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.


anonymous asked:

What did the founding fathers think of Muslims?

In 1739, Benjamin Franklin became involved with one of the earliest documented places intended for interfaith use in America. It was built on the idea of being inclusive of all religions, including Muslims. In his writings, Franklin made clear:

“Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

The “preaching-house” was to be a meeting place open to people of all faiths, including those of the “Muslim world,”. He went so far as to “preach” Islam in America. In his Autobiography he wrote concerning the non-denominational place of public preaching above “so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”

And it being found inconvenient to assemble in the open air, subject to its inclemencies, the building of a house to meet in was no sooner propos’d, and persons appointed to receive contributions, but sufficient sums were soon receiv’d to procure the ground and erect the building, which was one hundred feet long and seventy broad, about the size of Westminster Hall; and the work was carried on with such spirit as to be finished in a much shorter time than could have been expected. Both house and ground were vested in trustees, expressly for the use of any preacher of any religious persuasion who might desire to say something to the people at Philadelphia; the design in building not being to accommodate any particular sect, but the inhabitants in general; so that even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service. “

Benjamin Franklin not want to ban Muslims from coming to the United States, on the contrary, he wanted to invited them. However, In a March 23, 1790, letter to the editor of the Federal Gazette, Franklin wrote:

“Nor can the Plundering of Infidels be in that sacred Book [the Quran] forbidden, since it is well known from it, that God has given the World, and all that it contains, to his faithful Mussulmen, who are to enjoy it of Right as fast as they conquer it.”

Records at Mount Vernon show that some of George Washington’s slaves were, Muslims or at least descendants of Muslims [x]. These slaves were able to retain their Muslim-sounding. One Muslim slave, Sambo Anderson, Sambo fathered six children with two different women, both of whom lived at the River Farm area of Mount Vernon. In an article entitled “Mount Vernon Reminiscence” that was published in the Alexandria Gazette on January 18th, 1876, “an old citizen of Fairfax County” contends that Washington and Sambo had a close friendship. It continued by stating that Sambo was a “great favorite of the master [Washington]; by whom he was given a piece of land to build a house on.” It contended that Washington allowed Sambo to keep a small boat to “cross over the creek in, and for other purposes,” a rare privilege for any slave. Sambo was also claimed to be excellent hunter and was given permission by Washington to own a gun and ammunition, which were also rare privileges for a slaveowner to bestow up a slave. According to notes recovered from Washington’s ledger, he used to visit Sambo to buy duck meat and honey.

Washington tolerated the presence of Muslims in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Bampett Muhammad fought for the “Virginia Line” between 1775 and 1783, and there was Yusuf Ben Ali. Ben Ali served as an aide to General Thomas Sumter in South Carolina. Sultain Sidi Muhammad ben Abdallah of Morocco, who showed interest in helping the Americans in their fight against the British Empire. Abdallah assisted Washington by listing the newly independent United States of America as a country whose trading ships would be welcomed in the ports of Morocco, a move which offered the potential for supplies to be shipped to Washington’s army. These early diplomatic relations between the United States  and Morocco showed in the ratification of the Treaty of Marrakech in 1786, which remains the longest standing foreign relations treaty in American history.

In a personal letter from 1783, he made it crystal that America would be “open to receive… the oppressed and persecuted of all nations and religions, whom we shall welcome to participation of all our rights and privileges … They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect.” another letter written to Edward Newnham in 1792 he wrote that battles over religious differences were “the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.” He was explicit to avoid religious disputes, feeling problems might “endanger the peace of society.”

Correspondence from Tench Tighman in 1784, Tilghman inquired as to what type of workmen George Washington would like at Mount Vernon. Washington wanted good work men and confirmed, “they may be of Asia, Africa or Europe. They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews, or Christians of any sect, or atheists.”

At Mount Vernon, Despite Washington’s views, there were challenges to anyone practicing the Islam faith. Pork was a traditional and often breakfast for slaves [x]. The standard work week stretched from Monday through Saturday, making traditional Friday Islamic prayers nearly impossible to continue at the plantation since Friday was a work day.

John Adams referred to Islam when discussing religious freedom, typically referring to Muslims as Mahometans. It is untrue that Adams passed into act the Treaty of Tripoli to keeps Muslims out of America. The treaty was because of the American ships who were being acted by such pirates who happened to be Muslim–but just because they were Muslim. Article eleven of the treaty explicitly states:

“As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, – as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen [Muslims], – and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

In translation, America was not against their religious beliefs nor were they ever and that even if those attacking American vessels were Muslim there would be no ill feelings towards others of the religion. The language indicates the United States of America was merely neutral on religion in a treaty that was all about protecting U.S. ships. 

President John Adams wanted to secure commercial shipping rights, and the countries he wanted to negotiate with happened to be Muslim, and happened to justify piracy by declaring war on Christian nations. Adams addressed that declaration by claiming that the United States was not Christian, and was not at war with Muslims. 

Adams named the Prophet Muhammad one of the world’s great truth seekers alongside Socrates and Confucius. He said that Prophet Muhammad was a “Sober inquirer of the truth.” He helped to write the Massachusetts constitution, which indicated “the most ample liberty of conscience for Deists and Mohometans.” 

During the Election of 1800 another of the claims thrown at Thomas Jefferson was that he was secretly Muslim. Jefferson owned a Quran which he bought as a twenty-two year old law student and he had previously stated that a Muslim, with rights ensured to them by the Constitution, could indeed become the President of the United States. Jefferson did not leave any notes on his immediate reaction to the Qur’an, he did criticize Islam as “stifling free enquiry” in his early political debates in Virginia, but this is a charge he also heaved against Catholicism. He thought both religions combined religion and the state at a time he wished to separate them.

A few months after authoring the Declaration of Independence, he returned to his home in Virginia to draft legislation about religion for his state. Writing in his private notes a paraphrase John Locke’s 1689 “Letter on Toleration”:

“[he] says neither Pagan nor Mahometan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.”

This claim, Jefferson incorporated into the legislation:

“(O)ur civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions.”

Jefferson believed strongly in the separation of state and church as well as that religious liberty and political equality would not be exclusively Christian meaning. The original legislative intent had been “to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and Infidel of every denomination.” as he stated in his autobiography. 

In 1805, at the White House, President Jefferson welcomed the first Muslim ambassador. Because it was Ramadan, the president moved the state dinner from 3:30 p.m. to be “precisely at sunset,” a recognition of the religious beliefs.

I can find nothing on John Jay and Muslims. 

The government, James Madison reasoned, has no more right to tolerate someone’s religious beliefs than it does to interfere with them. Madison also believed specifically in the inclusion of religious voices in a democratic system: “In a free government, the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights. It consists in the one case in the multiplicity of interests, and in the other the multiplicity of sects.”

He worked on the same legislature as Jefferson, see above for more details. 

I can find nothing on Alexander Hamilton slavery, nor does he have any letters pertaining to the subject. 

When Muslim Barbary Pirates committed terrorist attacks, under President James Monroe, he refused appeasement and instead deployed the U.S. Navy, as he stated, March 5th, 1821:

“Our relations with the Barbary Powers are preserved…by the same means
that were employed when I came into this office. As early as 1801 it was
found necessary to send a squadron into the Mediterranean for the
protection of our commerce.”

In his State of the Union speech on December 3, 1822, President James Monroe expressed regret that the “gloomy despotism” of the Muslim Ottomans had spread over much of the world. For Monroe and his audience, this Islamic despotism was a threat to Western civilization and American democracy. As with Adams, the pirates still placing attacks were mean’t to be seen as terrorists and not just for their religious beliefs. His were closely in line with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson (above). 

(If anyone wants to add anything, go ahead I am away from my bookshelf currently so there may be things missing.)
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.

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’).