Friday, July 20, 2018


"Acting upon reliable information, a federal deputation laid a deadly ambush"

"The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" as recorded by Georgie Fame (1967)

It was indeed the work of an informant Mark McConnell,  one of at least 15 used by the FBI at the Oregon Standoff protest, that helped to set the stage for a massive FBI led "felony traffic stop" operation that ended up killing LaVoy Finicum and injuring Ryan Bundy on January 26, 2016 along US Route 395 in Harney County, Oregon.

Between the mainstream media and their own sources of biased information like former Bureau of Land Management Special Agent Dan "Kill Book" Love, there's no doubt a "Bonnie and Clyde" fantasy was in law enforcement minds about the Oregon Standoff protesters or a more 21st Century "domestic terrorist" delusion more likely.

The people travelling in the two vehicles that day were en route to John Day, Oregon in neighboring Grant County for a town hall meeting to discuss the US Constitution and non-violent means to retake land from federal control in the West.   

They had begun their protest in Harney County to "Love thy Neighbor" as in the Hammonds.  The Hammonds forced back to prison for a second time as terrorists for trying to protect their land by lighting a backfire.

Ammon Bundy has explained how after World War II the federal government moved in and set up the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and began a process of step by step taking out farming and ranching and logging in Harney County.   Once thriving non-government business was replaced by government as the main business in a community drained of its previous prosperity now with over 40 percent of its workforce government employees.

Who controls the land is an issue that transcends whether Democrats or Republicans happen to hold the keys of power managing  the Western lands.  Even now Ryan Zinke, the Republican manager, is planning his "wildlife bridges" to interdict the ability of farmers and ranchers to make a living.

Bigger business interests from mining to recreation to big agriculture that fuel the political machine leave the small farmer and rancher on the outs.

And so the dirty deed was done of killing LaVoy Finicum and injuring Ryan Bundy.   Finicum gunned down by the Oregon State Police and Bundy wounded apparently by shrapnel from one of FBI Agent W. Joseph Astarita's bullets.

Presiding over the trial of Agent Astarita will be Senior US District Judge Robert E Jones.   Jones was responsible for detention of those arrested in connection with the Oregon Standoff protest in 2016 and met with Ammon Bundy and his brother Ryan in a basement cell at the Federal Courthouse in Portland.

"He must be eighty years old" Ammon Bundy recalled as Jones looked at his prisoner list and told the Bundy brothers they were not going to be released, no bail no nothing.   It was as if the protesters were terrorists from Al Qaeda or something like that.

It turns out that  Judge Jones was born on July 5, 1927 (Age: 91).   He entered politics as a Republican, then quickly moved to the local, state and federal bench being appointed as a US District Judge by President George H.W. Bush (Bush 41).

He now holds "Senior Judge" status with a reduced workload. 

Last week Judge Jones dropped two of the five charges against W. Joseph Astarita (one of making a false statement, one of obstruction of justice).  Astarita still faces three charges (one of making a false statement, two obstruction of justice)

Maxine Bernstein of "OregonLive" reports that 300 jurors were summoned for the trial and 118 will be available for jury selection Tuesday morning (July 24th) in Portland.   The 118 jurors will answer at written questionnaire when arrive at 8am and later prosecution and defense lawyers will question potential jurors in court.

Finicum's truck will be brought to the federal courthouse so jurors can view it and watch a government expert explain his bullet trajectory analysis to assert that one of Astarita's bullets hit the roof of the truck.

The Oregon shooting team that investigated the shooting, the Oregon troopers who were there including those involved in shooting the murdered LaVoy Finicum are slated to testify with the troopers using "pseudonyms" according to lawyer for the state of Oregon.

The FBI agent himself is listed as a potential defense witness and one of his lawyers says Astarita himself will make the call on that.

The whole process will allow the public to learn more about the events of January 26, 2016 and help with civil suits that are pending  including the Finicum family's wrongful death suit filed earlier this year in the Federal Court in Pendleton, Oregon.


                 NEWS SUMMARY AT THIS HOUR

Israel launched attacks on dozens of Hamas targets in Gaza tonight.   Israel's response came after weeks of provocative attacks involving rockets, mortars and even kites and balloons rigged to start fires upon impact in Israel.    The "last straw" were sniper attacks today with one killing an Israeli soldier.

Early Saturday morning Israel time a Hamas spokesman claimed that both sides have 'agreed to restore calm' according to Israel's "Haaretz" newspaper.

Federal and state investigators are probing the disaster on a lake near Branson, Missouri last evening.

Seventeen died when a duck boat capsized and sank during a violent thunderstorm that may have come up very suddenly with extreme wind conditions.

The names of the victims were released late tonight with nine of 11 members from an Indiana family  among those killed, according to KYTV in Springfield, Missouri.

There's a Friday news leak coming out about President Trump and a 2016 phone conversation with his former lawyer Michael Cohen, seized by the FBI as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

The conversation was about the notion of a payment to Playboy model Karen McDougal who was claiming an affair with Trump in 2006.   No payment was made by him to her but she did get a 150-thousand dollar payment from the National Enquirer's parent company for her story.

The Enquirer, which supports President Trump, did not publish the story.

Rudolph Giuliani, a lawyer for the President, is making it clear to the media tonight that no direct payment from Trump to McDougal was made and the recording shows that the President did nothing wrong.

A federal judge in San Diego is praising efforts of the Trump Administration to reunite children with families that all entered the United States illegally.    US District Judge Dana Sabraw, who ordered reunification with a July 26th deadline says:   "It really does appear that great progress has been made".

A local prosecutor in the German city of Lubeck is refusing comment on a mass stabbing attack that injured 14 people on a bus there today, some seriously.   The attacker was a 34-year old man described as a German citizen.  When his attack began the bus driver stopped so passengers could escape.

A smoking backpack was found in the bus containing a "fire accelerant".

A security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron was fired today.  Alexandre Benalla was involved in a storm of controversy when a video was released showing him posing as a police officer and beating a protester during a May Day protest.  Benalla is reportedly being held by police investigating the incident.

Some French media outlets report that the Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, who asked for an internal police investigation into Benalla's activities, was aware of the video of his actions back on May 2nd.

The Bayer pharma company says its stopping sales in the USA of a permanent contraceptive implant called Essure.   Essure was withdrawn from sale in countries outside of the US following complaints about injuries.   

 Similar complaints were recorded in the US leading the Food and Drug Administration to issue an order in May that doctors must show women a checklist of risks before implantation of the device.
Bayer says weak sales led to the decision to withdraw the contraceptive implant from US market at the end of the year.


"Do we just allow these wicked men and women to trample upon our rights and to put our friends and neighbors in prison.   Is that what we do?  We just go home. Go back to our TV's and whatever else it is we do, our phones, ... our happy places"

Ammon Bundy Video 7/19/2018

"Today Trumps DOJ gave Todd Engel 14 YEARS for protesting"

Gavin Seim for Liberty Facebook 7/19/2018

"Todd is not the vile hatred-filled individual the prosecution has painted  He believed that he did what he was doing for the right reasons, and he believed that his participation was for the better good"

Todd Engel's Attorney Warren Markowitz 7/19/2018

When federal, state and local law enforcement in southern Nevada did a "threat assessment" about the Bundy family in the days leading up to the April 12, 2014 Bunkerville Standoff near Bundy Ranch, their  determination was that of a low level threat of violence with Bundy's described as people who would "get in your face" with their words but not commit acts of violence.

And in his reaction to the 14 year prison sentence handed down Thursday in Las Vegas to Todd Engel we got a taste of that from Ammon Bundy in his video message posted late Thursday night.

The jury that convicted Todd Engel didn't get a chance to see or hear about that threat assessment, they didn't get to see or hear about the federal government surveillance camera or snipers used around Bundy Ranch or the Bundy home in the days leading up to the April 12, 2014 Bunkerville Standoff.

Cliven Bundy communicated via media interviews the sniper threat that led Todd Engel and others to come exercising their Second Amendment rights in defense of the Bundy family.

They (the jurors) didn't get to see videos of the BLM agent taking down Ammon Bundy with a taser, shoving a relative (Margaret Houston) and assaulting in custody Mel Bundy who was shoved into stones until his face was pockmarked by them.  These were aggressive federal law enforcement actions that came before April 12, 2014

Neither did the grand jury that indicted Todd Engel and 20 plus others in connection with the Bunkerville Standoff.

Recently Ammon Bundy has been trying to reach jurors and grand jurors to let them know about the travesty they were led into by the federal "criminal justice" system.

But yet knowing all that, knowing that Todd Engel did not get a fair trial, US District Judge Gloria M. Navarro went along with the prosecutors and handed down a harsh sentence.

Ammon Bundy roundly denounced all the men and women involved as "wicked" ranging from the Democrat Judge Gloria Navarro to the Republican prosecutors Steven Myhre (praised for his work on the case by AG Jeff Sessions during a Las Vegas visit in July of last year) and Daniel Schiess.  Both men and the third prosecutor (Nadia Ahmed) operating under the authority of AG Sessions and his appointed US Attorney for Nevada, Dayle Elieson.

Attorney Warren Markowitz argued for Judge Navarro to throw out the charges and grant Engel a new trial to no avail.

Markowitz will appeal the sentence.

Links below.......




Thursday, July 19, 2018

                     NEWS SUMMARY AT THIS HOUR

President Trump says he wants to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin again and discussions are underway for Putin to visit Washington this fall.

Trump tweeted today that he looks forward to continuing discussion started at this week's summit meeting with Putin in Helsinki.  The President tweeted a host of issues involved with Putin including Ukraine, North Korea and security for Israel.

Russian officials have arrived in Israel for security talks, that according to the "Instant News Alerts" Twitter feed from Jersualem.   Russian forces are playing a role in Syria as Syrian government forces re-establish control along the Golan Heights border.  

Large groups of opposition forces including Al-Qaeda jihadists surrendered to the Syrian government in the Quneitra region along the Golan border today.   Russian military police will help implement the surrender process.

Late word tonight from near Branson, Missouri that eight people are confirmed dead when a duck boat capsized on Table Rock Lake after a line of severe thunderstorms passed through the area.

Search and rescue operations are underway with the Stone County, Missouri Sheriff saying that 31 were on board the boat and seven have been taken to hospital.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell suddenly withdrew President Trump's judicial nomination of Oregon federal prosecutor Ryan Bounds to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this afternoon.

Oregon's two Democrat senators vehemently opposed his nomination and refused any support, even procedural, for his nomination, but it was a lack of Republican support in the end that sunk the Bounds nomination.

Republican Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina objected to Ryan Bounds college writings about race issues, writing that Bounds apologized part of his nomination process.  However, even after a meeting today with him, Scott said that he could not support the nomination.

In Las Vegas today, Todd Engel was sentenced to 14 years in prison in connection with the April 2014 standoff near Bundy Ranch in Nevada.   Engel was convicted in the first trial but by the third trial the prosecutors were told by US District Judge Gloria Navarro that they had engaged in "flagrant misconduct" by withholding evidence proving the defendants innocence.   Navarro dismissed charges against rancher Cliven Bundy, his sons and other defendants earlier this year.

But today she heard arguments of the same prosecutors to punish Engel who was convicted in his trial in April 2017 with the same evidence proving his innocence out of that trial.  Then she sentenced him to 14 years in prison.

Citing a source close to the investigation into the exposure of four people to the nerve agent Novichok in the UK, the British Press Association say police think they have two suspects they sure are Russians. 

Video camera footage was used to ID the suspects.   One person has died as a result of exposure that came from a bottle of perfume.  It is said that Dawn Sturgess's lethal dose came when she sprayed her wrists with the contents of the bottle.

A security aide to France's president Emmanuel Macron is suspended without pay for 15 days following release of video showing Alexandre Benalla attacking protesters during a May Day demonstration earlier this year.    

Benalla was at the demonstration as an "observer" but was seen on the video wearing a police helmet dragging a female protester with his arm around her neck and striking a male protester on his head and stamping on him as he fell to the ground pleading for the assault to stop.

Opponents of Macron say the punishment is too little and too late.

The head of Italy's state pensions agency lashed out at the leaders of Italy's new governing parties, the Five Star Movement and the League today.   Tito Boeri said he was threatened by the League leader Matteo Salvini and he accused Five Star leader Luigi DiMaio of being out of touch with reality.  

Boeri claimed mass immigration is needed to sustain Italy's pension system which caused Salvini to call for his resignation while Boeri, who was appointed by the previous mainstream center-left party government, has attacked the Five Star labor reform plan claiming it will increase unemployment.

For the second time in a row, a Swedish political poll shows the anti-mass immigration Sweden Democrats leading.   The latest You Gov poll taken July 13-15 shows the Sweden Democrats at 25.7 percent with 21.2 percent supporting the party that won the 2014 general election, the Social Democrats.

Swedes will go to the polls September 9th in a general election.

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is dismissing mass withdrawals from an electronic records system called "My Health Record"   Australians have until October 15th to opt out of the system that would maintain their health records online.    Many are citing security concerns,

Turnbull told an Australian radio station it doesn't matter how many people are in the online heath records system, assuring listeners the system is safe.   But on the first day they were able to, 20-thousand people opted out.

If you to McDonald's tomorrow it will be Fryday.  For the remainder of the year customers who spend a dollar and use the McDonald's app will get a free medium order of fries every Friday.

McDonalds sees the promotion as a way to attract the next generation of customers who like to use smartphones.

Another sign of technological change is coming to Mickey D's as well, as of 2020 new digital ordering kiosks will be rolled out at all McDonald's locations in the United States.


Today's hearing for sentencing of Todd Engel after his conviction last year in a rigged trial, the first Bunkerville Standoff trial, resulted in a jail sentence.

In the end Engel was given a 14 year sentence by US District Judge Gloria Navarro, even though his trial involved the rigged process of evidence proving his innocence being kept from judge and jury during his first trial.

The courtroom was filled with government law enforcement and supporters of Todd Engel with federal law enforcement reported to be playing the role of "victims" of the 2014 Bunkerville Standoff.

Additional reporting from this blog's "News Summary At This Hour" to  be published later tonight.



Link below to Andrea Parker video report on sentencing via Ammon Bundy Facebook....scroll down to find video.....


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

                   NEWS SUMMARY AT THIS HOUR

In a late night vote, Israel's Parliament passed the "nation-state" bill also called the Nationality Law by a 62-55 vote.

The bill allows the state of Israel to encourage the establishment of Jewish only communities.  It was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who said after passage: "This is a defining moment. long live the state of Israel!"

Arab members of the Parliament tore up the law after it was passed with opposition members saying it downgrades the status of Arabs in Israel.

The former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson spoke from the back benches of the House of Commons in what was dubbed his "farewell speech" today.   Johnson said Prime Minister Theresa May was "dithering" about Brexit  but it is "not too late to save Brexit".

Johnson sat in the same spot that a resigned cabinet minister, Geoffrey Howe, did 28 years ago when he made a speech leading to the resignation of then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Mr. Brexit" Nigel Farage said on his radio show today that "I'd be perfectly happy for Boris to take over from May, I really would, or anybody else who actually believed in Brexit",

The appeal of British nationalist activist Tommy Robinson was heard by a panel of three High Court judges in London today.

Robinson was arrested May 25th while live streaming video outside a child sex grooming trial in Leeds involving Muslim defendants.   He was sentenced within hours to 13 months in jail and last month was moved to a prison with a large Muslim population where threats forced him to choose solitary confinement.

Robinson appeared by video link from his prison with the courtroom today and smiled as he recognized friends and family in the courtroom.

The judges will write an opinion which they said will be ready by the end of the month.

British singing legend Sir Cliff Richard has won his lawsuit against the BBC for invasion of privacy.

In 2014 the BBC reported on an investigation into an allegation of child sex abuse in the 1980's against Cliff Richard and broadcast live video from a  helicopter of a raid on his home.   The investigation was later dropped for lack of evidence.

A High Court judge said today his privacy was violated by the video of the police raid as well as the use of his name by the BBC.

The High Court in London ruled initial damages of 210-thousand pounds with 65 percent to be paid by the BBC and the rest by the South Yorkshire Police that provided news tips to the BBC about their investigation into Richard and the raid on his home.

Richard settled earlier with the South Yorkshire Police for 400-thousand pounds.

The BBC said it is considering an appeal of today's decision.

In Las Vegas tomorrow the sentencing hearing for Todd Engel, convicted last year in connection with the April 2014 standoff near Cliven Bundy's ranch in Nevada, is set.   Charges against Bundy, his sons and other key defendants in the case have been dropped because of what US District Judge Gloria Navarro called 'flagrant misconduct' for withholding evidence from the defense including details of federal law enforcement snipers placed in the area of the ranch.

Engel is appealing to be freed from prison and appealing his conviction.  Now Judge Navarro will have to consider what to do next at tomorrow's hearing and there's hope she will release Engel  instead of imposing a sentence.

Two other men remain jailed in connection with the case.   Greg Burleson, convicted last year with a 68 year sentence and Jerry Delemus, who pled guilty and was sentenced to 87 months.

Philadelphia's sweet drink tax is legal.   That's the ruling from Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.  It was a 4-2 ruling by the elected court that is dominated politically by Democrats.

The tax brought 79 million dollars into the city's government last year and now the city says the court ruling will allow the money to be spent.

California's Supreme Court has removed a ballot measure from this fall's election that would have divided California into three states.  The court will now review the ballot measure which is being challenged by an environmentalist group before making a final judgement on whether the measure will appear in a future election or not.

In eastern Syria, the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces say they've taken 16 villages and towns in an 11-hundred square kilometer area from Islamic State.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the remains of Americans killed in the Korean War will be returned in the coming weeks.   This is part of an agreement reached between President Trump and North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un at their summit last month in Singapore for the return of service members remains.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is not taking her usual summer holiday in the Italian Alps.
There's plenty of speculation in political circles about the meaning of her decision,  She's gone there with her husband Joachim Sauer since 2008.  But this year only her husband and his son from a previous marriage are booked at the usual hotel, according to a German newspaper.

No comment from Merkel's office about the matter.  Some speculate she may need to stay in Germany because her hold on power is tenuous.  Merkel and her husband will do something together they usually do this summer, attend the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth.


Three judges of the UK's High Court heard the appeal of Tommy Robinson's lawyers (four of them) in London today.   They said they will rule by the end of the month.

A delegate of the Attorney General's office provided input to the court against Tommy Robinson.

Tommy Robinson himself was linked via video from his prison to the hearing.

The judges heard arguments against Robinson's recent conviction as well as a suspended sentence conviction from last year at another British courthouse used to justify his recent sentence.

Robinson was arrested in Leeds, England May 25th and sent to jail within hours for contempt of court with a 13 month sentence.   He was livestreaming a video outside of a child sex abuse trial involving Muslim defendants.

There have been a rash of such cases reported in the UK with authorities accused of trying to hide the cases from the public, limit punishment in cases discovered and even ignoring situations involving sex abuse of children by Muslim gangs for "cultural" reasons.

Supporters of Robinson were on hand including Ezra Levant of Rebel Media in Canada and Gerard Batten, leader of UKIP.   Batten was set to be interviewed tonight on BBC's "Newsnight" planning a double hit piece on Robinson and UKIP, now rising in the polls amidst the Brexit controversy.

Protesters were outside the court building for many hours today.

The original date for today's appeal was July 10th, then July 24th because government lawyers said they weren't ready, then it got moved back to today with a three judge panel instead of one as originally planned.