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TBR News May 26, 2019

May 26 2019

The Voice of the White House Washington, D.C. May 26, 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 May 26;” Prior to the event of printed, and later television, media, it was not difficult for the world’s power elites and the governments they controlled, to see that unwelcome and potentially dangerous information never reached the masses of people under their control. Most of the general public in more distant times were completely illiterate and received their news from their local priest or from occasional gossip from travelers, The admixture of kings, princes and clergy had an iron control over what their subject could, or could not hear. During the Middle Ages and even into the more liberal Renaissance, universities were viewed with suspicion and those who taught, or otherwise expressed, concepts that were anathema to the concept of feudalism were either killed outright in public or permanently banished. Too-liberal priests were silenced by similar methods. If Papal orders for silence were not followed, priests could, and were, put to the torch as an example for others to note.

However, with the advent of the printing press and a growing literacy in the population, the question of informational control was less certain and with the growing movements in Europe and the American colonies for less restriction and more public expression, the power elites found it necessary to find the means to prevent unpleasant information from being proclaimed throughout their lands and unto all the inhabitants thereof.

The power elites realized that if they could not entirely prevent inconvenient and often dangerous facts to emerge and threaten their authority, their best course was not censorship but to find and develop the means to control the presentation and publication of that they wished to keep entirely secret.

The first method was to block or prevent the release of dangerous material by claiming that such material was a matter of important state security and as such, strictly controlled. This, they said, was not only for their own protection but also the somewhat vague but frightening concept of the security of their people.

The second method was, and has been, to put forth disinformation that so distorts and confuses actual facts as to befuddle a public they see as easily controlled, naïve and gullible.

The mainstream American media which theoretically was a balance against governmental corruption and abuses of power, quickly became little more than a mouthpiece for the same government they were supposed to report on. In the latter part of the nineteenth century, most American newspapers were little better than Rupert Mudoch’s modern tabloids, full of sound and fury, and signifying nothing but during the First World War, President Wilson used the American entry into the First World War as an excuse for setting up controls over the American public.

Aside from setting up government control over food distribution, the railroads, much industry involved in war production, he also established a powerful propaganda machine coupled with a national informant system that guaranteed his personal control. In 1918, citing national security, Wilson arrested and imprisoned critical news reporters and threatened to shut down their papers.

Wilson was a wartime president and set clear precedents that resonated very loudly with those who read history and understood its realities.

During the Second World War, Franklin Roosevelt, another wartime leader, was not as arrogant or highhanded as Wilson (whose empire fell apart after the end of the war that supported it) but he set up informational controls that exist to the present time.

And after Roosevelt, and the war, passed into history, the government in the United States created a so-called cold war with Soviet Russia, instead of Hitler’s Germany, as the chief enemy. Control of the American media then fell into the hands of the newly-formed Central Intelligence Agency who eventually possessed an enormous, all-encompassing machine that clamped down firmly on the national print, and later television media, with an iron hand in a velvet glove.

Media outlets that proved to be cooperative with CIA propaganda officials were rewarded for their loyalty and cooperation with valuable, and safe, news and the implication was that enemies of the state would either be subject to scorn and derision and that supporters of the state and its policies would receive praise and adulation.

The methodology of a controlled media has a number of aspects which, once clearly understood, renders its techniques and goals far less effective.

Mainstream media sources (especially newspapers) are notorious for reporting flagrantly dishonest and unsupported news stories on the front page, then quietly retracting those stories on the very back page when they are caught. In this case, the point is to railroad the lie into the collective consciousness. Once the lie is finally exposed, it is already too late, and a large portion of the population will not notice or care when the truth comes out. “

 

The Table of Contents

  • Christian rightwing figures warn abortion fight could lead to civil war
  • Trump’s wrecking ball assaults American government. Luckily, it is strongly built
  • “It Is All Such a Lie!”: Enraged Trump Insists He’s “Extremely” Calm
  • German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism
  • A Shadow Over Europe
  • ‘You’ll end up like Sodom and Gomorrah’: American pastor banned from Europe over hate speech
  • The lost Leonardo? Louvre show ditches Salvator Mundi over authenticity doubts
  • The Invention of the ‘Salvator Mundi’ Or, How to Turn a $1,000 Art-Auction Pickup Into a $450 Million Masterpiece.
  • Ten interesting facts about Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting
  • Encyclopedia of American Loons
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

 

Christian rightwing figures warn abortion fight could lead to civil war

Wave of extreme bans appears to have amped up predictions by magazines and politicians that abortion is cause of coming conflict

May 26, 2019

by Jason Wilson

The Guardian

Prominent figures on the Christian right in the US ranging from religious magazines to authors to elected politicians have warned that the fight over abortion rights could lead to a new civil war.

Though such dire predictions are not necessarily new on the extreme right wing in the US, the passing of a wave of hardline anti-abortion laws in numerous states this year appears to have amped up the conspiracy-minded predictions that depict abortion squarely as a root cause of a coming conflict

Republican lawmakers such as Ohio’s Candice Keller have openly speculated that the divide over abortion rights might lead to civil war. Last month, Keller drew explicit comparisons with the antebellum situation over slavery, telling the Guardian: “Whether this ever leads to a tragedy, like it did before with our civil war, I can’t say.”

Earlier this month, the Guardian revealed that the Washington state republican legislator Matt Shea had also speculated about civil war, and the “Balkanization” of America, predicting that Christians would retreat to “zones of freedom” such as the inland Pacific north-west, where Shea is campaigning for a new state to break away from Washington.

Asked on a podcast if the two halves of the country could remain together, Shea said: “I don’t think we can, again, because you have half that want to follow the Lord and righteousness and half that don’t, and I don’t know how that can stand.”

Shea has introduced a bill – unlikely to pass – which would criminalize abortion in the state.

Along with legislators, the notion of a civil war over abortion has been finding traction in the media organs of the Christian right.

In the past year, Charisma magazine, the leading media voice of Pentecostal and charismatic Christians, has run at least half a dozen articles contemplating the possibility of an imminent civil war in America. One recent article profiles pastor, broadcaster and author Michael L Brown, who blames a “coming civil war” on “militant abortionists”.

Brown told Charisma: “A civil war is coming to America, only this time, it will be abortion, rather than slavery, that divides the nation”.

An upcoming book from Brown also warns that abortion is among the signs that “the demonic spirit of Jezebel is powerful in America”. In another column this month Brown wrote: “A civil war is certain. The only thing to be determined is how bloody it will be.”

This year the Christian televangelist Rick Joyner has, on his ministry’s website and other Christian right outlets, been offering detailed descriptions of a civil war he believes to be coming on the basis of his own prophetic dream.

Abortion is one of the key reasons he thinks that war is imminent.

Joyner also turned to Charisma magazine at one point to describe a dream, which he says he had late last year. “We are already in the first stages of the Second American Revolutionary/Civil War,” he wrote. “In the dream, I saw that we had already crossed that line and it is now upon us, so we must change our strategy from trying to avoid it to winning it.”

André Gagné is an associate professor of religious studies at Concordia University in Montreal, who researches the religious right. He says that while Charisma magazine may be unfamiliar to secular and liberal Americans, it is “absolutely representative” of charismatic and Pentecostal Christians on abortion, and as such speaks for “millions of people”.

He says that the idea that abortion may lead to civil war has percolated for some time on the Christian right. Gagné says that the Christian right’s fight against abortion is driven by real belief, and real fear.

“The Christian right believes that if they don’t engage politically, and try to influence social issues, God will judge America, and he will judge them,” Gagne said.

But is the possibility of an abortion-centred civil war likely?

Journalist Robert Evans hosts the breakout podcast It Could Happen Here, which canvases scenarios for a new American civil war.

He said that the Christian right “generate a lot of the extremist language in mainstream politics”, but that “there’s more talk about violent insurrection from the white nationalist right than the Christian right, because there’s less faith in politics”.

For now, as demonstrated by the abortion bills passed in several states in an apparent attempt to get a case to the supreme court and overturn abortion rights nationally, the Christian right is reaping dividends from engaging with the political process.

But, Evans notes, the danger may come if “they see victory slip from their grasp”.

And unlike the fractious and small subcultures of the racist far right, “the Christian right is really good at keeping people working together for years at a time.”

 

Trump’s wrecking ball assaults American government. Luckily, it is strongly built

The president swings wildly but the people will stay true: the way to beat him is to defend the institutions he would smash

May 26, 2019

by Robert Reich

The Guardian

Americans have sharply different views about what government should do, whether on abortion, guns, immigration or any number of hot-button issues. But we broadly agree about how government should go about resolving our differences.

This distinction – between what we disagree about and how we settle those disagreements – is crucial. As long as we continue to agree on the how, the processes and institutions of governance, we can accept what is decided even if we’re unhappy about it.

To state it another way, Americans don’t always like what government does but they overwhelmingly support the American system of government. They want to improve it, not destroy it.

Enter Donald Trump, who has turned this how-what distinction on its head. In order to get what he wants, Trump rides roughshod over how we decide. He is the great destroyer.

His directive to his lapdog attorney general William Barr to find evidence of “treason” against specific people who investigated him threatens the neutrality of our entire system of justice, as does Barr’s assertion of “no limit” on the president’s authority to direct law enforcement investigations, including those he’s personally interested in.

Trump’s blanket refusal to comply with House subpoenas and investigations flies in the face of how Congress is supposed to oversee the executive branch.

Trump’s 2016 campaign aides’ eagerness to get dirt on his opponent from Russia, and Trump’s efforts to suppress evidence about those dealings, undermine how the American electoral system is supposed to run.

Trump’s declaration of a national emergency to justify using funds to build his wall that Congress refused to appropriate, obliterates how spending decisions are supposed to be made.

Trump’s angry references to “Obama judges” who rule against him calls into question the independence and legitimacy of the judiciary.

Trump’s hints at violence if he doesn’t get his way – such as his March insinuation that “I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough – until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad” – threatens the democratic foundations of our society.

Taken as a whole, these attacks on our basic agreement about how to resolve our disagreements constitute the most profound challenge to our system of government since Richard Nixon went rogue.

Thankfully, most Americans oppose them. Even with record low unemployment, Trump’s approval ratings remain in the cellar. Some 35%, Trump’s hardcore base, continue to stick by him, but independents and even some Republicans are deserting him in droves.

Although impeachment is the appropriate remedy for a president who assaults our system of government, most of the public opposes this move as well. I think that’s because in these especially perilous times, impeachment threatens to pull the system further apart, possibly to the breaking point.

Importantly, the courts are stepping up.

  • On Monday, Judge Amit Mehta ruled against Trump, saying “lawmakers should get documents they have subpoenaed”.
  • On Wednesday, Judge Edgardo Ramos refused to block subpoenas from the House financial services and intelligence committees for Trump records from Deutsche Bank and Capital One.
  • On Friday, Judge Haywood Gilliam granted a preliminary injunction blocking Trump’s use of $1bn from the Department of Defense for building his wall.

These decisions are significant not just because they are victories for House Democrats, but because they confirm that the American system of government is still working, Trump notwithstanding.

He may yet succeed in running out the clock – dragging out appeals through election day. But every court decision that adds legitimacy to the processes and institutions Trump has been attacking makes him look more like the dangerous wrecking ball he is.

Over the past several months I have heard some on the left talk about meeting fire with fire, if and when Democrats regain the White House and Senate.

To counteract Trump’s (and let’s not forget Mitch McConnell’s) malfeasance, they want to alter the system in ways that favor their side – expanding the number of supreme court justices, for example, or eliminating the Senate filibuster, or dividing California into three states, each with its own two senators. And so on.

This would be a mistake. Americans want to preserve our agreement over how to resolve our disagreements, and are witnessing the threat Trump and the Republicans present to it.

The Democratic Party should dedicate itself to protecting that agreement. This is the hallmark of a true governing party. Trump and the Republicans, by contrast, are digging themselves ever more deeply into a hole from which they may never emerge.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US

 

It Is All Such a Lie!”: Enraged Trump Insists He’s “Extremely” Calm

May 23, 2019

by Eric Lutz

Vanity Fair

President Donald Trump seemed confounded Wednesday night as he attempted to explain that an earlier meltdown was not, as Nancy Pelosi called it, a “tantrum.” “I was purposely very polite and calm,” he said of his decision to storm out of a meeting with Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, “much as I was minutes later with the press in the Rose Garden.”

“It is all such a lie!” he continued, as polite and calm people do.

No doubt Trump was already fuming on Wednesday when he arrived for a planned meeting to discuss infrastructure spending with the two top Democrats. Pelosi had just accused the president of potentially “impeachable” conduct in obstructing various investigations into him and his administration—likely with the goal of getting under his skin. Trump, predictably, was incensed, walked out of the meeting after just three minutes, and headed out to the Rose Garden against the advice of aides, where he raged over the probes. “I don’t do cover-ups,” he said, apparently in such a state of fury that he required notes to remember the talking points he’s been beating into the ground for two years now.

Pelosi, who seems to enjoy getting a rise out of the president, continued to ridicule him, wondering aloud to reporters if Trump’s unwillingness to work with Democrats unless they stop investigating him stemmed from “a lack of confidence on his part,” and saying that she would “pray” for him. “He had a temper tantrum for us all to see,” she said in a letter to House colleagues later. Trump, seemingly aware that he had once again been made to look like a fool by the House Speaker, challenged her version of events. “This is not true,” he said, like a guy at the bar insisting through hiccups that he’s not drunk.

 

German Jews warned not to wear kippas after rise in anti-Semitism

May 26, 2019

BBC News

The German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner has urged Jews to avoid wearing skullcaps in public.

Felix Klein warned Jews against donning the kippa in parts of the country following a rise in anti-Semitism.

He said his opinion on the matter had “changed compared with what it used to be”.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said the recommendation amounted to “an admittance that, again, Jews are not safe on German soil”.

A sharp increase in the number of anti-Semitic offences was recorded by the German government last year.

Official figures showed 1,646 hate crimes against Jews were committed in 2018 – an increase of 10% on the previous year.

Physical attacks against Jews in Germany also rose in the same period, with 62 violent incidents recorded, up from 37 in 2017.

Speaking to the Handelsblatt newspaper, Justice Minister Katarina Barley said the increase in anti-Semitic crimes was “shameful for our country”.

What did Mr Klein say?

“I cannot recommend to Jews that they wear the skullcap at all times everywhere in Germany,” he told the Funke newspaper group.

Mr Klein suggested “the lifting of inhibitions and the uncouthness” of society could be behind the spike in anti-Semitic crimes.

The internet, social media and “constant attacks against our culture of remembrance” may be contributing factors, he said.

He also called for police officers, teachers, and lawyers to receive training to clarify “what is allowed and what is not” when “dealing with anti-Semitism”.

His comments came weeks after Germany’s top legal expert on anti-Semitism said the prejudice remained “deeply rooted” in German society.

“Anti-Semitism has always been here. But I think that recently, it has again become louder, more aggressive and flagrant,” Claudia Vanoni told the AFP news agency.

How has Israel’s president responded?

Mr Rivlin said he was “shocked” by Mr Klein’s warning and considered it a “a capitulation to anti-Semitism”.

“We will never submit, will never lower our gaze and will never react to anti-Semitism with defeatism, and expect and demand our allies act in the same way,” the Israeli president said.

He also acknowledged “the moral position of the German government and its commitment to the Jewish community”.

Why is anti-Semitism on the rise?

Jewish groups have warned that a rise in popularity of far-right groups is fostering anti-Semitism and hatred of other minorities throughout Europe.

Since 2017, the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) has been the country’s main opposition party. AfD is openly against immigration but the party denies holding anti-Semitic views.

However, a number of comments from their politicians, including remarks about the Holocaust, have drawn criticism from Jewish groups and other politicians.

Last year, a survey of thousands of European Jews revealed that many were increasingly worried about anti-Semitism.

 

A Shadow Over Europe

CNN poll: Anti-Semitism in Europe

by Richrd Allen Green

CNN

Anti-Semitic stereotypes are alive and well in Europe, while the memory of the Holocaust is starting to fade, a sweeping new survey by CNN reveals. More than a quarter of Europeans polled believe Jews have too much influence in business and finance. Nearly one in four said Jews have too much influence in conflict and wars across the world.

One in five said they have too much influence in the media and the same number believe they have too much influence in politics.

Meanwhile, a third of Europeans in the poll said they knew just a little or nothing at all about the Holocaust, the mass murder of some six million Jews in lands controlled by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime in the 1930s and 1940s.

Those are among the key findings of a survey carried out by pollster ComRes for CNN. The CNN/ComRes poll interviewed more than 7,000 people across Europe, with more than 1,000 respondents each in Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.

The poll was commissioned and completed before the killing of 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh — the deadliest ever attack on the Jewish community in the United States.

The poll uncovered complicated, contrasting and sometimes disturbing attitudes about Jews, and some startling ignorance.

Forgetting the Holocaust?

About one European in 20 in the countries CNN surveyed has never heard of the Holocaust, even though it’s less than 75 years since the end of World War II, and there are still tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors alive today.

Lack of Holocaust knowledge is particularly striking among young people in France: One out of five people there between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’d never heard of it.

A third of Europeans said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals.

In Austria — the country where Hitler was born — 12% of young people said they had never heard of the Holocaust. Austria also had the highest number of people in the survey saying they knew “just a little” about the Holocaust. Four out of 10 Austrian adults said that.

Across Europe, half of respondents said they know “a fair amount” about the Holocaust, while only one out of five people said they know “a great deal

(Americans do not fare any better: A survey carried out on behalf of the Claims Conference earlier this year found that 10% of American adults were not sure they’d ever heard of the Holocaust, rising to one in five millennials. Half of all millennials could not name a single concentration camp, and 45% of all American adults failed to do so.

But Europeans do believe it is important to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive.

Two-thirds of Europeans said that commemorating the Holocaust helps ensure that such atrocities will never happen again. That figure rises to 80% in Poland, where the Nazis established Auschwitz, the deadliest concentration camp of all.

Half of Europeans said commemorating the Holocaust helps fight anti-Semitism today.

But at the same time, a third of Europeans said that Jews use the Holocaust to advance their own positions or goals. The same number disagreed and nearly a third of respondents expressed no opinion.

Complex relations

Attitudes sharpened when it comes to the relationship between the Holocaust, Israel, Jews and anti-Semitism.

A slight but solid majority of Europeans — 54% — said Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state, with the figure rising to two-thirds in Poland.

A third of survey respondents believe that criticism of Israel tends to be motivated by anti-Semitism, while only one in five said it does not.

Nearly one in five said anti-Semitism in their countries was a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people.

However, a third of people CNN surveyed said that Israel uses the Holocaust to justify its actions, with half the respondents in Poland agreeing. Only one in five disagreed.

A third of Europeans said supporters of Israel use accusations of anti-Semitism to shut down criticism of Israel, while only one in 10 said that was not true.

A third of Europeans said commemorating the Holocaust distracts from other atrocities today, with higher than average numbers of Germans, Austrians, Poles and Hungarians stating that.

And while many people said anti-Semitism is a growing problem in their countries — to the extent that 40% said Jews were at risk of racist violence in their countries and half said their governments should do more to fight anti-Semitism — substantial minorities blamed Israel or Jews themselves for anti-Semitism.

More than a quarter of respondents (28%) said most anti-Semitism in their countries was a response to the actions of the state of Israel.

And nearly one in five (18%) said anti-Semitism in their countries was a response to the everyday behavior of Jewish people.

“I’m not anti-Semitic, but…”

Few people said they personally have an unfavorable attitude toward Jews. Across the seven countries in the survey, one in 10 people said they did — although the figure rises to 15% in Poland and 19% — about one in five — in Hungary.

In every country polled except Hungary, significantly more people said they had a favorable opinion of Jews than an unfavorable one. (In Hungary, favorable topped unfavorable 21% to 19%, with the rest saying they had neither a favorable nor unfavorable view.)

The poll also put a spotlight on European attitudes toward other minorities.

While 10% of Europeans admitted they had unfavorable views of Jews, 16% said they had negative views of LGBT+ people, 36% said they had unfavorable views of immigrants, 37% said that about Muslims, and 39% said it of Romani people.

But while the number of Europeans openly admitting negative attitudes towards Jews was relatively low, CNN questions about whether traditional anti-Semitic stereotypes still resonate across the continent found clear evidence that they do.

In Poland and Hungary, about four out of 10 people said Jews have too much influence in business and finance around the world.

Roughly one out of three people there said Jews were too influential in political affairs around the world, and more than a quarter of Poles and Hungarians said they had too much influence on the media.

A third of Austrians said Jews have too much influence in finance, while a quarter of French and German respondents said so.

About one in five people in all three countries said Jews had too much influence in media, and a quarter said they had too much influence on wars and conflicts.

Numbers

The belief in Jewish power runs in parallel with enormous overestimates of the number of Jews in the world.

About two-thirds of the respondents in the survey guessed too high when asked what percentage of the world is Jewish, and similar numbers got the answer wrong for their own countries.

A quarter of Hungarians estimated that the world is more than 20% Jewish, and a fifth of British and Polish respondents said so

They were off by a factor of 100. About 0.2% of the world’s population is Jewish, according to the Pew Research Center’s Global Religious Landscape study

Four out of ten respondents in the survey thought their own countries were between 3% and 10% Jewish. In fact, Israel is the only country in the world where more than 2% of the population is Jewish.

The overestimates came even as majorities or near-majorities in every country CNN polled said they were not aware of ever having met a Jewish person. Two-thirds of Germans, Austrians and Poles said they didn’t think they had ever socialized with a Jew, while about half of people in Britain, France, Hungary and Sweden said the same.

ComRes interviewed 7,092 adults online in seven countries (Great Britain, 1010; France, 1006; Germany, 1012; Poland, 1020; Hungary, 1019; Sweden 1018; Austria, 1007). Data was weighted to be representative of each country based on age, gender and region.

 

‘You’ll end up like Sodom and Gomorrah’: American pastor banned from Europe over hate speech

May 2, 2019

RT

A controversial American Baptist pastor has been banned from preaching in the Netherlands or from entering Europe’s 26-state Schengen Zone, over his extreme views against the LGBT and Jewish communities.

Steven Anderson, who once praised the mass shooting at a gay night club in Orlando, was due to preach in Amsterdam on May 23 as part of his European tour, which also included public events in Sweden and Ireland. Concerned over the pastor’s well-documented hate statements, gay rights advocates and a number of MPs urged the Dutch government to ban him from entering the Benelux country.

On Wednesday the government adopted “measures” barring the 37-year-old pastor from entering the Schengen Zone, a 26-country area of Europe where visa-free travel is allowed.

The government is “taking strong action against extremist speakers who, by spreading their beliefs, restrict the freedoms of others or even incite hatred or violence” State Secretary of Justice and Security Mark Harbers said, without providing further details.

Anderson, who has yet to receive official notice from the Dutch regarding his ban, slammed Amsterdam’s decision which is preventing him from “teaching the Gospel.”

“If they are going to reject a Bible-believing creature from coming and preaching the word of God, then it’s their loss,” the pastor said, warning the Dutch that they’re “going to end up the same way [as] Sodom and Gomorrah,” code for sinners being destroyed by God’s wrath.

The California native is no stranger to being banned from countries. Jamaica, South Africa and the UK have barred from him from entry in the past. He was also deported from Botswana, all because of his hate speech.

Anderson is a well-known Holocaust denier and an avid anti-gay activist, who is also not shy to speak out against abortion rights. The preacher celebrated the deaths of 49 people by a lone-wolf gunman at Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016, by posting a now-deleted YouTube message claiming it was “good” for “disgusting perverts and pedophiles” to be murdered. He also reportedly advocated executing homosexuals by way of a firing squad because that’s what the “Bible commands.”

The pastor from the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Arizona also rejects abortion rights, preaching that “women are to remain in the home” to raise children. The American often criticizes Jews in his sermons on YouTube. He hasn’t been banned from any of the social media he has accounts with.

 

The lost Leonardo? Louvre show ditches Salvator Mundi over authenticity doubts

Art experts remain divided on the origins of the world’s most expensive painting

May 26, 2019

by Mark Brown, Arts correspondent

The Guardian

Salvator Mundi, the world’s most expensive painting, will not be part of this year’s big Leonardo da Vinci show in Paris because curators at the Louvre do not believe it can be attributed solely to the artist, it has been claimed.

The art historian and writer Ben Lewis has charted the remarkable story of a painting which made headlines all over the world when it sold for $450m (£354m) at Christie’s in New York in 2017.

Some of the world’s leading Leonardo experts, including Martin Kemp, emeritus professor of art history at Oxford, insist it is genuinely the lost work of the master. Others are more circumspect or dismissive.

The buyer has been identified as the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who reportedly agreed that it would become a star of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It was also due to be lent to the Louvre in Paris for its big Leonardo show marking the 500th anniversary of his death.The display in Abu Dhabi was unexpectedly halted last year and its loan to Paris in the autumn will not happen, Lewis told the Hay literary festival.

“My inside sources at the Louvre, various sources, tell me that not many curators think this picture is an autograph Leonardo da Vinci.

“If they did exhibit it … they would want to exhibit it as ‘workshop’.

“If that’s the case, it will be very unlikely that it will be shown, because the owner can’t possibly lend it … the value will go down to somewhere north of $1.5m (£1.2m).”

Lewis is the author of the book The Last Leonardo, charting the painting’s extraordinary and tangled story.

The painting was purchased by two American art dealers, taking a punt, in 2005 from a New Orleans estate sale for $1,175 (£924).

It was in a pitiful state. After years of restoration experts became convinced it was genuinely a lost Leonardo and it was included in the National Gallery’s blockbuster show in London in 2011.

Since its sale there has been silence. Mystery surrounds its whereabouts, although Lewis is convinced that it is in high-security storage in a freeport in Switzerland.

“It is the painting that dare not show its face,” Lewis said.

 

The Invention of the ‘Salvator Mundi’ Or, How to Turn a $1,000 Art-Auction Pickup Into a $450 Million Masterpiece.

by Matthew Shaer

In 2005, an unusual painting appeared on the website of the New Orleans Auction Gallery, a small operation headquartered on the banks of the Mississippi River. Twenty-six inches tall and 18 and a half inches wide, the painting depicted Christ in Renaissance-era robes, one hand raised in benediction, the other cupping a diaphanous sphere. “After Leonardo da Vinci (Italian 1452–1519),” read the description. “Christ Salvator Mundi. Oil on cradled panel.”

Among the people to click on the listing for Lot 664 was a Rockland County art speculator named Alexander Parish. Parish has spent his entire career in the art world, first as an assistant, later as an adviser to a major European gallery, and now as what’s known as a picker — a dealer who purchases art from minor auction houses and antiques sales and resells it to wealthy clients at a profit. “A major part of what I do,” Parish told me, “is educated gambling. You get a good feeling about a piece of art, and you place a bet that you know more about it than the auctioneer does.”

Parish felt very good about Lot 664. In fact, although he had only a few postage-stamp-size JPEGS to work with, he thought he might be looking at a piece by a student of Leonardo’s — perhaps the Milanese painter Bernardino Luini. That same afternoon, he sent a link to his friend Robert Simon, the owner of an old-master gallery on the Upper East Side, who has a doctorate in art history from Columbia University with a specialty in the art of the Renaissance.

“My first reaction was that it was a very intriguing painting,” Simon recalled. As he knew, the original Salvator Mundi, painted by Leonardo around 1500, possibly for the French king Louis XII, had been one of da Vinci’s most copied works — dozens of replicas hang in museums around the world, but the original had been lost to history. It seemed possible that another period copy dating to the Renaissance would exist. Simon and Parish agreed to invest in the painting together, with a bid ceiling of $10,000; Parish would handle the bidding via phone. “My memory of the auction is that I just sat there waiting for the price to go up,” Parish said. “But it became apparent that no one else was interested.” His winning bid came in at $1,000.

Today, of course, the contents of Lot 664 are worth far more than that: The picture has since sold once for $127.5 million and again, in a record-setting auction at Christie’s, for close to half a billion dollars. It has been held up as the “male Mona Lisa” and the “Holy Grail of old-master paintings” and derided by this magazine’s art critic, Jerry Saltz, as a “two-dimensional ersatz dashboard Jesus.” It has been owned by a Swiss tycoon, a Russian oligarch, and Saudi royalty. Along the way, it has come to illustrate how the interests of dealers, museums, auction houses, and the global rich can conspire to build a masterpiece out of a painting of patchwork provenance and hotly debated authorship. Its rise is both an astonishing tale of restoration and historical sleuthing and — for those inclined to see the world less romantically — a parable of highbrow greed, P. T. Barnum–style salesmanship, and reputation laundering.

But on the day it arrived at Parish’s home in upstate New York, it was still just a painting of unknown origin and questionable condition. Gingerly, the dealer slid the picture from its cardboard container. He noted the gilded frame, likely a 19th-century addition, and the thick layers of paint that had been applied to Christ’s face by a past restorer. Then he placed it back in the box and drove it into Manhattan, where Simon was waiting.

The worth of their latest acquisition would be determined by the dealers’ ability to connect it to Leonardo’s inner circle. If the painting was by Luini or another Leonardo disciple, they could expect to get hundreds of thousands of dollars for it. In 1999, a decent period copy now believed to have come from Leonardo’s workshop had gone for $332,500 at auction at Sotheby’s. But before any real attribution efforts could take place, before the dealers could start piecing together the story of the oil painting and its putative author, it would have to be thoroughly restored.

On April 27, 2005, at 2 p.m., Simon wrapped a trash bag around the Salvator Mundi and took it to the apartment of Dianne Dwyer Modestini, a research professor at New York University and a lauded art restorer. As Simon waited, Modestini placed the painting on her easel. She was unimpressed. Christ’s face, which she’d later learn had been repainted in the 20th century, looked to her like a “clown’s mask”; as for the overall condition of the picture, she told me recently, “it was bad, even allowing for its age.”

“I could recommend a student restorer at NYU,” she said to Simon.

“I think this needs a grown-up,” the dealer shot back.

Opening her supply cabinet, Modestini produced a vial of acetone and mineral spirits and a cotton swab and conducted a preliminary cleaning of the picture. Two things immediately stuck out to her. One was that the original panel had fissured, resulting in two uneven “steps” near Christ’s face. A previous restorer, Modestini deduced, had attempted to address the problem by inserting a mixture of gesso and glue into the fissure.

“Unfortunately,” Modestini has since written, this was “not the only measure that had been taken to level the uneven surface: At some point in the past, the step had been shaved down from the front with a sharp plane.”

The second major discovery concerned Christ’s blessing hand. Before bringing the painting to her, Modestini says, Simon had used the infrared lens on his digital camera to take a few photographs of the picture. When he’d examined the resulting images, he had seen a ghostly shape behind the blessing hand. With a few swipes of a solvent-drenched cotton swab, Modestini revealed what she thought might be a trace — or a pentimento, derived from the Italian word for “repent” — of an earlier draft of the painting. In contrast to the curved digit in the finished work, and to every Renaissance-era replica of the Salvator Mundi Simon was aware of, this thumb appeared to be upright.

Modestini was not blind to the significance. “Pentimenti,” she told me, “are in general an indication a painting isn’t a copy, because the copier only observes the surface of a picture, not the skeleton underneath.” In other words, if you’re an imitator without access to an artist’s creative process, you’re going to imitate only what you can see. Still, neither she nor Simon said a word — Modestini for the simple reason that she was unfamiliar with the history of the Salvator, Simon out of prudence.

Compared with his peers, Leonardo, an inventor and scientist as well as an artist, was a notably unprolific painter: Fewer than 20 known paintings can be attributed to his hand; the last to be discovered was the so-called Benois Madonna, or Madonna and Child With Flowers, which emerged out of a private collection in St. Petersburg in 1914. As of 2005, two paintings remained unaccounted for: Leda and the Swan, a large-scale mythological allegory, and the Salvator Mundi.

If Parish and Simon had somehow managed to stumble upon the latter, they’d be lucky — absurdly so. They’d also find themselves playing an entirely different game than the one they’d set out to play. After all, the bar for a genuine da Vinci would be miles higher than that for a genuine Luini, and clearing it would require time, money, and the support of some of the most powerful brokers in the art world.

 

Ten interesting facts about Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting

August Issue

Quorum Report

On the 15th of November 2017, Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, ‘Salvator Mundi’, smashed artwork auction records when it was sold at a Christie’s auction for US$450.3 million. The previous world record for a painting sold at an auction was Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers’, which sold for US$179.3 million in 2015. Speculation as to who the anonymous buyer was erupted in controversy when it was revealed nearly three weeks later that the buyer was a Saudi prince with an unknown history of art collecting.

The New York Times reported that the man behind the purchase was Prince Bader Abdullah Farhan Al-Saud, an associate of Crown Prince Mohammed Salman. The Saudi embassy in Washington went on to clarify that the prince was acting as a middleman for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism. The painting was purchased to be one of the key attractions of the newly opened Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

In light of the high interest in this story, we decided to look into the background of this painting. The following are 10 interesting facts that we uncovered:

1.Before the recent auction, Christie’s valued the painting at US$100 million.

2.It was owned by King Charles I in the 17th century.

3.Art historians agree that it was painted around 1500, but disagree on whether or not it was painted by Da Vinci. There is some controversy here, unlike other famous paintings, such as Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers’, where experts are all in agreement.

4.It has been heavily damaged over the years and there have been several attempts at restoring it, including extensive repainting. Art experts agree that the painting looks different today as a result of the restoration attempts.

5.Famous works of art tend to have authenticated and verifiable histories. With this painting, there is no history on it from 1763 to 1900.

6.In 1958, it was sold for US$60.

7.In 2005, it was sold for less than US$10,000.

8.In 2013, it was bought by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for US$127.5 million. Rybolovlev’s purchase of this painting was part of his US$2 billion purchase of 38 pieces of fine art from an art dealer named Yves Bouvier.

9.Rybolovlev filed a lawsuit against his former art dealer claiming he overcharged him for the paintings by as much as US$1 billion. The sale price of ‘Salvator Mundi’ was a welcome surprise for Rybolovlev who lost a combined US$150 million on the sale of his five previous works of art, according to Bloomberg.

10.Though the sale of ‘Salvator Mundi’ broke the previous world record by a significant margin (over 250%), it was an anomaly. The global art market is down over 33% from its previous high in 2011, according to Artprice.com’s Global Index.

With these facts and outstanding controversies, do you believe that the prince and Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism got a good deal at the auction? Or was this another case of industry insiders and experts overcharging the novice newcomers?

 

Encyclopedia of American Loons

 

Barbara Marciniak

 

Pleiadians are humanoid aliens that come from the stellar systems surrounding the Pleiades stars, and who are deeply concerned about Earth and its future. Because they are so concerned, they have contacted several New Agers to convey their message, the exact content of which varies between the contactees but generally contains a significant amount of incoherent babble and political opinions that align curiously well with those of the contactee. According to Barbara Marciniak, the message is “[i]f you can clear people of their personal information, they can go cosmic.” If you are an advanced alien species, able and willing to communicate across light years, and that is your message, you’ve failed rather epically.

According to Marcinak and her books – at least Bringers of the Dawn and Earth: Pleiadian Keys to the Living Library (with Karen Marciniak and Tera Thomas) – humans and Pleiadians share common ancestors who arrived from another universe and seeded various worlds in our universe with their DNA (the fact that the stars in the Pleiades are only tens of millions of years old is a thorn in the side of the hypothesis, and best left alone). Pleiadians appeared before we did, and have therefore had time to ascend to the next “evolutionary stage”, which has something to do with other dimension, and currently wants to help us. Pleiadians are apparently 9/11 truthers.

In fact, Pleiadians have related to Marciniak lots of information about various conspiracies surrounding:

  • Biological threats and “the rising death count and mysterious demise of world-famed microbiologists” (in 2004)
  • Chemtrails, “insidiously blocking out sunlight in urban areas,”

“The proliferation of mad cow disease, SAR’S, the avian flu and other such destabilizing environmental conditions are officially treated as random activities; yet on some level of awareness, people intuitively recognize the underlying implications of what is transpiring.”

  • The Washington sniper
  • The Columbia explosion

Recent “disclosures revealing pornographic photographs and videos connected to government approved mind control techniques,” which is a staple conspiracy idea at whale.to and similar sites (and hence apparently where Marciniak gets her news).

The Media is of course hiding these things, just as they are trying to divert out attention from “magnetic pole shifts, huge changes in atmospheric pressures and temperatures, and unusual fluctuations in magnetic fields [that] are taking place throughout the solar system.” The pole shifts have apparently been noted by “many” conveniently unnamed astronomers. Also, although “[n]umerous ET races have been interacting with humanity and operating on Earth for more millennia than you can imagine […] the presentation of selected ET factions into the public domain will be filled with staged events designed to deceive people and distract them from noticing the more disturbing, secret hidden agendas being carried out with the very same ET races.”

Unfortunately, such conspiracies have been allowed to remain in place since people are only now “steadily emerg[ing] from various stages of deep denial due to the effects of the accelerated energy.” What kind of energy? “The ever-increasing influx of cosmic energy shakes everything up on a subatomic level.” Ah, that kind; the “powerful subtle energies”, which is a contradiction in terms. And apparently the “accelerated energy involve a huge transformation of consciousness that will collectively unlock specific perceptual limitations,” which suggests that the Pleiadians don’t really know what “unlock” means. In any case, “[a]s this all-powerful inner-knowledge genie emerges, newly realized psychic and intuitive abilities will help you to achieve levels of personal empowerment that will assist you in dealing with the spiritual dynamics of the transformation.” Yes, it’s all a massive and indigestible word salad. But you know when all of this is going to culminate (Marciniak wrote this in 2005)? It’s going to culminate in 2012. That’s when.

There is also plenty of numerology and astrology in her work.

Diagnosis: Some think that it is mean to mock vecordious ramblers like Barbara Marciniak, but she has sold thousands and thousands of books and generated quite a movement. And it is not to the betterment of humanity; that’s for sure. She deserves whatever mockery we can give.

Jay Johnson

There is heavy competition for being the most repugnantly deranged lunatic on the Internet, but Sandy Hook truthers put in a good application. According to them, the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax – arranged by the Obama administration or lizard people from space – cleverly designed to increase sympathy for gun control. Of course, a group unscroupolous and powerful enough to pull that off would likely not need to do so to implement gun control and would surely have been able to come up with a more effective means, but logic, reason and evidence don’t figure high on the list of guiding principles for inquiry among people like these. A brief article on the phenomenon is here

An important resource for all things Sandy Hook conspiracy is the website SandyHookHoax.com. It was created by one Jay Johnson, whose (self-reported) credentials include being “the only person in the world to solve LOST.” He claims that he originally created the website to help the victims, but then realized that “it was 99% odds another psychological operation that was going on.” He also emphasizes that he created the website on “12/21/12.” This is significant, “since I am the New Age Messiah, with my Look Your Heart in the Mirror™ as the new revelation from the Goddess Tefnut, aka Ma’at, of Egypt.” So there’s that, too.

Diagnosis: Needs a hug and someone to love and care for him. Desperately. As such it is unfortunate that we need to recommend people to maintain a safe distance, but we probably should.

 Raymond Kam

Raymond Kam is a Boston-based former psychiatrist who lost his license in 2013. When a 16-year old girl suffering from “several serious psychiatric symptoms and/or conditions” reported parental neglect and abuse to him, Kam decided that, instead of reporting the abuse (as required by law), the girl was demon-possessed. Upon deciding that the girl’s diagnosis was “spiritual” rather than psychiatric, he officially took himself off her case and appointed himself her “spiritual mentor” instead, apparently giving her a cross to wear (in exchange for an undisclosed other religious symbol) and bringing her to his church. At least the Board of Registration in Medicine voted to suspend his license indefinitely, saying his conduct called into question his “competence to practice medicine,” though they also allowed the suspension to be lifted as early as 2014 if Kam completed a psychiatric evaluation and other assessments, and entered into a five-year probation agreement – we haven’t seen any updates. Apparently Kam was supported in his assessments by another psychiatrist, Enrico Mezzacappa, who was reprimanded but didn’t lose his license – in other words, Mezzacappa is still out there preying on unsuspecting victims.

Diagnosis: It’s astonishing that Kam could get through his education being so abjectly incompetent at what he was doing, but he did. At least Mezzacappa is still at large, and even Kam himself might have returned to practice; watch out.

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

May 26, 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. 53

Date: Thursday, December 5, 1996

Commenced: 2:10 PM CST

Concluded: 2:25 PM CST

GD: Good afternoon, Robert. Still coping with the cold?

RTC: The temperature or my nose?

GD: Oh, both.

RTC: I stay inside and take medicine. At my age, the cold goes away and so does the person. No, pretty much under control. How are you doing?

GD: The diabetes is under control but my son is not. If he ever told me the truth, I would fall flat on the floor. He has the unfortunate habit of knocking his girl friends up and then ditching them. Not only do I disapprove of such behavior but I am the one who has weeping and pregnant people on my front porch while he hides in the bathroom. I have other things I would rather do, I can assure you.

RTC: Well, no, such is not good. What happens with the pregnant ones?

GD: I have to pay for the abortions and I am quite opposed to abortion. It would be a mess otherwise. Of course, he will never pay me back. I will have to take him to the vet one of these days and have him neutered. Save me a lot of grief and money.

RTC: There are always problems, aren’t there?

GD: Increasingly, Robert, increasingly. Listen, you and I spoke once about the origin of AIDS….

RTC: That wasn’t us; it was the Navy if you will recall.

GD: I think we have talked about this more than once. And killing of the chink’s rice crops. Well, from a pragmatic point of view, I can see the benefit of doing that. China is coming up very fast and soon enough, she will produce goods better and cheaper than we do. That’s what was behind the First World War. The Brits had a lock on manufactured goods until the Germans caught up with them. Instead of competing, they started a war and everyone went down. I suppose starving the Chinese would be better than nuking them. Less radioactive material in the air. Still, if the Chinese get too big, too fast, they will collapse internally unless, and I stress this, unless they get rid of the ancient Communist bosses and go over to a Western style republic complete with corruption at the highest levels. With their natural business acumen, industrious nature and a rigid dictatorship over everything, something will give in sooner or later. I suppose your people will be giving them a push. Maybe internal strife, maybe something else.

RTC: Well, I am out of it now and it’s their worry. Did you ever talk to Herr Mueller about things like this?

GD: Sometimes but when I was living in Bern, I discussed these things with a very senior KGB person.

RTC: Anyone I know?

GD: First Directorate and all. Probably. Is it snowing there?

RTC: Not now. I don’t suppose….

GD: No, I would rather not. It’s funny about our counter-intelligence. They won’t talk with me even though I know more than they do about their subjects.

RTC: Oh, of course not. Tell the FBI that the CIA wants to talk with you in private and see how fast they occupy your living room.

GD: One against the other, eh? Do it all the time in business. Oh and yes, I almost forgot. A Russian publisher’s representative was chatting with me the other day and mentioned, in passing, that your agency is now full of Jews and that a number of these are keeping their diplomatic pouches crammed with our secrets. You knew that?

RTC: I believe it. Can you give me names?

GD: A pleasure. I will have a list with names and home addresses sent to you from a friend in Maryland. I know nothing about it. Would you shoot them?

RTC: Heart attacks are much easier and less ostentatious. We can’t have that, Gregory. But something from the Russians to us via you is suspect. Not that you are a problem but how do we know they won’t pick out especially effective agents and ruin them?

GD: We don’t, so watch them and see. If they visit the Israeli embassy there, why then you have some confirmation. How would I do it? Take the suspect aside and give them some very reasonable but entirely false information with some zingers included. Then, if this shows up, you have confirmation. And then the car accident or the heart attack.

RTC: Gregory, the additives are not original with you but I applaud your grasp.

GD: Why not just ship all of them down to a new CIA station on McMurdo Sound in the Antarctic and forget to fly in winter supplies. Like food and heating oil. Come spring, a tragic discovery when the snow-covered camp is dug out by rescuers who were alarmed by the lack of reports on the bowel movements of penguins.

RTC: You have a perverse sense of humor Gregory but there is something to say about that.

GD: Or send them on special missions into Arab territory and tip off the Arabs. Let them draw and quarter them without any assistance from you. A nice condolence letter, machine-signed from the director, and some plastic flowers would do nicely.

RTC: Yes and a nice star on the wall.

GD: If I were doing it, there would more stars than the Milky Way.

RTC: We have had to remove a number of bad apples from our barrels, Gregory. Not Jews generally although a few got too uppity.

GD: Do you have any black agents in the field?

RTC: Now that you mention it, we do not. But by God, we do have black waiters in the executive dining rooms. Does that sound better to you?

GD: It’s a start. I note that the Jews like to sponsor blacks so if things go wrong, they will have walking sandbags to absorb the bullets that are meant for them. You should read ‘The True Believer’ by Hoffer. Very good book. Short, sharp and very much to the point.  Speaking of landfill candidates, how are the Switzers across the street doing?

RTC: Still there. Maybe you can come up with another idea.

GD: Well a huge car bomb set off just as their Ambassador is starting on a drive to some function might make a point.

RTC: You forget, Gregory, that I live right across the street. Think of my windows.

GD: True. Well, give me some time and I can come up with a solution.

RTC: A Final Solution?

GD: Ah, there we go with the Jews again. My God, what was that sound?

RFC: I was sneezing and knocked over a lamp.

GD: I thought someone blew up the Swiss Embassy.

RTC: There you go, trying to cheer an old man up. There’s broken lamp all over the floor and maybe we can talk again later.

 

(Concluded at 2:25 PM CST)

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

 

 

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