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TBR News February 24, 2020

Feb 24 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. February 24, 2020:“Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not the place to discuss it4
Commentary for February 24: “The global populations are soaring and the result is, as Dr. Calhoun discusses in his signal study of overpopulation of Norway rats, growing mental abberations, incidents of mindless violence and general eruptions of lunacy. These episodes are no longer confined to breeding rats but we are beginning to see them erupting across the globe on a growing and regular rate. Let a volcano erupt in Mexico or a plane crash in Spain, the Internet will soon be filled with all manner of manic, fictional reasons for the happenings. And the most manic of all of them always carry the statement ‘Scientists have Proven….’ Name one if you can. If you can’t, go back to YouTube and watch the Space Aliens running amok in Los Angeles or photo shopped pictures of Queen Elizabeth as a huge lizard. It would be closer to the truth to show President Trump as a hog with a red tie but hogs are known to be intelligent and this would destroy the myth at its inception.”

Trump Approval Rating
source                                    date         approve disapprove
_____________________________________________________________________
American Research Group Feb. 24, 2020 37%         59%

The Table of Contents
HR McMaster to publish book that may pose headaches for Trump
• A month-by-month look at Donald Trump’s top lies of 2019
• Small selection of Interntional media scare headlines from February
24, on “deadly plague”
• Keeping perspective on the coronavirus outbreak
• The Dr. Laura Program
• What are the End Days? A study in deception
• The Season of Evil
• The Encyclopedia of American Loons

HR McMaster to publish book that may pose headaches for Trump
Ex-national security adviser to release Battlegrounds on 28 April
• President is trying to block publication of book by John Bolton
February 24. 2020
by Martin Pengelly in New York
The Guardian
Donald Trump is trying to stop the publication of a book by his third national security adviser, John Bolton, but he will soon have to contend with a volume published by his second.
Lt Gen HR McMaster will publish ’ Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World’, on 28 April.
Bolton’s book, ‘The Room Where It Happened,’ is reported to contain details of events central to the president’s impeachment over his approaches to Ukraine, which he survived after acquittal in the Senate.
It is due for publication in March but Trump is reportedly trying to block it until at least after November’s election.
McMaster has long been known to be writing a book but it has not been expected to be a memoir of the tell-all kind which has plagued the Trump White House.
Harper Collins duly said McMaster’s book would offer a “groundbreaking reassessment of America’s place in the world, drawing from McMaster’s long engagement with these issues, including 34 years of service in the US army with multiple tours of duty in battlegrounds overseas”.
But the publisher also said the general would write about “his 13 months as national security adviser in the Trump White House”.
McMaster replaced another general, the disgraced Michael Flynn, as national security adviser in early 2017 and lasted in the role until 22 March 2018. Trump’s fourth national security adviser in less than four years, currently filling the hot seat, is the former hostage negotiator Robert O’Brien.
Books on the Trump administration are full of descriptions of a relationship with McMaster that never flourished, the cerebral general clashing with the impulsive president.
In the bestselling ‘A Very Stable Genius’, for example, the Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker write that McMaster had “difficulty holding the president’s attention” as Trump “would get annoyed with what he considered McMaster’s lecturing style”.
McMaster is a decorated combat veteran who won a famous tank battle in the first Gulf war and also the author of a book on the Vietnam war,’ Dereliction of Duty’, which examines a colossal failure of US foreign and national security policy.
According to Leonnig and Rucker, Trump would not read briefing materials McMaster prepared and complain of scheduled meetings: “I’m not fucking doing that. I’m not talking with McMaster for an hour. Are you kidding me?”
The situation did not improve, they write, because “McMaster felt it was his duty to speak truth to his commander”.
Trump’s complaint that McMaster dressed “like a beer salesman” has been widely reported. Leonnig and Rucker also say Trump would imitate McMaster’s military bearing and “barking kind of voice”. An unidentified McMaster aide is quoted as saying: “The president doesn’t fire people. He just tortures them until they’re willing to quit.”
McMaster was generally considered one of the “adults in the room” around Trump in the first two years of his presidency, senior figures from the military or business generally able to restrain the brash and unconventional real estate developer.
Other such figures long gone from the White House include two other retired generals, former defense secretary James Mattis and ex-chief of staff John Kelly, and former Exxon Mobil chief executive and secretary of state Rex Tillerson.
Mattis published his own memoir, ‘Call Sign Chaos’, last year. It only obliquely addressed his service under Trump and his differences with him.
McMaster has fought shy of speaking on record about his time in the White House and has given only one major interview: to the Guardian about his passion for rugby union.
That interview took place the day after he packed up his belongings and left Washington for California, where he is now a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
McMaster perhaps gave a taste of the sections of his book on his time in the US army and about America’s place in the world, if not his time in the Trump White House.
“I think the warrior ethos is analogous to what a good rugby team has,” he said. “They’re not going to be daunted by another team, or a difficult a situation in a game. They’re going to bind together and overcome.”

Blessed Prozac Moments!

A month-by-month look at Donald Trump’s top lies of 2019
December 31, 2019
by Daniel Dale,
CNN
Washington (CNN)A defining feature of the Donald Trump presidency is the bombardment of lies — Trump’s unceasing campaign to convince people of things that aren’t true.
Trump made more than 2,700 false claims this year. (We’re still calculating the final total.) Some of them were innocent slips, some of them little exaggerations. But a large number of them were whoppers: deliberate, significant attempts to deceive and manipulate.
The breadth of the dishonesty was as striking as the frequency. Trump was inaccurate this year about every conceivable topic, from his dealings with Ukraine to the size of his crowds to, literally, the time of day.
He told too many lies for us to confidently pick a single most notable lie of the year. So we’ve picked our 12 most notable, one for every month. (We’re defining notable as some combination of egregious, important and bizarre.)
January: Duct tape and the border
Trump has long seemed to relish reciting lurid stories about the horrors of illegal immigration. During a barrage of immigration-related false claims in January, as he sought public support for the government shutdown over funding for his border wall, he came up with a vivid new tale about the logistics of human trafficking.
“And they’ll have women taped — their mouths with duct tape, with electrical tape. They tape their face, their hair, their hands behind their back, their legs. They put them in the backseat of cars and vans, and they go — they don’t come in through your port of entry because you’d see them. You couldn’t do that,” he said during a January 14 speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation. “They come in through our border, where we don’t have any barriers or walls.”
While it’s possible some women are being made to suffer such kidnapping horrors, the policy premise of Trump’s “duct tape” novellas — that trafficking victims are never transported through legal ports of entry, only through the unprotected desert — is not at all true.
February: Imaginary voter fraud
Trump has depicted himself as a crusader against election fraud. What happened in February was telling.
On February 21, North Carolina’s elections board ordered a new congressional election in the state’s ninth district because of an actual case of apparent election fraud — allegedly perpetrated by a Republican operative who was indicted the following week. On February 22, Trump was asked for his thoughts and he quickly pivoted to imaginary election fraud in another state.
“Well, I condemn any election fraud,” he said. “And when I look at what’s happened in California with the votes, when I look at what happened — as you know, there was just a case where they found a million fraudulent votes…”
Trump’s lying is rarely challenged in real time. This time, a reporter did try to object to the fiction about California. Trump responded with a favorite tactic: an aggressive “Excuse me, excuse me” interjection, then more dishonesty.
March: Revisionist history on “Russia, if you’re listening”
Nearly three years after Trump made his infamous “Russia, if you’re listening” campaign request for help obtaining deleted Hillary Clinton emails, he announced a new explanation.
He had been just kidding. The media had failed to report that he had been just kidding.
“Because with the fake news — if you tell a joke, if you’re sarcastic, if you’re having fun with the audience, if you’re on live television with millions of people and 25,000 people in an arena, and if you say something like, ‘Russia, please, if you can, get us Hillary Clinton’s emails. Please, Russia, please. Please get us the emails. Please!’… So everybody is having a good time. I’m laughing, we’re all having fun. And then that fake CNN and others say, ‘He asked Russia to go get the emails. Horrible.’ …These people are sick,” he told the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 2.
No, Trump didn’t make the request before 25,000 people at a rollicking arena event. No, he wasn’t laughing at the time.
Trump made his plea at a 2016 press conference, with a straight face. He offered no indication that he was anything less than serious.
This was up-is-down fake history, one of Trump’s periodic efforts to rewrite a reality we were all able to witness.
April: “Windmills” and cancer
Trump, who has tilted at windmills for more than a decade, made perhaps his strangest claim on the subject at a National Republican Congressional Committee fundraiser on April 2.
“Wind. If you — if you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations, your house just went down 75% in value. And they say the noise causes cancer,” he said.
There might indeed be a “they” Trump has heard saying that wind turbines — which he habitually calls “windmills” — cause cancer. That should not mean the President should pass on their false claim to the country. But Trump is not only a serial liar but a serial sharer of inaccurate information he has heard from a motley collection of dubious sources — “many people,” “some people,” “they” — and not bothered to verify.
May: Two lies in one
Trump has been lying about Veterans Choice since 2018, falsely claiming he was the one who got it passed. His rendition on May 30, along with a similar claim in March, might have been the most egregious.
“I disagree with John McCain on the way he handled the vets, because I said you got to get Choice. He was never able to get Choice. I got Choice,” Trump told reporters.
This was a double lie. In addition to taking his usual unearned credit for a program that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2014, Trump used his non-accomplishment as a cudgel against a deceased foe whose accomplishment it really was. McCain, in fact, was a key author of the Choice bill.
What Trump signed in 2018 was the VA MISSION Act, a law that expanded and modified the Choice program. The full name of the VA MISSION Act honors McCain: it is the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Networks Act of 2018.
June: Remains, no longer returning
Trump had a real diplomatic success to boast about in 2018. North Korea had returned the remains of some of the American soldiers who were killed in the Korean War.
In 2019, as the diplomacy soured, North Korea ceased cooperating. Trump’s solution: lie that North Korea was still cooperating, thus giving false hope to hundreds of American families.
“We’ve had, as you know, the remains of the heroes, our great heroes from many years ago — that’s coming back, and coming back as they find them, as they find the sites and the graves, and they’re sending them back,” he told reporters on June 25, just five days before he met with dictator Kim Jong Un at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
We thought at first that it was possible Trump just didn’t know what was going on, since the Pentagon had only announced the suspension of the program in May. But, in mid-June, Trump was told by an interviewer that “the remains have stopped coming back.”
He responded, “But they will be. Look, we’ve gotten remains back. That will start up again.” He then continued speaking as if it had not stopped at all.
July: Smearing Rep. Ilhan Omar
There just aren’t many lies you can tell about a Muslim politician that are more incendiary than a lie that they’d said al Qaeda makes them proud. But here’s what Trump said about Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar at a North Carolina campaign rally on July 17, wrongly describing remarks she had made in a 2013 interview: “Omar laughed that Americans speak of al Qaeda in a menacing tone and remarked that, ‘You don’t say America with this intensity. You say al Qaeda — makes you proud. Al Qaeda makes you proud. You don’t speak that way about America.'”
Trump continued his smear campaign against the Minnesota congresswoman later the same week, falsely claiming that Omar had used the phrase “evil Jews.” In September, he shared a Twitter video that falsely claimed Omar had been dancing in celebration on the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
August: A tariff mantra
Between July 8, when we started counting Trump’s false claims at CNN, and December 15, the day until which we currently have comprehensive data, Trump’s most frequent false claim of any kind was that China is paying the entirety of the cost of his tariffs on imported Chinese products.
“We’re not paying for the tariffs; China is paying for the tariffs, for the 100th time,” he told reporters in one typical remark on August 18. “And I understand tariffs very well. Other countries, it may be that if I do things with other countries — but in the case of China, China is eating the tariffs, at least so far.”
His assertion has been contradicted by numerous tariff-paying American companies and by multiple economic studies. But Trump said it on 49 separate occasions over those five months. And he said it 20 times in August alone, more than he did in any other month, as he faced scrutiny over his intensifying trade war.
September: The Sharpie fiasco
his credibility disaster would have been a one-day story if Trump had just acknowledged that his initial tweet was a mistake — that, as the National Weather Service office in Birmingham, Alabama tweeted soon afterward, Alabama was not thought to be at greater risk from Hurricane Dorian than initially thought.
Trump preferred to lie than to admit error. His thoroughly deceitful multi-day effort to convince people that he had never been wrong about Alabama culminated in one of the most revealing images of the Trump era: the President of the United States displaying a Sharpie-altered map, which we could all see had been Sharpie-altered, as supposed evidence in his favor.
We counted 12 false claims from Trump on Dorian and Alabama over 11 days. Not including the Sharpie map.
October: Inverting reality on the whistleblower
The Sharpie madness was old news by the end of September. Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, and Democrats’ related impeachment push, were his most frequent subject of dishonesty in all four weeks of October.
His most frequent individual false claim on Ukraine or impeachment was that the whistleblower who complained about his dealings with Ukraine was highly inaccurate. He said this on 46 separate occasions through December 15.
“They heard a whistleblower who came out with a false story — you know, people say, ‘Oh, it was always fairly close.’ It wasn’t close at all. What the whistleblower said bore no relationship to what the call was,” he said in one representative comment on October 9.
What did the whistleblower get wrong? Trump never explained in detail. He couldn’t have: the whistleblower’s primary allegations were proven correct, several of them by the rough transcript Trump himself released. But Trump just kept repeating his “false story” mantra over and over — banking, as usual, on his ability to turn a lie into gospel among his supporters no matter how many times fact-checkers debunked it.
Trump first made a version of this claim at the end of September, but he repeated it on 30 separate occasions in October alone as Democrats moved toward impeachment. That was 17 more times than he uttered any other individual false claim that month.
November: Pulling “out” of Syria
Trump has to be egregiously inaccurate to get fact-checked by Fox News morning show “Fox & Friends,” but his November 22 lie about the troops qualified. When Trump claimed he had “just pulled out of Syria,” co-host Brian Kilmeade responded, “You have 600 guys there, right?” (The military had said at the time that perhaps 600 troops would remain in northeast Syria, plus another 100-plus troops in southern Syria.)
What Trump had decided in October, after a phone call with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was both to withdraw US troops from a Kurdish-held part of Syria that Turkey wanted to invade and to deploy US troops to protect oil fields in eastern Syria. The net result was a decline in the US troop presence in Syria, but — as Kilmeade of all people noted — not an actual pullout from the country.
Trump’s claim on Fox & Friends was not a one-time slip. In October, when there were still about 1,000 soldiers in Syria, Trump said, “Look, we have no soldiers in Syria. We’ve won. We’ve beat ISIS. And we’ve beat them badly and decisively. We have no soldiers.”
December: Dishwashers
The President of the United States said this: “Dishwashers — we did the dishwasher, right? You press it — remember the dishwasher, you’d press it, boom, there’d be like an explosion, five minutes later you open it up, the steam pours out, the dishes. Now, you press it 12 times. Women tell me. Again, you know, they give you four drops of water. And they’re in places where there’s so much water, they don’t know what to do with it. So we just came out with a reg on dishwashers — we’re going back to you. By the way, by the time they press it 10 times, you spend more on water — and electric! Don’t forget. The whole thing is worse because you’re spending all that money on electric. So we’re bringing back standards that are great.”
Trump’s nonsense-rambling about home appliances lends itself to dismissive mockery, but it’s worth taking it seriously. This was the President using two not-even-close-to-true premises — that modern dishwashers require 10 or 12 button-presses to start and that modern dishwashers use more water and electricity than older dishwashers — to justify a deregulation push that will do damage to the environment.

Small selection of Interntional media scare headlines from February  24, on “deadly plague

• Coronavirus: Rapid spread raises fears of global pandemic
Fears are growing that the coronavirus outbreak could reach pandemic scale
as more cases emerge around the world. -BBC
• Dow sheds 800 points as pandemic fears grip Wall Street- Reuters
• Sixth Italian dies from coronavirus in Europe’s worst flare-up- Reuters
• Concern over coronavirus spread as cases jump in South Korea, Italy and Iran-Reuters
• U.S. Stocks Plunge as Coronavirus Crisis Spreads-New York Times
• Coronavirus: seventh person dies in Italy amid confusion over death toll in Iran- The Guardian
• Global markets reel as coronavirus cases surge globally- Washington Post
• White House preparing to ask Congress for more money to deal with coronavirus response- Washington Post(!)
• Shops stripped bare in scenes reminiscent of ‘zombie apocalypse’ as coronavirus fears sweep Italy- Russia Today
• EU rules out border closure amid coronavirus outbreak- Deutsche Welle
• Coronavirus: China postpones parliament meeting over virus outbreak-Deutsche Welle
• New global coronavirus infections spark more travel bans-AFP

Keeping perspective on the coronavirus outbreak
Harvard School of Public Health
News about the coronavirus that recently spread from Wuhan, China, has increasingly made headlines and filled news segments, yet epidemiologists and infectious disease experts are cautioning the public against panicking.
“We don’t have evidence yet to suggest this is any more virulent than the flu you see in the U.S. each year,” said Michael Mina, assistant professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a January 26, 2020 Los Angeles Times article. “Most people, with proper medical attention, will do just fine.”
According to current data, the disease has a fairly low mortality rate. Although coronavirus has sickened 2798 and 80 have died as of January 27, 2020, the viruses that cause several other infections—severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory virus (MERS), and certain subtypes of the flu virus—have had much higher mortality rates, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The coronavirus’s current mortality rate could also be an overestimate if mild cases of infection are not being detected, Mina told the Los Angeles Times on January 24.
Even if the coronavirus is not especially lethal, other characteristics of the virus—such as how easily it is transmitted from person to person—are still unknown, fueling fear and even panic. “Something as horrific as Ebola can seem better than this, because we’ve had years to understand it,” Mina said. “As humans, we are always fearful of the [un]known.”
Mina is hopeful that the outbreak can still be contained, citing the recent development of a rapid test for the infection. “It gives some hope that we may be able to control this, because we were able to roll out a diagnostic so quickly,” he said in a WebMD article posted on January 22. “Although there are a lot of unknowns, this has probably been the fastest response to date of any epidemic.”

At times, native-born Americans’ fear of disease from abroad became a rationale for an equally great and preexisting prejudice, fear of the foreign-born, or nativism. Nativists stigmatized particular immigrant groups as the carriers of specific diseases, rationalizing their prejudice with medical and public health arguments. Medicalized prejudice became the foundation for the arguments of immigration restrictionists. Examples of the stigmatization of the foreign-born as disease carriers are ample. In the 1830s, impoverished Irish immigrants were stigmatized as the bearers of cholera. At the end of the 19th century, tuberculosis was dubbed the “Jewish disease” or the “tailor’s disease.”
An epidemic or the threat of a potential epidemic enhanced fears of newcomers as carriers of illness from abroad. At times, even public health officers responded with extreme measures. When an autopsy suggested that a deceased Chinese immigrant in San Francisco’s Chinatown had died of bubonic plague in 1900, a wave of fear and nativism followed. Chinatown was quarantined, though some San Franciscans wanted to burn it to the ground. Physicians authorized by the Board of Health forcibly inoculated Asians on Chinatown’s streets with Haffkine’s serum, which at the time was still in the testing stage, to determine its efficacy.
Only two years before the 1918 influenza epidemic, Italian immigrants were blamed for the polio, or infantile paralysis, epidemic that raged through East Coast cities. Children were hit especially hard by the epidemic.
In New York, the 1916 polio death rate per 1,000 estimated population of children younger than 10 years of age was 1.63 for Italian children, well below the 3.42 for the native-born or the 3.27 for German children. The reasons remain unknown. However, while the Italian mortality rate for polio was low, the 1,348 polio cases contracted by those of Italian nativity in New York City was the highest for any immigrant group, second only to the 3,825 cases among the native-born. Because there were so many Italian immigrants living in tightly concentrated neighborhoods, and because immigrants were viewed by many as a marginal and potentially subversive influence upon society, the incidence of Italian polio made a dramatic impact upon the imagination of a public already shaken by the virulence of the epidemic and the youth of its victims.
Rumors spread that the epidemic had been brought by immigrants from Italy to the United States rather than contracted here by the newcomers. Some, including visiting nurses participating in New York City’s Special Investigation of Infantile Paralysis under the Rockefeller Institute’s Dr. Simon Flexner, were angry and impatient with Italian immigrant families. Many Italians did not speak English well and practiced social customs of which the nurses disapproved, such as kissing the dead, part of the Italians’ ritualized expression of grief and respect for the departed.
Would the epidemic of Spanish influenza elicit a similar reaction? Would fear of disease and fear of the foreign-born again emerge intertwined?

The Dr. Laura Program
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to follow them:
a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They say the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15: 19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
g) Leviticus 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?
i) I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev.24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan

What are the End Days? A study in deception
February 24, 2020
by Frederick Norris
‘Armageddon’ is actually purported to be a battle. According to Pentecostal interpretations, the Bible states that Armageddon will be a battle where God finally comes in and takes over the world and rules it the way it should have been ruled all along. After this vaguely-defined battle of Armageddon, Pentecostals firmly believe that there will follow 1000 years of peace and plenty which, according to their lore and legend, will be the sole lot of their sect and no other.
The actual scene of the fictional battle is referred to by Pentecostals as being clearly set forth in Revelation 16:14-16. It is not. The specific citation reads, in full:
• “14. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
• “15. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
• “16. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.”
This sparse mention of Armageddon has given rise to the elaborate but entirely fictional legend of the Final Battle between the forces of good and evil. There is no mention in Revelations 16: 14-15 whatsoever of Parusia or the second coming of Jesus, the apocryphal Anti-Christ, the Rapture or the many other delightful inventions designed to bolster the Pentecostal elect and daunt their adversaries. These adversaries consist of all other branches of the Christian religion with especial emphasis placed on Jews and Catholics. The Pentecostals also loathe Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, and an endless list of anyone and everyone whose views clash with theirs, such as scientists and any academic who views the evolutionary theories of Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel as anything but tissues of lies.
The Antichrist
The Antichrist is described by Pentecostals as the “son of perdition” and the “beast”!
They claim that this interesting creature will have great charisma and speaking ability, “a mouth speaking great things”.
The Antichrist, they allege, will rise to power on a wave of world euphoria, as he temporarily saves the world from its desperate economic, military & political problems with a brilliant seven year plan for world peace, economic stability and religious freedom.
The Antichrist could well rise out of the current chaos in the former Soviet Union. The prophet Ezekiel names him as the ruler of “Magog”, a name that Biblical scholars agree denotes a country or region of peoples to the north of Israel. Many have interpreted this to mean modern day Russia. It could also be Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, perhaps one of the Baltic States or even the lewd and dissolute Socialist Sweden.
His power base will include the leading nations of Europe, whose leaders, the Bible says, will “give their power & strength unto the beast.”
The Bible even gives some clues about his personal characteristics. The prophet Daniel wrote that the Antichrist “does not regard the desire of women.” This could imply that he is either celibate or a homosexual. Daniel also tells us that he will have a “fierce countenance” or stern look, and will be “more stout than his fellows”–more proud and boastful.
Unfortunately, the so-called Book of Daniel was written during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, not many decades earlier as its proponents claim, and has been extensively modified by early Christian writers to predict the arrival of their personal Messiah, or Christ, on the Judean scene. The so-called “wonderful” prophetic statements put into the mouth of Daniel are absolutely and wondrously accurate…up to the reign of Nero and then fall as flat as a shaken soufflé afterwards
It is well known that Pentecostals loathe homosexuals, among many other groups not pleasing to them, and would like nothing better than to shove them into a bottomless pit filled with Catholics, rock and roll fans, teenaged mothers, Communists, gun control advocates, Tarot card readers, Christian Scientists, abortionists, Wayne Newton fans, Asians, Jews, African-Americans and Latino Surnamed Hispanics.
The seven year peace-pact (or covenant) that is engineered by the Antichrist is spoken of a number of times in the Bible, and may even have already been signed in secret. The historic peace agreement signed between Israel and the PLO at the White House on September 13, 1993, vividly illustrates how dramatically events in the Middle East are presently moving in this direction eager Pentecostals, awaiting their Celestial Omnibus, will inform anyone who is interested and a greater legion of those who are not.
Under the final terms of the fictional Covenant, Jerusalem will likely be declared an international city to which Judaism, Islam and Christianity will have equal rights. Scripture indicates that the Jews will be permitted to rebuild their Temple on Mt. Moriah, where they revive their ancient rituals of animal sacrifice.
According to modern prophecy the Antichrist will not only be a master of political intrigue, but also a military genius. Daniel describes several major wars that he fights during his 7-year reign, apparently against the U.S. and Israel, who will oppose him during the second half of his reign.
For awhile, most of the world is going to think the Antichrist is wonderful, as he will seem to have solved so many of the world’s problems. But, three-and-a-half years into his seven year reign he will break the covenant and invade Israel from the North.
At this time he will make Jerusalem his world capitol and outlaw all religions, except the worship of himself and his image. The Bible, according to the Pentecostals, says that the Antichrist will sit in the Jewish Temple exalting himself as God and demanding to be worshipped. If this passage, and many others of its kind, actually appears in the King James Version of the Bible, no one has ever been able to find it
It is at this time that the Antichrist imposes his infamous “666” one-world credit system.
It must be said that the Antichrist does, in point of fact exist. He can be seen on a daily basis on the walls of the Cathedral at Orvieto, Italy in the marvelous frescos of Lucca Signorelli. He looks somewhat like a Byzantine depiction of Christ with either a vicious wife or inflamed hemorrhoids .
Pentecostals strongly believe that U.S. public schools “departed from the faith” when in 1963 the Bible and prayer were officially banned. Now, Pentecostals believe with horror, thousands of these same schools are teaching credited courses in “the doctrines of devils”–the occult and Satanism.
Even a cursory check of curriculum of a number of American public school districts does not support this claim but then the Pentecostals have stated repeatedly that they represent 45% of all Protestants in America. The actual number, excluding the Baptists, is more like 4%.
What they lack in actual numbers they more than compensate for by their loud and irrational views so that at times it sounds like the roar of a great multitude when in truth, it is only a small dwarf wearing stained underwear and armed with a bullhorn, trumpeting in the underbrush
Frantic Pentecostals estimated that according to their private Census for Christ there are over 200,000 practicing witches in the United States and allege there are literally millions of Americans who dabble in some form of the occult, psychic phenomena, spiritualism, demonology and black magic. Their statistics claim that occult book sales have doubled in the last four years.
What is seen by terrified Pentecostals as The Occult today is no longer the stuff of small underground cults. They believe that many rock videos are an open worship of Satan and hell that comes complete with the symbols, liturgies, and rituals of Satanism, and the Pentecostals firmly and loudly proclaim to anyone interested in listening, that “millions of young people” have been caught in their evil sway.
Popular music is termed “sounds of horror and torment” that Pentecostals firmly believe is literally “driving young people insane and seducing them into a life of drugs, suicide, perversion and hell.” It is forgotten now but the same thing was once said about ragtime and later, jazz. If this had been true, perhaps the real reason behind the First World War, the 1929 market crash, the rise of Franklin Roosevelt and the lewd hula hoop can be attributed to Scott Joplin and Ella Fitzgerald.
It is also to be noted that the immensely popular Harry Potter series of children’s books are loudly proclaimed as Satanic books designed to lure unsuspecting children into the clutches of the Evil One. Any sane person who has read these delightful fantasy books will certainly not agree with these hysterical strictures.
In point of fact, it would be exceedingly difficult to locate any person possessing even a modicum of sanity who would believe any of the weird fulminations of the Pentecostals.
Outraged Pentecostals now firmly state that in the beginning years of the Twenty First Century, “even the most shameless acts of blasphemy and desecration are socially acceptable.”
“Acts of blasphemy and desecration” sound like human sacrifices carried out on nuns at bus stops during the noontime rush hour or lewd acts with crucifixes performed by drug-maddened transvestites on commercial airlines.
In his weird Book of Revelation the lunatic John of Patmos claimed he foresaw that in the last days the world would turn away from God in order to worship and follow Satan.
Such a prophecy would have seemed believable to previous generations, but not so in our more enlightened and secular humanist day. Hard-core Satanism has been called by rabid Pentecostals noise-makers as: “the fastest-growing subculture among America’s teens”, and the revival of witchcraft and the occult is “one of the World’s fastest growing religions!”

The Season of Evil
by Gregory Douglas

Preface
This is in essence a work of fiction, but the usual disclaimers notwithstanding, many of the horrific incidents related herein are based entirely on factual occurrences.
None of the characters or the events in this telling are invented and at the same time, none are real. And certainly, none of the participants could be considered by any stretch of the imagination to be either noble, self-sacrificing, honest, pure of motive or in any way socially acceptable to anything other than a hungry crocodile, a professional politician or a tax collector.
In fact, the main characters are complex, very often unpleasant, destructive and occasionally, very entertaining.
To those who would say that the majority of humanity has nothing in common with the characters depicted herein, the response is that mirrors only depict the ugly, evil and deformed things that peer into them
There are no heroes here, only different shapes and degrees of villains and if there is a moral to this tale it might well be found in a sentence by Jonathan Swift, a brilliant and misanthropic Irish cleric who wrote in his ‘Gulliver’s Travels,”
“I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most odious race of little pernicious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.”
Swift was often unkind in his observations but certainly not inaccuratre.

Frienze, Italy
July 2018-August 2019

Chapter 96

Chuck smiled as the door closed but the smile slid off his face as he heard the latch click. Alex was entertaining but Chuck was not in the mood to be entertained.
There should have been euphoria because of his rapid rise to great wealth but there was only a great sense of depression, not because of what he had gained but what he had lost.
He had loved his grandfather as he had never loved anyone else and even more, he had respected him. Arthur Rush was an imperious, fierce man with no tolerance for fools and he considered his entire family, with the exception of his wife and his grandson Cyril as a congregation of greedy and dimwitted mongoloids. His eldest son, Charles was dull and literal to the point of idiocy, while his younger son, Chuck’s father, was dry, dull and entirely self-important without any excuse whatsoever. His daughter, Caroline, was a timid mass of phobias who spent most of her time hidden in her rooms reading Emily Dickinson. His wife, whom he loved almost entirely, had died a year after Chuck was born and he was on the way to becoming a solitary and very lonely man, advancing with greater rapidity than he liked into old age and eventual destruction.
He would end up, he feared, like his wife, with tubes stuck into him, in pain and only dimly aware of those around her. Arthur Rush ran his empire with an iron hand but he knew that he had no control over the aging process and he hated this cold, increasingly intrusive fact.
When he discovered that his new grandson was intelligent and aggressive, Arthur Rush began to insist on having a hand in the boy’s education which meant keeping him in his presence and not with his parents.
This did not bother Chuck’s parents at all because his mother did not like children and his father was too busy being an important advertising executive in an agency his father had purchased for him. His uncle Charles, on the other hand, saw Chuck’s presence in his father’s house as a vague menace to him and when it became obvious that the old man favored his grandson over himself, his attitude hardened into one of growing and intense hatred. Charles Rush was possessed of a limited intelligence coupled with great powers of concentration and he made every effort to force the boy out of the house.
He soon found out that spreading lies to his father about various negative aspects of Chuck’s behavior had the opposite effect of bringing down his father’s terrible wrath on him so he attempted to be subtler in his campaigns.
It was Charles Rush who persuaded his father to purchase the San Francisco advertising agency with the express purpose of getting his loathed nephew out of the house and this particular bit of manipulation was successful.
Arthur Rush had made a trip to Japan to oversee the purchase of a major television network there and when he returned, he found that his grandson had gone with his family to California. He never saw him again and he never forgave his son for his perceived manipulations.
Shortly after this incident, Chuck’s grandfather had the first of a series of strokes that first crippled and then finally killed him. When Charles Rush learned of the contents of his father’s will, he embarked on the campaign of murder that he hoped would not only give him control over the entire family empire but finally remove his hated nephew from his earthly existence.
By the terms of the will, the family estate, buildings and contents, was to be kept completely intact and unchanged and so for twelve years, a large staff of servants was kept busy polishing, trimming, painting and cooking meals that no one ever ate because Charles Rush never set foot in the house after his grandfather’s funeral.
The first thing Chuck did when he took possession of the house was to visit the family vault and put a small bouquet of freshly-picked flowers on his grandparents bronze caskets in the colonnaded marble building
He put his hand on Arthur Rush’s coffin and said, very softly,
“I’m back Grandpa and I will stay here until I can join you. Uncle Charles will not join you at all. There’ll be room here for my son and me and that will be all. Have a good rest, both of you and I will come back every day and see you.”
Blowing his nose on the sleeve of his jacket, he turned the key in the massive bronze doors and walked slowly back to the house.
After Alex had closed the door behind him, Chuck got up, crossed the room and put his hand on a piece of tapestried paneling. There was a remembered small knob and he pushed it. With a barely audible click, the tapestry, a rare Gobelin depicting Louis XIV at a siege, slid upwards, disclosing a large glass case built into the wall.
Chuck looked at the military uniform topped with a visored cap mounted on a figure and at a sword and a number of framed certificates surrounding an oil portrait of a stern-visaged much younger version of a formidable portrait that hung on the wall in one of the rooms downstairs. He winked at the figure and pushed the button again, watching the reappearance of the Sun King. The great family secret, known only to himself and his grandfather, was still safe enough.

In Las Cruces, New Mexico, Dr. Marcus Bauer, an agriculture expert at the University of New Mexico, was making an attempt to enlighten his neighbor, Curtis Gonzales, an employee of the Postal Service.
They were in Bauer’s cluttered living room, watching a videotape of the recent assassination of the President of the United States.
“Now do watch this again Curtis, and tell me what is wrong with it?”
“We’ve watched it twice, Doc, and it’s still the same. Bang! There goes the President’s head. So what’s to say what’s wrong? It’s wrong to shoot the President?”
“No, Curtis, what is missing here?”
“The President’s head?”
“No, no, no! Now Curtis, I’ll just replay the part again of the actual shooting….”
As Charles Rush’s head exploded again, Bauer pointed excitedly at the set.
“Now, there it is, Curtis. Right there!”
“What?”
“Did you hear the shots?”
“What?”
“The shots. There were two shots! Did you hear them? The sound is fine but did you hear the shots?”
The neighbor shrugged. He found Bauer interesting sometimes but more often than not, boring. He had to listen to endless conspiracy theories about assassinations, wars, atomic plant meltdowns, major aircraft disasters and periodic stock market problems. He was growing bored watching the exploding heads but was too polite to say so.
“No, Doc, I didn’t hear any shots.”
“That’s the point Curtis! You didn’t hear any shots. But we know there were two shots because we can see that right on the tape. Two shots! Bang, bang! Two dead people. We can hear a speech but we can’t hear shots.”
Curtis nodded.
“I get what you mean but why don’t we hear shots?”
“Because the killer had a silenced gun, that’s why. A silenced gun!”
“So?”
“Curtis, let me show you some footage I personally took off the networks….”
He put another tape in the player, moved it to fast forward and then stopped at a scene where a Secret Service agent was holding up the fateful assassination weapon.
“Now look closely, Curtis as I stop frame the picture. See? Look at the muzzle of the gun. There is no silencer! See? No silencer. If there were no silencer, we would have heard the shots. But we didn’t hear the shots, did we? No, we did not. And that proves conclusively that the gun in the picture is not the actual weapon used! “
Curtis took a quick glance at his watch.
“Well, what does that prove?”
Bauer spoke very slowly as he would to one of his stupider students.
“That means, Curtis, that the gun we saw was a plant. Some other gun was used and one wants to know why?”
Curtis wanted to know why he accepted the invitation to experience the Real Truth as Bauer named his web site.
“Yes, Curtis, why? I have a theory and I’m going to put it up on the Internet tonight. I wanted you to be the first to hear it since you are so interested in my work.
The way I see it, the sniper was hiding somewhere with a silenced rifle. I do not believe for a minute that Amos Peasley Wirtz was the real killer. He was a harmless nut that was set up, just like Oswald. Oh yes, set up! A patsy! And there is more. I believe the real target wasn’t the President but Charles Rush! That surprises you, doesn’t it?”
“Who was Charles Rush? Some banker?”
“Oh, among other things. An international banker Curtis. And a power broker in Washington. Now, I believe that someone wanted Charles Rush dead, not the President. I feel that someone knew something about certain international banking plans that called for the removal of Charles Rush. I think the President simply got in the way.”
“Maybe some relative shot the banker. Maybe someone wanted to inherit his money.”
Bauer was sarcastic.
“Curtis, no one would shoot Charles Rush like that, not with all the guards around the President. That’s simply not a valid scenario. But the international banking aspect is certainly the most viable and I intend to bring this to the attention of the public before I go to bed tonight.”
Curtis Gonzales yawned.
“Well,” he said as he got to his feet, “that sure is interesting, Doc, but I have to get up early in the morning so I ought to call it a night.”
And on the way home, he muttered to himself,
“I’ll just bet some relative did it. The Doc’s interesting but his banking idea is stupid.”
And later that night, the Real Truth web site was filled with obscure references to the Federal Reserve, the Deutsche Bank and the Bank of England. It was now believed, at least in Las Cruces, New Mexico, that the actual assassin was probably a Japanese marksman hired by a shadowy consortium of Peruvian bankers. These were the same bankers that had been responsible for the explosion, on the launching pad, of a communications satellite the previous January, the collapse of the Polish zloty that very month and the fraud indictment of the President of the European Union.

(Continued)

This is also an e-book, available from Amazon:

The Encyclopedia of American Loons

Dennis M. Sullivan

Yes, another one: Dennis M. Sullivan is a signatory to the Discovery Institute’s inane petition A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism, and a fairly typical specimen. Now, Sullivan is indeed nominally a Professor of Biology and Bioethics, but at Cedarville University, a fundamentalist Bible school that takes a literal reading of the Bible as a premise not to be disputed and where young-earth creationism (and complementarianism) is taught not only as fact but as something that is not open to discussion. Sullivan is not a biologist. Indeed, Sullivan has no background in science, but is an MD whose main qualification for his post at Cedarville seems to be having worked as a missionary for twelve years. Cedarville is, needless to say, not an institution where students actually learn anything remotely resembling science, critical thinking or facts, and a diploma should be regarded as the rough equivalent of any diploma you can purchase by following a link in a spam email.
Sullivan is also signatory to the CMI list of scientists alive today who accept the biblical account of creation. He also runs a blog, Cedarethics, devoted to bioethics from a fundamentalist perspective, and has published extensively on such issues, primarily in religious magazines, and given numerous talks in churches and similar venues. Nothing indicates that he is involved in anything resembling science or scientific research, but no one interested in science or scientific research (and having even a cursory idea of what that involves) would ever consider having anything to do with Cedarville anyways.
Diagnosis: Yes, it’s fairly typical of the signatories on the Discovery Institute list, and that people like Sullivan appear on it is rather telling.

Kaitlyn Moore

Kaitlyn Moore is an abysmally delusional conspiracy theorist and anti-vaccine crank, whose post are published on the NaturalNews website, no less. There really is no particular need to continue to explain why she deserves an entry beyond that observation, but if you really want to sample (a critique of) her deranged, misdirected, Dunning-Kruger-fueled fury, this one is pretty illustrative. Moore doesn’t fancy vaccines, which she does not remotely understand or know anything about, and in “How vaccines are made: Monkey kidneys, spinal material, animal pus and more” she uses all her powers of misdirection and irrelevance to do as much scaremongering as she can – basically, it is a “toxin gambit” on speed, based on how disgusting medical practices 250 years ago sound to modern ears peppered with some myths picked up from various anti-vaccine websites. “Cell matter is extracted from [the] hosts, combined with toxic chemicals like Thimerosol (mercury), formaldehyde, aluminum hydroxide and a variety of other substances, before being injected into our bodies, writes Moore, and“[t[he side effects are autism, diabetes, asthma, MS, SIDS, and more.” Which is demonstrably false, but these are facts and Moore would hardly let facts come in the way of a good, moronic conspiracy theory, would she?
Moore’s main concern seems to be anti-GMO fear mongering, however, and she displays exactly the same level of acumen, insight, knowledge and care for facts on that topic as she does on vaccines.
Diagnosis: Rabid, deranged conspiracy theorist. Stupid, angry, confused, paranoid, and dangerous.

Gene Moody

Yes, there are people who followadvice on exorcising demons from youtube clips presented by that guy.
A deliverance ministry is a fundamentalist organization that tries to cure peoples’ ills by casting out demons. More colorful and nefarious than, but otherwise essentially similar to, faith healing, the movement gained momentum with the publication of Pigs in the Parlor: A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Frank and Ida Mae Hammond in 1973. One of the current, grand, delusional and frothingly insane old men of the movement is Gene Moody, a disciple of the Hammonds (and mentor of Stan and Elizabeth Madrak, whom we have already covered).
Moody is the author of Deliverance Manual (“Every Christian should be able to cast out demons at least in their own family”), which is readily available online. The basic idea is the same as that described in Pigs in the Parlor: “Demon spirits can invade and dwell in human bodies” to cause all sorts of ills, from from murderousness to schizophrenia, sleepiness, intellectualism and homosexuality, but can fortunately be exorcised by faithful fundies who write incoherent rants in ALL CAPS on the Internet. Moody adds instructions on “Cleaning Your House (of Demons)” and describes for instance a case where someone threw out their kid’s Big Bird toy because it gave Satan “legal grounds”, which is, of course, an idea of a kind we’ve had the opportunity to cover before. There are some illustrative quotes here.
Like the Hammonds, Moody provides an extensive list of potential demons by name. For instance, “BOYCE and BOICE are two demons that interfere with any electronic equipment, i.e., phone, computer, printer, automobile, etc. If something malfunctions, command these two demons to leave your equipment, in the name of Jesus. We get many emails saying this worked. If it does not work, demons are not causing the problem.” Easy as that.
And like all other deliverance ministry promoters, Moody has serious problems distinguishing fantasy from reality; indeed, it seems that Moody and his ilk take any piece of fiction to either document reality or provide instructions for how to deal with it. An example: “The Necronomicon (legendary occult text) has its place in modern black magic and Transyuggothian metaphysics. […] For example, there is now a whole line of materials based on the hellish Lovecraft Cthulhu mythos (author Howard Phillips Lovecraft), a form of magic practiced in the darkest Satanism – a system of magic prominently featured in The Satanic Rituals. The Necronomicon and the Cthulhu mythos are quite real. Lycanthropy (shape shifting) is the clinical term for being or believing yourself to be a werewolf. The magical act of changing into any wild animal. These are immensely complicated worlds of magic, spells and violence.” That he has some trouble following a single line of thought, is not the most serious shortcoming of Moody’s thinking on display in that passage.
Diagnosis: Clinically insane, and he ought to be mostly harmless. But there are, in fact, people who take his advice, and whose children will probably be scarred for life.

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