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Total number of comments: 1795 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:38)

Mark Koroi

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  • After Trump lets hundreds of ISIL Leave Raqqa, Turkey Enraged
    • Points regarding Israel:

      (A) ISIS oil has been purchased by Israel after being delivered via Turkey to the Israeli port at Ashdod;

      (B) Israel has debriefed Nusra Front fighters receiving medical treatment in Israel for intelligence purposes;

      (C) Israel has benefitted from the Nusra Front and ISIS engagement of Hezbollah militarily - Hezbollah has lost 1,000 fighters killed in action in Syria.

      Al-Nusra Front has been designated as a foreign terror organization by the U.S. State Department and has been linked to at least 57 suicide bombings within Syria; it is not a group that any Western power should be giving material assistance to.

    • Daesh had "marriage of convenience" with the Assad regime in the early years of the Syrian Civil War.

      It purchased Daesh oil and also was supplied from a HESCO natural gas plant manned by Russian engineers:

      link to foreignpolicy.com

      Daesh had received Syrian government air support during clashes with other rebel forces and the Assad regime ceded territory to Daesh in the early years of the civil war.

      Only after the rebel forces lost control of the major population centers did the Syrian Arab Army directly engage Daesh with any serious degree of effort militarily.

    • They also purchased bulk quantities of black market petroleum at discount rates from ISIS - even though they were a member of NATO.

      Turkey's assistance to ISIS emanated from the fact ISIS was fighting Kurdish elements in northern Syria.

  • Lebanon's Big Crisis, and What Saudi Arabia could Lose
    • The estimates of the number of military-grade missiles possessed by Hezbollah currently is as high as 100,000.

      Israel's military experts opine that the number of Israelis who might become fatalities in a war with Hezbollah under current conditions could be in double or even triple digits daily.

      Hezbollah only had 12,000 rockets in its inventory during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 when 165 Israelis died - 112 of them members of the Israel Defense Forces.

      Furthermore, Hezbollah now has an extensive inventory of guided long-range surface-to-surface missiles that it did not have in 2006.

      A guided Waad surface-to-air missile fired by Hezbollah at an IDF transport helicopter on 2006 destroyed it an killed the entire crew. A surface-to-sea Chinese Silkworm missile with a radar guidance system fired from the Beirut-area Mediterranean coastline disabled the Israeli navy warship Herat in that war, while killing five sailors aboard that ship.

  • Trump's Bluster meets the Afghanistan Reality amid Troop Escalation
    • The Taliban did offer in October of 2001 to turn over Osama Bin Laden over to a third party in exchange for the United States ceasing bombing of Afghanistan; this was contingent upon the U.S. providing proof of his complicity in the 9/11 attacks:

      link to theguardian.com

      The U.S. rejected the offer.

      Incidentally, the British government conceded that there was insufficient proof of Bin Laden's personal complicity in the 9/11 hijackings to warrant his criminal prosecution. This was, however, before, Bin Laden admitted such complicity in a video just before the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

  • Lebanon Hizbullah leader: Saudis dictated Hariri resignation
  • Voices of Yemen’s ‘Forgotten War’ Speak Out, Despite Legal Barriers
  • The Fall of the House of ISIL: Reduced from State to Random Terror
    • One by-product of ISIL's decline is a re-establishment of, albeit very limited, ties between the Trump administration and the Baathist government in Damascus.

      In a development first reported in the Al-Akhbar periodical and published today by the Reuters news agency, a senior U.S. official arrived in Damascus earlier this week to discuss security matters with Ali Mamlouk, the Syrian intelligence chief

      Among the topics that had concerned the Baathist regime in Damascus was the non-consensual presence of U.S. forces on Syrian territory; the U.S. envoy had broached the subject of missing Central Intelligence Agency operatives within Syria.

      The meeting represented the highest-level visit by a U.S. official to engage the Assad regime in Damascus since early 2011 - as Syria was just beginning to plunge into a civil war.

  • Dear John Kelly: Yes, Slavery was wrong in 1860s & Muslims helped Convince Americans to end It
    • "......how the Confederate military and political figures were treated post war........"

      Confederate President Jefferson Davis was jailed but later being released on bond while awaiting trial. He was freed after President Johnson declared a blanket amnesty to former Confederate citizens on Christmas of 1868.

      General Lee would later become a university president but it would take over 10 years until the U.S. government compensated him for taking his home and transforming it into Arlington National Cemetery. Lee was not allowed to vote - but he was never arrested as Jefferson Davis was.

    • General Robert E. Lee had expressed the belief that black slaves from Africa were better off as slaves in the U.S. than free in Africa as they were taught proper discipline and habits from the white owner.

    • The Russian emancipation of 1861 only affected privately-owned serfs.

      Serfs owned by the Russian government were not emancipated until 1866.

  • Upshot of Mueller Probe: Putin did to US what we did to Iran and Iraq
    • "....the U.S. has overthrown 14 foreign governments."

      This figure does not include countries where " regime change" has been suspected to have been CIA-inspired - but nevertheless remains unproven.

      Examples include the 1963 Ramadan Revolution in Iraq where socially progressive head of state Abd a-Karim Kasim was executed following the Baathist coup. CIA official Archie Roosevelt had vehemently denied U.S. involvement afterwards.

      Also, the 1973 overthrow of popularly-elected Chilean President Salvador Allende Gossens in Santiago has been suspected to have been instigated by the Central Intelligence Agency via its contacts within the Chilean army. While denying active CIA involvement, Director of Central Intelligence Richard Helms testified before the Church Committee admitted that the CIA had monitored the situation extensively and was aware of the moves of the various parties during the execution of the coup plan.

      The CIA, further, following the coup in Chile, had assisted in logistics and planning the creation of Operation Condor, an intelligence network comprised of police agencies of governments in the panhandle of South America that resulted in the abduction and torture of numerous union activists, dissidents, leftists and others suspected of anti-government activity and the deaths of at least 50,000 in Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

    • "Then the former head of the Council of Foreign Affairs and former NYT editor Leslie Gelb....."

      Actually, Leslie Gelb had served with the Council on Foreign Relations, who publishes the "Foreign Affairs" periodical, where Gelb acted as its president under Chairman Peter Peterson.

  • Last counties in Kirkuk fall to Iraqi Gov't as Sistani calls for protection of Kurdish Citizens
    • Ayatollah Sistani, from Najaf, Iraq, is an ethnic Iranian who is likely the most respected and revered cleric in Shia Islam and whose influence extends well into Lebanon.

      He has exercised influence in the region as a cleric since the early 1990s and is considered a pre-eminent Islamic scholar.

      The Shia Iraqi militias are generally not trusted by the Shi'ite-controlled Iraqi government and have close ties to Iranian intelligence services.

      The defeat of ISIS by the Iraqi national army is something that Western powers can cheer - however this article underscores that Kurdish nationalism, despite its favorable role in acting as a counterbalance to ISIS militarily, leads it to inevitable conflict with the governments in Baghdad, Tehran, Ankara, and Damascus - just as Israel did with her neighbors in 1948.

      Kirkuk's oil wealth is likely to be a bone of contention between the Kurds and the Iraqi government for a long time to come.

  • Iran Deal: 67% of US Citizens Don’t Want to Pull Out
    • Several points:

      (A) a strong plurality of Jewish-Americans polled in 2015 approved of the nuclear agreement involving Iran - despite the GOP and PM Netanyahu strongly opposing it;

      (B) there is speculation that North Korea may have electromagnetic "super-pulse" capabilities with a thermonuclear weapon that could severely damage the electrical grid that supplies America's electricity - the U.S., unlike Israel, has not expended funds to "harden" its grid to protect it from a possible super-pulse attack - and top U.S. experts in this field have warned that millions of American lives could be at risk in the event of such an attack.

  • Is racial bias driving Trump's neglect of Puerto Rico?
    • Yes, they do.

    • Puerto Rico citizens enjoy an exemption from federal individual income tax pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code. Despite this, the U.S. government pays billions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid benefits - as well as via other federal social welfare programs - annually to support Puerto Rican residents.

      The primary revenue producing activity the government of Puerto Rico has is sales tax, which has recently - in 2015 - been increased to 11.5%.

      Less than 8% of Puerto Ricans in a recent poll support independence. Uncle Sam is too benevolent a benefactor.

  • What’s Stopping Media From Calling Las Vegas Killer a “Terrorist”? His Whiteness
    • Paddock likely fits the mold of Charles Whitman, an ex-marine with no criminal record who studied engineering at University of Texas who killed over a dozen innocent strangers during a sniping rampage. The Connolly Commission linked his actions to possibly result from a brain tumor located during an autopsy.

      More recently, Jason Dalton, the Kalamazoo Uber shooter, had no known political leanings or criminal record when he shot to death six people unexpectedly.

      These shooters are purely motivated by psychopathology. Their personal cases are as tragic as their victims.

  • Fake News: Fascist Media try to blame Las Vegas Shooting on Left
    • Several other facts uncovered have given rise to speculation of outside involvement:

      (A) Facebook photos of Marilou Danley in Dubai - which have been since taken down - have been explained that she was accompanying a friend whose child worked in the U.A.E.;

      (B) a money transfer from Paddock to the Phillippines - which could be explainable by the fact that Danley's family is Filipino.

      In sum, no evidence of any outside conspiracy has been unearthed - and Paddock's actions remain a complete mystery.

  • Kurdish Independence: SecState Tillerson opposes, Sen Schumer Supports
    • Kurdish support from Israel dates back to at least the 1960s when the Kurdish mulla received military advisors from the IDF.

      The estimated 150,000 Kurdish Jews in Israel maintain generally close ties to the people of Kurdistan.

      Only about 15,000 Kurdish-descent individuals reside in the U.S., by contrast.

    • Israel purchases Kurdish oil over the objections of the Iraqi government.

  • Iraqi Kurdistan defiant in face of Baghdad sanctions, threats
    • "....[a]nother problem with Kurdish independence......is that the Kurds are scattered throughout the populations and there are many mixed communities."

      As you likely are aware, Iran is a good example where Kurds are not only scattered among non-Kurds - but divisions exist within the Kurdish Iranian community on the topic of Kurdish independence - with Sunni Kurds supportive of an independent Kurdish state, on one hand, and Shia Kurds loyal to the Iranian government in Tehran.

      There has, also, been Kurdish civil unrest in western Iran that has been largely unreported in the international media. An estimated six million Kurds live in Iran - almost the same number as inhabit Iraq - yet the story of the possible implications of the declaration of an independent Kurdish state partially constituted from land under Iranian sovereignty has been largely ignored.

      ".....it is believed that Istanbul holds the largest number of Kurds of any Kurdish city."

      Yes, however the actual number of Kurds in Istanbul is debatable as is the percentage of those Kurds who support Kurdish independence.

      There are also 100,000 Kurdish Jews residing in Jerusalem - how would they react to an independent Kurdish state?

      The Kurdish people were the "orphans" of the Sykes-Picot agreement - which led to a Kurdish diaspora and years of oppression around the world.

      ".....[w]e have to try to find democratic ways of living together and getting along together."

      Most Western observers thought that the creation of Israel in 1948 was a good idea - a democratic and pluralistic Zionist state founded by survivors of the Holocaust and those who understood oppression firsthand - yet almost sixty years later Israel is a militarized police state that has been in almost non-stop conflict with her neighbors and Palestinian Arabs under her control as well as unsettled borders.

      Will an independent Kurdistan follow the history of Israel?

    • This is reminiscent of May of 1948 when David Ben-Gurion in Tel Aviv declared the independence of the State of Israel as gunfire could be heard throughout the city.

      An oppressed people for thousands of years realizing their dreams of a national homeland. These events in Kurdistan are truly historic - as well as a victory for U.S. and Israeli intelligence agencies.

  • Gaza: Over 1 million children in ‘unlivable’ circumstances
  • As Trump probes move against Iran, IAEA certifies its Compliance with Nuclear Deal
    • Remember in 1974 when "Operation Smiling Buddha" resulted in the Indian military detonation of India's first atom bomb?

      The enriched uranium fuel for the bomb was created with Canadian assistance and with heavy water supplied by the United States.

      The French government sent a congratulatory telegram and the U.S. took the position that the nuclear test did not violate any international treaty obligations.

      Pakistan expressed alarm, having concluded a war with India in 1971.

      Today, India has one of the most sophisticated nuclear arsenals in the international community with development of technologically advanced ICBM and SLBM inventories. Additionally, India has developed multiple independently targeted re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) that international regulators have diligently attempted to ban and had been the topic of intense negotiations during the SALT treaty negotiations in the 1970s.

      The "nuclear apartheid" argument that has been made as to Iran and Israel respecting U.S. nonproliferation policy applies with equal force as to India - who remains in the process of ongoing development of highly advanced nuclear weapon delivery systems placing their military on par with China, Russia, and America - with little concern being expressed by the U.S. State Department - which focuses inordinate emphasis upon Iran despite IAEA certifications of compliance.

      Do we ever hear U.N. Ambassador Haley expressing concern of India's nuclear arsenal?

    • The point of mentioning her Indian ethnicity in the article was likely to illustrate an inclination AGAINST Iran as India has been diplomatically friendly to Israel and historically antagonistic toward Muslim-dominated regimes - such as in Pakistan.

      The Sikh minority has been historically militaristic and had a large proportionate share of its adherents serve in the Indian defense forces.

      Nikki Haley has never renounced her Sikh religion and considers herself Christian as well as Sikh.

  • It’s Time to Take the Nazi-Trump Comparisons Seriously
    • The parallels of President Trump to American Nazi Party leader George Lincoln Rockwell bear mentioning:

      (A) both attended Ivy League schools - Rockwell at Brown University and Trump at the University of Pennsylvania;

      (B) both held executive positions in Manhattan - Rockwell at an advertising firm and Trump in real estate;

      (C) both had their sanity questioned - with Rockwell once being committed by judicial order to professional mental health provider custody;

      (D) both admired militarism - with Rockwell smoking a corncob pipe to emulate Gen. MacArthur and serving as a U.S. Navy officer during WWII;

      (E) both ran for public office with Rockwell running for governor of Virginia.

      Although Trump has not directly identified with Nazism or white supremacy in general, it is clear that he has been reluctant to criticize neo-Nazis or the KKK as even President Reagan did in 1984 when he expressly disavowed a KKK endorsement in no uncertain terms.

      Many observers felt that the Nazi-KKK movement in the U.S. effectively died with the federal conviction and imprisonment of David Duke in the 1990s and the subsequent passing of Dr. William Pierce - but the political candidacy and presidential victory of Donald Trump has refuted this.

      As during the 1960s, the federal court system will be relied upon to enforce the rights of minorities and political activists who may be politically targeted. The throngs of Iraqi-Americans outside the United States District Court in Detroit cheering Judge Mark Goldsmith in his injunctions against the deportations to Iraq of resident aliens are evidence that those targeted have confidence that they will have the protection of an honest judiciary - much as Martin Luther King, Jr. did in Alabama in the 1960s.

  • Fascism in Charlottesville: Why it had a monopoly on violence & Intimidation
    • One former teacher of James Fields claims that Fields admitted to him while in high school that he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic.

      If this is accurate, expect criminal defense attorneys to exploit this as grounds for a legal insanity defense to pending charges. The fact Fields had no previous adult criminal record bolsters this theory.

  • Top 5 Ways White Terrorism means never having to Say you're Sorry
    • Islamic influence itself declined over the centuries since the Dark Ages.

      It lost Spain, large areas of Eastern Europe, and the Ottoman Empire collapsed after the end of WWI, leaving the Western powers - such as France and Great Britain to occupy North Africa, Iraq, and the Levant.

      The U.S. is a neo-colonial power in the Middle East - exploiting Israel, Egypt and the Persian Gulf states with its promises of foreign aid and establishment of military bases to perpetuate its welcome.

      America's reach into the deepest recesses into areas of Islamic fundamentalism is perhaps symbolized by the McDonald's restaurant franchise operated in Baalbek, Lebanon - a stronghold of the Hezbollah Party.

      If we look to the Far East, China is being co-opted economically by America - as they are learning to eat at McDonald's and drive cars manufactured in the U.S. while enriching themselves with American industrial technology and receiving interest payments on the U.S. national debt that they play a large part in financing.

      America has 20 billion dollars in annual bilateral trade with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam - the same nation it mercilessly bombed in the 1960s and early 70s.

      America is everywhere in the world. As with the British of yore - the sun never sets on the American Empire.

    • President Grant signed into law the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in U.S. history following the Civil War to protect blacks and empower them.

      This would include the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution and such legislation as the Ku Klux Klan Act, the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1871. Grant's actions to protect emancipated blacks were the cornerstone of his presidential legacy.

    • At this point it is premature to conclude whether or not the ramming of counter-protestors by James Fields in his Dodge Challenger was premeditated or whether the event was the result of a conspiracy with others at the rally.

      The FBI will likely try to ascertain when Fields formed his intent to ram the attendees and the reasons for doing so, plus whether Fields may have been intoxicated, had psychiatric disturbances or other mitigating factors that would amount to a form of diminished capacity.

      What is known about Fields is that he was 20 years old with no criminal record with a brief stint in the U.S. Army who had been a few hours earlier demonstrating with one of the white supremacist movements in Charlottesville known as Vanguard and displaying their shield.

      Expect his court-appointed criminal defense attorney to interpose some type of insanity or diminished capacity defense and request a psychiatric evaluation.

      The current state charge is second degree murder - which suggests that the prosecution has no evidence suggesting the incident was planned and conviction of that crime usually does not result in a life sentence.

      The FBI and U.S. Department of Justice could, however, seek a grand jury indictment for federal civil rights violations that could result in a sentence of life in prison for Fields.

  • Gov.'s branding Mosque bombing 'terrorism' astonishes US Press
    • According to former FBI interpreter Sibel Edmonds, the U.S. intelligence community was working with al-Qaeda up until 9/11 to operate as a "stay-behind" guerilla force in the event of Russian military aggression against her neighbors - and the FBI had information that an airplane terror attack was imminent one month prior to 9/11.

      She reported this to the U.S. Dept. of Justice Inspector General and the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility after being fired from the FBI; the investigators found her reports to be generally credible and that retaliation for her prior whistleblowing activities had been a substantial factor in her dismissal from the FBI.

      Ms. Edmonds testified in closed session to the 9/11 Commission. Her version of events was deemed credible by several members of Congress.

      The American Civil Liberties Union filed legal papers on her behalf in federal court claiming wrongful and retaliatory discharge of her FBI position which was dismissed due to State Secrets privilege.

      link to aclu.org

  • Extremist Israeli Squatters literally kick Palestinians out of Home, Move In
    • Some links on the continuing Abu Rajab situation in Hebron:

      link to middleeastmonitor.com

      link to palsolidarity.org

    • Some of the fascinating salient facts about this story:

      (A) after the court system already ruled to suspend the Israeli government's allowance of the settlers to occupy the Abu Rajab home, Israeli soldiers threatened the Abu Rajab family with detention when they tried to protect their home;

      (B) PM Netanyahu initially backed the position of the Abu Rajab family until an IDF soldier was killed in Hebron in an incident apparently unrelated to the Abu Rajab family - suggesting that the change in the PM's position was actuated by an intent of collective punishment;

      (C) the Abu Rajab family has been in Israeli courts for years - who have sided with them - to protect their home from from what they claim are fraudulent purchase documents.

      This suggests that the rule of law is being ignored by the Netanyahu government in intentional and flagrant disregard of its own judiciary.

      The Abu Rajab story is not unique - land seizures have even been conducted against realty owned by U.S. citizens in the West Bank with little or no objection of the U.S. State Department.

      There is no constitution in Israel and the existence scope of the judiciary can be limited by the Knesset legislative body dominated by right-wing extremists who will ensure that Palestinian fundamental due process rights are trampled upon.

      In sum, PM Netanyahu's government is content to see the Jewish settlers destroy any semblance of democracy in the State of Israel.

  • Syria: The American War on Civilians
    • Depleted uranium was also used in Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 by the U.S. - and by Israel during its incursions into Gaza.

      Depleted uranium has properties of both chemical and radioactive toxicity and lingering effects of its use have been identified throughout the world:

      link to globalresearch.ca

      link to theguardian.com

      The deployment of white phosphorus in copious amounts by the IDF against civilians in Gaza in 2008-2009 was studiously investigated as a war crime by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and the U.N. Goldstone Commission Report. The fact it is being used in Syria by the U.S - also against civilians - would clearly violate international law.

  • Saudi, slamming Qatar for Extremism, arrests Model for wearing Skirt in Public
    • She was ONLY released after telling investigators that the social media video upload of her in a mini-skirt was done WITHOUT her knowledge.

  • New UN Report Documents Legacy of 10-year Siege in Gaza
    • Linda Sarsour, a Palestinian-American, has been described as "an heir to Martin Luther King's legacy" and has been the an organizer and voice of Palestinian-Americans protesting for Gazan and West Bank Palestinians:

      link to indypendent.org

  • Trump's Fascist Weakness Mars Poland Diatribe
    • "....[a]nd Polish Jews, a major component of the population, are no longer there...."

      It was the Communist Party leader Wladislaw Gomulka who in 1968 initiated a purge of Jews in Warsaw that resulted in all but 5,000 leaving the country - most of these left remaining in the Polish capital were to old to emigrate.

      Gomullka was removed as the leader of Poland following the workers' uprising in Gdansk in 1970 and replaced with Edward Gierek, another Communist Party member.

      When the Solidarity independent trade union was formed, Lech Walesa proclaimed that the union was honored by the fact that a delegate to its ruling congress was Dr. Marek Edelman, the sole surviving member of the five Jewish commanders of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Dr. Edelman would eventually receive the Polish government's highest award and lived in Lodz until his death a few years ago.

  • Obama's last Victory: Syrian Democratic Forces hold Parts of ISIL Capital
    • Obama administration policy on Syria has been an abysmal and chronic series of failures.

      After Obama took office, in order to avoid the discerning eye of Republican in the U.S. Congress, he made a "recess appointment" of U.S. State Department career Foreign Service officer Robert Ford as U.S. Ambassador to Syria, thus circumventing the congressional confirmation process.

      The problem was that Ford eventually resigned and became a bitter critic of the Obama administration's foreign policy positions relative to Syria - and proclaiming in public that the ISIS problem in Syria was a by-product of the civil war in that country and the Syrian people's dissatisfaction with Assad fueled the proliferation of ISIS in Syria:

      link to cnn.com

      link to slate.com

      link to middleeasteye.net

      link to ibtimes.com

      President Obama's legacy in Syria - as to either the Baathist regime in Damascus or the al-Nusra Front and ISIS terror organizations that flourished during his second term - can only be described as a debacle.

  • As Comey Bolsters "Obstruction" Case, could Trump be Impeached?
    • An excellent point.

      Trump's opponents have only a very weak arguable case based upon an interpretation of COMEY'S VERSION of Trump's words to him:

      (A) there is no "smoking gun" implicating Trump in criminal obstruction acts nor is there any allegation that he was involved in blatantly obstructive activity e.g. ordering intentional destruction of evidence;

      (B) as the Chief Executive, Donald Trump had the discretion to order the Department of Justice to close the investigation into Flynn;

      (C) also as Chief Executive, he had the discretion under the U.S. Constitution to grant a pardon or other form of executive clemency to Flynn if he so chose prior to any criminal charges being filed against Flynn;

      (D) given the fact that no known recording exists of the encounter, there is no way Comey would be able to recall the EXACT words Trump may have used, so the exact context may never be known to a legal certainty;

      (D) Comey's credibility may be impeached given the fact that he was FIRED by Trump in a harsh manner and has every reason to shade or embellish his testimony to implicate Trump in criminal activity.

      It is also worth mentioning that the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General has been asked to investigate, as a possible breach of law, Comey's leak of information regarding Trump to a friend of his who is a professor at Columbia University.

      This is also the same James Comey who elected as FBI director to recommend that NO criminal indictment be sought against Hillary Clinton in the e-mail probe as a matter of prosecutorial discretion - which implies some kind of double standard being applied by Comey.

      That FBI e-mail probe eventually resulted in a Department of Justice prosecution of the husband of a formerclose aide to Hillary Clinton - ex-U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner.

      Trump will likely emerge from Comey's allegations unscathed as far as any Congressional investigation or impeachment action as the GOP leadership continues to stand by Trump.

    • Donald Trump - born in 1946 - was a baby boomer and a draft registrant during that era.

      "Trumpism" and "America First" will be here to stay and the "Trump Train" is already gearing up for the 2020 presidential election.

      Hours after assuming office Trump re-filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission authorizing his campaign to commence fundraising activities for a re-election bid and as of recently has collected over seven million dollars - including a successful recent campaign vent in Melbourne, Florida.

      Although his approval rating has dipped to 34% in the most recent polls - his constituency has enjoyed vast success. Ronna Romney McDaniel - an early Michigan supporter - became Republican National Committee chairperson.

      Other key anchors of his Michigan campaign team that engineered the upset in the Wolverine State on Election Day are moving forward:

      (A) Scott Hagerstrom - his Michigan campaign chairman - was appointed to the vice chairmanship of the Michigan Republican Party;

      (B) Lena Epstein, only 35, and vice-chairwoman of Trump's Michigan campaign organization, announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and drew national attention.

      Trump is viewed by his constituency as an outsider coming under unfair media attack.

  • What's the most effective way to fight terrorism? - Juan Cole on CBS
  • The rising homegrown terror threat on the right
    • The racist right-wing extremists had been reeling in the 1990s following the conviction and imprisonment of David Duke on federal income tax evasion charges. Duke had won a seat in the Louisiana State House as a Republican and made two "credible" runs for statewide office, even though he lost a gubernatorial race to Edwin Edwards and a U.S. Senate race to J Bennett Johnston. He actually had won 55% of the white vote against Edwards.

      Professor William Pierce, author of the "Turner Diaries" had died of cancer shortly after Duke had completed his prison term. Donations to white supremacist causes had plummeted after the death of the charismatic Dr. Pierce and white supremacism was in a tailspin as a national grassroots movement until one event - the announced candidacy of Donald Trump for president in 2015.

      Rocky Suhajda, of Livonia, Michigan, the national leader of the American Nazi Party and only the third person to lead that group since its founding by George Lincoln Rockwell, stated in an interview in late 2015 that white supremacists nationwide were rallying to give support to Trump - who at that juncture was given a 2% chance by oddsmakers of winning the presidency.

      Trump's candidacy was publicly lauded by David Duke, and the neo-Nazi "Stormfront" newspaper was one of the first periodicals to endorse Trump in his presidential bid.

      Trump's vitriolic rantings against Mexicans and Muslims have been met with glee by the white supremacist far right as it tended to legitimatize racist and separatist beliefs normally considered taboo by mainstream American politicians.

      A by-product of Trump's candidacy and eventual elevation to the U.S. presidency has led to a proliferation of violence and other expressions of bigotry in America.

      For Trump, it was a stroke of political genius that could have been taken from the pages of Mein Kampf - the use of specific minorities as scapegoats to blame America's ills on to achieve electoral gain.

      The "Trump Train" saw the demonization of Mexicans and Muslims through the prism of political expediency with a cost-benefit analysis mandating aggressive offensive campaign attacks on these demographic segments.

      The rise of similar populist movements in France, the Netherlands, and Greece illustrate that this is an international phenomenon.

  • Clapper Lied & Spied, now charges Trump w/ assault on Gov't Institutions
    • "......Clapper, former head of the shadowy National Security Agency..."

      Actually, James Clapper previously headed the Defense Intelligence Agency and later served as the Director of National Intelligence - however he never held a position in the National Security Agency.

  • Are we Monsters?
    • An issue is accountability for wrongful acts perpetrated by our national security apparatus which are never punished, even after the criminal justice system has spoken.

      The political reach of the U.S. intelligence community makes such accountability virtually impossible.

      The latest such frustration of justice reported is the intercession of former U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra of Michigan with the Trump administration of a former CIA officer held in a Portuguese prison awaiting extradition to Italy to serve time for complicity in the abduction of a Muslim cleric, reportedly at the behest of the National Security Council:

      link to newsweek.com

      link to cbsnews.com

  • The Sadism of creeping Dictatorship
    • The reason I did not compare it to the "Saturday Night Massacre" is because Pres. Nixon did not fire any FBI director - that sole distinction goes to Bill Clinton.

      Nixon, however, forced CIA director Richard Helms to resign a few months prior to his scheduled retirement for his refusal to invoke the State Secrets Doctrine to help obstruct the Watergate-related criminal investigations.

    • FBI Director Wm. Sessions had directed his agents to vigorously investigate FDIC-insured "agricultural loans" from an Atlanta branch of an Italian Bank of $5.5 billion that were alleged by a bank officer to be facilitated by the CIA and diverted to purchase armaments for the Iraqi military during its war with Iran in the 1980s.

      The "ethics investigation" of Sessions discovered minor infractions - such as using an FBI telephone to call his wife - but it was alleged the real motivation was retaliation for his investigation of the bank scandal. U.S. District Judge Marvin Shoob had implicated the "intelligence community" in influencing the direction of the Justice Department prosecution of only the bank officer and not U.S. or Italian officials who were believed to may have knowledge of the loans - which were defaulted upon to the detriment of American taxpayers.

      Many in the FBI respected Sessions and believed he was forced out for doing his job.

      Some links:

      link to nytimes.com figure-in-bank-scandal-links-bush-to-Iraqi-loans.html

      link to motherjones.com

    • Trump is doing now to James Comey what President Clinton did to FBI director William Sessions in 1993.

      I recall little outrage by the religious right or anyone else at the firing of Sessions.

  • What will new French President Macron do about Syria & ISIL?
    • France has had a not insignificant role in Syria:

      (A) they attended the Geneva II conference;

      (B) they joined U.S. forces in bombing runs against ISIS;

      (C) former foreign minister Laurent Fabius was highly critical of the Obama administration in its response to the use of poison gas by the Baathists in 2013 that violated the U.S. president's "red line".

      Some links:

      link to nytimes.com

      link to theguardian.com

      link to bloomberg.com

  • It was ISIL, not Hackers, who Hijacked French Election
    • "LePen's loss may be catastrophic."

      Not necessarily.

      She is considering the results as establishing herself as the Leader of the Opposition in France - much like Isaac Herzog recently did in Israel after losing to Netanyahu.

      The vote results confirm that her party has been elevated from a lunatic fringe group - as it was under her father - to a major force in French politics.

  • Dems to GOP After Trumpcare Vote: hey, hey, say Goodbye (in Next Election)
    • The "Trumpcare" bill that passed the U.S. House is not expected to pass the U.S. Senate:

      link to politico.com

      The GOP celebration over the House vote is premature until the Senate passes the controversial bill.

  • Dear Marine Le Pen: Only a Fascist would Praise Colonialism . . . Oh Wait
    • "Such tender attitudes to colonialsim might also explain the strong anti-Assad sentiments that emanate from LePen, and the French government."

      Just the opposite.

      It was the Alawite religious minority, of whom the Assad family belong, who acted as colonial administrators for the French during the period of French hegemony preceding Syrian's post-WWII independence.

      It was the Alawite-controlled Baathists following the 1949 CIA-inspired coup that toppled popularly-elected Sunni President Shukri Al-Qatli who consolidated power and have dominated Syrian politics to this day - since the early 1970s via the Assad family.

  • Over 1,000 Palestinian Prisoners Launch Mass Hunger Strike
    • Expect the Israeli government to use the Irish Republican Army hunger strikes and the British responses in the early 1980s as a comparison and precedents on how to fashion their own response.

      Although highly publicized at the initial strike of jailed IRA member Bobby Sands, the hunger strikes petered out after the British largely ignored the strikers and the media interest abated.

  • Recalling Heartbreaking Zionist Massacre of Palestinian Civilians at Deir Yassin
    • Several points:

      (A) the former village of Deir Yassin later became a mental health facility which continues to operate to this day;

      (B) the young Irgun officer, Benzion Cohen, who commanded the operation at Deir Yassin later became a Mossad official;

      (C) to this day in some Jewish quarters there are ongoing attempts to characterize the massacre as a legitimate military operation that has been "misunderstood".

      Some links on the "revisionist" versions:

      link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      link to etzel.org.il

  • Trump intervenes in the Great Mideast Civil War in Syria
    • "I am still struggling to understand why a chemical weapons attack was made on a village of no strategic importance. What were the political or military objectives?"

      The rationale was internal repression through the terror effect. To operate as a deterrent to dissident elements of the Syrian citizenry.

      The Hama massacre of 30,000 by Syrian government military and security forces in the spring of 1982 when Muslim Brotherhood elements began a modest rebellion in that municipality was certainly overkill - but conveyed a message that the Baathists in Damascus would not hesitate to employ massive unrestrained force to counter even limited anti-government activity.

      The Hama massacre is well-known in the Arab world - but relatively few Americans Westerners are aware that it ever occurred.

  • Washington's Supreme Hypocrisy on Chemical Weapons and Civilian Deaths
    • The Free Syrian Army on its "FSA NEWS" Twitter account tweeted a leaked putative copy of a Syrian government internal report confirming 7 killed and 18 wounded at the air base near Homs that was struck by U.S. Navy-launched Tomahawk cruise missiles.

    • "Baathism" does not rule Syria.

      Syria is controlled virtually completely by the extended family of President Al-Assad. This includes the Makhlouf clan that is on his mother's side.

      Assad's mother and sister left Syria several years ago and reside in the Persian Gulf states; they had left shortly after Assad's sister, Bushraa, had the loss of her husband, the deputy minister of defense in a bombing that also maimed one of her brothers.

      If Russia had the influence to remove President Assad, they would have likely done it long ago.

    • 50 Tomahawk cruise missiles have now been fired by the U.S. Navy at targets that include a Syrian government air base in Homs.

      A historic U.S. engagement against the Baathist Syrian regime.

    • The Russians have wanted and pressured President Assad to step down for several years - which he has successfully resisted.

      The Russians have billions of dollars invested in infrastructure within Syria that they would stand to lose if the Baathists lose control of the government. This is the primary reason that Putin has protected the Assad regime from the imminent collapse they had been close to facing.

      There is a debate within the U.S. intelligence community whether the Russian naval presence at Tartus has any important significance to Russian defense interests. Reportedly the Russian naval installation there is small with few vessels docking there at any given time.

    • "The United States used nuclear weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki........the US security elite has never apologized for this war crime........."

      General Douglas MacArthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz commanded military and naval operations, respectively, in the Pacific theatre in WWII during that juncture and both stated that dropping an atomic bomb on civilians violated everything their were taught as officers respecting their ethical duties to protect civilians of an enemy nation during warfare.

      Historically, the opinion of the American public has comfortably justified the A-bomb attacks on Japan as necessary to preserve the estimated 100,000 lives of U.S servicemen that would have been sacrificed to conquer the main Japanese islands.

  • Strongman: The Bloodstained Rise of Global Populism
    • Agreed.

      One additional phenomenon that was not mentioned in the article was the rise of the Golden Dawn movement in Greece.

      Greece during WWII had distinguished itself among European countries for its opposition to Nazi German persecution of its Jewry. Today, however, the Golden Dawn political party has been openly adherent to Nazi ideology and has adopted much of the Nazi symbols and practice, including its own Greek version of the Horst Wessel anthem of Nazism and symbols which are characteristic of the Nazi swastika adapted to Greek styling. Its members open admiration of Adolf Hitler and their express kinship to German Nazism is striking.

      Golden Dawn has found adherents among the middle class in Greece and its organizing principle appears to be opposition to immigration. The most fascinating aspect of its success as it has actually not only elected several party members to the Greek parliament - but also the European Union parliament as well.

  • Poll: Majority of Jewish Israelis oppose ending 50-year military occupation
    • With the political center of the Israeli public leaning toward expansionist Zionism, it must be noted that PM Netanyahu may be facing possible criminal charges arising from a public corruption investigation.

      Should Netanyahu be forced to leave office in order to defend against such possible future charges, it would appear that Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman or Naftali Bennett, another cabinet minister, would be the likely successors if new elections are called as a result. Both of these ministers have a political worldview that borders on right-wing extremism - with Lieberman being a former card-carrying member of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane's outlawed Kach Party.

  • Progressive Young Jews Protest AIPAC, Occupation of Palestine
    • New Jewish Agenda and the League for Progressive Zionism were groups of the 1980s that engaged in similar activities that faded away and became mere footnotes in the history of the protests against Israeli government human rights violations.

      Jeremy Zelinger, mentioned in the above article, previously led a protest in front of a building where a meeting of the World Zionist Organization in New York City was taking place and an appearance of Steve Bannon had been scheduled.

      AIPAC is far too well organized and funded to be influenced by even several hundred demonstrators at District of Columbia headquarters. It does not appear from the article that AIPAC bothered to even issue a public statement of the incident.

  • The Russian Job: The Plot Thickens
    • "Putin's inner circle believe that Ukraine's Orange Revolution and its tilt toward the European Union was engineered by the CIA....."

      The leader of the Orange Revolution was Viktor Yuschenko, was to serve as Ukraine's president from 2005 to 2010. His wife, Kathy, is a Chicago-born U.S. citizen who had served as a U.S. State Department official and in various capacities during the Reagan administration. The speculation in Russia - albeit unproven - has been that she is a CIA operative and the actual force and influence behind her husband's political career.

      The Ukrainian-American community in the U.S. has had historically close ties to the Republican Party and has been anti-communist and anti-Moscow in orientation.

      There had been significant evidence that oligarch Boris Berezovsky had met with Yuschenko's representatives in London to provide assistance to his campaign for the presidency.

  • It is Comey who should be Investigated
    • "By revealing one (the Clinton server investigation) but not the other (the probe of Russian ties to Trump insiders), he tipped the scales in favor of Trump."

      The difference was that an ongoing publicly-disclosed Congressional committee investigation was addressing the Clinton matter - but not so with the Trump campaign-Russia ties being looked into by Comey's FBI.

      Comey's long history of large GOP campaign contributions (downloadable on the public Federal Elections Commission website) may set off some warning bells - but it was a Catch-22 situation for him since suppressing the ongoing Clinton server investigation from his communications with the Congressional committee members would have led to attacks from the GOP if later revealed.

      The ethics investigation and firing of FBI Director Wm. Sessions in 1993 by President Clinton was viewed by some to be politically motivated and retaliatory since he was (A) originally a GOP appointee, and (B) involved in investigating possible CIA violations of law in the Agency's facilitating a 4-billion-dollar FDIC-insured loan from the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank to the Iraqi government that was later defaulted on.

      Anything that James Comey does in these regards will place him under scrutiny from competing Republican and Democratic political factions. He finds himself in the same stead as Wm. Sessions in the early days of the Clinton administration.

  • From Bernie Sanders to Harel: Why is Acknowledging Israeli Apartheid a Shock?
    • "Israel controls too much land. It steals more......"

      The historical precedent of the Sudeten Germans within Czechoslovakia can be compared to the situation in the West Bank.

      The theory had been that the German minority in Czechoslovakia was being oppressed and that a political solution was needed to prevent this apparent problem. The Sudenten Germans were in fact, highly nationalistic, much like the West Bank Jewish settlers.

      The Munich Pact was signed in 1938 by British PM Neville Chamberlain to promote "Peace in our time". It gave Nazi Germany the Sudetenland in compromise. Later that year, Nazi Germany marched into all of Czechoslovakia and occupied it - and the rest is history.

      Likud Party theorists have called for settlement of the West Bank until its Jewish population reaches 750,000 - at which point there will be - as they contend - a reasonable foundation for annexation of that region into "Greater Israel."

      The Likud theorists further believe that West Bank Palestinians who choose to remain can be relegated to non-contiguous "cantons" who will have limited autonomy but as a practical matter will be subordinate to the Israel Defense Forces - as they are today - as roads outside Arab-controlled areas would be patrolled and guarded by IDF units.

      The ultimate goal of PM Netanyahu and his Likud Party is to create a situation akin to the former Bantustans of apartheid South Africa - and Americans with their creation of self-governing reservations of native Americans administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs cannot object too strongly if a similar situation is imposed upon West Bank Palestinians.

      The true tragedy of West Bank Palestinians goes well above mere apartheid - it encompasses the reality that these Arab residents have effectively no enforceable human rights that are consistent with the basic principles of democracy - and have been denied such basic rights since 1967.

    • One needs to mention the failure of Israel to implement the Wye River Accords reached in 1998 over the pressure PM Netanyahu had been receiving from hardliners within the Likud Party.

      The Wye River Memorandum had broad-based support among the Israeli public at that time and its performance was necessary for the continuation of the Oslo Accords. Netanyahu's government collapsed due to a no-confidence vote over this non-performance and Ehud Barak of the Labor Party would replace him as the prime minister.

      Today the "political center" of the Israeli Jewish public has made a 180-degree turn and opposes any final status agreement with the Palestinians.

  • Is Trump a bigger danger to the US or Europe?
    • "Trump's relationship with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. remains unclear - if not downright mysterious..."

      Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" and excoriated the Kremlin regarding Afghanistan and Poland during the 1980s.

      It has been against traditional conservative Republican principles to curry favor with Russia and the speculation is that Trump's odd conduct toward Moscow results from some kind of financial dealings or perhaps some form of blackmail - although nothing solid as far as evidenced has surfaced to substantiate any nefarious motivations to his seemingly Russophile attitude.

      The late U.S. foreign policy expert H. Rowan Gaither - as detailed in the book "Shadows of Power" - once promoted within the Council on Foreign Relations the idea that the Soviet Union and America should be "comfortably merged" into one entity - although the public should not be aware of this strategy as a foreign policy objective.

      Trump's conduct - especially his attitude toward the Syrian Civil War and the pro-Russian Baathists in Damascus - is consistent with Gaither's philosophy and should be closely scrutinized. Some U.S. foreign policy gurus have opined that totalitarian regimes such as Assad's and Red China are preferable to fight international terrorism.

      International terrorism is being exploited as the justification for the erosion of individual liberties in democratic countries.

  • Buyers' Remorse: Americans think Trump is bad at almost Everything
    • "......angry people who voted for this man, will now realize that they cut their noses to spite their faces, and now the nation is saddled with a crude, inexperienced, narcissistic, racist man..........."

      The latest CBS poll on public job approval for Trump shows an 82% approval rating by Republicans.

    • "What I am amazed is how much the Deep State has revealed of itself in their zeal to either control, or delete Trump. I also don't see Donald Trump prevailing over this crowd of no faces."

      I believe that Trump's much ballyhooed - and criticized- visit to CIA headquarters in Langley to address rank-and-file employees in the lobby was no gaffe or error of judgment of Trump, but rather a calculated message by rump that his sympathies were with the Agency - but not necessarily the Agency leadership.

      JFK and Jimmy Carter both sought reformation of the Deep State during their presidencies with mixed success. I suspect Trump may institute an invasive "restructuring" of the U.S. intelligence community to the extent that he perceives them to oppose his interests as the chief executive.

    • "........voters have an even lower opinion about Democrats...."

      Absolutely.

      The Democratic Party insiders that have controlled the Democratic National Committee and the local political machines that have dominated the major U.S. population centers in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Detroit - and other major urban areas - no longer are perceived represent the interests of the lower middle class white family, but rather cater to special interests such as labor union leadership, minority groups and the LGBT community.

      President Bill Clinton won election in 1992 and re-election 1996 largely with the enthusiastic endorsements of the UAW, Teamsters and other major labor unions despite the fact that his support of NAFTA cost Michigan workers hundreds of thousands of jobs. Donald Trump campaigned vigorously against companies who have laid off American workers to save costs and outsource work to foreign factories.

      There is a reason why the Democrats lost traditionally "blue" states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania in the last presidential election to Donald Trump - and it largely centers around their inability to retain the confidence of the white working class family.

      The Republican leadership has been just as stunned by Trump's popularity with this traditionally Democratic segment of American society almost as much as the Democratic Party leaders have.

  • Psychologists: Trump's Rage makes him incapable of Serving safely as President
    • "The letter was posted by its main signatory Lance Dodes, a retired Harvard Medical School assistant clinical professor of psychiatry."

      Federal Election Commission records downloadable at the agency's public website's search engine disclose that Lance Dodes, a physician from Newton, Massachusetts, was a donor of $250.00 to the Obama/Biden campaign on October 17, 2008. A number of other interesting contributions are noted in FEC records.

  • Trump's Wrong on non-Coverage; But, Top 6 things actually Wrong with Terrorism Reporting
  • Tel Aviv: Huge Jewish-, Palestinian-Israeli Rally against racist state, home demolitions
    • Before his death several years ago, Dr. Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, had tried to forge a union between the Israeli Jewish peace movement and moderate Palestinians - but was ignored by the Palestinian Authority. Edelman met with Palestinian activists at his home in Lodz, Poland but was rebuffed by mainstream Israelis in his efforts.

      The Israeli political conservatives have strongly pushed an "us versus them" mentality vis a vis the Palestinians that demonstrations as those above work to oppose.

  • In Shocker, Federal Judge in Seattle Halts Trump Muslim Ban
    • The stay was just sustained by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

    • Several additional points:

      (A) where would the Manhattan Project have been without immigrants such as Enrico Fermi, Albert Einstein and Edward Teller?

      (B) NASA's most important rocket engineer was German immigrant Werner Von Braun;

      (C) In Operation Babylift , hundreds of young Vietnamese children were evacuated to the U.S. from Saigon in 1975 and a large percentage of these kids became high school valedictorians and today in their 40s are leading doctors, scientists, and other professionals.

    • The order is "temporary" meaning it only effective until a hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction is heard.

      While encouraging, the judge may decide to rule the other way within a few weeks after having the opportunity to review the case more fully. He will have to have a trial on the merits if there are any facts in dispute - then he can issue a permanent injunction - which the U.S. Department of Justice can appeal as of right to the United States Court of Appeals in the appropriate circuit.

      As I have stated earlier, however, many of Trump's campaign promises on immigration reform - to the extent he tries to implement them - are likely to be struck down in the federal court system.

  • German Ambassador 1933: "Hostility to Jews Aimed Mainly at 'Immigrants'"
    • A constitutional crisis has been opined by legal experts who have contended that the Founding Fathers would have considered the law enforcement community in its current form to be a de facto military occupation flying in the face of our constitutional rights:

      link to abajournal.com

    • ".......[t]his Nation(sic) whose motto is e(sic) Pluribus Unum....."

      Actually, "E Pluribus Unum" was replaced by "In God We Trust" as the national motto by an Act of Congress signed into law by Pres. Eisenhower in 1956.

      But the gist of your argument is well-taken - and I would further recommend to all to also acquire and read a copy of the state constitution applicable to your jurisdiction - it is a treasure trove of individual rights and limitations on the power of our respective state governments who all too often violate the rights of its citizenry.

    • The 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, inspired by opponents to FDR, established the two-term limitation.

      In the early 1990s, the Republican leadership was instrumental in passing state laws barring U.S. Congress members from running for more than two terms - however the U.S. Supreme Court in the Thornton decision in 1995 struck down those laws as unconstitutional.

      The only was term limits that can be imposed on U.S. Congress members are those passed via federal constitutional amendment. That has not happened yet.

    • ".....German Jews smuggled abroad primarily with the aid of socialist labor unions and communist organizations......"

      One of the great ironies of WWII was that it was Joseph Stalin's Red Army that was primarily responsible for ending the Holocaust by liberating the major SS concentration camps, beginning with Majdanek in 1944 and including Auschwitz and other major death camps in early 1945.

      The irony being that Stalin was perhaps a greater mass murderer than Hitler and had the Ukrainian genocide under his belt in the late 1930s and committed the Great Purge in that decade as well - placing millions in the deadly gulag system.

    • "The Nazis did not get a majority in the March elections........"

      This is debatable as, while technically accurate, the Nazis on January 30th, 1933 formed a coalition with a German minority conservative party whose policies in large part mirrored those of the National Socialists. That coalition represented a majority of votes of the German popular electorate.

      That conservative party's leader, Franz Von Papen, was later tried but eventually cleared of all war crimes charges following the end of WWII. Von Papen was certainly not a Nazi - but his right-wing party was the needed coalition partner that enabled Hitler to assume office as chancellor in early 1933.

  • The Sadism of Racist Exclusion: Courts Temporarily Block Trump
    • In the Hebshi case, the Department of Justice DID grind out the case, losing two motions to dismiss and only paying out a settlement after it was clear that they would have to face a federal court jury.

      The judge was former U.S. Attorney for Detroit Stephen J. Murphy.

    • The concept of "executive orders" have been a clever mechanism for presidential staffers to circumvent the Presentment Clause requirement of the U.S. Constitution that all federal law be submitted to Congress for approval before implementation.

      The National Security Agency - currently the largest intelligence-gathering organization in the free world - was created by an obscure executive order of President Truman without any input of U.S. Congress.

      U.S. direct military involvement in the Vietnam War was authorized by executive order of President Johnson without Congressional action. When Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973 as a limiting response to the presidential arrogance in military deployments, all subsequent presidents ignored that statute as they took the position that the WPA was unconstitutional and the U.S. Supreme Court never addressed the issue.

      The Steel Seizure Case, when Harry Truman ordered the federal government takeover of steel mills, was one of the few times the Supreme Court struck down a president for unconstitutional overreaching in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.

      During the Obama administration, the president took the unprecedented step of actually personally approving extrajudicial killing of individuals during drone strikes and Obama did not appear to especially concerned that innocent bystanders -including children - were dying as "collateral damage"; Obama's Justice Department successfully argued to a federal court that such targeted killing strikes were a "political question" that the courts should steer clear of. Obama's enthusiasm as the man whose hand was on the "joy stick" for drone strikes waned when he was forced to address the nation while visibly upset to announce that Dr. Warren Weinstein and a second al-Qaeda hostage were inadvertently killed by a missile fired in Afghanistan by a U.S. drone during a CIA "signature strike".

      Concepts such as presidentially-authorized extrajudicial drone killings and "extraordinary rendition" have a legally tenuous basis and are under severe critical attack by international organizations such as Amnesty International.

    • The ruling by Judge Donnelly in New York is just likely just Round One against Trump in the ongoing attempts by the American Civil Liberties Union to vindicate the constitutional rights of Arabic-speaking individuals and Muslims which have been under attack all through the Bush and Obama administrations since 9/11.

      One question will be whether any of the detainees will be filing federal civil rights monetary damage lawsuits against the federal officials authorizing the detention. In the Shoshana Hebshi case in Detroit, the ACLU secured a $40,000.00 settlement against the U.S. government in U.S. District Court after she was arrested due to her proximity on airliner to Asian men using the rest room on a flight for too long a period.

      The exposure of the federal government to potentially large civil rights damage liability during these questionable detentions should discourage this unconstitutional conduct from being perpetrated on an ongoing basis.

  • Trump renders Green Cards for 250,000 Iraqis and Iranians Worthless
    • Trump's plan and his general attitude has been derided by a key GOP congressional figure from Michigan:

      link to washingtonexaminer.com

      link to mlive.com

      The congressman, Palestinian-American Justin Amash, whose father emigrated from Ramallah, has been a consistent critic of Trump on a broad spectrum of issues, including trade protectionism, and may emerge as the leader of a dissenting branch within the GOP that is openly opposed to Trump's general policies.

  • New report reveals top Israeli official living in illegal colonial settlement
    • A European Union report leaked recently blamed the Israeli government for the unrest in Jerusalem and cited the 211,000 Jewish settlers that have relocated to Jerusalem since 1967 and the 3% per annum growth of their number:

      link to euobserver.com

  • Trump's Visa Ban is about anti-Muslim Bigotry, not Security
    • As with the State of Israel, the relationship of the U.S. with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as a term Obama liked to employ, is "sacrosanct" - due to the fact, of course, that KSA supplies 28% of America's imported crude oil and has $10 trillion sunk in stateside foreign investments.

      For those reasons, the U.S. State Department has always walked on eggs when dealing with the Kingdom.

  • Netanyahu vows Israeli squatter settlement expansion in Palestinian E. Jerusalem
  • Trump to CIA: We now have 2nd Chance to take Iraq's Oil
    • "One issue that is generally gone unremarked........is that the brother .....of Betsy DeVos ......is advising Trump behind the scenes..............."

      It has not gone unnoticed, nor has what has been humorously described as west Michigan's "Dutch Mafia", a clique of right-wing wealthy Dutch-Americans from west Michigan, is reaching their long sought after mega-influence in a GOP-controlled White House.

      Pete Hoekstra, a former U.S. Congressman and ex-chair of the House Intelligence Committee, numbers himself amongst that clique and underscores their influence in the U.S. intelligence community. Blackwater had received 600 million dollars in contracts from the Central Intelligence Agency and was linked to highly controversial events in Iraq.

  • Thousands of Palestinian-Israelis rally after Israel Razed Bedouin Village
  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Is it merely a coincidence that Trump's roots are Bavarian?

      The parallels between Trump and Adolf Hitler are intriguing and I would note that the Religious Right in America is cautiously proceeding to support Trump, despite questions about his past behavior.

      In Metro Detroit, GOP-inspired prayer vigils were held in churches the day before Trump's election and Election Day itself and some clergymen supported Trump on the basis that four more years of Democratic Party control of the presidency would gut the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative tilt and further empower other undesirable interests, including pro-choice activists and the LGBT community.

      Trump's support barely registered in conservative religious states in the GOP primary - such as Utah - but rolled to a landslide victory in those states over Clinton.

      One Trump supporter in the GOP primary in Michigan declared that Trump is a "successful" version of David Duke. This is accurate - Trump has a certain respectability and charismatic public persona that most right-wing extremist leaders do not.

      Will historians compare Donald Trump with Henry Ford or Charles Lindbergh as beloved heroes despite linkage to invidious racist ideologies? Or more like George Lincoln Rockwell?

    • The facts of Dieselgate is just beginning to unfold, according to the U.S. Attorney in Detroit, as a federal grand jury has indicted a Volkswagen of America executive on emissions fraud charges and he was arrested by the FBI in Miami:

      link to cbsnews.com

      link to foxbusiness.com

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