Friday, January 29, 2016




republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes

LaVoy Finicum (shown) was shot to death by law enforcement officers Tuesday, January 26 at around 4:30 p.m. (Pacific Standard Time). Was he “murdered” while his hands were extended in the air, as one eyewitness has claimed? Or was he “charging” the police, as another witness claims. There are still many unanswered questions and conflicting stories concerning many details of the shooting. The New American has been interviewing people who have been involved in various capacities in the standoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, which began on January 2nd, in protest over the sentencing of Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond to five years in prison. The Hammonds were prosecuted as “terrorists” for starting controlled burns that spread to a small area of federal Bureau of Land Management land.
We have not, at this point, interviewed any eyewitnesses to the shooting, but have talked with people who were standing vigil on the perimeter near the roadblock where the shooting occurred. According to the information available at this time, Lavoy Finicum, an Arizona rancher who had served as a spokesman for the protesters that are occupying the Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, was driving his pickup truck with four passengers, including two women, to the town of John Day, Oregon, for a meeting there with the sheriff and area ranchers. Another vehicle driven by Mark McConnell included Ammon Bundy (son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy) and Brian Cavalier, both considered leaders of the occupation.
Although various news accounts have referred to the shooting as a “gunfight,” according to the eyewitness testimony of Victoria Sharp, an 18-year-old woman who was in the back seat of Finicum’s truck when the shooting occurred, no occupants of the vehicles fired any weapons; the only shooting that occurred was on the part of the police and FBI. Miss Sharp’s audio account of the shooting has been posted on a number of websites and social media. After being arrested with the other survivors of the shooting and taken to Burns, Oregon, for questioning, she was released.
The two vehicles were stopped at a police/FBI roadblock on U.S. 395 outside of Burns. They were ordered to put their hands out of the windows, Sharp says, and also claims that Finicum put his hands out of the car window and asked the police to allow the women to leave the car. (Another woman, Shawna Cox, was in the vehicle, along with Ryan Bundy and Ryan Payne.)
“They shot at him, but they missed him,” said Sharp, adding that Finicum then said, “They mean business; they’re going to shoot us.” He then attempted to drive away in the truck, while taking fire from the police, but crashed into a snowbank. According to Sharp, the police “were riddling the car with bullets.”
“When we crashed and stopped for a second, he got out of the car, he had his hands in the air, he’s like ‘just shoot me then’ ... and they did, they shot him dead,” said Sharp.
“He was just walking, with his hands in the air,” said Sharp. “I saw it, I swear to God, he was just walking with his hands in the air. And they shot him dead and after he was down on the ground, shot him three more times.”  Then, she says, they “bombarded the vehicle with bullets” and tear gas, as she and the other passengers laid on the floorboards praying and screaming for them to stop.
She says they tried to “find something white” so they could hold up a white flag to show they were trying to surrender.
Ryan Bundy (another son of Cliven Bundy) was, apparently, the only passenger to be wounded in the barrage.
Miss Sharp, along with her mother and seven siblings comprise the Sharp Family Singers, a family choir from Kansas that is becoming well-known in patriot circles for singing Gospel, patriotic and country songs at various events. A video of the family singing at the Bundy ranch in Nevada during the 2014 standoff with federal authorities can be seen below.
According to people who know the family, the Sharps were in Oregon to support the embattled ranchers. However, Victoria was the only one to be included in the trip for the meeting in John Day.
Dueling Witnesses
A different “eyewitness” account of the shooting conflicts sharply with that of Miss Sharp. We put eyewitness in quotes because even though he has been referred to as an eyewitness in media and social media accounts, he was about a mile away when the shooting occurred, having already been stopped by the police roadblock. In his video posted on Facebook, McConnell disputes Victoria Sharp’s testimony, claiming Finicum was “charging” police when he was shot down. This is based, he says, on accounts he got from Ryan Payne and Shawna Cox, apparently either in jail or on the way to jail. However, McConnell’s testimony is merely third-party hearsay, and as some critics point out, from a suspect source at that. Individuals who have been close to the occupation – but who asked not to be identified at this time — note that:
1) McConnell was the only participant (other than Miss Sharp) to be released, and, unlike Sharp, he has been an active, armed participant in the occupation, and was the driver of the vehicle carrying Ammon Bundy;
2) McConnell was very hasty, after his release, to put up a video on his Facebook page backing up the story being given to the media by the federal authorities who had just carried out the “murder” of a suspect who is alleged to have had his hands in the air.
Both of these facts, say the McConnell critics, point to one of two probable explanations: Either he is a police informant/agent provocateur who was assigned to infiltrate the occupation, or; he was sufficiently leaned on by prosecutors and FBI, with threats of life imprisonment, if he didn’t “cooperate” — with one of his first tasks being to come out with a statement that would support the official FBI narrative and neutralize the eyewitness testimony of Victoria Sharp.
Who Was Lavoy Finicum?
Much will be written about Lavoy Finicum in the days and months ahead. The 54-year-old Arizona rancher and his wife of 23 years, Jeanette, have 11 children and 19 grandchildren. Like his friend, Cliven Bundy, he has had his share of troubles with the Bureau of Land Management.
Over the past couple of years, Finicum has posted a number of videos on YouTube explaining the illegal actions and harassment by the BLM, aimed, he says, at driving him off his ranch. He was a plainspoken but articulate and intelligent spokesman for many of the farmers and ranchers that are engaged in constant fights with federal agencies.
In the video below, Finicum recounts how BLM employees “stole” his water, leaving his 100,000 gallon tank — which he needs for cattle to survive — empty. Other water tanks and water lines were sabotaged.
In the same video, he insists that he is not “anti-government” or even “anti-federal government.” We need the federal government, he says, for national defense, trade relations between the states and foreign countries, border control, and other limited functions delineated in the Constitution. However, he charges, the federal government is now out of control and regularly violates the law.
In another video (above) posted on September 23, 2015, Lavoy Finicum again insists he wants to avoid any kind of violence, saying, “I’ve never pointed guns at anyone, and don’t intend to. But let’s get some of the history straight. Because they (the feds) have pointed guns at me — and have promised to shoot me, so let’s get the history straight.... There’s only one side that has pointed guns when it comes to me, and it hasn’t been me.” He also tells of his meeting with the Mojave County Sheriff Jim McCabe, whom he describes as a man of integrity. In other videos he details his meetings, which he says were very cordial, with state, county, and federal elected and appointed officials. Over and over again, he presents the picture of a reasonable, law-abiding citizen who is trying to work through the legal system to obtain redress of grievances against an increasingly hostile federal leviathan.
What pushed Lavoy Finicum to take the desperate and misguided course that has now ended in his death? Many of the people we have interviewed who are friends and admirers of Finicum say they tried to convince him and Ammon Bundy that the occupation of the wildlife refuge — or any other similar confrontational action — would end up badly (in either death or prison) and would, ultimately, be counterproductive.
There are still many questions to be answered in the case of Lavoy Finicum’s death. And there is still the larger issue of the federal government’s strangling grasp on so much of the land and lifeblood of the western states, that is driving hardworking — and otherwise law-abiding — citizens to ruin and desperation.
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One Dead, More Arrested in Oregon Conflict

War Veterans Take On Oregon Standoff
Published on Jan 27, 2016
Former Army Staff Sergeant and Infowars reporter Joe Biggs gives us his take on the Oregon standoff that turned deadly. 


republished below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes

Under the guise of fighting the Islamic State, or ISIS, the Obama administration has put American boots on the ground in Syria to work with local communist-linked militants on an air base in the war-ravaged nation's northeastern region, according to satellite images and Syrian military and security sources cited in media reports. The estimated 100 U.S. “experts” and Special Forces troops on the ground there, deployed unilaterally by Obama without a declaration of war or even congressional approval, have reportedly been building up and expanding the air base for several months. Before deploying U.S. forces to Syria in October, Obama had pledged repeatedly not to do so. Now American involvement is deepening.
Meanwhile, in apparent violation of federal terror laws, U.S. forces are reported by multiple sources to have been working with heavily armed militants affiliated with communist Kurdish forces officially designated as terrorists by the U.S. State Department — a major crime with serious consequences, even if perpetrated by government officials. According to French news agency AFP, citing a Syrian military source, the American personnel are widening and refurbishing an old agricultural air field “alongside forces from the anti-IS Kurdish People's Protection Units.” It is not the first time in recent memory that the Obama administration has ordered American troops to work with the proscribed organization.
The self-styled Kurdish People's Protection Units, known as Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG — shown) in Kurdish, are essentially the military wing of the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (PYD). The PYD is basically the Syrian affiliate of the communist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an often times ruthless outfit that was officially designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. government in 1997 for myriad bombings and attacks targeting civilians. Since then, the group, formed with backing from the Soviet Union, has continued to slaughter civilians in its quest for a Marxist-Leninist regime to lord over Kurdish communities in the region.
In short, the Obama administration has U.S. troops in Syria providing material support to a designated terrorist organization — a crime that would land an everyday citizen in federal prison. “Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life,” reads the relevant statute, 18 U.S. Code § 2339B. Myriad deaths have resulted, including at least one U.S. soldier who has died since being deployed by Obama to Syria.       
Of course, the Obama administration's material support for communist forces officially designated as terrorists by the U.S. government is being offered under the guise of battling another designated terrorist group, the so-called Islamic State that now controls wide swaths of Iraq and Syria — also thanks to previous U.S. intervention. As The New American reported last year in an article exposing Obama's support for the PKK and its affiliates, Secretary of State John Kerry claimed it would have been “morally very difficult to turn your back on a community fighting ISIL.” Among other aid, U.S. forces reportedly air dropped weapons and supplies, in addition to various forms of supposed “anti-ISIS” cooperation in battle.
ISIS, though, as even top U.S. officials have admitted publicly, was largely the creation of governments that are part of Obama's “anti-ISIS” coalition. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey, for example, have both confirmed in public that members of Obama's “anti-ISIS” coalition funded, armed, and/or trained ISIS. “All of a sudden everybody’s awakened because this outfit called ISIL, which was Al Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space in territory in eastern Syria, work with Al Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on, and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them,” Biden said in a revealing speech at Harvard contradicting Obama's entire bogus narrative on Syria.
More recently, a declassified 2012 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document was released that exposed even more — including the fact that the Obama administration knew exactly what it was doing by supporting jihad terrorism in Syria. Among other bombshells, the document revealed that Western powers, Sunni dictators, and the government of Turkey knew al-Qaeda and other jihadists were leading the Syrian uprising, but supported the “revolution” anyway. The report also exposed those same powers supporting the establishment of an Islamic State in Eastern Syria to destabilize the regime of dictator Bashar al-Assad. Senior U.S. military officials have attempted to distance themselves from the pro-jihad policy, saying Obama officials were warned of the consequences but acted anyway.       
In essence, then, the Obama administration is unlawfully supporting a designated terrorist group under the guise of fighting another designated terrorist group that it previously unlawfully aided under the guise of unlawfully overthrowing the Syrian dictatorship. Numerous federal laws appear to have been violated. So far, though, Congress and the courts have shown little appetite for holding the White House accountable for its publicly admitted wave of serious criminal activity. More than a few senior U.S. military and intelligence officials have even concluded that the Obama administration “switched sides” in the terror war, putting U.S. national security at risk, fueling the genocide of Middle East Christians, and leaving the region in flames.  
News of the military air base being worked on by U.S. forces first appeared late last week. The Pentagon would not initially confirm reports that it was taking over and expanding an airfield in Syria, though it did offer a comment downplaying its importance and emphasizing that Obama had not deployed additional forces. “There has been no change to the size of mission of the U.S. presence in Syria,” U.S. Central Command spokesman Colonel Pat Ryder was quoted as saying in media reports. “That being said, U.S. forces in Syria are consistently looking at ways to increase efficiency for logistics and personnel recovery support.” The previous head of U.S. Central Command, disgraced General David Petraeus, proposed a U.S. alliance with al-Qaeda in Syria — seriously.  
The new Syrian air base, located in Rmeilan, in Hasakeh province, can be seen in satellite images, which appear to confirm information provided by various Syrian sources quoted in media reports. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense quoted by the British government-funded BBC claimed that American forces in Syria needed “occasional logistical support.” Analysts said the size of the landing strip, though — close to a mile long — would make it suitable for large U.S. military aircraft. But U.S. troops unconstitutionally deployed in Syria may not be the only ones receiving “logistical support” from the facility.
In fact, the area in which the landing strip is located makes it likely that it will be used to support the communist Kurdish militants that have received backing from the Obama administration despite U.S. terror laws. It is close to the Iraqi city of Mosul, currently controlled by ISIS, and is strategically located in the region that militant Kurds — including the PKK and its allies — hope to turn in to “Kurdistan” someday. The increasingly Islamist Turkish government, a NATO member long targeted by communist Kurdish terrorists, vehemently opposes those ambitions, and has used the terrorist group as a pretext to ruthlessly crack down on Kurds generally.
Unless and until Congress declares war as the Constitution requires, the Obama administration has no business meddling in Syria's civil war — much less supporting designated terrorist groups, whether of the communist or Islamist variety. In fact, Congress and the courts have a duty to hold the administration accountable for its lawless and bloody interventionism, not just in Syria, but in Libya, Iraq, Yemen, all across Africa, and beyond. The fruits of that intervention are now clear: genocide, mass-murder, civil war, persecution of Christians, terrorism, millions of refugees, and a region in turmoil soaked in blood. It is time for those responsible to be held accountable.        
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Bernie Sanders
Proposed plan would reduce GDP by 9.5 percent, lower wages, eliminate 6 million jobs
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I., Vt.) proposed tax plan would raise taxes by $13.6 trillion over the next decade and reduce the economy’s size by 9.5 percent, according to an analysis by the Tax Foundation.
While on the campaign trail, the senator has proposed $18 trillion in spending over the next decade. His plan includes $15 trillion for a government-run single-payer health care plan and trillions more for Social Security, roads and bridges, higher education, paid family and medical leave, and private pension funds, to name just a few.
Sanders’ proposed tax plan will increase marginal tax rates and the cost of capital, a move that will significantly reduce GDP, lower wages, and eliminate jobs.
According to the Tax Foundation, Sanders aims most of his tax provisions at high-income households, creating four new income tax brackets with rates of 37 percent, 43 percent, 48 percent, and 52 percent. Additionally, Sanders would tax capital gains and dividends for households with income over $250,000 and create a 2.2 percent income-based health care premium.
However, as Sanders has admitted, his plan also includes tax increases on the middle class. “We will raise taxes. Yes, we will,” Sanders said at the CNN town hall last weekend.
“A majority of the revenue raised by Sanders plan would come from a new 6.2 percent employer-side payroll tax, a new 2.2 percent broad-based income tax and the elimination of tax expenditures relating to healthcare,” the analysis explains.
According to a recent report from the Congressional Budget Office, even without Sanders’ tax plan the nation’s economy is projected to expand at a rate much lower than in recent decades. Sanders’ plan would lower the growth rate further, as its proposed marginal tax rate increases on labor and capital would reduce GDP by 9.5 percent in the long term.
“At the center of my campaign is how we’re going to raise wages,” Sanders said at the first Democratic debate. “Yes, of course, raise the minimum wage, but we have to do so much more, including finding ways so that companies share profits with the workers who helped to make them. And then we have to figure out how we’re going to make the tax system a fairer one.”
“And in my view what we need to do is create millions of jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour; pay equity for women workers; and our disastrous trade policies, which have cost us millions of jobs; and make every public college and university in this country tuition-free,” he said.
After accounting for reductions in economic growth, Sanders’ plan would lead to 12.84 percent lower after-tax incomes for all taxpayers, 6 million fewer full-time jobs, and an 18.6 percent smaller capital stock.
“Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have proposed tax plans that will usher in a new era of even bigger government,” said James Hewitt, a Republican National Committee spokesman. “The fact that Hillary Clinton is still trying to run to the left of a candidate who is proposing a $13 trillion tax increase shows just how far to the left the Democrat Party has gone.”
The Sanders campaign did not respond to requests for comment by press time.


Obama Administration Orders Labeling of Israeli Goods

Memo directs ‘trade community’ to label Jewish goods
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

A memo issued earlier this month by the Obama administration directs the U.S. “trade community” and government partner agencies to explicitly label Israeli-made goods that have been produced in the West Bank.
The Jan. 23 directive states that it is “not acceptable” to label goods coming from Israeli companies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as having been produced in “Israel.”
The order comes amid an effort by the European Union to label Israeli-made goods, a move the Israeli government called anti-Israel and that prominent anti-Semitism watchdog groups have condemned as among the worst incidents of anti-Semitism in 2015.
This is a shift from the administration’s previous position. A State Department spokesman told reporters in November that such labeling could be perceived as “a step on the way to a boycott” and said boycotts would be opposed by the administration.
But earlier this month, senior Obama administration officials defended the EU’s move and reaffirmed its position against “Israeli settlement activity.”
The new guidance references a decades-old administrative directive that sought to promote the import of Palestinian goods produced in the West Bank. The Obama administration is facing criticism for reinterpreting it and enforcing it to punish Israeli businesses.
The new memo, issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, is meant to “provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufactured in the West Bank.”
Good produced in these areas are not to be labeled “with the words ‘Israel,’” according to the memo, which warns that inappropriate labeling will subject the products to “enforcement action” by Customs and Border Protection.
“Goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘West Bank,’ ‘Gaza,’ ‘Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza,’ ‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’ ‘West Bank and Gaza,’ or ‘West Bank and Gaza Strip,’” according to the directive.
“It is not acceptable to mark the aforementioned goods with the words ‘Israel,’’ ‘Made in Israel,’ ‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’ or any variation thereof,” it states.
Goods that are erroneously marked as products of Israel will be subject to an enforcement action carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” the memo states. “Goods entering the United States must conform to the U.S. marking statute and regulations promulgated thereunder.”
Pro-Israel organizations have taken a firm stand against the explicit labeling of Jewish goods, with some viewing the latest memo as part of a larger effort to economically isolate Israel.
“This is an administration that slaps labels on Jewish goods on a Saturday and has the president give a Holocaust Remembrance speech the next Wednesday,” said Omri Ceren, a managing director at The Israel Project, an organization that promotes stronger U.S.-Israeli ties.
“It’s worse than incoherent. It needlessly alienates Israel at a time when the Middle East is falling apart and U.S. allies are looking for signals about whose side the administration is on,” he said.
A State Department official who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon on Thursday said that the department is aware of the new memo but does not view it as a shift in longstanding policy.
“We are aware that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection re-issued guidance on their marking requirements,” the official said. “There has been no change in policy or in our approach to enforcement of marking requirements.”
The latest guidance stands as a “restatement of previous requirements,” the official added. “CBP has made clear that it in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations, nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or Israel.”
“Longstanding U.S. guidelines, dating to 1995, on country of origin product marking requires that products produced in the West Bank be marked as products of the West Bank, and products of Israel be marked as products of Israel,” the official explained.
Custom and Border Protection did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the memo.

The purpose of this message is to provide guidance to the trade community regarding the country 
of origin marking requirements for goods that are manufactured in the West Bank. 
Per Treasury Decisions 95-25 and 97-16 (see attachments), unless excepted by statute (19 U.S.C. §1304) or regulation (19 C.F.R. §134), goods produced in the West Bank or Gaza Strip shall be marked as originating from ‘‘West Bank,’’ ‘‘Gaza,’’ ‘‘Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza,’’ ‘‘West Bank/Gaza Strip,’’ ‘‘West Bank and Gaza,’’ or ‘‘West Bank and Gaza Strip.’’  It is not acceptable to mark the aforementioned goods with the words ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘‘Made in Israel,’’ ‘‘Occupied Territories-Israel,’’ or any variation thereof.  Goods that are erroneously marked as products of Israel will be subject to an enforcement action carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Goods entering the United States must conform to the U.S. marking statute and regulations promulgated thereunder. 
This message in no way supersedes prior rulings or regulations, nor does it impose additional requirements with respect to merchandise imported from the West Bank, Gaza Strip, or Israel.