Category: Europe


Refugees Grateful For Chance To See Europe While Being Bounced From Country To Country
September 8, 2015

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY—Saying they never dreamed they’d have the opportunity to do so much traveling and sightseeing, tens of thousands of refugees across Europe confirmed Tuesday that they were grateful for the chance to take in so many of the continent’s natural and historical treasures while being bounced from country to country. “I thought the Serbian countryside was so beautiful when we were marching through it, but, wow, Budapest is truly breathtaking—it’s a real architectural gem—and hopefully once our papers expire in 48 hours we’ll be off to somewhere new!” said Syrian refugee Majd Ahsan, who added that his European trip got off to a great start on the island of Lesbos in Greece, where he said he was really able to soak in the Mediterranean landscape by spending his every waking and sleeping moment outdoors. “We actually got to spend a couple extra days in Athens while the Macedonian borders were closed, which was a real treat—there’s just so much rich history right there! At this point, who knows which country we’ll see tomorrow or the next day. Germany? France? Ooh, maybe we’ll go to Prague, get turned away at a processing center, and be sent to Poland! I hear it’s really lovely.” Ahsan added that he was just sad that two of his four children and both of his brothers were no longer around to enjoy the tour of Europe with him.

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Women’s World Cup: Why the U.S. Wins
While it helps to be from a big, rich country, the secret to the success of Carli Lloyd and the Americans is simple: years of hard work
Months of penalty-kick practice paid off for Carli Lloyd Tuesday night, when she scored the winning goal from the spot in the semifinals against Germany. ENLARGE
Months of penalty-kick practice paid off for Carli Lloyd Tuesday night, when she scored the winning goal from the spot in the semifinals against Germany.

When Carli Lloyd stepped forward to take a crucial penalty kick Tuesday night against Germany, she was supremely confident. But it wasn’t because of some heartfelt belief in U.S. women’s soccer exceptionalism.

FIFA WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

U.S. 2, Germany 0 (Tuesday)
Japan vs. England, Wed., 7 p.m. ET (Fox Sports 1)
Final: Sunday, 7 p.m. ET (Fox)
“I’ve been taking PKs every day after practice for seven or eight months,” said Lloyd, who buried the winning goal into the side of the net in the 69th minute. “The thing about a penalty kick, if you hit it hard enough and at a certain height, there isn’t a goalkeeper in the world who can save it.”

It is easy to look at the U.S. team and chalk up its continuing success to the countless advantages it enjoys. The Amer icans come from a country that has a deep pool of talent, the resources to develop its players and a federal law that guarantees equal opportunity for women’s sports. Those factors can’t be discounted; the American women made the supposedly overwhelming Germans look slow and plodding.

The U.S. upset top-ranked Germany, 2-0, on Tuesday night, booking a spot in the Women’s World Cup final for the second time in four years. Photo: Getty.
Yet to focus on just those innate advantages is to discount how hard the U.S. women worked to prepare for this stage.

Four years after a crushing, come-from-ahead defeat to Japan in the Women’s World Cup final, the U.S. has returned to the sport’s ultimate match. The journey to this point has been the product of intense work and practice over a very long time, symbolized by Lloyd’s clutch score in Tuesday’s semifinal victory.

In reaching the final, which will be against the winner of Wednesday’s Japan-England match, the U.S. has outscored the opposition 9-1 in this tournament. But the more interesting number might be this one: The Americans have outscored opponents 7-0 in the second half. That sort of late domination only has one explanation: The Americans, from the top of the roster to the bottom, have simply been fitter than every team they have faced, and as everyone knows, there are no shortcuts when it comes to being fit.

U.S. Women Top Germany to Reach World Cup Final: Photos
Americans upset Germans, 2-0, in the semifinals and are headed to Sunday’s final
That brings us back to Lloyd, the all-world midfielder who has scored in each of the past three games, carrying the U.S. team to the brink of its first World Cup title in 16 years.

“The thing about Carli is she doesn’t have much of a natural motor,” said James Galanis, a club soccer coach in southern New Jersey who trained Lloyd ahead of the World Cup.

In other words, Lloyd wasn’t blessed with a body that uses energy especially efficiently. There are metrics for this, most notably the VO2 max, a performance indicator that measures the maximum amount of oxygen an athlete can use. Galanis made a face that looked like he had just tasted sour milk when asked what Lloyd’s natural VO2 max was.

To make up for this, Galanis—who began working with Lloyd a dozen years ago, after she had bombed out at a national-team camp—put her on a grueling six-hour-a-day training regimen heavy on fundamentals, plus at least 90 minutes a night of leg-burning endurance training that Lloyd still follows. In the lead-up to the World Cup, that included penalty kicks.

Lloyd’s work ethic filters through the team. Defender Julie Johnston trained with her in November during what was supposed to be a postseason break from soccer. Goalkeeper Hope Solo was suspended for 30 days last winter after she became belligerent with police when they arrested her husband for drunken driving during a team camp, according to police and U.S. Soccer inquiries into the matter. Solo, who apologized for disappointing her teammates, worked out with U.S. coaches throughout the suspension.

At 35 years old, Abby Wambach believed her body couldn’t endure a club season and be in prime shape for this tournament, so she played small-sided pickup games with men throughout the spring to remain fit. After every match during this World Cup, the U.S.’s reserve players are out on the field bright and early the next day, getting in practice so they can be ready when coach Jill Ellis calls their name.

 

The Patriot Post · http://patriotpost.us/digests/33147
Daily Digest
Feb. 13, 2015

THE FOUNDATION
“Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an aliment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.” –James Madison, Federalist No. 10, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
The Selfie Debate Is Over1
A recent study2 at Ohio State University “showed that men who posted more online photos of themselves than others scored higher on measures of narcissism and psychopathy.” As Exhibit A, we submit the following:

The science is settled.

By the way, he played college frat boy with BuzzFeed on the same day Kayla Mueller was confirmed dead. Stay classy.

CNN Talkinghead: ‘Our Rights Do Not Come From God’3
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo debated Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore over rights and marriage, particularly regarding the recent kerfuffle over same-sex marriage in the Heart of Dixie. When Moore explained that marriage is a matter of law and rights that come from God, Cuomo vehemently disagreed. “Our rights do not come from God, your honor, and you know that. They come from man,” Cuomo insisted. Later he added, “That’s your faith, that’s my faith, but that’s not our country. Our laws come from collective agreement and compromise.” What utter hogwash. As Moore aptly noted, the Declaration of Independence is the law of the land, and it begins, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…” But Cuomo isn’t just mistaken. He and his deceased father, Mario, and his brother Andrew, former and current governors of New York, hold a typical leftist view that government and not God creates rights. Therefore, those rights are subject to the whims of politicians because, as Chris Cuomo insisted, “Times change. Definitions change.” Such views are dangerous and completely antithetical to the foundation of our country. More…4

Last Summer, Obama Partied With Terrorists5
By what we can gather, the wedding Barack Obama attended last August was the bomb. The wedding between MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and Sam Kass, a former White House chef, was kept hush-hush – probably because Obama was there with his pals and members of Weather Underground, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. The Leftmedia rag Gawker, which got the scoop, reports pair, who cavorted with leftist terrorists that bombed federal buildings in the ‘70s, “were likely invited due to their connection to Kass. Though the nature of their relationship with him is unclear, Kass resided for several years in Chicago, where Ayers and Dohrn live, and appear to have close mutual friends. In 2012, for example, the trio attended the same 22-guest wedding at a San Francisco art gallery.” Furthermore, it’s unlikely Obama ignored the duo, as he started his 1995 Illinois Senate bid from their house. This is further evidence that Obama considers himself above scrutiny, as he doesn’t have a re-election to win. But imagine the resulting 24-hour outrage machine if George W. Bush had a friend who bombed abortion clinics. More…6

IRS to Give Tax Benefits to Illegals7
The administration that says this year’s tax refunds will be delayed8 has enough time to give tax benefits to illegal immigrants. In a House hearing, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said the IRS will start paying refunds to amnestied illegals. Koskinen said, “To be eligible for the earned income tax credit, you have to work. … To be able to apply for it, you have to have a Social Security number.” Barack Obama’s executive amnesty gives illegals Social Security numbers, though the Obama administration never estimated the impact of the program. As Koskinen put it, “I haven’t talked to the White House about this at all.” In response to this admission, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) told Koskinen, “That’s just outrageous. If Congress had passed a law doing exactly what the president did, we would have had not only an estimate of the costs, but we would have also been required to propose ways to pay for the programs. This is just another example of the administration operating outside the rule of law.” Furthermore, Obama’s action muddles the line between citizen and non-citizen, all in a cynical play for more Democrat votes. More…9

Don’t Worry, We Still Have Six Middle East Embassies10
Despite the closure of the U.S. embassy in Yemen, which follows the abandonment of embassies in Syria and Libya, the Obama State Department says not to worry. A reporter asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “Is there a broader concern that you’re being – the U.S. is being run out of town in the Arab world?” Pish posh, she responded: “We certainly don’t look at it in that way. I would remind you that we were not the only country that moved our staff out of Yemen last night (so did the UK and France), and we have to take precautions to protect the men and women who are serving on our behalf. There’s no question that in each of the countries you’ve mentioned there’s a great bit of volatility, but that’s – the fact is that that’s what’s happening on the ground. It’s not a reflection of the United States and our engagement. It’s a reflection of the trouble and challenges happening in these countries.” On the contrary, it absolutely is a reflection of Barack Obama’s failed foreign policy.

For more, visit Right Hooks11.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
GOP Still Stymied by Democrat Filibuster12
The Republican plan to roll back Barack Obama’s immigration actions appears on the verge of collapse thanks to intra-party squabbling and a united Democrat opposition.

GOP congressmen originally called for passing a budget for the Department of Homeland Security that stripped out funding for immigration enforcement. The House passed its version of the bill last month with 10 Republicans joining all but two Democrats in opposition. The legislation is now mired in the Senate, where the GOP has failed to reach cloture three times. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will try again – perhaps three more times.

But there is virtually no possibility they can pick up the Democrat votes needed to overcome the filibuster before the Feb. 27 deadline for funding, and the Senate adjourned Thursday for a 10-day recess.

That’s why some House Republicans want the Senate to deploy the nuclear option and eliminate the filibuster so they can pass the bill. Not that such a move would win Obama’s signature. And few, if any, Senate Republicans support such a move, which they decried when Harry Reid did it for non-Supreme Court nominations.

Before calling for more cloture votes, McConnell began looking to House Speaker John Boehner to fix the situation. “We can’t get on it, we can’t offer amendments to it,” McConnell lamented. “And the next step is obviously up to the House.”

House Republicans see things differently. “I think the speaker’s position is that the House has already acted. It’s time for the Senate to act,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-GA).

That’s putting it mildly. Boehner himself was far more colorful, saying, “The House has done its job. Why don’t you go ask the Senate Democrats when they are going to get off their a– and do something?”

The House GOP opposes restoring immigration funding to the bill. They appear motivated to challenge Obama’s abuse of power – as he clearly overstepped his constitutional authority when he made changes to immigration policy. Senate Republicans, however, are more interested in getting a DHS funding bill passed. Talk of considering some Democrat concessions has been circulating, but Democrats feel the wind at their backs and they’re likely to accept nothing less than a fully funded bill.

If appropriations run out, the DHS won’t be able to perform some of its functions – an unwelcome situation in a time of heightened terrorist activity. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) said, “If there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown – we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans.’”

But what’s far more likely to happen is the Leftmedia and the public will blame Republicans. No matter the circumstances, no matter who’s in the majority, the Leftmedia does its job effectively in turning public opinion against the GOP.

Hence, the bickering going back and forth between House and Senate Republicans is unfortunate. To be at loggerheads on strategy this early into their majority doesn’t instill confidence in Republicans’ ability to lead. But the truth is, Obama will veto any bill that doesn’t preserve his amnesty. Republicans need to use that to their political advantage by putting the focus on Obama’s unconstitutional actions, even if they’re unable to stop him.

Inability to overcome the Democrat filibuster is something the 54 Senate Republicans will either have to get used to or find a strategy to surmount. They need to get things ironed out or their majority will be a short one. And the White House will grow further from reach as well.

Closer to Capitulation on Iranian Nukes13
The long-running game of nuclear cat-and-mouse between Iran and the rest of the world seems to be nearing its conclusion. Both U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif say talks won’t be extended past the March 31 deadline. Then again, Barack Obama has long played fast and loose with deadlines when it comes to Iran’s nuclear program.

There are serious concerns about this prospective deal. Speaking from the left side of the aisle, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) worried such a pact could be enacted without the Senate’s approval and warned, “[T]he end result [of these negotiations] is more likely to be a North Korean situation.”

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, criticized the talks14 in remarks before the Senate Armed Forces Committee. “Nuclear talks with Iran began as an international effort, buttressed by six UN resolutions, to deny Iran the capability to develop a military nuclear option,” he recounted. “They are now an essentially bilateral negotiation over the scope of that capability through an agreement that sets a hypothetical limit of one year on an assumed breakout. The impact of this approach will be to move from preventing proliferation to managing it.”

In short, Obama has conceded the main point as he’s led from behind.

Yet Obama has come up with a new excuse for allowing Iran to get its way. He’s now sufficiently blinded by Islamophilia15 as to take Iran’s supreme leader at his word that “it would be contrary to their faith16” for Iran to build a nuclear weapon. That nonsense fits well with the narrative he’s still trying to sell about Islam being the Religion of Peace™, but history has repeatedly shown just the opposite – Obama’s ridiculous lecture about the Crusades17 notwithstanding.

The U.S. has eased sanctions against Iran, while the mullahs kept working on their nuclear program under the guise of peaceful use. It won’t be long before sanctions are gone and Iran has its nuclear bomb. Kissinger fretted that other Middle East nations could then engage in a nuclear arms race. It’s not inconceivable that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey could quickly follow Iran. If Iran has nukes, these nations will reason it’s in their own security interests to obtain them in order to balance their regional foe.

Nor should we forget the effect this would have on Israel, which is calling the nuclear deal with Iran “bad and dangerous.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned us before about Iran18, saying, “Iran is not your ally. Iran is not your friend. Iran is your enemy. It’s not your partner. Iran is committed to the destruction of Israel.” (He could have added the part about the “Death to America” chants that are a staple of Friday prayers in Tehran.)

Netanyahu has allies in Congress, where the sentiment to expand sanctions against Iran is much stronger. In the past, Israel has threatened to go it alone in destroying Iran’s nuclear program, and it may yet come to that. We’ll see what the Israeli leader says when he addresses Congress in March.

Regardless, by continually appeasing this rogue regime, Barack Obama has further destabilized the situation and once again shown his reverse Midas touch in world affairs.                                                                                                                                  OPINION IN BRIEF

Mark Twain (1835-1910): “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”

Columnist Charles Krauthammer: “Russia pushes deep into eastern Ukraine. The Islamic State burns to death a Jordanian pilot. Iran extends its hegemony over four Arab capitals – Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sanaa. And America watches. Obama calls the policy ‘strategic patience.’ That’s a synonym for ‘inaction,’ made to sound profoundly ‘strategic.’ Take Russia. The only news out of Obama’s one-hour press conference with Angela Merkel this week was that he still can’t make up his mind whether to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons. The Russians have sent in T-80 tanks and Grad rocket launchers. We’ve sent in humanitarian aid that includes blankets, MREs and psychological counselors. How complementary: The counselors do grief therapy for those on the receiving end of the T-80 tank fire. … America was once the arsenal of democracy, notes Elliott Abrams. We are now its linen closet. … The line between the Washington prayer breakfast and the Ukrainian grief counselors is direct and causal. Once you’ve discounted your own moral authority, once you’ve undermined your own country’s moral self-confidence, you cannot lead. If, during the very week Islamic supremacists achieve ‘peak barbarism’ with the immolation of a helpless prisoner, you cannot take them on without apologizing for sins committed a thousand years ago, you have prepared the ground for strategic paralysis. All that’s left is to call it strategic patience.”

Columnist Jonah Goldberg: “At an event in London on trade policy, Scott Walker was asked about evolution. … As my National Review colleague Kevin Williamson notes, ‘Everybody wants to know what Scott Walker and Sarah Palin think about evolution, but almost nobody is asking what Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama think about homeopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and the like.’ Even though such remedies have been given elevated legitimacy under the Affordable Care Act. Presidents have become avatars in the culture war being fought across the Internet and the airwaves, and nothing gives secular liberal journalists more of a buzz than exposing the alleged backwardness of those they consider backward. It’s a cultural wedge issue used by the very people who claim they hate cultural wedge issues. … When Barack Obama was asked when life begins, he responded that such questions are above his pay grade, even though a president is in fact paid to make myriad decisions which hinge on precisely that question. But liberal politicians are allowed such dodges precisely because liberal journalists know what the politician really believes.”

Comedian Conan O’Brien: “NBC has suspended Brian Williams for six months without pay. Williams said he’s not worried, because soon his veteran’s benefits will kick in.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33125
http://news.osu.edu/news/2015/01/06/hey-guys-posting-a-lot-of-selfies-doesn’t-send-a-good-message/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33119
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/18968
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33143
http://gawker.com/obama-secretly-partied-with-bill-ayers-last-summer-1684584845
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33137
http://patriotpost.us/posts/31877
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/11/irs-pay-back-refunds-illegal-immigrants-who-didnt-/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/33113
http://patriotpost.us/
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33144
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33135
http://www.wsj.com/articles/kissinger-on-iran-1423527223
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/33080
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/02/09/obama_according_to_irans_supreme_leader_it_would_be_contrary_to_their_faith_to_obtain_a_nuclear_weapon.html
http://patriotpost.us/articles/33004
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/netanyahu-iran-is-not-your-friend-iran-is-your-enemy/
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33117
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33132
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33129
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33126
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/33131
http://patriotpost.us/opinion

Daily Digest
Jan. 29, 2015

THE FOUNDATION
“[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse, or rest on inference.” –Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, 1787

TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
After Undermining Cuts, Obama Plans More Spending1
Despite Republican budget cuts helping the nation boost its Index of Economic Freedom score2, Barack Obama worked to make sequestration as painful as possible – even though it was his idea in the first place. For example, he blamed the Republican budget for his drawdown of military strength to anemic levels. Not only that, an analysis of federal grants3 by Reuters and the Brookings Institution shows Obama funneling more money to states he won in 2012 than to states he didn’t. On average, blue states saw their federal dole decline 25% while red states saw the payout slashed 40%. As Congress banned the practice of earmarking funds, the executive branch picked up that power. It’s all been a strategy to further Obama’s “middle-crush economics4,” as he’s about to introduce a budget to Congress that lifts sequestration entirely. It’s for the middle class, leftists like Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) argue: “Arbitrary cuts through sequestration never made sense, and House Democrats have consistently supported replacing them with a smarter, more balanced approach to long-term deficit reduction. What our country needs is a growing economy that works for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.” But waging class warfare and then redistributing the loot on vote-buying schemes won’t accomplish economic growth.

CBO Says ObamaCare to Cost Less? Yeah, Right5
Two projections about ObamaCare in the Congressional Budget Office’s latest report6 will probably contradict each other. First came the breathless news that the government will spend 20% less7 than what the CBO first divined back in April. Now, the government is expected to spend $1.35 trillion from 2016 to 2025 – $2 trillion in expenses8 offset by income from penalty payments and other tax revenue. Here’s what CBS News has to say about it: “Consequently, the CBO reduced its 10-year cost estimate for Obamacare by $101 billion by making the following changes: It’s predicting the government will spend $68 billion less on Obamacare subsidies, spend $59 billion more on Medicaid, and bring in $97 billion more in revenues from projected changes in employer-based coverage. Additionally, the CBO is projecting the government will spend $5 billion more due to changes in estimated penalty payments and certain taxes collected.” In short, they are expecting businesses to pick up a larger portion of the nation’s health care tab. But the CBO also says 10 million Americans will lose employer-provided insurance9 during that same period. With the track record the federal government has on ObamaCare promises, expect to see a revision soon.

White House: Taliban ‘Insurgents,’ Not Terrorists10
ABC News’ Jonathan Karl wanted to know: What was the difference between the Bowe Bergdahl exchange11 with the Taliban and Jordan’s attempted swap12 of prisoners with ISIL? When Karl brought the question up at a White House press conference, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz responded that prisoner exchange is a “traditional end of conflict transaction.” But then Schultz said, “I would also point out that the Taliban is an armed insurgency. ISIL is a terrorist group. So we don’t make concessions to terrorist groups.” So if the full brunt of the U.S. military is thrown against a terrorist organization, it legitimizes the organization in the eyes of the Obama administration? This is just another example of Obama playing verbal gymnastics, obfuscating his foreign policy. As political analyst Charles Krauthammer observed, the Taliban “slits throats, it attacks busses, it drives car bombs into markets, and it’s not a terrorist group? Look, you can’t parody this administration.” Sad, but true. More…13

Narcissist in Chief Praises Himself 118 Times in Single Speech14
Can you ever get tired of hearing yourself talk, much less making it all about you? Not if you’re Barack Obama. The president made a stop in New Delhi this week to deliver a speech that was once again replete with personal pronouns. After analyzing the yawn-inducing remarks, Grabien reported, “Somehow in the span of just 33 minutes, Obama referenced himself 118 times.” They added, “For those keeping score at home, that’s 3.5 Obama references per minute.” Whether he’s demogugeing here at home, or proselytizing abroad, it’s never about “We the People,” as the beginning words of the U.S. Constitution make clear. It’s about “I, Barack Obama.” As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, the man actually believes he’s accomplished something.

Virginia Senate Defends Right to Bear Arms15
The proposal to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Virginians backfired on Governor Terry McAuliffe when he watched his bills die in committee while measures granting greater gun freedom moved forward. McAuliffe announced16 in December gun control would be a cornerstone of his administration, such as renewing Virginia’s expired law limiting handgun purchases to once a month. In what Philip Van Cleave, president of Virginia Citizens Defense League, called “an awesome day,” the commonwealth’s Senate Courts of Justice Committee rejected the governor’s bills and instead approved bills that would allow Virginians to get a lifetime gun permit and carry on school grounds if school is not in session. While Charles Cooke17 says McAuliffe signing these bills has about as much chance as a donut before Michael Moore, Virginia’s senate couldn’t have sent a stronger message. More…18

For more, visit Right Hooks19.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE
Support the NRA! This week, NRA Life members or those who have been members for five or more years, will receive National Board ballots in your NRA publication. I ask your support for a seasoned member of that board, my colleague Joe DeBergalis, an NRA Benefactor Life Member. Joe’s a career law enforcement officer in New York, but he has dedicated untold hours in support of the Second Amendment20 and the NRA, serving as Chairman of the NRA’s Education and Training Committee – there are now more than 117,000 certified Instructor and Coach members. He also serves as Vice Chair of Action Shooting and on the Executive, Finance, Law Enforcement, Legislative Affairs and Sport Shooting Committees. In addition to the NRA, Joe has promoted Essential Liberty21 nationwide. He is the founder of the very popular AR15.com Pro-AM 3 Gun Championship and works with numerous other 2A training and advocacy groups. Joe is an active opponent of the so-called NY SAFE Act and Leftist Michael Bloomberg’s gun control schemes22 in Colorado, California and across the nation. Check for your ballot in your magazine, or if you receive the magazine electronically, a ballot will be mailed to you via USPS. Support our friend Joe DeBergalis and make plans to attend the NRA Convention23 in Nashville, April 10-12, 2015.

Don’t Miss Alexander’s Column
Read Obama’s ‘Middle-Crush Economics’4, on the platform for his final years.

If you’d like to receive Alexander’s Column by email, update your subscription here24.

RIGHT ANALYSIS
Lynch Will Take Up Holder’s Torch of Injustice25
Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation last September, effective when a replacement is confirmed. On Wednesday, Congress conducted the first day of hearings with that nominee, U.S. attorney Loretta Lynch. And it appears she’ll pick up right where Holder left off.

Early in the hearing, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) explained, “[T]he Attorney General is the premier law enforcement officer … in America. He or she sets the tone for law in America, the commitment to law, and must resist politicizing law and do the right thing on a daily basis.”

And Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) lamented, “Public confidence in the department’s ability to do its job without regard to politics has been shaken, with good reason.”

Indeed, what a tone Holder set. To name but a few egregious activities from the last six years in which he served as Barack Obama’s criminal co-conspirator26, the AG trafficked illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels via Operation Fast and Furious27, tossed an airtight voter-intimidation case28 against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia and sued Southern states over voter ID laws29. So he’s leaving big shoes to fill.

Enter Lynch, the current U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Grilled by Senate Republicans hoping to find that she’s “not Eric Holder,” Lynch gave every reason to believe that she’d endeavor to be his heir.

That isn’t to say she didn’t strike some euphonious political notes. Regarding law enforcement, she said it would be a priority to strengthen “the vital relationships between our courageous law enforcement personnel and all the communities we serve.” In fact, she added, “In my career, I have seen this relationship flourish – I have seen law enforcement forge unbreakable bonds with community residents and have seen violence-ravaged communities come together to honor officers who risked all to protect them. As attorney general, I will draw all voices into this important discussion.”

All well and good, but the relationship between communities and law enforcement has absolutely not flourished in the wake of Holder’s noxious race-baiting30 after police shootings in Ferguson and New York City. Notwithstanding Lynch’s conciliatory rhetoric, we find it hard to believe she’ll do much better. Obama wouldn’t choose her if she would.

So what about immigration? If the AG “sets the tone” for the nation, as Sessions accurately noted, what can we expect from the Justice Department after Obama’s lawless amnesty?

First, Lynch claims it was only a “temporary deferral” of enforcement and therefore not “a legal amnesty” – by which she means Obama didn’t grant amnesty. While she wasn’t part of crafting the policy, she doesn’t “see any reason to doubt the reasonableness” of the action.

Second, in a convoluted line of testimony, she seemed to contend that illegals have the right to work in the U.S. “I believe that the right and the obligation to work is one that’s shared by everyone in this country regardless of how they came here,” she said. “And certainly, if someone is here, regardless of status, I would prefer that they be participating in the workplace than not participating in the workplace.”

Lynch did later clarify that there is currently a “legal framework” requiring proof of citizenship or eligibility for employment, but that hardly eases the concern we have over her “right to work” answer. The issue of “rights” for illegals is at the root of Obama’s lawlessness, and Lynch’s answer signifies that she’s in lockstep with the president. Shocking, we know.

And don’t think for a minute that any leftist actually believes a poverty plantation31 welfare recipient has an “obligation to work.”

Lynch cannot possibly restore trust between American communities and law enforcement when the law is based on nothing more than the political whim of the White House. Her answer regarding Holder’s decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court is illustrative: There are, she said, “rare instances” when the Justice Department may find “constitutional issues” with a law. This is Left-speak for selective law enforcement.

Unfortunately, though Sessions and a few other Republicans will oppose32 Lynch’s confirmation, it seems she will win enough votes to become the next attorney general. Worse, her quiet demeanor, diminutive stature (she’s all of five feet tall) and the fact she will be the first black woman to serve as AG (with the last name of Lynch, no less) add up to mean she could be both worse than Holder and harder to oppose.

Dropping Out of (Taxing) College (Savings)33
In less time than it takes to fill out a college application, Barack Obama dropped his plan to tax 529 college savings accounts in order to offer two “free” (ahem) years of community college. Just seven days after floating the idea in the State of the Union address34, the White House deduced that it had become such a “distraction” as to warrant abandonment.

Given this administration’s penchant for coming up with, and then bitterly clinging to, economically disastrous ideas (ObamaCare, anyone?), political resistance was quick and universal enough that even Obama couldn’t ignore reality.

You see, 529s are education savings plans that help families set aside money for college. While contributions are not tax-deductible on federal tax returns, distributions from the funds to pay for college are tax-free, making 529 plans highly attractive for families wanting to save for their children’s education. The problem – well, one among many – is that the president seemed to assume those who take advantage of these accounts are “rich,” defined in his parallel universe as those who make $250,000 per year. So taxing these accounts would be the obvious choice in Obama’s class-warfare utopia. Shared responsibility and all.

He grossly underestimated the backlash given how many middle-class people actually have college savings. As of last year, there were more than 12 million accounts, and the average balance was $19,774 – far less than the $240,000 the Obamas put into college savings for their private-school-educated daughters in one year alone.

Furthermore, according to the College Savings Foundation35, some 70% of 529 accounts are held by households earning less than $150,000 per year – hardly “rich.” Almost 10% are held by households making less than $50,000 per year, and nearly 95% of 529 plans are owned by households making less than $250,000 annually. The president can’t pass this one off as trying to tax the One Percent.

Still, demonstrating his ever-present disconnect from reality, he actually pitched his proposal as part of his “middle-class economics” plan. He defines this campaign theme as36 “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

In reality, Obamanomics means government calls the shots, fair share is forcibly relinquishing what you earn fair and square to those who do squat, and the rules are whatever the latest executive order says they are. It would be better known as middle-crush economics4.

Far from helping the middle class, Obama’s plan took direct aim at average Americans, as the truly “rich” often pay out of pocket for college and the poor are eligible for financial aid, something middle-class families are often deemed too well-off to receive.

The idea that anyone would propose such a middle-class-crushing tax seems ludicrous, but it’s par for the course when you’re trying to fund exponentially bigger government and running out of revenue sources.

The president must have realized things were bad when two of his top cheerleaders, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), pleaded with him to drop the idea. They realized that nothing says “don’t re-elect me” quite like “I want to scalp your college savings.”

While some may call the plan a political blunder, at the end of the day it was simply a case of Obama exposing his true economic philosophy. As Robert Tracinski notes37, “The truly committed leftist looks upon our private savings as a vast reserve of capital unfairly withheld from its proper function of servicing the needs of the state.”

So don’t think the president’s money grab is over. Instead, be on the lookout for what he’ll try to commandeer next.

OPINION IN BRIEF

British novelist C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Again, the new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim to knowledge. If we are to be mothered, mother must know best. This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists, till in the end the politicians proper become merely the scientists’ puppets. Technocracy is the form to which a planned society must tend.”

Economist Stephen Moore: “The big news from [last] week’s State of the Union address is that the economic ‘crisis is over.’ Apparently, we’ve been rescued from a second Great Depression and everything this president has done to fix the economy has worked. All that was missing from Mr. Obama’s celebration was the old ‘Icky Shuffle’ end zone dance. This no doubt came as a bit of a shock to voters since the economy has been sickly for a long, long time. As recently as this fall, half of Americans were saying that the country is still in recession. Conditions have improved in the last six months for sure, with growth accelerating, inflation low and stable, hiring picking up and gas prices tumbling. Still, if things are as good as the White House says they are, why do we feel so bad? … Americans aren’t breaking out the champagne because they instinctively realize that an economic recovery built on trillions of dollars of debt, overspending, and trillions more in easy money is a house of sand. Mr. Obama’s only economic idea is to redistribute wealth via ever-rising taxes from the productive class and the job creators to everyone else. If Republicans let him, things will get worse for everyone before they get better.”

Columnist Ann Coulter: “The Republican leadership in Congress still hasn’t held hearings on why college is so expensive, although I proposed the idea two weeks ago. Of course, it’s been a month since the GOP took control of Congress, and they also haven’t voided Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, passed e-Verify, a fence bill or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. Democrats are on offense all the time, even when they’ve just had their legs cut off. They announce absurd agenda items and then indignantly demand to know why Republicans are refusing to deal with the free unicorn-rides proposal. Obama is a lame-duck president and, three months ago, his party was slaughtered in midterm elections. And yet, I gather that his State of the Union address consisted of a litany of insanely expensive, utterly pointless ideas. And Republicans fall for it every time. They consider it a major victory to come back with a free-market approach to surrender. In response to Obama’s ‘free’ community college idea, Republicans should say: We’re not giving you anything, and, in fact, we’re demanding answers from the entire ‘higher ed’ establishment. You’ll be surprised how liberating and fun it is to go on offense, Republicans.”

PJTV’s Scott Ott: “Meteorologists: If anyone gives you a hard time about your blizzard prediction, hold your head high. At least you’re not an economist.”

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform – Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

Links
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32751
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32716
http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/28/us-usa-politics-spending-idUSKBN0L10F120150128
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/32722
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32742
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32681
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamacare-will-be-cheaper-than-expected-budget-analysts-say/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32662
http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials-obama-care/012715-736559-cbo-says-obamacare-will-push-10-million-of-employer-plans.htm
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32752
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/26253
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/01/28/jordan-isil-hostag/22453709/
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/28/semantics-white-house-draws-rebuke-for-saying-isis-trade-bergdahl-swap/
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32724
http://patriotpost.us/posts/32721
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/mcauliffe-to-unveil-gun-control-measures-including-expanded-background-checks/2014/12/13/666f61f2-8146-11e4-8882-03cf08410beb_story.html
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/397301/terry-mcauliffes-gun-control-push-goes-down-flames-charles-c-w-cooke
http://hamptonroads.com/2015/01/va-senate-committee-defeats-gun-control-proposals
http://patriotpost.us/
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/5176
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/3467
http://patriotpost.us/articles/24992
http://www.nraam.org
http://patriotpost.us/manage/
http://patriotpost.us/articles/32749
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/29609
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/10531
http://patriotpost.us/digests/6382
http://patriotpost.us/articles/20538
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/31640
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/14816
http://www.sessions.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/news-releases?ID=A3B017BF-ED12-4C29-B64D-AF6234C722CF
http://patriotpost.us/articles/32741
http://patriotpost.us/alexander/32548
http://www.collegesavingsfoundation.org/pdf/PR-White-House-State-of-the-Union-2015.pdf
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/01/20/remarks-president-barack-obama-prepared-delivery-state-union-address
http://thefederalist.com/2015/01/28/anti-middle-class-economics-what-obamas-529-grab-revealed/
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/32736
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/32737
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/32730
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/32735
http://patriotpost.us/opinion/32733
http://patriotpost.us/opinion

Inside France’s Sharia No-Go Zones

If only the media and political elites fought jihad with the ferocity they have brought to bear to deny no-go zones. Madness. Everybody knows.

There is a tremendous controversy these days about the no-go zones in France. Fox News has apologized for covering them. Fox Report host Julie Banderas said: “To be clear, there is no formal designation of these zones in either country and no credible information to support the assertion there are specific areas in these countries that exclude individuals based solely on their religion.” Yet while it may be true that there aren’t specific areas of France where non-Muslims are prevented from entering, there are many that, if they do enter, they must conform to Islamic norms.
This has been reported for years. The New York Times reported in April 2002, “Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.” And Newsweek said in November 2005: “According to research conducted by the government’s domestic intelligence network, the Renseignements Generaux, French police would not venture without major reinforcements into some 150 ‘no-go zones’ around the country–and that was before the recent wave of riots began on Oct. 27.
Just two weeks ago, the New Republic wrote: “The word banlieue (‘suburb’) now connotes a no-go zone of high-rise slums, drug-fueled crime, failing schools and poor, largely Muslim immigrants and their angry offspring.”
There is abundant evidence that there really are no-go zones, despite all the denial. See this video, and more: here is a video about how Muslims plotted to ambush Swedish police with firebombs. Another video shows riots that followed police trying to make an arrest in a Belgian Muslim suburb. Here is video of Muslim riots in Trappes, France. And here is a video showing the plight of the remaining French women in a Muslim-dominated area of France. Here is a video showing Muslim youths running amok in Paris. In Paris, Muslims firebombed a bus with fifty passengers inside, and Muslim riots are spiraling out of control in Sweden.
All this is well known. Journalist Soeren Kern here quotes numerous French journalists and others covering the no-go zones and speaking frankly about what they are. But now it is all about Fox News. Yet I have this on good authority from a Frenchman who has lived in Paris. He wrote this to me about the Sharia no-go zones in France:
In Paris you have areas where a large majority of the population is Muslim (Aubervillers where my in-laws are from, La Courneuve, Stain, etc.). These places are infested with drugs and Islamists, because unlike the USA, France’s Muslim community is the largest majority in prisons (over 70%). They go to prison as drug dealers and come out as Islamist drug dealers. And this is largely how they finance terrorist operations.

I have a very vivid souvenir of one night. My friend lives in one of the most dangerous places in France (La cite des 4000, in La Courneuve). I was about fifteen years old, and needed to go to his house to study for a test. Upon my arrival, ten Muslims were at his apartment door and would not let me enter, saying that they did not know me, and wouldn’t let me in. I was shocked at the idea that in France there would be any place where I was not able to walk freely – it was insane! I had to call my friend, who came down from his apartment and begged them to let me in.

And this is how it goes in these no-go zones. These Islamist gangsters steal, deal drugs, harass women who are not dressed properly, burn cars, and drink, and if you live there and ever complain, you will take a huge beating!
I have a friend whose sister was raped in an elevator. The family wanted to go to the police, but the thugs who raped her sister caught her brother and burned cigarettes on his tongue. They warned him that if he ever talked. They would all be finished. Girls get raped and burned in garbage cans in these places. Ilan Halimi was held captive for weeks in places like these.

There are no rules there, especially not for Jews. A Jew in these areas can take a beating at any time! The police do not go in unless they come with huge backup. If a police car gets lost there, it will get smashed to pieces! They provoke fires, so that the firemen come and get stoned!

But I can tell you that living in these places is no picnic, and all these fake politicians can go live there and see if they can hold on for 10 minutes.
That is true. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and other politicians who have claimed that there are no Sharia no-go zones should walk through some of the areas that are widely identified as such, and see how long they last if they are women with heads uncovered.
The mainstream media is once again failing the American people.
Source
Pamela Geller’s commitment to freedom from jihad and Shariah shines forth in her books

Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2015/01/inside-frances-sharia-no-go-zones/#7hY34Bc3FRG2doDd.99

A No-go Zone for Truth

Accurately reporting on no-go zones dominated by Muslims in Europe is now a no-go zone. Our media have made a mess of the whole issue and are now afraid to dig themselves out. What a disgrace and disservice to news consumers.

Jumping on the pile, the left-wing Politico has published a story accusing Louisiana Republican Governor and possible presidential candidate Bobby Jindal of telling a “lie” about the no-go zones by saying they exist. But the story is itself based on a lie. Things are so twisted that Politico is doing the lying by denying that the no-go zones exist. How did we get in such a mess?

Let’s understand that the method in this madness is to accommodate the radical Muslim lobby and demonize politicians who talk about the jihad problem.

First of all, the evidence shows that the zones or areas do exist. We cited evidence for them, and numerous other outlets have done so as well. The confusion stems from a Fox News apology over the matter that should never have been made.

Steve Emerson made a mistake on one Fox show in saying that “in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

Acknowledging his error, Emerson tells WorldNetDaily that he is nevertheless appalled that the media have now decided that any and all reporting on no-go zones is wrong. “It’s outrageous for media outlets to apologize, saying ‘no-go zones’ don’t exist in Europe, when even the New York Times for years has published articles documenting Muslim ‘no-go zones’ do exist in European countries like France,” he tells WND reporter Jerome Corsi.

Corsi notes that “NBC News, the New York Times, the Associated Press and others were using the term ‘no-go’ zones for Muslim-majority neighborhoods in Paris when Muslim youth gangs were rampaging through the streets and setting cars on fire.”

We made the same point in our treatment of the issue, noting that Fox News suddenly altered its reporting of the Muslim riots in France in 2005, determining them to be “civil riots” instead. We saw then the power of the Islamists to alter Fox’s coverage.

Fox News media reporter Howard Kurtz had a great opportunity on his Sunday show “Media Buzz” to set the record straight. Instead of confronting his own channel over the unnecessary apology, Kurtz praised CNN’s Anderson Cooper for making the same kind of apology. But then he mentioned that other outlets have been reporting on the no-go zones for years. So an apology wasn’t necessary after all! “The subject is complicated,” he said. No it’s not. Just tell the truth.

If all of this is unnecessarily confusing, it’s clearly because of the unnecessary Fox apology. It was a political apology. There is no other explanation. It is this kind of pandering that is becoming a pattern at Fox, which had earlier yanked anchor Bret Baier from a Catholic conference under pressure from the homosexual lobby.

Liberal special interest groups should not have this kind of influence on a news organization, especially one claiming “fair and balanced” coverage that is also supposed to be accurate.

Journalism 101 teaches that corrections or apologies are called for when errors are made. Since no-go areas do in fact exist, according to numerous sources, no apology was necessary. Yet, Fox News offered the view that since the no-go zones are not “specific” or “formal” entities, they really don’t exist. Fox was wrong. This is complete nonsense and a gross distortion of the concept.

Robert Spencer makes the observation, “The Fox apology is all the more curious in light of the fact that others, even on the Left, have noticed the no-go zones in France before some Fox commentators began talking about them in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.”

Citing just one example of many, he notes that David Ignatius had written in The New York Times back in 2002, “Yet Arab gangs regularly vandalize synagogues here, the North African suburbs have become no-go zones at night, and the French continue to shrug their shoulders.”

Spencer notes that Fox’s apology “only plays into the hands of leftists and Islamic supremacists who have a vested interest in rendering people ignorant and complacent about the reality of what is going on in these areas.”

He suggests that Fox “apologize for its apology.” That would perhaps further confuse matters, but it is the right thing to do.

Without an apology for the apology, those who apologize for the Islamization of Europe like Arif Rafiq will continue to claim, as he did in Politico, that Jindal, by even discussing the no-go zones, “has been repeating a lie that even Fox News was forced to apologize for.” The Fox News correction, or apology, though unwarranted, is now being cited as the media standard.

Politico headlined the piece, “Bobby Jindal’s Muslim Problem,” as if the governor has a bias against Muslims. So a Fox News apology has now been transformed into an indictment of a conservative political figure. Soon, Jindal will be denounced as an “Islamophobe,” another smear term used by the radical Islam lobby.

The liberal media won’t believe any of Fox’s normal day-to-day reports. But when the channel claims to have made an error that makes the rest of the media look good by comparison, that suddenly becomes the truth and the channel has to be believed. This is how reality is turned upside down.

The real story is why Fox made this unnecessary correction. The clout of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Council on American-Islamic Relations is the most likely explanation. Fox has undermined its own credibility by apologizing for something that was true. It is bizarre and was absolutely unnecessary.

Pamela Geller is correct that the major media are “failing us.” It’s terribly tragic that at a time when we were depending on one channel, Fox, to tell the truth, it has failed us, too.

German Football ‘Hooligans’ Take Up Battle Against Salafists
A group of nearly 5,000 football hooligans gathered in the city of Cologne to protest the spread of Islamic extremism in the country.
BY SOEREN KERN Mon, November 10, 2014
A group of nearly 5,000 football hooligans from across Germany gathered in the western city of Cologne on October 26 to protest the spread of Islamic extremism in the country.

The watershed march was organized by a new initiative called “Hooligans against Salafists,” better known by its German abbreviation, HoGeSa, short for Hooligans gegen Salafisten.

HoGeSa is a burgeoning alliance between hooligans from rival football clubs who have temporarily set aside their mutual hatred for each other in order to unite against a common enemy: radical Salafists who want to replace Germany’s democratic order with Islamic Sharia law.

The alliance has its roots in a hidden Internet forum called GnuHoonters (homophone of “New Hunters”) formed in 2012 between 17 different hooligan groups from across Germany. GnuHoonters was established primarily to fight anarchists, Marxist-Leninists and other left-wing extremists in the country.

In 2013, some 300 members of GnuHoonters set up another hidden Internet forum called “Because Germans Still Dare” (Weil Deutsche sich’s noch trauen), aimed at developing an action plan to fight the leaders of Germany’s Salafist scene.

After the forum was hacked in early 2014 and its secrets were spilled to the public, the group adopted the name “Hooligans against Salafists” and began operating openly. Initially, HoGeSa’s activities were limited to the Internet and social media, through which it developed a considerable following. Its Facebook page, for example, had more than 40,000 followers before it was recently shut down by Facebook censors.

On September 28, 2014, around 300 HoGeSa members met in person for the first time in Dortmund, a city in the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia that has a large Muslim population. Similar meetings were also held in the cities of Essen, Mannheim and Nuremberg.

These introductory meetings paved the way for HoGeSa’s first mass gathering, the rally in downtown Cologne on October 26. The organizers of the event were expecting a turnout of around 1,500 hooligans, but more than three times that many people (4,900 by some counts) showed up.

According to some commentators, the mass mobilization was fuelled in part by a growing sense of frustration that the German government is not doing enough to curb the spread of Islam in the country. Others said that protesters were incited by the Salafists’ unceasingly provocative support for the jihadist group Islamic State.

The rally, which began in front of Cologne’s central train station, was initially peaceful, given that Salafists appeared to give the area a wide berth. But matters turned extremely violent after participants refused to obey police orders to clear the area after the event was over.

More than 1,300 police were called in, many using batons, pepper spray and water cannons against the protesters, who hurled rocks, bottles and firecrackers at them. Nearly 50 police officers were injured and 20 protesters were arrested.

The intensity of the violence shocked many Germans and commentators pondered over who these “new hooligans” are and whether this “unexpected phenomenon” portends serious trouble ahead.

One newspaper wrote: “The hooligans are more dangerous than ever. They have a new opponent. German security authorities are on high alert! A state security official has warned: ‘If hooligans actually meet Salafists next time, there will certainly be severe injuries or deaths.'”

HoGeSa representatives seemed to apologize for the violence in Cologne, saying that “not everything went according to plan” and that they had learned from their mistakes.

At the same time, HoGeSa leaders insist that the group is “apolitical” and not connected to any partisan organization, including Germany’s neo-Nazi movement. “We stand behind our cause,” one of the event organizers shouted into a megaphone. “We are not right-wing radicals,” he added.

But large numbers of neo-Nazis are said to have joined the rally, sparking fears that right-wing extremists are seeking to influence and possibly co-opt the hooligan scene, with the aim of leveraging HoGeSa’s mass mobilization potential to its own advantage.

The newspaper Die Zeit reported that senior leaders of the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party of Germany [NPD] participated in the Cologne rally and offered to help “professionalize” the HoGeSa movement. “The starving NPD, which has been in a political free fall for three years now, is apparently on the offensive and wants to join this new extremist trend,” the paper wrote.

A new report published by police in North-Rhine Westphalia estimates that there are a total of 13,600 hooligans in all of Germany, but that only 400 (or 3.3%) have ties to the neo-Nazi movement or other right-wing extremist groups.

The president of the German domestic intelligence agency BfV, Hans-Georg Maassen, said that hooligans have not been subject to state surveillance because, for the most part, they are “politically indifferent” and their personal values are limited to “drinking beer and fighting.”

Some commentators argue that mainstream media outlets are now using the fear of hooligan violence to completely shut down the debate about the rise of Islam in Germany. They are doing so by demonizing any German citizen with legitimate concerns about the spread of Sharia law and the establishment of a parallel Muslim society in the country as “neo-Nazi.”

In the words of one such commentator, the guardians of German multiculturalism are protecting the “beheaders of Christians and mutilators of women” by seeking to silence those who are politically incorrect enough to express outrage at such atrocities.

HoGeSa’s next major rally was set to be held in Berlin on November 15. The event — which was being organized under the motto, “Against Salafists, Islamization and Refugee Policy” — was to have been held at the Pariser Platz, a square in the center of Berlin that is situated within walking distance of the seat of the German government.

The rally organizers originally said they were expecting a turnout of 1,000 people, but after police predicted that more than 10,000 hooligans would show up, authorities in Berlin cancelled the event. Similar rallies planned for Frankfurt, Hamburg and Hannover have also been banned, although social media chatter indicates that the hooligans plan to proceed anyway.

In any event, HoGeSa appears to be striking fear into the hearts of the Salafists, who are now on the defensive, an accomplishment that has so far eluded German counter-terrorism officials.

Following the violence in Cologne, Pierre Vogel, a notorious convert to Islam who in recent years has emerged as a central figure in Germany’s Salafist scene, hired full-time bodyguardsto protect himself and his family.
The German media say Vogel, a former professional boxer who usually depicts himself as the embodiment of an invincible Islam, is now portraying himself as a helpless victim at the hands of football hooligans.

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook. Follow him on Twitter.

This article was published originally on GatestoneInstitute.org