Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /home/tbrnew5/public_html/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 284

TBR News July 2, 2019

Jul 02 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. July 2, 2019:

“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.

His latest business is to re-institute a universal draft in America.

He wants to do this to remove tens of thousands of unemployed young Americans from the streets so they won’t come together and fight him.

Commentary for July 2:” There is a persistent rumor here that Trump is being urged by far-right Christian nuttos that he ought to ban same-sex marriages and “crack down” on gay activists and sack gay persons in all Federal agencies, to include all branches of the military. Pragmatic people here are warning him against this but Trump listens to no one but the tiny voice he heard inside his head at night. The man is deranged beyond a doubt and now wants a huge nazi-style parade here in DC so he can emulate the Führer and salute his army from a big reviewing stand bedecked with “Betsy Ross” flags. He dreams of masses of red-capped twits chanting ‘Donald, Donald!’ while he salutes with outstretched arm. It would be best for America and the rest of the world if Trump were locked in the White House bunker with a nice tiger.”

 

The Table of Contents

  • The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Sinking Fast
  • Ocasio-Cortez describes ‘horrifying’ conditions at Texas migrant facility
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • Anti-Vaccination Lunacy
  • Scientists have proven….!
  • Sante Fe school shooting teacher’s story revealed as hoax
  • Nike pulls sneaker after Kaepernick objection, prompting Republican fury
  • The Historical Background of Modern Christianity
  • Different…but the same!
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

The ‘Trump Doctrine’ Is Sinking Fast

The Iranian government saw the President’s vacillation as a sign of weakness, one journalist tells me, “Iran was ready to retaliate on an unbelievable scale.”

July 2, 2019

by Reese Erlich

AntiWar

Tehran resident Dariush is exactly the kind of person that the Trump Administration claims to be supporting. He is a middle-class businessman who hates the clerical regime. The White House thinks Iranians like Dariush would welcome the overthrow of their government. But when I talked to Dariush by phone, he was more angry at President Donald Trump.

Dariush’s mother requires regular injections of medicine. The cost of the drug has increased threefold in the past year, and he must buy it for her on the black market. He blames inflation on the US sanctions: “They are just hurting normal people.”

I ask his reaction to Trump’s on-again, off-again threats of war against Iran. “If a war happens,” he says, “I will defend my country. I don’t like my government, but I will fight.”

Over the past several weeks, the Trump Administration has managed to infuriate ordinary Iranians, traditional US allies, and US war hawks. The emerging “Trump Doctrine” uses economic sanctions and tariffs to bully other countries, accompanied by fiery threats of military action without actual attacks. Not only is the doctrine foolhardy, it isn’t working.

Of ships and drones

Since May, six oil tankers in the Persian Gulf area have come under attack. The Trump Administration immediately blamed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps for attaching mines to the ships, and provided grainy video as evidence. Iran denies attacking the tankers.

Then, on June 20, Iran shot down a US Global Hawk surveillance drone, which cost an estimated $130 million. The US claimed the drone was flying over international waters. Iranian officials said the drone entered Iranian airspace and displayed drone wreckage at a press conference to bolster their argument.

The next day, in a bizarre sequence of events, Trump ordered the Pentagon to attack an Iranian missile battery, and then called back the planes at the last minute. He claimed this was because he had learned the raid could cause 150 Iranian casualties, but an investigation by The Daily Beast revealed he had known the body count prior to green-lighting the attack.

Rightwing hawks in the US criticized Trump for calling off the attack. Liberal Democrats pointed out that he started the whole mess by withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Trump supporters tried to pass off the flip flop as a brilliant tactical move that threw the Iranians off balance.

In fact, the Iranian government saw Trump’s vacillation as a sign of weakness, according to a Tehran journalist with close government ties, who is not authorized to speak to the media.

“Iran was ready to retaliate on an unbelievable scale,” the journalist tells me in a phone interview. “After the first US missile launch, Trump wouldn’t be able to control the consequences, not only in the Persian Gulf but from Saudi Arabia to Israel.”

So, instead of dropping bombs on Iran, Trump announced new sanctions claiming to seize financial assets of top officials such as Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Since the sanctioned leaders don’t have western bank accounts or other such assets, the sanctions mean nothing.

Yet they were an insult not only to Iran but to Shia Muslims, according to William Beeman, an Iran expert at the University of Minnesota.

“Ayatollah Khamenei is Iran’s spiritual leader,” he says. “Trump is attacking Shia Islam itself with this move, and that is how it will be interpreted in Iran.”

The Trump Doctrine

Now the Trump Administration is caught in a bind of its own creation. It would have great difficulty invading and occupying Iran because of the huge financial cost and potential for an astronomical death toll on both sides. So-called limited military strikes can destroy installations, but they also rally people to support their government.

Unilateral sanctions won’t work either because, among other reasons, no European or Asian country supports them. Harsh sanctions can cause a lot of human suffering, but they won’t lead Iranians to rise up and install a pro-US regime.

So Trump is stuck trying to come up with new sanctions and ever more bombastic ways to threaten military assaults without actually doing so. Trump has turned Teddy Roosevelt’s famous slogan on its head: talk loudly but carry a teensy-weensy stick.

Of course it’s possible that Trump’s ultra-right wing advisors will persuade him to launch an attack, according to Professor Foad Izadi, an expert on US-Iran relations at the University of Tehran. If he did, he tells me by phone, “There would be a major military response.” Iran can’t afford to look weak, he says. “The US must understand the cost is high.”

More crises ahead

The European signers of the nuclear accord, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, object to the US pulling out of the 2015 nuclear accord and oppose unilateral US sanctions. But they haven’t done anything in practice to live up to the legally binding agreement.

Iran has given those countries until July 8 to lift their de facto sanctions on Iran, specifically, to facilitate trade in Iranian oil and gas. Russia and China have taken such steps, so could Europe.

If nothing changes by July 8, Izadi says, Iran will take a number of calibrated steps to increase the amount of enriched uranium used for generating electrical power, and increase the level of enrichment to as high as 60 percent. That would bring Iran closer to the 90 percent level needed to produce a nuclear bomb. Even with enough uranium for a bomb, however, experts say Iran has no ability to build one. Iran would increase production as a bargaining chip.

How Trump could end the crisis

In keeping with Trump’s doctrine of avoiding large troop commitments, I offer the following handy hints on how to resolve the Iran crisis:

  • Fire National Security Adviser John Bolton, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other hawks whose bankrupt policies will lead to yet another war in the Middle East. The US now has acting heads of the Defense Department, Homeland Security and dozens of other agencies. Nobody will notice a new acting National Security Advisor or a missing Secretary of State.
  • Declare that his campaign of “maximum pressure” is a great success and has forced Iran not to build nuclear weapons. Then rejoin the 2015 nuclear accord, which does exactly that.
  • In further celebration of the US victory and Trump’s brilliant tactics, lift all unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran.
  • In a man-to-man summit with President Hassan Rouhani, Trump should sit down for serious negotiations on a grand bargain. The comprehensive agreement could create a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East, pull all foreign troops out of Syria, normalize US-Iran diplomatic relations and help combat terrorist organizations such as ISIS.

You don’t think such plans would work? Hey, they have no worse chance than Trump’s current policy plans.

Remember Trump’s “plan of the century” that would solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict once and for all? Well, the White House finally revealed the plan this week at a meeting in Bahrain. The plan promises Palestinians economic improvements through $50.7 billion in foreign aid and private investments, although the US would provide no funds.

There’s no mention of the key political issues such as creating a Palestinian state, stopping settlements and returning occupied West Bank land, the status of Jerusalem or returning the Golan to Syria. The plan was denounced by all Palestinian political parties and leaders. The plan is an insult to the Palestinians and everyone else in the Middle East.

But when it comes to Trump grand plans, what else is new?

 

Ocasio-Cortez describes ‘horrifying’ conditions at Texas migrant facility

July 1, 2019

by Julio-Cesar Chavez

Reuters

CLINT, Texas (Reuters) – Controversy broadsided the embattled U.S. Border Patrol agency Monday, as a high-profile U.S. Congresswoman touring detention facilities called conditions “horrifying” and as current and former agency staffers were alleged to have posted offensive comments about the lawmaker and migrants on a private Facebook page.

Migrants held at a border patrol station in Texas were subjected to psychological abuse and told to drink out of toilets, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said after a visit with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to the main border patrol facility in El Paso.

The tour, which also included a visit to a Clint, Texas, facility, followed reports from a government watchdog that immigrants were being housed in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

“After I forced myself into a cell with women and began speaking to them, one of them described their treatment at the hands of officers as “psychological warfare,” Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term New York Democrat, wrote on Twitter after leaving the El Paso border patrol station.

“This has been horrifying so far.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which oversees Border Patrol, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her statements about the visit.

The Border Patrol also came under fire on Monday following a report by the non-profit news site ProPublica that offensive content had been posted on a private Facebook group for current and former CBP officers.

Posts included jokes about the deaths of migrants and sexually explicit comments referencing Ocasio-Cortez, the news outlet said.

Reuters did not independently confirm the report.

“This isn’t about ‘a few bad eggs,’” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response to the ProPublica report. “This is a violent culture.”

CBP condemned the Facebook group and acknowledged that it may include a number of the agency’s employees.

Matthew Klein, Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, called the social media activity “disturbing” and said it violated the agency’s code of conduct.

Klein said the matter had been referred to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general, which has jurisdiction over the CBP.

According to a screen shot published by ProPublica, the Facebook group had 9,500 members.

“These posts are completely inappropriate and contrary to the honor and integrity I see – and expect – from our agents day in and day out,” U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost said in a statement.

“Any employees found to have violated our standards of conduct will be held accountable.”

‘DANGEROUS OVERCROWDING’

Conditions at U.S. facilities holding migrants along the U.S.-Mexico border have become a flashpoint since an internal government watchdog warned of “dangerous overcrowding” at the El Paso facility in May.

In June, immigration lawyers raised alarms over squalid conditions facing hundreds of children at another facility in Clint, Texas. The lawmakers visited both Texas facilities on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a centerpiece of his administration, but officials say a renewed crush of mostly Central Americans arriving at the border has strained resources.

Border apprehensions topped 132,000 in May, their highest levels in more than a decade.

During the legislators’ visit Monday, Congresswoman Judy Chu, a California Democrat, spoke emotionally about what she saw.

“I will never forget the image of being in a cell and seeing 15 women, tears coming down heir faces as they talked about being separated from their children, about having no running water, and about not being able to know when they were going to get out since they had already been there 50 days.”

She added, “A woman talked about being an epileptic and not having access to any medicine.”

The Trump administration, criticized for a policy of family separation last year, says it now separates children from parents and legal guardians only if there is some perceived risk to the child.

It has given few details on the criteria for those decisions.

Border Patrol agents have expressed their own concerns about conditions at facilities, according to documents published Monday from the DHS Inspector General that supported the watchdog’s May report.

The documents revealed U.S. agents feared riots by migrants being held in overcrowded and unsanitary cells and were “embarrassed” and “frustrated” by the detainees’ conditions at El Paso.

The documents bit.ly/2XgmO5b were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from website MuckRock and first reported by NBC News on Monday.

They showed DHS inspectors had found on a May 7 (here) that more than half of the 756 immigrants being held at the El Paso facility were kept outside, and those inside were in cells packed at five times their capacity.

Border Patrol agents “remained armed in the holding areas because of their concerns with the overcrowding that potentially could result in volatile situations,” the documents revealed.

Government inspectors saw migrants standing on toilets because there was not enough room in cells and other examples of unsanitary conditions leading to concerns about illness among the agents, the documents said.

CBP did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the documents.

The U.S. government responded to the report in a letter to the watchdog included in the supporting documents.

The situation “represents an acute and worsening crisis” and the surging numbers of migrants were overwhelming the agencies, the letter said.

MORALE PROBLEMS

U.S. Border Patrol agents complain of being understaffed and overwhelmed with the surge of families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The agency has about 19,000 agents nationwide, less than the roughly 21,500 agents it is authorized to have. Border Patrol officials say the agency recruits non-stop but cannot get the numbers of recruits it needs.

In May, Provost said agents now spend at least 40 percent of their time as “child care professionals, medical caregivers, bus drivers, and food service workers,” rather doing the law enforcement jobs they were trained for.

That has brought morale problems in hard-hit sectors such as El Paso, media say. One unnamed agent told El Paso TV station KVIA that officers’ jobs had been reduced to “babysitting” migrants while smugglers exploited their absence on the border.

Reporting by Julio-Cesar Chavez in Clint, Texas; Reporting and writing by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional reporting from Andy Sullivan and Susan Heavey in Washington; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

Michael Scheifler

Liam Scheff, famous HIV denialist, woo promoter, antivaccine and anti-GMO activist, and wholesale conspiracy theorist, seems to have passed away (at 46, from a “mystery illness” for which he apparently consulted every naturopathic trick and vitamin supplement in the book).

Michael Scheifler isn’t quite as high profile as Scheff, but we have no reason to think he’s not alive – though his webpage (here, if anyone is interested) admittedly bears all the hallmarks of 2003-style, allcaps paranoia. The website concerns “Antichrist, 666, and the Harlot Church Dressed in Purple and Scarlet”, and appears to try to establish – through fascinatingly wild and speculative connections between random observations and Bible passages – that the Catholic church is an institution of the Beast, and important in bringing about the ever-imminent End Times (“The Vatican (STATO DELLA CITTÁ DEL VATICANO), which means City-State of prophecy, is the woman of Revelation 17, Jezebel, the apostate harlot, the mother universal church, the persecutor of the saints that sits on seven hills in Rome and claims authority over the kings of the earth”). There is plenty of numerology, too, used to try to associate various aspects of the Catholic church with the number “666”. It relies on some serious research into obscure sources, and is utterly, derangedly crazy. Do check it out.

Scheifler himself is an Adventist. He is, of course, also a young-earth creationist. Indeed, the fact that the Catholic church officially recognizes evolution – a “modern scientific dogma” , as Scheifler sees it in light of a particularly Orwellian understanding of “dogma” from someone who takes the Bible as the only source of authority – is apparently further evidence that Catholicism is of the Beast. Then he links to Kent Hovind.

For some reason Scheifler also links to some scare articles about artificial sweeteners from Joe Mercola’s website.

Diagnosis: Apparently he has been bantering with several Catholic “scholars”, too. Well, if Scheifler’s deranged rants count as scholarship in certain circles, it doesn’t reflect too well on those circles

Roger Patterson

Roger Patterson is one of the creation “scientists” affiliated with Answers in Genesis. Patterson has no background in science, of course – otherwise he would not have had that job – but he knows how to swamp his writings with Bible quotes, and that is what matters.

Indeed, it is, for Patterson and the AiG, explicitlyall that matters. It is instructive to look at how Patterson and the AiG think critical thinking works. As he states in his writeup of how to do critical thinking, AiG-style: “To really determine what is true and what is false requires that you test everything in light of the only source of ultimate truth – God’s Word.” Indeed, “[w]hen we look to God’s Word as the standard for understanding truth, we have a solid foundtion from which to begin applying critical thinking to claims we hear. Further, God does not leave us alone in this endeavor. He has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and other believers to support us. Working together with the body of Christ from a biblical framework and empowered by the Holy Spirit, you can discern truth from lies, even in areas where you may not be an expert, by asking the right critical thinking questions.” The questions are:

  • What is this person’s Authority to make such a claim?
  • From what Starting point is this person looking at the world?
  • How do they Know what they claim to know?

And the answer to the questions should be Scripture, of course. To determine whether someone has the relevant authority, look at whether they have a Biblical worldview. And the starting pointshould be the Word of God (“Ultimately, these are the only two options –  you either trust God or you trust man. Although humanistic philosophy must borrow ideas from a Christian worldview in order to make logical arguments, it is very dangerous to make human reasoning the absolute standard.”) As for the how do they know, “the knowledge claim must be compared to the truth of God’s Word. If the truth claim disagrees with a clear meaning of Scripture, it must be rejected.” In short, critical thinking AiG style involves neither criticalnor thinking. But it is probably in this light you should understand creationists’ argument that creationism should be taught in science class alongside evolution to promote critical thinking.

Here is Patterson discussing creationist debate tactics and how you should try to subvert a discussion of science to give you an opportunity to talk about God, essentially by pointing out that science doesn’t yield absolute certainty but God’s word does. With evolution and the origin of the universe, you see, we have no eyewitness testimony, and to Patterson it is incomprehensible how we can know anything without someone observing it directly. In short, he fully and completely reject using scientific methods to figure stuff out and seem unaware of the idea – science – of testing hypotheses about the unobserved by its observable consequences. It’s telling.

Nevertheless, Patterson wrote a Chapter on “What is Science?” for his AiG’s online creationist resource Evolution Exposed – Biology. It is, needless to say, a thoroughly confused document. To write The Evolution Exposed series, Patterson “got copies of the three major biology textbooks used in most public school systems across America,” then “carefully went through each of them and noted every place where there’s a reference to millions of years and evolution, […] researched the evolutionary claims [using AiG-approved resources, presumably], and then read hundreds of articles and contacted experts in their fields [remember, from above, Patterson’s point about authority] to ensure he’d write the best rebuttals possible.” The series is marketed as “your evolution answer-book for the classroom;” that is, the point is that students using any of the most popular textbooks can now go online and get AiG’s responses to the most unbiblical passages. Here is a summary of Chapter 2 on the Big Bang.

Together with one Joseph Paturi, Patterson is also the author of AiG’s guide to World Religions and Cults Volume 2, What Is Hinduism and Hare Krishna?(“they are ultimately pursuing salvation through vain means – denying Jesus as the Savior and only source of salvation for fallen men” – Patterson has a curious fondness for the word “ultimately”), which is typical of their guides to World Religions.

Here is Patterson demonstrating that Earth is approximately 6000 years old, and not billions of years. The point is that using science to get billions of years is hard; using the Bible to get 6000 is easy. Therefore 6000 is correct. Moreover, scientific calculations depend on “assumptions [that are] unreliable and totally disagrees with the Bible. We are talking about thousands versus billions – that’s more than a rounding error.” Indeed it is.

The Roger Patterson in question is presumably not identical to (apparently long deceased) Roger Patterson, one of the originators of the modern Bigfoot myth.

Diagnosis: A very typical example of his ilk, really, and a fine illustration of the standard creationist combo – completely failing to understand the basics of science makes science look to them like a form of witchcraft, which they promptly fear and hate.

Anti-Vaccination Lunacy

Anti-vaccine movement: the epidemic of stupid

Social networking platforms have contributed to a specific form of the epidemic of stupid: the anti-vaccine movement. These networking platforms are revolutionary inventions, creating a community beyond our traditional borders, that allows information to be passed along, with many people listening, engaging, and building relationships. The essence of serviceability provided by these platforms is abused and used to spread misleading information about vaccines. Anti-vaccine movements are not new, but due to social networking platforms this information can be spread on a larger scale. In turn, this contributes to the comeback of outdated diseases like measles in Europe and the USA.

The anti-vaccine movement and the comeback of a ‘Dark Ages disease’

Measles has made a comeback, not only in the USA but also in Europe. Some experts blame this on widespread misinformation about vaccinations. These misleading sources are spread via social media platforms, but also via product platforms like Bol.com whose algorithms seem to promote anti-vaccination books.

Anti-vaccine advocates attempt, for example, to convince people that vaccines against measles can cause autism. Following this claim, many parents have made the decision to not vaccinate their child in fear of the child developing autism. This conspiracy theory, therefor, can have serious and devastating effects.

Networking platforms have contributed to this influential relationship, even though many others have found compelling evidence of a connection between the two phenomena.

That is to say, the outbreak of measles in recent cases has been blamed upon anti-vaxxers being able to spread misleading information on social networking platforms. Therefore, what follows offers a discussion on how social networking platforms influence and contribute to the measles epidemic.

Social networking platforms in connection to anti-vaxxers

None other than the ‘preciously-alluring’ platform kings of the internet – Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Amazon – play the leading roles in this epidemic. However, instead of blaming these platforms themselves, we need to consider the usage of them. The internet is a great space for movements such as for the anti-vaxxers. This is due to the fact that the internet offers a space in which anyone can spread any type of information. This offers members of anti-vaccine movements to read and spread misleading information that is not scientifically supported.

If one types ‘vaccine’ into the Facebook search engine, the first results that show up are anti-vaccination content.

Pages such as ‘Stop Mandatory Vaccination’ have 129K likes. According to the WELT, clicking ‘like’ on any of these pages, will immediately redirect you to many other pages that promote anti-vaccination. Particularly in the USA this has inspired discussions that force Facebook to take preventive measures against this dynamic.

 

Scientists have proven….!

by Jack Mehoff, PhD

Whenever an invented story emerges on the Internet, believe it that sooner or later a reader sees the assurance that Scientists have Proven some nonsense.

Since there are no legitimate scientists involved with these childish fictions, identifying names are never published.

Here is a partial list of scientific-approved fables:

  • The Antarctic Ice cap is growing larger every day
  • Bigfoot exists and was seen in downtown Dallas
  • A huge city is discovered under the ice in Antarctica
  • Paul Wellstone’s plane was shot down by Boy Scouts
  • Planet X is rapidly approaching the Earth
  • Princess Diana was killed by space aliens
  • The Queen of England is a giant lizard
  • Chemtrails are covering the US with mind-control powder
  • Jesus will return next March
  • The Earth is flat
  • BitCoin will make some of us very wealthy
  • President Obama was born on Mars
  • The Lochness Monster is in Lake Erie
  • America is winning the War in Afganistan.
  • Drinking commercial bleach makes one grow taller
  • Fat people make good eating
  • All US paper money contains mind-control strips
  • Donald Trump is a brilliant intellectual
  • A proctologist found John Bolton’s brain
  • Vaccines cause Terminal Flatulence in Republican Senators
  • The Bermuda Triangle has moved to West Virginia

 

Sante Fe school shooting teacher’s story revealed as hoax

July 2, 2019

BBC News

A man who claimed to be a substitute teacher and survivor of a school shooting in Texas in 2018 never actually worked at the school, officials say.

David Briscoe told news outlets he had protected students from harm while working at Santa Fe High School, where 10 people were killed.

The Texas Tribune revealed the truth behind his false claims on Monday.

But not before CNN, Wall Street Journal and others had published his lies.

Mr Briscoe told CNN at the time he had been teaching English when he heard screaming and gunshots.

He said he had barricaded his classroom door with tables and desks, turned off the lights and telling his students to get down.

“It felt like hours before we got out of the school, but one of my students said it was 30 to 45 minutes,” Mr Briscoe told the news outlet. “I had around 10 to 15 students and I’m grateful they were safe.”

On Monday, Texas Tribune journalist Alexandra Samuels revealed Mr Briscoe had contacted her in April 2019 to do a follow-up piece in light of recent suicides by mass shooting survivors.

She says she spoke to him on the phone for 31 minutes, during which he claimed to have “quit teaching after the massacre” and had become depressed.

He said “just knowing that there’s blood on the walls” meant he could not go back to the school.

The “insane story” roused her suspicions and the journalist contacted the local school board who confirmed no one of his name had ever worked in the district.

We are extremely disappointed that an individual that has never been a part of our school community would represent themselves as a survivor of the mass violence tragedy that our community endured,” Santa Fe ISD Superintendent Leigh Wall said in a statement.

“This situation illustrates how easily misinformation can be created and circulated, especially when the amount of detailed information available is limited due to the still ongoing investigation.”

A student is in custody facing murder charges for the killing of eight other students and two teachers in the May 2018 attack, the fourth deadliest shooting at a US school in history.

The Texas Tribune reports that public records show Mr Briscoe’s only home address is registered in Florida.

Some original stories that included his accounts have been corrected by outlets since the allegations emerged on Monday.

After tweeting about the shooting at the time, the account @Daviddbriscoe was approached by the BBC.

Mr Briscoe claimed in a private Twitter message to have been a teacher at the school who had got scared and had left the scene. The BBC did not pursue him further or use any of his quotes in their coverage.

Social media handles registered to his name have now been deactivated or had their names changed.

 

Nike pulls sneaker after Kaepernick objection, prompting Republican fury

‘Betsy Ross Flag’ features 13 stars in a circle is embraced by white nationalists – Republicans criticize move, calling it ‘anti-American’

July 2, 2019

by Edward Helmore in New York

The Guardian

Nike has withdrawn a pair of shoes featuring an early version of the American flag that has been embraced by white nationalists, after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick reportedly pointed out that the symbol was offensive.

Conservatives in the US immediately criticized the move. One Republican senator called the decision to pull the shoes “anti-American”.

The “Betsy Ross flag” features 13 white stars in a circle, representing the 13 original colonies, and is one of many early versions of the American flag. It is named after the Philadelphia seamstress who is credited with creating the first American flag featuring stars and stripes in the late 18th century – though most scholars dismiss that story as myth.

The flag has since been embraced by white nationalists and the American Nazi party.

The shoes had been destined for stores to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. But Kaepernick – the NFL star turned activist who took the knee during the national anthem in protest against racism and police brutality – said Nike should not sell the shoes with a symbol many consider offensive for its connection to an era of slavery, according the Wall Street Journal.

“Nike has chosen not to release the Air Max 1 Quick Strike Fourth of July as it featured the old version of the American flag,” a Nike spokeswoman told the WSJ.

In response to the report, Doug Ducey, Arizona’s Republican governor, called Ross a “founding mother” of the US, and tweeted: “Words cannot express my disappointment at this terrible decision. I am embarrassed for Nike.”

Ducey said he had asked the state’s commerce authority to withdraw financial incentives for Nike to open a manufacturing plant in Arizona.

He tweeted: “Instead of celebrating American history the week of our nation’s independence, Nike has apparently decided that Betsy Ross is unworthy, and has bowed to the current onslaught of political correctness and historical revisionism.”

Ted Cruz, the Republican senator, said Nike “only wants to sell sneakers to people who hate the American flag”.

Josh Hawley, a fellow Republican senator from Missouri, called Nike “anti-American, pure and simple”.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who has been accused of racism in the past and recently interviewed Donald Trump on his trip to France for the D-Day commemorations, tweeted: “No more Nike sneakers for our family.”

The Journal reported that the shoes had shipped to retailers, but Nike asked them to be returned, without giving further details. Some pairs of the shoes have been appearing on the re-sale website StockX for more than $2,000.

The Betsy Ross flag has caused controversy in the past. In 2016, the superintendent of a Michigan school district apologized after students waved the flag during a football game.

At the time, Cle Jackson, the president of the local Greater Grand Rapids chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said the flag had been embraced by “[t]he so-called ‘Patriot movement’ and other militia groups who are responding to America’s increasing diversity with opposition and racial supremacy”.

Kaepernick, now 31, has not played in the NFL since 2016, when he began kneeling during the US national anthem to call attention to social injustice and racial inequality. The former 49ers quarterback settled a grievance case earlier this year, which alleged the league had blackballed him and a fellow player for their political views.

Nike unveiled an advertising campaign last year that put Kaepernick’s activism front and center, and featured the slogan: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. Just do it.”

Despite a backlash from some conservatives, Nike said it saw sales increase by 31% following the campaign’s launch. Its share price has risen more than 15% so far this year.
The Historical Background of Modern Christianity

July 2, 2019

by Robert MacLeod

 

Jesus was an Essene, and Christianity as we know it today evolved from this sect of Judaism, with which it shared many ideas and symbols

The Essenes were a religious sect of Judaism that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the the ist Century CE in Qumran, a plateau in the Judean desert along the Dead Sea. The origin of the name Essene is debated. Some credible possibilities are either a version of the Greek word for “holy,” or an Aramaic dialect term for “pious.” In their writings, they refer to themselves as the “Sons of Light”. Many scholars today believe there were a number of separate but related groups that had in common mystic, eschatological, messianic, and ascetic beliefs that were referred to as the “Essenes.”

The Essenes were an agricultural community that had a communistic approach to their life style. There was a common purse and shared wealth and much, if not most, of the first expressed Christian dogma came directly from the Essenes. Unfortunately, like the Spartans and Zulus who were essentially a military community cult, the agricultural Essenes were male-oriented and homosexual in nature.

The Essenes were outlawed by the Romans, and many members were subsequently crucified in a general crackdown under Titus, not because of their sexual practices but because of their political opposition to Roman rule The small remnants of the Essenes retreated to the Dead Sea area and eventually died out.

The earliest mention of the Essenes is by the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria . Philo wrote that there were more than 4,000 Essenes (Essaioi) living in villages throughout Palestinian- Syria. Among their neighbors they were noted for their love of God and their concerns with piety, honesty, morality, philanthropy, holiness, equality, and freedom.

The practicing Essenes did not marry and lived a celibate life, and practiced communal residence, to include money, property, food and clothing. They observed the Sabbath according to all the strictest instructions and spent much of their time studying the Law according to philosophical and allegorical interpretations. They cherished freedom, possessed no slaves, and rejected the use of weapons or participation in commerce.

The next reference is by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder (died 79 CE) in his Natural History (N’H,V,XV). Pliny relates in a few lines that the Essenes do not marry, possess no money, and had existed for thousands of generations. Unlike Philo, who did not mention any particular geographical location of the Essenes other than the whole land of Israel, Pliny places them in Ein Gedi, next to the Dead Sea.

A little later Josephus gave a detailed account of the Essenes in The Jewish War (75 CE) with a shorter description in Antiquities of the Jews (c.94 CE) and The Life of Flavius Josephus (c.97 CE). Claiming first hand knowledge, he lists the Essenoi as one of the three sects of Jewish philosophy alongside the Pharisees and the Sadducees. He relates the same information concerning piety, celibacy, the absence of personal property and of money, the belief in communality and commitment to a strict observance of the Sabbath.

He further adds that the Essenes ritually immersed in water every morning, ate together after prayer, devoted themselves to charity and benevolence, forbade the expression of anger, studied the books of the elders, preserved secrets, and were very mindful of the names of the angels kept in their sacred writings.

Pliny, also a geographer and explorer, located them in the desert near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the year 1947 by Muhammed edh-Dhib and Ahmed Mohammed, two Bedouin shepherds of the Ta’amireh tribe.

The Essenes are discussed in detail by Josephus and Philo. Scholars believe that the community at Qumran that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls were Essenes, that Jesus was an Essene, and Christianity as we know it today evolved from this sect of Judaism, with which it shared many ideas and symbols The Essenes are best known today as the inhabitants from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were located by Bedouins first in 1947.  It is now known that they were closely affiliated with the Hasidim, a sectarian group that included the disciples of Hillel and Menahem the Essene who left for Damascus in 20 BCE.

The Essenes were the followers of a group of priests who had essentially rejected the Second Temple. They argued that the Essene community was itself the new Temple, although they did not reject the notion of the temple outright. Eventually, they believed, they would be triumphant, gaining control of the temple and remaking it according to their own ideals. Accordingly, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 was for them a symbol of imminent victory. With this came the end of the Sadducees and the end of the house of Shammai. They also believed strongly in the end-times and wrote an entire scroll on that subject. The “Rule of War” detailed the battle plans for the “final” battle. When the Romans overran Jerusalem in 70 CE they believed that it was time to fight the last battle. They had been ready and prepared for it and therefore threw their entire beings and everything they had into it. They may have thought they were strong, but they were not strong enough to withstand the Romans. They were mercilessly and almost totally annihilated.

The accounts by Josephus and Philo show that the Essenes led a strictly celibate and communal life although Josephus speaks also of another “rank of Essenes” that did get married. According to Josephus, they had customs and observances such as collective ownership, the sharing of a common purese, they elected a leader to attend to the interests of them all whose orders they obeyed, were forbidden from swearing oaths and sacrificing animals controlled their temper and served as channels of peace, carried weapons only as protection against robbers, had no slaves but served each other and, as a result of communal ownership, did not engage in trading. Also, the Essenes were an all-male cult, using women to produce male children. Women who produced female children were expelled from the Essene community along with their female child. Like the Spartans, women were used exclusively for breeding purposes.

Both Josephus and Philo have lengthy accounts of their communal meetings, meals and religious celebrations.

After a total of three years’ probation, newly joining members would take an oath that included the commitment to practice piety towards “the Deity”  and righteousness towards humanity, to maintain a pure lifestyle, to abstain from criminal and immoral activities, to transmit their rules uncorrupted and to preserve the books of the Essenes and the names of the Angels. Their theology included belief in the immortality of the soul and that they would receive their souls back after death. Part of their activities included purification by water rituals, which was supported by rainwater catchment and storage.

 

Different…but the same!

by P. Kushner

In this article, a preview of his coming book, the author draws strong parallels between the Evangelical Christians and the Holocaust Jewish religious/political movements.

And these parallels are most certainly there.

Both are oriented to gaining political and economic power.

Both have made extensive use of fictional writings. In the case of the Evangelical Christians, the Rapture and the Battle of Armageddon  which are recent inventions (ca 1910) by a Charles Parham Fox and are not in the Bible. Parham Fox was a convicted thief and child molester.

Also, note that none of the Gospels were contemporary with the purported career of Jesus and in the ensuing centuries, have been constantly rewritten to suit current political needs. Further, the mainstay of Evangelical Christians is the so-called ‘Book of Revelations’ purported to have been written by John the Devine, Jesus’ most intimate friend. This was certainly not written by someone living at the time of Jesus’ alleged ministry but over fifty years later. The actual author was one John of Patmos who was resident at the Roman lunatic colony located on the island of Patmos. This particular work is beloved of Evangelicals because it is so muddled, obscure and bizarre that any meaning can, and is, attributed to it.

I refer the reader to “Foundations of Christianity” by Karl Kautsky (a Jewish German early Communist and secretary to Engels)

The nationalistic Zionist movement does not have a great body of historical supportive material so, like the early Christians, they have simply invented it. These fictions include, but certainly are not limited to, “The Painted Bird” by Kosinski, (later admitted by its author to be an invented fraud before his suicide, ) and “Fragments” by “Binjimin Wilkomersky” ( A Swiss Protestant named Bruno Dossecker who was born in 1944) that is mostly copied from the Kosinski book and consists of ‘recovered memory,’ and of course the highly-propagandized favorite “Anne Frank Diary” which was proven, beyond a doubt, by the German BKA(Bundes Kriminal Amt, an official German forensic agency) as a forgery, made circa 1949 (ball point ink was used on paper made after 1948 and the handwriting completely different from the original Frank girl’s school papers still extant) All of these frauds have been, and still are,  considered as seminal truths by the Holocaust supporters and the discovery of fakery loudly denied by them, and questioners accused of being ‘Nazis.’  This closely parallels the same anger expressed by the Evangelicals when their stories about the Rapture or the Battle of Armageddon are questioned by anyone. Here, doubters are accused of being ‘Satanists’ and ‘Secular Humanists.’

I refer the reader to “The Holocaust Industry” by Norman Finkelstein, a Jewish academic and the son of genuine survivors of the German Concentration Camp system.

When confronted with period and very authentic evidence that the death toll among Jewish prisoners never approached even a million, or that there were no gas chambers in use at any prison camp, the standard, and badly flawed counter argument is that while the accuracy of the period German documents is not in question, as everyone knows that 6 millions of Jews perished, therefore the names are on so-called ‘secret lists.’

When asked where a researcher could view these documents (the actual German SS records, complete, are located in the Russian Central Archives in Moscow) the ludicrous response is that because these lists are secret, no one has ever seen them! This rationale does not even bear comment.

The Christians have their Passion of the Christ, which may or may not have happened, (it was in direct opposition to Roman law which governed Judea at the time,) and the Jews have their long agony of  the Holocaust, which is an elaborate and fictional construction based on fragmentary facts. A Jewish supporter, Deborah Lipstadt ( a well-known academic) has said repeatedly that the word holocaust must be capitalized and can only be used to discuss the enormous suffering of the Jewish people. The huge genocidal programs practiced by the Turks against Armenian Christians in 1916 and the even larger massacres by Pol Pot in Southeast Asia may never be likened to the absolutely unique Jewish suffering, according to current Zionist-Holocaust Jewish dogma.

Both stress the suffering and death of their icons, in the former case, the leader of their cult, which initially consisted entirely of very poor Jews, and in the second, an entire people. Both sides have enormous public relations machinery in place which is used constantly to promulgate both faiths and both are hysterically opposed to any questioning or debate on any aspects of their faith.

The issues of suffering, death and prosecution are both used to fortify their positions in society and render it difficult for anyone to attack them. These issues are also used to gain political power (for the Evangelicals) and money (for the Zionist-Holocausters)

Both of these groups seek a high moral ground from which to attack any questioning of their faith and because many of the adherents to both beliefs are aware that their houses are based on sand, fight fiercely lest a storm arise, beat upon both houses and thereby cause a great fall (to be Biblical in expression.)

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

July 2, 2019

by Dr. Peter Janney

On October 8th, 2000, Robert Trumbull Crowley, once a leader of the CIA’s Clandestine Operations Division, died in a Washington hospital of heart failure and the end effects of Alzheimer’s Disease. Before the late Assistant Director Crowley was cold, Joseph Trento, a writer of light-weight books on the CIA, descended on Crowley’s widow at her town house on Cathedral Hill Drive in Washington and hauled away over fifty boxes of Crowley’s CIA files.

Once Trento had his new find secure in his house in Front Royal, Virginia, he called a well-known Washington fix lawyer with the news of his success in securing what the CIA had always considered to be a potential major embarrassment.

Three months before, on July 20th of that year, retired Marine Corps colonel William R. Corson, and an associate of Crowley, died of emphysema and lung cancer at a hospital in Bethesda, Md.

After Corson’s death, Trento and the well-known Washington fix-lawyer went to Corson’s bank, got into his safe deposit box and removed a manuscript entitled ‘Zipper.’ This manuscript, which dealt with Crowley’s involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, vanished into a CIA burn-bag and the matter was considered to be closed forever.

The small group of CIA officials gathered at Trento’s house to search through the Crowley papers, looking for documents that must not become public. A few were found but, to their consternation, a significant number of files Crowley was known to have had in his possession had simply vanished.

When published material concerning the CIA’s actions against Kennedy became public in 2002, it was discovered to the CIA’s horror, that the missing documents had been sent by an increasingly erratic Crowley to another person and these missing papers included devastating material on the CIA’s activities in South East Asia to include drug running, money laundering and the maintenance of the notorious ‘Regional Interrogation Centers’ in Viet Nam and, worse still, the Zipper files proving the CIA’s active organization of the assassination of President John Kennedy..

A massive, preemptive disinformation campaign was readied, using government-friendly bloggers, CIA-paid “historians” and others, in the event that anything from this file ever surfaced. The best-laid plans often go astray and in this case, one of the compliant historians, a former government librarian who fancied himself a serious writer, began to tell his friends about the CIA plan to kill Kennedy and eventually, word of this began to leak out into the outside world.

The originals had vanished and an extensive search was conducted by the FBI and CIA operatives but without success. Crowley’s survivors, his aged wife and son, were interviewed extensively by the FBI and instructed to minimize any discussion of highly damaging CIA files that Crowley had, illegally, removed from Langley when he retired. Crowley had been a close friend of James Jesus Angleton, the CIA’s notorious head of Counterintelligence. When Angleton was sacked by DCI William Colby in December of 1974, Crowley and Angleton conspired to secretly remove Angleton’s most sensitive secret files out of the agency. Crowley did the same thing right before his own retirement, secretly removing thousands of pages of classified information that covered his entire agency career.

Known as “The Crow” within the agency, Robert T. Crowley joined the CIA at its inception and spent his entire career in the Directorate of Plans, also know as the “Department of Dirty Tricks. ”

Crowley was one of the tallest man ever to work at the CIA. Born in 1924 and raised in Chicago, Crowley grew to six and a half feet when he entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in N.Y. as a cadet in 1943 in the class of 1946. He never graduated, having enlisted in the Army, serving in the Pacific during World War II. He retired from the Army Reserve in 1986 as a lieutenant colonel. According to a book he authored with his friend and colleague, William Corson, Crowley’s career included service in Military Intelligence and Naval Intelligence, before joining the CIA at its inception in 1947. His entire career at the agency was spent within the Directorate of Plans in covert operations. Before his retirement, Bob Crowley became assistant deputy director for operations, the second-in-command in the Clandestine Directorate of Operations.

Bob Crowley first contacted Gregory Douglas in 1993 when he found out from John Costello that Douglas was about to publish his first book on Heinrich Mueller, the former head of the Gestapo who had become a secret, long-time asset to the CIA. Crowley contacted Douglas and they began a series of long and often very informative telephone conversations that lasted for four years. In 1996, Crowley told Douglas that he believed him to be the person that should ultimately tell Crowley’s story but only after Crowley’s death. Douglas, for his part, became so entranced with some of the material that Crowley began to share with him that he secretly began to record their conversations, later transcribing them word for word, planning to incorporate some, or all, of the material in later publication.

Conversation No. 117

Date: Sunday , December 14, 1997

Commenced: 11:15 AM CST

Concluded: 11:38 AM CST

GD: I think Mueller’s real strength lay in his professional detachment and his organizing ability. You rarely, if ever saw his picture anywhere. He rarely attended official functions and when he was in his office, he wore civilian clothes and wished to be called ‘Herr Mueller’ instead of ‘General.’ Most of the Party officials loved to strut around in fancy uniforms but not Heini. They strutted and he worked. At the end, he had enormous power which he rarely showed off. He would issue orders to Himmler and, earlier, Heydrich and no one ever contradicted him. He set up an early computer system to keep card files on as many citizens as he could locate and so on. But he said his worst problem was not the systems he devised but the people who worked in these systems. You ran the clandestine services branch and just out of interest, did you have problems with your underlings?

RTC: Oh, yes, always. We are, were, so compartmentized that our right hand did not know what the left hand was doing. Official policy concerning a country was one thing but no one seemed to realize that the top level depended on those below them for input. And therein lay a real problem. Curious to know how your friend handled it.

GD: Name the problem and I will search for an answer.

RTC: Rigid bureaucracy works but only barely. For instance, let’s take Egypt. We have an Egypt desk. It has nothing to do with, and certainly no connection with, the South American desk. I’m sitting in my office and have no real idea what the hell is going on downstairs or down the hall either. A field agent in Cairo uncovers very important information about some official policy. Fine. He sends us a full report. Do I see it? No, I do not. The agent sends this to Langley where it goes, oddly enough, to the Egypt desk. Ah, but in this area, there is a blood feud going on between two top people so this vital report gets into the hands of one party who deliberately hides it from the other out of spite. Why? Because the two of them are at odds over some matter so one hides material that could support the theories of the other. And, of course, we never see something that is actually very important.

GD: And what happens later if some disaster occurs and…

RTC: I’ll just tell you that the vital information goes into a shredder and later, a burn bag. And no one knows about it, even if they did. Backstabbing and finger pointing are rampant and no one can do anything about it. In the beginning, we were much smaller and more of us cooperated but cooperation is a thing of the past. A larger office, a more important parking space take the place of cooperation. But I cannot exculpate the top brass, either. Say the ruling party in the White House wants this or that to be the case in aid of their foreign policy. Do our senior people forward real and important information to them over there that would make that case not only wrong but a disaster? No, let’s protect our jobs and send a report over by an unproven and dead-wrong source that supports whatever the ruling claque is looking for. A disaster follows, imperial fingers are pointed and some minor official is let go because he wants to spend more time with his family. How did Mueller handle this?

GD: By hiring genuine professionals and watching everything. Copies of all important reports were sent to him, personally, so he spent much of his time looking at incoming gen. But Mueller was quite the exception, I believe. That’s why the Swiss government hired him after the war, and this in spite of the frantic searchings for him. Here we have the head of the Gestapo, a top wanted man, living in great comfort just down the line and all of this well-known to some Americans. Hell, Critchfield and Gehlen both knew where Heini was and, shit, Critchfield actually hired him to work for your people. I can understand why the Langley people hate me. If the self-important Jews who think they run the government ever came to grips with this, there would be pure hell to pay. I can just see the editorial page of the New York times on this.

RTC: Actually, you would never see a reference to Mueller or other top Gestapo people we hired anywhere in the American media. They would not print this because we would tell them not to. And they would do as they were told, believe me. You know I met Mueller once, why I had dinner with him over at the Metropolitan once, and I was somewhat in awe of him. A very pleasant man but you could tell he was looking around inside you while he was enjoying the lunch. How did you cope with this?

GD: I know what you mean but it never bothered me. I liked him and I respected him (the two are not always the same, you know) so if he wanted to poke around in my psyche, let him do it. We got on well and I used to poke around inside him once in a while. Fouché was very effective but he was very cold and very cruel and Mueller was detached but quite decent. Joseph changed sides, betrayed one set of associates to facilitate his acceptance by more successful ones and became the richest man in Europe. Heini got quite rich selling off the CIA’s looted Nazi art. He kept most of the money and when you realize that a Monet sells for ten millions and he had twenty of them, you can see what I mean. I saw paintings in Piedmont which he could never sell. A Signorelli that was supposed to have been burnt at the end of the war and a Raphael picture of some fag in a white shirt that the Polacks are still screaming about. Ah, well, such is the way of the world.

RTC: Yes, so it is. But I do miss it, Gregory. Life is too peaceful and I am finding myself forgetting so many odd bits and pieces of my life. Well, I don’t know about where it will all end but it will end.

GD: Yes, we can all be sure of that. But the play is not over yet, Robert.

RTC: When it ends, I’ll be dead and forgotten. You can enjoy the final scenes.

GD: I only hope so, Robert.

(Concluded at 11:30 AM CST)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Conversations+with+the+Crow+by+Gregory+Douglas

No responses yet

Leave a Reply