Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#LochteGate Takes Another Turn: May Have Been Robbery After All

Trigger Warning:
Was he telling the truth after all?
The sad, sordid tale of #LochteGate just keeps getting stranger and stranger.  It all started when Ryan Lochte spun a tale of he and his swimming buddies being robbed at a gas station.  Then video surveillance footage surfaced showing-surprise!-there was no robbery and Lochte and his pals were being stereotypical jackass Americans.  Brazil was supremely insulted, and America was embarrassed.  Lochte ended up losing literally all of his sponsorship deals as a result of #LochteGate.
Behold!  Ryan Lochte's Six-Pack of Shame!
Yesterday, however, witnesses began coming forward saying "you know what, Ryan Lochte and his friends actually WERE robbed."  USA Today Sports investigated the incident and released their report yesterday.  Their conclusion?  Yeah...it looks a LOT like Lochte and company actually WERE robbed at a gas station by security guards (emphasis added):
"What happened really – it's not even the issue of knocking down and breaking the sign," Deluz said. "It was the attitude of the guys of messing up the place and then wanting to leave without a satisfactory resolution." He said if the men had even said they had no money to pay for the damages but had apologized, he thinks all parties involved would have been understanding.

That does not match the account of Bentz, who said the swimmers were held at gunpoint until they paid.

“I gave them what I had in my wallet, which was a $20 bill, and Jimmy gave them 100 reais, which is about $50 in total. They lowered the guns, and I used hand gestures to ask if it was OK to leave, and they said yes,” he said in his statement.

In the NBC interview that aired Saturday, Lochte said, “It’s how you want to make it look like. Whether you call it a robbery, whether you call it extortion or us just paying for the damages. Like, we don’t know. All we know is there was a gun pointed in our direction and we were demanded to give money.’’

Some local observers following the drama have begun to question the police's quick characterization of the story as a false police report lodged by the swimmers to cover up acts of vandalism or possibly calm a female romantic interest who would be angry about their night of partying.

João Batista Damasceno, a Rio judge, does not discard the possibility that the guards' actions could be rightly interpreted as a robbery.
 It's worth noting that one of the swimmers, Jimmy Feigan, was forced to "donate" $11,000 to a "charity" before he was allowed to leave Brazil.  I don't know about you, but that smacks of a shakedown to me.  It sounds like the kind of resolution you'd get after a conversation that starts with "we won't throw you in a third-world prison if you give us some money."

Of course none of this is going to alter the public's opinion of Ryan Lochte one bit.  Nor will it bring back his sponsors.  The media had their narrative within 24 hours of the whole #LochteGate incident.  That narrative was "privileged American swimmer predictably acts like an asshole and embarrasses a nation."  Steps were taken to ensure that this narrative stuck in the public's mind.  Hence, Ryan Lochte is now officially damaged goods.  Even if the Brazilian government comes out and says "you know what?  We were wrong, Lochte was robbed, we're sorry."  The sponsors will not come back.  The public's opinion will not change.  Ryan Lochte's career has been destroyed based on what the media determined was a lie.
Kind of like this...
I asked this question a few days ago, but I'll ask it again because it bears repeating.  One American tells a lie-that's later proven correct-and his career is essentially over.  Another American tells multiple, verifiable lies throughout her entire life and she gets to run for president.
If it does, you're part of the problem.



#BREAKING American University in Kabul Under Attack, Gunfight Underway

Trigger Warning:
Explosions and gunfire can be heard at the University...

Details are sparse at the moment, but it appears the American University in Kabul, Afghanistan, is currently under attack.  Reportedly teachers and possibly hundreds of students are sheltering within the school.  Via Fox News:
DEVELOPING: Explosions and gunfire rang out at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul on Wednesday in what a police commander described as "a complex attack."
Reporters in the area said students and teachers were sheltering in place as police and special forces surrounded the campus. The numbers of people dead or injured were unclear, but ambulances reportedly raced victims to a nearby hospital.
Continue Reading...

No word yet on who exactly is behind the attack.  I'll post updates here as best I can.

UPDATE: Getting word from some folks that the attack may be over.  I've heard CBS say there may be 2 dead and 5 wounded.  Nothing's confirmed at this point though.

ABC has an article with a little bit more detail.  Apparently the attackers were able to enter Noor Hospital which is adjacent to the university. 

#ClintonFoundation Exec Called Top Hillary Aide 148 Times

Trigger Warning:
That's a hell of a lot of 3:00 am phone calls...
I'm no expert, but 148 phone calls seems more than a tad excessive.  Especially when the Clinton camp is alleging there was no funny business at the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was SoS.

A senior executive at the Clinton Foundation left almost 150 telephone messages for Hillary Clinton’s top aide at the State Department within a two-year time frame, according to previously unpublished documents obtained by Fox News. 
A review of State Department call logs for Cheryl Mills, the longtime Clinton confidant who served as chief of staff for the entirety of Clinton’s four-year tenure as America’s top diplomat, reflects at least 148 messages from Laura Graham – then the Clinton Foundation’s chief operating officer – between 2010 and 2012. No other individual or non-profit appears in the logs with anything like that frequency or volume, the review found.

One of the messages Graham left for Mills, in August 2011, referenced “our boss” – without further identifying that individual. Another, from January 2012, appeared to reference former President Clinton, using his initials: “Please call. WJC is looking for her [Graham] and she wants to talk to you before she talks to him.”
Continue Reading...

I think it would be interesting as hell to see the transcripts of some of those voice mails...

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

ISIS in Virginia? FBI Investigating Possible Beheading Attempt

Trigger Warning:
The Jayvee team strikes again?
A couple in Virginia was attacked by a Muslim man screaming "Allahu Akbar."  Both survived, but now the FBI is looking into whether or not the man was attempting to behead one of his victims:
Federal authorities are investigating a weekend stabbing in Virginia to see whether the attacker may have been trying to behead a victim and whether the attack was inspired by the Islamic State terror group.

Wasil Farooqui, 20, was charged with two counts of aggravated malicious wounding in the stabbing attack Saturday that left two people wounded.

The FBI confirmed to Fox News it is investigating the dual stabbing alongside the Roanoke County Police Department. A source familiar with the case also told Fox News the FBI is investigating the attack as a possible terrorism-related incident.

"The FBI is working with the Roanoke County Police Department following the incident that occurred on Saturday evening,” said Adam Lee, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division.

"While I cannot discuss details of the investigation at this time, I do want to reassure the community that we are working to determine the nature of the incident," Lee said.
Continue Reading...

This attack is interesting for two reasons.  First, it's actually being reported by the news media as a possible ISIS-inspired beheading attack.  Don't forget that the United States has already had one successful beheading attack.  Colleen Hufford was beheaded by one Alton Alexander Nolan when he attacked her and several other people at her workplace.  Nolan had been actively pressuring co-workers to convert to Islam before the attack, but authorities said there was no link to terrorism.

Second it shows how difficult it is to predict and stop lone wolf-style terror attacks.  There's always the potential of stopping a major terror attack, such as 9-11, because usually there are intelligence indicators leading up to it.  All it takes is the right people connecting the right dots.  Lone wolf terror is another animal entirely, however.  Think of it like the "going postal" phenomenon if you will.  Literally anyone at anytime can become radicalized and commit a devastating terror attack.  The attack on Nice during Bastille Day has shown us how all it takes is one person with the will to commit murder.

Of course it IS possible to curb and even prevent lone wolf terror attacks.  Professor William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection had a fabulous piece on how Israeli authorities have done just that.

Will US authorities have the political will to learn from the Israelis and tackle the issue of lone wolf terror before it becomes a huge problem?  Not unless we change course in November.

Canadian Muslim Steals Plane, Crashes Into Mall

Trigger Warning:
A failed attack by the Religion of Peace?
How this isn't a major news story is beyond me.  Seems like a young Muslim man was able to sneak into an airport, steal a fueled plane, and crash it into a shopping mall.  Luckily he was the only one killed.  JihadWatch picked up the story:
Somehow this story managed to fly under the radar (pardon the pun). Mohammad Hassan Chaudhary, 20, of Markham, Ontario, was killed after crashing a stolen airplane into a local shopping mall. Naturally, his father told media sources that Mohammad lived with schizophrenia and other mental health issues. The Toronto Star news outlet goes so far as to call Mohammad a “troubled tinkerer,” in a way reminiscent of Clock Boy Ahmed Mohamed. Many sources did not even mention the “20-year-old man” by name, perhaps in an attempt to avoid further scrutiny.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have declared the incident to NOT be a national security issue, despite the fact that the stolen Piper Tomahawk plane was full of fuel and was ready to fly for five hours. Afzal Chaudhary, Mohammad’s father, “expressed outrage over the fact that his son was able to break into the airport, steal a small aircraft, and crash land on the streets of Peterborough without any intervention from police or airport security officials.”

As many jihad terrorists nowadays are supposedly plagued by mental health issues, Canada should be relieved that this incident did not cost any lives other than Mohammad’s. The grand irony in this case is that Afzal Chaudhary blames Canadian police for his son’s death, while in reality any sort of police involvement when it comes to Muslims is deemed “Islamophobic.”
Continue reading...

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bad Lip Reading Takes on the Democrat National Convention

No trigger warning for this one.  Presented without comment.  Enjoy.

#LochteGate Continues: USOC May Take Further Action

Trigger Warning:
Kicking a man while he's down...
Just when you thought #LochteGate was finished.  It turns out the US Olympic Committee is looking at taking further action against everyone's least favorite swimmer:

US Olympic Committee warns of 'further action' in Ryan Lochte scandal

Whatever celebration the U.S. Olympic Committee has planned for its return home after a wildly successful Rio de Janeiro Games on the competition front will likely be short-lived.

USOC CEO Scott Blackmun promised Sunday that "further action" will be coming, perhaps soon, against 12-time Olympic medalist Ryan Lochte and three of his U.S. swimming teammates after the story of an armed robbery following a night of partying unraveled and led to Lochte acknowledging he embellished the tale.

Blackmun stopped short of suggesting what any discipline might be, including whether Lochte should ever be allowed to swim for his country again.

"We all understand that they let down our athletes. They let down Americans," Blackmun said. "And they really let down our hosts in Rio who did such a wonderful job, and we feel very badly about that. I think we ended up in the right place in terms of being able to shine a light on what really happened there."

Blackmun said he did not think that the story involving Lochte and the three teammates -- all were gold medalists in Rio as part of U.S. swimming relay teams -- should be the lasting image of a games where Americans dominated the medal count. Add up all those golds, silvers and bronzes, and no U.S. team ever won more at a fully attended Olympics.


That's one hell of a double-standard.

UPDATE:

Well that didn't take long...
 

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