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Total number of comments: 1850 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:38)

Mark Koroi

Showing comments 1700 - 1601

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Who is Betsy DeVos?

      Her father, Edgar Prince, was an automotive supplier from west Michigan who sold his firm to Johnson Controls for $1.5 billion and her brother Erik Prince had been awarded $2 billion in federal contracts after he founded the controversial Blackwater security company.

      Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos of Ada, Michigan. was a co-founder of Amway and owner of the NBA Orlando Magic who often flew in Michigan politicians as guests of his private suite. He was a close friend of Pres. Gerald Ford and was appointed to Ronald Reagan's AIDS Commission during the 1980s. Forbes magazine lists him as one of America's wealthiest billionaires.

      Betsy DeVos has served as Michigan Republican Party state chairwoman previously and her husband, Dick DeVos, was a GOP nominee for governor in 2006 when he was beaten by Democrat Jennifer Granholm.

      According to the Michigan Secretary of State website, there have been over 2,700 registered political party, PAC, or electoral campaign donations by DeVos family members cognizable by their elections division - this does not include contributions recorded by the Federal Elections Commission under their jurisdiction or any donated monies cognizable in local races by county clerks in Michigan. One contribution to the Michigan Republican Party by a DeVos family member was for $2.5 million.

      Trump's appointment of the ultraconservative Christian right scion Ms. DeVos is highly significant in that it appears that he trying to form a political bridge with that branch of the party that embraced Ronald Reagan during the heyday of the Moral Majority in the 1980s. Trump needs this faction in his corner if he expects to effectuate dramatic legislative change during his upcoming presidency.

  • Along with pardoning Manning, Obama should have repealed 1917 Espionage Act
    • Both Senator McCain and House Speaker Ryan's comments are well-taken as Manning's conduct resulted in a deserved court-martial and dishonorable discharge along with a substantial term of imprisonment of which he will serve seven years once Obama's commutation becomes effective in May of 2017. Those who breach their duties as soldiers need to be made an example of.

      His own defense attorney during the sentencing phase of court-martial proceedings requested a sentence of "not more than 25 years" so the 35 year term imposed is not outrageous.

      Manning is likely one who should have been weeded out the U.S. Army before (s)he caused the damage (s)he did. He had been slated for discharge due to his behavior in basic training - but that decision was rescinded. Much like the PFC Steven Green rape and murder case in Iraq was preceded by a finding that Green's anti-social personality diagnosis should have prevented him from staying in the military - Green recently died from fatal injuries sustained in a suicide attempt while serving life in prison; Green's story became the inspiration of the Mark Cuban film "Redacted".

      That said, there are mitigating circumstances upon which I believe Obama was right to grant executive clemency:

      (A) unlike the Jonathan Pollard and Walker family spy scandals, Manning did not appear to be motivated by monetary considerations, but rather altruistic concerns;

      (B) Manning had been abused during his/her incarceration by the government, as confirmed during a UN investigation;

      (C) he was disciplined at Fort Leavenworth for attempting suicide, which resulted in a second attempt - it is highly unusual in American criminal jurisprudence in this era to prosecute an individual for a suicide attempt;

      (D) Manning may have likely killed himself - as PFC Green did - if Obama had denied sentence commutation;

      (E) Manning's leaks did not cause the vast extent of damage to national security as the Jonathan Pollard and Walker scandals clearly did;

      (F) Manning was clearly a person with an unstable past that the military should have recognized before they placed him in such a highly sensitive position;

      (G) Manning did already serve a substantial sentence.

      The public is wrong, however, to characterize Manning as a hero - his conduct was reprehensible and disgraceful.

    • "It will be interesting to see if Manning is able to do the rounds of the talk shows or write a book or something...."

      I wonder if there is going to be any legal restriction against such conduct imposed as a condition of Obama granting executive clemency.

      Released ex-spy Jonathan Pollard had such restrictions placed upon him by the U.S. Parole Commission which prevented him from giving a speech during his well-attended "coming out bash" in Manhattan - resulting in his wife making the presentation.

  • Palestinian Parliamentarians say Israeli Legislation aims to annex West Bank
    • Another key development in the Knesset its the introduction of an agenda item calling for the extension of Israeli sovererignty over the West Bank settlement of Ma'ale Adumim - which will effectively bisect the West Bank into north and south sectors if adopted.

      Here are links:

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  • Credible: Author of Trump’s dirty dossier ‘had UK agencies’ for clients
    • According to the Guardian, a respected British newspaper, the report is unverifiable and has a number of errors that have been confirmed.

      John McCain reportedly sent a courier to England to obtain a copy of the report and sent it onto FBI director James Comey - not realizing the report was already old news.

  • In the Age of Trumpian Reaction, is MLK's Legacy to the 99% being Reversed?
    • Agreed.

      The implementation of the New Deal and five consecutive victories in presidential elections from 1932 through 1948 represented an unprecedented mandate from the American electorate to transform the U.S. into a socialist state with a strong centralized economy and national defense.

      This was only done by enacting controversial Acts of Congress that attempted to regulate every facet of American life via the jurisdiction of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution - which the Supreme Court upheld the unprecedented expansion of. This began with the Agricultural Adjustment Act under FDR and continued even through the JFK and LBJ years with the passage of civil rights legislation which the U.S. Supreme Court in the Oliver's Barbecue case was held to be constitutional since, they observed, that discriminatory practices against blacks in restaurants on routes of interstate travel sufficiently implicate interstate commerce concerns and give Congress power to act to legislate to protect that stream of commerce.

      The Republican leadership has referred to this as the reach of Big Brother politics via FDR and has tried to roll back such interference with the lives of Americans.

      Today, rank-and-file Republican leaders are looking to Donald Trump to complete the work of Ronald Reagan ("government is the problem") and Newt Gingrich ("Contract with America") in eradicating the noxious effects of the New Deal, Great Society and Obamacare - which have confounded the white lower middle class and lowered their standard of living and also via Democratic Party globalism in the international trade arena (NAFTA).

      Under Pres. Reagan in the 1980s, the Big Three automakers in Detroit enjoyed record profits and auto executives Roger B. Smith and Lee Iacocca became household names with Iacocca being touted as a possible presidential candidate. The UAW and Teamsters endorsed Bill Clinton for president in 1992 and 1996 and his NAFTA devastated the auto industry and union jobs that relied on it.

      Ron Paul's voluminous writings attack the constitutionality of the New Deal and he opines - very convincingly - that it contradicts the intent of our Founding Fathers that the federal government was to be very limited in its powers over the states - relegating it to such matters as declaring war and coining money.

      Trump was perceived by the electorate to have the courage to attack New Deal ideology - and his own party elite - with crass public condemnation - and they rewarded him with the opportunity to "drain the swamp" and "make America great again".

      He is a true populist in the mold of Huey Long and Robert LaFollette.

      God bless America and Mr. Trump.

    • "The Voting Rights Act of 1965......ended racial discrimination in establishments that was offered what was defined public accommodation.........."

      This is incorrect.

      The Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed invidious discrimination in racial contexts in places of public accommodations.

      The Voting Rights Act of 1965 - as its name suggests - barred discriminatory practices in elections - including literacy tests directed at blacks - but did in no way encompass "public accommodations" discrimination.

  • From Syria to Sanctions, Flynn-Russia Quid Pro Quo?
    • ".........I'm not sure what the end goals of the alliance are, but I imagine they have something to do with oil....."

      What is material is that ISIS is selling oil on the black market to the Baathist regime in Damascus and Bilal Erdogan - the Turkish president's son - controls companies that are involved in transporting oil produced by ISIS.

      Some of this crude oil eventually is imported to Israel via Turkey for delivery at the port city of Ashdod.

      Here are the links:

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  • Assange Agrees to Extradition if US Releases Chelsea Manning
    • ".......although the White House has said the president will not be granting her clemency........"

      A source in the Justice Department has indicated just a few days ago that Manning is on a "short list" for possible clemency:

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  • Israeli Parliament self-boycotts by seeking to Ban BDS Supporters from Israel
    • "The Ministry of Strategic Affairs in Israel has been at the forefront of attempts to counter the worldwide growth of the BDS movement."

      In fact, evidence surfaced that the Israel Foreign Ministry had played a key role in the lawsuit filed against the Olympia Food Co-op in Washington to seek reversal of a board of directors resolution to boycott Israeli goods.

      The action, filed in 2011 by several pro-Israel co-op members, has been pending for over five years and is being defended on a pro-bono basis by the Center for Constitutional Rights.

      It had been revealed that Stand With Us, a group with links to Israel, had posted a $400,000.00 bond to allow the case to proceed. The suit has been the subject of intensive investigative reporting as to who is behind the plaintiffs in the expensive litigation.

      Here are some links:

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  • Obama's Farewell Address: Racial Discrimination a Challenge Ahead
    • "......we've ended torture, worked to close GITMO...."

      Torture has been used without abatement by Obama's appointees:

      According to Amnesty International in an April 21, 2015 report:

      "More than four months after publication of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's summary report on the secret detention program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) the US administration has done nothing to end impunity for the torture and enforced disappearances committed in the program. Indeed it has failed to meaningfully respond to the program in any way whatsoever....[t]he Obama administration is attempting to sweep the report - and the crimes committed in the program - under the carpet.........."

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      Regarding GITMO, Obama had made a campaign promise in 2008 that GITMO would be closed by 2009. Today, GITMO still operates with 61 inmates despite the fact there have been several prisoner suicides and an inspection report by the FBI that concluded human rights violations had occurred at the facility. Donald Trump has vowed to keep GITMO open and even to send Americans there.

      ".....take out the mastermind of 9/11...."

      There is insufficient evidence that Osama bin Laden was the "mastermind" of the WTC attack and the British government in 2004 conceded there was not even enough proof of his personal complicity to warrant a criminal prosecution. Indeed, the "operational commander" of al-Qaeda, Ayman Zawahiri, remains at large.

      Obama does not reference in his speech the Syrian Civil War that experts concede his administration clearly botched - snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

      Obama does not mention his State Department's abysmal failure to make meaningful progress on the Israel-Palestine issue OR that he inked a 38-billion-dollar arms supply deal with the same prime minister - Bibi Netanyahu - that embarrassed him by currying favor with GOP leaders in Congress.

      He does not mention his military and diplomatic failures in Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

      He does not mention the drone program in which he personally signs off on the extrajudicial targeted killings of terror suspects that often kill innocents as collateral damage OR that the US National Security Council authorized payment of one million euros to an Italian aid volunteer killed during a "signature strike" in Afghanistan along with fellow hostage Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American citizen, or that the Obama administration is quietly negotiating a monetary settlement with the Weinstein family attorneys to avoid a wrongful death suit.

      Obama has expanded the Deep State and is content to "pass the baton" to Donald Trump to facilitate further expansion.

  • Welcome to Psychopathocracy
    • Trump's mother was a Scottish immigrant who employed as a housekeeper before marrying Fred Trump.

  • How the Arrogance of Cold War Triumph brought us this Low
    • ".......localism over democratic centralism."

      This theme has been driven home by the Republican Party, Libertarian Party, and Green Party - which is at odds with the Big Brother socialistic principles advanced by the Democratic Party elite.

      The Libertarian and Green presidential candidates in 2016 each more than tripled their national vote totals over their respective party nominees in 2012.

      This suggests increasing dissatisfaction of the electorate over the power structure of the Democratic National Committee that nominated Hillary Clinton and which controls the federal government's general policy - and to a certain extent the Republican Party hierarchy who largely distanced itself from Donald Trump until the November 2016 election was over.

      Populists Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein were big winners in 2016 and Hillary and the Democratic National Committee the big losers.

  • Comey should be fired if it's the last thing Obama Does
    • James Comey was - personally - a major GOP donor before he became FBI director.

      He, per records downloadable on the Federal Election Commission website, contributed thousands of dollars to the McCain and Romney presidential campaigns.

      I tend to think he may have been rooting for Donald Trump to win last November and may have been successful in tipping the balance to Trump in key swing states via his eleventh-hour revelations on the Hillary Clinton e-mail issues.

  • US Media outraged by Russia, won't Notice Israeli plot on UK Parliament
    • In a story carried in Europe and Israel - but not in the U.S. -
      there were reports that Israeli intelligence services conducted wiretapping of the communications facilities of Secretary of State John Kerry during brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,and these intercepted communications were used by the Israeli government during the negotiations:

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  • Netanyahu supports pardon for Israeli soldier who killed defenseless Palestinian Prisoner
    • "Israeli President Reuven Rivlin is likely to face a request to pardon Azaria.........."

      This has already occurred as Likud Party cabinet minister Miri Regev has already requested a pardon for the convicted sergeant.

      Legal experts within Israel have expected a sentence of no less than three years incarceration with the sentence most likely in the four to five year range. This apparent expected leniency is compounded by the fact that Sgt. Azaria's house arrest of about one year at an IDF base will be credited against any sentence handed down to him.

      Two Israelis have already been arrested for threatening the three-judge panel of the military tribunal that convicted Azaria.

      It is noteworthy that a Bedouin Arab IDF sergeant received an eight-year sentence after being convicted of manslaughter in the shooting death in Gaza of International Solidarity Movement activist and Briton Thomas Hurndall. That sergeant, Taysir Hayb, was released after serving six year years of that sentence.

      Once Sgt. Azaria is sentenced he may seek a mitigation of his sentence by filing a petition with Maj. General Roni Numa, the IDF Central Command chief within seven days after imposition of his sentence; this is unlikely to be very successful since: (A) Gen. Numa was involved with the investigative process that resulted in the initiation of the manslaughter charge, (B) recent requests for mitigation in other cases filed with the office of the chief of the Central Command have been generally unsuccessful.

      What has not been emphasized in recent media coverage of the case in question is that there were several other acts of improper conduct revealed in the incident. One is the fact that two IDF officers onsite were reprimanded for denying medical assistance to the two Palestinians suspected in the stabbing and the second is that a video camera captured a knife being planted next to the corpse of Mr. Al-Sharif just after Sgt. Azaria shot him, but no prosecution for obstruction of justice was initiated.

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  • Some Israeli Officials Backing ‘Shoot-to-Kill’ disarmed Palestinian Suspects
  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • Note that Nazism was a thoroughly-discredited political ideology after the end of WWII and Mussolini's fascism only made a minor comeback in Italy, but the extreme dictatorship of Francisco Franco's Spain enjoyed relative post WWII success, and his legacy of Francoism was adopted by many Latin American leaders - including Chilean dictator Gen. Pinochet.

    • They said the same thing about ultraconservative Ronald Reagan in 1980.

      Reagan won 49 of 50 states against Democratic Party Walter Mondale in 1984.

    • Donald Trump received his mandate by the people - and not the GOP establishment - who saw him as a danger and embarrassment initially.

      In the State of Michigan only one U.S. Congress member - the retiring Candace Miller from Macomb County, endorsed Trump before he secured the presidential nomination and even after he received the nomination most elected GOP leaders in Michigan did not support him - which is unheard of for a U.S. presidential nominee.

      Candace Miller and Michigan GOP chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel were the only two major GOP leaders in Michigan to support Trump - and Ms. Romney is likely to be appointed the new national RNC chair.

      An interesting point, Oakland County, MI is heavily Republican and white collar, but Macomb County directly to the east is traditionally blue-collar and Democratic. Clinton won Oakland County by a wide margin and Trump won Macomb County by a 54%-42% margin.

      In Macomb County the Trump coattails were nothing less than stunning:

      (A) since the 1940s, when the county was largely farmland, only one Republican ever held countywide elected office - but three of the five sets up for grabs went to Republicans;

      (B) GOP leader and Trump supporter Candace Miller soundly defeated a 24-year Democratic incumbent who spent $1.9 million in the public works commissioner race - she gave Trump's countywide electoral landslide credit for her win;

      (C) a 64-year old homemaker with no political experience and a $1400.00 campaign budget was elected county clerk and register of deeds as GOP nominee over a powerful Democratic Party insider;

      (D) a 72-year-old GOP nominee with no public office experience or any real campaign organization defeated a well-connected Democratic incumbent for county treasurer.

      Macomb County in 1980 was the birthplace of the "Reagan Democrat" - winning a sweeping victory despite an ethnic blue-collar electoral constituency. It is considered a national bellweather for political trends by experts.

      Trump has become a national populist phenomenon that few had predicted would be successful. He relates to the disenfranchised white worker in the ways that Clinton could not. Realignment is too dull of a word to describe the political transformation he has created in the U.S. - he has tapped much of the same emotions of voters that Ronald Reagan did in 1980 - and now unprecedented majorities at virtually all levels of government will be in GOP hands.

      Some critics compare it to the rise of Adolf Hitler - and in a way they are correct - Hitler's Nazism was purely grassroots in the very beginning in the 1920s - celebrating veterans and the disenfranchised German and an assault upon the leftist power structure that controlled the Weimar Republic. Trump - whose ethnic roots are Bavarian - likely has some affinity to the same militaristic sympathies as those that had formed the predicate of Nazism. That said, the constitutional system of checks and balances in the U.S. will prevent Trump from going overboard on some of his most extreme pronouncements - e.g. registering Muslims.

      I believe that Trump - much like Ronald Reagan - has an opportunity to be one of America's most beloved presidents.

  • 2016: A deadly year in Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory and Israel
    • The 3-judge panel presiding over the Sgt. Elor Azaria manslaughter trial in the death of a Palestinian is expected to issue its verdict this Wednesday.

  • Top Eight Mideast Stories of 2016 that Shaped our World
    • "The hysteria about terrorism in the U.S., however, is disproportionate to the actual threat.............."

      The lawsuits in the federal court system attacking the "no-fly list" and oppressive conduct against airlines and federal law enforcement agencies in Metro Detroit continue to mount.

      The Shohana Hebshi case - filed by the ACLU - alleging an unconstitutional arrest of a young mother U.S.-born Saudi Arabian/Jewish heritage at Detroit's Metro Airport, resulted in the federal government paying out a $40,000.00 settlement; other civil rights lawsuits have been cited in the media:

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  • Syria: Now that the US has Failed, what does 2017 Hold?
  • Kerry: Slams Palestinian Authority, but admits Israel Jeopardizes Peace
    • "Israel....has broken international laws........"

      The U.S. has no presence at the International Criminal Court - and cannot use its influence to protect Israel:

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    • "Mr. Kerry said the prospect of a peace deal based on a two-state solution was in grave jeopardy."

      There is no act that evinces the intent of PM Netanyahu's intent to subvert the two-state solution than his most recent efforts in the last few years to develop the Maale Adumim settlement and its corridor leading to Jerusalem, which if implemented, would serve to bisect the West Bank and make an independently sovereign Palestinian state next to impossible.

      The development project was heavily supported by the late Jewish extremist Rabbi Moshe Levenger, whom Netanyau eulogized as "a great example".

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  • After Israel Land-Theft Vote, will Trump & GOP Congress try to defund the UN?
    • Yes, Red China has launched its first aircraft carrier, designed its own stealth fighter, and is developing satellite-killing technology - it seeks more international influence:

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    • Pulling out of the United Nations would be counter-productive and lead to a power vacuum that another superpower such as Russia or Red China would only be more than happy to fill.

      Remember when the Belgian government was trying to utilize "universal jurisdiction" as a legal theory to charge Ariel Sharon with war crimes arising out of the 1982 massacre of Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Beirut? The U.S. threatened to use its influence to move the NATO headquarters out of Brussels. Belgium backed down due to the loss of revenues created by the NATO presence in that city.

      The International Criminal Court has no U.S. funding or membership and has the Japanese government as its single biggest donor (22% of all funding sources). The advantage of this is that American allies - such as Israel - get far less of a free pass for misconduct. Israel currently finds itself under war crimes investigation by the I.C.C. and realizes it has more to fear where no U.S. influence exists to protect it.

  • Now is the time for Obama to Recognize Palestine
    • "Couldn't Trump de-recognize it in weeks?"

      Yes, however he could concurrently authorize his UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, to abstain on a UN Security Council resolution vote that would impose sanctions upon Israel, who has ramped up settlement activity in defiance of the recent UNSC resolution declaring the settlements to be illegal.

      Trump could conceivably "de-recognize" the State of Palestine, but that course of action would be largely symbolic if Trump was unable to also obtain rescission of a UNSC sanctions resolution against Israel. A UNSC sanctions resolution could inflict substantial economic injury upon Israel.

      About 40% of the current members of the 120-seat Knesset would support the implementation of a 2-state solution. Labor MK Stav Shaffir, praised by VP Biden, has indicated that such an implementation would prevent BDS from being imposed on the Israeli economy and the Meretz and Hadash parties - who hold a significant number of seats in the Knesset - have already voiced approval to a two-state solution.

      Zionist Camp chairman Isaac Herzog - the Leader of the Opposition - while opposing the UNSC resolution, is relishing the fact that PM Netanyahu's foreign policy stance against the Obama administration has now backfired.

  • Israel's Netanyahu et al. Throw Trump-like Tantrums after UNSC Slam
    • Not all Israeli leaders have expressed anger over the resolution.

      Members of the Meretz Party (the Israeli equivalent of the U.S. Green Party), including its Knesset seat holders, were jubilant at their Tel Aviv headquarters and were debating on whether to send flowers in person as a gift to the United Nations Security Council or to have a florist in Manhattan make the delivery.

      MK Dov Khenin, a lawyer and political scientist seated as a member of the Hadash Party, acknowledged the UNSC vote would damage the prestige of PM Netanyahu as his party greeted the news of the anti-settlement resolution.

      The public support from these Jewish Israeli leaders of the Knesset of the UNSC anti-settlement resolution strongly counteract PM Netanyahu's suggestions that the UNSC vote is motivated by anti-Semitism or forces inimical to Israel's best interests.

    • There were cheers in some Jewish corners of the Israeli political spectrum over the U.N. resolution.

      MK Zehava Gal-On, chairwoman of the Meretz Party (the Israeli equivalent of the Green Party), had publicly urged the Obama administration NOT to veto the resolution:

      "I hope that the U.S. administration does not veto the resolution which is not against Israel, but rather against the annexation and settlement policy of the Israeli government."

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  • Why the UN Resolution on Israeli Squatting didn't Go Far Enough
    • "Plus the war crimes that have been especially pronounced under successive Likud leaders, is undermining domestic stability.........."

      Thank you for your important observation.

      The Likud ("Consolidation") Party must be studied in order to understand the Middle East situation.

      Likud took power in 1977 in "the Upheaval" in which Israel elected a conservative government for the first time in its existence. Its party membership has differed from other right-wing parties in Israel's history to the extent that the membership and leaders have consisted chiefly of Israel's top veterans of both its military and intelligence hierarchy. The party has dominated Israeli politics since that time.

      PM Netanyahu has been elected as chairman of the Likud Party for seven successive terms, the last election being in January of 2016.

      The Israeli government's most serious enemy are its own citizens who demand equal rights under the law for all such citizens and who oppose continued military occupation of the West Bank. These citizens have been active in such organizations as the Meretz Party (Israel's equivalent of the Green Party) and human rights groups such as Yesh Din, Machsom Watch, and B'Tselem.

      Former MK Uri Avinery has described the eventual creation of a "Second Israeli Republic" which would embody true democracy, which would be via the efforts of the Israel Mahar ("Tomorrow") movement led by J-14 organizer Daphni Leef. Leef, in an interview has described the interference she has received by the Israeli government since commencing her movement - having her home telephone wiretapped, assigning 300 undercover agents to infiltrate the J-14 social reform movement, police breaking her hand during an arrest, and having spurious riot incitement charges filed against her (which were dismissed).

      PM Netanyahu's most serious threat to the Likud Party's dominance has been the Israeli Left - who merely seek equal rights and and an equitable final status agreement for the West Bank.

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  • President Big Brother: 1984 is 32 Years Late
    • "In this way (via drone strikes), the president........became judge, jury and executioner for "terror suspects" (though often enough, any man, woman, or child who happened to be in the vicinity) halfway around the world................."

      The benevolent Italian aid worker and al-Qaeda hostage Giovanni Lo Porto was one of those "in the vicinity" when killed during the explosion of a CIA drone during a "signature strike" - he died along with U.S. citizen Dr. Warren Weinstein in 2015.

      In a landmark settlement, the National Security Council authorized payment of 1 million euros to Mr. Lo Porto's family - labeling it a "donation", but requiring the family's legal representatives to sign paperwork acknowledging the settlement did not amount to an admission that the U.S. was submitting itself to the jurisdiction of Italian courts.

      The family of Warren Weinstein, who were openly critical of U.S. officials about the handling of Weinstein's captivity by al-Qaeda, remain in ongoing settlement negotiations with the Obama administration. It is conceivable that the Weinstein family may have to file an action in the U.S. Court of Claims in Washington D.C. under the Federal Tort Claims Act if they cannot achieve a compromise.

      Here are some links:

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  • Point by Point Response to Likud Party Propaganda
    • Thank you for your article, Mr. Rudolph.

      One, minor correction, however. The founder of the Likud Party was Menachem Begin in 1973. Ze'ev Jabotinsky, who died in 1940, founded the Irgun - a terror organization; his secretary was Benzion Netanyahu - father of the current Israeli prime minister. Begin had been the commander of the Irgun during the 1940s.

      The children of the terror gang leaders of the 1940s currently hold the highest positions in the current Israeli government. These include Tzachi Hanegbi, who currently chairs the powerful Defense and Foreign Relations Committee of the Knesset, whose father was operations commander of the Lehi (Stern) terror gang, as well as MK Tzipi Livni, current chairwoman of the Hatenua Party, whose parents served time in British-operated prisons for terror activity in the 1940s and whose father was operational commander of the Irgun (Etzel) gang.

      Jabotinsky proposed an Israeli state on both sides of the Jordan River and the emblem of the Irgun showed Israel comprising Palestine as well as present-day Jordan. He believed in equal rights for all Arabs in such a Zionist state, however the current direction of the Likud Party is relegate West Bank Palestinian Arabs to "cantons" and Arab Israelis to de facto second class citizens.

      Likud Party leaders have long felt that once 750,000 Jewish settlers are established in the West Bank, a reasonable basis will exist to declare the region annexed as part of Israel. The current Jewish population in the West Bank is 567,000. This is why it is so crucial for PM Netanyahu to continue to construct settlements in the West Bank while the Obama administration only meekly objects without any sanction being imposed. If the future Donald Trump administration continues the same attitude, the Likud Party goal of 750,000 will be within reach within four years.

      With that, PM Netanyahu will have then achieved his personal goal of joining Theodor Herzl and David Ben-Gurion to establish himself as the "Third Pillar of Israel".

  • Hard Truth: Aleppo Rebels weren't defeated by Main Force but b/c they alienated Syrians
    • Here are links to Central Intelligence Agency complicity with major arms shipments to Syrian rebels as recently as 2013:

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    • "Syria has been on the list of countries to overthrow.....leaked by [P]rivate Manning via WikiLeaks."

      Thank you for pointing this out.

      The U.S. State Department covertly funneled millions of dollars in funding since at least 2006 to the Syrian opposition, using such non-profit NGOs as the Los Angeles-based Democracy Council - while at the same time seeking rapprochement with the Baathist regime in Damascus.

      Bassma Kodmani, a spokeswoman for the Syrian National Council, had been seeking support from world leaders and coming to Virginia at one point for that purpose.

      Some links:

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    • "The regime had exhausted all of its power in 2013......"

      Thank you for this astute observation.

      Near the end of 2013, the Baathist regime in Damascus was on the verge of collapse due to the following situations:

      (A) first and foremost, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) was on the verge of severing the Latakia-to-Damascus supply line that was needed for the regime to survive;

      (B) the Syrian government's financial reserves had been depleted from 30 billion USD to only one billion;

      (C) several top Syrian Arab Army commanders had defected to rebel forces;

      (D) the Syrian National Coalition was receiving the diplomatic recognition of virtually all Western powers and secured the allegiance of the FSA;

      (E) the FSA, led by General Salim Idris, was receiving substantial arms and non-lethal supplies from Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. intelligence community;

      (F) the FSA had enjoyed broad support among the Syrian exile community in the U.S. and millions in funds were being raised for non-lethal aid to the FSA by not only exiles, but also political conservatives in the U.S. - Sen. John McCain voiced support for rebels and met some inside Syria.

      What went wrong:

      (1) the U.S. cut off aid, resulting in mass defections of FSA brigades and individual fighters to the Islamic Front and other extremist elements;

      (2) ISIS and the al-Nusra Front became the most prominent anti-Assad paramilitary forces in Syria - and spent most of their time fighting each other and other rebel groups instead of the Syrian Arab Army;

      (3) the Geneva II conference - heavily promoted by the Obama administration - was a disaster, Iran was excluded and the Islamic Front considered attendees to be traitors;

      (4) the Islamic Front at the Ankara Conference eschewed Western assistance - choosing Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states as their financial sponsors.

      The ensuing proliferation of Russian, Iranian and Hezbollah support to the Baathist regime in Damascus helped save it from collapse.

      Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have died since that time and millions displaced.

      "The reality is that the Left has lost its moral compass when it comes to Syria."


      The Obama administration is responsible for a serious and profound foreign policy failure in Syria to the point a Congressional investigation should be initiated. His own former ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, has been one of the most staunchest critics of the administration's policies toward Syria following his resignation from the U.S. State Department.

  • Trump Taps Man More Far-Right Than Netanyahu to Be Israel Envoy
    • ".......lighter-skinned peoples seem to be on the march all over the world to crush the civil rights of their fellow citizens...."

      What about in Japan, where the Caucasian Ainu minority suffers discrimination at the hands of other Japanese?

      What about in Zimbabwe, where the Robert Mugabe regime confiscated the land of whites whose families lived there for centuries?

      What about the Kurdish, Armenian, and Yazidi minorities - all of Caucasian background - in the Middle East who have sustained persecution over a long period of time perpetrated by Arab and Muslim-dominated governments in countries such as Iraq, Syria, and the former republics of the Soviet Union?

    • David Friedman has no significant foreign policy experience or education to qualify him for the ambassadorship.

      He has never worked for the U.S. State Department and primary "qualification" is being a former attorney for Trump's business empire when they needed bankruptcy counsel.

      Trump actually could have found in academia or in government someone with actual credentials that would have justified such an appointment - along with an uncompromising right-wing pro-Israel stance.

      A question that begs to be answered is what the U.S. State Department will do with the U.S. Consular Office in Jerusalem that has been located there for many decades that largely services West Bank Palestinians - will it be moved or, perhaps, shut down entirely?

  • Jerusalem 1896: Incredible Footage of Jews, Muslims, Christians living under the Ottomans
    • Thomas Friedman of the Council on Foreign Relations had noted in his book "From Beirut to Jerusalem" that the State of Israel could not have been founded by the native-born Jewry in Palestine - but that the aggressive character of the European Jews who streamed into the region following WWII was needed to declare a Zionist state in 1948.

      Most Arabs in Palestine had no quarrel with the Jews who inhabited the region for centuries - but the creation of Jewish settlements and the implementation of Plan Dalet - the forcible removal of 700,000 Palestinian Arabs from their homes - during that timeframe as well as other atrocities created the Palestinian diaspora and refugee camps that exist to this day.

      The Palestinian Arab conflict with Jewish inhabitants in that area only grew exponentially to the point of being a major phenomenon only after the end of WWII when large amounts of Jewish refugees resettled in Palestine as the British Mandate was winding down.

      The 1896 footage was three years prior to Hirzl's 1899 World Jewish Congress convening.

  • No, America, it wasn't Russia: You did it to Yourself
    • There is substantial speculation at who is behind the "Working Class Party" in Michigan. One observer felt it had a Trotskyite socialist orientation. One of its leaders is a United Auto Workers activist and it appears to have its major support network in the City of Detroit.

      In a number of Detroit voting precincts, its nominees received more votes than GOP candidates.

    • Vote fraud in the inner city is real.

      In Detroit, the absentee ballot program was placed into receivership in 2005 as a result of federal and state court lawsuits confirming the City Clerk's office was engaged in irregularities on a massive scale. A Detroit News investigation found that incorrect names and addresses occurred on 380,000 registered voter entries.

      The findings were outrageous:

      (A) deceased persons voting;

      (B) city clerk staff supplying mentally incompetent nursing home patients with absentee ballots with votes already written in;

      (C) mass mailing unsolicited absentee ballots to a juvenile detention center.

    • Penny Crider is a GOP recount poll watcher who was present and confirmed that Precinct#152 in Detroit - where the vote box ballot certification and election report disclosed 306 votes - only had 50 paper ballots inside.

      She is a district director for Republican Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck.

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    • Michigan Secretary of State Elections Director Christopher Thomas announced today that he is auditing twenty Detroit voting precincts where irregularities appear to exist - as a prelude to a possible vote fraud investigation - including the notorious Penny Crider precinct.

      This was done at the request of two GOP state senators in Michigan.

      Thank you Jill Stein for exposing this issue!

    • Having resided in Detroit previously, the problem of vote fraud has been a running joke for years.

      The obituary of former Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie in the 12/29/2009 edition of the Michigan Chronicle:

      "Currie and her office were accused of casting absentee votes in deceased people's names. Her employees were also accused of assisting incapacitated people, encouraging them to use absentee ballots with intentions of securing their votes for specific candidates"

      Here is an excerpt of City of Detroit voting results from the Clinton/Trump election publicly available on the Wayne County MI website:

      (A) Precinct #52: Straight Ticket: 228(D) 2(R), Clinton/Trump: 268/1:

      (B) Precinct#104: Straight Ticket: 123(D) 0(R), Clinton/Trump: 151/0;

      (C) Precinct#181: Straight Ticket: 120(D) 0(R), Clinton/Trump: 120/143;

      (D)Precinct#218: Straight Ticket: 179(D) 2(R); Clinton/Trump: 215/0

      Obviously, if one votes straight-ticket GOP he/she must necessarily vote for the GOP presidential nominee, so the result in Precinct#218 is false on its face.

      I could have also cited other Detroit precincts where the Trump/Pence ticket received zero votes however the Penny Crider observation that she only saw 50 paper ballots in the sealed precinct box upon unsealing for recount purposes - when the box certification and election report both indicated 306 precinct votes - is perhaps the strongest proof of fraud by election officials.

      Here are some links to the recent vote fraud history in Detroit:

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    • Thank you for pointing this out.

      Penny Crider, a GOP-recruited poll watcher from Livonia had been present when everything appeared initially to been in order when the recount was occurring at a Detroit inner-city precinct: the poll report tabulation of ballots matched the number of 306 recorded on the sealed precinct box.

      When the seal was broken however - only 50 paper ballots were verified in that precinct voter box.

      The Detroit City Clerk - a Democrat, confirmed the existence of irregularities throughout the City of Detroit on the vote count - purportedly due to paper ballots sticking as they entered the box containing the optical scanning device. However it certainly does not result in the same paper ballot being counted six times!

      The late Democratic Detroit City Clerk Jackie Currie presided when in 2005 a massive vote fraud scheme was uncovered in a Detroit mayoral election that gave Kwame Kilpatrick an upset win over Freeman Hendrix.

      The current vote totals in Detroit are clearly fraudulent and Jill Stein can be credited with uncovering this and providing support for Mr.Trump's theories. I thought something was fishy at firstwhen I noticed that in some Detroit voting precincts a recently-registered Trotskyite party's nominees were outpolling Republicans on the same ballot.

      Here are some links to the extensive vote fraud exposed in Detroit:

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  • Now that SecDef thinks Israeli Occupation is Apartheid, will the Lobby Blackballing Fail?
    • "....[t]here has been no proof that Hezbollah was behind any of the bombings in South America or Europe, only Israel's allegations..."

      In fact, ample proof does exist.

      The March of 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing in Argentina occurred one month following the Israeli assassination of the Hezbollah secretary-general. Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO) claimed responsibility. IJO has been described by experts as a front for Hezbollah. Former CIA official Robert Baer has indicated that IJO is operated jointly by a committee of Hezbollah and Iranian intelligence. IJO afterward released film footage of the explosion to confirm their claim of responsibility.

      The Argentine government issued an arrest warrant against Hezbollah intelligence chief Imad Mugineyeh in 1999 over his alleged complicity in the 1992 Israeli Embassy bombing - as well as the 1994 AMIA (Jewish center) bombing.

      The Argentine prosecutor in the AMIA case was killed, but that case was re-opened in 2015; the focus of the investigation is Iranian complicity in that bombing. NSA intercepts purportedly reveal that Iran had foreknowledge of the attack, however the Argentine government has been, to a certain extent, reluctant to pursue the angle of Iranian involvement, for the reason that Iran and Argentina have been seeking closer diplomatic and economic ties.

      Here are some links:

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      "And what is wrong if Iran supplies weapons and training to Hezbollah?"

      As part of the cease-fire agreement that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Hezbollah agreed not to import arms via Syria as it had been doing. This provision has obviously been breached by Hezbollah and Israel has bombed, via air, the Syrian supply routes where missile shipments have been occurring to intercept and destroy such war materiel.

    • "....strong denunciation of the groups such as Hezbollah.."

      Hezbollah, although fighting ISIS to some extent, is inimical to U.S. interests.

      The Israeli government has correctly pointed out that Hezbollah benefits from the international opium trade due to its territory on the Mediterranean Sea, by extension also benefitting the Taliban as 87% of all opium is cultivated in Afghanistan, with the Taliban raking in a percentage of profits from farmers occupying land under that militia's control. A significant share of this opium passing through Lebanon finds its way to America - thus IDF officials have stressed to the U.S. government that it should join Israel in eradicating Hezbollah.

      Hezbollah has long been designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terror organization and has been responsible in the past for deadly attacks in Europe and Latin America.

      Hezbollah went into the Second Lebanon War with 12,000 unguided rockets and shot 4,000 into Israel, killing a total of 165 Israelis during that conflict and shutting down northern Israel for a month -causing 2 million Israelis to hide in bomb shelters. Today, Hezbollah's arsenal has, according to some estimates, as many as 180,000 missiles - including some with guidance capabilities. The IDF has estimated that a war against Hezbollah would today result in a projected daily death toll of tens, if not hundreds of Israelis.

      That said, Hezbollah has brought stability to south Lebanon since that devastating 2006 war by being a credible deterrent to IDF aggression. It has availed itself of the electoral processes and has seats in the Lebanese parliament and cabinet. It has formed an alliance with Michel Aoun, a Christian politician, and has helped in maintaining south Lebanon stable politically while being perceived by Lebanese Shia as an effective advocate of their interests.

      Members of the U.S. intelligence community have perceived Hezbollah as a western bastion of Iran's imperialistic ambitions and a serious threat to Israel's security. In fact, Iran does supply weapons and training to Hezbollah and has done so over the years; Iran's Revolutionary Guard helped direct Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War and manned missile batteries that took advantage of deficiencies in IDF air defenses.

      The U.S. has correctly perceived Hezbollah as a threat in its region - while ignoring Hezbollah's positive contributions to the internal stability and territorial integrity of Lebanon.

    • He sat on the board of directors of General Dynamics, a defense contractor.

    • Mattis' most important task will be to allay the Israel Lobby that he is aligned with their interests.

      Recall Admiral Bobby Inman, the distinguished former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and deputy director of the CIA who had expressed his view did not trust Israel.

      After his nomination by President Clinton as defense secretary, Inman received blistering criticism by pro-Israeli interests, led by columnist William Safire, and his nomination was doomed. The Inman nomination set a precedent that cheerfully expressing pro-Israel sentiments is crucial to a nominee to that seat in the Cabinet.

  • Israel Plots Largest Settlement Expansion in Occupied Syrian Golan since 1980
    • Approximately one-third of Israel's fresh water supply emanates from the occupied Golan Heights.

  • Is Jimmy Carter right that Obama should Recognize Palestine?
    • One of the key criticisms of the Camp David Accords was that the Palestinian question was not resolved - but deferred to a status that exists to this day.

      There is no question that both Sadat and Begin - as well as Jimmy Carter - were courageous in making the concessions to attempt peace:

      (A) Sadat, who had enjoyed praise in the Arab world for his handling of the Yom Kippur War, would be labeled a traitor for recognizing Israel and be killed by extremists in 1981;

      (B) Begin, who had been riding a wave of popularity as a right-wing leader, had his limousine egged by fellow Likud Party members upon his return from Camp David;

      (C) Carter, on behalf of the U.S., would extend billions of dollars in foreign aid guarantees to Egypt at a time when the U.S. economy was tanking and he was already grossly unpopular even among Democrats in America.

      However, Anwar Sadat's and Jimmy Carter's failure to achieve a final status agreement on the Palestinian question at Camp David or any time thereafter did not endear either of then to the Arab community at that time. I can recall Arab-Americans in Dearborn being interviewed by newsmen for their reactions to Sadat's death immediately after his October 6, 1981 assassination and their general response was unsympathetic.

  • Conspiracy Theorist in Chief: Trump's falsehood about 2 mn. illegal votes only tip of Melting Iceberg
    • " Trump got the standard 61 mn votes like McCain & Romney..."

      This is not an accurate analysis since Gary Johnson collected an unheard of Libertarian Party presidential electoral total of 4.4 million nationally - compared to his 2012 presidential total of 1.27 million votes. The overall Johnson percentage of the total presidential popular vote shot up from .99% to 3.25 %. Only in 1980 did the Libertarian Party nominee (Ed Clark) ever break one per cent (1.07%)

      Johnson's candidacy and limited government platform likely siphoned off at least two million votes that would otherwise gone to Trump.

    • The spirit of the Great Compromise was for states to retain their individuality and power as opposed to granting each citizen in every corner of America equal weight - that's why the State of Wyoming and State of California each have two U.S. Senate seats and the District of Columbia has none.

      The winner-take-all nature of state elections and the procedure upon which the Electoral College operates is transparent and part of the U.S. Constitution for centuries.

      I was involved in the process of choosing a Presidential Elector in two prior presidential elections as a state convention delegate. A congressional district party committee caucus at a state party convention has the chairperson accept nominations and have a vote of state convention delegates on the nominees. The winner becomes that party's Presidential Elector from that U.S. Congressional District and votes in the state capital for the party's nominee on a date in December of that election cycle.

      Presidential Electors are usually party insiders who get elected by the district committee delegation due recognition of many years of party service; its is more of an honor than an influential position.

      I see nothing inherently unfair about the Electoral College - which has been a constitutionally-imposed tradition of the presidential electoral process since this nation was founded.

    • Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office compared voter registration rolls against federal records and discovered 600 registered voters in the state who were not U.S. citizens and estimated there were likely 4000 such non-citizens registered to vote in the state.

      In Detroit, more registered voters exist than residents over the age of 18 years.

      An Ann Arbor City Council candidate was alleged to have previously run for public offices in two separate counties simultaneously.

      Adam Easlick, an Ypsilanti resident, filed as a registered voter and voted in several jurisdictions in Michigan and continued trying to procure phony addresses for voter registration even after receiving notice from the Secretary of State; he was arrested and later convicted of felony election fraud after being prosecuted by the Michigan Attorney General.

      There has been fraud alleged in the Michigan GOP delegate selection process by a Macomb Republican Party leader.

      An absentee voter scam in Armada, Michigan in Macomb County was alleged that was similar to the Hamtramck charges.

      Here are some to Metro Detroit election fraud cases and allegations:

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      link to surfaces-that-ward-1-council-candidate-committed-election-fraud-in-2010/

    • Thanks for the heads up.

      Additional, working, links to the Hamtramck voter fraud cases:

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    • The concept of extensive conspiratorial voter fraud is a very real phenomenon in Detroit and Hamtramck.

      The Michigan Attorney General convicted three Bangladeshi-Americans from Hamtramck for mishandling absentee ballots.

      Here are some links:

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  • In Trump's Shadow, is East Aleppo on Verge of falling to Regime, Russia?
  • Fidel Castro's Top Moments in the Middle East
    • "Cuba gave serious help to the Palestine Liberation Organization, including training of guerillas and offering scholarship to Palestinian students to study in Havana."

      In fact, Fidel Castro was likely one of the most vocal supporters of the Palestinian cause, last year giving vigorous public condemnation of Israel for their conduct during their incursion in Gaza.

      Palestinian leaders, especially those of Marxist orientation, have heaped praise on Castro today.

      Earlier, young U.S. House member Justin Amash from Michigan, the only Palestinian-American serving in Congress, had broken ranks with fellow Republicans by supporting Obama's decsion to initiate diplomatic relations with the Castro regime.

      Castro once had a notable meeting with Malcom X, who was one of the first public figures in America to speak out in favor of the Palestinians.

      Here are some links:

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  • Is Trump "Pro-Russian?" How will Russia Fare? Russians want to Know
    • Giuliani was a paid lobbyist for the MEK, an Iranian cult formerly designated by the U.S. State Department as a foreign terror organization; he spoke in France for MEK alongside its leader, Maryam Rojavi:

      link to terror-organization/

  • World Bank: Only 10 percent of Gazans have access to safe drinking water
    • The water crisis in Gaza is man-made and created by the policies of the Israeli government to intentionally create a situation in Gaza so that the enclave will be uninhabitable and cause Gazans to emigrate. This is violates the Geneva Conventions and is being committed in the following manner:

      (A) Israel has breached its obligations under the 1993 Oslo Accords to supply Gaza with potable water;

      (B) in military reprisal operations, the IDF has targeted wells, water reservoirs, and other water supply facilities in Gaza as "soft targets" along with other civilian utility infrastructure;

      (C) Israel, via its illegal blockade, has prevented supply materials to repair damaged water supply facilities and, further, prevented the entry of materials to re-construct electrical generators that could supply the needed energy to power desalination facilities capable of producing safe drinking water for Gazans.

      Brian Baird and Keith Ellison, then both members of the U.S. House, visited Gaza in the immediate aftermath of the Operation Cast Lead incursion - over the objections of the Obama administration - and were highly critical of the conduct of the Israeli government toward Gaza for intentionally targeting civilian infrastructure.

      Here are links to the causes of the water crisis in Gaza:

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  • Will Trump bolster the Military-Industrial Complex?
    • Lockheed Martin's former VP-General Counsel was none other than James Comey - who made large personal donations to GOP candidates, including John McCain and Mitt Romney, according to Federal Election Commission records downloadable on their public website - Comey assumed the directorship of the FBI with a history of many thousands of dollars of campaign contributions to Republican candidates.

      One could argue that Comey's background would lend itself to be predisposed to skew the FBI's investigative activity to promote the political interests of Donald Trump, and by extension, his former employer, defense contractor Lockheed Martin.

      Federal employees are barred from engaging in campaign activity by virtue of the Hatch Act, however it has been no secret that most federal law enforcement officials were vastly more sympathetic to the potentiality of a Trump presidency rather than a Hillary Clinton administration in Washington.

      Back in the days of the JFK administration, the TFX fighter contracts were a political football that represented "pork barrel" politics at its finest. This was on the heels of the farewell address of President Eisenhower's warning of the reach of the military-industrial complex in America.

      During the 1990s the Clinton administration advocated for the creation of a commission to study prospective U.S. military base closings. That commission caused a furor as many areas in the U.S. were economically dependent on the U.S. Department of Defense operation of these military installation locations.

  • Woman demeans Christian Assyrian-American as 'Terrorist' for Speaking Jesus' Language
    • @Juan Cole: There were virtually no Iraqi Shi'ites in Metro Detroit until after the Persian Gulf War. The influx of refugees led to a greater number - many of whom supported the government-in-exile Iraqi National Congress - and were prepared to return to Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

      Iraqi Chaldeans were in Detroit in substantial numbers dating back to the 1930s - opening up grocery stores in increasing numbers and assimilating well into Michigan society as professionals and public office holders and intermarrying with other Catholics. The Iraqi Shia Muslim population in Metro Detroit is largely an insular community that is substantial in Dearborn and to some degree in Hamtramck.

      The vast majority of Iraqi-Americans in Metro Detroit are Christian, however there have clearly been an increasing percentage of Iraqi Shia - many of whom have emigrated from southern Iraq to the U.S. and settling in Michigan since 1990.

    • Roughly 3% of Iraq is Christian - but the religious affiliation Iraqi-Americans in Metro Detroit probably is 90% Christian or greater. The reason many have left Iraq over the previous decades was due to religious persecution - which exists to this day.

      Nevertheless, incidents of violence and discrimination against Iraqi-Americans in Metro Detroit during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-1991 fell heavily on Christian Iraqi-Americans - many of whom had relatives serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    • ".....[s]ometimes its called Syriac or Chaldean."

      "So after Trump's electoral victory, an Assyrian woman....."

      Let me point out that Metro Detroit's Iraqi-American Catholic (Chaldean) community numbers approximately 100,000 and overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump in the last election - they had their own group with a Facebook presence "Chaldeans for Trump". I know this as I was a GOP precinct delegate last summer and received numerous requests from Chaldean-Americans for Donald Trump lawn signs and bumper stickers for their homes and businesses. I had to contact a Trump regional campaign manager who had to limit distribution of supplies due to the high regional demand for Trump campaign materials.

      The Chaldean-American support for Trump emanates due to the persecution in Iraq against the Christian minority by Muslims - and the hard line Trump is taking against Muslims.

      Donald Trump won the State of Michigan by only 13,000 votes - so it is conceivable that Chaldean-Americans via their votes, campaign donations, and electioneering swung the state to a Trump victory.

  • Why Internment of Japanese Americans is an outrageous Model for registering Muslim-Americans
    • Name a single elected leader......who has ever spewed the paranoia, racist myths, and conspiracy theories seen from (Trump).

      ANSWER: Israel's recent Likud Party prime ministers have been elected and survived by creating a "siege mentality" to unify their electorate against Palestinian Arabs whom they demonize and see as bent on destroying them and the State of Israel.

      Marine Le Pen in France may be elected president there and has welcomed Trump's election as U.S. president. She is supportive of "Frexit" and instituting tough anti-immigration measures. She has joined Israel in her concerns over the need to implement successful counter-measures to radical Islam, which she perceives as a serious terror threat.

      PM Netanyahu and Ms. Le Pen could, in the future, join Trump in creating a tripartite political axis in promoting an international ultrarightist agenda using an anti-terror, anti immigrant, and trade protectionist mantra.

    • In reality, the federal courts struck down much of the Bush administration's conduct - especially regarding Guantanamo Bay.

      The federal courts upheld the prisoners' rights to habeas corpus review and reversed many convictions while also declaring the Act of Congress that created the military tribunals for Guantanamo Bay to be unconstitutional.

      Although many of the atrocities of Guantanamo Bay have not been remedied, the defense attorneys appointed to represent the inmates and the federal courts have issued many setbacks to the U.S. Department of Justice.

    • ".....the Federal civil rights suits would be presided over by the very judges Trump will be appointing and the Republican Congress will be rubber-stamping....."

      Federal judges are appointed for life and in Detroit, for example, we have U.S. District Judges that were appointed by Carter or Reagan still in office hearing cases; even though Barack Obama has completed almost two presidential terms - only a small percentage of the local federal judiciary in Detroit are Obama appointees - only 7 of the 29 active members of the bench.

      If right-wing extremist judges are nominated, the minority Democrats in Congress can delay the process almost indefinitely. Further, Democrats could conceivably control the U.S. House following the 2018 elections.

    • The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination based upon religion - and was not in effect when the Japanese-Americans were assigned to relocation centers during WWII.

      Title VI of that U.S. act forbids federal funding of any governmental agency that engages in such offensive discrimination. All federal agencies must adhere to the officially-enacted legislative policy of the U.S. Congress that prohibits that invidious discrimination.

      It would take an Act of Congress to make an exception for proposed "Muslim registration" - which will never happen. If Mr. Trump attempted such action by executive order, it would expose those officials responsible for its implementation subject to federal civil rights suits.

      The ACLU would have a proverbial field day with such proposed registration - including 14th Amendment Due Process Clause challenges on a "void for vagueness" theory as to the issue as what constitutes a "Muslim" and "shocking the conscience" standard substantive Due Process Clause arguments.

      I do not believe any Trump administration lawyer could - with a straight face - argue the legality of such a registration requirement.

  • ADL Director Pledges to Sign Up For Muslim Registry
    • Jonathan Greenblatt has also recently denounced Steve Bannon's appointment to the Trump administration's inner circle.

      These seems part of an ADL initiative to distance itself from the Trump administration at a time when the Democratic National Committee may appoint an Israel critic, Keith Ellison, to the DNC chair post.

      Pro-Israel U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is now backing appointment of Ellison to the DNC chairmanship.

      Substantial numbers of Jewish-American leaders are softening their position on Muslims and the Palestinian question in order to ensure solidarity with the Democratic Party. Others are embracing the GOP with its Christian Zionists and those espousing an anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim rhetoric.

  • Syria's al-Assad: Trump "a natural ally"
    • The Free Syrian Army (FSA) remnants who are defending Aleppo are Obama's equivalent of the Cuban anti-Castro Brigade 2506 fighters abandoned at the Bay of Pigs by the JFK administration in 1961.

      The U.S.--backed rebels were on the verge of severing the Baathists' Latakia-to-Damascus supply corridor in 2013 and toppling Assad when the U.S. Department of State abruptly cut off aid to the rebels. The cessation of aid also led to FSA brigades defecting to the Islamic Front and other Salafist rebel groups.

      Obama's own appointed ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford - considered a friend to the Syrian-American exile community - resigned his ambassadorship and eventually became the chief critic of the Obama administration's Syria policy.

      The U.S. Congress should investigate what when wrong in Syria - and why hundreds of thousands of Syrians are casualties as a result.

      We should all be reminded of the iconic photo of the body of toddler Alan Kurdi washed up on the beach.

  • A Jerusalem Litmus Test
    • If Obama diplomatically recognizes the State of Palestine (as some have speculated), and opens the American Embassy to Palestine in Jerusalem, then the "thunder" of this proposed action by Trump will be largely abated.

  • Neofascist Trump Appointee Bannon: "Anger is a Good thing" "if you're Fighting to Take this Country Back"
    • @super390:

      The Asian-American and Jewish-American communities have traditionally been opposed to affirmative action as it has tended to victimize their children during the admissions process to professional schools of U.S. universities.

      These admissions processes are a zero-sum game by excluding more-qualified applicants in competition with
      blacks and other selected minorities given preference points due to their respective racial or ethnic identities.

      I attended a private law school where the admissions process was completely based on individual merit without regard to any racial preferences; the five members of my graduating class who went on to hold judiciary seats were minorities - two Hispanics, two black females, and an Arab-American naturalized citizen - who had been admitted to law school solely on merit.

      James Meredith, who integrated the University of Mississippi, later worked in the office of Sen. Jesse Helms and was an ardent Republican opposed to affirmative action; he felt the concept of affirmative action implied that blacks were inferior to whites - and said his proudest moment was seeing his son earning his PhD without the benefit of any racial preference during his education.

    • Was it not FDR that authorized internment camps for Japanese-Americans that were approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Korematsu decision?

      It was only Pres. Harry Truman in 1948 that integrated the U.S. Armed Forces by executive order.

      FDR was no champion of the rights of minorities.

    • In 1972, cross-district busing of public school students in Metro Detroit was ordered by U.S. District Judge Robert DeMascio as a remedy of forced racial integration to address de facto segregation of white and blacks in that area.

      That year the Democratic nominee for President, George McGovern endorsed the remedy of cross-district busing as a cure for segregated school districts.

      The decision of Judge DeMascio was overturned by higher courts and McGovern was defeated by Richard Nixon. The political and judicial attitudes, via the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court in Bakke vs USC Board of Regents decision banning racial quotas in the college admissions process, signaled a gradual erosion, of affirmative action in public education.

      Currently, factors in the admissions process are legally allowable at public U.S. colleges, per recent Supreme Court decision, however a new Trump appointee could shift the balance on the high court.

      We need to go back to an era where no special treatment is accorded students due to race. Such considerations are repugnant to our values as Americans.

    • Steve Bannon received his MBA from Harvard Business School with honors and was an investment banker with Goldman Sachs.

      He brings a needed anti-establishment balance to the future Trump administration to complement the "establishment" Reince Priebus. His appointment has signaled to the Israel Lobby that the future Trump administration will not be a pro-Israel rubber stamp for the Likud Party.

      Trump argued the Obama "birther" issue and many right-wing extremist theories the last few years. The Bannon selection cannot be a surprise to many seasoned political observers.

  • As Der Donald-inspired Hate Crimes grow, US Universities at Risk
    • ".......Michigan students are not being disadvantaged."

      I would disagree.

      They are disadvantaged in several ways.

      The vast majority of students paying higher tuition at University of Michigan is due to the fact they are from the U.S. - but reside out of state.

      The large number of both out-of-state applicants and international student applicants create an applicant pool that is more competitive and deprives Michigan residents from a fair percentage of admissions openings.

      Ron Weiser, former Michigan Republican Party chairman and an Ann Arbor resident, was recently elected to the U-M Board of Regents. This issue was a major campaign topic.

      As a practical matter, it is so extremely competitive to be admitted to University of Michigan that the only way for a typical college-bound student to qualify for admission academically is to seek admission to the U-M campus at either Dearborn or Flint - the Ann Arbor campus is as difficult to be admitted to as an Ivy League school.

  • How can Progressives get through the Next 4 Years? Organize!
    • On the positive note in Tuesday's election for those interested in news of political victories in the U.S. for adherents of Islam, the Hamtramck School Board in the Detroit enclave is now Muslim-majority for the first time in its history - as Hamtramck City Council became last year.

      Here is the article:

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  • Why the White Working Class Rebelled: Neoliberalism is Killing Them (Literally)
    • Cheer up!

      Look at the Muslim-majority Hamtramck City Council in Michigan and similar changes occurring politically in Dearborn, Michigan.

    • As a longtime GOP activist, I am happy that the anti-establishment Bernie Sanders was not nominated to oppose the anti-establishment Donald Trump.

      The Democratic National Committee insiders, such as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, are the "best friends" of Republicans and are inimical to the best interests of the Democratic Party grassroots.

    • Sarah Palin did not run this election cycle.

    • The President George H.W. Bush administration colluded with Boris Yeltsin to take power in 1991 and dissolve the Soviet Union on December 25th of that year.

      Is sauce for the goose not sauce for the gander?

    • The Democratic National Committee political machine that sabotaged the Bernie Sanders campaign were the same folk that tried to stop Obama in 2008.

      Will the Democratic Party clean house to avoid another national electoral debacle in 2018 and 2020?

    • In blue-collar Macomb County, Michigan, where Trump was preceded on stage by rock star Ted Nugent last Sunday night, 70% of the registered electorate voted - with Trump beating Clinton by approximately 10%.

      Macomb County has a population of over one million and is nationally considered a bellweather political subdivision by political analysts.

    • ".......the rebellion of a class of people who are tired of being put down by a smug segment of American society who makes no bones about the fact that they think the cultural mores and beliefs of the white working class are unworthy............"

      Trump will emerge from the hatred by the American Left that surrounds him now as one of the most significant public figures who has ever held office in America.

      He has a charisma about him in the way the the disenfranchised white electorate perceives him and in the manner of his communications that will expand as he assumes and performs the duties as our Chief Executive.

      Mr. Trump is a populist in the mold of Huey Long and Robert LaFollette and has the stuff of which legends are made.

  • W. Bank Palestinian farmers: Israeli squatters stole harvest of 400 olive trees
  • Top 5 Times the FBI intervened to Help the US Right Wing
    • Viola Liuzzo was from Detroit and her husband was a Teamsters union official. An attorney who bonded her out jail when she was arrested during a civil rights demonstration was Jimmy Hoffa's personal attorney, William Bufalino.

      The "undercover FBI agent" was federal informant Gary Thomas Rowe and the theory advanced in a federal civil rights suit against the government by the Liuzzo family was that they knew the Klansmen were out to endanger civil rights volunteers that and should have taken preventative measures before the Klansmen could hurt someone. That suit was thrown out by a federal judge in Detroit and the U.S. Justice Department actually sought at one point an award of $80,000.00 in costs and attorney fees against those who brought the suit on behalf of the Liuzzo estate, which was denounced by U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

      The FBI was targeting Teamsters union officials during the 1960s and 70s; that circumstance, along with the fact the Liuzzo family members were publicly criticizing the FBI, resulted in the "smear campaign" you allege.

  • The Hatred that Trump's Lies will Leave Behind
    • ".....and in my view there is not much chance he (Trump) can win....."

      As late as 10:00 p.m. last night, one media polling organization was saying Hillary Clinton had a 72% chance of winning the election - just before 11:00 that was amended to 55% in support of a Trump victory.

      At 9:00 p.m. last night, the Detroit Free Press, citing complex precinct extrapolation statistical methods they employed - called the State of Michigan for Hillary Clinton; the Michigan Secretary of State by next morning disclosed results that Trump had won the State of Michigan by 3/10ths of a percentage point.

      One polling expert last week indicated that Trump had a "1% chance" of winning the election.

      NBC, the largest presidential polling group, on Monday showed Clinton with a 7% lead nationally.

      The LA Times/USC Tracking Poll, who had consistently throughout the election cycle showed that Trump was leading Clinton nationally, was ridiculed yesterday by pundits that their "day of reckoning" was coming by the end of the night when final results were expected.

      The Rasmussen Poll that showed Trump leading Clinton most of the election cycle was likewise dismissed as having a pro-GOP bias. The Investors Business Daily - which predicted a Trump victory in a 4-way race and had been the most accurate presidential polling organization the last three elections of 2004, 2008 and 2012 - was largely ignored by the mainstream media.

      Maybe Trump has a point about liberal biases in the media and in polling.

    • Donald Trump enjoys substantial support from Israelis and pro-Israel Americans and a campaign office was established for Trump at a West Bank settlement:

      link to

      link to

  • FBI Faction Hostile to Clinton Possibly Behind Leaks
    • According to Federal Election Commission records downloadable on the FEC public website, FBI director James Comey, while general counsel of Lockheed Martin Corporation and later while an employee of Bridgewater, made large donations to the John McCain 2008 presidential election committee, and later to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign committee in 2012.

      $2.300.00 went to McCain's campaign in 2008 and a total of over $10,000.00 in campaign contributions under Comey's name have been recorded by the Federal Election Commission.

      The GOP needs to draft Jim Comey for president in 2020!

    • ".........Clinton's lead in Michigan has narrowed so much that the race is too close to call......"

      Michigan has not voted Republican in the Electoral College in any presidential election since 1988.

      Trump's family members are currently in a campaign blitz in the Wolverine State and Trump himself had been scheduled to visit this weekend.

      Despite the massive union support and the substantial black and Muslim communities in Metro Detroit rallying to Hillary Clinton in Michigan, her lead has dwindled to only 4-5% over Trump.

  • Are Arabs White?
    • The United States Supreme Court in St. Francis College vs. Al Khazraji, 481 US 604 (1987) held in a landmark decision that persons of Arabian ancestry are protected as non-Caucasians under certain federal civil rights legislation.

      That opinion was authored by Byron White - and Jewish organizations filed briefs in support of that claimant, an Iraqi-American professor, alleging race discrimination. The decision indirectly bolstered the argument that Jewish-Americans should receive similar civil rights protections.

      link to

  • 10 Things Weiner did Worse than Storing H. Clinton Emails on his computer
  • 60 Years later, Suez Crisis looks a lot like Iraq War
    • "Saddam Hussein had the same right as Israel to obtain nuclear arms for the defense of Iraq."

      This is incorrect.

      Iraq is a signatory to the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons and is bound to subject itself to the inspection regimen of the International Atomic Energy Agency and never to acquire nuclear weaponry.

      The government of the State of Israel in the 1960s , acting pursuant to the express recommendations of renowned U.S. physicist and"Father of the H-Bomb", Edward Teller, has never signed that nuclear nonproliferation treaty - and therefore there exists no enforcement mechanism to prevent Israel from acquiring an atomic arsenal.

  • Starstruck & Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support
    • "........then race came into play....."

      In 1970, blacks amounted to about 43% of Detroit's population and today its about 83% - if one adds Hispanic, Asian and Arab minorities in Detroit the city's total minority population approaches 90% today.

      Blacks in union leadership has been almost non-existent in Detroit-based labor union locals of the Teamsters and construction trades - although the United Auto Workers has openly promoted racial diversity and inclusion and had Mark Stepp, an African -American, serve as an international vice-president during the 1970s and 1980s.

      "......[n]either Japan nor Mexico bulks large in his well-researched work......"

      The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 700,000 American jobs were lost since NAFTA went into effect with Michigan and Indiana being the hardest hit:

      link to

    • "A large contributing factor were the "sweetheart" deals...."


      Big Three management justified their own salary increases on the raises given to the UAW workers.

      Janitors who were UAW members earned as much as $74,000.00 per annum and earned the jealousy of young entry-level engineers were earned less than they did.

      U.S. Senator Carl Levin unsuccessfully sought heavy tariffs on Japanese imports to thwart the growing market share.

      The Subaru and other Japanese imports of the 1960s were considered deathtraps and a joke among the auto experts. By the 1980s however, Japanese imported cars had a reputation for quality and affordability among U.S. consumers.

      The 1980s were considered a glory decade for the auto industry in Detroit with record profits and Lee Iacocca being touted as a possible presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988. The generous collective bargaining agreements the UAW had with the Big Three led to long term pension and medical insurance trust obligations that came to destroy both GM and Chrysler during the G.W. Bush administration.

      Many auto suppliers from Detroit, such as Lear Corporation, Collins & Aikman, Delphi and others who supplied automotive components such as seating and car interiors filed for bankruptcy as Mexican automotive factories produced the same components for far less cost.

      Lear Corporation, a 10-billion per year revenue seating producer in the 1990s, saw all of its shareholder equity wiped out in a bankruptcy filing in the following decade.

    • Absolutely.

      The United Auto Workers and Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters unions were during the 1950s and 1960s clearly the most politically influential labor unions in America and were largely run out of Detroit. The UAW was one of the few national labor unions not based in Washington D.C. - but in Detroit, and the Teamsters, despite being nominally headquartered at a 9-million-dollar building in the District of Columbia, was heavily controlled by its Detroit-based Local 299, headed by Jimmy Hoffa. Local 299 had the highest membership of any Teamster local in the U.S. and that local membership consisted heavily of over-the-road truckers hauling new automobiles.

      Two events occurred which shattered the prominence of those two unions and Detroit's primacy as the center of industrial power in the Midwest:

      (A) a little-known young business entrepreneur named Malcom Bricklin entered into a distributorship agreement with Subaru in the mid-1960s to import compact cars made in Japan into the U.S. consumer market - which led by the 1970s to Japanese automakers controlling an ever-widening share of the American market;

      (B) the opening up of the Mexican labor force to U.S. automotive suppliers - aided by the North American Free Trade Agreement - led to the Big Three Detroit automakers outsourcing parts and components to Mexican factories - many owned by American businessmen - and causing the layoffs of UAW workers.

      Detroit has declined from a population of 2 million in 1950 to less than 700,000 today - with the median value of a Detroit home currently about $10,000. The UAW today has lost hundreds of thousands of members since the late 1970s as well as political influence; Local 299 of the Teamsters likewise has only fraction of its 1970s era membership and the international union has lost the vast political clout it enjoyed under Jimmy Hoffa and Frank Fitzsimmons.

      Detroit-based General Motors, once the largest company in the world, filed in 2008 (its 100th anniversary) for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with over 90 billion dollars in accrued debt; Chrysler, the nation's third-largest automaker, was purchased by foreign interests after its stock shares became worthless. Only Ford - through prudent family management and intensive cost-cutting measures - and without any federal loan bailout - survived along with its shareholders.

      Detroit is America's most stark example of very extreme deindustrialization - and the noxious effect upon the public interest.

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