New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade continues to lose sponsors after NY City Council Speaker Melissa Viverito named unrepentant terrorist Oscar López Rivera a “National Freedom Hero” who will be honored at the June 11th parade.

First Goya Foods, the parade’s largest sponsor throughout its 60-year history, pulled its $200,000.

The NYPD Hispanic Society and the Rafael Ramos Foundation have pulled out. Also dropping out,

the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and the other police unions representing the NYPD senior ranks.

NYPD commissioner James O’Neill, while acknowledging he would likely be at the parade overseeing thousands of cops stationed there, refused to march in honor of a terrorist.

Jet Blue, AT&T, and the New York Yankees won’t be there, either,

The Yankees’ boycott particularly stings. Bronx Bombers who have graced the parade include Puerto Rican native Bernie Williams.

“The New York Yankees are not participating in this year’s Puerto Rican Day parade,” the team said in a statement.

Instead, both Jet Blue and the Yankees will continue their scholarship programs helping “Puerto Rican students in both New York and Puerto Rico” by totally bypassing the parade organizers.

Gov. Cuomo is still waffling on whether he’ll attend the parade.

Univision continues to sponsor terrorism, never mind that

it wasn’t the belief in independence that got López Rivera locked up; it was the six pounds of dynamite and four blasting caps found in López Rivera’s apartment.

The network is set to air an exclusive interview on Sunday’s edition of Al Punto where U.S. Representative Luis Gutiérrez compares López Rivera to George Washington.

Viverito has dug in her heels and last Monday held a “rally to defend the parade,” conflating the parade with the terrorist. Seth Baron reports (emphasis added),

When a reporter asked her why López Rivera had dynamite, blasting caps, and bomb-making diagrams in his apartment when he was arrested, Mark-Viverito said, “in regard to the specifics of that situation you are talking about, I don’t know everything that was presented in the court proceedings.”

Just for clarity’s sake: the FALN claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings, including the one at Fraunces Tavern that killed four people and injured 50. At his trial, Lopez Rivera refused to participate in his defense on the grounds that he was a combatant in an anti-colonial war against the United States and thus a prisoner of war; he demanded to be tried by an international tribunal. He was tried in open court and convicted of “seditious conspiracy, use of force to commit robbery, interstate transportation of firearms and ammunition to aid in the commission of a felony, and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.” López Rivera refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of his acts, nor has he renounced violence, conceding only that other means are “more effective.” When asked about the surviving family of his victims, he told an interviewer in 2011, “If you don’t respect me, why should I reciprocate? I wasn’t there to tell them, ‘Hey, listen, I’m sorry.’ That’s not me.”

I do not exaggerate when I say that López Rivera set his apartment as a bomb-making facility.

Lopez-Rivera had been in federal prison since 1981, serving a 55-year sentence which was extended an additional 15 years following two failed attempts to escape, where

he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets.

Three days before leaving office, then-President Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s 70-year sentence. López Rivera was released on May 17th.

No word on whether Obama will attend the parade.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Now that Mitch Landrieu has removed four Confederate era monuments in New Orleans, supposedly we can expect two things as stated by the mayor himself:

  1. Crime will drop and the city will unify.
  2. New Orleans population will swell to pre-Katrina numbers.

Over the past few weeks Landrieu has used the city’s firefighters and police force to work, masked and in the dark of night, to remove these four landmarks which are now in an unsecured maintenance trash yard in NOLA.

Some reflections on this entire ordeal:

The citizens of New Orleans never got to vote on this. A city council vote of 6-1 sealed the fate of the monuments.

Various local media polls in New Orleans showed a majority supported leaving the monuments in place. The monument opponents, however, were more vocal.

Mitch Landrieu credits former NOLA resident Wynton Marsalis with the impetus to remove the monuments. Marsalis, who lives in New York, penned an OpEd for the Times-Picayune in December 2015 in which he stated:

“When one surveys the accomplishments of our local heroes across time from Iberville and Bienville, to Andrew Jackson, from Mahalia Jackson, to Anne Rice and Fats Domino, from Wendell Pierce, to John Besh and Jonathan Batiste, what did Robert E. Lee do to merit his distinguished position? He fought for the enslavement of a people against our national army fighting for their freedom; killed more Americans than any opposing general in history; made no attempt to defend or protect this city; and even more absurdly, he never even set foot in Louisiana.”

The statement about Lee never setting foot in New Orleans is patently false as Robert E. Lee was stationed at Jackson Barracks and was in the city numerous times over several years.

Mitch Landrieu has displayed an astounding lack of transparency on the removal process. Landrieu promised the courts that qualified contractors would be used in removal. This was a lie. Landrieu used city firefighters to remove the monuments and live feeds of the removal of each monument was evidence enough of their ineptness and inexperience with removal of priceless works of public art as the statues twirled perilously at the end of straps rigged around them supported by bubble wrap and while removal cranes burned rubber trying to get closer to their targets and leaked hydraulic fluid everywhere.

In his victory speech last week, Landrieu claimed that the monuments caused a great exodus from the city:

“I will say this for the people that are interested in the costs. The cultural, economic, and spiritual loss to the city for having those statues up that have run people out of the city. The great migration that sent some of our best and brightest to place across the country that we don’t have the benefit of has been incredible.” said Landrieu.

It’s as if it never crossed his mind that high crime, pot-hole ridden streets, corrupt government, failing schools, no jobs, and high taxes might be a contributing factor to the problems in New Orleans.

In truth, Hurricane Katrina caused the population exodus and the city’s population has been on a steady climb back to pre-Katrina numbers ever since.

As we reflect over the travesty of the Landrieu administration, one has to consider his motives in all of this. There have been rumors of a job offer from Al Sharpton for Landrieu, there have been rumors of the mayor having national political ambitions, and there have been rumors of motivations in Landrieu’s personal life for removal of these monuments.

Water under the bridge.

What is left in the wake of all this is a once beautiful city now more racially divided than ever. A city that came together in unity after Hurricane Katrina that is now ripped and torn at the seams. A city with a crime rate that makes it the most dangerous city in the country.

As I have documented this story on this blog through the past months, it has been with the purpose to acknowledge that this can happen in any city in any state in the country. As a people we must find a way to live together and to reconcile ourselves with our differing opinions and perspectives. States all across the South are struggling with this Civil War monument issue – some choosing to protect their monuments and some not. Some choose to add other monuments to appease the opponents (they call it ”balancing the story” but it is appeasement). Some choose to add “interpretive plaques” that retell the story in a more politically correct light.

The ignorance of our society, and the willingness to too many to avoid the study of history, is where this emanates from. Had Mitch Landrieu done one iota of research, for example, he would have known that Robert E. Lee had been in New Orleans. That was never the point.

Landrieu’s point was to “correct history,” as he told TIME magazine.  Now that’s a monumental ego for you.

As for the crime issue, the city has 76 murders this year so far, well above the rate last year.  And on Saturday night, for example, with all four monuments now gone, the shootings and violence continue. Two men were shot in downtown New Orleans Saturday night and another stabbed with a screwdriver.

Thank goodness the city is unified now.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

I have met Robert Spencer briefly over the years in a variety of places across the U.S., and frequently read his blog, Jihad Watch, which I invite you to read.

Robert was poisoned during a trip to Iceland, after giving an anti-jihad lecture in Reykjavik.

Robert’s lecture was preceded by media reports which he describes as “a firestorm of abuse in the Icelandic press,” some downright libelous,

Perhaps most absurd of all, Icelandic media published the false claim that I incited the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik to kill. (Sigh. In a world of logical thinking, I’m as responsible for Breivik as the Beatles are for Charles Manson.) After the event, one article even featured a large photo of Breivik, yet it quoted nary a thing I said that evening.

Not one Icelandic media outlet contacted me for comment, much less for rebuttal to the charges they made against me.

In spite of the media demonizing, 500 people attended the lecture, following which Robert went out for dinner. It was then that someone slipped Ritalin mixed with MDMA (Ecstasy) in his drink. He was hospitalized for days.

Robert continues (emphasis added),

I learned my lesson. And the lesson I learned was that media demonization of those who dissent from the Leftist line is direct incitement to violence. By portraying me and others who raise legitimate questions about jihad terror and Sharia oppression as racist, bigoted “Islamophobes” without allowing us a fair hearing, they paint a huge target on the backs of those who dare to dissent.

Those who paint the targets, and those who shoot at them, think they’re doing something great. Not only does the Left fill those whom it brainwashes with hate, but it does so while portraying its enemies as the hatemongers, such that violent Leftists such as the young man who drugged me feel righteous as they victimize and brutalize for the crime of disagreement.

Mark Steyn, with whom I have also coincided at various venues, says “I don’t know how I’d stand up to a cocktail of Ritalin and Ecstasy.” I doubt that I’d fare as well as Robert.

Steyn notes the effect of poisonous social engineering (emphasis added),

The social-justice crowd are moving toward the same point as the Charlie Hebdo killers, and for the same reason: They’re too stupid to argue. For the Islamic imperialists, debate is a largely alien concept. For the left, it’s simply too much effort. As I said here many years ago, the great appeal of multiculturalism is that it absolves you from having to know anything about other cultures: If they’re all equally valid, what’s the point? Slap on the CO-EXIST bumper sticker and off you tootle. No need to worry whether the “C” might have a bit of a problem with some of the other letters, and that indeed, if not for the “C”, you wouldn’t need a bumper-sticker admonition to CO-EXIST in the first place. But, after two generations of social engineering, of the substitution of attitudes for education, it would require too much effort to equip yourself to argue against the difficult questions a man such as Robert Spencer raises. It’s literally easier to kill him.

Indeed, Robert gets it:

For years I have noted that the Left carries out relentless character assassination against those whom it hates, with the intention of discrediting us utterly, without debate or examination of our ideas. Now I see that the endpoint of this operation is not just that we be silenced, but that we be dead. Character assassination was first, and as my being poisoned in Iceland shows, now the Left is beginning to move on to the next level: actual assassination.

It’s not “only” a culture war. It never has been.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

The latest pearl-clutching news cycle comes from the NYT: Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation. The Gray Lady asserts on the third paragraph,

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia.

Clearest evidence, they say? On paragraph six, the NYT declares they have not seen the memo at all,

The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo, which is unclassified, but one of Mr. Comey’s associates read parts of it to a Times reporter.

Say again?

The New York Times has not viewed a copy of the memo,

They claim that this is “clearest evidence” that the President has tried to directly influence an investigation, but they haven’t even looked at it?

which is unclassified,

It’s unclassified because Comey wrote the memo to himself.

Comey is a lawyer. Lawyers routinely write memos to themselves on all sorts of subjects, including on ways to cover their butts. That does not make this memo (or its parts) as of itself a factual statement that would present “clearest evidence” of anything.

Not only that,

one of Mr. Comey’s associates

not Comey himself, who has been perfectly able to come forward anytime during the past three months (Michael Flynn was fired on February 13th) and present this “clearest evidence,” if it exists.

Why wait until after he was fired? Why not just quit in protest when it allegedly happened?

One thing Comey could have done short of quitting is inform the Senate Intelligence Committee of Trump’s alleged statement.

Comey didn’t make the call but instead had an unnamed associate, who

read parts of it

I’ve read whole articles over the phone when people asked me to. Just how long is this memo?

to a Times reporter.

Not to Michael Schmidt, who actually wrote the article, but to some unnamed person in the newsroom or somewhere.

So you get this,

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Not to pick on poor Rubin, but the pattern is a NYT-WaPo-CNN pearl-clutching circle over leaks provided by anonymous people over an investigation which has dragged on for several  months and has produced no evidence regarding Trump’s links to Russia.

In plain English: An unnamed person read parts of a note Comey wrote to himself (and kept in a drawer for three months), to an unnamed NYT employee.

The NYT calls it “clearest evidence;” the WaPo says it’s obstruction of justice.

Some are talking of impeachment over this – over some newspaper playing Mad Libs with stuff they haven’t actually seen.

Instead, I join with Charlie Martin in demanding, Show Me the Memos!

Here are some Tips For Reading Washington Post Stories About Trump Based On Anonymous Leaks. Pay special attention to #5, “Compare sources willing to put their name and reputation on the line.” Comey certainly hasn’t.

Likewise, John Podhoretz has valuable advice to Pres. Trump: STOP TALKING.

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – Another week, another Confederate era monument gone.  In the early morning hours Thursday morning, the twenty-five foot bronze statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was ripped from its granite pedestal by city crews (which one again included city firefighters) hiding behind masks as monument supporters who had stood vigil all night long quietly sang “Dixie.” Some stood and solemnly saluted the desecrated statue of Davis as the statue was lowered onto a rented flatbed truck..

Crews gathered around the statue just after midnight, partially wrapped the statue’s mid-section in green bubble wrap, tied a thick yellow strap around the torso, and lifted the statue, Davis’s arm pointing at both demonstrators and supporters as the statue twirled in mid-air.  A makeshift crate was placed around Davis and crews lowered the statue onto the back of a flatbed truck and hauled it off to an undisclosed warehouse.

The pedestal is another matter – it took the untrained city contractors several more hours to figure out how to remove the heavy granite pedestal which sat most of the morning with a limp strap around it while engineers phoned into television stations warning that if it was lifted it would probably tip the truck over. It is as if Jefferson Davis himself was mocking them, declaring his right to be there as the inscription on the pedestal reads, “His name is enshrined in the hearts of the people for whom he suffered, and his deeds are forever wedded to immortality.”

Arlene Barnum was there. She came to New Orleans as soon as Mayor Landrieu had Liberty Place monument removed three weeks ago; she’s been standing guard at the Jefferson Davis monument day in and day out with a growing crowd of supporters. Arlene is a 63-year old black woman from Oklahoma, an Army veteran, and a woman with Confederate ancestors from north Louisiana. She felt that as “the one and only president of the Confederacy,” she was obligated to stand with Davis. As she stood at the monument, Arlene has been called a variety of racial slurs: “Aunt Jemima” seems to have been the most offensive to her. Her truck tires were slashed, her cell phone was knocked from her hand as she tried to live stream, and she has gone without much sleep.

Arlene has been dubbed “General Arlene” by some of the other monument supporters standing guard with her, and they have followed her lead. She has encouraged peaceful protest and non-violence.  “Fly those flags high,” she would shout, “Keep ‘em up! Don’t let that flag touch the ground!” Pastor Larry Beane from Salem Lutheran Church led the crowd in a prayer service before the city workers came to dismantle the monument.

Mitch Landrieu spent the evening hobnobbing with donors at the home of Mary Matalin and James Carville for Mitch Landrieu’s NOLA Pac.

Thursday morning Landrieu issued a statement:

After nearly two years of planning and court battles, City officials began the process today of removing the three remaining monuments that prominently celebrate the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy.” The statues that are being removed were erected decades after the Civil War to celebrate the “Cult of the Lost Cause,” a movement recognized across the South as celebrating and promoting white supremacy.

There are four prominent monuments in question. The Battle of Liberty Place monument, which was removed three weeks ago, was erected by the Crescent City White League to remember the deadly insurrection led by white supremacists against the City’s racially integrated police department and government. The statue coming down today is the Jefferson Davis statue on Jefferson Davis Parkway. The statues slated to come down next include the Robert E. Lee statue at Lee Circle and the P.G.T. Beauregard equestrian statue on Esplanade Avenue at the entrance to City Park.

“Three weeks ago, we began a challenging but long overdue process of removing four statues that honor the ‘Lost Cause of the Confederacy.’ Today we continue the mission,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “These monuments have stood not as historic or educational markers of our legacy of slavery and segregation, but in celebration of it. I believe we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it. To literally put the Confederacy on a pedestal in some of our most prominent public places is not only an inaccurate reflection of our past, it is an affront to our present, and a bad prescription for our future. We should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past.”

There is much about this statement that I personally find disturbing. Mayor Landrieu shows his gross gap of historical knowledge and research when he contends that the monument were erected to celebrate and promote white supremacy. That could not be more wrong.

The majority of the Confederate era monuments across the South were funded by memorial associations and by the Daughters of the Confederacy to honor their war dead. They wanted to honor the sons and husbands that would never come home, many of whom were buried in places unknown. Additionally, the monuments were intended to be instructional and to serve as historical reminders of that war, to teach future generations. For Landrieu to slant their intent in such a way is flatly irresponsible.

Landrieu’s statement goes on to say that “we must remember all of our history, but we need not revere it.” Who is he to tell us what we can and can not revere? Who made him the moral judge of society?

And when he calls the Confederacy “an inaccurate reflection of our past,” what is he saying about my ancestors that fought in that war? About the thousands of other men and boys who fought in that war on both sides?

Finally, when Landrieu says, “we should not be afraid to confront and reconcile our past,” let me just suggest that he is MOST afraid of it or he wouldn’t have our past crated up in the dark of night and hauled off to some undisclosed warehouse.

Rumors are that he will sell the monuments to Whitney Plantation where they will be mocked and derided as relics of men who defended slavery. So much for presenting an accurate representation of history.

Still to come down in New Orleans is the P.G.T. Beauregard monument and the Robert E. Lee monument. The protests and violence will continue, and the rift between groups grows wider.

As New Orleans scrapes away everything that once made it unique and historic, it will soon become just like any other city in America and there will be no reason to go visit. It is being turned over to the Antifa liberals and now has a higher homicide rate than Chicago, but please, let’s worry about monuments instead.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

I’m not old enough to remember Vatican II.  As I grew up, I sometimes heard people talk about a “Latin Mass,” but I never attended one until well after I graduated college.  That’s when I started teaching Catechism at our local church, and in order to make sure I could answer 9th grader questions, I researched a lot before each class.

I found a cool mixture of tradition and reverence at the Tridentine Mass.  I grew up with the Novus Ordo, but I attend both the Tridentine Mass and Novus Ordo, depending on what makes the most sense for my family at the time.  I’ve even gone to Eastern Rite churches when I travel.  To me, the Mass was always about the miracle: the transubstantiation of bread into the Body of Christ.

Sadly, I feel alone in thinking this way.  A storm brews inside the Catholic Church.  On one side are the so-called “traditionalists,” who treat the Novus Ordo as heresy.  The other side has the “progressives,” who believe the Church needs to modernize for the 21st century.

I get caught in the middle of this storm.  My in-laws never attended my wedding because I wasn’t “Catholic enough” (read: attends the Novus Ordo).  I bristle when people complain about “rad trads,” and then tell me they are OK with artificial birth control and abortion.  It’s aggravating, and unfortunately I have few friends that I pleasantly converse with about my Catholic faith.

But this whole debate is really a fallacy, because being Catholic has absolutely nothing to do with what language the Mass is said in.  I’ve met wonderful people on both sides of this debate, and it greatly bothers me that people spend their time vilifying others with all the evil that already exists in the world.

For so-called traditionalists (or “rad trads,” or whatever other silly titles they have), your blanket judgement of people that attend a Mass in vernacular is ridiculous.  Jesus didn’t give us a rigid Mass structure, he gave us guidance and the Church built a Mass, which has evolved over time, even before the Tridentine Mass came into existence.  So don’t lecture me how you are the original Mass, unless you want to roll back to saying the Mass in Aramaic.

For so-called progressives, I’m even more dismayed.  So little is expected of us as Catholics: weekly Mass, regular Confession, follow basic Church teachings, pray regularly and teach your kids about the faith.  When you consider that in many places you can’t attend Church without risk of death, these requirements are a small price to pay for salvation.  Yet over the past month here at my local church I’ve seen:

  • A bulletin announcement for parents picking up kids from Catechism, asking them to please attend Mass with their kids.
  • A lasy in front of me at Mass constantly checking Facebook on her phone during Mass.
  • People regularly showing up late to Mass and leaving early (get an alarm clock perhaps?).
  • Folks coming into the pew in front of me while I’m praying and talking loudly.
  • People shaming a mother for bringing her kids to Mass when they make one tiny peep of noise…sadly, the same loud people that interrupted my prayer earlier.

And I’m not trying to call out my local Church, because I’ve seen similar things elsewhere.

For both sides, you all are being played by an atheist-minded media hell-bent on tearing the Church apart from the inside.  This media gleefully alters quotes from Pope Francis to get people riled up.  It dramatizes Church business like the Synod of Bishops on the Family.  I think I spend more time proving that what the media says is wrong to people than I do talking about how much I love the Church.

And that is the problem.  We’ve become so focused on hating each other we often forget that the Church is supposed to bring people together, to help us overcome the daily temptation to sin, and to be our supernatural support structure.  We’re so busy arguing about who is better that we forget to see the good in others.  We’ve been corrupted by the world around us, rather than changing the world for the better.

I encourage you to change the status quo.  If you’ve never attended a Tridentine Mass, find one and go.  Same for Novus Ordo.  Talk to those Catholics after Mass.  Volunteer to teach Catechism and build young adults who are strong in their faith and knowledge of the Church.  Turn off your phone and pray peacefully on Sunday.  Set a good example, not just at Church, but whenever you walk out into the world.

Be that light to the world that Jesus wanted us to be.


This post represents the views of the author and not the views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

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At a very early age, I recognized that some women are prone to overreact, easily offended at the least thing that they cannot control. I’m old enough that, back then, the women wore pearls they could actually clutch.

Young as I was, I learned to carefully tune off such overreactions the way one gets used to people who talk too loud not because they’re angry but because they are losing their hearing.

This week the media was aflame because Pres. Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday afternoon. The Democrats were clamoring for Comey’s firing at lunchtime; by teatime they were calling Trump a fascist because he did exactly that.

The grey lady and her ilk clutched their pearls.

After a solid twenty-four hours of hysterical media coverage and wall-to-wall reactions on social media (including email notifications), by Wednesday evening I was profoundly uninterested in the subject.

I completely tuned off anything that had to do with Comey, until yesterday afternoon, when I listened to Ed Morrissey’s podcast while doing housework. I tuned off again until this morning for preparing this post.

The one thing that is clear from the start of the Trump presidency is that the media insists that it owns the narrative, regardless of the emergence of independent media, or whether, in this instance, people don’t care about a career bureaucrat, who, as Byron York points out (emphasis added),

is the FBI director who did not tell the Director of National Intelligence that the FBI had opened a counter-intelligence investigation involving Russia and the 2016 election.

The liberal media (I repeat myself) owned the narrative for so long that they took Hillary’s victory as a given. After the American people went against that narrative, the media will do anything to take Trump down, and will clutch ever-larger pearls, to the detriment of actual news.

Some of those pearls are the size of ice cream scoops.

Considering the current state of Turkey and its position in Europe and the Islamic world, you would think that Pres. Trump’s White House meeting with Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would get a headline or two above the fold.

You would be wrong.

Instead, CNN dedicated air time to two scoops of ice cream on the President’s dessert plate. Pay attention to the tone,

CNN got the scoop (all puns intended) from Time magazine. A search on Time Mag’s website turned up nothing on Erdogan’s White House visit.

As Stuart Varney says, we’re being forced into a political straitjacket by a media that has abdicated all responsibility. It almost makes a woman want to clutch a pearl or two.

UPDATE
Linked to at The Other McCain. Thank you!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog. She doesn’t clutch her pearls when she wears them.

Two days before leaving office, Barack Obama commuted Oscar López Rivera’s 70-year jail sentence unconditionally, along with 208 other grants of commutation.

Oscar López Rivera was a founding member of the Marxist Puerto Rican nationalist terror group FALN (Frente Armado de Liberación Nacional). The FALN was the most organized, active, well-trained and deadly domestic terror group based in the United States, leaving six dead and hundreds wounded in over 130 attacks.

The New York Times describes:

The F.A.L.N., which waged a violent campaign for the independence of Puerto Rico, was considered by the authorities to be among the most elusive and resilient terrorist groups to operate in the United States. Among its notable attacks was a bombing at Fraunces Tavern in New York in 1975 that killed four people.

The group was known for its tight-knit membership, fanatical zeal and hit-and-run tactics, as exemplified by the bombings of four government buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve in 1982 that seriously wounded three police officers.

López Rivera used his own apartment as a bomb-making facility.

He was sentenced to 55 years for seditious conspiracy, interstate transportation of firearms and explosives with intent to kill and injure people, vehicle theft, and other charges in 1981. In 1988 was sentenced to an additional 15 years for conspiring to escape from the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prison.

The escape attempts were not the Shawshank Redemption:

In one of two failed attempts to escape, he conspired with others inside and outside his prison to kill his way to freedom, attempting to procure grenades, rifles, plastic explosives, bulletproof vests, blasting caps, and armor-piercing bullets. After the FBI thwarted this plan, another 15 years was added to Lopez’s original 55-year sentence

Bill Clinton offered him clemency in 1999 (in a move that was engineered by then Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder), but he turned it down since it did not include all FALN members serving jail terms at that time.

Among Lopez Rivera’s numerous victims was Angel Poggi, a young NYPD officer of Puerto Rican descent who was severely maimed during the FALN’s first attack, in December 1974 – his first day on the job.

López Rivera remains unrepentant.

Under Obama’s commutation order, Lopez Rivera’s prison sentence expires on May 17.

López Rivera will be welcome with open arms by Hamilton‘s creator,

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and by NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (the @MMViverito in the above tweet).

Next on the agenda,

Officials last week announced plans to honor unrepentant terrorist leader Oscar Lopez Rivera as their first ever “National Freedom Hero” at this year’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade on June 11.

As a woman born and raised in Puerto Rico, I am profoundly insulted by this exultation of a Marxist terrorist whose every action has been inimical to freedom. Indeed, as Steven Hayward reminds us of Bryan Burrough’s excellent book, Days of Rage: America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,

In his invaluable history of the maniacal leftist terrorism of the 1970s, Bryan Burrough frankly characterizes FALN leader Oscar López Rivera as “the man behind the deadliest bombing campaign of the era.” That’s quite a distinction.

López Rivera is no hero to anyone who loves freedom.

UPDATE
Linked to by The Other McCain. Thank you!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT –  If Hurricane Katrina united New Orleans in the common cause of “love thy neighbor,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu has successfully decimated all remnants of civility and has created a cultural divide that has ripped the city apart and has cast New Orleans in a negative light in the eyes of the national lens.

As Landrieu continues to staunchly defend his decision to remove the city’s Confederate monuments, supporters (both black and white) have taken positions days and night at the monuments to protect them. Two weeks ago Landrieu removed one of the four, the Liberty Place monument, in the dead of night using a team of city firefighters wearing masks and protective armor.

Even as monument supporters had a large measure of victory this week with the passage of HB71 from committee, tension about the monuments rose. This bill would presumably protect the monuments:

House Bill 71 would forbid the removal, renaming or alteration of any military monument of any war, including the “War Between the States,” that is situated on public property. The measure was amended to require the support of a majority of voters in a public election before any monuments could be removed.

Mayor Landrieu is not working fast enough for Take ‘Em Down NOLA and the Antifa crowd, and they announced a rally in New Orleans to take place Sunday, May 7:

TAKE EM DOWN NOLA CALLS FOR PEOPLES CELEBRATION & SECOND LINE TO BURY WHITE SUPREMACY

While white supremacists gather from many states around confederate monuments in OUR CITY, the mayor nor council has still not publicly called for its own ceremony to honor the historic occasion of 4 monuments to slavery coming down. Even the conservative governor of S.C. had a public ceremony to remove the confederate flag.

Cowering in darkness offers no safety or protection, it is shameful and being questioned by world wide media.

What does this say to Black youth? What does this teach white youth?

All eyes are on New Orleans. It is fitting that during Jazz Fest the people have our voices heard. Not just on the monuments, but for racial equality and economic justice for those who built New Orleans, whose heritage is leveraged for profit and who are being displaced.

In the name of the good people of New Orleans, in honor of our civil rights veterans who fought for decades for their removal, in appreciation of the Black community, elders and youth Take Em Down NOLA is issuing this call for everyone to come out!

Meet at Congo Square at 1:30pm.

March to Lee Circle.

Make History! Take down Robert E. Lee and ALL symbols of White Supremacy!

By noon Sunday protesters were gathering on both sides. Monument supporters were getting information and security, how to handle pepper spray attacks, and cautionary information about Antifa. New Orleans police began installing barricades around Lee Circle; the Jefferson Davis monument has been blocked off all week after violent clashes last weekend between both sides.

Large black busses with blacked out windows were moving into the city in the morning filled with Antifa protestors.

But, through the day, for the most part things remained non-violent. Tense, but non-violent. There were a couple of fights and skirmishes that were quickly put down, but by early evening crowds had dispersed and traffic lanes were reopened.

The focus then moved to the Jefferson Davis monument where reports were that a large Antifa group was congregating to harass supporters there. But other than the exchange of hot words, everything was calm.

Overall, thankfully the protests did not end in the free-for-all that was anticipated but what did come out of it all was a clarification that contrary to Governor John Bel Edwards’s stance that the monuments “are a local issue,” clearly it has surpassed that. Mitch Landrieu made it NOT a local issue when he called in State and Federal Law Enforcement from all over the state to New Orleans using Department of Homeland Security emergency measures. This makes is a national issue, being paid for with state and federal tax dollars.

And this means John Bel Edwards now has to get off the fence.

 

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.

This week I had the chance to visit the USS YORKTOWN museum, docked at Patriot’s Point in sunny Charleston, SC.  The crew at Patriot’s Point have done a fantastic job fixing the YORKTOWN, and one of the new exhibits I hadn’t seen before was called the Combat Information Center (CIC) experience.  So, I walked in to check it out.

The revamped CIC at Patriots Point. The “people” are actually projections. Image courtesy of Patriots Point.

The “officer” in CIC talked about tracking a Russian Tu-95 bomber that was preparing to overfly the Navy vessels in formation.  Then he had to deal with a quiet Russian submarine.  The CIC experience walked through the how the Navy tracked and dealt with each of these circumstances in the Mediterranean.


Russian TU-95 bomber , with US escort in the background. DoD Image.

I was struck at how much things haven’t changed.  We’re still dealing with Tu-95 overflights and Russian submarines, and we’re still in the Mediterranean.  Students of history will likely chime in “History repeats itself.”  But I don’t think that’s the full story.  What amazed me as I walked around this World War II era ship is how similar things are to current ships.  While we have nicer equipment, the equipment is essentially covering the same functions as it did 60 years ago.  Even weirder, I read a few of the old ship “Plan of the Day” and some diary entries, and the issues they dealt with were very similar to what we still have now.

I don’t think history repeats itself.  Rather, I think people haven’t changed much, and they tend to attack problems in the same manner they have been for generations.  The only time history changes is when someone steps outside of that box.  Look at World War II Germany.  Previous European wars had not changed the map very much.  Germany shifted to massively different tactics (Blitzkrieg) and won surprising victories.  Eventually we copied that idea, and we haven’t changed much since.

Russia realized this after losing the Cold War and has completely shifted tactics.  That’s why we’re seeing Russian disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, and a much more subtle Russia, followed by low level conflict to gain territory.  But even this isn’t new…it sounds strangely similar to Germany in the 1930s.  Our sanctions response is doing nothing because it hurts regular Russians, who blame the US for their problems instead of President Putin.

If we want to stop watching history follow predictable human behavior, we have to do something new, and stop attacking today’s problems with yesterday’s solutions.


This post represents the views of the author and not the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

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