Navy Publishes Guidance Warning Sailors Not To Protest National Anthem
In the wake of two sailors going public with their decision to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by refusing to stand when the Star Spangled Banner is played, Navy Reserve Forces Command today published guidance warning troops that they can be punished or prosecuted for such protests. A message directed at active-duty sailors and reserve personnel on active duty cites Navy Regulation 1205, which mandates that personnel in uniform must stand at attention and face the flag when the national anthem is played. It also notes that a Navy administrative message published in 2009 requires Navy active-duty personnel in civilian clothes to face the flag, stand at attention, and place their right hand over their heart. "Additionally, Sailors receive training on the appropriate usage of social media, and must not use it to discredit the Naval Service, and should be reminded it could potentially be used as evidence against them," the guidance continues, a message apparently directed at the two sailors who published posts on Facebook about their protests.
Failure to comply with these regulations, the message said, is punishable under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and constitutes commission of a serious offense -- grounds for administrative separation from the service. "While military personnel are not excluded from the protections granted by the First Amendment, the US Supreme Court has stated that the different character of our community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections," the guidance states. The actions taken regarding the two sailors who engaged in separate protests have not been publicly announced. In late August, a sailor attached to the Naval Air Technical Training Center at Pensacola, Florida, posted a video to Facebook of herself sitting down during the base's morning "colors" ceremony, which quickly received viral attention on the social media platform. Naval Education and Training Command officials confirmed the sailor, who has not been publicly named, had been subject to administrative action, but had been retained for service in the Navy. And Sept. 21, Petty Officer 2nd Class Janaye Ervin, an intelligence specialist based in Hawaii, wrote in a public Facebook post that she was being punished by the Navy for remaining seated for the anthem two days earlier. A spokesman for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said only that actions regarding Ervin are under review.
Military and civilian families won’t be returning to Turkey for the foreseeable future, as the Pentagon decided this week to change the status of permanent duty assignments there to one-year, unaccompanied tours, Air Force officials in Europe said Friday. The decision was made Wednesday, when it also went into effect, said Capt. Robert Howard, a spokesman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe–Air Forces Africa. It applies to all Defense Department personnel in Turkey under U.S. European Command authority, Howard said. It does not apply to State Department personnel. “This decision was made in response to continued security concerns in the region –— primarily the risk of terror attacks from militants affiliated with or inspired by” the Islamic State group, Howard said in a statement. It’s intended to mitigate the risk to Defense Department personnel, including family members, “while ensuring the combat effectiveness of U.S. forces and our mission to support operations in Turkey,” Howard said.
Families, he added, should expect “that this tour change will be permanent.” There may be exceptions to the shorter tour length, depending on the mission, Howard said. Those will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The decision to remove families permanently from Turkey essentially makes official what’s already been in place in the country’s volatile southeastern region for the past six months. At the end of March, more than 600 family members of U.S. military and civilian personnel were forced to leave Incirlik Air Base and smaller bases in Izmir and Mugla because of worsening security conditions there. hose families never returned to Turkey. Most by now have either relocated to the States or joined their active-duty spouses at their next duty station. Military officials said at the time that it was unlikely families would return to Turkey in the immediate future, but that determination was subject to Pentagon approval. About 100 Defense Department dependents remain in Turkey at the moment, Howard said. Families at some locations in Turkey, including Ankara, were not subject to the mandatory departure in March.The timeline for their departure hasn’t been determined. At Incirlik, the one-year, unaccompanied tours should begin soon for incoming airmen. “So we are actively doing the transition,” said Col. John Walker, 39th Air Base Wing commander at Incirlik. “The next rotator or the rotator after that, depending on how long it takes to implement, folks are going to start showing up with 12-month assignments.” Walker’s statement was recorded during a “Commander’s Corner Recap,” which was posted on Incirlik’s Facebook site on Friday. For civilians and military personnel already in Turkey, tour length will likely also be curtailed, but there may be exceptions to delay those end dates to ensure continuity of mission and to meet readiness requirements, officials said.
U.S. Air Force Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and U.S. Air Forces Africa commander, speaks to members of the 39th Security Forces Squadron during a visit to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
The security situation in Turkey hasn’t improved since most military and civilian families departed in March. The country was placed under a three-month state of emergency after the attempted coup in July to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Allegations that Pennsylania-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup stoked anti-U.S. sentiment and protests against Americans at Incirlik. Turkey has allowed the Air Force to continue flying missions from the country, including air strikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria and Iraq. But the failed coup has threatened to sour ties between Turkey and its Western allies. In the meantime, Turkey remains under a heightened threat of terrorist attacks. The State Department continues to warn U.S. citizens to avoid travel to southeastern Turkey because of increased threats from terrorist groups. Last month, the agency extended voluntary departure of family members assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul. That departure was to remain in effect until Friday. The Defense Department currently has about 3,700 service members and civilian employees in Turkey, including 2,700 at Incirlik, officials said.
Farrakhan to Obama: Let Trump Do Want He Wants, You Failed Inner City Blacks
Sunday at the Men’s Day program hosted at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, DC, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan said to President Barack Obama, “Your people are suffering and dying in the streets,” of Chicago, so “you failed to do what should have been done.” Farrakhan continued by saying it is time to let Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump do “what he wants to because he is not destroying your legacy.” Farrakhan said, “So you Democrats, you been in their party a long time. Answer me, what did you get? You got a president. He is worried about his legacy. You want Hillary to get in to protect your legacy because Trump said the minute he gets in, he is going to reverse the Affordable Care Act. Because that is your signature achievement. To show you how hateful the enemy is, he hates that you achieve what you did achieve. So he said I’m going to tear it up when I get in.
So he don’t want his legacy destroyed. Mr. President, let the man do, if he get in, what he wants to because he is not destroying your legacy. If your legacy is bound up in an Affordable Care Act that only affects a few million people and they are trying to make it really difficult for those of us who signed up, that’s not your legacy. He continued, “But I just want to tell you, Mr. President, you’re from Chicago, and so am I. I go out in the streets with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. And while I was out there talking to them, they said ‘You know, Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’ There’s your legacy, Mr. President. It’s in the streets with your suffering people, Mr. President. And If you can’t go and see about them, then don’t worry about your legacy ’cause the white people that you served so well, they’ll preserve your legacy. The hell they will. But you didn’t earn your legacy with us. We put you there. You fought for the rights of gay people. You fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets! That’s where your legacy is. Now you failed to do what should have been done.”
Alex Jones breaks down how Infowars was given information directly from the secret service back in August detailing Hillary Clinton’s health and was proven right after an amateur photographer captured Hillary collapsing near a 9/11 ceremony in New York. Now Infowars has received information from multiple high level sources detailing that if Hillary fails to show up at the first presidential debate, scheduled to be the biggest in history, the democrats will force her to drop out of the race. The democrats also began holding special meetings to find a possible replacement as media outlets wondered if Clinton would be well enough to continue her campaign.
Rodrigo Duterte, Filipino President, Wants U.S. Out Of Southern Philippines
The Philippine president says he wants all U.S. forces out of his country's south, where they have been advising local troops battling Muslim extremists. Speaking before newly-appointed government officials Monday, Rodrigo Duterte blamed the U.S. for the restiveness of Muslim militants in the region, marking the first time he has publicly opposed the presence of American troops in the country. Duterte did not set any deadline or say how the withdrawal would proceed, but said the Americans were high-value targets for the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf as counterinsurgency operations intensify. “Those special forces, they have to go, they have to go... I do not want a rift with America, but they have to go...It will just get more tense. If they [Muslim militants] see Americans there, they will really kill them.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants all U.S. forces out of his country's south, where they have been advising local troops battling Muslim extremists. They will try to get ransom, then kill them," he said. The State Department characterized Duterte's comments as "unhelpful." State Department spokesman John Kirby said, “We're not aware of any official communication by the Philippine government to that effect and to seek that result .... More critically, we are going to remain committed to our alliance commitments in the Philippines.” Duterte's statement came a week after his televised tirade against the U.S. and President Barack Obama, causing Obama to cancel their scheduled bilateral meeting at a summit in Laos. The two, however, later met informally during the summit. Duterte has had a tumultuous relationship with the U.S. since becoming president in June and openly criticized U.S. security policies. During his election campaign, Duterte said he would chart a foreign policy that would not depend on America, the Philippines’ treaty ally. In 2002, the U.S. military deployed troops to train, advise and provide intelligence and weapons to Philippine troops battling the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines. When U.S. forces withdrew in February 2015, U.S. officials said a smaller contingent of military advisers would stay.
North Korea Launches Two Missiles As Joint U.S.-ROK Exercises Begin
North Korea fired two short-range projectiles, presumed to be Scud-type ballistic missiles, on Monday morning South Korean time, Seoul’s military leadership announced. “North Korea fired two short-range missiles with a range of some 490 kilometers into the East Sea from its western port city of Nampo between 6:32 a.m. and 6:41 a.m. (KST) today,” the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a press release. North Korea’s firing of the missiles comes as joint U.S.-ROK military exercises, namely Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, started on Monday. North Korea typically conducts missile launches like this during joint U.S.-ROK exercises, NK News Director of Intelligence John Grisafi said. “(They do this) to draw attention and to demonstrate their own capabilities, partially in protest to the drills.”
North Korean military spokespersons issued a warning earlier on in the day in protest at the routine South Korea and U.S. military drills. “Key Resolve and Foal Eagle are an undisguised encroachment upon the sovereignty and dignity of the DPRK and an unpardonable war hysteria of dishonest hostile forces,” a statement issued by the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army said. “Our revolutionary armed forces will never remain a passive onlooker to this grave situation.” According to South Korea’s military, the missiles, which are presumed to be Scud-C or Scud-D types due to their range, were fired eastwards, something Grisafi says is noteworthy. “They did (firing eastward across the country)a couple times last year,” Grisafi said. “(It) shows they have confidence in the ranges.” Joint U.S.-ROK exercise Key Resolve will be continued until March 13 and the Foal Eagle April 24.
AS EARLY AS 2016, ROBOT COPS WILL BE PATROLLING YOUR STREETS…….NO, SERIOUSLY
By 2016, there will likely be a 6-foot tall police robot patrolling the streets and handing out parking tickets. The Telebot, developed by Florida International University’s Discovery Lab, has been field-tested and is undergoing final tune up. With a swiveling head and dexterous fingers, the humanoid robot is controlled remotely by a person wearing an Oculus Rift headset and motion-tracking vest, arm bands, and gloves. The voice of the remote operator is transmitted through the robot to the unfortunate citizen on the receiving end. The menacing look of Telebot is no accident. Its design is one “…that can intimidate and display a sense of authority.” Justification for this (let’s just say it) Robocop, is couched in appeals to sympathy, to help disabled officers and veterans “get back on the job.” The reality is that it introduces another level of intimidation to the increasingly militarized police state and brings us one step closer to a dystopian future where autonomous robots carry out law enforcement. “As robots become more agile, we may see an increase of an armed robotic police presence. But even when companies can meet all the technological demands of an autonomous, armed police force, there’ll still be social and political hurdles. What happens if a police robot malfunctions and harms someone, for example?” – How Police Robots Work If a human police officer can get away with killing so easily, as The Free Thought Project continually documents, what would this mean for the robot officer? A fully autonomous robot officer is already in the works.
The Knightscope K5 does not wield weapons but serves as a total surveillance machine for cops or private clients. It has facial recognition and scans 1,500 license plates per minute, captures audio and 360-degree video, tests the air for chemicals, and maps its surroundings with 3D radar and laser. It can learn to distinguish “suspicious activities” from normal activities. When the K5 puts all this data together and detects what it perceives as trouble, it alerts local authorities. In a few years, this Dalek-like robot will be recording people’s actions and conversations in public places all over. Robots have been used for years to detonate or disable bombs. Nothing controversial there. But police robots are increasingly being developed for use against people. Large remote-controlled robots are now fitted with arms that can breach doors or hold live weapons. In a display of just how badly things can go, in 2011 a police robot burned down a mobile home after triple-warhead gas grenades were fired into the home instead of flameless grenades. The danger from police robots is not only ground-based. The Skunk Riot Control Copter is designed to “control unruly crowds” by firing up to 20 paintball or pepper spray rounds per minute from each of its four barrels. It also features strobe lights and lasers to dazzle the would-be protester, and, of course, the full range of surveillance capability to monitor the crowds. The militarization and robotization of police state USA is related to a Department of Defense (DoD) program starting in 1997 that transfers excess military equipment to police departments, to help them fight the immoral war on drugs. DoD has already given police more than $5.1 billion worth of military equipment. The Department of Homeland Security is part of the game too, giving grants to police departments for advanced tactical hardware to help fight those freedom-hating terrorists. Only, the government now treats its own citizens as terrorists. Peaceful protesters fill the lenses and microphones and crosshairs of robot police. In these troubling times, we can turn to satire for some relief. The Onion sums it up nicely: New Law Enforcement Robot Can Wield Excessive Force Of 5 Human Officers. Unfortunately for the citizens of Police State USA, this is no laughing matter.
Australia's Opposition Leader Tony Abbott Calls Obama Presidency The ‘Most Left-Of-Centre Government In At Least Half A Century'. He’s Right
The Wall Street Journal’s Mary Kissel has a revealing interview in World Affairs Journal with Australian Liberal Party leader Tony Abbott, who is in a strong position to become Australia’s prime minister later this year (the general election will be held on September 14.) It’s a rare interview for Abbott with the foreign press, and it’s revealing in its insights on how Australia’s most senior conservative views President Obama and the direction in which he’s taking the United States. Abbott is a leader in the John Howard mould, with a keen understanding of what ordinary voters really care about. He’s in favour of lower taxes, reducing government spending, cutting red tape, getting rid of government waste, limiting the welfare state, and is tough on illegal immigration. He believes that Australia, much like the United States and Great Britain, is at heart a conservative country. As Abbott puts it, “all successful societies are inherently conservative.” It’s clear from this interview, however, that Abbott thinks America is heading down the wrong path under Barack Obama, comparing the Obama administration’s big government approach to that of the socialist Labor government in Canberra. As he notes in his interview with Kissel: “The Rudd-Gillard government has been a highly statist government, the Brown government reverted to statism with a vengeance in Britain, and Obama is the most left-of-center government in at least half a century.” (At this, the media minder shifts in his chair.)
“Now I’m not being critical of Obama,” Abbott adds, soft-pedaling his response in a way he probably wouldn’t have a few years ago, when he was a minister in the Howard government. “He’s following a well-trod path. But I think it is a fact that the Obama government is a much more statist government than the Clinton administration.” Abbott’s frank assessment of President Obama’s big government agenda is a breath of fresh of fresh air. Contrast his words with the fawning approach taken by David Cameron in Britain, who holds up Obama’s Leftist policies as an inspiration rather than a warning. Abbott of course is absolutely right in his analysis of the Obama presidency, though a tad generous. As I’ve noted in previous pieces for The Telegraph, Barack Obama is not only the most Left-wing president of the last half century, he is the most liberal president in US history. In his four and a half years in office, President Obama has dramatically increased the role of government in American society, greatly expanded dependency on the state, and significantly undercut economic freedom in the world’s superpower. Tony Abbott has pledged to do the opposite in Australia, advancing policies that rein in the deathly hand of big government, and advance the cause of freedom. Like John Howard before him, Abbott comes across as a conviction politician with a good understanding of the grassroots, who speaks a language that conservative voters can actually relate to. We need more leaders like him, in both Britain and the United States.