Quanta, Facebook, Google were victims of $100 million phishing scam

Source: Fortune

"When the Justice Department announced the arrest last month of a man who allegedly swindled more than $100 million from two U.S. tech giants, the news came wrapped in a mystery. The agency didn’t say who was robbed, and nor did it identify the Asian supplier the crook impersonated to pull off the scheme. The mystery is now unraveled. A Fortune investigation, which involved interviews with sources close to law enforcement and other figures, has unearthed the identities of the three unnamed companies plus other details of the case." (04/27/17)


Talk to, don't provoke, North Korea

Source: Libertarian Institute
by Sheldon Richman

"There’s little more we can do than hope that some cool heads around Donald Trump are telling him he’d be nuts to attack North Korea. I don’t know who they might be. Still, we must hope. It doesn’t take a lifetime of study to know that, fortunately, no military resolution of the standoff is available. Ten million South Koreans live within artillery reach of the capital of Seoul, some 30 miles from the demilitarized zone separating North and South. Nearly 30,000 U.S. military personnel are around there too. North Korea has thousands of underground and undersea military facilities that American bombs and missiles would not find. A conventional U.S. attack would be catastrophic, a nuclear attack far, far worse, for the horrifying effects would spill over to China and Japan. So what would be accomplished? Nothing good. That’s for sure." (04/28/17)


US: Former political prisoner Barrett Brown arrested, apparently for talking to media

Source: The Intercept

"Award-winning journalist Barrett Brown was re-arrested and taken into custody Thursday, the day before he was scheduled to be interviewed for a PBS documentary. Brown quickly became a symbol of the attack on press freedom after he was arrested in 2012 for reporting he did on the hacked emails of intelligence-contracting firms. … Faced with the possibility of 100 years in prison, Brown pleaded guilty in 2014 to two charges related to obstruction of justice and threatening an FBI agent, and was sentenced to five years and 3 months. … He was released in November. … According to his mother, who spoke with Brown by phone after his arrest, Brown believes the reason for his re-arrest was a failure to obtain 'permission' to give interviews to media organizations." (04/27/17)


CIA director Pompeo doesn't understand the First Amendment

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

"You would think that by the time a person becomes the Director of the CIA, he would have a correct understanding of the Constitution, which is the founding document of the federal government, which the CIA is part of. This should be especially true when the CIA Director is a former member of Congress, a graduate of West Point, and the holder of a law degree from Harvard. Embarrassingly, such is not the case with CIA Director and former U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo. In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Pompeo demonstrated a woeful lack of understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment." (04/27/17)


File under "the terrorists win": Portland parade organizers cancel event due to Antifa threats

Source: Washington Post

"For 10 years, the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association has kicked off the city of Portland’s annual Rose Festival with a family-friendly parade meant to attract crowds to its diverse neighborhood. Set to march in the parade’s 67th spot this year was the Multnomah County Republican Party, a fact that so outraged two self-described antifascist groups in the deep blue Oregon city that they pledged to protest and disrupt the April 29 event. Then came an anonymous and ominous email, according to parade organizers, that instructed them to cancel the GOP group’s registration — or else. … The email said that 200 people would 'rush into the parade' and 'drag and push' those marching with the Republican Party. … On Tuesday, the business association buckled, announcing it would cancel the parade altogether." (04/27/17)


Torturing the truth: The tax cut debate vs. the English language

Source: Garrison Center
by Thomas L Knapp

"On April 26, the Trump administration released a one-page summary of its tax reform proposals. The following morning, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss those proposals. Co-anchor Norah O’Donnell didn’t waste any time ham-handedly injecting the mainstream media’s dishonest narrative-shaping language into the conversation. 'As you mentioned this would be historic tax cuts [sic],' her first question began. 'Estimated to cost the American taxpayer $7 trillion over a decade. So when will you tell us how you will pay for it?' Unfortunately Mnuchin played along: 'In regards to the pay for [sic], I don’t know how people can estimate the cost since we don’t haven’t released all the details, but this is going to be paid for by economic growth and by a reduction of many, many deductions in special interest.' O’Donnell tried to put two ginormous lies over on her viewers. And Mnuchin let her get away with it." (04/27/17)


Afghanistan: Two US troops killed, one wounded

Source: Military Times

"Two American troops were killed and a third was wounded while battling Islamic State loyalists overnight in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. officials said Thursday, marking the latest in a series of violent developments as the Trump administration contemplates whether to escalate the 15-year war. The troops' identities were not immediately disclosed, pending family notifications. The wounded service member did not require medical evacuation, a U.S. military spokesman in Kabul, Navy Capt. William Salvin, told Military Times." (04/27/17)


Forget Reagan: Trump's tax plan is more like George W. Bush

Source: Reason
by Matt Welch

"In the run-up to today's big White House tax-reform announcement, the question among many analysts was: Would President Donald Trump's ideas look more like Ronald Reagan in 1981 (when he and a bipartisan congressional majority cut rates) or 1986, when they simplified the code? While Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, flanked by National Economic Director Gary Cohn, bragged that the administration's plan was both 'the biggest tax cut' and the 'largest tax reform' in U.S. history — 1981 and 1986 at the same time, only more! — the more apt and less comforting historical precedent might be the guy who Trump never tires of bashing: George W. Bush." (04/27/17)


India: Regime bans social media in Kashmir in attempt to suppress military abuse videos

Source: Independent [UK]

"Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir have banned 22 social media sites in an effort to calm tensions in the disputed region after videos depicting the alleged abuse of Kashmiris by Indian forces fuelled protests. But the sites remained online Thursday as the local telecom company struggled to block them. The government said Wednesday that the one-month ban was necessary for public safety because social media were being 'misused by anti-national and anti-social elements.' … An official with Kashmir's state-owned telecom company, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd., said engineers were still working on shutting down the 22 sites, including Facebook and Twitter, but so far had been unable to do so without freezing the internet across the Himalayan region. … While the government has halted internet service in Kashmir in previous attempts to prevent anti-India demonstrations, this is the first time they have done so in response to the circulation of videos and photos showing alleged military abuse." (04/27/17)


The FBI and Hillary, again

Source: LewRockwell.com
by Andrew P Napolitano

"Last weekend, The New York Times published a long piece about the effect the FBI had on the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. As we all know, Donald Trump won a comfortable victory in the Electoral College while falling about 3 million votes behind Hillary Clinton in the popular vote. I believe that Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate who failed to energize the Democratic Party base and who failed to deliver to the electorate a principled reason to vote for her. Yet when the Times reporters asked her why she believes she lost the race, she gave several answers, the first of which was the involvement of the FBI. She may be right. Here is the back story." (04/27/17)