06/24/19

More Executive Action Against Iran

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Photo: Alex Brandon AP

Due to timing, it is assumed rather than a U.S. military strike campaign against designated targets as a result of Iran shooting down a U.S. drone, Cyber Command initiated a cyber operation. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard maintains control of the rocket and missile systems and they have been disabled as the U.S. response. Iran has confirmed the cyber-attack but also says it failed. Iran expected a response by the United States and in advance shut down several radar sites.

The United States has been inside several cyber operations in Iran for a very long time and was ready for a go order. Meanwhile, The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is warning that Iran has been advancing their own cyber operations against select US targets. It is unclear what those targets are.

President Trump spent the weekend at Camp David while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Saudi Arabia and to Abu Dhabi while NSC John Bolton is in Israel. Bolton has on his calendar meetings with the Israeli national security and atomic energy officials as the introduction of the coming peace plan proposal dealing with the Palestinians will be introduced in Bahrain.

Trump has signed yet another addition to the sanctions architecture on Iran. There is talk of sanctions relief if Iran is willing to negotiate on key topics including escalating uranium enrichment. So far, Iran has said they will not meet with the United States and will shoot down other aircraft if they impede Iran airspace. The FAA has ordered all U.S. commercial aircraft to reroute outside of the existing Iran airspace buffer zone.

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06/12/19

Now It Is Human Smuggling vs. Immigration

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Let’s start calling it what it is and it is profitable at epic levels. We cannot overlook that the Syrian refugees were also smuggled in, so there is no longer much separating the United States from Europe in this human crisis and yet Congress is not acting.

Don Bartletti shares some of his most memorable images ...

Senator Lindsey Graham at least introduced a bill to address the asylum issue but is there a Democrat on the House side that has visited the border or introduced anything? Silence…

Arrests at the southwest border increased for the fourth straight month in May as authorities continued to grapple with an unprecedented influx of migrants from Central America. 132,887 people were arrested between ports of entry last month, up from 99,304 migrants in April, according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection released Wednesday.

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06/12/19

Time To Start A Recall Process For California

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Recalling a governor has been done before (Gray Davis) in California for reasons not nearly as serious as those under present Governor Gavin Newsom. Procedures are here.

Let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. He pardoned several felons just last month including those that committed grand theft, solicited a murder for hire operation in a street gang network, and even forgery.
  2. There is a growing homeless problem that is so far out of control the Center for Disease Control should declare several cities/counties a threat to public safety for disease control and prevention. In fact, the CDC spends more than $3 million out of their California office and most of that is earmarked for Los Angeles. 

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06/10/19

Europe Refuses To Admit Iran Is A Terror State With Tangible Evidence

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

When the United States collaborates with counterparts in Europe, it must be quite frustrating when European officials ignore evidence. Perhaps this is all driven by German Chancellor Merkel as she appears to only concentrate on stopping Brexit. But read on…

In Part: British intelligence in 2015 caught an alleged Hezbollah terrorist stockpiling more than three tons of ammonium nitrate, a common ingredient in homemade bombs, on the outskirts of London, but never divulged the plot, The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday.

The report said the arrest came just months after the UK joined the US and other world powers in signing the Iran nuclear deal and speculated that it was hushed up to avoid derailing the agreement with Tehran, which is the main supporter of the Lebanese Hezbollah group.

Acting on a tip from a foreign intelligence agency, MI5 and the Metropolitan Police raided four properties in North West London, discovering thousands of disposable ice packs containing ammonium nitrate, the Telegraph said.

According to the report, the plot was part of a wider Hezbollah plan to lay the groundwork for future attacks and noted foiled Hezbollah operations in Thailand, Cyprus and New York. All those plots were made public and were believed to have targeted Israeli interests around the world.

The Telegraph said the Cyprus case was strikingly similar to the one in London. In 2015 in Cyprus, confessed Hezbollah agent Hussein Bassam Abdallah was sentenced to six years in jail after he was found with 8.2 tons of ammonia nitrate in his home. He had reportedly planned to attack Israeli targets. (by the way, this Abdallah cat has dual citizenship in Lebanon and Canada.)

The Telegraph said its information came after a three-month investigation in which more than 30 current and former officials in Britain, America, and Cyprus were approached and court documents were obtained. More here.

But hold on there is more. John Kerry and Barack Obama promised inspections and validations of the Iranian nuclear program, remember that? Well…

For the first time since the signing of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the UN’s nuclear watchdog on Monday did not explicitly report that Iran was implementing its nuclear-related commitments and said that its rate of uranium enrichment was increasing.

In each of the previous reports since the agreement, International Atomic Energy Agency director general Yukiya Amano wrote that “Iran is implementing its nuclear-related commitments,” text that was notably absent from Monday’s report.

Iran announced May 8 that it no longer considered itself bound to keep to the limits of stocks of heavy water and enriched uranium that it agreed to as part of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which lifted crippling economic sanctions against it. Tehran’s move came a year after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal. Washington has also reinforced economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The latest IAEA report noted that “technical discussions… are ongoing” with Iran in relation to its installation of up to 33 advanced IR-6 centrifuges. But it did not specify the content of those discussions.

Iran has also said that if the other parties to the JCPOA do not speed up work on mitigating the effects of US sanctions, by early July it may stop abiding by restrictions on the level to which it can enrich uranium and on modifications to its Arak heavy water reactor.

Two weeks ago, the latest inspections report by the IAEA said that while stocks of uranium and heavy water had increased, they were still within the limits set by the JCPOA.

In Tehran on Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that those waging “economic war” against his country through US sanctions could not expect to “remain safe.” Read more here.

06/10/19

Could There Be A Real Uprising Against Putin In The Making?

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

There are several events going on regarding Russia. The Russia Desk at the CIA and the U.S. State Department must be real busy about now. Why? Could the United States and international friends be encouraging some of these items? One cannot overlook the fact that Russia continues to bomb Syria and then well, we have Russia still embedding itself in Venezuela… but read on… some interesting items below.

1. Jon Huntsman is expected to leave his role as U.S. ambassador to Russia this year ahead of a potential bid to be Utah’s next governor, The Atlantic reported Monday. Four sources familiar with the situation told the magazine that Huntsman is more seriously considering the job, which he already held from 2004 to 2009, than he previously had been. “It’s not idle chatter,” Chuck Warren, a Republican consultant who served as Huntsman’s campaign manager during his first bid for governor, told The Atlantic. “He’s seriously considering it.”

2. Yet another mock gravestone bearing the name and image of President Vladimir Putin has appeared in Russia — this time in the southwestern city of Voronezh. ”Incredible thief and liar. Political corpse,” read the accompanying text featuring Putin’s surname, initials, and birth year, and listing 2019 as the year of death. Soon after that a mock gravestone emerged in Moscow, and a third in Berlin. On April 3, activists placed one opposite the famed St. Isaac’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg, garnering widespread attention.

Agit Rossia has taken responsibility for at least some of the gravestones. In an interview with Meduza in April, spokesman Grigory Kudryavtsev said the group was created to “fill a niche” left behind by the lack of street protests in Russia.

3. Vladimir Putin’s decision to offer Russian citizenship to those living in Russian-occupied portions of Ukraine and possibly others as well may be intended not only to extend Russian power over that country further but also to help solve Russia’s demographic collapse, according to a Russian blogger who writes under the screen name “Ded Moroz” [Grandfather Frost]. He suggests that the extremely negative demographic figures of recent months mean that “the massive distribution of passports may be the only way to save [Russia] from withering away altogether” (cont.ws/@Ded-Moroz/1310165 reposted at newizv.ru).If Russian government claims that 86 percent of the population in Russian-occupied portions of the Donbas are correct, this policy would immediately produce some two million new Russian citizens and be a boost to the country’s total population.

Many analysts had concluded that the declining number of women in the prime child-bearing ages and declining birthrates present Russia with an almost intractable problem especially given that the number of immigrants has fallen sharply, Grandfather Frost says. But it turns out that this all can be solved not just by falsification of demographic data but by “the stroke of a pen.” Complete summary here.

4. Ukraine is still under military attack by Russia.

Russia’s hybrid military forces on June 9 mounted 26 attacks on Ukrainian army positions in Donbas, eastern Ukraine. “In eight instances, they used the weapons banned by the Minsk agreements – 122mm artillery systems, 120mm and 82mm mortars,” the press center of Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation said on Facebook in an update as of 07:00 Kyiv time on June 10, 2019.

Russia-led forces also used weapons installed on infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank missile systems, grenade launchers of various types, heavy machine guns, and small arms. Under attack were Ukrainian positions near the town of Avdiyivka, as well as near the villages of Vodiane, Talakivka, Pavlopil, Hnutove, Verkhniotoretske, Pisky, Berezove, Nevelske, Novo-Oleksandrivka, Zaitseve, and Novoluhanske.

*** There is more but now it stands to reason that since Europe has joined the United States by pushing back on countless items of Russian aggression, it is no wonder Putin is looking for a deeper relationship with China, both for sure rogue nations that are in a hybrid war against the United States. Putin was not invited to any of the D-Day events so he met with Xi Jinping and they declared the best of friendships. Putin’s message got a boost, if a superficial one, from Xi, who called him “my best friend” and presented a pair of pandas – Ru Yi and Ding Ding – that China is loaning Russia for 15 years for what was described as a joint research project.

In what seems like some sort of metaphor for Russia’s lopsided relationship with China, whose economy is nearly 10 times the size of Russia’s, state news agency TASS reported that the pandas will remain the property of the Chinese government “and their offspring, if any, will also belong to China.”

And Putin’s message at the forum was undermined by a warning from longtime former Finance Minister Aleksei Kudrin, who suggested that Calvey’s arrest in February was behind a doubling of capital flight from Russia, which he said reached $40 billion so far this year. 

5. Meanwhile, there has been almost no reporting of the near purposeful collision of a Russian destroyer with a U.S. Navy cruiser.USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) was attempting to recover a helicopter when it was approached by a Udaloy-class destroyer at about 11:45 a.m. local time, according to a Friday statement from 7th Fleet.“While Chancellorsville was recovering its helicopter on a steady course and speed when the Russian ship DD572 maneuvered from behind and to the right of Chancellorsville accelerated and closed to an unsafe distance of ~50-100 feet. This unsafe action forced Chancellorsville to execute all engines back full and to maneuver to avoid collision,” read the statement.

The Friday incident in the Pacific follows an unsafe aircraft interaction between a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon and a Russian Sukhoi Su-35 fighter. By the way, notice towards the end of the video where the Russian sailors are on the stern sunbathing… More here.

06/4/19

Fraud/Theft On Govt Contractor For Puerto Rico Hurricane

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Not only do individuals not do the research and proper vetting of people and information, but when the federal government is guilty, things are really bad. The federal government has people, technology and the resources to get it right when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars but again, we get fleeced.

So we have this cockamamie contractor that in the end was just not real and no one up or down the system was able to figure that out. So, 475,000 tarps that were to be delivered to Puerto Rico never happened but the money… well, that is gone too. Yikes.

Just for fun, read the contract here.

Now for the story that began burning in 2017 and continues.

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06/4/19

Nadler’s Committee To Hold Mueller Report Hearings

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

They have some old Nixon people coming in to chat with them and this is after some select present and former IC officials have already been chatting with key Democrats in the House. Swell eh?

The House Judiciary Committee will hold a series of hearings related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, with the first one titled: ‘Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes’ taking place next Monday.

Next week’s hearing will feature John Dean ‘the former White House counsel who famously turned on President Nixon during the Watergate investigation, as well as former U.S. Attorneys and legal experts,’ according to the committee’s press release.

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06/3/19

Hey Social Media, Here Comes Anti-Trust Scrutiny

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

It has started with Google and this site has warned users of the Internet to stop using Google for years for various reasons. Now there are more. Oh, the Department of Justice may not stop with Google, so watch out Facebook, Yahoo News, Apple, Amazon, and Twitter. Why?

Have you noticed how twisted news stories are? Have you noticed selective search engine results? Have you noticed search intrusions? Have you noticed censorship that may affect politics, truths or even voting habits?

Well, it begins with these social media/tech companies stopping competition, free speech and lying by omission. Reliance on these investigative activities begins with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. This is a law where the Federal government opposes monopolies when it comes to contracts, trade, and commerce. Add in the Federal Trade Commission Act and consider the timing as we move towards the 2020 General Election(s).

A short definition of the Anti-trust Laws is found here.

In part from C-Net:

The move by the Justice Department comes as Google and other Silicon Valley giants face renewed antitrust scrutiny in the United States. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic 2020 presidential candidate, has made it a key part of her platform to break up the big tech companies, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Earlier this month, Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, also called for the breakup of the company he helped create.

In February 2018, President Donald Trump had signaled via his Federal Trade Commission leadership choice that he was open to investigating big tech companies.

Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions last September reportedly met with state attorneys general to discuss whether Google and Facebook could be suppressing conservative views, after forming a task force to look into problems in the tech industry. However, once Sessions stepped down in November, the plan to follow up with the Justice Department was shelved.

The Journal report follows reports in March that Google could be facing an investigation over violations of antitrust or consumer protection regulations.

Google has also faced antitrust pressures from regulators in Europe. In March, the search giant was hit with a $1.7 billion fine from the European Commission for “abusive” online ad practices. The Commission said Google exploited its dominance by restricting its rivals from placing their search ads on third-party websites.

Last year, the EU’s executive arm fined Google a record $5 billion for unfair business practices around Android, its mobile operating system. The investigation focused on Google’s deals with phone manufacturers, requiring them to preload specific Google apps and services onto Android phones. After the EU announced the fine, Trump tweeted, “I told you so.”

***

Earlier Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Trade Commission will examine how Facebook’s practices affect digital competition. The Washington Post reported over the weekend that Amazon has come under heightened scrutiny by U.S. regulators. And on Friday, the Journal reported that the Justice Department is preparing a probe of Google, sending shares of parent company Alphabet down more than 7% Monday.

The possible Apple probe is linked to the Google probe, Reuters reported and stems from meetings between the DOJ and the FTC.

The headlines together paint a daunting picture for Silicon Valley and the stock market’s most valuable companies. Big tech has long faced scrutiny from European regulators but has so far shrugged off calls for government regulation in the U.S.

Apple has drawn increased criticism in recent months for what some — including streaming giant Spotify — see as anti-competitive behavior in the App Store. Apple owns and operates the online marketplace, collecting subscription fees from developers.

The so-called “Apple tax” accounts for a sizable percentage of Apple’s burgeoning services revenue segment, but draws the ire of developers who, in some cases, compete with Apple’s own apps in the store.

Spotify’s EU complaint against Apple, filed in March, is pending investigation by European authorities. More here.

05/29/19

Historic Navy Ships Rotting at the Docks

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Reclaiming parts from grounded aircraft has allowed an estimated 3200 aircraft to continue flying. But what about historic navy ships with long histories? Photo essay

There has to be several more options to preserve these mighty ships. Your comments are encouraged.

Thanks to Chris Woodyard:

LOS ANGELES – The Lane Victory is one of the last of hundreds of hastily built cargo ships that helped win World War II, a testament to Rosie the Riveter and thousands of workers – women and men – who toiled on the homefront.

Today, the retired armed Merchant Marine freighter fights age, rust and deterioration.

Around the country, many naval memorials – proud decommissioned naval ships that played a key role in America’s 20th-century wars – languish in increasingly desperate shape, eaten away by corrosion that their volunteers do their best to keep out of sight of tourists, such as the throngs expected this Memorial Day weekend.

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05/15/19

Rubio Wants DoJ to Investigate Kerry Over Logan Act/FARA

By: Denise Simon | Founders Code

Yippee!

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate whether former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s actions since leaving office related to the Iran nuclear deal violate the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Rubio previously urged Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate the matter.

The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Attorney General Barr:

I write to make you aware of a September 18, 2018 letter I sent to your predecessor regarding potential violations of the Logan Act (18 U.S.C. § 953) and the Foreign Agents Registration Act (22 U.S.C. § 611 et seq.) by former Secretary of State John F. Kerry.  As you know, former Secretary Kerry’s actions since leaving office have come under scrutiny as they related to the Iran nuclear deal, known formally as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The full letter to your predecessor is attached.

The American people deserve to know that U.S. laws are enforced regardless of any individual’s past position. The Department of Justice should, therefore, make a determination on whether or not former Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s recent actions related to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran potentially violate the Logan Act or the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

*** The Boston Globe reported factually that John Kerry had met with Javad Zarif at least 3-4 times since leaving his post as Secretary of State. In fact, this is not news by any means and calls for attention to John Kerry working against the Trump administration goes back to at least May of 2018. Did John Kerry bother to announce his activity to anyone in the Trump administration? Nah…

Kerry’s Iran diplomacy in cross hairs of partisan battle ...
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