the plan to reintroduce stoning, Qarizada said.
The new law, he told Reuters, was unlikely to make stoning a common practice.
"The judge asks each witness many questions and if one answer differs from other witnesses then the court will reject the claim," Qarizada said.
A top Iranian military leader announced late Tuesday that Iran has developed “indigenous” ballistic missile technology, which could eventually allow it to fire a nuclear payload over great distances.
Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the lieutenant commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), made the critical weapons announcement just days after Iran and the West signed a deal aimed at curbing the country’s nuclear activities.
Salami claimed that “Iran is among the only three world countries enjoying an indigenous ballistic missile technology,” according to the state-run Fars News Agency.
“Many countries may have access to cruise missiles technology, but when it comes to ballistic missiles, I am confident that only the U.S. and the [former] Soviet Union could master this technology, and now we can announce that we own this technology as well,” Salami told Fars.
The IRGC leader said that Iran is quickly developing advanced military know-how.
“While we did not have any knowledge about drones, we have developed and acquired drones that travel 2,000 kilometers, conduct their operations, and then land in our desirable regions,” he was quoted as saying.
Iran’s claim to ballistic missiles would be a major development for a country known to use its military machinery as a means of intimidating its regional neighbors.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said Iran’s ballistic missile announcement is no surprise.
“Iran’s ballistic missile program has always been to provide the delivery vehicles nor nuclear warheads,” Bolton said. “The timing of the IRGC announcement is no coincidence.”
As Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and other officials celebrate the recently announced nuclear accord, Tehran’s military leaders have adopted a harsh line on the West.
Another IRGC leader said on Tuesday that Americans only understand “the language of force.”
“The U.S. has double-standards towards social issues of nations and the language that Americans understands is the language of force,” General Ramezan Sharif, Head of the IRGC’s Public Relations Department, said on Tuesday.
U.S. power is growing weaker every year, he said.
“The pillars of the U.S. strength have become seriously shaky in the world, especially in the Middle-East,” according to Sharif.
Other Iranian military officials claim that Tehran no longer needs to import key weapons as they once did.
“Today, we are honored that we have been able to grow needless in the defense equipment sector with the help of our young scientists and thinkers and now we provide all the needs of the Armed Forces with the best quality,” Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Aboutaleb Shafaqat said on Tuesday.
In addition to installing a new air defense system reportedly capable of destroying high-altitude targets, the Iranians claim to have built a highly advanced unmanned drone that is capable of flying for 30 hours straight.
Former Pentagon adviser Michael Rubin said that the United States is not paying great enough attention to Tehran’s military advancements.
“Perhaps, [Secretary of State] John Kerry believes that Iran only wants ballistic missiles for peaceful purposes,” said Rubin, author of Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes.
“The fact of the matter is that Kerry and crew left both ballistic missiles and the nuclear warhead trigger experimentation at Parchin [military site] off-the-table” during talks in Geneva, Rubin said. “It’s the diplomatic equivalent of installing a burglar alarm system in your house but leaving the keys in the door.”
State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki was asked on Tuesday about a MondayFree Beacon report that Iran does not need to freeze its nuclear program until final details pertaining to the recently announced nuclear pact are hashed out.
The six-month nuclear enrichment freeze negotiated under the deal will not actually begin until Iran and Western powers finalize the deal at a later date.
“It has not” yet begun, Psaki told reporters. “The next step here is a continuation of technical discussions at a working level so that we can essentially tee up the implementation of the agreement, so that would involve the P-5 plus one—a commission of the P-5 plus one experts working with the Iranians and the” International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
Psaki said she did not know when the actual deal will be finalized and go into effect.
“Obviously, once that’s—those technical discussions are worked through, I guess the clock would start,” she said.
Psaki added that the U.S must put its faith in Iran upholding the spirit of the deal in the interim.
“In terms of what the Iranians are or aren’t doing, you know, obviously, our hope would be, given we are respecting the spirit of the agreement in pressing for sanctions not to be put in place and beginning the process of figuring out how to deliver on our end of the bargain, that the same would be coming from their end in the spirit of the—of the agreement,” she said.
Location-based services are great for things like discounts at nearby restaurants, or a heads-up for traffic, or tracking a morning jog. But what if your phone could take action on your behalf in the event you drove past (say) a rogue nuclear weapon?
Last month on the U.S. government’s Federal Business Opportunities page, a Request for Information was posted for what’s being referred to as a Human Portable Tripwire system. The request serves as a sort of tentative inquiry--it’s not so much a positive indication that the federal government will move ahead with a project as it is an opportunity for private citizens to mentally prepare themselves to become de facto bomb sniffers.
Theoretically, the Human Portable Tripwire system would involve a wearable device that would passively scan for radiation and relay any discoveries of radioactive material back to Homeland Security via satellite phone or Internet connection. As the project calls for a passive system, it would function much like Near-Field Communication (NFC) or any other location-aware tech--once you turn it on, you don’t have to do anything else.
As Michael Peck writes in his breakdown of the ROI on Medium, it’s unclear whether the system is intended for public or Department of Homeland Security use:
This might be useful for security personnel patrolling an installation like a port or a large event like a major league football game. It could also mean that human tripwires could be detecting radiation as they walk the dog or take the train to work.
The project might smack of Cold War-era paranoia, but should the government move forward with the Human Tripwire Project, it wouldn’t necessarily be the first initiative in recent memory that sought to crowdsource national security.
Cell-All is an initiative that began in 2007 to find a way of incorporating chemical sensors into smartphones, which would warn users and automatically notify authorities if it detected a chemical threat. While the Human Tripwire project doesn’t really have anything to do with cell phones--yet--the principle is the same: a distributed approach toward identifying and responding to threats and emergencies that attempts to mitigate the potential for human error.
Whether either project will ever come to fruition remains to be seen, but in a time when Internet users are actively seeking out services that will help protect their privacy and information on how to do it in abundance, it’s hard to see any such initiative being met with anything other than unease.
After a gay server at a New Jersey restaurant said a customer denied her a tip and wrote her a hateful note on the receipt, a local family contacted NBC 4 New York and said their receipt shows they paid a tip and didn't write any such note.
Dayna Morales, a former Marine and a server at Gallop Asian Bistro in Bridgewater, posted a photo on Facebook earlier this month, showing the bill with a line through the space for a tip. The photo of the receipt showed someone had written, "I'm sorry but I cannot tip because I do not agree with your lifestyle."
Morales indicated in her Facebook post, and in subsequent media interviews -- including with NBC 4 New York -- that the customer wrote that line.
But a family contacted NBC 4 New York claiming their receipt from the restaurant shows they did leave a tip, and provided what they said was a credit card statement as proof.
The husband and wife, who asked to remain anonymous, showed NBC 4 New York a receipt that appeared to be printed at the same minute, on the same date, for the same $93.55 total, except with an $18 tip.
They also provided a document they said was a Visa bill, which appears to indicate their card was charged for the meal plus the tip, for a total of $111.55.
The couple told NBC 4 New York that they believed their receipt was used for a hoax. The wife says she is left-handed and could not have made the slash in the tip line, which she said looks to be drawn from the right.
"We've never not left a tip when someone gave good service, and we would never leave a note like that," the wife said.
The husband said he and his wife have both worked in restaurants and believe in the value of tipping, and noted that he didn't vote for Gov. Chris Christie because the governor doesn't support gay marriage.
"Never would a message like that come from us," he said.
Morales told NBC 4 New York on Monday that she was certain she did not receive a tip, and insisted the handwriting on the receipt was not hers. When asked if there had been some sort of misunderstanding, she said, "I don't know, all I know is what I've been saying."
A manager and the restaurant owner insisted they had the original ticket for the $93.55 charge, but would not produce the receipt for NBC 4 New York and could not explain why the family's credit card was charged for more.
The restaurant later said in a statement it was aware of the allegations and had no comment pending an internal investigation.
Whatever happened, the couple believes it may have begun with a misunderstanding.
They said they thought the hostess who sat the family told them their server would be "Dan," and when Morales showed up at their table, the wife exclaimed "whoa, you're not Dan."
Morales wrote in her Facebook post that the wife said, "oh I thought you were gonna say your name is Dan. You sure surprised us!"
According to the couple, the rest of the meal with their two children went fine.
They said they came forward because the story of the receipt note didn't appear to be going away; Morales had recently announced that people were sending her tips from all over the world, and was donating some of the money to the Wounded Warrior Project.
"I just felt like people have a right to know that -- it's fine of people want to donate to her or to the Wounded Warriors, but they're doing it under a false pretense," the wife said.
It appears one Democrat member of Congress has decided to drop the mask and reveal who he really is. Unbelievably, Charlie Rangel told NY1 that “President Obama should drop the charade of democracy and rule directly through executive orders.” I mean, why not? After all, Rep. Rangel’s own relationship with following laws is fuzzy at best, given his problems with tax evasion.
According to Politicker, Rangel said “I’m gonna see why we can’t use executive orders for everything.” Why not Charlie? Because of our pesky Constitution, which states executive orders are only to be used in case of national emergency, not as a means by which the executive branch circumvents the legislative branch, or our established process of checks and balances.
Of course, the House of Representatives, which holds the government purse strings, can simply not fund these imperial edicts as handed down from on high.
Have other American presidents utilized the executive order? Absolutely, but none as prominently as President Obama, and perhaps Rangel clues us in as to why.
It was President Obama who stated to a cheering crowd he would bypass Congress to further his agenda, and I guess that’s one thing he didn’t lie about.
Rangel says a precedent has been established – and it’s a very dangerous one when a president believes himself (or herself) above the rule of law and makes decrees to be obeyed outside the legislative branch. This would indeed represent the end of our beloved Republic and the rise of someone similar to a Caesar – which did not end up so well for ol’ Julius.
Rangel’s comments are a window into the mindset of these liberal progressives. They simply do not believe the rule of law should constrain their intentions to fundamentally transform the United States of America. It’s as if they’re sitting back and daring the American people to defy their will. Sadly, I don’t believe the Republican Party has the intestinal fortitude to fight this ideological war. The mission, as it should, falls squarely upon the shoulders of us, We the People. Are you up for this fight? I sure as heck am.
Sept. 11, however, was far from the first time the U.S. has dealt with acts of terror committed by Islamic militants. In Glenn Beck’s novelized story of the first Barbary War, America’s earliest known encounter with jihadists is told through the eyes of four men: Thomas Jefferson, William Ray, William Eaton and Stephen Decatur.
The story covers the entire arc of America’s interaction with Muslim pirates off the Barbary Coast, from Thomas Jefferson’s first meeting, as Ambassador to France in 1785, with Tripoli’s envoy, through his presidency, and all the way to 1815, some thirty years later, when James Madison finally defeated the Barbary forces.
Jefferson’s first meeting, covered in his correspondence with John Jay, proved most telling as he recounted what the Tripoli envoy told him about his people’s belligerence against Americans:
“The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet; that it was written in their Koran; that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners; and that every Mussulman who was slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
The story of the First Barbary War is…a story about Thomas Jefferson’s willful blindness
The story of the First Barbary War is really, at least at the start, a story about Thomas Jefferson’s willful blindness toward this threat. It is a painful recounting of America’s policy of benign neglect, in which the Islamic Barbary pirates attacked America’s trade ships, plundering them and taking those who survived, like William Ray, prisoner. These men were subjected to hard physical labor, inhumane living conditions and near-daily beatings and torture.
But it is also a story about heroes. After years of paying tribute equal to 20 percent of American Gross Domestic Product to the Pasha of Tripoli, and after losing the American consulate in Tripoli to his forces, William Eaton, an Army officer and the Consul to Tunis, stirred Jefferson to action, convincing him to send in a force to save our people.
Stephen Decatur was another hero. His courage in attacking the pirates and blowing up the U.S. warship they had seized and renamed The Gift of Allah in that city’s harbor was a key to our success.
There are many striking parallels between the lessons of the First Barbary War and current events, especially in the wake of the disastrous deal with Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, a man that some in the West have deluded themselves into believing is a “moderate.” More broadly, America’s support for the destabilizing “democratic” overthrow of secular dictators throughout the Middle East in favor of Islamic regimes can also be viewed through the lens of the Barbary Wars.
Thomas Jefferson, believing that the U.S. should avoid foreign entanglements, and governing a war-weary nation mired in debt, chose a policy of appeasement. In doing so, he allowed American ships to be attacked while also failing to build a military force sufficient to overpower the pirates. As a result, a substantial portion of our federal budget (the equivalent of about $760 billion a year in today’s terms) was paid as tribute to the criminal Barbary leaders.
Jefferson chose to accept a peace treaty that only set the stage for ever greater ransoms
While men like William Ray languished in Tripoli as slaves, and soldiers like William Eaton were forced to pull together ragtag armies comprised of European and Arab mercenaries, Jefferson did not force regime change. Instead of replacing the Pasha with a reliable puppet, Jefferson chose to accept a peace treaty that only set the stage for ever greater ransoms to be paid in the future. In other words, rewarding our enemies for their bellicose actions via a negotiated peace predictably led to even worse actions later.
Our leaders…fail to understand the fundamental goals, strategies and motivations of our enemies
This view is not meant to pillory Jefferson, one of the greatest of all the founding fathers and a stalwart defender of liberty, but rather to highlight the fact that even Jefferson was unable to see these Islamist radicals for what they really were. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking continues to afflict American minds today. Like Jefferson, our leaders often fail to understand the fundamental goals, strategies and motivations of our enemies, Islamic ones included. Whether out of naiveté, political correctness or opportunism, too many people are unwilling to honestly assess our enemies and form a strategy to counter them. We instead seem to believe, in spite of history, logic, words and actions to the contrary, that “roadmaps to peace” will somehow be adhered to.
In the years following Jefferson’s presidency the raids on our merchant ships off the Barbary Coast continued. “Diplomacy” did not work. Since both parties were not actually seeking “peace” the “concessions” offered by the U.S. proved to be beneficial for only one side.
Madison recognized his enemy for what they were, and he pursued a policy of “peace through strength”
James Madison (Image Source: Library of Congress (Gilbert Stuart))
It was only steadfast and resolute force in 1815 under James Madison, thirty years after Jefferson’s first encounter with the Barbary jihadists that ultimately ended the charade and freed hundreds of U.S. citizens. Madison recognized his enemy for what they were, and he pursued a policy of “peace through strength,” parking a massive armada of ships in the port of Tripoli that threatened to level the city.
After the capture of thirty-five American ships and seven hundred American hostages, the United States’ thirty year war with the Barbary pirates was finally over. Not because we forced the peace, but because we finally understood that real, lasting peace can sometimes only come through force.
To read the full, riveting account of the Barbary Wars, along with 11 other epic and untold stories from American history, check out Glenn Beck’s new book, “Miracles and Massacres.” You can find story summaries, excerpts and audio samples by visiting here.