I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would have been in it:
Read my post, Bucket list: Aida at the Met
I don’t have a bucket list, but if I did, this would have been in it:
Read my post, Bucket list: Aida at the Met
At the Beeb:
Federal police in Brazil have arrested 10 members of a group alleged to be preparing acts of terrorism during the Olympic Games.
The authorities said they were not members of so-called Islamic State but had tried to make contact with the group.
The arrests were made in the southern state of Parana.
Weestern Paraná adjuncts the tri-border area, but The security operation spanned many different states in Brazil, the justice ministry said (emphasis added),
Brazil arrested 10 people on Thursday on suspicion of belonging to a group supporting Islamic State (IS) and preparing acts of terrorism during next month’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Justice Minister Alexandre Moraes said.
The loosely organized group were all Brazilian citizens and in contact via internet messaging groups such as WhatsApp and Telegram, but did not know each other personally, the minister said.
The group did not have direct contact with IS though some of its members had made “pro forma” declarations of allegiance to the militant Islamist group, the minister said. He did not elaborate.
. . .
He said members of the group had visited a weapons site in neighboring Paraguay that sells AK-47 assault rifles, but there was no evidence they acquired any weapons. Two people will be brought in for questioning, in addition to the 10 already detained, he added.
Video at the HuffPo,
Here’s the speech:
was cleared by the Trump campaign. Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, expressly approved the speech at 4:30 PM ET. The source, who was standing on the convention floor at the time of the speech, said that Trump operatives were present, urging the crowd to boo. “This was orchestrated by the Trump campaign to make Senator Cruz a pariah within the party,” said the source.
Social media went crazy. Here are a few tweets:
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) July 21, 2016
Men like Ted Cruz, if you call them liars and insult their wives, will stab you right in the front at the right time in front of the nation
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) July 21, 2016
Just more proof this is about submission. We were told for months Trump didn't need Cruz, but when he doesn't endorse they go apoplectic.
— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) July 21, 2016
Christopher Rush, commenting on what he experienced on the floor of the convention, posted a great video on Facebook.
As for those who think that Cruz was under any sort of obligation to keep a pledge to support a man who himself violated the pledge to support the party nominee,
referred to Cruz as Lyin’ Ted nearly every time he mentioned him at rallies or on TV even after Cruz called off his campaign, insulted his wife, allegedly might have planted rumors in the National Enquirer, accused his father of being involved in JFK’s murder, and even had his plane buzz Cruz’s event the very afternoon of the RNC speech, Stuart Schneiderman has this to say (emphasis added),
In purely psychological terms, it is bad to kowtow to a bully. It is bad to give the impression, in any way, that you accept the role that you have been cast in. People have been saying that Trump was magnanimous in giving Cruz a prime time speaking slot, but Trump also orchestrated the boos and tried to steal the stage by walking into the convention as Cruz closed his speech. If you think that Trump was not trying to rub his defeated rival’s face in the mud, you do not understand very much.
Supposedly, Trump is a master of reality television. The unfortunate thing is that nominating conventions are not reality television. By all indications he has failed at organizing the convention.
Who is at fault for the Cruz non-endorsement. Donald Trump, that’s who. If Trump wanted an endorsement, he should have been magnanimous in victory and taken back the flood of insults that were directed against all of the candidates, but most viciously against Ted Cruz. He should have apologized. When he did not, Cruz could not have endorsed Trump without accepting the caricature that Trump had established.
If someone is bullying you, the one thing you cannot do is to give in and to accept the role he is casting you in.
When Trump did not take back his slanders, he left Cruz no other choice but to set an example by standing up to a bully. Others who have suffered the wrath of Trump did not show up. Others who made the pledge do not feel bound by it.
Schneiderman concludes, and I wholeheartedly agree,
If the nominee does not reach out, does not apologize for the torrent of insults he shot out at all his serious opponents, he has relieved them of their obligation to keep their pledge. For all I know, Trump might have found a winning strategy. Many people do not understand that the inability to apologize is a sign of weakness, not strength. How many there are, we do not yet know.
If your response to an appeal to conscience is to raucously boo, maybe your conscience is trying to tell you something. Want to unify the Republican Party? You may want to start there.
What is Trump up to this morning? Doing a dumpster run on NATO.
The only sensible Trump response to “vote your conscience” and “vote for freedom and candidates with principles” was to thank Cruz for the rousing speech and his commitment to conservative principles. Praise him for his defense of freedom, and then turn his call to “vote your conscience” into an endorsement of Trump’s agenda. After all, there’s only one candidate in the race who wants to put America first, there’s only one candidate who wants to keep America safe, there’s only one candidate who has what it takes to Make America Great Again. If you believe in restoring American greatness, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe in restoring the values that made America the greatest in nation in history, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump. If you believe that strong leadership and a commitment to the American people are what’s required to keep this country strong, then your conscience can only tell you one thing: vote Trump.
That’s all Trump’s team had to do.
They had hours (an eternity in campaign time), if not days, to prepare for it. They could’ve flooded the zone with surrogates pushing that message. They could’ve worked it into Gingrich’s and Pence’s speeches. If they could spend a week saying that former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski never touched Michelle Fields, that she might have been planning to attack Trump with a bomb hidden inside a ballpoint pen, that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia, Team Trump could’ve spent a couple of hours pretending that “vote your conscience” was an endorsement of Trump’s agenda and a clear denunciation of Hillary Clinton.
But they couldn’t; they needed a scapegoat, which is exactly why they scheduled Cruz’s speech for that night.
Following up on yesterday’s post, the Daily Mail reports on Fears for Rio Olympics terror attack as Brazilian extremists become first group in South America to pledge allegiance to ISIS
A Brazilian extremist group has become the first orgainsation in South America to pledge allegiance to ISIS, sparking further fears for a terror attack at the Rio Olympics.
The pledge was spotted by SITE Intelligence, a jihadi monitoring group, on ISIS’s messaging app of choice – Telegram.
In the Telgram channel titled Ansar al-Khilafah #Brazil, the Brazilian jihadis announced their dedication to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The Daily Mail also mentions that a according to France’s Director of Military Intelligence, General Christophe Gomart, a Brazilian member of ISIS planned to attack the French Olympic team.
Linked to by Gates of Vienna. Thank you!
Bridget Johnson has the story,
A new Telegram channel, Ansar al-Khilafah Brazil, appeared today, declaring itself an ISIS cell in Brazil that had pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. “If French police couldn’t stop France attacks, then their training Brazil’s police will serve no use,” said a message on the new channel. But the administrator later posted that it was just a messaging channel with one person reposting ISIS news in several languages.
Portuguese and Brazilian media revealed last month that Ismail Abdul Jabbar al-Brazili, also simply known as “The Brazilian,” was attempting to recruit his countrymen for the Islamic State. He was said to be employing several different social media accounts to reel in would-be jihadists, and has said he was recruited by late American jihadist Abu Khalid al-Amriki.
In an online forum uncovered by anti-ISIS hackers Binary Sec, a July 11 post to fellow “brothers” notes that someone was “wanting to find al-Brazili within 3 weeks… wants to find the recruiter” — a timetable that coincides with the Olympics’ opening week. The poster mused whether this person was a spy and posted his Telegram information.
The Rio Olympics open on August 5 and run through August 21.
They are still looking for the GITMO guy who went missing from Uruguay.
Linked to by American Thinker. Thank you!
21st Century democratic socialism’s healthcare in the news:
Aníbal Chávez, brother of the late Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, died on Sunday of complications of bacterial salmonella and brucellosis in the intensive care unit of the Military Hospital in Caracas, after having been transferred from the Varyná Clinic in Barinas and airlifted to the Santa Sofía Clinic in El Cafetal.
The Venezuelan government made the death announcement, and Nicolás Maduro tweeted, “My condolences to the Chávez family on the passing of mayor Aníbal Chávez. Eternal honor, brother!”
Transmito mis condolencias a la familia Chávez Frías por la partida del Alcalde Aníbal Chávez¡Honor Eterno Hermano!! pic.twitter.com/YBwgnXEcsU
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) July 17, 2016
Elena, the Chávezes’ mother, blames the Health Minister for Aníbal’s death, according to unofficial sources (link in Spanish, my translation):
“If my son Hugo was alive, this tragedy would never had happened to my Aníbal, he would have been in Cuba, getting treatment. The ministers are responsible for such negligence.”
“If he had been treated on time, he would be alive and recovering,”
Siente América reports that Venezuela’s lack of clean water, hygiene products and medications is causing an increase in mange, yellow fever, hepatitis, diarrhea, and salmonella. The Health Ministry has not released official numbers since November 1, 2014.
It speaks volumes that the Chávezes’ own mother realizes that health care is in such dismal state in Venezuela that Aníbal should have been sent to Cuba for treatment.
Too bad Doña Elena didn’t think of calling her granddaughter María Gabriela for help.
Linked to by Topix. Thank you!
Trending at BadBlue.
Linked to by Ace. Thank you!
Linked to by Rantburg. Thank you!
Linked to by Irons in the Fire. Thank you!
The Wall Street Journal says there were 88,000, AP says there were 100,000, UPI says 120,000. The fact is that, for the second weekend in a row,
Venezuelans Flood Into Colombian City to Buy Food and Medicine. Unable to buy what they want at home, Venezuelans take advantage of brief border opening
Once Latin America’s most affluent country, Venezuela now has an imploding economy. Multinationals are leaving the country, inflation is the highest in the world, and medicine and basic foods are difficult to acquire. That has prompted frequent protests and food riots, which the National Guard has put down.
“The government is opening the escape valve to ease the mounting adrenaline and social pressure,” said Carlos Chacon, a city councilman in small San Antonio on the Venezuelan side.
Mr. Maduro partly blamed Colombians for the country’s problems. Starting in August 2015, he progressively shut down border crossings, saying that what he described as uneducated and poverty-stricken Colombians were flooding into Venezuela.
His shutdown of border checkpoints came as more than 20,000 Colombians fled Venezuela, some of them after seeing bulldozers level their homes. Venezuela’s government said the border closings would help stamp out the smuggling of food and other basics from Venezuela to Colombia.
Colombian officials dressed in white shirts individually welcomed those arriving while police handed out cake and blasted out festive vallenato tunes, the traditional music beloved on both sides of the border. Roadside kiosks set up by entrepreneurs took payment in Venezuela’s currency for goods at a steep discount from what they cost on the black market back home.
Noticias Caracol reported (video in Spanish) on the day. Here are the highlights:
Smugglers allegedly burned down a bus to protest border measures against smuggling.
Stores sold out on goods, especially sugar and flour, with Venezuelans spending over US$1.5 million on Sunday alone.
The reporter estimated 120,000+ people crossed.
Venezuelans effusively thanked Colombians, including the border guards.
Pharmacies sold out.
Most of the people interviewed stated that they bought very basic items, such as milk, soap, toilet paper, and other staples.
The Venezuelan government denies any shortages and insist the Venezuelans are heading across the border “for fun.”
Last week Venezuela took a first step towards a military dictatorship when Nicolás Maduro declared “All the ministries, all the ministers, all the state institutions are at the service and in absolute subordination” to the head of the armed forces, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino.
It means that Venezuela is now run by a quasi-military junta with the general sharing power with Mr. Maduro. Gen. Padrino will also head the newly created “Great Mission of Sovereign Supply,” which will manage the supply and distribution of food. The military also took over the country’s ports, which until now have been under civilian control.
Latin Americans call this kind of handover of power a “self-coup,” because it shifts authority from elected officials to outsiders who are not constitutionally in line to succeed the president.
It is unlikely that this was Mr. Maduro’s idea. Rather, having taken note of the president’s unpopularity, his Cuban handlers are making adjustments. Though the 53-year-old Gen. Padrino once trained with the U.S. military, he has found favor with the Castros. In February the general was named to head a new military-industrial mining, oil and gas company that will rival the state-owned oil company PdVSA.
Venezuela is also adjusting its socialist economic model, using a template the Castros borrowed from Russia’s Vladimir Putin. With the assistance of Mr. Obama, they are inviting in U.S. capital investment so they can consolidate power for the next generation.
My answer to the question, ‘Who Will Stop Venezuela’s Slow Self-Coup?’ is, no one.
But then, I’m a pessimist.