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Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" Being a Stranger in a very Strange Land Born again Cynic! Grumpy's hall of Shame Gun Fearing Wussies Paint me surprised by this Some Scary thoughts You have to be kidding, right!?!

And some Folks wonder why I am “paranoid”

Federal investigators asked banks to scour customer transactions for terms like ‘Trump’ or ‘MAGA’ and purchases at stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops after the Capitol riot, shocking Republican probe claims

  • Federal officials investigating Jan. 6 asked banks to filter through customer transactions including key terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘Trump’
  • The government has been ‘watching’ Americans who frequent Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and other outdoors stores that sell guns
  • The Treasury Department also warned banks of ‘extremism’ indicators like the purchase of a religious text, like a Bible 
  • Top Republican Jim Jordan says the transactions have ‘no apparent criminal nexus’ and is demanding information from Treasury

Federal investigators asked U.S. banks to scour customer transactions for key terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘Trump’ to identify ‘extremism’ in the aftermath of January 6, shocking details uncovered by Republicans reveal.

According to bombshell documents obtained by the House’s ‘weaponization’ committee led by Chairman Jim Jordan, the federal government has been ‘watching’ Americans who frequent outdoor stores that sell guns – or who are religious.

Treasury Department officials suggested that banks review transactions at sporting and recreational supplies stores like Cabela’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops in order ‘to detect customers whose transactions may reflect ‘potential active shooters.”

Federal investigators suggested that banks use search terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘Trump’ to identify purchased that could be associated with ‘extremism’

Transportation charges for travel to areas with no apparent purpose could be an indicator of ‘extremism,’ according to the letter

Subscriptions to news outlets containing ‘extremist’ views would also be an indicator for financial instructions to look at, according to the material the Treasury provided to banks.

‘Did you shop at Bass Pro Shop yesterday or purchase a Bible? If so, the federal government may be watching you,’ Jordan posted on X.

‘We now know the federal government flagged terms like ‘MAGA’ and ‘TRUMP,’ to financial institutions if Americans completed transactions using those terms,’ he wrote in another post. ‘What was also flagged? If you bought a religious text, like a BIBLE, or shopped at Bass Pro Shop.’

The federal officials may have illegally provided financial institutions with suggested search terms for ‘identifying transactions on behalf of federal law enforcement,’ said Jordan.

DailyMail.com reached out to the Treasury Department for comment.

Jordan is also demanding information from a Treasury official, Noah Bishoff, after the alarming documents came to light.

‘Despite these transactions having no apparent criminal nexus — and, in fact, relate to Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights — [the Treasury] seems to have adopted a characterization of these Americans as potential threat actors,’ Jordan wrote.

Purchases from Bass Pro Shops could also be an indicator of extremism

The committee also obtained documents indicating officials suggested that banks query purchases with keywords such as ‘Dick’s Sporting Goods’

‘This kind of pervasive financial surveillance, carried out in coordination with and at the request of federal law enforcement, into Americans’ private transactions is alarming and raises serious doubts about [the Treasury’s] respect for fundamental liberties.’

‘In other words, [the Treasury] urged large financial instructions to comb through the private transactions of their customers for suspicious charges on the basis of protected political and religious expression,’ said the committee’s letter to Bishoff.

House Speaker Mike Johnson on Thursday called the revelation ‘yet another glaring example of the weaponized federal government targeting conservatives.’

Republicans are also requesting that Bishoff appear before the committee for a transcribed interview by January 31.

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Born again Cynic! The Green Machine

Why am I not surprised by this? The Secret Payment by The American Experience

Macarthur-Secret-Payment-1905-LOC.jpg
General Douglas MacArthur, 1905. Library of Congress.

One of the most controversial moments in the controversial life of Douglas MacArthur came in early 1942, when he received $500,000 from the Philippine government during the siege of Corregidor and Bataan. This fact remained a secret until historian Carol Petillo broke the story in a 1979 article, and while some of the details may never be known, the incident has received well-deserved attention.

The roots of the story go back to 1935, when MacArthur accepted the offer of Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel Quezon to become his country’s top military advisor. Before he left, MacArthur convinced the War Department to make an exception to the rule forbidding U.S. officers from receiving compensation from the countries they advised. Quezon then promised MacArthur a bonus of 46/100 of 1 percent of Philippine defense spending up to 1942.

When MacArthur retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 (but remained as advisor in the Philippines), Chief of Staff Malin Craig suggested to Franklin Roosevelt that he renounce the exception, but the President declined to do so.

Fast forward to Corregidor, on a grim New Years Day, 1942. Army Chief of Staff George Marshall sends a cable making it depressingly clear that Washington would be able to do little for MacArthur’s beseiged forces and advising that Quezon leave Corregidor as soon as possible to set up a government in exile in the States.

Two days later, after discussing it with MacArthur and his cabinet, Quezon issued Executive Order # 1 of the Philippine Commonwealth, awarding MacArthur $500,000, with lesser amounts going to members of his staff. The grandly worded order called the payment “recompense and reward” for the “magnificent defense” engineered by MacArthur’s Mission, whose “record of services is interwoven forever into the national fate of our people.” MacArthur, feeling abandoned by Washington, surely welcomed both the words and the reward.

Quezon’s reasons for offering, and MacArthur’s reasons for accepting, the fruits of Executive Order #1 will always remain something of a mystery, but Carol Petillo offers a compelling explanation. Regarding Quezon’s offer, she cites the Filipino concept of “utang na loob,” a kind of reciprocal bond of obligation between family or close friends.

From his Asian/Filipino perspective, Quezon was cementing an already close bond that existed on two levels: on a personal level, between MacArthur and himself; and on a national level, between their two countries. Thus the money was both a reward for MacArthur’s past service to the Philippines and a further guarantee that MacArthur (and by extension the U.S.) would do everything in his power to help the Filipinos in the days ahead. MacArthur, having spent many years living in the Philippines, could easily have seen the situation the same way. Yet his acceptance of the gift is more problematic.

As MacArthur biographer Geoffrey Perret has demonstrated, the payment was almost surely legal. And it’s also true that given the dire situation on Corregidor, MacArthur might have assumed he’d never live to spend the money (although he had been informed as early as February 4, more than a week before the money was wired, that FDR was considering ordering him out).

Nevertheless, MacArthur would have known that for any American military officer to accept such a large amount of money from a foreign government would cast doubt on his motivations and actions, particularly in a time of war. Eisenhower seemed to understand this when Quezon offered him $60,000 later that year. He refused, later writing, “I explained that while I understood this to be unquestionably legal, and that the President’s motives were of the highest, the danger of misapprehension or misunderstanding on the part of some individual might operate to destroy whatever usefulness I might have to the allied cause in the present War.” MacArthur either failed to see or chose to ignore the fact that accepting such a gift compromised him, and left him open to accusations — true or not — of being bought off.

Perhaps the most telling proof comes from the general himself. MacArthur assiduously avoided mentioning the award, even in his “Reminiscences,” where he names practically every other award he ever received. Only because his aide Richard Sutherland left a copy of the order in his papers was Petillo able to break the story.

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All About Guns Born again Cynic! Cops

The NRA Is at Rock Bottom—And 15 Years of Tax Filings Tell the Story

Few political groups in U.S. history have seen a collapse as swift and dramatic as the National Rifle Association.

Over the last several years, the NRA has experienced a public implosion, as the group loses members and revenue amid serious accusations of mismanagement and corruption. And according to the latest NRA tax returns obtained by The Daily Beast, the reputational and organizational damage is rolling on with seemingly no end in sight.

While the events contributing to the NRA’s freefall have been well-documented, a review of the gun rights group’s tax filings and political spending over the last 15 years provides some of the clearest evidence of its downfall—showing just how badly the legal setbacks and mismanagement have ravaged the once-formidable gun lobbying giant.

The NRA’s most recent tax return, filed in November of this year for 2022, reveals dramatic declines along almost every conceivable metric: revenue, assets, member dues, lobbying, and political spending—with conversely sharp increases in legal costs and deficits.

And as the NRA’s power and influence has waned, gun violence has perversely soared, particularly suicides, especially in the wake of the pandemic.

In one view, the NRA’s decline might be seen as a consequence of its own “success,” as its gargantuan lobbying efforts in the early to mid-2010s effectively froze the national gun control debate, diminishing the advocacy group’s utility. Still, that might be changing.

In 2022, 15 GOP senators repudiated the NRA, passing the first meaningful gun control package in decades. That could be a signal of the NRA’s demise, but it also could be interpreted as a reaction to the surging gun violence that continues to this day in part because of the lax gun laws that the NRA advocated for and won over that time.

What is clear is that the NRA today is in a dismal state. On the income side, 2022 was the fourth year in a row that revenue fell, marking its weakest fundraising year since at least 2008. Membership dues are at all-time lows, according to available public data, and staffing is at the lowest point since those costs began their downward plunge in 2016, while the group’s legal costs—largely driven by civil actions alleging rampant mismanagement of funds and self-dealing—are proportionately higher than ever.

The roughly $211 million that the NRA reported in income last year is still, of course, an enormous figure—more than double that of its handful of gun-rights competitors combined. But it’s also less than 60 percent of the NRA’s 2016 revenue high of $367 million.

That decline has driven the NRA deep into the red, leading to a $22 million deficit last year. That’s the group’s largest deficit since 2016, when it spent record sums during a vital election cycle, leaning on its high revenues and fat cash reserves as ballast for the spending binge. Today, however, the well is drying up.

The NRA’s net assets have plummeted. An internal audit obtained by watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shows that the group shed $36 million in value during 2022, going from $77.8 million in January to $41.8 million by year’s end.

And as a result, the NRA has been forced to tighten its belt while its influence wanes.

The group reported nearly $230 million in expenses last year, its second-lowest overall spending level since 2011, according to archived tax records. Only 2021 was lower.

One significant metric of decline is the group’s outside political spending, which has flagged since Donald Trump was elected. Total political outlays for the 2018, 2020, and 2022 cycles combined are at parity with what the NRA spent in the 2016 election alone, according to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

In the lobbying realm, the NRA shelled out big in 2021. That came directly on the heels of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ ongoing civil fraud suit, filed in August 2020, and while the organization was simultaneously attempting to declare bankruptcy and reorganize in Texas. (Texas courts ultimately rejected that reorganization as a bad-faith effort.)

But in the two years prior to 2021, lobbying expenditures had fallen dramatically, as they did again in 2022. The levels for the current year, 2023, are stacking up to potentially be the lowest since 2008, according to CRP data.

A number of factors have put downward pressure on the NRA’s finances.

One major contributor is the drop in dues, with member fees bringing in around $83 million in 2022—the lowest on record since at least 2008 and a nearly 59 percent drop from 2016, adjusted for inflation, according to an analysis this October from CREW. The NRA also saw its lowest income from contributions and grants income since 2011, despite an overall 35 percent increase in fundraising expenses—indicating that the group’s investments are yielding smaller returns.

With less money coming in, the nonprofit has been running up staggering legal fees from its ongoing civil disputes. Those include its court fights in New York, which involve millions of dollars in alleged self-dealing and mismanagement—including on behalf of the organization’s beleaguered CEOWayne LaPierre—as well as a battery of complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission alleging unlawful political coordination and shell company shenanigans.

The NRA has fought the New York lawsuit tooth and nail. The group went on the offensive with its own separate lawsuit against the state, which made its way to the Supreme Court this November. Last year, those efforts yielded a small victory when a New York court stopped that state’s AG, James, from dissolving the organization entirely, though she was allowed to pursue narrower damages and is actively doing so.

As a result, the NRA’s legal costs in 2022 were proportionately the highest they’ve ever been, with its $44 million in legal payments accounting for nearly 20 percent of expenses—roughly one of every five dollars spent. (In 2017, the NRA’s legal costs were 2 percent of expenses.) The group’s largest single vendor last year was its principal law firm, Brewer Attorneys and Counselors, which received about $23.5 million, or nearly 10 percent of the NRA’s 2022 budget.

In response to The Daily Beast’s comment request, NRA spokesperson Billy McLaughlin provided a statement arguing that the group’s legal defense costs are an investment, noting that the NRA is still head and shoulders above competing gun rights groups.

“As pundits and anti-Second Amendment crusaders continue to predict the demise of the NRA, the Association remains the largest and most effective advocacy organization of its kind, period. The NRA has invested heavily in its legal defense against the NYAG and, in March 2022, scored a major legal victory—when a New York court struck down attempts by the NYAG to dissolve the organization,” McLaughlin said.

“Beyond that, the NRA continues to score many legal and legislative victories, defending the Second Amendment and its patriotic members,” he continued. “As another example, the U.S. Supreme Court recently accepted the NRA’s First Amendment case against a former New York State financial regulator for review.

That decision is a landmark development in one of the most closely watched First Amendment cases in the nation. Only a few weeks ago, it was announced that the ACLU will join as counsel in that case.”

(The ACLU denounced the NRA in a statement to The New York Times explaining why it took the case, saying the civil liberties group doesn’t support the NRA or its mission. “We signed on as co-counsel because public officials shouldn’t be allowed to abuse the powers of the office to blacklist an organization just because they oppose an organization’s political views,” the ACLU said.)

Robert Maguire, a nonprofit analyst at CREW, told The Daily Beast that he hasn’t seen anything like the downfall the NRA has experienced.

“The NRA is the definition of an embattled organization,” Maguire said, referencing the array of legal and internal woes plaguing the organization. “2016 wasn’t that long ago, and at that time the NRA was, if not the most powerful organization in D.C., certainly one of them.”

“We have a lot of mass shootings in this country, and we used to have this discussion, this wait-and-see what the NRA is going to say,” Maguire continued. “But you don’t see them playing on the national stage the way they used to, and its repugnant statements after mass shootings are pretty much expected and just seem like an absurd afterthought.”

Maguire noted that “as an alternative or corollary to their implosion, they are a victim of their own success.”

The NRA eschewed its gun safety philosophy in the 1970s, transitioning into a trade organization to promote gun sales under the banner of the Second Amendment. That general shift—which former Chief Justice Warren Burger famously described as the “one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public”—was partly designed for profit, partly for electoral politics, and partly to normalize firearms ownership and thereby forestall legislative and judicial restrictions.

Those efforts have rendered gun control politically nonviable for years, even in the face of overwhelming popular support. And as political and judicial attitudes grew increasingly calcified, the NRA has become less necessary.

A few gun rights groups have tried to give the NRA a run for its money, but so far they haven’t gotten the same traction. A review of tax returns from the leading organizations—the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Safari Club, and Gun Owners of America—reveals mixed trends in revenue. But in 2022, all three groups combined only pulled in about one-third of the NRA’s income.

Maguire noted that the NRA’s downfall tracks with increased gun ownership.

“Previously, we didn’t have this broad gun idolization culture, but in the ’90s you have Columbine, followed by mass shooting after mass shooting, and the NRA comes out every time to say, ‘You’re not going to take our guns away from me,’” Maguire said. “And every time, gun sales go up, so that today we have more guns than people in this country. We’re so saturated with them, who needs an organization to protect our guns?”

But gun deaths have also increased along with ownership, a darkly ironic trendline when contrasted with the gun lobby’s decline.

Firearms deaths peaked in 2021, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recording nearly 49,000 fatalities—the majority of them suicides, which was a record high—and only a decrease of 700 deaths in 2022.

Unofficial data for 2023 from the Gun Violence Archive, which compiles information from law enforcement and government sources, shows 41,585 firearm-related deaths as of Dec. 20, with more than 56 percent being suicides. There’s also been a steady rise in mass shootings, which the FBI defines as involving four or more people—with Pew Research data revealing a long-running and increasingly dramatic rise in “active shooter” incidents.

However, 2022 also saw President Joe Biden signing the first meaningful federal gun control legislation in three decades, which passed the Senate with significant bipartisan support. As holes appear in the firearms lobby, gun control advocacy organizations like Everytown and Giffords are gaining traction.

This year, Everytown has led the lobbying charge among both gun rights and gun control groups, according to CRP data. And in 2022, Everytown and Giffords together raised about the same amount of money as the top three gun rights groups combined—not counting the NRA.

The post The NRA Is at Rock Bottom—And 15 Years of Tax Filings Tell the Story appeared first on The Daily Beast.


Hopefully soon a certain “Gentleman” named Wayne will find out if this is true. Grumpy

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Born again Cynic! Well I thought it was funny!

I hope he got lots of practice

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Born again Cynic! Fieldcraft

African Safaris – What NOT to Do on a Safari

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Anti Civil Rights ideas & "Friends" Born again Cynic! You have to be kidding, right!?!

Some red hot gospel there!

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Born again Cynic!

My mutt could take notes from this yard shit factory

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Born again Cynic! Well I thought it was funny!

Guilty as charged!

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Born again Cynic!

Switzerland: Neutral or Nazi Ally? – WW2 Special

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All About Guns Ammo Born again Cynic! California Gun Fearing Wussies

LA County Pols at it again!

Board Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Supervisor Janice Hahn proposed the new ordinance. (Photo: Hahn.LaCounty.gov)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors advanced an ordinance today to enhance regulations for gun and ammunition dealers in unincorporated areas of the county.

Table of contents

Janice Hahn’s Baby

LA County Board Supervisor Janice Hahn pushed for the new policy.

“We need to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands and part of that effort is ensuring gun and ammunition dealers are acting responsibly,” said Hahn.

“These are commonsense regulations that will make sure gun dealers have basic security measures in place, maintain inventory, and keep records of who they sell guns and ammunition to,” she added.

The new ordinance will impact 18 gun dealers and two exclusive ammunition dealers in unincorporated LA County.

The Los Angeles County Treasurer and Tax Collector will enforce these rules.

Key provisions Include

  • Ammunition dealers must obtain a business license and meet requirements similar to gun dealers. Previously, exclusive ammunition dealers didn’t need a specific license.
  • Stores selling guns and ammunition can’t allow minors unless an adult accompanies them. Mixed-use stores must offer sight separation.
  • Dealers should maintain annual sales reports, keep purchaser fingerprints, update a weekly inventory, install security cameras, and display signs about gun access risks.
  • The Treasurer and Tax Collector will publicly post names of suspended and revoked licensees.
  • The annual license fee for initial applications and renewals will increase.

The ordinance awaits a second hearing on November 7th. If approved again, it will become effective 30 days afterward.

Prior Regulations

This regulation is the third in a series of four proposed by Supervisor Hahn. Previous ordinances banned .50 caliber firearms sales and prohibited firearms on county property.

Another in development will introduce a 1,000-foot buffer between gun shops and “child safety zones.”

Furthermore, LA County is advocating for greater awareness and utilization of gun violence restraining orders (GVROs) aka “red flag” laws.

GVROs are gun confiscation orders that target those accused — not convicted — of being a threat to public safety.

SAF Responds

“Politicians like Janice Hahn is the reason the Second Amendment is so important. She has done everything in her power to shred our Bill of Rights,” said Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), in an email to GunsAmerica.

“Our founding fathers warned us about those in government who abuse their power and made sure that we had courts to protect our freedom,” he continued. “The Second Amendment Foundation will make sure that she will be a defendant in the court room!”