Category Archives: Domestic Terrorism

FACT CHECK: Subtracting Gun Homicides, U.S. Still Has More Murders Than Other Countries.

Murder Without Guns U.S.

Violence is endemic to American life. We know this because people are largely inured to it, at least when it happens to other people.

The routine slaughter of young black men over minuscule beefs in Baltimore and Chicago is waved away as some sort of racist myth. Mass killings, meanwhile, happen so frequently that they rarely shock anymore. When Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 people at Columbine High School nearly 20 years ago, it stunned the nation. Now, Stephen Paddock murders 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas, and the public and the media quickly move on. Barely a week after the worst mass shooting in America history, Paddock’s atrocity had been relegated to page B-26, next to the legal notices.

The same will probably happen after the church massacre in Texas. (That attack has been described as the “worst massacre at a house of worship in American history.” We have so many mass killings that we break them down by specific location of atrocity.) Unsurprisingly, the U.S. murder rate is much higher than that of other industrialized countries.

People often point to America’s unusually lax gun laws as being solely responsible for the elevated homicide rates. And it’s true that roughly 11,000 Americans are murdered each year by gunshots, according to the CDC. That’s a rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 Americans.

The total homicide rate in the U.S., meanwhile, is 5.0 deaths per 100,000, meaning the non-gun homicide rate is 1.5 per 100,000 Americans. And here’s the thing: at 1.5 per 100,000, our murder rate is still higher than many of our peer nations. Sweden’s murder rate is 1.15; Denmark’s is .99; Australia’s, .97; Germany and Greece each have murder rates of .85 per 100,000. Spain comes in it .66, Ireland at .64. Japan’s is an amazing .31 per 100,000.

So even if we removed every gun homicide in America, we would still be significantly more violent than other countries. And in a way, that’s much, much more disturbing than the fiction that America’s violence problem is one of technology, and not of deep societal rot.

By ETHAN EPSTEIN

NET STATES RULE THE WORLD; FACEBOOK, GOOGLE AND THE COLLECTIVE ANARCHY

Facebook Twitter Google The Net State

“We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code.” So declared MIT professor David D. Clark in 1992.

Twenty-five years later, this sentiment mirrors the global zeitgeist more than ever. The American public distrusts government in record numbers. Other nation-states disdain the US to world-historical degrees. A non-nation-state, Facebook, just topped 2 billion users—more than a quarter of the world’s population, surpassing even China’s population by almost 40 percent. In short, nation-states are not the only game in town anymore.

It is time to name this new landscape. The world is no longer dominated by nation-states alone. We have moved into a non-state, net-state era.

Why “net-states”? Because the world is no longer neatly divided into states (countries like the US, France, and India) and non-states (terrorist organizations like ISIS and al Qaeda). Ever since Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2011 article “Coming to a Theater Near You: War Without Humans” described the “emergence of a new kind of enemy, so-called non-state actors,” the term transformed into a fancy way of saying “bad guy.” Now we need new language to describe the non-state, non-bad-guys. I propose “net-states.”

Net-states are digital non-state actors, without the violence. Like nation-states, they’re a wildly diverse bunch. Some are the equivalent to global superpowers: the Googles, the Facebooks, the Twitters. Others are mere gatherings of pranksters, like Lulzsec (whose sole purpose for action is “for the lulz”—the laughs). Others still are paramilitary operations, such as GhostSec, an invite-only cyberarmy specifically created to target ISIS. There are also hacktivist collectives like Anonymous and Wikileaks.

Regardless of their differences in size and raison d’etre, net-states of all stripes share three key qualities: They exist largely online, enjoy international devotees, and advance belief-driven agendas that they pursue separate from, and at times, above, the law.

Take Google, for instance. In 2013, the company launched an anti-censorship initiative called Project Shield, a sort of online safe haven for news sites censored by their national governments. Democratic countries like the US may laud such efforts, but in countries where Project Shield has been deployed across Asia and Africa—where free speech is not necessarily protected—those governments would be well within their rights to see Google’s actions as both disruptive and illegal. While Project Shield may be branded a business practice that generates good PR for the company, it also embodies Google’s fundamental doctrine to bring about positive change in the world. As co-founder Sergey Brin put it in a 2014 interview, “the societal goal is our primary goal.”

Anonymous—the hackers and pranksters most famous for the Operation Chanology protest movement against Scientology—occupies a very different role from Google among net-states. It’s not a business; it’s not even an official, card-carrying membership organization.

But Anonymous, too, dabbles in actions traditionally in the domain of government. For instance, after the terrorist attacks in Paris in November 2015, Anonymous disabled between 5,500 and 20,000 ISIS-backed Twitter accounts within 48 hours. Governments have their own official channels to shut down terrorist social media accounts too, but doing so legally at such a large scale likely generates a tad more paperwork than can be processed in just two days.

It’s worth pausing for a moment to consider the point of all this. With deaths by terrorism steadily rising each year, does placing a new name on our already extant world order do anything to actually make us safer?

I argue that it does, because nation-states need a wake-up call: The world needs net-states in order to defeat the non-states. We’re not beating them on our own. To win information-era wars, countries need to recognize the power of the net-states, not as an ancillary locale of assembly in the cyberspace, but as critical entities wielding the kind of power and influence necessary to go toe-to-toe with non-state actors.

The world needs net-states, because they occupy the same territory as the non-states: the digital sphere. As such, they understand their norms and tactics far more than a land-war, Cold-War era strategist ever could. Major General Michael K. Nagata, commander of American special operations forces in the Middle East, circled this idea back in 2014, in a leaked confidential conversation about ISIS. He said, “We do not understand the movement, and until we do, we are not going to defeat it. We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

Failure to understand the idea is part of why the US continues to be stuck in the war on terror. And the US is indeed stuck: Secretary of defense James Mattis confirmed that in June, saying in a briefing to Congress, “We are not winning in Afghanistan,” His commanders have classified the 16 years of war a “stalemate.” And without the net-states, the war will likely continue to be one.

The US airstrikes acolytes by the thousands as if they were Old World beasts they can hunt to extinction. But deploying traditional military tactics in battles of belief are the equivalent of setting bear traps for ghosts: They’re not going to work. They’re not relying on the wrong weapons; they’re relying on the wrong worldview. And even purportedly innovative tactics, like government-generated counter-terrorism messaging, while logical in theory, relies on the same outdated perspective (see “Think Again Turn Away,” the State Department’s failed attempt at targeting ISIS Twitter accounts with direct rebuttals). It’s like hearing your parents tell you that drugs are bad. What we need are the cool kids to say it. We need the net-states to say it.

So, nation-states, adapt. And don’t just acknowledge net-states; work with them. Incorporate information-era savvy alongside military campaigns. The risk of not doing so is to lose the faith of the people. Worse, failure to adapt to the information age unwittingly nudges the population ever closer to “reject kings and voting”, to instead embrace “rough consensus and running code.” In other words, forget the anointed powers—put your faith in the general approval of the people and whoever’s actually getting things done. Honestly, when faced with the question of who gets the will of the people today, how many of us would really say “the United States” over “Google”?

In sum, the US can’t keep just shooting terrorists; ideas are the gun in this knife fight. And the keepers of ideas—the places people turn to set them free and watch them spread—are the net-states; not the nation-states. Nation-states ignore our non-state, net-state world order at all our peril.

 

By LEXIS WICHOWSKI WIRED

 

Black Women In Chicago Are Arming Themselves.

Javondlynn Dunagan

Great news out of violence-plagued Chicago’s South Side: A growing number of black women are buying guns, getting trained in their proper use and receiving concealed-carry licenses. So far this year, 1,368 carry licenses have been issued to black women in Cook County, surpassing the total number of 1,358 issued for all of 2016—which was up substantially from the year before.

What is responsible for this rise? The crucial first step was a federal appeals court decision nullifying Illinois’ unconstitutional refusal to issue concealed-carry licenses.

In December 2012, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a statewide ban on private citizens legally carrying concealed weapons. At the time, Illinois was the only state in the country to still have such a prohibition. The Illinois State Police, who now issue the licenses and maintain demographic data on licensees, proudly proclaim on their website, “On July 9, 2013, Public Act 98-63, the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, became state law (430 ILCS 66). This law requires an Illinois Concealed Carry License to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois.”

Two years after the ruling, the state began to issue licenses for concealed carry—and black women have taken the new freedom to heart. In 2014, the inaugural year of concealed-carry permit licensing, 800 permits were issued to black women. Since then, the number of CCLs issued to black women has risen dramatically, with more than 4,000 issued in Cook County alone. While licenses to men and women of other races still outpace the number issued to black women, the consistent year-over-year rise for black women is remarkable.

Black women aren’t unique in wanting to feel safe outside the home. Getting properly trained to handle firearms and then carrying concealed is an excellent way to do that. Being prepared can promote confidence and even be exhilarating!

One source of carry permit applicants is JMD Defense and Investigations and its Ladies of Steel Gun Club. While the business opened just this year, members report seeking out safety through gun ownership because of an increase in crime in their neighborhoods. Upon receiving their permits, women in the club reported feeling a new sense of confidence as they go about their daily commitments.

Black women in Chicago are getting carry licenses to defend themselves in a violence-plagued city

The Chicago Tribune interviewed the owner of JMD Defense, Javondlynn Dunagan, and her enthusiasm is contagious. She started the venture out of a desire to see more women trained to use guns for self-defense. Dunagan, who was previously married to a police officer, said that after her divorce she “felt kind of naked in a house without a firearm.” In her desire to acquire a gun and get the training to use it safely, she created an environment in her community for others to do the same.

Dunagan saw a need, as there is little firearm training available on the South Side of Chicago. Her story of desiring a greater sense of public safety for herself and her community—then doing something substantial to provide it—isn’t unique, but it is worth celebrating.

At a time when the media deceptively portray gun ownership as a sign of racial animus, seeing more black women getting licensed to carry concealed firearms, practicing regularly and joining gun clubs provides a dose of reality to the narrative and shows what’s really going on in the gun community. What will the media say if crime in Chicago begins to decline? They surely won’t give any credit to the presence of more legally armed women, or to the change in the demeanor of potential victims from a state of fear to one of empowerment.

No, it will likely go unnoticed by them. But at this point, what difference does it make? More firearms freedom is great, regardless of the media’s interpretation. To the women of Chicago who now carry concealed firearms, we say: “Welcome to our tribe. We salute you.”

by STACY WASHINGTON

BRIEFING: 3 Reasons Why Venezuela Poses “A Clear & Present Danger” To The U.S.

U.S. vs. Venezuela

While North Korean aggression is a serious geopolitical issue, most of the national media and federal legislators have not taken an analytical look at Venezuela.

Venezuela is a serious threat directly and indirectly to the U.S.

WEAPONS BUILDUP – Venezuela has massive amounts of technical weapons which they acquired from the Russians.

Why would they need to build up their military capacities? Because they have always planned an attack on the U.S.

Hamas, Hezbollah and other international Terrorist Groups are in Venezuela and are controlling it.

COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA – The only true military ally we have in South America is Colombia. The country is also the most stable economy in the region.

The country has had a weak and ineffective leader in Santos and over the past two years has been dramatically affected – economically and security wise – by the Venezuela backed FARC terrorist group.

Along with the influx of refugees from the decaying Venezuela and Colombia is being destabilized.

THE WORLD VS. VENEZULA – World leaders are turning on the regime. Only aggressive states such as Iran, Palestinian Authority and Russia and still aligned and only because of military or business interests.

The current Venezuelan government is a terrorist / criminal enterprise which is destabilizing South and Central America.

It’s alliances and weaponry are clearly designed for aggression against surrounding countries and its biggest enemy the United States.

Action must be taken before we have a full-scale war in the Western Hemisphere.

Dale Yeager SERAPH

 

 

Washington Post MOCKS Vegas Massacre Survivor

Leave it to The Washington Post to smear and mock a Las Vegas massacre survivor, seemingly because he’s a proud gun owner.

In a new low, the Post‘s Avi Selk decided to target the real bad guy in the Las Vegas massacre, which left 58 dead and injured nearly 500 others: no, not the killer, but massacre survivor Dan Bilzerian, who reportedly saw a woman get her head blown off right in front of him and rushed back to his home to “grab a gun” and then return to the scene to help others for hours.

What a macho, gun-packing Instagram star did when he was caught in the Las Vegas shooting,” reads the headline, posted a mere three days after the attack.

According to Selk, the “macho, gun-packing” Bilzerian, an Instagram star, is a fraud because he initially ran to safety moments after he witnessed a woman tragically get her face blown off, as bullets rained down on him and thousands of others.

“Guns and women got Dan Bilzerian where he is today — the ‘King of Instagram,’ with nearly 23 million followers, a mansion full of guns and a hot tub full of women,” starts the piece, as if his personal life or affinity for women has anything to do with him being a target of a vicious attack.

Slamming Bilzerian for filling his massively popular Instagram account with images of himself and “women in the wilderness, playing with his arsenal of rifles,” Selk notes that Bilzerian once trained to be a Navy SEAL, “and while he never became one, he often brags of his apparently deadly prowess”:

“My greatest fear is that someone will break in & I won’t be able to decide what #gun to shoot them with,” he once wrote as a caption for a photo of his table of guns. There’s even an official Dan Bilzerian video game about shooting zombie women in the Nevada desert, and then in a city, with scoped headshots and bodies in the streets.

After presenting the ugly profile, Selk mocks Bilzerian for his reaction to the attack:

But on Sunday night, in the real Las Vegas, the Instagram star found himself caught in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history. He saw a woman lying dead, he said.

He turned a camera on himself as he walked, short of breath, from the killing grounds, and at first resolved to live up to years of online bravado.

“Trying to go grab a gun,” he says in the clip. “I’m f—— headed back. … Saw a girl get shot in the face right next to me, her f—— brains hanging out.”

But in the next clip, which briefly appeared on Bilzerian’s Instagram account and has since been plastered over the Internet, he stands in front of police lights, looking slightly dazed.

“Um, they got one of the guys,” he says, no gun in sight, all fury gone from his voice. “I’m headed back. I don’t think there’s much I can do.”

So he went home, leaving fans to wonder whether one of Instagram’s most formidable stars was something different in real life.

The piece goes on to quote Dakota Meyer, a Medal of Honor recipient and a Marine veteran, who blasted the Instagram star as a fraud.

“This is why children shouldn’t classify heroes by their followers or their photos,” wrote Meyer. “… Always playing ‘operator dress up’ and so so tough when the cameras are on. A woman just got shot in the head and you are running away filming. … Please stop trying to be someone your [sic] not.”

But is the Post‘s attack on Bilzerian fair? By his account, Bilzerian ran to safety and then returned to the scene to help others. Is that reaction worthy of mockery? And why would the Post choose to dedicate so much energy to tearing down one of the victims of the nation’s most deadly mass shooting?

The real reason the Instagram star is being targeted, of course, is because he is a gun enthusiast and is perceived as promoting “toxic masculinity.” Selk appears to have a personal grudge against Bilzerian and what he stands for.

Rob Hagen, who serves as the CEO to Bilzerian’s businesses, told The Daily Wire that Bilzerian “did drive two women who had been shot to the hospital and went back to the scene for over 3 hours to help the police carry dead bodies to where the police needed them to be.”

Update 3:30 p.m.: The Daily Wire was tipped off to the man who drove the two women to the hospital with Bilzerian, Jason Waufle. He had the following take:

“I was driving the van Dan entered as well as transporting two women to the hospital at the time. Dan was doing what anyone else would do, and was true in his word to return to the scene and help/aide,” Waufle told The Daily Wire.

“He helped me get the two women out of the back of my van when we got to the hospital and he told me he was going down to aide in finding his police chief’s niece,” he said.

“I drove those women and I couldn’t convince myself to go back down there to help, Dan could and he did. He felt helpless without a firearm, the same way I did,” said Waufle.

“The sounds were confusing and made it seem as if there were men walking on the street level firing. This is why I believe Dan was concerned with having a weapon, he felt he could return fire successfully believing the men were on the ground,” he continued, making it clear that this was not explicitly stated by Bilzerian, but it’s what he gathered from his reaction.

Waufle then pulled up in his van, with the two women in the back, and yelled for Bilzerian to get in. After they brought the women into the hospital, Bilzerian thanked Waufle, grabbed “what he felt he needed,” and headed back to the scene of the massacre:

He entered and realized I had women in the back as well. Like I said, he helped me unload them from the back at the hospital and when we got to his home he thanked me and literally sprinted to the garage of his home to grab what he felt he needed and returned to the scene.

According to Waufle, the women were not shot, but appeared to be in shock.

By AMANDA PRESTIGIACOMO

 

 

SHAME! Interpol’s New Terrorist Member

INTERPOL

It’s hard to think the world could get more dangerous, but it just did — as Interpol accepted the nonexistent “state of Palestine” as a member. Who’s next, ISIS?

In a secret ballot Wednesday by the international police group’s General Assembly, 75 nations agreed to accept the Palestinians’ bid for inclusion, with 24 voting nay and 34 abstentions.

The secrecy ensured that no country would pay a price for its vote, so nations were free to express their true anti-Israel/anti-Semitic hostility — and thus provide a better (and more depressing) picture of how extensive that hate really is.

Make no mistake: Israel has much to lose here. It’s not just that yet another international body has recognized “Palestine” (the UN, UNESCO and other groups have all offered it some form of membership), thereby boosting its standing.

Worse: Palestinians can now try to use Interpol to push bogus “law-enforcement” efforts (travel bans, extraditions, etc.) aimed at Israelis. Worse yet: Sensitive Interpol intel may fall into the hands of Palestinian terror groups.

Think about it: Washington has designated Hamas, one of the two groups that run “Palestine,” as a terrorist organization. The other, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, also backs terror, albeit less systematically.

Just this week, Fatah praised Tuesday’s attack by a Palestinian terrorist that left three Israelis dead. The PA reportedly will pay his family $1,700, plus $740 a month for life.

Meanwhile, PA President Mahmoud Abbas regularly incites violence and refuses to stop paying stipends to imprisoned terrorists and the survivors of dead ones. On Wednesday, Palestinian Media Watch noted that 75 Palestinian schools are named for terrorists, Nazi collaborators and the like.

It’s tragic: Nations committed to fighting terror (the United States, Israel) may now have to withhold info from Interpol for fear of leaks — weakening its effectiveness and paving the way for more crime and terror.

Until Palestinian leaders end their support for terrorists, they have no business being part of a police organization.

SHAME: California Parole Board Recommends Parole for Domestic Terrorist

Manson murders

No Freedom for Manson-Family Killer

Leslie Van Houten may have been a teenager, her mind “arguably muddled by drug use” and by “the hold that Charles Manson and his cult-like ‘family’ exerted over her” when she was sentenced to death (later commuted) for her role in the 1969 Tate-LaBianca murders.

But the editors of the Los Angeles Times say she should not be set free, as a parole board has recommended. (California Gov. Jerry Brown makes the final decision.) “It was a particularly gruesome and horrific murder, but it was also an act of terrorism,” they note: “Manson intended to wage a race war” and “destabilize society.”

And while retribution “should be balanced with mercy,” it “does have a role.”

Corporations Dance to SPLC Tune

SPLC

The “hate-list-generating Southern Poverty Law Center already has the media firmly in its pocket,” notes Charlotte Allen at The Weekly Standard, “and now corporate America seems to be jumping” on the bandwagon.

Increasingly, companies are “trying to cut off the financial livelihoods of organizations that the SPLC has branded as haters because their policy positions don’t accord with whatever the SPLC deems politically correct.” Vanco Payment Solutions, a credit-card processor, “abruptly canceled its services to the nonprofit Ruth Institute”: The SPLC claims the group’s “focus on heterosexual marriage” is a cover for a campaign “against LGBT people in general.”

Meanwhile, Apple, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Pfizer, Lyft and Newman’s Own have all become SPLC donors – even as the group has parked $69 million “in offshore hedge funds, a common tax dodge.”

College Campus 9/11 Memorials Are Offensive?

9/11 Dale Yeager Blog

Bad enough, says Peter D’Abrosca, that “displaying American pride on campus has become stigmatized.” But this has now extended to commemorating the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Last month, Southern Methodist University moved its 9/11 memorial from a “place of prominence in the center of campus” to a more remote location, in order to “avoid messages that are triggering, harmful or harassing.” (It was moved back after a public outcry.)

Last year, 9/11 displays were vandalized at two campuses, and Sewanee College’s Republican club was suspended after ignoring a directive not to host a “9/11: Never Forget Project.” Anyone who is “triggered” by a 9/11 memorial, says D’Abrosca, lacks “the emotional maturity” to attend college.

The Juggalos Gang Is Marching On Washington And The ACLU Is Behind It.

Juggalos Gang

Protesters this year have marched on Washington, D.C. for many reasons.

Now, here come the Juggalos.

Followers of the hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse — aka Juggalos — are holding a march Saturday on the National Mall, alleging discrimination after the FBI labeled the group a gang in a 2011 report.

The band, consisting of the duo Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope, said the gang accusation “has resulted in hundreds if not thousands of people subjected to various forms of discrimination, harassment, and profiling simply for identifying as a Juggalo.” In a video on the their website, the hip-hop artists claim their fans have lost jobs, custody of their children and been denied access to the military for their Juggalo affiliation.

Juggalos are known for displaying the band’s symbol, a man running with a hatchet, and the signature white-and-black face paint. The FBI placed Juggalos on the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment following reports of crimes committed by people who wear Juggalo tattoos and clothing. Federal officials state there are more than one million Juggalos in the United States.

The band and the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Juggalos in 2014, claiming they had been targeted by police. A federal judge tossed the lawsuit later that year, saying the FBI isn’t responsible for how the report is used by local law enforcement agenies. The group, on the march’s website, said their case was again dismissed, prompting the march.

The group calls the gang label untrue. Juggalos, the website said, are a family “united by a shared love of music and fellowship.”

The event begins at 2 p.m. Saturday in front of the Lincoln Memorial and ends with an Insane Clown Posse performance. The group has told its followers not to destroy property or come intoxicated.

, USA TODAY