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TBR News July 29, 2020

Jul 29 2020

The Voice of the White House
Comments, July 29, 2020:. It would be unkind to say that Donald Trump was nuttier than a Christmas fruitcake but realism triumphs over civility every time. Donald is overweight, has high blood pressure and official medical records show that he has had two heart attacks. Now we learn that a loony medical person with ideas that could only be termed bizarre is his favorite source of fictional medical advice. If we wait long enough, he will no doubt appear at a presidential press conference wearing a clown suit and end his session by falling off the stage. Or out of the White House.

         The Table of Contents

 

  • Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine
  • Spectacular’: Trump praises doctor who dismissed face masks after viral video
  • Strange Sips, Steps Raise Concerns About Trump’s Health
  • Washington state officials confirm federal officers leaving Seattle
  • Ocasio-Cortez, Lieu, introduce amendment to curtail Federal crackdown on protesters
  • GOP under mounting pressure to strike virus deal quickly
  • Police Departments Benefit From Police Militarization Program, but at What Cost to Communities?
  • The Strange Cult of Mohammad: The Coming Grand Expulsions
  • The Encyclopedia of American Loons

 

Trump’s New Favorite COVID Doctor Believes in Alien DNA, Demon Sperm, and Hydroxychloroquine

ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE

The president is pushing the coronavirus theories of a Houston doctor who also says sexual visitations by demons and alien DNA are at the root of Americans’ common health concerns.

July 28, 2020

by Will Sommer

The Daily Beast

 

A Houston doctor who praises hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of the highly contagious coronavirus has become a star on the right-wing internet, garnering tens of millions of views on Facebook on Monday alone. Donald Trump Jr. declared the video of Stella Immanuel a “must watch,” while Donald Trump himself retweeted the video.

Before Trump and his supporters embrace Immanuel’s medical expertise, though, they should consider other medical claims Immanuel has made—including those about alien DNA and the physical effects of having sex with witches and demons in your dreams.

Immanuel, a pediatrician and a religious minister, has a history of making bizarre claims about medical topics and other issues. She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches.

She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious. And, despite appearing in Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on Monday, she has said that the government is run in part not by humans but by “reptilians” and other aliens.

Immanuel gave her viral speech on the steps of the Supreme Court at the “White Coat Summit,” a gathering of a handful of doctors who call themselves America’s Frontline Doctors and dispute the medical consensus on the novel coronavirus. The event was organized by the right-wing group Tea Party Patriots, which is backed by wealthy Republican donors.

In her speech, Immanuel alleges that she has successfully treated hundreds of patients with hydroxychloroquine, a controversial treatment Trump has promoted and says he has taken himself. Studies have failed to find proof that the drug has any benefit in treating COVID-19, and the Food and Drug Administration in June revoked its emergency authorization to use it to treat the deadly virus, saying it hadn’t demonstrated any effect on patients’ mortality prospects.

“Nobody needs to get sick,” Immanuel said. “This virus has a cure.”

Immanuel said in her speech that the supposed potency of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment means that protective face masks aren’t necessary, claiming that she and her staff had avoided contracting COVID-19 despite wearing medical masks instead of the more secure N95 masks.

“Hello, you don’t need a mask. There is a cure,” Immanuel said.

Toward the end of Immanuel’s speech, the event’s organizer and other participants can be seen trying to get her away from the microphone. But footage of the speech captured by Breitbart was a hit online, becoming a top video on Facebook and amassing roughly 13 million views—significantly more than “Plandemic,” another coronavirus disinformation video that became a viral hit online in May, when it amassed roughly 8 million Facebook views.

“Hydroxychloroquine” trended on Twitter, as Immanuel’s video was embraced by the Trumps, conservative student group Turning Point USA, and pro-Trump personalities like Diamond & Silk. But both Facebook and Twitter eventually deleted videos of Immanuel’s speech from their sites, citing rules against COVID-19 disinformation. The deletions set off yet another round of complaints by conservatives of bias at the social-media platforms.

Immanuel responded in her own way, declaring that Jesus Christ would destroy Facebook’s servers if her videos weren’t restored to the platform.

“Hello Facebook put back my profile page and videos up or your computers with start crashing till you do,” she tweeted. “You are not bigger that God. I promise you. If my page is not back up face book will be down in Jesus name.”

Immanuel is a registered physician in Texas, according to a Texas Medical Board database, and operates a medical clinic out of a strip mall next to her church, Firepower Ministries.

Immanuel was born in Cameroon and received her medical degree in Nigeria. In a GoFundMe legal defense fund, which swelled from just $90 to $1,616 hours after her speech, Immanuel claims without offering any proof that members of a Houston networking group for women physicians are scheming to take her medical license away over her support for hydroxychloroquine.

It’s not clear whether anyone is actually trying to take Immanuel’s license. But many of her earlier medical claims are definitely ludicrous.

In sermons posted on YouTube and articles on her website, Immanuel claims that medical issues like endometriosis, cysts, infertility, and impotence are caused by sex with “spirit husbands” and “spirit wives”—a phenomenon Immanuel describes essentially as witches and demons having sex with people in a dreamworld.

“They are responsible for serious gynecological problems,” Immanuel said. “We call them all kinds of names—endometriosis, we call them molar pregnancies, we call them fibroids, we call them cysts, but most of them are evil deposits from the spirit husband,” Immanuel said of the medical issues in a 2013 sermon. “They are responsible for miscarriages, impotence—men that can’t get it up.”

In her sermon, Immanuel offers a sort of demonology of “nephilim,” the biblical characters she claims exist as demonic spirits and lust after dream sex with humans, causing all matter of real health problems and financial ruin. Immanuel claims real-life ailments such as fibroid tumors and cysts stem from the demonic sperm after demon dream sex, an activity she claims affects “many women.”

“They turn into a woman and then they sleep with the man and collect his sperm,”   Immanuel said in her sermon. “Then they turn into the man and they sleep with a man and deposit the sperm and reproduce more of themselves.”

According to Immanuel, people can tell if they have taken a demonic spirit husband or spirit wife if they have a sex dream about someone they know or a celebrity, wake up aroused, stop getting along with their real-world spouse, lose money, or generally experience any hardship.

Alternately, they could just be having dream-sex with a human witch instead of a demon, she posits.

“There are those that are called astral sex,” Immanuel said in the sermon. “That means this person is not really a demon being or a nephilim. It’s just a human being that’s a witch, and they astral project and sleep with people.”

Immanuel’s bizarre medical ideas don’t stop with demon sex in dreams. In a 2015 sermon that laid out a supposed Illuminati plan hatched by “a witch” to destroy the world using abortion, gay marriage, and children’s toys, among other things, Immanuel claimed that DNA from space aliens is currently being used in medicine.

“They’re using all kinds of DNA, even alien DNA, to treat people,” Immanuel said.

Immanuel’s website offers a prayer to remove a generational curse originally received from an ancestor but transmitted, in Immanuel’s telling, through placenta. Immanuel claimed in another 2015 sermon posted that scientists had plans to install microchips in people, and develop a “vaccine” to make it impossible to become religious.

“They found the gene in somebody’s mind that makes you religious, so they can vaccinate against it,” Immanuel said.

Immanuel elaborated on her fascination with witchcraft in her 2015 Illuminati sermon, claiming that witches were intent on seizing control of children.

In her 2015 sermon on the Illuminati’s supposed agenda to bring down the United States, Immanuel argues that a wide variety of toys, books, and TV shows, from Pokémon—which she declares “Eastern demons”—to Harry Potter and the Disney Channel shows Wizards of Waverly Place and That’s So Raven were all part of a scheme to introduce children to spirits and witches. Immanuel warned that the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana was a gateway to evil, because its character had an “alter ego.” She has claimed that schools teach children to meditate so they can “meet with demons.”

In the sermon, Immanuel preserved special vitriol for the Magic 8-Ball, a toy that can be shaken up to “reveal” any answer. Immanuel claims the otherwise innocuous Magic 8-Ball was in fact a scheme to get children used to witchcraft.

“The 8-Ball was a psychic,” she said.

Immanuel’s oddball claims about the world extend to politics. She didn’t bring up this allegation publicly in Washington, but she has claimed that the American government is run in part by non-human reptilians.

“There are people that are ruling this nation that are not even human,” Immanuel said in her 2015 Illuminati sermon, before launching into a conversation she had with a “reptilian spirit” she described as “half-human, half-ET.”

Immanuel has also used her pulpit to preach hatred of LGBT people. Shortly before the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, Immanuel warned her flock that gay marriage meant that “very soon people are going to be seeking to marry children” and accused gay Americans of practicing “homosexual terrorism.” In the same sermon, she praised a father’s decision to not love his transgender son after a gender transition.

“You know the crazy part?” Immanuel said. “The little girl demands he must love her anyway. Really? You will not get it from me, I’d be like ‘Little girl, when you come back to be a little girl again, but you talk—for now, I’m gone.’”

Unusually for a pediatrician, Immanuel has praised corporal punishment for children.      The American Academy of Pediatrics opposes corporal punishment, and claims that the “vast majority” of pediatricians do not recommend it.

“Children need to be whipped,” she declared in a 2015 sermon, before adding that she didn’t think children should be “abused.”

It’s also not clear that Immanuel has abided by her claims that face masks aren’t necessary. In her Washington speech, Immanuel claimed that she and her medical staff had avoided any COVID-19 infections while wearing only medical masks. But in two videos shot at her clinic, Immanuel appears to be wearing an N95 mask, which offers more protection.

Immanuel has also alleged that masks of all kinds are superfluous, because she says COVID-19 can be easily cured with hydroxychloroquine. But in a Facebook video advertising her clinic, Immanuel said anyone seeking treatment should wear a face mask before entering the clinic.

“Wear a mask, or a scarf, or anything to cover your face,” Immanuel said in the video.

Immanuel has seized on her newfound celebrity, tweeting a video demanding that CNN hosts and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases chief Anthony Fauci give her jars of their urine so she can test if they’re secretly taking hydroxychloroquine even as they caution against its use.

“I double dog dare y’all give me a urine sample,” Immanuel tweeted in her challenge.

Now Immanuel is angling for the key rite of passage for any budding MAGA-world personality: a visit to the Trump White House. Late Monday night, Immanuel tweeted that she was open to meeting the president.

“Mr President I’m in town and available,” she tweeted. “I will love to meet with you.”

 

Spectacular’: Trump praises doctor who dismissed face masks after viral video

Clip claiming benefits of hydroxychloroquine for coronavirus was removed by social media companies over false information

July 28, 2020

by David Smith in Washington

The Guardian

Donald Trump has praised as “spectacular” a doctor who wrongly dismissed the use of face masks to combat the coronavirus as well as reportedly claiming that alien DNA is used in medical treatments and some gynecological problems are caused by people dreaming about having sex with demons.

A group of lab coat-wearing doctors posted an online video on Monday to make a string of inaccurate assertions about the coronavirus that contradicted official government guidelines. Among them was a woman who identified herself as Dr Stella Immanuel and said: “You don’t need masks. There is a cure.”

The US president tweeted a version of the video, which rapidly gained tens of thousands of views on Facebook and YouTube before both companies took it down for containing false public health information. The president’s son Donald Trump Jr had his Twitter account restricted by the company for 12 hours after calling the video a “must watch”.

At a White House press conference on Tuesday, Trump expressed puzzlement over why the so-called “America’s Frontline Doctors” video had been removed, noting that Immanuel claimed to be treating hundreds of Covid-19 patients with the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, which he has long championed despite federal public health advice that it is ineffective against coronavirus.

“I don’t know why,” he told reporters. “I think they’re very respected doctors. There was a woman who was spectacular in her statements about it and she’s had tremendous success with it.”

But Kaitlan Collins, White House correspondent for CNN, challenged the president. “The woman that you said was a ‘great doctor’ in that video that you retweeted last night said that masks don’t work and there is a cure for Covid-19, both of which health experts say is not true,” she said.

“She’s also made videos saying that doctors make medicine using DNA from aliens and that they’re trying to create a vaccine to make you immune from becoming religious.”

Looking increasingly agitated, Trump replied: “Maybe it’s the same [person], maybe it’s not, but I can tell you this. She was on air along with many other doctors. They were big fans of hydroxychloroquine and I thought she was very impressive in the sense that, from where she came – I don’t know which country she comes from – but she said that she’s had tremendous success with hundreds of different patients.

“And I thought her voice was an important voice, but I know nothing about her.”

Collins followed up but Trump abruptly wound up the press conference, talking over her by saying, “OK, thank you very much, everybody,” and departing the briefing room.

Immanuel is a registered doctor in Texas, according to the Texas Medical Board, and runs a clinic in a strip mall next to her church, Firepower Ministries, the Daily Beast reported.

“She has often claimed that gynecological problems like cysts and endometriosis are in fact caused by people having sex in their dreams with demons and witches. She alleges alien DNA is currently used in medical treatments, and that scientists are cooking up a vaccine to prevent people from being religious,” the Daily Beast added.

Trump himself has frequently touted hydroxychloroquine and last month said he was taking it himself. But the US Food and Drug Administration revoked its emergency-use authorisation for hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 after several studies cast doubt on its effectiveness.

On Tuesday morning, the leading public health expert on the White House coronavirus taskforce, Anthony Fauci, once again squashed claims that the drug is a useful treatment for Covid-19.

“The overwhelming prevailing clinical trials that have looked at the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine have indicated that it is not effective in coronavirus disease,” he said.

At the Tuesday presidential briefing, however, Trump continued to defend it. “Many doctors think it is extremely successful, the hydroxychloroquine,” he said. “Some people don’t. Some people, I think it’s become very political. I happen to believe in it. I would take it. As you know, I took it for a 14-day period and I’m here, right? I’m here.”

Last month a New York Times/Siena College poll found that 67% of Americans trust Fauci, who is also the country’s top infectious diseases expert, for accurate information about the coronavirus, whereas only 26% trust Trump.

The president mused: “He’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect – and the administration – with respect to the virus? We should have it very high. So it sort of is curious, a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr Fauci and Dr [Deborah] Birx also, very highly thought of – and yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me? It can only be my personality, that’s all!”

The Democratic National Committee condemned Trump for rejecting federal health experts and promoting Immanuel. Lily Adams, its war room senior spokesperson and adviser, said: “Trump spent today’s coronavirus briefing promoting snake oil doctors and unsafe, unproven treatments because he is incapable of acting decisively to get the coronavirus under control as we near 150,000 deaths, cases spike nationwide, and millions of Americans remain unemployed.

“There’s no new tone – this is who Trump is and always will be: a conspiracy theorist content to gamble with the lives of others. We need a president who listens to real medical experts and can be trusted to make decisions that will keep Americans safe.”

 

Strange Sips, Steps Raise Concerns About Trump’s Health

— CNN’s Gupta: “A lot of clues, but no conclusions”

June 16, 2020

by Kristina Fiore

MedPage

Media reports have been raising questions about President Donald Trump’s health after videos of his graduation speech Saturday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, began circulating.

During the speech, Trump began to raise a glass of water to his mouth with his right hand, but appeared to have trouble lifting it further, bringing up his left hand to help.

After the speech ended, he walked slowly and haltingly down a ramp to get off stage, watching his feet the entire time, with an Army general at his side for the whole descent.

That evening, Trump defended himself on Twitter, calling the ramp “very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. The last thing I was going to do is ‘fall’ for the Fake News to have fun with.”

The next day, June 14, Trump turned 74, the oldest any president has been during his first term. His age, combined with limited information on the president’s overall health, have led to speculation about whether the episodes point to some larger neurological problem.

Physicians are hesitant to speculate about what that condition, if one exists at all, might be. On CNN, Sanjay Gupta, MD, said it’s “so hard to say” if the president has neurological issues just from looking at a video.

“I talked to a bunch of neurologists over the weekend, a lot of people talking about this,” Gupta said. “People always have something to say and weigh in on this, but I’ll start with the end: there are a lot of clues in there, but no conclusions.”

He shared insights into what questions might run through physicians’ heads after watching the tape: “Is it balance problems? Is there some weakness there? Is there numbness in the feet, perhaps a type of neuropathy? Is it just a slippery ramp as the president said, or slippery shoes?”

“We don’t know and I think you have to be very cautious in trying to determine anything, certainly not diagnose anything or even speculate on this,” Gupta said.

Gupta said the fact that Trump was looking down at his feet the entire time struck him “even more than his gait. The gait could be explained by a lot of different things.”

Still, he cautioned that it was only a 20-second video: “I think anybody would have a hard time making anything of it.”

It’s not the first time Trump has struggled with raising a glass of water to his mouth. A January 2018 article in The Atlantic questioned whether Trump has any cognitive or neurological issues, citing an episode the previous November in which Trump used his left hand to steady a bottle of water as he was drinking it; and in another appearance the next month, he grabbed a glass of water with both hands and held it like that for the entire sip.

That same month, December 2017, Trump slurred his words during a speech on relocating the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

More recently, in November 2019, Trump made an unscheduled visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, but his aides dismissed it as part of a routine annual physical that included lab work.

In an unusual late-night memo at the time, White House physician Cmdr. Sean Conley, MD, wrote that “[d]espite some of the speculation, the president has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues. Specifically, he did not undergo any specialized cardiac or neurologic evaluations.”

Trump’s health has largely been a black box. Earlier this month, Conley released a memo about a routine physical that provided little information beyond the president’s height and weight — 244 pounds and 6 feet 3 inches tall, putting him in the obese category with a BMI of 30.49 — and blood pressure, along with a description of his use of hydroxychloroquine after potentially being exposed to staffers who tested positive for COVID-19.

It also indicated that Trump’s cholesterol is now well controlled on a statin, falling to 167 from 196 last year.

 

Washington state officials confirm federal officers leaving Seattle

July 28, 2020

by Tal Axelrod

The Hill

Washington state officials confirmed Tuesday that a federal law enforcement unit is leaving Seattle after being sent to the city to quell ongoing demonstrations there.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) and Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement that the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Border Patrol Tactical Unit has left Seattle after being deployed there “without the consultation or consent of state and local officials.”

“The president’s actions to target and ‘dominate’ Democratic cities through the use of federal forces is chilling. It has increased violence in Portland, Seattle and other cities across the country, which was what the president intended. Policing decisions in Seattle should be made by Chief Best – not Donald Trump, and we can rest assured that they will be,” Durkan said.

The officers were first sent to Seattle last week amid a wave of national protests against systemic racism and police brutality that was sparked by the killing of George Floyd in May.

The Trump administration has claimed the deployments were intended to restore “law and order” against “anarchist” demonstrators, but local officials panned the move as a provocation.

“This demobilization means Washingtonians no longer have to worry about the White House’s aim to provoke confrontation and undermine peaceful protests,” said Inslee. “Those peacefully protesting have raised the public’s consciousness of the urgent need for racial justice, and I have no doubt they will continue to use their voices to call for action. We must continue making progress toward a better and more just Washington for everyone.”

The team that had been sent to Seattle is similar to the units that remain in Portland, Ore., to fortify federal property that has been damaged by protesters amid ongoing demonstrations there.

President Trump has fired back against criticism that the deployments are an overreaction, casting the protests as being led by violent “anarchists,” though many of the demonstrations have been peaceful.

“The Fake News Media is trying to portray the Portland and Seattle ‘protesters’ as wonderful, sweet and innocent people just out for a little stroll. Actually, they are sick and deranged Anarchists & Agitators who our great men & women of Law Enforcement easily control, but who…would destroy our American cities, and worse…” he tweeted Monday.

 

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Lieu, introduce amendment to curtail Federal crackdown on protesters

The amendment would prohibit funds from being used to send federal agents into American cities.

by Aída Chávez

July 28, 2020

The Intercept

Democratic reps.Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ted Lieu of California are proposing an amendment this week that would prohibit funds from being used to send federal agents into American cities as part of Operation Legend or Operation Relentless Pursuit: Justice Department initiatives that have led brutal crackdowns on protesters in cities like Portland, Oregon. While the Trump administration has framed the dispatching of secret police as efforts meant “to help state and local officials fight the surge of violent crime,” critics such as Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden and Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner have called the tactics “fascist.”

The measure, which was filed as an amendment to the upcoming House Appropriations bill, is co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, of Michigan, Deb Haaland of New Mexico, and Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. The House Rules Committee is meeting today to decide which of the hundreds of amendments filed will be considered for a minibus spending package this week.

“I thank Rep. Lieu for co-leading this important amendment,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “Federal law enforcement officers are snatching Americans off of street corners and placing them into unmarked cars for the ‘crime’ of exercising their First Amendment rights. The United States of America should not have secret police. The idea that these federal law enforcement officers are there to protect Americans is a farce. In his testimony today, Attorney General Bill Barr made clear once again that his only priority is to reelect the President, not to protect the American people.”

In Portland, officers have been using violent tactics against protests over racism and police brutality, facing off with demonstrators around the federal courthouse every night for about two months now. There have also been recent reports and videos of anonymous, militarized federal agents snatching protesters off the street, throwing them into vans, and driving off.

Last week, President Donald Trump announced his administration is expanding the operation — which Democratic lawmakers have denounced as authoritarian and his “shadowy army” — to send agents to Chicago and Albuquerque. The White House has also outlined plans to send law enforcement to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee — despite concern from many mayors and elected officials. More than 200 agents have been sent to Kansas City, Missouri, as part of Operation Legend.

“Portland is struggling with the economic disaster of COVID-19 … and, by the way, crime in Portland has actually been lower than average in recent weeks,” Wyden wrote in a recent NBC News op-ed. “It seems that, because liberal Portland in blue Oregon is not the violent wasteland the far-right echo chamber imagines, Trump and his flunkies are determined to bring violence to us.”

Wyden, along with several other Senate Democrats, also pushed for similar action in the Senate, sending a letter to their colleagues in the Appropriations Committee on July 24.

Attorney General William Barr announced the launch of Operation Relentless Pursuit, which committed at least $71 million in funding to bulk up law enforcement, in December 2019. Operation Legend, meanwhile, has been used to send federal agents to assist police officers.

Trump has been crafting a law-and-order narrative as part of his reelection bid, accusing Democratic lawmakers of failing to respond to violence stemming from the protests over the police killing of George Floyd. In reality, the police have instigated or escalated several of the clashes and riots, including in Portland where a U.S. Marshal severely injured a protester. The deployments include increased numbers of agents from the FBI; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; U.S. Marshal Service; and Department of Homeland Security.

 

GOP under mounting pressure to strike virus deal quickly

July 29, 2020

by Alexander Bolton

The Hill

Republican lawmakers faced with slipping poll numbers and economic indicators acknowledge they are under pressure to reach a quick deal with Democrats on a new coronavirus package.

Armed with more leverage, Democrats will likely not agree to any deal unless it is closer to the $3.4 trillion bill the House passed in May. Republican officials don’t see any advantages to drawing the battle out.

GOP senators say there are several significant factors that weigh in favor of reaching a deal soon. They include the expiration of the $600-a-week federal enhancement to state unemployment benefits, the expiration of the federal moratorium on evictions, the recent wave of new coronavirus infections in Sun Belt and Midwestern states, the fast-approaching start of the school year, and a wave of potential small-business closures predicted for the weeks ahead.

“It has to be timely,” said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) of the timeline for passing a measure.

“The goal is to get it done quickly,” he said, adding that “it takes time to deploy money for the testing” and noting that the last round of federal supplemental unemployment benefits are being sent this week.

“Everyone here should feel pressure because this is a rolling economic emergency we’re facing. Every day that goes by with headlines about how far apart we are injects negativity that has an economic consequence,” added Rubio, who chairs the Small Business Committee.

Sen. Thom Tillis (N.C.), one of the chamber’s most vulnerable Republican incumbents, said he wants a deal concluded soon so that constituents don’t see a break in enhanced unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

“I think we want to get something fairly soon so we have continuity of UI benefits in particular,” he said.

It remains unclear if Congress can strike an agreement by the end of next week, when the Senate is scheduled to adjourn for its August recess.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also warned Tuesday about the lapse of enhanced unemployment benefits.

“I’d like to see us move on unemployment as soon as possible. It would be nice if we could get everything at the same time, but I really do not want to have people lose their supplemental unemployment benefit, whatever that number might be,” he said.

Some Republican lawmakers have floated the possibility of moving a short-term extension of the federal addition to state unemployment benefits, although at a lower number than the $600-a-week boost provided by the CARES Act, the initial virus bill that was signed into law earlier this year.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, on Monday dismissed that idea, telling reporters: “Forget it.”

Republican senators don’t want to undercut their negotiating position but privately acknowledge it’s in their interest to cut a deal with Democrats quickly.

“I do want to get something done. The challenges people are facing is now and it’s important that we do our efforts quickly,” said a GOP senator who requested anonymity to comment on the pressure on Republicans to clinch a deal in the next week or two.

The senator cited the expiring boost to unemployment benefits as a problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible.

“The [unemployment insurance] issue is one of the pieces of leverage that forces Congress to work more quickly,” the lawmaker said.

Republicans are well aware that President Trump’s chances of winning reelection, and their chances of keeping the majority, will depend largely on public perceptions of the strength of the economy and how well the president has responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump’s job approval rating is hovering around 40 percent in recent polls and the approval rating of his performance in handling the pandemic was 32 percent in a recent Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

Weighed down by Trump’s weak numbers, GOP incumbents are trailing or in dead-heat races in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Montana and North Carolina.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) noted Tuesday that the start of the new school year is fast approaching and that it will likely take the Department of Education and states about a month to fully implement federal funding to make classrooms and school schedules safer.

“The president and Senate Republicans have recommended $105 billion for back to school and back to college,” he said. “In the South, school is beginning right away and the whole purpose of this funding is to make sure the schools can open safely with as many children physically present as possible. So the sooner the better.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called on negotiators to focus on core issues related to responding to the pandemic and to jettison provisions that are not really relevant and are likely to spark political controversy and slow down the talks.

The GOP leader told reporters that he opposes “nongermane” amendments such as the $1.75 billion in funding for a new FBI headquarters in downtown Washington, which the administration asked to be included in a joint White House-Senate Republican relief bill.

“I am opposed to nongermane amendments, whether it’s funding for the FBI building or, for example, in the House bill, whether it’s a tax cut for high-income earners in blue states,” McConnell said.

“When we get to the end of the process, I would hope all of the non-COVID-related measures are out, no matter what bill they were in at the start,” he added.

Democrats on Monday seized on the inclusion of money for refurbishing the FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue in the GOP opening proposal as an attempt by Trump to protect the Trump International Hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue from the possibility that a new luxury hotel might move into the spot currently occupied by the FBI.

The problem GOP lawmakers face is that Democrats will demand a high price for passing a bill that could be crucial to Trump’s chances of winning reelection and Senate GOP hopes of saving endangered incumbents.

While Republicans want to cap the next relief bill at $1 trillion, Democrats are calling for $3.4 trillion in new stimulus, with $1 trillion set aside just for cash-strapped state and local governments. Conservatives in the Senate are adamantly against adding trillions more to the exploding deficit.

After receiving a briefing from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows during a Senate GOP lunch meeting, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told reporters that the cost of the relief bill is likely to swell significantly.

“This is not going to be the bill. The chief of staff was just talking about [how] they’re going to negotiate with Pelosi,” he said, predicting the final version of the legislation will bear little resemblance to the joint proposal put together last week by White House and Senate GOP negotiators.

On Tuesday evening, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) ripped the Trump administration in a statement: “We have two big government Democrats — Secretary Mnuchin on behalf of the Trump administration and Speaker Pelosi on behalf of binge-spending politicians everywhere —  playing gross games with your kids’ money.”

Another significant obstacle to a quick deal is McConnell’s demand that new legislation include a five-year liability shield to protect businesses, schools, colleges, churches and other organizations from coronavirus-related litigation.

He reiterated his position Tuesday.

 

Police Departments Benefit From Police Militarization Program, but at What Cost to Communities?

Local sheriffs claim they need military vehicles and firearms to protect communities, but experts caution against police militarization.

July 28, 2020

by Alexandra Marquez

The Defense Post

On June 18, the Moundsville Police Department rolled their brand new mine-resistant vehicle, or MRAP, out of a massive garage. The vehicle was enormous, loud, and painted the color of desert sand. It looked like it belonged in a warzone in Afghanistan rather than in a parking lot in rural West Virginia.

As the MRAP rolled at the pace of a few miles per hour, a local TV reporter recorded the scene. She immediately took to Twitter, captioning a video of the massive MRAP: “The Moundsville Police Department has added a vehicle to the fleet!”

The video almost instantly exploded on social media, garnering 6.5 million views to date. Angry citizens in the replies complained about the over-militarization of police and asked why a police department in a town of fewer than 9,000 people could possibly need a military-grade MRAP.

Though the tweet faded after a few days, Americans have increasingly begun to scrutinize police departments about their ownership and use of military equipment in the last few months.

As protests against George Floyd’s slaying by police exploded across the country in early June, demonstrators in cities across the US were met with militarized police departments and officers armed with riot batons, rifles, military vehicles, MRAPs, and more.

These police departments have a variety of options for purchasing or acquiring their military equipment but by far one of the most popular methods is through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) 1033 program, which gives surplus military equipment from the Pentagon to law enforcement departments across the country.

1033 and the Defense Logistics Agency

Currently, over 8,200 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies participate in the 1033 program and hold military equipment from the DoD. The program was created in 1997 through a law passed by Congress to allow for the transfer of excess DoD equipment to local law enforcement agencies.

In 2019, 92 percent of the equipment given out through the 1033 program was classified as “non-controlled,” or general, property, which includes things like office supplies, nursing equipment, and computers. The remaining 8 percent of equipment handed out is “controlled” and given to law enforcement agencies on a loan. This includes equipment like armored vehicles, rifles, handguns, MRAPs, aircraft, and night vision equipment.

The handouts of controlled equipment are the increasingly dangerous portion of the 1033 program, according to Sabrina Karim, an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University.

“There’s no doubt that [law enforcement agencies] benefit from receiving a lot of things that are a help that they do need — things like office desks and chairs,” Karim told The Defense Post. “But where I think the problem comes is when they get some of these bigger ticket items that are militaristic and that were developed by DoD to be military equipment.”

She added that it can alarm people when police begin to look like fully armed military squadrons right in the middle of communities.

“The more that the police look like the military, the less of a traditional policing role they have and they become soldiers and not police officers,” Karim said. “That takes away from any kind of community engagement [and] trust in law enforcement.”

The Dangers of Militarized Police        

In a paper published in 2017, researchers found that an increase in 1033 equipment by law enforcement agencies led to an increase in police violence and an increase in civilians killed by police in those jurisdictions.

“There’s no real benefit to any drop in crime from militarization, it doesn’t make police officers more safe, and it really just makes people dislike police more,” Casey Delehanty, Assistant Professor of Global Studies at Gardner-Webb University and a co-author of the 2017 paper, told The Defense Post.

Beyond the growing evidence that militarized police forces are not more effective in reducing crime rates, there are also inherent dangers to having a militarized police force that receives equipment they would not have had without the 1033 program.

“You get this kind of equipment and it’s kind of like a Christmas present — you really want to play with it when you open it,” Karim said. “There’s kind of a really quick urge to use it for the first year for very small things when it definitely should not be used for small-time crime, but there’s the incentive to use it because it’s this shiny new toy that this department has gotten that they want to show off and use.”

Additionally, Karim said, certain communities can begin to fear police if they are so militaristic and will cease calling them during emergencies for fear they will respond with too much force.

“If you’re patrolling the streets this way, you can imagine that people are not going to be reporting crimes because that’s the new face of the police and it’s a scary face,” Karim added. “It’s particularly a scary face among the African-American community and Latino community.”

Who Gets What?

Though over 8,200 law enforcement departments have been recipients of some kind of military equipment through the 1033 program, it’s important to recognize which departments purchase their own controlled equipment and which have to acquire it from the DoD, Delehanty said.

“If you look through the data on it, one of the things you’ll find is that most major cities don’t have much coming through that program,” Delehanty said, because they often have big police budgets and can afford to purchase military equipment through commercial channels.

Delehanty added that it’s easier for big police departments in major cities to justify the use of funds on military equipment to their elected officials.

“The problem is you get these very tiny towns that don’t really have a municipal budget, nor can they really justify spending that out of the municipal budget for a $700,000 armored personnel carrier,” Delehanty said.

According to Sheriff Mike Lewis, this is the exact reason the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office on the Eastern Shore of Maryland decided to purchase an MRAP through the 1033 program.

His county has a population of about 100,000 and is two hours southeast of Baltimore County, Maryland, which hosts a population of almost 830,000. The MRAP wasn’t initially to police his own residents, Lewis said, but rather to patrol those coming in and out of the county.

US Rt. 13 and US Rt. 50, two major interstate highways, intersect in Wicomico County. For years, US 13 has been, “heavily used as a preferred route for major drug traffickers coming from Miami to New York to avoid the interstate 95 enforcement efforts of the Maryland State Police,” Lewis said.

To beef up enforcement against drug traffickers, Lewis had looked into acquiring an armored vehicle for years before his sheriff’s department got involved in the 1033 program. He’d never been granted the funds to purchase one.

“Up until the 1033 program … you couldn’t touch one of those armored vehicles for under $400,000 to $450,000. Some were well over half a million dollars to build and acquire for law enforcement. That was something I certainly didn’t have the funds to purchase,” Lewis told The Defense Post.

“Despite my pleas to our congressmen to fund an armored vehicle that I would make available for the entire Delmarva Peninsula, it fell on deaf ears until the 1033 program,” he added.

As soon as he was able to, Lewis started the process of procuring an armored vehicle and in 2014, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office became home to an MRAP.

Similarly, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Texas, which patrols in one of the most populous counties in Texas, acquired an enormous amount of controlled military property through the 1033 program because it was the cheapest source of the equipment.

Among plenty of non-controlled equipment, the Harris County Sheriff’s office has also acquired multiple aircraft, one MRAP, and multiple humvees through the 1033 program.

“The primary reason these pieces of equipment were obtained through the 1033 program instead of through a commercial source is completely one of fiduciary responsibility,” Jason Spencer, a spokesperson for the department, told The Defense Post in an email. “As a local government entity, it only makes sense to use a piece of equipment that still has a usable service life and can be acquired at no cost to the local government.”

Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri, is a much smaller and less populous area than Harris County, Texas, with a population of almost 18,000. And yet, the Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff’s Office does have an MRAP they acquired through the 1033 program.

“I would’ve preferred to have a much smaller armored vehicle, but we could not find any and the MRAP was the only armored vehicle that I could get my hands on,” Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Gary Stolzer told The Defense Post. “I have no other armored vehicles and I don’t have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on an armored vehicle.”

Though it’s easy, cheap, and convenient to acquire military equipment from the DoD, Delehanty cautions against the conclusion that police departments should be granted access to excess controlled military supplies.

“So, 1033 becomes super, super useful for the very tiny police departments to get stuff,” Delehanty said. “Whether or not they should be getting that stuff is another question.”

‘I’m Coming for You’

Ste. Genevieve County Sheriff Stolzer deems the MRAP his department acquired through 1033 necessary to protect his deputies and his citizens, regardless of outside views.

“I think you’ll find it more common in rural Missouri to see [military equipment] than you will up in the city because in the city all they’re worried about is public perception and not the safety of their men,” he said.

“Their leaders up there are too brain dead to allow their men to have things to save them,” Stolzer added. “In rural Missouri, our citizens support us having any equipment we can get our hands on to protect our men and the people here. They don’t care what it looks like.”

There is very little public opinion polling on the 1033 program. A study from 2018 indicated that most people were not aware a program like 1033 existed. A more recent poll from Data for Progress shows that a slim majority of people support making it illegal for the federal government to give heavy-duty military weapons to police departments.

Some of the military equipment police departments have, like the MRAPs and other armored vehicles, are rarely seen by the public at all.

In Maryland, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office has only used their MRAP three times for purposes other than navigating through high water, according to Sheriff Lewis. Twice it was used in other counties. One of those instances was to assist the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to serve warrants for suspected bomb-making.

The third time was in 2015 during protests in Baltimore City over the death of 25-year-old Black man Freddie Gray in police custody.

“It was actually used to transport sheriff’s deputies and other law enforcement personnel from one location to the next in the city,” Lewis said. “[The Baltimore City police department was] well aware of the resources that I was bringing into the city and they had determined that they wanted my MRAP because it was the largest militarized armored vehicle present during the entire riots.”

The vehicle was also positioned at strategic points around the city on different days of the protests to protect churches, businesses, and city hall, Lewis said.

“We were met by between 3,000 and 5,000 demonstrators and honestly violent protesters who were looting, rioting, and burning vehicles in the streets,” Lewis said.

Ryan Welch, a professor of political science at the University of Tampa who co-authored the paper on police militarization with Delehanty, cautioned against the use of military equipment like MRAPs during a period of civil unrest.

“There is research that shows that protests can become more violent when met with violent means themselves,” he told The Defense Post. “Drawing a line in the sand with a bunch of militarized troops and vehicles creates a battlespace in which protesters then feel that they’re there. And that might incite some number of people to engage in violence.”

Delehanty reached a similar conclusion.

“The literature generally emphasizes de-escalation as the way to protect from protests,” he said. “I think we’ve seen over the past couple of months that militarized police responses to ongoing protests tend to lead to worse situations, not better.”

For Sheriff Lewis, though, military equipment, whether or not it’s acquired through the 1033 program, has become essential to the work of law enforcement officers in his county and essential to protecting his citizens.

“We live in the greatest country in the world and I 150 percent support demonstrations and protests. But when they become violent and they start looting and rioting, you’re going to jail, bottom line. I’m coming for you,” he said.

Assistant Professor Karim agreed with the other researchers that de-escalation is a better way to quell violent protests than militarization.

“The signal that is being sent is that we’re not going to meet you as a person, we’re going to meet you as a soldier,” Karim said. “As opposed to, let’s find a dialogue and find a solution.”

She advocates for citizens and police officers to come together to create a more stable and healthy relationship for the future.

“The first step is to start this dialogue … Police officers need to understand that their tactics and strategies have not been working and it may have particularly not been working in communities of color,” Karim said. “The only way to do that is to start having them talk to people … I do think that a big part of the solution is to reimagine policing.”

 

The Strange Cult of Mohammad: The Coming Grand Expulsions

by Manfred Köhler

What is Islam? Who was Mohammad?

Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, articulated by the Qur’an, a text considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God and by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad’s teachings.

Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable and that the purpose of life is to worship God They regard their religion as the completed and universal version of a primordial, monotheistic faith revealed at many times and places before, including, notably, to the prophets Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Islamic tradition holds that previous messages and revelations have been changed and distorted over time. Religious practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are five obligatory acts of worship. Islamic law touches on virtually every aspect of life and society, encompassing everything from banking and warfare to welfare and the environment.

The majority of Muslims belong to one of two denominations, the Sunni and the Shi’a. About 13% of Muslims live in Indonesia, the largest Muslim country.31% in the Indian Subcontinent, 20% in the Middle Eastand 15% in Sub-saharan Africa. Sizable communities are also found in China and Russia, and parts of the Caribbean. Converts and immigrant communities are found in almost every part of the world. With about 1.57 billion Muslims comprising about 23% of the world’s population (see Islam by country), Islam is the second-largest religion in the world and arguably the fastest-growing religion in the world.

Islam’s fundamental theological concept is the belief that there is only one god. The Arabic term for God is Allah. Other non-Arabic nations might use different names, for instance in Turkey, the Turkish word for God, “Tanrı” is used as much as Allah. The first of the Five Pillars of Islam, declares that there is no god but God, and that Muhammad is God’s messenger. In traditional Islamic theology, God is beyond all comprehension; Muslims are not expected to visualize God but to worship and adore Him as the Protector. Muslims believe the purpose of life is to worship God. Although Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, they reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity and divinity of Jesus, comparing it to polytheism. In Islamic theology, Jesus was just a man and not the son of God;

Muhammad (c. 570 – June 8, 632) was a trader and camel-breeder and who later became  a religious, political, and military leader.

Muslims now view him, not as the creator of a new religion, but as the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others. In Muslim tradition, Muhammad is viewed as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets—as the man closest to perfection, the possessor of all virtues. For the last 22 years of his life, in 610, beginning at age 40, Muhammad started receiving what he claimed were “revelations from God.” It now also appears that Muhammed suffered from some form of Alzheimer’s Disease and that his final days were given to long and senseless utterances that his supporters claimed were ‘revelations.’ The content of these revelations, known as the Qur’an, was memorized and recorded by his companions.

During this time, Muhammad preached to the people of Mecca, imploring them to abandon polytheism. Although some converted to Islam, Muhammad and his followers were persecuted by the leading Meccan authorities. After 12 years of preaching, Muhammad and the Muslims performed the Hijra (“emigration”) to the city of Medina in 622. There, with the Medinan converts and the Meccan migrants Muhammad established his political and religious authority. Within years, two battles had been fought against Meccan forces: the Battle of Badr in 624, which was a Muslim victory, and the Battle of Uhud in 625, which ended inconclusively. Conflict with Medinan Jewish clans who opposed the Muslims led to their exile, enslavement or death, and the Jewish enclave of Khaybar was subdued. At the same time, Meccan trade routes were cut off as Muhammad brought surrounding desert tribes under his control. By 629 Muhammad was victorious in the nearly bloodless Conquest of Mecca, and by the time of his death in 632 (at the age of 62) he and his followers ruled over the Arabian peninsula.

In 630 A.D. Mecca was re-taken followed by the battle of Hunain wherein the army under command of the Prophet, the non-Muslim tribes were defeated , and a large number of the enemy were killed but, under the Prophet’s order, no child was harmed. Often, after such a murderous battle, Muhammad had young children, both boys and girls, brought before him, had them stripped naked and then chose ones he wished “to lie with.”

One day after battle, Muhammad came back home and said to his daughter Fatima, “Wash the blood from this sword and I swear in the name of Allah this sword was obeying me all the time.” .

The number of military campaigns Muhammad led in person during the last ten years of his life is twenty-seven, in nine of which there was hard fighting.  The number of expeditions which he planned and sent out under other leaders is thirty-eight

Muhammad’s last speech to his followers on Mt Arafat:

…..”I descended by Allah with the sword in my hand, and my wealth will come from the shadow of my sword.  And the one who will disagree with me will be humiliated and persecuted.”

Muhammad told Abu Sufyan: “Woe to you! Accept Islam and testify that Muhammad is the apostle of God before your neck is cut off by the sword.” Thus he professed the faith of Islam and became a Muslim. This man, Abu Sufyan, was not a believer at first, but he quickly “believed” after he was threatened by death.’

So, even before Muhammad pagans were worshipping this black stone in the Kaba.  Are we surprised that although Muhammad  proclaimed only one God, he continued to participate in idol worship at this pagan shrine (Kaba); and Muslims still do idol worship there today.  The black stone of Ka’aba is nothing but a holdover within Islam, from pre-Islamic paganism.

There is evidence that black stones were commonly worshipped in the Arab world.  In 190 A.D. Clement of Alexandria mentioned that “the Arabs worship stone”.  He was alluding to the black stone of Dusares at Petra.  In the 2nd century, Maximus Tyrius wrote; “The Arabians pay homage to I know not what god, which they represent by a quadrangular stone”.  Maximus was speaking of the Kaaba (Ka’ba) that contains the Black Stone.

Muhammad led 27 military campaigns against innocent villages and caravans and planned 38 others

“I am the prophet that laughs when killing my enemies.”

Muhammad posed as an apostle of God, yet his life was filled with lustfulness (12 marriages and sex with many children, both male and female, slaves and concubines), rapes, warfare, conquests, and unmerciful butcheries.  The infinitely good, just and all holy God preached by Muhammad simply cannot tolerate anything in the least unjust or sinful.        What Muhammad produced in the Qur’an is simply a book of gibberish consisting of later evil verses superseding earlier peaceful verses. These verses in Arabic poetically “tickle” the ears of Arab listeners.

Modern Islam is a caustic blend of paganism and twisted Bible stories.      Muhammad, its lone “prophet”, who made no prophecies, conceived his religion to satiate his lust for power, sex, and money. He was a terrorist. And if you think these conclusions are shocking, additional research will easily uncover the evidence mostly from Islamic historians 70% of what is here is from Muslim and ex-Muslim historians – back to the 8th century.

Accordingly, after a degenerative disease of which the main symptom were headache, loss of memory, increasing skin eruptions and incontinence, he died in the arms of his favorite wife, Aysha, on Radiulawwal 11 A.H.—633 A.D.

After an objective and lengthy study of the life of Muhammad, the only rational conclusion is that Islam’s lone prophet was a ruthless terrorist, a mass-murderer, a thief, slave trader, rapist and aggressive pedophile.

In his personal life, Muhammad had two great weaknesses. The first was greed. By looting caravans and Jewish settlements he had amassed fabulous wealth for himself, his family, and his tribe

When we turn and look at the life of Muhammad we find that he clearly killed and robbed people in the name of Allah according to the Quran. He taught his disciples by example, command, and precept that they could and should kill and rob in Allah’s name and force people to submit to Islam.

His next greatest weakness was women and young boys. Although in the Quran he would limit his followers to having four wives, he himself took more than four wives, numerous concubines and young boys and girls into his bed.

The question of the number of women with whom Muhammad was sexually involved either as wives, concubines or devotees was made a point of contention by the Jews in Muhammad’s day.

“All the commentaries agree that verse 57 of Sura 4 (on-Nesa) was sent down after the Jews criticized Mohammad’s appetite for women, alleging that he had nothing to do except to take wives”

Since polygamy was practiced in the Old Testament by such patriarchs as Abraham, the mere fact that Muhammad had more than one wife is not sufficient in and of itself to discount his claim to prophethood. But this does negate the fact that the issue has historical in terms of trying to understand Muhammad as a man.

It also poses a logical problem for Muslims. Because the Quran in Sura 4:3 forbids the taking of more than four wives, to have taken any more would have been sinful for Muhammad. He not only exceeded this fiat many times but also added young boys and girls to his harem in direct contravention of his own pronouncements.

While in Islamic countries an eight or nine-year old girl can be given in marriage to an adult male, in the West, most people would shudder to think of an eight or nine-year old girl being given in marriage to anyone

This aspect of Muhammad’s personal life is something that many scholars pass over because they do not want to hurt the feelings of Muslims, or, more pragmatically, they do not want to experience a knife in the dark. Yet, history cannot be rewritten to avoid confronting the facts that Muhammad had unnatural desires for little girls and, even more reprehensible, little boys.

The documentation for all the women in Muhammad’s harem is so vast and has been presented so many times by able scholars that only those who use circular reasoning can object to it.

Though a forbidden subject, pedophilia and homosexual practices were an active part of Muhammad’s life. Today, homosexuality and pedophilia is a very strong part of Muslim life. Adherents of Islam believe that these activities are fully approved, not only by the writings in the Quran but also by the examples set during his lifetime by the Prophet Muhammad himself. His harem did indeed have many women but many of them were as young as nine and there were also a significant number of pre-pubescent boys among them

In brief summation, the Prophet of the Muslim faith does not come off as a spiritual leader. He lied; he cheated; he lusted; he failed to keep his word, He was neither perfect nor sinless. By Western standards of the present time, Muhammad was a fraud, a common murderer, a lecher and a pedophile.

The Encyclopedia of American Loons

David Usher

A wingnut’s wingnut, David Usher is president of the Center for Marriage Policy, a deranged fundie group founded in 2011 with the blessings of Phyllis Schlafly.

As the name of his organization indicates, Usher is not happy about marriage equality. Now, arguments against marriage equality are often silly, but Usher arguably takes silliness to a new level, as illustrated for instance by a column in which he argues that marriage equality is unconstitutional because same-sex marriage is tantamount to polygamy, with the third partner being the government.

Supporters of marriage equality, meanwhile, are trying to use marriage equality to “to convert marriage into a feminist-controlled government enterprise and subordinate the rest of America to entitle it.” Of course, polygamy isn’t unconstitutional either (rather, laws banning polygamy have been found to be constitutional, which is an entirely different thing), but if you are disposed to offer the kind of argument Usher offers here, such details probably wouldn’t really matter to you anyway. (It might be that it is feminism that Usher thinks is unconstitutional).

In particular, Usher claims that by legalizing same-sex marriage, women – regardless of their sexual orientation – will marry other women in order to collect government benefits in an “arrangement of government-sponsored economic polygyny,” and that, as Usher sees it, places an “unconstitutional” and “discriminatory” social and economic burden on men: “Sexual orientation does not matter when two women marry and become ‘married room-mates. They can still have as many boyfriends as they want, and capture the richest ones for baby-daddies by ‘forgetting’ to use their invisible forms of birth control.” It is, admittedly, somewhat tricky to unravel the deranged knots in Usher’s mind to precisely identify precisely what he has fundamentally misunderstood here (other than the Constitution), but part of it seems to be that same-sex marriage is dangerous because women are spineless thugs who, without men to restrain them and control their access to sperm, wouldn’t think twice about using same-sex marriage as a means to oppress men (controlling access to sperm seems to be assumed to be men’s primary means to keep women from overthrowing and ruining everything). Here is (a report on) Usher expanding on his point and explaining how feminists “came up with the concept of gay marriage” as a ploy to collect welfare from the government.

Apparently the idea has become something of an idée fixe for him, complete with a definition of “feminist marriage” as “a marriage between any two women and the welfare state,” deranged projections and conspiracy theories. In 2013, he lamented that the Defense of Marriage Act wasn’t properly defended at the Supreme Court because it was “never argued that gay marriage is unequal and unconstitutional” with the use of his claims and arguments. He also warned that with legalized same-sex marriage “discrimination against men” will operate “similarly to pre-civil-rights racism” and that since gay men and lesbian women will be having a bunch of kids, “schools will be aggressively promoting lifestyles that kill or disable children and infect innocent women and babies with HIV,” and – not the least – lead to an increase in violent crime. Perhaps the best part of that rant was the beginning, where Usher stated that the way to win the fight for his side is with good arguments.

Part of the problem, though, is that  “alligator feminists” had (and still has) a stranglehold on national policy, mostly as a result of Obama’s Council on Women and Girls: “When he announced the office, he took every ranking NOW lesbian and put them on that committee,” said Usher, “so you have all of the worst, nastiest lesbians in the whole country in the White House.”

But Usher has engaged in other political debates, too. An ardent supporter of Donald Trump, Usher declared in October 2016 that Trump’s candidacy for the presidency “represents America’s third War of Independence.” Not only that, but “Trump’s War of Independence is far more complex than anything before it,” declared Usher, and stated that Trump is waging a fight against the globalists who seek world domination.

Diagnosis: Raving madman, but pretty representative for the standards of thought on the wingnut anti-equality circuit, where neither he nor his organization seems to be among the more significant players.

          Amy Myers

Amy Myers has, over the course of recent years, risen to become something resembling a bigshot in the worthless-supplement industry, with a brand that promises to sell nonsense for often vaguely defined conditions. Now, Myers is, indeed, an MD, but she markets herself as a functional medicine practitioner and is the founder and director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine clinic. Functional medicine stands to medicine like diploma-purchased-online-by-following-the-link-in-a-spam-email stands to education. And her supplements are the kind of supplements that “support MTHFR, adrenal stress, and detoxification efforts” (($43.97 for 120 tablets). Anyone with the faintest knowledge of medicine would of course immediately call “bullshit”. But those with the faintest knowledge of medicine are not in the target audience for these products, of course.

Myers is also the author of a couple of rather popular books, The Autoimmune Solution: Prevent and Reverse the Full Spectrum of Inflammatory Symptoms and Diseases and The Thyroid Connection, both of which should be shunned like the plague by anyone seeking anything remotely resembling medical information. The former claims, without any foundation in fact or reality, that “over 90 percent of the population suffers from inflammation or an autoimmune disorder” – the recipe is simple: convince the reader that she has a disease that doesn’t exist, then push a fake cure that does nothing. “Until now, conventional medicine has said there is no cure,” says Myers, which is technically correct given that there is nothing to cure, and responds with “a cocktail of toxic treatments that fail to address their root cause” – and yes, that is the astonishingly dishonest “doctors-only-treat-symptoms” gambit, no less. Currently, Myers is part of the Goop group, and in particular responsible for developing the Goop vitamin/supplement protocol, Balls in the Air, “designed for women who want to stay on top of their A game”. The protocol is about empowerment, you know; actual health benefits and truth have nothing to do with it.

Myers has been particularly influential on the gluten-free misinfo scene, and has written articles (or rathe rinfomercials) in HuffPo spreading various types of misinformation about gluten. Not all of her writings mention that she, coincidentally, also sells online courses on Celiac/gluten-free diets for the meagre sum of $49.

She has also made a name for herself scaring potential victims with horrid tales of parasites as a likely cause of Hashimoto’s, which is nonsense but surely a good way to lead worried people (including the Morgellons crowd) to her online store and buy her (not cheap) “comprehensive test”. I think we can all tell you in advance what the results of that test and subsequent recommendations are going to be. Suffice to say, the Myers’s Way® Parasite Control Program is not gonna go easy on your wallet. It is certainly not actually going to improve your health, but you may not ever actually realize that: “My objective is to empower you to discover the root cause of your symptoms and be able to self-treat at home with food and supplements,” says Myers – or, put differently: do not seek a second opinion from a different doctor before enrolling or during treatment!

Diagnosis: She’s good at marketing; we’ll give her that. Her claims have no grounding in facts, of course, but that’s never a particularly major obstacle when designing a good marketing strategy.

 Mark Musser

Rev. Mark Musser is an anti-environmentalist and author of the book Nazi Oaks: The Green Sacrifice of the Judeo-Christian Worldview in the Holocaust. The purpose of the book is to “expose the integral, indeed indispensable, role the ‘Green’” movement played, from the late 1800s into the 1940s, in shaping Nazi anti-Semitism and the ‘final solution’ of Hitler’s Holocaust,” which should have made it a rather short book if its author was minimally able to care for reason, evidence or truth. Musser, however, is not, and ends up claiming that the real cause of Hitler and the Third Reich was concern for the environment: “The verdict is unavoidable: National Socialism’s ‘scientific’ Social Darwinism – Darwinian evolutionary biology’s “survival of the fittest” applied to societies competing for scarce resources [that is not what it is] – provided the justification for the Holocaust precisely because of its nature-based ethos that valued the natural world above people.” Now, we suspect that the verdict was unavoidable, given that Musser was the author and had already decided what the verdict was going to be long before he started investigating the issue.

Of course, the book is a warning. As Musser sees it today’s environmental movement is based on the same (i.e. foundational nazi) ideas: just consider abortion, which is apparently motivated by environmentalist concerns. Just think about that great and long-standing champion of environmentalism at any cost, China, for instance, and its one-child policy – it is all about environmentalism, dude. And apparently you shouldn’t think that “it can’t happen here”. Just think about the eugenics programs during the first decades of the twentieth century and Planned Parenthood. One gets the distinct feeling that Musser is a bit uncertain about what “environmentalism” might be, and has a tendency to lump abortion, environmentalism and evolution together into some sort of Big Satan. Indeed Musser has explicitly argued that evolution, animal rights and environmentalism are three strands of the same idea, and thus all equally the forces behind Nazi thought and dehumanization of non-Aryan groups.

Environmentalism, as Musser sees it, inevitably leads to fascism and tyranny, and the U.S. may accordingly be destroyed like ancient Israel if America chooses to go down that road. “Nature is viewed as a holistic tyrant, so to speak, and holism really teaches tyranny. Fascism is all connected here. You have to bow everything to nature’s holistic inter-relatedness and you can’t buck anything with regards to what nature does. This is the problem with environmentalism and why it’s so dangerous,” says Musser. So there. At least if you needed an illustration of the difference between an argumentand free-flowing associations of unconnected ideas, you’ve got a good one here.

The book was heavily promoted for instance by the Cornwall Alliance, a wingnut fundie non-profit created for the purpose of ranting and raving against environmentalism, which is apparently willing to push any deranged book, pamphlet, idea or speaker that comes to a conclusion they like.

Musser has also written The Nazi Origins of Apocalyptic Global Warming Theory, Green Lebensraum: The Nazi Roots of Sustainable Development and Enviro-Baalism-Fascism. We haven’t read them, but suspect some of the idea promoted in the last one is discernible from the following explanation: “Israel would be the example of this originally, as they were commanded to go in and subdue the promise land and fill it and that’s what they did and for a while it was a good land, then these other things came in, environmentalism came in and destroyed their culture, what I call the Baalism, the nature worship, instead of worshiping the Creator they worshiped nature and this led to the destruction of their society. I think the same things are happening in our own country today too.” That description neglects, of course, to mention the mechanism by which Baalism led to the destruction of their society: Apparently you should avoid environmentalism because otherwise God will come and smite you. The connection from, uh, this to environmentalism being inherently fascist, should be clear.

          Diagnosis: Good grief.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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