Reader’s Links for August 20, 2020

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

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

98 Replies to “Reader’s Links for August 20, 2020”

  1. Somali Man Who Torched Two Norwegian Churches Says It Was Revenge for Quran Burning (sputniknews, Aug 20, 2020)

    “The immigrant from Africa who set fire to two Norwegian churches, damaging one of them to the tune of $2.2 million, said he was grateful for the reception, but could not tolerate his religion being “trampled upon”.

    A Somali citizen residing in Norway who set fire to the Dombås Church and the Sel Church in February 2020 has admitted his guilt in court, claiming he was upset over a Quran burning that, according to him, went unpunished.

    The man is in his 20s and resident in Nord-Gudbrandsdalen, where both churches are located. He arrived in Norway in 2015 and first lived in an asylum shelter until receiving a residence permit. So far, he has not had a job in Norway, but has had several internships across the municipality.

    By his own admission, he took action after he saw members of the anti-Islamic organisation Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SIAN) burn the Quran in the city of Kristiansand in the autumn of 2019.

    “I got angry. The Quran means everything to us”, the accused said, as quoted by national broadcaster NRK.

    The man said that he had lived in Dombås for a long time and had never before thought of doing something stupid. “On the contrary, I am grateful for how they have received me at Dombås”, he said. “But I started to check, and found out that the person who had set fire to the Koran, had not been punished. Then I got angry. I am a Muslim. I do not like anyone trampling on my religion, because I respect the religion of others”.

    The man further explained that he bought a flammable liquid and matches and took action the same night. According to him, he broke a church window and threw the liquid inside followed by burning matches. The fire started inside the church, but soon spread to the spire, causing damages to the tune of NOK 20 million ($2.2 million).

    “It’s not a pleasant sight. You still see things you have cared for for decades, and now they are gone”, church caretaker Ola Rindal said.

    In the witness box, the arsonist said that he has received a lesson.

    “I am very sorry, and I regret it. I should have responded to the burning of the Quran verbally, and not with action”, he said, assuring it was not his intention to harm Norwegian citizens.

    The arsonist is now facing 15 years in jail, but, according to NRK, there are indications that the sentence will be somewhat lower.

    In late 2019, Stop the Islamisation of Norway (SIAN), a Norwegian anti-Islamic organisation, set fire to the Quran during a demonstration that ended in a street brawl, despite the presence of a dozen policemen. The event triggered strong reactions among Norway’s Muslims and cast a ripple across the entire Muslim world, sparking anti-Norwegian protests.

    Quran burnings are a go-to method of ethno-nationalist Danish Party Hard Line, whose leader Rasmus Paludan celebrates it as a token of free speech.”

  2. World War 3 panic: Iran captures rival ship and detains crew – two killed in UAE clash (express, Aug 20, 2020)

    “IRAN has seized a United Arab Emirates (UEA) ship and detained its crew for violating its territorial waters.

    Tehran confirmed the ship was seized on Monday August 17 for violating its territorial waters.

    The ship’s crew is currently in detention in Iran, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced.

    The UAE has since apologised and said it is prepared to compensate Iran for the incident.

    Two Iranian fisherman are understood to have been killed in the clash, after the UAE coast guard opened fire on Iranian boats.

    More to follow…”

  3. Iran tests new surface-to-surface missile with a 900-mile range called Martyr Qassem Soleimani after the Quds Force leader killed in a US airstrike (dailymail, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Iran displayed a surface-to-surface ballistic missile on Thursday that Defence Minister Amir Hatami said had a range of 1,400 kilometres and a new cruise missile, ignoring U.S. demands that Tehran halt its missile programme.

    ‘The surface-to-surface missile, called martyr Qassem Soleimani, has a range of 1,400 km and the cruise missile, called martyr Abu Mahdi, has a range of over 1,000 km,’ Hatami said in a televised speech.

    Pictures of the missiles were shown on state TV, which it said was ‘the newest Iranian cruise missile that will further strengthen Iran’s deterrence power’…”

  4. “…Stop talking silly,” she said. “This is 2022, not 2020.”

    Lucy had a point. Ever since Covid-19, Time smoked a cigarette. It at once accelerated and slowed. The world changed so quickly that for many people it had the effect of pacifying them. It was as if there was no quarter in which to take stock of the changes even though there had been a long stretch of time when the whole thing felt like a bit of a holiday. There was less traffic when you went out. People were allowed to work from home, while previously such a luxury was reserved for select few. Young people only sort of went to school while teachers only sort of taught. Governments dictated the terms of social engagement in surprising lockstep. The more the Wuhan flu abated the more government imposed itself on the people. Yes, there were still some good people in government–President Trump won the 2020 election by a “surprise” landslide–but the urge to regulate was overwhelming for the bureaucracy. Its veins coursed with the reddest tape. It was an opportunity for the elected garden-variety collectivist to circumvent the drudgery and inefficiency of the democratic process. He was helped by his faceless bureaucratic comrades who were so happy to do their little part, and he knew better. This relationship was subtle and symbiotic. It was an extremely dynamic period marked by plenty of standing around. This perfectly suited the low-level tyrant who knew what was best for the greater good. It was satisfying, at last, to have a job that saw results. Like a carpenter or a plumber, enablers of regulation could now see the fruits of their labour. Seeing people outdoors and alone in their cars wearing pointless masks was now a point of pride. I helped do that, was the thinking. Front-line enforcers of regulation found new vigour in their purpose. This nuanced symbiosis–between mayors, councillors and municipal employees, drove itself to make increasingly absurd demands on the people. If by now a city had a progressive Chief of Police, which was usually the case, it was even better. The fact that the science behind it all was contrived didn’t matter. No need to look this gift horse in the mouth. Even if science was on the take, who cares? This was our time, they believed, and their time did, indeed, smoke a cigarette, to steal the Bowie phrase.

    Of course, these people were indulging themselves in massive delusion. Retrospect did not smoke, and never had. Pressures began building immediately. Perpetrators of the NeoMarxist globalist agenda knew this perfectly well and welcomed it. Let the pressure build until it pops. Economic, social–sitting like 2700 tons of ammonium nitrate waiting to be lit. Retrospect was Wisdom’s wiley daughter, mother named Reality. Time was the frivolous cousin. Capricious and whimsical, she was seen in any way you wanted to see and feel her. In her present form she was always a bit mysterious and confusing. One minute she wore a colourful party dress, the next she was a Goth garbed in black. How Time was felt, even, became increasingly controversial. The left started saying she was subjective, and was therefore a white man’s invention. Such was the new orthodoxy of 2022. Yes, now even the subjective was being turned on its radical Marcusian head and was being categorized as objective, all for fuel. There were no limits to the left’s willingness to atomize everything in its path, because this was all that it knew and all that it was geared for. Whatever could add to peoples’ sense of disembodiment was fair game. Chaos and destruction seeded by the silliest of lies was the deepest philosophical distillation of the left’s great foundational philosophers.

    Time, appropriately, was the spawn of yet another broken family, another nuclear meltdown. Her mother was a tramp, father unknown, and her belief system was whatever was the fashion of the day. Like her or not, she marched to her own drummer. Her name was Sissy.

    “I’m not talking silly,” replied Sissy. “You’re the one who has no clue.”

    “Look at yourself,” Lucy shot back. “Just look at you in that getup. You look ridiculous. Don’t you ever look back and ask ‘what was I thinking’?”

    “That’s your job, not mine, dear cousin.” And with that Sissy slammed the door behind her in an indignant huff.

    • Celestial Mechanics blasts through Time, atomizes Lucy and Sissy. Smacks his lips.
      – Then enjoys a cigarette with Retrospect.
      They’ll laugh together watching the smoke waft down. Everything so changed.
      – Is there an upside?
      – Does it matter?

      • Lol. I thought maybe this conversation between wise Retrospect and crazy Time (present) may be fertile ground. We will see.

  5. Black Lives Matter Protests ‘Contributed’ to a 38 Per Cent Rise in Attacks on London Police (breitbart, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Assaults on Metropolitan Police officers rose by nearly 40 per cent during the Chinese coronavirus lockdown in London, with Scotland Yard pointing to violent protests and street-parties-turned-riots as the main driver of the rise in attacks.

    The Met said that between May and July, there were 2,027 attacks on officers in the British capital, representing a 38 per cent jump over the same period last year.

    The police force told the BBC that large scale protests including those held by Black Lives Matter and supposedly far-right groups “contributed” to the massive rise in attacks on British police. A swath of unlicensed music events which devolved into violent confrontations is also believed to account for part of the increase in assaults on officers.

    The figures also revealed that in the year leading up to July 2020, 6,668 police officers were attacked, which is also a 16 per cent rise over the previous year.

    The head of Operation Hampshire — the Met’s task force dealing with assaults on officers — Chief Inspector Dave Brewster said: “It is clear that assaults on police officers and staff are increasing year-on-year and the impact this has on our profession cannot and should not be underestimated.

    “Assaults should never be seen as part of the job, and officers should be able to go about their work without fear of abuse or attack. However, we know that is not always the reality,” he said.

    “The impact can have long-term effects on the individual that may not always be apparent and are not always physical,” CI Brewster warned.

    At present, perpetrators of common assault or battery against a British police officer — or other front-line workers such as firefighters and paramedics — will only face a maximum sentence of 12 months behind bars. The government is considering doubling the sentence to two years in England and Wales.

    Sophie Linden, London’s deputy mayor for policing and crime, said: “Our officers have been working tirelessly under increasing pressures to keep our communities safe during these challenging times.”

    “The violence we’ve seen directed at them is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Police officers deserve our full respect and anyone who attacks an officer should feel the full force of the law,” Linden added.

    In June, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said that he thinks law and order will be the defining issue of the decade, as Brexit defined the last.

    Farage warned that there is “a growing racial divide because people will not be put up with being dictated to by a Marxist organisation called ‘Black Lives Matter’. It just doesn’t work.”

    “The sheer extent to which, now, people are regularly victims of crimes, and yet they now have got to the point where they hardly even bother to report them,” Farage noted.

    “There has been a massive explosion in crime. It manifests itself in all sorts of different ways. Some of it is physical, violent assault. Some of it is theft. Some of it is fraud,” he explained.

    Mr Farage made the comments in the wake of a ‘street party’ turned riot in Brixton, which saw police flee after a “hostile crowd” of thugs chased them down, with one even apparently wielding a sword.

    Responding to the dramatic rise in attacks against police, PC Nick Morley — a victim of an assault which saw him dragged by a speeding car at 50 miles per hour — said: “I’m not scared, but now as a supervisor, it surprises me how often PCs get assaulted on a daily basis.”

    “In my opinion, it’s getting worse, and I don’t know how to stop that,” the officer lamented.”

  6. Italian Minister Warns Incoming Illegal Migrants Will Be Deported (breitbart, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio has warned that Italy will no longer be accepting illegal migrants in a radical shift for the leftist coalition government.

    Minister Di Maio met with Tunisian President Kais Saied this week alongside Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and two European Commissioners. Following the meeting, Di Maio stated that Italy would fully support Tunisia in fighting illegal migration.

    Di Maio went on to say that there was no question that those arriving in Italy would be made to leave and added that both Italy and Tunisia were actively engaged in negotiations to “find formulas for bilateral cooperation”, Le Figaro reports.

    Italy looks to strengthen political and economic ties with Tunisia and promised financial support to increase jobs in the interior regions of the country to stem the economic incentive for illegal migration.

    In the last year, Italy has seen a 150 per cent increase in new migrant arrivals. In the last few weeks, there has been a major surge in migrants arriving on the islands of Lampedusa and Sicily, the vast majority of them coming from Tunisia.

    Late last month, it was reported that migrant boats were arriving on Lampedusa every hour on average, with local Mayor Totò Martello threatening to declare a state of emergency due to the large influx.

    Just days later, Mayor Martello said that the island had run out of room to quarantine migrants who may be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus. The migrant reception centre on the island, built to accommodate 95 migrants, held at least 950 earlier this month.

    Greece, which has also been a hotspot for migrant arrivals, has taken a tougher approach to migrants in recent months, preventing tens of thousands from crossing earlier this year before the coronavirus outbreak.

    In recent weeks, the UK has also seen an influx of migrants, and while the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said it was considering deploying the Royal Navy to turn back the boats, so far migrants continue to arrive on British shores nearly daily.”

  7. Spain: Migrant dies after group tries to cross Melilla fence (abcnews, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Spanish authorities said that an African man died and 11 other people sustained minor injuries Thursday when around 300 migrants attempted to jump over a series of fences that separate the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Moroccan territory.

    The man who died was among the 30 who managed to reach European soil in the early hours of Thursday, a spokesman with the Civil Guard in Melilla said, adding that the man had collapsed shortly after as a consequence of a heart attack and that emergency services on the ground couldn’t revive him.

    The spokesman, who wasn’t authorized to be named in media reports, said the death has been blamed on “natural causes.”

    Eight other migrants were treated for bruises and cuts. Three Civil Guard officers who were at the site with emergency and health services were also treated for minor injuries, the spokesman said.

    Moroccan law enforcement stopped the rest of the migrants from attempting to cross, he added.

    Melilla and nearby Ceuta are two tiny territories in northern Africa separated from neighboring Morocco by barbed-wire fences and constant border monitoring.

    According to Spain’s Interior Ministry, at least 1,383 migrants entered the two enclaves by land without authorization in the first half of the year, 1,930 fewer than during the same period in 2019.”

    video – 2 mins 39 secs

  9. Austrian Synagogue Vandalised with Pro-Palestinian Graffiti (breitbart, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Vandals targetted a synagogue in Graz, Austria, spray-painting pro-Palestinian slogans on it and another Jewish community building.

    According to Jewish locals, the attack took place at both the synagogue and the Jewish community hall, with the phrases “our language and our country are red lines” and “Palestine is free” being graffitied on the buildings.

    The antisemitic attack is said to have taken place at around 11 pm on Tuesday, Austrian tabloid Kronen Zeitung reports. It is just the latest in a growing trend of antisemitism in the city, according to Elie Rosen, president of the Jewish community.

    The Graz synagogue has only been open for around 20 years and was rebuilt after being destroyed on November 8th, 1938, by the Nazis during the infamous Kristallnacht when Nazi members set it, along with community offices and a ceremonial hall at a local cemetery, on fire.

    The vandalism comes just months after a 16-year-old German in the process of converting to Judaism was assaulted on the streets of the city. He had been asked if he were a Jew, as he was wearing a ring with a Star of David on it.

    “The situation has deteriorated considerably over the last five years, especially in the last two or three, the situation has deteriorated very much,” Mr Rosen said at the time.

    “We’re not just talking about right-wing antisemitism,” he said and added: “All studies show a high proportion of left-wing and Muslim antisemitism.”

    Graz has also become well-known as a hotbed for radical Islamic extremism in recent years and was labelled a “stronghold” for radicals in 2017.

    According to experts, at least 11 out of the city’s 20 mosques had links to radical Islamic theology in 2017, and many were under surveillance by local police and security services.

    In 2017, a 25-year-old Bosnian living in the city was arrested after plotting to commit a terrorist act similar to illegal migrant Anis Amri’s 2016 attack in Berlin when he killed a dozen people by driving a truck into the crowded Christmas market.”

  10. Asylum-Seeking Migrants Will Be Housed in Hotels in Glasgow Until 2021 (breitbart, Aug 20, 2020)

    “Asylum seeking migrants in Glasgow, Scotland, will be put up in hotels at taxpayers’ expense until 2021 due to overcrowding in standard accommodations, leaked documents have revealed.

    During the Chinese coronavirus lockdown the housing and social care contracting company Mears began moving asylum-seeking migrants into hotels across North Britain’s second city. It is estimated that around 400 migrants are being housed in hotels by Mears, under a scheme that is being funded by the British government.

    A Mears email document uncovered by the BBC read: “Based on the demand and lack of procurement we will still be in hotels by the end of this year.”

    Responding to the revelation, a spokesman for Mears said: “We currently do not have sufficient accommodation to move all of the people accommodated in hotels out.”

    “The major constraint is the availability of suitable vacant accommodation… Mears will continue to do all in its power to end the use of hotels and ensure everyone has a home of their own,” the company added.

    In June, a Sudanese migrant went on a stabbing spree inside his Glasgow hotel accommodation, injuring six people, including a police officer, David Whyte, who was critically injured.

    The migrant, Badreddin Abadlla Adam, was being housed in a Mears-managed hotel at the time of the attack. Abadlla Adam had reportedly complained that he was “very hungry”, and that migrants in the hotel “were fed three times a day but people were complaining at getting the same spaghetti and macaroni cheese all the time. It wasn’t culturally appropriate for them.”

    Migrants at the hotel were also said to be displeased with the “limited wifi”.

    The Sudanese migrant was shot dead by police during the stabbing spree. Despite coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, hundreds turned up to mourn the attacker at his funeral in July.

    Pro-migrant groups have also complained about what they term “hotel detention”, demanding that asylum seekers be given more “suitable” accommodations, despite migrants receiving taxpayer-funded meals, laundry, wifi, and other services for free in the hotels.

    Alison Phipps, the Unesco chair Professor at Glasgow University, told The National: “Nothing about living in hotels fits with the work of integrating and living as normalised a life as possible. That rented accommodation was in place before the hasty move into hotel detention but now is not, simply highlights the dreadful procurement processes in place.”

    Shafiq Mohammed, from the Asylum Seeker Housing Project, said “kettling so many vulnerable people together was a recipe for disaster”, adding that it puts “very vulnerable people at grave risk”.

    Scottish National Party (SNP) Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said that she has “grave concerns” about the supposed lack of support given to migrants.

    “People who have come to Scotland because they needed a place of safety should be supported, particularly at this time of crisis, and not bear the brunt of the UK’s failed asylum policies,” Campbell declared.

    According to a report from the National Audit Office (NAO), there are currently some 48,000 migrants being housed at the expense of the British taxpayer. Alleged asylum seekers are also provided free access to the National Health Service (NHS), free dental and eyesight care, education for their children, and a weekly allowance £37.75 to £39.60 per week.

    The NAO report estimated that the British taxpayer will be forced to spend at least £4 billion to fund migrant support programmes by the end of the decade.”

  11. Political Islam

    In any war of ideas, you must command the language to shape the ideological battle space. The left and Islam are experts at using the right words to win.
    There is a word we must start using—Kafir, do not use unbeliever or non-Muslim.
    I did a study of the use of the word “kafir” in the Koran and found that it is used in nearly 400 verses.
    In 345 verses kafir means unbeliever and in 39 verses it means “ungrateful”.
    Kafir is the word Allah uses to describe us.
    How do we know it is the right word? Simple. Muslims do not want us to use it.
    Using Kafir is a game changer. And while you are at it, use Koran, not Qu’ran.
    The book I referenced in the talk: Ethico-Religious Concepts in the Quran; Toshihiko Izutsu.

  12. Associated Press – Ex-Trump adviser Steve Bannon charged in border wall scheme

    NEW YORK (AP) — Former White House adviser Steve Bannon was arrested Thursday on charges that he and three others ripped off donors to an online fundraising scheme “We Build The Wall.”

    The charges were contained in an indictment unsealed in Manhattan federal court that alleged Bannon received over $1 million himself, using some to secretly pay a co-defendant, Brian Kolfage, and to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars of Bannon’s personal expenses.

    Federal prosecutors alleged that Bannon and three others “orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors” in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States.

    According to the indictment, Bannon promised that 100% of the donated money would be used for the project, but the defendants collectively used hundreds of thousands of dollars in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.

    The indictment said they faked invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to hide what was really happening.

    The defendants learned last October from a financial institution that the “We Build the Wall” campaign might be under federal criminal investigation and took additional steps to conceal the fraud, according to the indictment.

    Charges included conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    A phone at the office of Bannon’s lawyer went unanswered Thursday morning. A spokeswoman for Bannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It was not immediately clear who would represent Kolfage at an initial court appearance.

    According to the indictment, Bannon promised that 100% of the donated money would be used for the project and no one would be compensated, but the defendants collectively used hundreds of thousands of dollars in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations.

    The indictment said they faked invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to hide what was really happening.

    “It’s not possible to steal the money,” Kolfage once said publicly, according to the indictment. “I can’t touch that money. It’s not for me.”

    We Build the Wall originally promoted a project for 3 miles of fence posts in South Texas that was ultimately built and largely funded by Fisher Industries, which has received about $2 billion in funding for wall contracts. Tommy Fisher, CEO, didn’t respond to calls for comment.

    Trump recently criticized that section of wall after it showed signs of erosion, saying it was “only done to make me look bad,” even though it was built by his supporters.

    Bannon led the conservative Breitbart News before being tapped to serve as chief executive officer of Trump’s campaign in its critical final months, when he pushed a scorched earth strategy that included highlighting the stories of former President Bill Clinton’s accusers. After the election, he served as chief strategist during the turbulent early months of Trump’s administration.

    The blunt-spoken, combative Bannon was the voice of a nationalistic, outsider conservatism, and he pushed Trump to follow through on some of his most contentious campaign promises, including his travel ban on several majority-Muslim countries. But Bannon also clashed with other top advisers, and his high profile sometimes irked Trump. He was pushed out in August 2017.

    Bannon, who served in the Navy and worked as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs before becoming a Hollywood producer, has been hosting a pro-Trump podcast called “War Room” that began during the president’s impeachment proceedings and has continued during the pandemic.

    • Department of Justice

      U.S. Attorney’s Office

      Southern District of New York

      Leaders Of ‘We Build The Wall’ Online Fundraising Campaign Charged With Defrauding Hundreds Of Thousands Of Donors

      Brian Kolfage, Stephen Bannon, and Two Others Alleged to Have Funneled Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars From the Organization to Kolfage; All Four Defendants Allegedly Profited From Their Roles in the Scheme
      Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Philip R. Bartlett, Inspector-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service (“USPIS”), announced the unsealing of an indictment charging BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA for their roles in defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign known as “We Build the Wall” that raised more than $25 million. The defendants were arrested this morning. KOLFAGE will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hope T. Cannon in the Northern District of Florida. BANNON will be presented today in the Southern District of New York. BADOLATO will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Wilson in the Middle District of Florida. SHEA will be presented today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix in the District of Colorado. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres in the Southern District of New York.

      Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction. While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle. We thank the USPIS for their partnership in investigating this case, and we remain dedicated to rooting out and prosecuting fraud wherever we find it.”

      Inspector-in-Charge Philip R. Bartlett said: “The defendants allegedly engaged in fraud when they misrepresented the true use of donated funds. As alleged, not only did they lie to donors, they schemed to hide their misappropriation of funds by creating sham invoices and accounts to launder donations and cover up their crimes, showing no regard for the law or the truth. This case should serve as a warning to other fraudsters that no one is above the law, not even a disabled war veteran or a millionaire political strategist.”

      According to the Indictment[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:

      Starting in approximately December 2018, BRIAN KOLFAGE, STEPHEN BANNON, ANDREW BADOLATO, and TIMOTHY SHEA, and others, orchestrated a scheme to defraud hundreds of thousands of donors, including donors in the Southern District of New York, in connection with an online crowdfunding campaign ultimately known as “We Build The Wall” that raised more than $25 million to build a wall along the southern border of the United States. In particular, to induce donors to donate to the campaign, KOLFAGE repeatedly and falsely assured the public that he would “not take a penny in salary or compensation” and that “100% of the funds raised . . . will be used in the execution of our mission and purpose” because, as BANNON publicly stated, “we’re a volunteer organization.”

      Those representations were false. In truth, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donor funds from We Build the Wall, which they each used in a manner inconsistent with the organization’s public representations. In particular, KOLFAGE covertly took for his personal use more than $350,000 in funds that donors had given to We Build the Wall, while BANNON, through a non-profit organization under his control (“Non-Profit-1”), received over $1 million from We Build the Wall, at least some of which BANNON used to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars in BANNON’s personal expenses. To conceal the payments to KOLFAGE from We Build the Wall, KOLFAGE, BANNON, BADOLATO, and SHEA devised a scheme to route those payments from We Build the Wall to KOLFAGE indirectly through Non-Profit-1 and a shell company under SHEA’s control, among other avenues. They did so by using fake invoices and sham “vendor” arrangements, among other ways, to ensure, as KOLFAGE noted in a text message to BADOLATO, that his pay arrangement remained “confidential” and kept on a “need to know” basis.

      * * *

      KOLFAGE, 38, of Miramar Beach, Florida, BANNON, 66, of Washington, D.C., BADOLATO, 56, of Sarasota, Florida, and SHEA, 49, of Castle Rock, Colorado, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

      The statutory maximum penalties are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

      Ms. Strauss praised the outstanding investigative work of the USPIS and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. She also thanked the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida for their assistance.

      The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Nicolas Roos, Alison G. Moe, and Robert B. Sobelman are in charge of the prosecution.

      The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

      [1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment, and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described therein should be treated as an allegation.

  13. Putin critic Navalny fights for life, aides suspect poisoning

    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was fighting for his life in a Siberian hospital on Thursday after drinking tea that allies said they think was laced with poison.

    A fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin, Navalny started feeling ill on a plane returning to Moscow from Tomsk in Siberia on Wednesday morning. He was carried off the plane on a stretcher after it made an emergency landing at Omsk.

  14. Germany: “All together against fascism” – Berlin anti-racism rally held on Hanau shooting anniv.

    Thousands were seen marching through Berlin in an anti-racism rally on a half a year anniversary of a deadly Hanau shooting, Wednesday.

    People were seen holding portraits of the victims, chanting “All together against fascism.”

    On February 19, a 43-year-old German citizen from Hanau opened fire outside a shisha bar at Heumarkt district, driving off to a second location in Kesselstadt district, where he opened fire again. The double shooting left 10 people dead, with five injured, before the perpetrator and his 72-year-old mother were found dead at his address.

  15. CHINA – Two ships collide at Yangtze River estuary, 14 missing

    An oil tanker and a cargo vessel have collided off the coast of Shanghai, China.

    Some 14 people remain missing after the incident, as the tanker caught fire after the collision, while the cargo ship sank.

  16. Federal Court Rules Decisively in Favor of Gun Rights Groups

    The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled unanimously in favor of Defense Distributed, a Texas-based firm that intended to share 3-D gun blueprints online, only to have the release of their instructions halted by a Washington State judge.

    The Fifth Circuit conversely determined that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is subject to the laws enforced by the State of Texas after Grewal fought vigorously to keep the case out of conservative-leaning courts. Grewal was one of nine Democrat Party state AGs to file suit in the Western District of Washington urging the State Department to prevent the distribution of Defense Distributed’s electronic files. (Guns America Digest)

    Click thru to read more:

    (Richard: The next thing is to get the Ghost Gun Machine and the 80% complete frames declared legal. Under US law the frame is the restricted part of the firearm. The Ghost Gun Machine is a small programmed milling machine that finishes milling out the 80% completed frame. This gives you a metal firearm frame (you can order the other non-restricted parts) over the net and build your own handgun. There are provisions in the current laws so you can get the firearm registered with a unique serial n umber. A lot of people don’t and this makes the gun laws something of a joke, the Dem controlled states are trying to outlaw the ghost gun machines and by extension all computer controlled milling machines that can be programed to machine out a firearm frame. A portion of the computer revolution that is giving big tech so much real and potential control of our lives is also making it possible to build the tools to fight back.

  17. Mounting Evidence Points to Hezbollah Culpability in Beirut Blast

    Hezbollah’s central role in Lebanon’s affairs precludes any conclusion but guilt.

    Within an hour of the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on August 4, Hezbollah denied any culpability. Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, considered a close Hezbollah ally, immediately attributed the blast to the presence of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate that ignited after a nearby warehouse housing fireworks caught fire. Lebanese authorities claim that the ammonium nitrate was confiscated from a Russian cargo vessel in 2013 after the ship took a detour from its original destination and docked at the port.

    The ammonium nitrate, which can be used to make explosives, was stored at the port for seven years before it blew up with catastrophic consequences. There is ample reason to believe that Hezbollah was responsible for the blast and resulting carnage. The collective evidence is in fact, damning.

    First, one must understand that in Lebanon, Hezbollah controls all ports of entry, either directly through force of arms or indirectly, through graft. The obvious purpose is to control the flow of weapons, money and narcotics that pass through these ports of entry. Therefore, it is logical to assume that Hezbollah was aware of the presence of the ammonium nitrate.

  18. New Research Confirms Wealth Tax’s Deleterious Effects
    It makes for great “soak the rich” soundbites, but it doesn’t reduce inequality.

    Politicians are renowned for their shortsightedness. During the post-war period, for example, Republicans have very publicly opposed most tax increases. I like small government, so I’m good with that. Where I part ways with the Grand Old Party is with its failure to oppose big spending that’s funded with debt, meaning future tax hikes.

    Their lack of spending restraint, also encouraged by Democrats, is inconsistent and means that a new source of government revenue is likely in our future. And, if that is the case, it may very well be a wealth tax.

    Support for taxing wealth (as distinct from income) has been picking up momentum in the United States as progressives have argued that the tax is an effective way to reduce inequality. We frequently heard calls for tax hikes on the rich like those during the Democratic presidential primary season when both Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren prominently proposed such a wealth tax. And while Joe Biden hasn’t endorsed a wealth tax, his spending plan is so vast that it’s difficult to see how it won’t be on his agenda soon. Always eager to demonstrate its progressive cred, California is also close to adopting such a tax, which would make that state the first in the nation to do so.

  19. ‘Fort Lori’: The Magnificent Mile was looted but there’ll be no protests on the mayor’s block

    The Chicago Police Department has effectively banned protesters from demonstrating on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s block in the Logan Square neighborhood, ordering officers to arrest anyone who refuses to leave, the Tribune has learned.

    The directive surfaced in a July email from then-Shakespeare District Commander Melvin Roman to officers under his command. It did not distinguish between the peaceful protesters Lightfoot regularly says she supports and those who might intend to be destructive, but ordered that after a warning is given to demonstrators, “It should be locked down.”

    Since the order, and even for a time just prior to its writing, Chicago cops have repeatedly blocked protesters’ access to the block with groups of officers and barricades. Police have often kept protesters contained at the nearby corner of Kimball and Wrightwood avenues, though one standoff between activists and officers last month saw police go as far as bringing in an armored vehicle in case things got out of hand.

    Some neighbors in the Logan Square area have complained about the city’s approach to protests around Lightfoot’s house, which at times has included checking residents’ IDs before letting them close. Ron Kaminecki, a 69-year old patent attorney and bike shop owner who lives on Bernard Street a few houses from Lightfoot, said some neighbors have been frustrated by the police presence and barricades.

    “I came up with the name ‘Fort Lori’ because it’s so hard to get in and out,” Kaminecki said.

  20. China defends Wuhan pool party after AFPTV viral video prompts outrage

    A massive pool party attended by thousands of people at the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic shows how well China has dealt with disease, authorities insist, despite images from the event prompting outrage around the world.

    “I read that AFP reported the relevant situation. It is said that people in European and American countries are very shocked. I also hope to report the real situation of China back to European and American countries through your cameras, so that they can know what the anti epidemic situation is in China,” says a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson.

  21. Yet more on the “youth” riots in the Netherlands:

    Riots ‘highly counterproductive”, Justice Min says
    Rioting and unrest in three Dutch cities in the past week is highly counter-productive, Justice and Security Ferd Grapperhaus said on Thursday. The rioting surprised many, and was believed by some to have been born out of youth frustration, boredom, and anger related to government rules in place to stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.
    “This is not tolerable. We have a social issue, coronavirus, which no one has asked for. We are trying to solve it as best we can,“. Grapperhaus said. “The last thing you should do is riot, [and] commit vandalism,” he said, according to newswire ANP.
    Grapperhaus called the unrest in Amersfoort, The Hague and Utrecht anti-social, saying that it was not only young people involved in the criminality. “I also see guys aged 30 or 40 walking in between,” he said.
    The minister was set to speak with the mayors of those three cities next week to determine if the national government could offer more assistance.
    On Wednesday a third person was arrested for inciting riots in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht. The 21-year-old from IJsselstein is accused of using social media to rally people to cause trouble in the streets, the Public Prosecution Service said.
    A 17-year-old from Utrecht was also taken into custody for throwing rocks at police and setting off fireworks during the unrest. He was found using closed-circuit video images.

    Police officers buckling under workload, union warns
    Police officers in the Netherlands are struggling under stress and their massive workload, especially after recent riots in Utrecht and The Hague, Jan Struijs of police union NPB said in an interview with the Telegraaf.
    The recent riots forced officers to work overtime, sometimes working 14 or 15 hour shifts. In Utrecht and The Hague, officers were pelted with stones and fireworks. “The exact damage of this, especially on a personal level, will only become clear in a few weeks,” Struijs said. “The dropout risk is increasing enormously.”
    The absenteeism rate among police officers is currently 6 percent, compared to the normal average of around 4 percent, he said. Struijs blamed structural under staffing as the root cause of these problems, adding that he is “extremely concerned” about the welfare of the officers.
    “They were already worked to the bone before the coronavirus crisis, given a structural staff shortage and very active organized crime.” The ongoing health and economic crisis has only made the situation worse, Struijs said.

  22. AG Bill Barr Executes Operation Legend – His Feds Just Arrested 1,000 And Charged Over 200 For Federal Offenses

    U.S. Attorney General William Barr has been busy lately. Over a month ago, the AG launched a special operation designed to target crime across the country.

    And now, that operation has yielded significant results — a great many arrests have been made, and hundreds face federal charges.

  23. AFRICOM Carries Out Airstrike Targeting al-Shabaab Militant (sputniknews, Aug 20, 2020)

    “US Africa Command (AFRICOM) announced on Thursday it had carried out an airstrike against an al-Shabaab militant.

    According to a Thursday press release, a US strike in Kurtun Warey, a town in the Lower Shabelle region southwest of the capital of Mogadishu, killed a terrorist known for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

    AFRICOM said the terrorist was planning to place the devices on a public road. The command said one terrorist was killed in the strike and a motorcycle was destroyed, but that it judged no civilians to have been injured or killed by the attack…”

  24. SHERBROOKE – The security guard hit in front of a Walmart in Sherbrooke is dead

    […]Father of a family and 35 years old, Philippe Jean had been in an artificial coma for several months already. In early April, at the Galeries Quatre-Saisons in Sherbrooke, where he had been tasked with enforcing social distancing instructions, he was hit by a car after a verbal altercation with a customer at the entrance to Walmart.

    The main suspect in this case, Nacime Kouddar, 25, has been charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm with a vehicle, hit and run causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon and aggravated assault. His return to court is scheduled for the end of September.


  25. Riyadh police arrest gang for illegally transferring SR500 million

    “The Riyadh police have busted a gang of eight people for illegally transferring a huge amount of money through irregular modes before leading to their eventual arrest, assistant media spokesperson of Riyadh police Maj. Khaled Al-Kreidis stated on Thursday.

    Those arrested include five Sudanese nationals and three citizens. The gang has been charged of transferring over SR500 million in the current fiscal through illegal means.

    The five Sudanese nationals used irregular channels to transfer money outside the Kingdom and they were assisted by the three citizens, who covered up for them and enabled them to carry out the transfer operations through bank accounts of individual establishments registered in their names in exchange for financial commissions.

    The sums of money that were transferred during 2020 exceeded five hundred million riyals. Police also found in their possession another huge amount of money, which they could not source. They held an amount of nearly two million riyals.

    All of them were arrested and legal measures have been taken to refer them to the Public Prosecution”

  26. CBC – New fence along undefended U.S.-Canada border will deter smuggling, says official

    A new fence is under construction between Lynden, Wash., and Abbotsford, B.C. According to U.S. Border Patrol, it will deter threats posed by “dangerous criminal enterprises” attempting to cross from both directions.

  27. CBC – Ottawa has spent $37 million so far on quarantine hotels

    In March, the federal government began to require a 14-day quarantine period for all travellers returning to Canada, resulting in thousands of returning Canadians who couldn’t quarantine at home staying in hotels.

    By the end of July, the cost of the hotels had exceeded $37 million, public health officials said.

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