[The Hill] Once upon a time, the FBI said some thugs planned to rob a bank in town. Thugs are always looking to rob banks. They try all the time. But at this particular time, the FBI was hyper-focused on potential bank robberies in this particular town.
The best way to prevent the robbery ‐ which is the goal, after all ‐ would be for the FBI to alert all the banks in town. "Be on high alert for suspicious activity," the FBI could tell the banks. "Report anything suspicious to us. We don’t want you to get robbed."
Instead, in this fractured fairytale, the FBI followed an oddly less effective, more time-consuming, costlier approach. It focused on just one bank. And, strangely, it picked the bank that was least likely to be robbed because nobody thought it would ever get elected president ‐ excuse me, I mean, because it had almost no cash on hand. (Why would robbers want to rob the bank with no cash?)
Stranger still, this specially-selected bank the FBI wanted to protect above all others happened to be owned by a man who was hated inside and outside the FBI.
So, to protect this bank owned by the guy the FBI hated, the FBI secretly examined a list of bank employees and identified a few it claimed would be likely to help robbers ‐ or, at least, would not stop a robbery. How did it select these targets? By profiling them based on their pasts.
These particular bank employees, the FBI said, were chosen because they worked long ago with customers who might have known bank robbers in the past ‐ maybe not the particular robbers planning a bank robbery this time, but different people who knew people who were thought to have robbed banks in the past ... or, perhaps, people who thought of robbing banks at some point but never got around to it.
So the FBI decided these particular bank employees, who may have known or met with suspicious people in the past, might be capable of committing a future crime.
Mind you, these targeted bank employees had never served time in prison, never been convicted of anything, never even been charged with a crime. If the FBI had just gone to them and said, "Hey, we think some people are going to rob this bank and we’ve got our eye on you, too," the bank robbery probably would be avoided. Everybody would be watching out for the robbers.
Instead, the FBI secretly sent at least one spy ‐ er, "informant" ‐ to commingle with the bank employees and get info. Yes, you are thinking, it would seem to make a lot more sense to spy on the would-be robbers than their intended victims. But the FBI chose to spy on the victims. You know, for their own good.
At least one of the FBI informants/spies met with the targeted bank employees, pretending to be interested in them, and asked questions like "If you could have a million dollars tomorrow, what would you buy?" and "Would the owner of this bank be happy for you if you came across a sudden inheritance?" The FBI informant/spy then reported back to FBI headquarters that the bank employees were clearly thinking about robbing the bank, and that the owner of the bank was part of the scheme.
Next, because the FBI claimed these employees were clearly acting suspiciously and had criminal minds, the FBI unleashed the most intrusive, sensitive intel tools on them, tools that are rarely to be used against U.S. citizens ‐ surveillance and wiretapping. FBI officials also leaked information about their investigation to the local press ‐ not information that disparaged the robbers so much as cast suspicion on the bank’s owner and employees. In fact, it almost seemed like the FBI had forgotten all about the robbers.
And so, while all this was going on, the robbers robbed the bank.
Despite all the media innuendo, the secret surveillance and the spies/informants, the FBI said the robbers made off with a lot of cash. Even though the bank didn’t have much cash.
Afterward, the FBI stepped up its investigation of the bank employees. It couldn’t find solid proof the employees had anything to do with any bank robbery but claimed they were present a couple of times when the robbers cased the joint, so they must have known a robbery was going to happen. The owner must have known, too, the FBI concluded.
After digging deeply into the bank employees’ background, the FBI found other things: One bank employee hadn’t paid proper taxes six years before; another had been briefly accused of embezzling from a previous employer years ago but was never charged; a third said things in an FBI interview that the FBI concluded were untrue. The FBI charged them all with crimes and pressured them to become witnesses ‐ not against the robbers, but against the bank owner.
In the end, the FBI held out hope that the townsfolk wouldn’t focus on the idea that all the FBI’s hard work and planning to supposedly protect the town’s banks only resulted in the utter failure of its stated mission: The bank got robbed, the cash would never be recovered, and the robbers would never serve time. Yet, some of the bank employees might ‐ not for the robbery but for that other stuff.
The moral of the story: It’s a weird way to prevent a bank robbery.
On the other hand, if the FBI’s real goal ‐ in this fractured fairytale ‐ was to frame the hated owner of the bank and his employees, it all makes sense.
I've never had much use for the arrogance displayed and methods these people have employed. Over the past two years, I even have less regard for them. We're long overdue for some radical housecleaning.
"They do not care about safety, or the children ™, or equality, or any other excuse. Racism does not matter to them, nor does sexism. Wealth inequality does not matter to them. What matters to them is power, and these things are seen as convenient vehicles for this power. Were SJWs alive in 1930s Germany, they would have blamed all their woes upon the Jews, as they blame straight white Christian men now. It would have been convenient for them."
"This ain’t rocket science!" right on. America is for Americans. Look at his activity level. Look at the results. Day by day. Week by week. This man works tirelessly. More to come. "Let's get ready to rumble"(Michael Buffer).
[American thinker] I have known Jeff Sessions for a long time. In 1994, he was running for Alabama attorney general, and I was running for the congressional seat presently occupied by Mo Brooks. Jeff and I, then, were on the same GOP ticket in my congressional district, and we showed up at times on the same stump. He won, and I lost. Out of 50,000 votes cast in the primary, I came up 23 votes short.
Since then, I have watched from the sidelines and have been a constant fan of Jeff Sessions. I particularly admired him when he jumped out front and endorsed Donald Trump before any other senator did.
After Trump's victory, Sessions accepted the attorney general's job, and, to the chagrin of Trump and the surprise of many others, promptly recused himself from the most important business facing the Department of Justice. This was a cosmic error. It, for example, has had the bizarre result of having one of the president's employees, Mr. Mueller, working assiduously to destroy his boss.
I will here attempt to throw some light on Sessions's jolting behavior.
Sessions needs to do the right thing and resign. Get a real swamp-clearing person in there, who will ask for resignation letters on day one from all top level officials, then decide which ones that don't need to be replaced.
After all the corruption of the Obama era, a light hand from a DC insider Senator is not what is needed.
If Gowdy had not already washed his hands of it, I would say he would be the right person.
How about a former AG for a very large state, solid conservative? Gov Abbot, Texas.
Serve 2 years then run that RINO Cornyn out of the Senate.
[Harvard Business Review] The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning ‐ often before even getting out of bed. Of course, social interaction is a healthy and necessary part of human existence. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings.
The challenge is that most of the work on social interaction has been conducted using "real world," face-to-face social networks, in contrast to the types of online relationships that are increasingly common. So, while we know that old-fashioned social interaction is healthy, what about social interaction that is completely mediated through an electronic screen? When you wake up in the morning and tap on that little blue icon, what impact does it have on you?
Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen time, lead to internet addiction, and erode self-esteem through unfavorable social comparison. Self-comparison can be a strong influence on human behavior, and because people tend to display the most positive aspects of their lives on social media, it is possible for an individual to believe that their own life compares negatively to what they see presented by others. But some skeptics have wondered if perhaps people with lower well-being are more likely to use social media, rather than social media causing lower well-being. Moreover, other studies have found that social media use has a positive impact on well-being through increased social support and reinforcement of real world relationships.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.