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FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As ‘Domestic Terrorist Violence’

(from Liberty Headlines)

(Zero Hedge) President Trump was crucified by the mainstream media a few weeks back after hosting an improvised press conference and saying there was “blame on both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville that resulted in the death of a counterprotester.  The comments resulted in most of Trump’s advisory councils being disbanded, as CEO’s around the country pounced on the opportunity to distance themselves from the administration, and heightened calls from CNN for impeachment proceedings.

FBI, DHS Officially Classify Antifa Activities As 'Domestic Terrorist Violence'The problem is that while Trump’s delivery probably could have been a bit more artful, the underlying message seems to be proving more accurate with each passing day and each new outbreak of Antifa violence.

As Politico points out today, previously unreported FBI and Department of Homeland Security studies found that “anarchist extremist” group like Antifa have been the “primary instigators of violence at public rallies” going back to at least April 2016 when the reports were first published.

RELATED: Paul Ryan Spokeswoman Finally Condemns Antifa…AFTER Pelosi Does

Federal authorities have been warning state and local officials since early 2016 that leftist extremists known as “antifa” had become increasingly confrontational and dangerous, so much so that the Department of Homeland Security formally classified their activities as “domestic terrorist violence,” according to interviews and confidential law enforcement documents obtained by POLITICO…

Previously unreported documents disclose that by April 2016, authorities believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. They were blamed by authorities for attacks on the police, government and political institutions, along with symbols of “the capitalist system,” racism, social injustice and fascism, according to a confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI…

Original Source

Let’s see…

How may I politely respond to this?

ABOUT F’N TIME!

Now, how about adding Black Lives Matter and all George Soros’ funded entities (and their fellow travelers)?  Throw the RICO statutes at then and seize their assets!

I know, too much to ask…

Sigh.

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Human Smuggling

Source: The Washington Post

Horrific episode of human smuggling fuels both sides of immigration debate

The discovery of dozens of migrants in a dangerously overheated trailer in San Antonio this (last) weekend has further inflamed the national debate over illegal immigration, particularly sanctuary cities that limit cooperation with federal authorities. In a Facebook post late Sunday, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) appeared to blame the tragedy on sanctuary policies like those adopted by San Antonio, San Francisco, Chicago and other jurisdictions, which he said “entice” people to illegally cross the border by creating the impression that local authorities will shield them from deportation.

READ MORE

Funny, how there’s a ‘War On Drugs’, but human smuggling seems to be largely ignored by ‘the mainstream media’.  Between tacit approval by both gov’ts and media of low cost/near slave labor (not to mention sex trafficking!), unless there are deaths (see above) no one seems to care!

If it bleeds (or dies of heat exhaustion) it leads!

Phoenix Delays Sanctuary Policy Amid Mounting Pressure After JW Report

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

Phoenix Delays Sanctuary Policy Amid Mounting Pressure After JW Report

Days after Judicial Watch exposed a new policy banning Phoenix police from contacting the feds after arresting illegal aliens, alarming pressure on the city council and chief of police has forced officials in Arizona’s largest city to postpone the order. Crafted at a Hispanic advisory committee that promotes open borders, the policy also prohibits officers from asking about suspects’ immigration status. The new policy’s two principle measures violate key provisions of a state law upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court and leave the city vulnerable to costly lawsuits.

In the aftermath of Judicial Watch’s story, which included a copy of the Phoenix sanctuary Immigration Procedures, police management is backing off and reconsidering the ramifications. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Judicial Watch that Phoenix Police Department brass is worried about getting sued under an Arizona law that states the following: “No official or agency of this state or a county, city, town or other political subdivision of this state may limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration laws to less than the full extent permitted by federal law.” The measure also states this: “If an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States is convicted of a violation of state or local law, on discharge from imprisonment or on the assessment of any monetary obligation that is imposed, the United States immigration and customs enforcement or the United States customs and border protection shall be immediately notified.”

Following Judicial Watch’s initial report, the chief of the Phoenix Police Department, Jeri Williams, issued an unusual and unprecedented Employee Notification System (ENS) delaying the new sanctuary order. The ENS was titled “Operations Order 4.48 Revision” and states the following: “Operations Order 4.48, which provides direction regarding immigration related issues, is still being reviewed and revised.  The anticipated effective date, July 10th, 2017, is no longer achievable. The final revisions should be completed within the coming weeks.  A new effective date will be shared once the policy has been finalized.” Williams is Phoenix’s first female police chief and agency sources tell Judicial Watch she tried to quietly implement the sanctuary measures, perhaps hoping they’d go unnoticed. Earlier this year the chief, who was hired last summer, alluded to her stance on immigration enforcement in a local newspaper article questioning whether Arizona’s 325,000 illegal aliens trust the police. Chief Williams is quoted saying this: “We maintain open communication with our diverse residents and want to ensure that our crime victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident when reporting crimes to our officers. As your chief, I commit to you that racial profiling will not be tolerated.”

The Phoenix Police Department has about 3,000 officers that were permitted to use “sound judgement” at any time under the agency’s longtime immigration enforcement policy. That allowed front-line officers to directly contact federal immigration officials involving criminal illegal immigrants. Under the revised policy, all contact with federal immigration partners must be funneled through a single Violent Crimes Bureau (VCB) desk sergeant who will document all immigration related data and give authority to call ICE. “This will bottle-neck the process,” according to a veteran Phoenix law enforcement official who added that the new policy was generated without any input from rank-and-file. Arizona law enforcement sources also told Judicial Watch that no other restrictions of this kind and magnitude regarding a federal crime are found in Phoenix Police Department policy. Officers continue to have the discretion to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Postal Inspectors, U.S. Marshalls and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) without fear of violating department policy.

If an illegal alien is arrested for a state crime, officers in Phoenix would no longer be allowed to take them directly to ICE for deportation and document the crime in a report if the sanctuary measures get adopted. Taxpayers must fund a mandated booking into county jail under the new rules, which state; “if there is a federal criminal charge and the person is under arrest for a state and/or local charge/s…the person will be booked into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office…” Keep in mind that Maricopa Sheriff Paul Penzone doesn’t like honoring ICE holds on jailed aliens and considers illegal immigrants “guests.” The new Phoenix Police Department rules also eliminate a table showing state immigration enforcement laws as well as documentation of police contacts with verified and/or suspected illegal aliens, a troublesome change that omits valuable city crime statistics.

Besides forbidding questioning suspects regarding place of birth, country of citizenship and legal status in the United States, the postponed Phoenix policy says that transportation of illegal aliens to ICE by officers has been eliminated for civil immigration violations unless the illegal alien “consents to a transport.” Both restrictions violate key provisions of a 2010 Arizona law known as Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (SB1070). Open borders and civil rights groups fought the law in federal court and succeeded in getting rid of many of its mandates but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld two key clauses in Section 2 of the measure. The first, requires law enforcement officers to determine a suspects’ immigration status if “reasonable suspicion” exists that the person is in the U.S. illegally. This grants officers the discretion that has just been stripped in Phoenix. The other clause in Section 2 allows state law enforcement officers to transport illegal immigrants directly to federal custody. The new Phoenix sanctuary measure, also replace the term “illegal alien” with “a person unlawfully present.”

Judicial Watch will continue investigating Phoenix’s efforts to provide illegal immigrants sanctuary and has filed public records requests for the police department’s communications with third-party groups pushing for the now-paused policy change.

What if metropolitan areas decided to create ‘free zones’ for other criminals?  Burglars, armed robbers?  Something less violent?  Forgers, counterfeiters?

(I know, reductio ad absurdum much, Guffaw?)

Especially, if it impacted national security and sovereignty?

How should the federal government react?

I only bring this up as Phoenix is in my back yard (or I theirs…)

(I know, only questions today…)

Apologies for the poor copy/paste – it was the only way I could get it all in.

The Opioid Crisis 

There has been much media attention of late regarding ‘the opioid crisis’.

This is directly parallel to the the so-called Drug War.

Or ‘gun violence’.

Those who wish to insert governmental controls into private actions often label (insert issue here) as a ‘crisis’.

President Nixon started the War On Drugs in 1971. Here 40 years later, billions of dollars later, thousands have been incarcerated, and little illegal drug commerce has been stopped.

And numerous States have decriminalized and/or medicalized previously illegal drugs.

People continue to be shot en mass in Illinois and elsewhere.

And people with legitimate prescriptions are being squeezed more and more because their physicians and pharmacies are. 

By the ‘well meaning’ federal government.

A recent study noted that something like a whopping 1% of those who have opioid prescriptions are abusing them.

The lions share of abuse comes from those who steal, smuggle and illegally obtain such drugs.

Are you surprised?

I’m not.

I sometimes take a relatively low dose narcotic, which I get through a legal prescription, to deal with my chronic pain. I know others who take a much higher dosage than I, who must constantly wrestle with the increasing pressure on the medical community.

While the bad guys make billions from illegal users, largely unchecked.

Read between the lines.

 

IRS Wrongfully Seized Millions Of Dollars From Innocent Americans

irs

“The rights of some individuals and businesses were compromised,” the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGA) said of a bungled Internal Revenue Service effort to “dismantle criminal enterprises.”

Citing regulations under the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires reporting of bank transactions in excess of $10,000, IRS agents seized $17.1 million from Americans they believed were involved in criminal activity.

Just one problem…

According to a recent report from TIGA, agents were wrong 91 percent of the time based on investigations of 278 of the seizures conducted by the watchdog.

“Most people impacted by the program did not appear to be criminal enterprises engaged in other alleged illegal activity,” TIGTA said in a statement. “The report also concludes that the rights of some individuals and businesses were compromised in these investigations.”

Agents, it turns out, were simply seizing the funds of individuals they suspected of “structuring” deposits in amounts less than $10,000 without bothering to conduct proper investigations.

“In most instances, interviews with the property owners were conducted after the seizure to determine the reason for the pattern of banking transactions and if the property owner had knowledge of the banking law and had intent to structure,” the report said.

Individuals and businesses affected by the overreach often faced major financial difficulty as a result of the government ineptitude.

On top of that, they were forced to work with often unhelpful IRS officials in efforts to retrieve the wrongfully seized money.

“When property owners were interviewed after the seizure, agents did not always identify themselves properly, did not explain the purpose of the interviews, did not advise property owners of any rights they might have, and told property owners they had committed a crime at the conclusion of the interviews,” TIGA reported.

The Institute for Justice, in a 2015 report, provided a prime example of how the IRS abuses negatively affected the agency’s targets:

Lyndon McLellan runs a convenience store in Fairmont, N.C., and has done so without incident for more than a decade. All that changed in 2014, when the Internal Revenue Service used civil forfeiture to seize McLellan’s entire $107,000 bank account. He did not stand accused of selling drugs or even of cheating on his taxes; in fact, he was not charged with any crime at all. Rather, the IRS claimed that he had been “structuring” his deposits — that is, breaking them into amounts of less than $10,000 to evade federal reporting requirements for large transactions. McLellan, like most people, did not even know what “structuring” was, let alone that it was illegal. His niece, who handles the deposits, had been advised by a bank teller that smaller deposits meant less paperwork for the bank, so she kept deposits small.

The government finally returned McLellan’s funds after a legal battle and public outcry, but the small-business owner was still forced to wait nearly two years before the government compensated the thousands he spent battling the wrongful seizure in court.

h/t Personal Liberty

Am I angry?  Of course!

Am I surprised?  NO…

 

Veterans Affairs Has 346 Workers Who Do ONLY Union Work

(from Judicial Watch, in part)

An estimated 346 employees in the Department of Veterans Affairs do no actual work for taxpayers. Instead, they spend all of their time doing work on behalf of their union while drawing a federal salary, a practice known as “official time.”That’s according to a report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office. But exactly what those VA workers are doing and why so many are doing it is not clear. The VA doesn’t track that, and the GAO report offers no clue.

Rep. Jody Arrington, R-Texas, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, thinks the number on 100 percent official time may be much higher. He also notes that the 346 workers don’t include those who spend most, not all, of their time doing union work.

“The lack of accountability at the VA when it comes to monitoring official time suggests it might be worse,” said Arrington, who has introduced legislation that would require the department to track the use of official time, among other reforms.

Pointing to the waiting list scandals at the department, Arrington said the official time situation is reflective of the “broken culture at the heart of the VA” and adds, “I haven’t heard one good, acceptable reason why the practice has continued.”

The VA was not eager to discuss the matter with the Washington Examiner. After several days of inquiries, it responded with the following statement: “VA believes that the appropriate use of official time can be beneficial and in the public interest as stated in the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute, which governs how executive branch agencies treat official time. VA takes the position that labor and management have a shared responsibility to ensure that official time is authorized and used appropriately. VA practices are in compliance with the Federal Service Labor-Relations Statute.”

Official time is allowed under the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act. The idea behind it is to ensure that a federal employee who is also a union official won’t be penalized for being away from work if he or she is negotiating a contract or addressing a worker grievance, for example. It is essentially a trade-off for the limitations put on federal unions, such as prohibitions on striking.

At least 700 federal workers do nothing but work on official time, according to the GAO and data obtained from various Freedom of Information Act requests. The VA uses official time far more than any other agency.

“Employees spent approximately 1,057,00 hours on official time for union representation activities … In addition, the data show that 346 employees spent 100 percent of their time on official time,” the GAO found in a January report.

It is possible that even those figures are conservative. The GAO said the said the VA’s poor monitoring meant the data was “inconsistent and not reliable.”

The GAO didn’t know what the employees are doing with all of that time. “We just didn’t get into that in that particular study,” said Cindy Barnes, the GAO’s director of education, workforce and income security issues and author of the report.

Part of the explanation is that the VA is one of the largest federal agencies with 373,000 workers, making it second only to the Pentagon in the sheer size of its workforce. About 250,000 VA workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements, according to the GAO, citing 2012 data. Arrington puts the covered figure at 285,000.

By comparison, the Department of Homeland Security has 240,000 workers and the Department of Commerce has just under 44,000 workers. But those departments get by with proportionately far fewer people working exclusively on official time. DHS has 39, while Commerce has just four.

Another factor is that the VA’s workforce is represented by no less than five unions: The American Federation of Government Employees, the National Association of Government Employees, National Nurses United, the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Service Employees International Union.

National Nurses United representative Irma Westmoreland was the only union official willing to talk about the practice with the Washington Examiner. She is one of five nurses union members who work exclusively on union time at the VA. The union has another nine who spent 80 percent of their time at the VA on official time, she said.

Westmoreland said her work was necessary because nurses can’t simply stop taking care of a patient to do something like address a worker grievance. People such as her do the union work and make it possible for the other nurses to focus on providing care.

“I have to travel across the country working with 23 VA facilities in four time zones,” she said. “The management teams want somebody at 100 percent official time so they don’t have to pull somebody out of care.”

But not everyone at the VA is involved in care. So what are the other 341 exclusive official time workers doing? Westmoreland had no insight.

“I don’t know how the other people do it,” she said.

American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox told Arrington’s subcommittee in February that official time involved activities such as “designing and delivering joint training of employees on work-related subjects and introduction of new programs and work methods that are initiated by the agency or by the union.”

He added that “in no way did the [February GAO] report suggest that the use of official time presents problems for the department.” The report sought only to quantify the amount of time used.

Arrington argues that the practice has to change if the VA is ever to be truly reformed. He has sponsored the Veterans, Employees and Taxpayer Protection Act, which would require the VA to track the use of official time. It also would prohibit employees involved with direct patient care from spending more than a quarter of their work hours on union activities and bar any VA employee from spending more than half of their time on official time.

The legislation would effectively put VA employees under right-to-work protection. The VA would be prohibited from agreeing to union contracts that force workers to join or otherwise support a union as a condition of employment.

Westmoreland said she has no trouble with better tracking the use of official time but warns against putting any limitations on its use.

“It makes it very difficult if you cannot have set official time,” she said.  (The Washington Examiner)

Our tax dollars at work?  Hardly.  The most regular visitor to the White House during the last administration was a big union guy.  One hopes this has changed, and that the inappropriate union influence in the federal government has ended.Or, as least, tricked down to STOP!

 

To .40, Or NOT To .40?

(from TFB, in part)

40 S&W Gel Test: Black Hills 140gr TAC-XP Solid Copper Hollow Point

Is this just silly?  Or is it a valid scientific ammunition test?I owned a .40 S&W once.  For a couple of weeks.  Don’t get me wrong, she was a Sig Sauer P226, black stainless, and shot consistently through the same hole at 15 yards!

I traded her to a good friend to pay off a debt.  Should have kept her, except, she would have been in the vault and now missing, regardless.  😦

For the newbie, the .40 was essentially a truncated 10 mm.  Apparently, the feds thought the 10 too potent for the average troop.

And some early tests said the .40 exceeded the .45 ACP in stopping power…

And while both calibers have their adherents, they no longer hold the popularity they once did.

Hell, the feds have gone back to 9 mm!

This is all an exercise in futility for me, anyway.  I cannot afford anything.

But, it’s nice the adherents keep trying for a magic bullet…

FBI Court Filing Reveals Grand Jury Targeted Hillary Clinton


(from Judicial Watch…)


Just when you think we’ve learned most of what there is to learn about Hillary Clinton’s emails a new mole pops up out of the hole.

This week Judicial Watch released State Department documents including a declaration from FBI Special Agent E.W. Priestap, the supervisor of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email activities, stating that the former secretary of state was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.

The declaration was produced in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking to force Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take steps to “recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” and other U.S. Department of State employees (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rex Tillerson (No. 1:15-cv-00785)).  We originally filed the lawsuit against then-Secretary of State John Kerry.  The Trump State Department filing includes details of the agency’s continuing and shameful refusal to refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department, as the law requires.

In the filing, Priestap declares under penalty of perjury that the FBI “obtained Grand Jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers.”

On April 30, 2015, Judicial Watch sued Kerry after the State Department failed to take action on a letter sent to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the [Federal Records Act],” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails.

After initially being dismissed by the district court, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was revived on appeal by a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 27, 2016.

While at the State Department, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official government business using an unsecured email server and email accounts. Her top aides and advisors also used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business. Clinton left office February 1, 2013.

The FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why is this information being released only now?

It is disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department, and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton.  President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.

 

 

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

I was recently asked (by a liberal friend) my thoughts on the Sanctuary Cities controversy.

To be honest, I’d not given it much thought.

Initially, my gut response was (as I suspect it is with most conservatives in the Republic) they (the cities and States creating Sanctuary Zones) are in violation of federal law.

Period.

But then the libertarian part of my brain became engaged.  Have these cities and States (or even those therein who are seeking Sanctuary) received due process for their actions?  Or is it just the power of the federal government that is forcing these political entities to bow to their will?  And, of course those individuals, too.

I remembered, the Republic antebellum, when the States held much more power.  But Lincoln killed that concept.

And the federal government has continued to grow ever since!  Have you ever seen a warrant, signed by a judge, used for the searches at the airport?  Or DUI checkpoints?  Or when ‘they’ spy on your computer?

If the illegal aliens avoiding the feds are in these places, they need due process to be extracted and deported.  If they are more than illegal aliens (like criminals) they too need due process.

That pesky Constitution so says.

As a conservative, I say go get ’em.  As a libertarian, I say wait for proper paperwork.  Just withholding gov’t funds to cities and States may be a great tactic (as ‘they’ ubiquitously do with highway funds!) but blackmail is not proper paperwork.

I am a conservative libertarian.

I am all about legal aliens to be here legally, get their ‘green’ cards, and move toward proper citizenship, if they desire.

Illegal aliens?  Should be deported.  Except is the most special circumstances.

But the paperwork needs to be in order, first.

Not just federal force.

 

 

The Return Of BUREAUCRATIZILLA!

I’ve posted about the bane of my existence – BUREAUCRATIZILLA9 times previously!  And, they’ve not picked up the hint!

Not coincidentally, in today’s quote:

“Millions are fascinated by the plan to transform the whole world into a bureau, to make everybody a bureaucrat, and to wipe out any private initiative. The paradise of the future is visualized as an all-embracing bureaucratic apparatus. . . . Streams of blood have been shed for the realization of this ideal.” – Ludwig von Mises

(Please, let me preface this to state my roommate and I are barely scraping by.  Me on my disability benefits, her on survivor’s benefits.  She can work some, when her infirmities allow.  NO, this is NOT a bleg!  –  Guffaw)

Last week, my roommate received a letter regarding her Survivor’s Benefits from The Social Security Administration.  In short, because she reached a certain age, and changed her supplemental insurance, they decided to deduct previously gov’t paid insurance premiums for two months (essentially cutting her modest benefit in HALF!) then begin repaying her the Survivor’s Benefit (at a lower rate!) the third month.  She only began receiving her Survivor’s Benefit last year, and could have been receiving it for the previous three years, but did not know it was available.

And this, just when she has been working less due to illness (she is a contract employee), and is preparing to have surgery next month!

It couldn’t have come at a worse time…

BUT, there was a mention on the Social Security letter of an appeal process.  As NO ONE was reachable by phone without an extension(!), we had to go into the Social Security satellite office, take a number, and wait about 20 minutes to get the required appeal form.  (After disarming, of course!)

Easy peasy, right?

WRONG.

The surprisingly helpful Social Security employee reviewed the letter, and advised us that the appeal needed to be made with the Arizona Department of Economic Security, not Social Security!!  It was Medicare who became aware of the insurance change, and notified AZDES, who contacted Social Security to send the letter(?!)

He provided us with the number to call.  And as it was late Friday afternoon, the call would have to be the NEXT BUSINESS DAY.  AFTER PRESIDENT’S DAY.

Next Tuesday!

BUREAUCRATIZILLA, MUCH?!

People ask me why I distrust government.  The above is a prime example.  First, they provide you with a benefit.  Then, after you become accustomed to it, they screw with it, and take part of it away.

“The government strong enough to give you what you want is strong enough to take it all away.” – Barry Goldwater

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…