Germany Helped Prep Russia for War, U.S. Sources Say
Over the past few years, NATO countries have helped Russia revolutionize its armed forces. Now questions are arising about a German defense contractor that trained the Russian military.
The world was shocked when Russian special operations forces invaded Crimea with advanced technology, drastically improved operations, and with so much operational security that even agencies in the U.S. intelligence community didn’t see it coming. In Washington, government and congressional leaders are wondering how the Russian special operations forces got so good, so fast, without anyone noticing. Some are wondering how much help Russia had from the West.
In 2011, for example, the German defense contractor Rheinmetall signed a $140 million contract to build a combat simulation training center in Mulino, in southwest Russia, that would train 30,000 Russian combat troops per year. While the facility wasn’t officially scheduled to be completed until later this year, U.S. officials believe that Germany has been training Russian forces for years.
Rheinmetall defended the project even after the invasion of Crimea, up until the German government finally shut it down late last month. But many tracking the issue within the U.S. government were not happy with Germany’s handling of the Russian contract, and worry that some of the training may have gone to the kind of special operations forces now operating in and around Ukraine.
“It’s unfortunate that German companies were directly supporting and training Russia’s military even during the attacks against Ukraine,” one senior Senate aide told The Daily Beast. “The U.S. government should call on our NATO allies to suspend all military connections with Russia at this point, until the Russians leave Ukraine, including Crimea.”
According to the Congressional Research Service, Rheinmetall’s partner in the deal was the Russian state-owned Oboronservis (“Defense Service”) firm. The training center, modeled after one used by the German Bundeswehr, was to be “the most advanced system of its kind worldwide.” Reinmetall saw the contract as a precursor to several more projects “in light of the plans to modernize the equipment of the Russian armed forces.”
U.S. officials, now looking back, are privately expressing anger and frustration about the German work with the Russian military. While definitive proof is hard to come by, these officials look at the radical upgrade of Moscow’s forces–especially its special operations forces–experienced since they last saw major action in 2008′s invasion of Georgia. The U.S. officials believe that some of the German training over the last few years was given to the GRU Spetsnaz, the special operations forces that moved unmarked into Crimea and who can now be found stirring up trouble in eastern Ukraine.
“People are pissed,” one U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “The chatter inside the Pentagon is that the training they were providing was going to Spetznaz.”
More to read at the Daily Beast.
Ukraine vows to ‘liquidate’ pro-Russian rebels after body of ‘brutally tortured’ politician is found in river .
It’s Not Beijing’s Hackers You Should Be Worried About, It’s Moscow’s.
Syrian rebels get SA-16 anti-aircraft missiles after receiving advanced anti-tank weapons.
Navy’s New Railgun Can Hurl a Shell Over 5,000 MPH
Temple Mount now central Israeli-Palestinian flashpoint .
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
“No aspect of this administration’s performance exemplifies its “bleep you” approach more than Obamacare.
Even in 2008, Team Obama instinctively knew that the American people would never accept the kind of state-dictated healthcare regime it wished to impose. Thus, the collection of guarantees they knew would not and could not be honored were born: “If you like your healthcare plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period.” False, false, false, and false — and delivered unilaterally with deductibles and out-of-pocket costs which would cause many workers in the public sector and at large private firms to begin planning their exit strategies. Too bad, so sad, suckers.” –Tom Blumer
North Korea is a shipping dead zone—but it’s getting weapons, ivory, and drugs out somehow
Northeast Asia is home to the most bustling cargo-ship traffic in the world. And though much of that flows through the South China Seas, three of the planet’s top 10 busiest container ports—Busan, Qingdao, and Tianjin—are in the upper corner of sea flanked by China, Japan, and South Korea.
But the volley of port activity in the region almost entirely skirts the coasts of one country: North Korea, of course. This is particularly vividly illustrated in the map above, which plots cargo-ship traffic activity from MarineTraffic.com, as CityAM reports.
Not that this is especially surprising. Known as the Hermit Kingdom, the country of 25 million is notoriously walled off to foreign contact and trade. That’s largely thanks to the authoritarian rule of the Kim regime, which has directly stymied the country’s economic development while also inviting international sanctions forbidding shipments of things like weapons and luxury goods.
That’s not to say commerce isn’t happening at all, though. In 2013, the last year for which there was data, North Korea imported $4 billion in goods—mostly oil, machinery, and electronic equipment—and exported $3.3 billion in coal, apparel, metal, and a smattering of other goods, according to TradeMap.
Nearly all of that trade—90% of imports and 88% of exports—is with China.
More to read found HERE.
Reid: ‘Something Will Happen’ To Stop Nevada Rancher Cliven Bundy
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says “something is going to happen” to get Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to stop letting his cattle graze on federal land.
“It’s obvious that you can’t just walk away from this. And we can speculate all we want to speculate to what’s going to happen next,” Reid told KSNV-TV. “But I don’t think it’s going to be tomorrow that something is going to happen, but something will happen. We are a nation of laws, not of men and women.”
Reid called militias staying at Bundy’s Bunkerville ranch “domestic violent terrorist-wannabes.”
Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., disagreed with Reid, telling KSNV that these militia members are “patriots” and took issue with how the U.S. Bureau of Land Management handled the situation.
“I take more issues with the BLM coming in with a paramilitary army of individuals with snipers. I’m talking to people and groups that are there at the event. Your own government with sniper lenses on you. It made a lot of people very uncomfortable,” Heller told KSNV.
The junior Nevada senator also stated that he wants congressional hearings held about BLM trying to round-up Bundy’s cattle.
“I want to talk about the fact that they have this kind of authority and the ability to bully and to come in with 200 armed men into a situation like this. I would like to have hearings. I want to find out who’s accountable for this,” Bundy told KSNV, adding he wants to find out who “gave the marching orders.”
Armed campers are still guarding Bundy’s melon farm and cattle ranch more than a week after a tense standoff between gun-toting states’ rights advocates and BLM police over a roundup of Bundy cattle from public rangeland.
Read it all HERE.
(does this mean that there is a drone strike in the works by our government? or an assassination team put together to take Bundy out? time will tell on this)
IRS employees who are themselves tax cheats, get rewarded for going after tax cheats.
IRS employees who had been disciplined for tax and conduct issues were nonetheless rewarded with monetary awards or time off, according to a watchdog report released Tuesday.
The report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that while for the most part the reward program for IRS workers complied with federal regulations, employees who had themselves failed to pay their federal taxes and had discipline problems were also rewarded.
“While not prohibited, providing awards to employees who have been disciplined for failing to pay federal taxes appears to create a conflict with the IRS’s charge of ensuring the integrity of the system of tax administration,” Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George said.
The watchdog found that in the period from October 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012 over 2,800 employees who had been disciplined for conduct problems, including issues with federal tax compliance, had received over $2.8 million in monetary awards and over 27,000 hours in time-off awards.
Read the full article at FoxNews.com.
Will International Law Supersede US Constitution and Silence Christians?
The First Amendment gives every American the rights to the freedom of religion and speech. Lately we’ve been seeing those rights being taken from us on an alarming basis. Christians here in America are being persecuted for standing up for what the Bible says about homosexuality and other issues. Instead of sinners repenting, they have been taking Christians to the courts and filing lawsuits to gag them.
One ongoing lawsuit could strip all Americans, especially Christians, from any First Amendment rights to religion or free speech. The case involves Pastor Scott Lively of Abiding Truth Ministries. His alleged crime is speaking out publicly against homosexuality.
Who filed the charges against him and the process involved will shock you. The charges were filed by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) who claim that Lively’s speech condemning homosexuality is a crime against humanity and a violation of international law. They claim that the Alien Tort Statute in the US gives them the right to file the case and that their charge supersedes the US Constitution and the First Amendment.
The group charges that Lively considers himself an expert on the gay movement and that by speaking out against homosexuality he is deriving the group from their fundamental rights.
US District Judge Michael Posner reviewed the lawsuit and used 80 pages to say the case has merit and should move forward. Among Posner’s pro-gay comments contained in his ruling, he wrote:
“…many authorities [who] implicitly support the principle that widespread, systematic persecution of individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity constitutes a crime against humanity.”
“Indeed, defendant, according to the amended complaint, is alleged to have maintained what amounts to a kind of ‘Homophobia Central’ in Springfield. He has allegedly supported and actively participated in worldwide initiatives, with a substantial focus on Uganda, aimed at repressing free expression by LGBTI groups, destroying the organizations that support them, intimidating LGBTI individuals, and even criminalizing the very status of being lesbian or gay.”
Horatio Mihet, Senior Litigation Counselor with Liberty Counsel is representing Lively and says that his client is protected under the First Amendment of the US Constitution which is higher than international law. In his brief filed with the court, Mihet wrote:
“SMUG asks this United States court to punish one of its citizens, Mr. Lively, for ‘crimes against humanity’ under an international treaty that the United States has expressly rejected.”
“Moreover, what SMUG cavalierly and conclusorily labels as ‘crimes against humanity’ – the most heinous of crimes – is actually nothing more than civil, non-violent political discourse in the public square on a subject of great public concern, which occupies the highest rung of First Amendment protection.”
Read all of this at Godfather Politics.
Zo Peacefuly attends his California Assemblyman’s Meet & Greet, only to get harassed by a woman “attorney” attendee, who actually sics the cops on him!
Meanwhile, Democrat Al Muratsuchi shows his true hypocritical self. Just another example of how liberals like Al are not tolerant of things, but want to make it a law for others to be tolerant of the things they wouldn’t tolerate. Hear more in this ZoNation.
As if Bundy doesn’t deal with enough bulls**t, The BLM and the EPA are giving Bundy a truck load of Bovine Manure, and using turtles to do it. Who’s right? Many claim to have all the facts, and all the bull is working great as fertilizer for a field of conspiracy theories. Does Zo claim to know what’s what? No, but he’ll tell you what he honestly thinks. Here more in this Zonation.
From Joe Dan Gorman:”Cows, Guns and Money – IFL 2014 007
Our Federal Government has gone absolute power crazy. Rather than opting for ‘the standard peaceful solution’ of filing a lien or judgement—armed agents and K-9 units with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) actually drew weapons on unarmed American citizens at the Bundy Ranch over alleged ‘unpaid cattle grazing’ fees. They tazed and sic’d dogs on unarmed citizens….even pushing women down.
This prompted militia from all across the country to rush to Nevada to support Mr. Cliven Bundy, whose family had been ranching this land since the 1870s. The tense showdown between Federal Agents and Citizens, ended peacefully, thank God.”
Have you ever watched on tv a series product by Chuck Lorre (like the Big Bang Theory) and wanted to really read those ending cards of his that one can read two words before it goes away? Like the following:
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #280
You know you’re getting old when… You throw your back out on the toilet. You shave your ears. Your second wife calls your first wife “ma’am.” You’re genuinely excited when your prescriptions arrive in the mail. You read the obits in the newspaper to check the ages of the dead people. You read a newspaper. You’re bummed out that the smokin’ hot chick from Body Heat now looks like William Shatner in drag. You say “bummed out.” Women your age have real breasts and artificial hips. Masturbation leaves you winded. You try to amuse the kid hooking up your Blu-ray player by telling him about Betamax. You pee in morse code — dots and dashes — and have to look down to see when you’re done. Your car radio is set to “classic rock” so you have something to switch to during NPR pledge drives. Your doctor says things like, “that’s normal for a man your age” and “consider yourself lucky.” Beneath your chin is what appears to be a neck skin hammock. Beneath your penis is what appears to be two ping pong balls hanging from a flesh-colored bolo tie. You choose your new car because it offers great lumbar support and convenient cup holders. Watching “The Who” perform at the Superbowl made you inconsolably sad. You wonder if the orgasm you’re about to have will actually end your life. Your doctor tells you a new medication will reduce the amount of semen in your body and your only response is, “so what.” Your car radio is set to “classic rock” so you have something to… oh, wait, I already did that one.
Lot more of his found HERE.
Ten Things You May Not Believe Have ‘Actually’ Been Blamed on Global Warming
Did you know climate change has been blamed for everything from malaria in airports to Kenya’s decreased coffee output?
On The Wonderful World of Stu Saturday, TheBlaze’s Stu Burguiere tackled some of what he considered to be the most ridiculous things “actually blamed on global warming.”
Read it all with the video HERE.
Elites’ Sacrificial Victims
When your goal is to save the planet, you can’t worry about who may get hurt.
Why do our well-meaning elites so often worry about humanity in the abstract rather than the real effects of their cosmic ideologies on the majority? The dream of universal health coverage trumped the nightmare of millions of lives disrupted by the implementation of it. Noble lies, with emphatics like “Period!” were necessary to sell something that would hurt precisely those who were told that this was going to be good for them. A myriad of green mandates has led to California’s having the highest-priced gasoline and electricity in the continental United States, a fact that delights utopians in San Francisco and in the long run might help the rest of us, but right now ensures that the poor of the state’s vast, hot interior can scarcely afford to cool their homes or drive to work. Fresno on August 1, after all, is a bit warmer than Berkeley or Menlo Park.
In a word, liberal ideology so often proves more important than people. Noble theories about saving humanity offer exemption from worry about the immediate consequences for individual humans. In a personal sense, those who embrace progressive ideas expect to be excused from the ramifications of their schemes. For the elite who send their kids to prep schools and private academies, public charter schools for the poor are bad, given that they undermine the dream of progressive, union-run education that has turned into a nightmare for those forced to enroll in it.
Recently, pundit Margaret Carlson wrote an op-ed lamenting the fall of Lois Lerner, as if her decline were due to a McCarthyesque hit. But Lerner staged her own dishonest disclosure of impropriety. She set up a phony, preplanned question that might offer her a platform to contextualize her unethical behavior. Despite her protestations that the IRS’s violations all emanated from a rogue office in Ohio, Lerner or her colleagues were in contact with Democratic enablers at the House Oversight Committee and the Department of Justice to find ways to thwart conservative tax-exempt organizations before the 2012 election.
Much more HERE.
Half a Win on Racial Discrimination
There’s a reason they call it “progressivism” — for years, the main legal question contested in affirmative-action cases, from Bakke to Grutter, was whether the state should be allowed to engage in racial discrimination. In the Michigan affirmative-action case decided today, Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, the question was whether the state should be required to engage in racial discrimination. The progress, then, has followed the Left’s familiar ratchet-effect model, inching its way from “not forbidden” to “compulsory.” Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal put it, the question here was not whether the use of racial discrimination for putatively benevolent purposes is constitutional but whether states “may end racial preferences without violating the U.S. Constitution.”
The Court came to the correct conclusion, but both Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s dissent suggest very strongly that there is trouble afoot on our highest bench.
In a perfectly Orwellian dissenting opinion, which she read dramatically from the bench, Justice Sotomayor argued that the decision of the people of Michigan to end racial discrimination is itself an instance of racial discrimination and that the only way to mitigate such racial discrimination is through the mandatory maintenance of racial discrimination. In this opinion she was joined by Justice Ginsburg, with Justice Kagan recusing herself from the case. Justice Sotomayor argued that Michigan’s Proposal 2, which mandates race-neutral state policies, is the sort of legislation used to “oppress minority groups.” By outlawing racial discrimination, she argued, “a majority of the Michigan electorate changed the basic rules of the political process in that State in a manner that uniquely disadvantaged racial minorities.”
Justice Sotomayor is here arguing in effect that if a constitutional referendum doesn’t go the NAACP’s way, then its effects are invalid. This is not an exaggeration: Justice Soyomayor argues explicitly that Michigan’s voters would have been within their rights to, for example, lobby university authorities to adopt race-neutral admissions standards but that by adopting a constitutional amendment insisting on race neutrality, thereby transferring the decision from the education bureaucrats to the people themselves and their constitution, they “changed the rules in the middle of the game.” Her opinion is legally illiterate and logically indefensible, and the still-young career of this self-described “wise Latina” on the Supreme Court already offers a case study in the moral and legal corrosion that inevitably results from elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law. Justice Sotomayor has revealed herself as a naked and bare-knuckled political activist with barely even a pretense of attending to the law, and the years she has left to subvert the law will be a generation-long reminder of the violence the Obama administration has done to our constitutional order.
Read all HERE>
Texas Attorney General to BLM: I’m going to raise a ‘Come and Take it’ flag so the feds will stay out of Texas
Read this HERE.