civil security

Syria and The Blood on Steve Bannon’s Hands

We learned this morning that DJT asked Steve Bannon to step down from his position at the National Security Council (NSC). 

Administration officials insisted this was always the plan and that Bannon was merely there to “deoperationalize” procedures after Susan Rice’s tenure.

First off, what the fuck does that even mean?

Secondly, Bannon still has security clearance and can still attend meetings should he choose, so the day was rife with speculation as to what is actually transpiring. One widely touted theory, that he committed the ultimate transgression and crossed DJT’s venerated son-in-law and incest proxy, Jared Kushner. 

What we do know: Bannon gets to keep his West Wing job as Chief Political Strategist. As such, he still wields enormous influence. 

Bannon’s view of Syrian refugees is akin to Hitler’s view of Jews, and I say this without hyperbole. 

When discussing Syria in recent years, on multiple occasions Bannon has invoked the hideous, dehumanizing 1973 novel, “The Camp of the Saints”, by French author Jean Rauspail. Rauspail considered dark-skinned persons not of European lineage to be dangerous, sexually voracious barbarians out to destroy Western Civilization by arriving on its shores. 

Repeatedly, Bannon compares the Syrian refugees to the grotesqueries etched by Rauspail, ignoring, or more likely reveling in the fact that “The Camp of Saints” was widely condemned as a modern day “Mein Kampf” upon its release and has only found newfound popularity among virulent white supremacists. 

This is the man advising DJT on Syria. 

This is the man who sat on the National Security Council yesterday when Assad gassed to death at least 82 Syrians, dozens of them confirmed to be children. 

My best guess?

Removing Bannon from the National Security Council was a cosmetic move to save face on the international stage. 

But we won’t save lives until Bannon is removed from the administration. 

And that won’t happen until DJT is removed from office. 

Tonight they sleep with the blood of Syrian children on their hands.


Site of the Confederate Powderworks/Augusta Powderworks now the site of the closed down Sibley textile mill and future site of the CapeAugusta Digital Properties’s “Digital Fortress”
Augusta, Georgia

Towering 150 feet tall the chimney is the only original standing remnant of the Confederate Powderworks that once stretched along the Augusta Canal for two miles. Construction began in September of 1861 under the guidance of Colonel George Rains, West Point graduate and chemistry teacher, by March 1862 work had been completed on the powderworks the second largest such facility at the time and was producing 3.5 tons of powder a day and over the course of the war produced 2,750,000 pounds of powder. The facility produced the majority of the powder used by the Confederate Armies and it is claimed that because of this the Confederacy never lost a battle for want of powder.

By 1872 the facility was dismantled all that was left were piles of bricks and the chimney, as requested by Colonel Rains to stand as a reminder the chimney bears an inscription on the marble tablet reading,

“ This Obelisk Chimney — sole remnant of the extensive Powder Works here erected under the auspices of the Confederate Government — is by the Confederate Survivors’ Association of Augusta, with the consent of the City Council, conserved in Honor of a fallen Nation, and inscribed to the memory of those who died in the Southern Armies during the War Between the States”.

Between 1880 and 1882 the Sibley Textile Mill was built in its place using around 13,000 bricks from the original Powderworks the mill operated for 124 years and operations finishing denim ended in 2006 when the mill was shut down and the looms sold.

Starting in 2015 planning was put in place to refurbish the Mill for use by CapeAugusta Digital Properties a cyber security firm and will see the site initial deployment of a 7MW facility which will be expanded to 20MW in the future. The site runs on hydroelectric power from the mill’s turbines and plans are in place to use the water to cool the facility.

From war fought with lead and blackpowder to the war for data security fought with fiber optics and silicon the site is steeped in regional and even national history.

Next step in Dem realignment: Their own CPAC
Speakers are being told to bring ideas — not just political attacks on Trump.

Edward-Isaac Dovere at Politico:

Instead of CPAC, it’ll be the Ideas Conference. Instead of at the National Harbor, it’ll be in the main room at the St. Regis Hotel, a few blocks from the White House. Instead of featuring President Donald Trump, it’ll be the first real cattle call of the Democrats nosing around 2020 presidential runs.

And it’ll be the Center for American Progress’s biggest move yet to establish itself as both the nexus of the Democratic Party’s future — and a player trying to shape what that future will be.

They’re roughly modeling the event on CPAC, the American Conservative Union’s annual gathering that’s become a prime stop for Republican leaders, and which notably gave Donald Trump his first major political platform as he was entering the fray.

“So much of our time right now is engaged, and rightfully so, in fighting Trump. On any given day, he issues one affront to progressive values after another,” said CAP president Neera Tanden. “It’s obviously critical that we provide a positive alternative of how we’re going to address the country’s challenges.”

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti are all confirmed to attend, and more are expected to be added to the event, scheduled for May 16.

Speakers have been encouraged to come with substantive proposals on the economy, climate change, national security, civil rights, reproductive rights and immigration rather than just political attacks on Trump. Sprinkled through the day will be panel discussions and conversations that will bring in activists and leaders of new organizations.

CAP hopes this event will make it the nexus for all the strands of the party that have begun to take shape since Trump’s win.

New anti-Trump groups are sprouting up almost by the day, many of them with overlapping missions, ambiguous agendas and questionable resources. At the same time, several of the bigger players — including CAP, the super PAC Priorities, David Brock’s collection of organizations, the National Democratic Redistricting Committee being backed by Barack Obama and Eric Holder, and even the Democratic National Committee itself — have been trying to stake their claims on guiding the efforts against the administration.

A civil security aircraft parades during the inauguration of the Nimes-Garons civil security air force base on March 10, 2017 in Nimes, southern France. # Pascal Guyot / AFP / Getty


December 6th 1865: 13th Amendment ratified

On this day in 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the states, formally banning slavery in the United States. Ratification does not require unanimous approval, and some states rejected the amendment; Mississippi only ratified the 13th Amendment in 2013, 148 years after the amendment’s passage. The 13th amendment marks the first of the three so-called ‘Reconstruction’ amendments, which secured civil and voting rights for African-Americans after the Civil War. The amendment was proposed by the Lincoln administration following the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation - which was a temporary war measure abolishing slavery in the Confederacy - to assert that the ban on slavery was to be permanent. Lincoln did not initially intend to free the slaves, and always prioritised saving the Union, but emancipation became intriscially tied to Union victory. This was due to the actions of slaves, who fled to Union lines and tried to enlist in the army. The Reconstruction period that followed the American Civil War was largely a contest over the implications of the 13th Amendment and the emancipation of four million slaves. Radicals in Congress pushed for equality of the law and opportunity, while white Southerners, with assistance from violent groups like the Ku Klux Klan, sought to maintain racial subordination and white supremacy. Reconstruction ultimately failed to truly implement freedom for African-Americans, and it was not until the Civil Rights Movement one hundred years later that America again tried to come to terms with the legacy of emancipation.


At least two people were killed and 30 others rescued on Sunday after gunmen attacked a luxury resort popular with Westerners near Mali’s capital city of Bamako.

An unknown number of people were injured and taken to a hospital after the attack on Le Campement resort.

Mali’s Ministry of Security and Civil Protection said “armed individuals, certainly terrorists” attacked the resort. The statement said a Malian anti-terror force was on the scene.“They [the armed men] exchanged gunshots with members of the special anti-terrorist force (FORSAT) who had arrived just a few minutes after the attack. FORSAT managed to secure the surroundings of the site. The operation to secure the premises is in progress,” the statement said.

A Brief Guide to 00′s Marvel Crossovers

Yep I’m still attempting to recap every crossover ever…

Marvel: 80s Crossovers, 90s Crossovers

DC: 80s Crossovers, 90s Crossovers

The Twelve: Apocalypse returns and tries to hunt down a dozen mutants who are philosophized to destroy him, or wage war on mankind, or maybe make him all powerful Or something….  Not even the creative team seemed to know.

Maximum Security: Aliens try to turn Earth into a giant Espcape from New York style prison for their most dangerous criminals.  Not a high point of Kurt Busiek’s otherwise stellar Avengers run. This would be the last major crossover for awhile during the Jemas/Quesada years.

The Kang Dynasty: Not technically a crossover but special notice should be given to Kurt Busiek’s 16-part magnum opus which closed out his Avengers run.  Kang takes on EVERYONE and wins conquering the world and destroying Washington DC to boot. The Avengers meanwhile are out in space and have to contend with the menace of TRIPLE EVIL before they can respond.  Did I mention there’s a fight between giant hologram versions of Captain America and Kang in space?!

Eve of Destruction: The defacto finale of the post Claremont/pre Morrison X-men years that a lot of people fondly remember but I’m not sure why. After the Legacy Virus is cured Magento tries to take over the world again. Writer Scott Lobdell’s most memorably odd moment in this one is the inclusion of a Chibi-Apocalypse from the Mojoverse which he apparently wanted to be the entire focus of the event.

Ultimate War: Our first Ultimate Crossover.  The US Government orders The Ultimates to get in a punch-fest with the Ultimate X-Men.

Avengers Disassembled: The Avengers are attacked by a bizarre series of seemingly random assaults that are revealed to be caused by the Scarlet Witch who has gone insane because of a leftover plot-point from John Byrne’s West Coast Avengers run.  This marks a transitional period in which Bendis moved away from doing beloved thoughtful character driven comics like Ultimate Spider-Man & his Daredevil run to not universally beloved big loud books.

Ultimate Six: The Sinister Six form and attack not only Spider-Man but the White House.  The Ultimates come to the rescue.

Secret War: Not to be confused with Secret Wars (1984) or Secret Wars (2016.) Nick Fury uncovers a plot by the new prime minister of Latvaria to build an army of villains and engages in some dubious tactics to take her down.  Has some beautiful painted art by Gabriele Dell'Otto but it’s still a distant third place among comics with “Secret War” in the title.

Ultimate X4: The Ultimate X-Men meet the Ultimate Fantastic Four and ultimately fight.

House of M: Scarlet Witch magics a kinda neat alternate Earth ruled by Magneto into existence.  Then Marvel editorial decides to throw in the whole “No More Mutants” thing and X-Men line is mucked up for years.

Ultimate Nightmare/Ultimate Secret/Ultimate Extinction: A broadcast that disrupts Earth’s television and radio signals causes people to commit suicide. Both S.H.I.E.LD. and the Ultimate X-Men investigate and the Ultimate version of Vision debuts. It turns out the cause of this is the Ultimate version of Galactus who some kind swarm of robot space locusts that shoot feet lasers. Yeah…

Annihilation: Marvel’s cosmic heroes and villains alike unite to battle a massive inter-dimensional army lead by Annihilus. Easily Marvel’s best crossover of the decade and both a successful Nova series and the Guardians of the Galaxy would spin off from this.

Civil War: Congress passes a law requiring all super powered individuals to register with the American Government. Both the pro and anti-sides react in pretty stupid ways.  Some genuine thrilling action pieces but the plot is a hot mess. Needless to say the movie’s a lot better.

Ultimate Power: Linkara’s having a field day with this one. The Ultimate Universe Reed Richards sends inter-dimensional probes to the Squadron Supreme’s Universe and things go horribly wrong. Like Greg Land’s art…

World War Hulk: Hulk returns from space after his “Planet Hulk” adventure and is kind of steamed but responds in a dumb way.  Read Planet Hulk instead.

One More Day:  Spider-Man sells his marriage to the Devil and J. Michael Straczynski’s popular run on the Spider-Man ends in a story so awful that he almost had his name removed from the book.

Annihilation: Conquest: Ultron seizes control of the Phalanx and becomes a threat to the whole galaxy.  Not as good as the first Annihilation but worth checking out.

Messiah CompleX: Cable wants to save a baby so he can prevent his horrible apocalypse future.  Bishop wants to kill the same baby to prevent his horrible apocalypse future.  Wackiness ensues.

Secret Invasion: The Skrulls spend years putting together a well thought out infiltration of Earth’s super hero teams and then blows it by engaging an attack on New York in broad daylight.  Good dumb fun.

War of Kings: Hey remember Vulcan that third Summers brother that they tried so hard to make us care about?  Well here he is going to war with The Inhumans. You care about the Inhumans right?

Ultimatum: Hey remember when Marvel’s Ultimate Universe was the hottest thing in comics?  Remember when the line was so popular Marvel actually billed them as the gold standard by which the rest of their books were judged?  Remember how all it took was one bad Ultimates series and a miserable gorefest of a crossover to send the whole brand tumbling to irreversible decline? Could this possibly be the dumbest thing Marvel ever did?

Messiah War: Cable & Bishop are still fighting over Baby Hope.  Cyclops decides to send the brand new All-Stabby X-Force to Bishop’s timeline and… dear god.  I feel like I’m coming to the crushing realization that X-Men Crossovers always suck.

Uptopia: At the height of Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign period he decides to form his own evil team of X-Men.  This doesn’t go over well with the real X-Men, the All Stabby X-Force, or even his own Cabal team-mates.

Necrosha: See Blackest Night

Fall of the Hulks/Hulked Out Heroes/World War Hulks: The end of Jeff Loeb’s Hulk run is a big, confusion, ridiculous mess about Modok forming an evil team of super geniuses. Among other things their plot revolves around turning several superheroes into Hulks.  I see no way that could possibly backfire. Still it’s a lot better than Ultimatum.


The Spanish El Tigre Model 1892,

An interesting part of Spanish firearms history, the El Tigre was a licsensed copy of the Winchester 1892 lever action rifle created by John Browning.  Throughout the later 19th century Winchester exported many rifles to Spain, which were wildly popular with Spanish hunters and sport shooters.  By World War I Garate y Anitua purchased a license to manufacture their own Winchester 1892.  Chambered for .44-40, the new rifles were called El Tigre (tiger) rifles.

Between 1915 and 1937, 1,034,687 were produced, slightly more than the number of Winchester 1892 rifles produced in the US.  Most were sold to civilians as hunting rifles, although a number were used by the Civil Guard, police, security guards, and prison guards.  Because of the rifles popularity, many were pressed into service during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.  While not a military rifle, they were common and easy to use by irregular forces who fought with the republicans against the Spanish fascists.


January 30th 1948: Gandhi assassinated

On this day in 1948, Indian pacifist and leader of the independence movement, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, was assassinated by Nathuram Godse. Gandhi was famous for his non-violent struggle for Indian independence from British colonial rule, disavowing violence and instead advocating mass civil disobedience to secure India’s independence. For instance, in 1930 he led the Salt March, which saw thousands of protestors defy the British monopoly on salt production by marching to the coastline and producing their own salt. Gandhi’s goal was achieved a year before his death, with Indian independence secured in August 1947. However, in January 1948, he was shot at point-blank range while walking to a platform to address a prayer meeting. The assasin was Nathuram Godse, a Hindu nationalist who believed that Gandhi was sympathetic to Muslims and responsible for weakening India by insisting on payment to Pakistan. Gandhi was mourned across India and throughout the world, with thousands flocking to his funeral. He remains a revered figure today, honoured in India as ‘Father of the Nation’ and respectfully referred to as ‘Mahatma’ (’Great Soul’) and ‘Bapu’ (’father’).