Reader’s links, Sept. 16, 2017

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About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

102 Replies to “Reader’s links, Sept. 16, 2017”

  1. German prosecutor reviewing claim of illegal arms shipment to Syria through Ramstein

    The German prosecutor’s office in Kaiserslautern said Friday it is looking into a report that the Pentagon used Ramstein Air Base to transport weapons covertly to rebel fighters in Syria — an allegation, that if true, might have broken German law.

    Ramstein — a key U.S. military logistical hub overseas from which cargo is ferried throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa — was linked to Washington’s effort beginning in 2013 to arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State, according to a report Tuesday in the German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    The weapons transfer through Ramstein would have required permission from the German government, the report stated.

    Officials with Germany’s Economic Affairs Ministry told Stars and Stripes that the ministry did not give the U.S. military permission to transport weapons to Syria through the country. They denied having any knowledge of such activities.

    A spokeswoman for the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein referred an inquiry about the weapons report to a spokeswoman at the Pentagon, who said the department “does not store or transit weapons or ammo bound for Syria in or through any U.S. bases in Germany.”

    DOD “has and will continue to comply with all German laws,” said Army Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza, a Pentagon spokeswoman, in a statement to Stars and Stripes on Friday.

    “To that end, DOD has specifically directed our contracted vendors to not transit or store equipment in Germany that is intended for use in Syria.”

    The report was based on months of research by journalists with the newspaper, the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network. The organizations cite internal emails they stated were obtained from the U.S. military, interviews with whistleblowers and official documents, such as the United Nations arms export reports for 2015 and 2016.

    Udo Gehring, the district prosecutor in Kaiserslautern, confirmed Friday that his office was reviewing the allegations against the base since they involved a “possible criminal act.”

    The case is complicated and “not easy to review,” he said, declining to comment further

    The report alleged that U.S. military contractors purchased Soviet-style weapons from across central and Eastern Europe and had them shipped to Syria through ports in Romania and Bulgaria, as well as via Ramstein.

    Transit licenses approved by German authorities specified U.S. military bases in countries such as Germany, Romania and Turkey as the delivery point — but not Syria, according to the report.

    The supply route was diverted from Germany in late 2016, as transit permits were taking longer to get approved “due to the large number of requests and questions” from German authorities, according to an internal Pentagon email the report stated was leaked to BIRN and OCCRP. At that time, contractors were told the State Department would assume responsibility for requesting new transit licenses, the report stated.

    Baldanza said “all appropriate end-user certificates are properly coordinated with each respective source country.”

    She noted that the Pentagon’s “Iraq and Syria train and equip efforts” are focused on enabling local forces to defeat Islamic State quickly and secure liberated territory to prevent the group’s return.

    “To achieve these goals rapidly and sustain them into the future, DOD sources equipment that is simple to operate and maintain,” Baldanza said.

    Syrian opposition groups are vetted, she said, and the sourcing of equipment is done according to DOD regulations.

    The Pentagon, she said, works closely with the State Department, NATO allies and European partners on the sales of military weapons, ammunition and equipment, among other matters pertaining to mutual security interests.

  2. St. Louis protesters go to upscale malls, suburbs

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — Noisy demonstrators disrupted shopping at upscale suburban malls on Saturday and later marched through a popular district of bars and restaurants to protest a white St. Louis police officer’s acquittal in the killing of a black man, but the second day of protests was peaceful following sporadic vandalism and violence a night earlier.

    A few hundred people shouted slogans such as “black lives matter” and “it is our duty to fight for our freedom” as they marched through West County Center mall in Des Peres to decry the judge’s verdict Friday clearing ex-officer Jason Stockley of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.'s-acquittal

  3. Now Ed Sheeran has joined U2 in canceling St Louis concerts over fears for fans’ safety as 300 protesters shut down a mall over acquittal of white cop who shot black man, in second day of demonstrations following night of violence that saw 32 arrested

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    Ed Sheeran and U2 have both cancelled their St Louis concerts as more protests erupt in the Missouri city over the acquittal of a white cop who shot dead a black man in 2011.

    Friday night’s upheaval saw 32 people arrested and at least ten officers injured – including one who had his jaw broken and another who dislocated his shoulder.

    On Saturday, another 300 marched at West County Center Mall to carry on their demonstration for a second night.

    Macy’s closed its doors in fear of the crowd and there was an increased police presence at the mall.

    They are angry about the acquittal of white cop Jason Stockley who was cleared of murdering black drug dealer Anthony Smith in 2011 on Friday after years of anticipation.

    Many believe Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s car after he shot him six times following a high-speed car chase. The weapon had none of the dead man’s DNA on it but Stockey’s fingerprints were picked up.

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    • Now Ed Sheeran has joined U2 in canceling St Louis concerts over fears for fans’ safety…

      While I support Freedom of Music Speech (even including the nearly worthless genre of (c)rap “music”), it is my firm belief that future musicologists eventually will determine that Bono’s U2 band spent their entire career playing the exact same song.

      I saw U2 in 2008 and, just like Bruce Springsteen (in 2009), these overpaid wankers didn’t impress me at all. I’ve performed on television, radio, my local county fair, and open microphones (run by myself and others). The utter garbage that gets passed off as so-called “music” these days makes me wanna puke.

      Ask me and I’ll post some of my own handwritten lyrics (in just about any category you might wish). Be it, Rock, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Ballad, Love Song, Hard Rock, Folk, or Be- Bop.

      Just not New Age (rhymes with “sewage”), please.

      For gits and shiggles, here’s a partial list of the artists I’ve seen live:

      Jeff Beck, Andres Segovia, Yehudi Menuhin, Bert Jansch, Dave Brubeck, Jean Pierre Rampal, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker, Fairport Convention, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Yes, Gentle Giant, Eric Clapton, John Renbourn, Bola Sete, Larry Coryell, Strunz & Farah, Chick Corea & the Return to Forever Band (with Al Di Meola), Hubert Laws, Robin Trower, J. Geils Band, Foghat, The Rolling Stones, Three Dog Night, Pink Floyd, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, The Doors, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Miles Davis, Johnny Winter with Rick Derringer, Edgar Winter Band, Satch, Eric Johnson, The Who, Frank Zappa, Country Joe and the Fish, Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Ray Charles, Albert Collins, John Fahey, Robin Williams, Jefferson Starship, Robert Fripp, Pat Metheny, Pete Seeger, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, John McLaughlin (jamming WITH Jeff Beck), Ravi Shankar jamming with Yehudi Menuhin, The Robert Greenidge Steel Drum Orchestra, Robert Cray, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Yngwie Malmsteen, Winton Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, Moby Grape, Journey, Genesis, Dave Grisman Quintet (with Mark O’Connor), Stéphane Grappelli, ZZ Top, Steve Miller Band, Pearl Jam, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Salas, Lindisfarne, Traffic, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Grateful Dead, Eek-A-Mouse, Digital Underground, Queen Latifah, Yellowman, McCoy Tyner with Eddie Harris, John Fahey, Ralph McTell, Donavan, Soft White Underbelly, Blue Öyster Cult, George Shearing, Tony McAlpine, and a few others that I cannot recall right now.

  4. Protesters Storm St. Louis Mall Chanting “No Justice, No Profits!” – Mall Shuts Down (VIDEO)

    St. Louis, MO – Protests spilled over into Saturday after Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer was acquitted of first-degree murder charges in the shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith.
    Hundreds of St. Louis #BackLivesMatter protesters shut down Kingshighway in the Central West End Friday night.


  5. Columbia law school objects to military recruiters on campus over transgender ban; gives credit for anti-Trump project

    Columbia University Law School can’t prevent the U.S. military from recruiting on campus, but it’s welcoming them with “vociferous objection” because of President Trump’s transgender ban, the school’s dean wrote in a blistering missive to students.

    In a letter sent Thursday – and viewed by Fox News – the school’s dean, Gillian Lester, said Trump’s decision to bar members of the transgender community from serving in the armed forces “conflicts directly with our nondiscrimination policy and with our values as an institution.”

    The letter was sent to address the fact that members of the Judge Advocate General Corps, the legal branch of the military, would be holding information sessions starting Friday.

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