TBR Newss June 3, 2020

Jun 03 2020

The Voice of the White House
Washington, D.C. June 23 2020: Working in the White House as a junior staffer is an interesting experience.
When I was younger, I worked as a summer-time job in a clinic for people who had moderate to severe mental problems and the current work closely, at times, echos the earlier one.
I am not an intimate of the President but I have encountered him from time to time and I daily see manifestations of his growing psychological problems.
He insults people, uses foul language, is frantic to see his name mentioned on main-line television and pays absolutely no attention to any advice from his staff that runs counter to his strange ideas.
He lies like a rug to everyone, eats like a hog, makes lewd remarks to female staffers and flies into rages if anyone dares to contradict him.
It is becoming more and more evident to even the least intelligent American voter that Trump is vicious, corrupt and amoral. He has stated often that even if he loses the
election in 2020, he will not leave the White House. I have news for Donald but this is not
the place to discuss it.

Comment for June 3, 2020: A special small drone with a rifled pistol barrel and a single cartridge can be used to kill a subject. An on-bord television device allows the operator to track the target while they are in the open and then allow the operator to fire a single bullet into the target and escape the scene. Such a device was intended to kill Edward Snowden in Moscow but this proved to be too difficult and was abandoned.

The Table of Contents

• Trump Is Terrified of Protest
• Tensions rise in U.S. cities after police shot; Trump pushes crackdown
• A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests
• Exclusive: Most Americans sympathize with protests, disapprove of Trump’s response – Reuters/Ipsos
• Domestic Military Control Paper
• Conventional weapons versus biological ones
• Tax Fraud By The Numbers: The Trump Timeline
• Steve King: Republican congressman known for racist rhetoric loses primary race in Iowa
• Scientists alarmed as Trump embraces fringe views and extreme theories amid pandemic
‘He wears the armor of God’: evangelicals hail Trump’s church photo op
• The Gay Essenes and Jesus

Trump Is Terrified of Protest
Violent demonstrations across the United States bring out a particular weakness in the 45th president.
May 31, 2020
by Peter Nicholas
The Atlantic
Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence.
When Marine One deposited Trump on the South Lawn last night after his day trip to Florida, the president walked toward the entrance of the White House amid a cacophony of car horns and chanting protesters who flung themselves against barricades in an hours-long clash with police. Trump hasn’t seen demonstrations on this kind since he assumed office in January 2017. Protesters breached an outer checkpoint at 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue at one point yesterday afternoon. All day long, cars streamed toward the White House, with passengers leaning out the windows and chanting, “Black lives matter!” As one car passed a White House gate at 15th and E Streets, a group of men shouted at the guards: “Fuck you.” On sidewalks littered with soiled masks and empty water bottles, demonstrators pumped their fists in solidarity and demanded respect for African Americans—a community whom Trump says he “loves.
As night fell, the protesters massed outside Lafayette Square, just north of the White House. A booming drum echoed in the heavy evening air and people chanted, “I can’t breathe!” in homage to 46-year-old George Floyd, who died Monday while pinned to the ground by Minneapolis police, straining for breath. (The three-word chant—which counted among the final words of Eric Garner, another black man who died at the hands of cops, six years ago this month—could be heard in protests across the country last night.) Some tossed water bottles and other projectiles at a line of police officers, who in turn fired pepper spray, causing the protesters to scatter briefly along H Street and then return to the area outside the White House.
Later, vandals shattered windows in nearby buildings and set fire to cars. Graffiti scrawled on the window of a Wells Fargo branch at 17th Street and Pennsylvania read: “capitalism is murder.”
Between the coronavirus and the protests, crisis layered upon crisis, the White House has come to resemble a fortress. I walked onto the grounds yesterday after officials checked my temperature at a security gate and inquired about any symptoms: Had I lost my sense of smell or taste? I made my way toward the briefing room, past a long line of heavily armed police officers preparing to take up positions.
Around 6 p.m., the North Lawn was freshly mowed, the campus quiet. Yet the mood was tense, with police checking their weapons and scanning the crowd growing outside the gates. As I prepared to leave, an agent asked me to wait: Protesters were marching south on 17th Street, and the Secret Service wanted them to pass first. “Are you sure you want to go out there?” another agent asked me as I exited the compound.
Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted about the “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” that shield him and make him safe. Young Secret Service agents were girding for a fight, he wrote.
Presidents don’t normally feel compelled to boast about their protection. Trump wrote in a tweet that Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wouldn’t let the city’s police force assist during protests Friday. (That’s not the case; Secret Service said that city police officers were indeed on the scene.) In a tweet of her own, Bowser called Trump “a scared man. Afraid/alone.”
Trump has made known his disdain for protests that target him or his record. He tends to view them through a simple lens: as provocations that must be put down with unyielding force. Less important to Trump, it seems, are the grievances that give rise to the demonstrations in the first place. He’s described himself as a “law and order” president who admires practitioners of a certain rough justice. Yesterday, he tweeted praise for two generals from history: George Patton and Douglas MacArthur (he misspelled MacArthur). Both played a role in the government’s heavy-handed quashing of a protest in 1932 by war veterans who, in the midst of the Great Depression, wanted early payment of a bonus they were due.
Past presidents have sought to play a healing role when the nation is on edge, but Trump’s instinct is to plunge into combustible circumstances in ways that rouse his base. He encourages protests that align with his interests. Eager to see an economic revival, Trump last month egged on demonstrators who pressed Democratic governors to ease stay-at-home orders despite the coronavirus threat. “LIBERATE” Michigan, Virginia, and Minnesota, he tweeted. (Some protesters showed up in the Michigan state Capitol with guns and tactical gear).
At a campaign rally in December, he watched as security removed a protester. “Get her out,” he said from the stage. He faulted a security guard for being “politically correct” in his methods. “He didn’t do the greatest job,” Trump said. At a Las Vegas rally during the 2016 campaign, Trump said of a protester who’d shown up: “I’d like to punch him in the face,” and also criticized security personnel for treating the person too gingerly.
Early in his term, he picked a fight with NFL players who knelt in silent protest during the national anthem. He told his vice president, Mike Pence, to walk out of an Indianapolis Colts game in 2017 if members of the San Francisco 49ers took a knee. Pence obliged. The stunt cost taxpayers $325,000.
When Pence said last week that he supported people’s right to “peacefully protest,” he was mocked by the NBA coach Steve Kerr: “How do you have the gall to say this?” (Trump, too, said he supports “peaceful protesters.” At his appearance yesterday in Florida for the launch of the SpaceX craft, he also said: “I understand the pain that people are feeling. We support the right of peaceful protesters and we hear their pleas. But what we are now seeing on the streets of our cities has nothing to do with justice or with peace.”)
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” suggesting that the people ransacking stores could be met with deadly force. (He later softened his comment, saying he meant only that he didn’t want to see violence escalate.) “President Trump has thrown a verbal Molotov cocktail into what is already an explosive, emotional situation,” Valerie Jarrett, a former senior aide to President Barack Obama, told me. “He should be doing the exact opposite. He’s playing to a very small part of his base for political purposes.”
In the face of civil unrest, some past presidents looking to defuse tensions granted protesters an audience. Obama met with activists in the Oval Office in 2014 amid demonstrations over the killing of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Richard Nixon was a self-styled law-and-order president, too, who in 1971 talked about hiring teamsters’ union “thugs” to rough up Vietnam War protesters. Yet Nixon also left the White House early one morning in 1970 and made a surprise trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he spoke to students protesting the war. Nixon told them: “I know probably most of you think I’m an SOB. But I want you to know that I understand just how you feel.”
“He didn’t know how to connect with them, but he did try to empathize and build a bridge,” Timothy Naftali, a former director of the Nixon Presidential Library, told me. “It was an awkward effort, but it was an effort—a unique effort.”
On my way home, I met a couple from Virginia, Samuel and Elizabeth Chisolm, who wanted their two daughters to see the protest and learn something. The family stood on 16th Street, a couple of blocks north of the scrum at Lafayette Square, but close enough to hear the chants and see the police response.
“I’ve been alive to see Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and George Floyd,” Chelsea Chisolm, 17, told me. “I’ve never been in a major city in a protest. I’ve been the person behind the screen, yelling in their room: ‘No! No!’”
Last night, videos of two NYPD cruisers accelerating into a crowd of Brooklyn protesters exploded across social media. Trump saw fit to say something about police tactics: “Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest,” he tweeted. “There is nobody better, but they must be allowed to do their job!”

Tensions rise in U.S. cities after police shot; Trump pushes crackdown
June 2, 2020
by Susan Heavey and Nathan Lay
Washngton-New York (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday taunted state governors for not embracing his proposal to send in the U.S. military to quell unrest, hours after five officers were shot and wounded in an escalation of tensions between law enforcement and crowds protesting the killing of a black man in police custody.
Demonstrators smashed windows and looted stores in New York City late on Monday, including luxury retailers on Fifth Avenue, and set fire to a Los Angeles strip mall. Four officers were shot and wounded in St. Louis and one in Las Vegas who was critically wounded, authorities said.
Trump has threatened to use the military to crack down on the unrest, now in a second week, and has derided local authorities, including U.S. governors, for their response to the violent protests.
“New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum. The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces,” tweeted Trump, a Republican, in a reference to New York Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Trump has provided no evidence that leftists are behind the violence that has engulfed U.S. cities.
Cuomo said he was outraged by the violence and looting in New York City on Monday, and that the city’s mayor and police force “did not do their job last night.” He said he believed Mayor Bill de Blasio underestimated the scope of the problem.
The governor said he had offered the state’s mayors support from state police or 13,000 National Guard who are on standby and said that with a 38,000-strong police force, New York City should be able to address its unrest on its own. He said the president sought to blur the line between protesters with a legitimate cause and looters.
De Blasio poured cold water on the idea of bringing the National Guard to America’s largest city. He said when forces not trained to handle New York City crowds intervene, “still with loaded weapons and under stress, horrible things happen.”
The head of the National Guard, General Joseph Lengyel, said violence had decreased across the United States on Monday night, even as protest activity was sustained or increased. He said no Guard members were injured overnight.
Lengyel said 18,000 Guard members were assisting local law enforcement in 29 states, a figure that was increasing.
The violent U.S. protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American who died after a white policeman pinned his neck under a knee for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.
Derek Chauvin, the 44-year-old Minneapolis police officer who planted his knee on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Three other officers involved have not been charged.
Floyd’s death has reignited the explosive issue of excessive police force, especially against African Americans, and raised tensions on the front lines where officers have faced off against sometimes hostile crowds.
Four officers in St. Louis were shot late on Monday and taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. An emotional St. Louis police commissioner, John Hayden, said about 200 protesters were looting and hurling fireworks and rocks at officers.
“They had officers with gas poured on them. What is going on? How can this be? Mr Floyd was killed somewhere else and they are tearing up cities all across the country,” he told reporters.
A police officer was shot during protests in Las Vegas, police there said in a statement. Officers were injured in clashes elsewhere, including one who was in critical condition after being hit by a car in the Bronx, police said.
The protests have escalated racial tensions in a politically divided country that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, with African Americans accounting for a disproportionately high number of cases.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Tuesday told ABC News he is “considering all charges” against the officers involved in the Floyd case and that “all options are on the table.”
Trump, who is seeking re-election in November, has condemned the killing of Floyd and promised justice, but he has vowed to take action to stop rightful protests from being hijacked by an “angry mob,” deploying thousands of armed soldiers and law enforcement in the U.S. capital and vowing to do the same elsewhere if mayors and governors fail to regain control.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden pledged in a speech on Tuesday to try to heal the racial divide in America and blasted Trump’s response to the protests.
Dozens of cities are under curfews not seen since riots after the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
“President Trump is right to be focused on law and order. He wasn’t hired to be the consoler-in-chief,” said Jason Miller, who advised the Republican president’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Reporting by Barbara Goldberg, Lisa Lambert, Andy Sullivan, Maria Caspani, Peter Szekely, Lucy Nicholson, David Shepardson, Michael Martina, Brendan O’Brien, Sharon Bernstein, Lisa Richwine, Dan Whitcomb, Aakriti Bhalla, Subrat Patnaik and Radhika Anilkumar; Writing by Paul Simao; Editing by Howard Golle

A Short History of U.S. Law Enforcement Infiltrating Protests
June 2, 2020,
by Ryan Grim and Jon Schwarz
The Intercept
When Harry, George, Tom, and Joe showed up at a warehouse outside Philadelphia rented by protesters, organizers were immediately suspicious. The men claimed to be “union carpenters” from the Scranton, Pennsylvania, area who built stages — just the kind of help the protesters needed. They were preparing for the Republican National Convention in 2000, where the party would be nominating George W. Bush. Across the country, allied organizers were planning similar protests for the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.
One of the hallmarks of the social justice movement at the time was its puppets. Organizers were coming off successful protests in Seattle in November 1999 against the World Trade Organization, and in Washington, D.C., in April 2000, against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and had managed to reshape the politics of globalization. Soaring papier-mache puppets, rolled through the streets on individually constructed floats, projected a festive air, capturing sympathetic media coverage and countering the authorities’ narrative that the protesters were nihilists simply relishing in property destruction.
The four carpenters were good with a hammer, but much about them had protesters wary they were in fact infiltrators. In conversation, “they were not very political or well informed,” recalled Kris Hermes, an organizer, in “Crashing the Party,” his memoir of the affair. They were older and more muscular than most protesters, he wrote, and they insisted on drinking beer while working, despite the organizers’ ban on drinking in the warehouse. In discussions and meetings, they asserted the right of protesters to destroy property and to physically resist arrest. The movement’s intentional lack of hierarchy left organizers with little ability to act on their suspicions of infiltration, even as they were becoming more deft at sussing out such provocateurs.
On August 1, the first full day of the Republican convention, police surrounded the warehouse, known as the “Ministry of Puppetganda,” executed mass arrests, and confiscated the puppets, floats, signs, and other materials to be used in upcoming marches. The police lied, publicly saying that organizers had been planning violent demonstrations and hinting darkly at bomb-making materials being hidden in the warehouse. That roundup presaged other mass arrests of protest leaders throughout the week, followed by beatings inside the jail and even a $1 million bond.
When the warrant for the warehouse raid was unsealed, it finally confirmed that Harry, George, Tom, and Joe had been state troopers assigned to infiltrate the group and produce a pretext for a raid. All of the charges against the puppeteers were eventually dropped, and the saga would eventually cost the city millions in lawsuit settlements (with much of the legal work led by radical attorney Larry Krasner, who is now Philadelphia district attorney).
It is a historical fact, as this episode illustrates, that law enforcement frequently infiltrates progressive political movements using agent provocateurs who urge others to engage in violence. It is also a historical fact that, more rarely, such provocateurs commit acts of violence themselves.
The media pays little attention to such infiltrators, for a variety of reasons. On the one hand, corporate media has never taken much enthusiasm in questioning government action in the midst of riots or major demonstrations, unless that action goes wildly over the line or targets members of the media. The subject of provocateurs is also fraught from the perspective of protesters and movement organizers, as it can lead to paranoia that undermines solidarity and movement building. It is often conflated with the trope of “outside agitators” and used by authorities or other opponents of the protesters to delegitimize the anger on display, giving some protesters or their supporters an incentive to downplay the reality of the provocations.
The intensity of the conversation around protests that turn violent, and the life-or-death consequences of winding up on the wrong side of public opinion, leaves little room for a nuanced discussion. Were such a conversation possible, it would be easy to talk about the difference between the anger of a crowd and the actions it ultimately takes. An angry crowd that remains nonviolent and engages in zero property destruction is no less legitimately angry than one that does. Often the only difference is in whether and how the anger is triggered and escalated.
In protests across the country over the past week, the clear actor escalating the violence generally hasn’t been a protester or even a right-wing infiltrator, but the police themselves. In rally after rally, people have observed that looting and destruction only began after police charged and beat a crowd, or fired tear gas or rubber bullets into it. In other cases, it can take just one act by a protester to light the spark. Given the chaotic nature of the protests, it’s probable that everyone being blamed for property damage has played some role. But as the protests continue, and President Donald Trump calls for ever more violent methods of repression, the possible role of police provocateurs in protests is worth bearing in mind.
In 2008, Francesco Cossiga, one of the most important political figures in post-World War II Italy, provided a rare glimpse behind the curtain at how the world looks to people at the top of governments facing large-scale protests.
Cossiga had served as prime minister and then president of Italy. Before that, in the late ’70s, he led the Ministry of the Interior. During that period, he was notorious for the brutality with which he put down left-wing demonstrations led by students. This is how the New York Times reported the situation in 1977: “Extremists among the students have created chaos in a number of Italian cities with a wave of shooting and destruction.”
As Silvio Berlusconi’s administration faced similarly threatening protests, Cossiga urged them to rerun his playbook:
[They] should do what I did when I was interior minister. … Pull back police from streets and colleges, infiltrate the movement with provocateurs ready for anything [emphasis added], and for ten days let protesters devastate shops, burn down cars, and set cities aflame. Then, emboldened by popular support … police should have no mercy and send them all to the hospital. Not arrest them, because prosecutors would just free them right away, but beat them all and beat the professors that encourage them.
The Times appears to have mentioned the possibility that government provocateurs were behind some of the violence once — and then not as fact, but as an accusation of “leftwing parties and newspapers.”
Cossiga had been a professor of constitutional law and was a centrist Christian Democrat. When he became prime minister in 1979, Jimmy Carter’s ambassador to Italy saw this as an “excellent development,” and Cossiga maintained a strong relationship with America. There is no direct line between Cossiga and today’s protests in the U.S. But his example indicates that it’s no fevered conspiracy theory to believe reasonable, reputable figures see provocateur tactics as legitimate — even if most of them are more circumspect in public.
The best documented use of provocateurs by the U.S. government occurred during the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counter-Intelligence Program, or COINTELPRO, from 1956 to 1971. The reason the documentation is available is because a group of citizens broke into an FBI office in Pennsylvania — coincidentally, just a short drive from the warehouse targeted by police in 2000 — and stole files that they then passed to the media. This, in turn, led to congressional investigations, which pried loose more information.
In one notorious example in May 1970, an informant working for both the Tuscaloosa police and the FBI burned down a building at the University of Alabama during protests over the recent Kent State University shootings. The police then declared that demonstrators were engaging in an unlawful assembly and arrested 150 of them.
In another well-known case, a man nicknamed “Tommy the Traveler” visited numerous New York State colleges, posing as a radical member of Students for a Democratic Society. He encouraged acolytes to kidnap a congressman and offered training in Molotov cocktails. Two students at Hobart College acted on his suggestions and firebombed the campus ROTC building. Eventually it came out that his full name was Tommy Tongyai, and he had worked both for local police and the FBI.
The list goes on and on from there. A John Birch Society member turned FBI informant helped assemble time bombs and placed them on an Army truck. An FBI informant in the radical political organization Weather Underground took part in the bombing of a Cincinnati public school. A prominent member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War — and FBI informant — pushed for “shooting and bombing,” and his advocacy apparently did indeed lead to a bombing and a bomb threat. An FBI informant in Seattle drove a young black man named Larry Ward to a real estate office that engaged in housing discrimination and encouraged him to place a bomb there; the police were waiting and killed Ward. Thirteen Black Panthers were accused of a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty after receiving 60 sticks of dynamite from an FBI informant. After 28 people broke into a federal building to destroy draft files in 1971, an FBI informant bragged, “I taught them everything they knew.” All 28 were acquitted when his role was revealed.
The FBI also allowed informants within right-wing organizations to participate in violence against progressive activists. Gary Thomas Rowe, who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in 1960, provided the FBI with three weeks warning that the Klan was planning attacks on Freedom Riders arriving in Alabama from the north. The FBI stood by and allowed the attacks to occur. Local police gave the Klan 15 minutes to assault the activists. In those 15 minutes, the white supremacists — including Rowe — set the Freedom Rider bus on fire in an attempt to burn them alive.
Rowe may also have played a role in the infamous 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which killed four young girls. He was in the car with three other Klansmen in 1965 when they chased down and murdered Viola Liuzzo, a mother of five from Detroit who’d traveled to Selma. Rowe received immunity for testifying against his compatriots, and was given a job as a U.S. Marshall by Lyndon Johnson’s attorney general.
Local police informants without apparent connections to the FBI got into the act too. A deputy sheriff enrolled as a student at SUNY Buffalo and helped students build and test bombs. Another informant posed as a student at Northeastern Illinois State College, led sit-ins for Students for a Democratic Society, and encouraged compatriots to sabotage military vehicles.
Soon after COINTELPRO was uncovered in 1971, the FBI announced that it was halting all such activities. Mark Felt, the assistant FBI director now also known to be the infamous “Deep Throat” source for Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, later said that the bureau had made no effort to see that “constitutional values are being protected.”
When and whether the FBI ever stopped, however, is an open question. In 1975 an informant told the New York Times that he had engaged in COINTELPRO-like activities until he’d left the previous year. This included encouraging a Maoist group to blow up a bus at the 1972 GOP convention in Miami.
In any case, police forces in the U.S. continued the same tactics. In 1978, an undercover officer encouraged two hapless young activists to seize control of a television tower in Puerto Rico. When they arrived, they were gunned down by 10 policemen. Tellingly, when Puerto Rican government asked the FBI to investigate what happened, the FBI gave the government a clean bill of health. A top FBI official later called this a “coverup.”
After 9/11, the FBI got back in the business of encouraging violent acts in a big way — although they were generally much more careful to step in before the violence actually occurred. When journalist (and Intercept contributor) Trevor Aaronson examined U.S. prosecutions for international terrorism in the decade after the attacks, he found five examples of actual plots. By contrast, 150 people were indicted in sting operations that existed only thanks to the encouragement of the FBI and its informants. According to Aaronson, “the FBI is much better at creating terrorists than it is at catching terrorists.”
The same tactics have been used to generate purported domestic terrorism plots. In 2008 environmental activist Eric McDavid was sentenced to 20 years in prison for plotting to damage the Nimbus Dam in California. Eight years later, a judge ordered him released because the FBI had withheld evidence regarding a government informant. In 2012, the FBI and its informant essentially created a plot to blow up a bridge in Cleveland out of whole cloth, and dragged five Occupy activists into it.
Most recently, the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division invented something called the “Black Identity Extremism” movement. As portrayed by an FBI report, the threat from the imaginary movement reads as strikingly similar to that allegedly posed by black organizations during the days of COINTELPRO. The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives said this “resurrects the historically negative legacy of African American civil rights leaders who were unconstitutionally targeted and attacked by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.”
That brings us to the present day. On the one hand, this history doesn’t mean that the FBI or local police are currently acting as provocateurs during the current unrest. But it does mean that such activity is clearly one avenue that is open to U.S. police forces looking to undermine protests and escalate violence.
Government surveillance of the American public is very widespread and at the present time, almost every aspect of an American citizen, or resident, is available for official surveillance. This includes mail, television viewing, telephone conversations, computer communications, travel, ownership of property, medical and school records, banking and credit card transactions, inheritances and other aspects of a citizen’s daily life.
This is done to circumvent any possible organization that could contravene official government policy and has its roots in massive civil resistance to governmental policy during the war in Vietnam. The government does not want a reprise of that problem and its growing surveillance is designed to carefully watch any citizen, or groups of citizens, who might, present or future, pose a threat to government policy.
Another factor to be considered is the current American attitudes towards racial issues. There has always been prejudice in the United States against blacks. In 1943 there were bloody riots in Detroit and Los Angeles, the former aimed at blacks and the latter against Mexicans. Since then, there has been chronic racial prejudice but it has been relatively small and very local. Also, there is growing anti-Semitic prejudice in American but this is officially ignored and never is mentioned in the American media. Much of this growing problem is directed at the brutal actions of Israel against Palestinians. Israelis have an undue influence in the American political scene. The very far right so-called neo-cons are almost all Jewish and most are Israeli citizens. Also, the middle-level ranks of American CIA personnel are heavily infiltrated by Israelis and it is said that any secret the CIA has is at once passed to Israel and that countries needs are assuming importance in CIA actions.
The attitudes of the working class Americans were inflamed during the last presidential elections by Mr. Trump who catered to them and encouraged rebellious attitudes. By speaking against Central American illegal immigrants, Mr. Trump has caused a polarization of attitudes and the militant right wing in America, currently small in number but well-organized and potentially very dangerous, has begun to make its views very well known in public demonstrations.
This movement has played into the hands of far-right American political manipulators.
It is their intention to clandestinely arm these groups and use them to cause violent public confrontations with the far left groups.
By causing this potential violence, the manipulators intend to use the American military to move into unstable area to, as they say, ‘establish law and order’ while in reality, they will use martial law to firm up their basic control of a potentially fractious public.
It is then intended, according to information, to incorporate organized, para-military groups into a sort of domestic Federal police force. These people will not be punished for their actions but rewarded and utilized to ensure further right-wing control of the country.
Government surveillance of the American public is very widespread and at the present time, almost every aspect of an American citizen, or resident, is available for official surveillance. This includes mail, television viewing, telephone conversations, computer communications, travel, ownership of property, medical and school records, banking and credit card transactions, inheritances and other aspects of a citizen’s daily life.
This is done to circumvent any possible organization that could contravene official government policy and has its roots in massive civil resistance to governmental policy during the war in Vietnam. The government does not want a reprise of that problem and its growing surveillance is designed to carefully watch any citizen, or groups of citizens, who might, present or future, pose a threat to government policy.
Another factor to be considered is the current American attitudes towards racial issues. There has always been prejudice in the United States against blacks. In 1943 there were bloody riots in Detroit and Los Angeles, the former aimed at blacks and the latter against Mexicans. Since then, there has been chronic racial prejudice but it has been relatively small and very local.

Exclusive: Most Americans sympathize with protests, disapprove of Trump’s response – Reuters/Ipsos
June 2, 2020
by Grant Smith, Joseph Ax and Chris Kahn
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A majority of Americans sympathize with nationwide protests over the death of an unarmed black man in police custody and disapprove of President Donald Trump’s response to the unrest, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.
The demonstrations, some of which have turned violent, began last week after a Minneapolis police officer was videotaped kneeling on the neck of George Floyd for nearly nine minutes, even after Floyd appeared to lose consciousness. The officer has been charged with murder.
The survey conducted on Monday and Tuesday found 64% of American adults were “sympathetic to people who are out protesting right now,” while 27% said they were not and 9% were unsure.
The poll underscored the political risks for Trump, who has adopted a hardline approach to the protests and threatened to deploy the U.S. military to quell violent dissent. The Republican president faces Democrat Joe Biden in November’s election.
More than 55% of Americans said they disapproved of Trump’s handling of the protests, including 40% who “strongly” disapproved, while just one-third said they approved – lower than his overall job approval of 39%, the poll showed.
A separate Reuters/Ipsos poll found that Biden’s lead over Trump among registered voters expanded to 10 percentage points – the biggest margin since the former vice president became his party’s presumptive nominee in early April.
Twice as many independent voters said they disapproved of Trump’s response to the unrest. Even among Republicans, only 67% said they approved of the way he had responded, significantly lower than the 82% who liked his overall job performance.
The protests have deepened the sense of crisis for a country already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent devastating economic downturn. While many daytime demonstrations have been peaceful, some have led to violent clashes at night between police and protesters.
Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats said they supported peaceful protests but believed property damage undermined the demonstrators’ cause. Less than one quarter of Americans said violence was an appropriate response.
Even in rural and suburban areas largely unaffected by the demonstrations, most people expressed support. A little more than half of rural residents said they were sympathetic to the protesters, while seven out of 10 suburbanites agreed.
Forty-seven percent of registered voters said they planned to support Biden in the Nov. 3 election, compared with 37% favoring Trump. Biden vowed not to “fan the flames of hate” in a speech on Tuesday about the unrest.
Public opinion could be particularly volatile as the protests continue to roil major cities every night. Several police officers were shot on Monday night, and Trump has derided governors who have not asked for military assistance.
On Monday, police used tear gas to clear peaceful protesters near the White House so Trump could pose for a photograph in front of a church.
Americans are divided over the police response. According to the poll, 43% believed the police were doing a good job and 47% disagreed, with a majority of Democrats disagreeing and a majority of Republicans agreeing.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll on the protests was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States and gathered responses from 1,004 American adults. That poll had a credibility interval – a measure of precision – of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The other poll conducted over the same period regarding Trump’s overall job performance and the 2020 election gathered responses from 1,113 American adults and had a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Reporting by Grant Smith, Joseph Ax and Chris Kahn; Editing by Soyoung Kim and Peter Cooney

Domestic Military Control Paper

Note: This study, prepared for the NART group of the DoD is considered to be classified as Secret, NoForn, and is not to be copied or sent by email under any circumstances.
Revised preparation: 1 June 2020
• All firearms, to include pistols, rifles and shotguns, to be seized and impounded.
• No ammunition to be sold and any found to be confiscated.
• National ID card to be carried by all American citizens at all times and made available for inspection upon demand.
• All unemployed Americans to be inducted into a CCC type organization and put to work on public projects like forest clearance, road work, governmental construction projects. Youths between 18 and 25 will be inducted and then sent to work projects sufficiently distant from their homes to discourage and prevent desertions, escapes, etc.
• Certain breeds of dogs, such as German Shepherds, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers will be subject to confiscation and euthanasia.
• Citizens on Social Security or other governmental support programs must present the National ID card in order to collect benefits.
• All current US passports will be revoked and new ones with tracking chips embedded in them will be issued.
• Public gatherings of more that five (5) persons must only occur with prior, written official permission.
• All motor vehicles, to include passenger cars, trucks and busses, will be equipped with GPS devices, officially installed, and may not be removed or otherwise interfered with under penalty of law.
• Small water craft, to include sail and motor boats, must be simililarly equipped with GPS devices, also under penalty of law.
• The construction, possession and use of radio controlled aircraft models is strictly forbidden.
• The possession or use of any garment or other device, intended to block or otherwise interfere with infared surveillance is strictly forbidden.

Conventional weapons versus biological ones
by Christian Jürs
The Central Intelligence Agency has become deeply alarmed about smallpox. Since 1995, a number of leading American biologists and public-health doctors have been given classified national-security briefings on smallpox.
Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a highly contagious disease unique to humans caused by two virus variants called Variola major and Variola minor. V. major is the more deadly form, with a typical mortality rate of 20-40 percent of those infected
Smallpox is a serious, contagious, and often fatal, infectious disease. There is no specific treatment for smallpox disease, and the only prevention is vaccination.
The name ‘smallpox’ is derived from the Latin word for “spotted” and refers to the raised bumps that appear on the face and body of an infected person.
Most people today have no immunity to smallpox. The vaccine begins to wear off in many people after ten years. Mass vaccination for smallpox came to a worldwide halt around thirty years ago.
There is now very little smallpox vaccine on hand in the United States or anywhere else in the world, Russia being the exception.
There are two clinical forms of smallpox. Variola major is the severe and most common form of smallpox, with a more extensive rash and higher fever. There are four types of variola major smallpox: ordinary (the most frequent type, accounting for 90% or more of cases); modified (mild and occurring in previously vaccinated persons); flat; and hemorrhagic (both rare and very severe). Historically, variola major has an overall fatality rate of about 30%; however, flat and hemorrhagic smallpox usually are fatal.
A clandestine aerosol release of smallpox, even if it infected only 50 to 100 persons to produce the first generation of cases, would rapidly spread in a now highly susceptible population, expanding by a factor of 10 to 20 times or more with each generation of cases.
Between the time of an aerosol release of smallpox virus and diagnosis of the first cases, an interval as long as 2 weeks or more is apt to occur because of the average incubation period of 12 to 14 days and the lapse of several additional days before a rash was sufficiently distinct to suggest the diagnosis of smallpox. By that time, there would be no risk of further environmental exposure from the original aerosol release because the virus is fully inactivated within 2 days.
Because of the small amounts of vaccine available, a preventive vaccination program to protect individuals such as emergency and health care personnel is not an option at this time
At the present time, the United States’ national stockpile of smallpox vaccine is a collection of four cardboard boxes that sit on a single pallet behind a chain-link fence inside a walk-in freezer in a warehouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, near the Susquehanna River, at a facility owned by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories.
The vaccine is slowly deteriorating. The Food and Drug Administration has put a hold on the smallpox vaccine, and presently no one can use it — not even emergency personnel or key government leaders.
Generally, direct and fairly prolonged face-to-face contact is required to spread smallpox from one person to another. Smallpox also can be spread through direct contact with infected bodily fluids or contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing
Smallpox spreads from person to person, primarily by droplet nuclei or aerosols expelled from the oropharynx of infected persons and by direct contact.
At the end of the 12- to 14-day incubation period (range, 7-17 days), the patient typically experiences high fever, malaise, and prostration with headache and backache. Severe abdominal pain and delirium are sometimes present. A maculopapular rash then appears on the mucosa of the mouth and pharynx, face, and forearms, and spreads to the trunk and legs. Within 1 to 2 days, the rash becomes vesicular and, later, pustular
A smallpox outbreak poses difficult public health problems because of the ability of the virus to continue to spread throughout the population unless checked by vaccination and/or isolation of patients and their close contacts.
Patients who die of smallpox should be cremated immediately and whenever possible and mortuary workers should be vaccinated.

Tax Fraud By The Numbers: The Trump Timeline
by Kenneth W. Boyd, CPA
CPA Tax News
It’s no secret that tax law in the United States is extremely confusing. Even the length of the official tax code is subject to wild speculation; people estimate it to be somewhere between 2,500 pages and four times the length of the complete written works of Shakespeare.
As a result of this confusion, many people are intimidated by this substantial piece of American legislation. It’s because of this wariness around taxes and tax law that accounting has become such a lucrative profession, and it’s why the word “audit” strikes fear into the hearts of business owners.
But what if we could make tax law less confusing? What if it’s possible to break down the thousands of pages and hundreds of sections into something easier for ordinary people to understand?
Tax Fraud By The Numbers
In order to better understand the intricacies of tax law, we should start by examining the concept of tax fraud. After all, by understanding what constitutes a violation of the law, we can obtain a better understanding of the law itself.
And what better place to start than with the President of the United States?
Donald Trump has a long and fascinating history as a business mogul before becoming elected President in 2016. In that time, he has made big waves in real estate and entrepreneurship and has been accused of multiple fraudulent activities in the process. Many of these accusations have been catalogued in a massive exposé published by the New York Times.
Whether or not these accusations are legitimate is up to the courts to decide. This is in no way an indictment or direct attack on the president; all we are attempting to do with these events is construct an educational case study. By analyzing these scenarios, we should be able to establish a working knowledge of tax fraud and, by extension, tax law itself.
So read on to learn about Donald Trump’s tax fraud allegations over the course of 25 years and what they can teach us about the United States tax code!
Trump’s Tax Fraud Timeline
Gift Tax Fraud
Although the accusations of fraud leveled at Donald Trump cover several different areas of tax law, one thing nearly all of them have in common is that they involve circumventing gift taxes.
But why is this the case?
For people who aren’t billionaires, gift tax isn’t a major issue. Any exchange of money or property from one individual to another without expecting anything of equivalent value in return would qualify as a taxable gift in the eyes of the IRS. However, this tax doesn’t need to be paid if the value of these gifts are lower than the annual or lifetime exclusion. As of 2018, the annual exclusion is $15,000 and the lifetime exclusion is $11.8 million.
Here’s an example of how the gift tax works:
If you wanted to give someone in your family a used Toyota Corolla that was worth about $5,000, you wouldn’t have to pay gift taxes on it. But if you wanted to gift someone a brand-new Tesla Model 3 with a base price of $35,000, you would have to pay gift taxes since it’s worth more than the annual exclusion rate.
At least, you would have to pay taxes on that Tesla if you had already given them $11.8 million over the course of your lifetime. It’s not a perfect analogy, but it works to illustrate our point!
In the case of Donald Trump, the amounts of money and property being given far exceed these exclusions. And because of this, all gifts that he received would be taxed to the tune of 55%.
So how did he (allegedly) get around this steep tax? In a number of ways: many of them accomplished with the help of his father Fred Trump, according to the New York Times.
As the Times tells it, Donald took out several “loans” from his father Fred in order to support some of his struggling business ventures. A document cataloguing some of these loans place the total at nearly $5 million in 1979 alone. These loans were open-ended, meaning that there was no set payment schedule. The implication of this is that there was no real pressure or even expectation to pay back these loans.
And this is how Trump’s father gave him a gift of about $5 million dollars without having to give the IRS 55%.
Securities Fraud
So how did Donald Trump get out of paying back the loans he made to his father? Even though these substantial cash injections into his businesses were essentially gifts from a father to his son, there needed to be some attempt at paying them back in order to avoid the 55% tax bill. And because Trump (allegedly) needed this money to simply keep many of his struggling businesses afloat, there was no way he could actually pay them back in full.
The solution in this case would be to work out a situation where the loans have been paid off without losing any actual money or equity: which is exactly what the New York Times claimed Trump did in the early 90’s by committing securities fraud.
But before we get into the specifics, let’s quickly go over what securities fraud is:
Securities fraud is any kind of fraudulent activity that involves stocks or investments. According to Investopedia, this form of tax fraud “can be committed in a variety of forms, but mostly involves misrepresenting information investors use to make decisions.” Some recent high-profile examples of securities fraud include the Enron scandal in 2001 and Bernie Madoff’s long-running Ponzi scheme that was thwarted in 2008.
Securities fraud isn’t always tax fraud, but it becomes tax fraud when it is committed in order to circumvent paying taxes. And this is the context of the allegations leveled against Trump.
Here’s what happened according to the Times:
By 1989, Donald Trump owed his father about $11 million and it was coming up on time to collect. If the loan was simply forgiven, it would turn into taxable income; instead, Donald paid it back through a 7.5% stake in one of his Manhattan condominiums. This means that both Donald and his father Fred agreed that 7.5% of his property, obtained through stocks, had a value of $11 million.
However, Fred Trump sold this 7.5% stock back to his son just two years later for only $10,000, spread out over multiple transactions. One documented example from 1991 provided by the Times listed a net loss of almost $1 million for just one of these transactions! Nothing drastic happened to New York City real estate prices in order to justify this price difference, so it appears as though the agreed-upon 7.5% was now only worth a fraction of its original value.
In this way, Donald Trump and his father were able to turn a debt of $11,000,000 into only $10,000, paid tax-free, all by grossly overvaluing and then undervaluing the stock value of his property.
Loans Fraud
Based on the evidence, it seems that Trump has been receiving quite a bit of help from his father in a way that isn’t supposed to attract a lot of attention from the IRS. However, an incident of loan fraud in 1990 seems to be an exception to father and son’s standard operating procedure, at least according to documented evidence provided by the Washington Post.
As the story goes, a man named Howard Snyder acting as Fred Trump’s attorney visited Trump Castle, one of Donald Trump’s casinos in Atlantic City. He then purchased $3.5 million worth of casino chips. Then he leaves without playing a single game.
You might be wondering: if Donald Trump is already receiving gifts from his father disguised as loans, why would he then take out loans from his father poorly disguised as legitimate business transactions?
Part of the reason for this extra layer of deception seemed to be so that Trump could receive this money faster than if conducted through ordinary loan channels. The reason why this particular loan was so time-sensitive, according to the New York Times, is that he needed it in order to make a bond payment of about $18.4 million. And because of that loan, even in spite of the fact that this obvious act of fraud was caught and punished by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, Trump was able to make that payment.
Another reason for this fraudulent act could easily be explained by the way it reduced the fees he had to pay the government in exchange for such a substantial wealth transfer. As we’ve learned, receiving $3.5 million as a gift would require paying an extremely high percentage in gift taxes. However, a loan also requires high fees due to the need for an interest rate.
One of the ways that the IRS differentiates a loan from a gift or taxable income is through the addition of an Applicable Federal Rate (AFR). These rates are updated every year since they reflect the average percentage of interest charged on all loans made by banks and other financial institutions in the country. Consequently, a loan is only considered a loan in the eyes of the IRS when it applies interest in line with the AFR. And in December of 1991, the AFR for a short-term monthly loan was 5.49%.
Here’s a quick multiple-choice question. If you are required to give up a portion of $3.5 million dollars, which amount would you rather pay:
1.55%, or $1.9 million
1.5.5%, or $175,000
1.1.8%, or $65,000
Donald Trump picked option C. When the New Jersey Casino Control Commission charged him with fraud, they fined him $65,000, which is slightly less than 2% of the money he received. And that’s how he was able to receive a loan, tax and interest-free, in time to save his casino from foreclosure.
Appraisal and Estate Tax Fraud
Before we go any further, it’s important to define some terms:
Let’s start with estate tax. This is more or less the same thing as gift tax and is closely tied with inheritance tax. All three of these concepts are closely interlinked to the point where many individuals mistake them for each other; they will refer to inheritance tax as estate tax and vice versa.
So what’s the difference between these three concepts? Here’s a brief rundown of their definitions:
•Gift tax is applied when explicitly giving a gift to another person or party. It is paid by the giver, but it can be collected from the receiver if the giver fails to pay. It is a federal tax, which means that gifts given anywhere in the country can be subject to them.
•Estate tax is applied when determining the value of a deceased person’s property. It is paid by the estate before bequeathment, meaning that the taxes are taken out of this value before it is passed on to the receiver. There is a federal estate tax with its own exclusion rate and a state estate tax that varies depending on the state.
•Inheritance tax is applied when passing a deceased person’s property onto their beneficiaries as outlined in their will. It is paid by the receiver, meaning that the taxes are charged to the person receiving the money or property. This is a state tax that only applies to Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Now that we’ve defined those terms, we can talk about appraisal fraud. This is when an individual or organization either inflates or deflates the value of a property dishonestly. The reasons for doing so can vary; however, the most often reason for committing this form of fraud is to manipulate mortgage rates, which is why it is also sometimes referred to as mortgage fraud. The FBI has stated that this particular form of fraud was a major contributing factor to the 2008 housing crisis.
So what does estate tax and appraisal fraud have to do with Donald Trump?
It’s important to note at this point that Donald Trump is not an only child. Although it sounds like he received quite a bit of special treatment from his father Fred, the truth is that his siblings also allegedly received substantial gifts and properties as well.
And in 1981, one of Donald’s siblings, Fred Trump Jr., passed away due to complications from alcoholism. This meant that all of his assets would be passed on to his surviving family members according to his will, which would be handled by his estate.
The individuals who were in charge of his estate, by the way, were Donald and Fred Sr.
This is the first instance reported by the New York Times in which Donald Trump participated in appraisal fraud in order to avoid paying estate taxes. Although the Times states that the inherited properties would have been worth over $90 million, a document they obtained shows that the estate (Donald and Fred Sr.) claimed they were only worth slightly over $13 million.
As a result of this, Fred Trump Jr.’s estate only had to pay $700,000 in estate taxes. If they had declared these properties on their estate tax return at their full value, they would have had to pay nearly $60 million according to estate tax rates and exclusions in that year.
The next instance in which the Times claims that Donald Trump committed appraisal fraud to pay less in estate taxes occurred in 1997 when his father passed away. According to another document provided by the publication, Fred Trump’s estate was said to have a total value of around $41 million. However, they then state that Donald was able to sell his share of the estate for $177.3 million in 2004.
Think about those numbers for a minute. How was Donald Trump able to turn a portion of $41 million into $177.3 million in just 7 years? As the Times tells it, he was able to do this by handling his late father’s estate the same was as he did his late brother’s: fraudulently.
Expense Reports Fraud
As the story goes, Fred Trump Jr.’s passing was a tragic surprise that couldn’t have been planned for in any way. However, the passing of Fred Trump Sr. was of natural causes, meaning there was plenty of time to prepare for the handling of his estate. Because of this, the New York Times claims that steps were taken ahead of time to siphon as much wealth from Fred Sr. to his children before his death in order to further minimize the size of his estate taxes.
One of the ways that this was accomplished was through a company named All County Building Supply and Maintenance, according to the Times. This company was hired by Fred Trump, owned by his children, and used to give them money through expense reports fraud.
But what is expense reports fraud?
This is a form of financial fraud that is well-known and fiercely opposed by many forensics accountants and anti-fraud organizations. Also known as expense schemes, this is when a business or one of its employees lies about their expenses.
Let’s go over the difference between an honest business expense and a fraudulent one. In the first scenario, an employee takes a client out to dinner in order to discuss business. In this case, the employee can claim the cost of dinner as a legitimate business expense. But if the employee takes someone who isn’t a client out to dinner as a date and then claims it as a business expense, they are committing expense report fraud.
Expense reports fraud can take many forms, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, such as when “an employee overstates the cost of actual expenses and seeks reimbursement.” And this is the type of fraud that the Times claims the Trumps engaged in with the aid of All County Building Supply and Maintenance.
An annotated document contained in their article breaks down how a purchase of 60 boilers for Fred Trump’s properties, conducted through All County Building Supply, was marked up by 20%. This extra 20% was pure profit, paid out to the owners of the building supply company. With enough business transactions conducted in this way, substantial amounts of money can be legally fed from Fred to his children without having to pay gift taxes.
And that’s how Donald Trump and his siblings were able to drain their father’s accounts before his death while paying the bare minimum taxes possible.
Let’s go over the different types of fraud discussed in this article: those that have been allegedly committed by the 45th President of the United States according to the Times’ exposé:
•Gift tax fraud, where IRS fees on gifts are avoided by disguising them as loans or legitimate business transactions.
•Securities fraud, where the value of stocks and investments are misrepresented in order to deceive investors or the IRS.
•Loans fraud, where a loan is disguised as a different transaction in order to avoid involving a financial institution and setting fair interest rates.
•Appraisal fraud, where the value of a property is misrepresented in order to manipulate mortgage rates or deceive the IRS.
•Estate tax fraud, where the value of an individual’s estate is misrepresented in order to avoid paying a high percentage to the IRS.
•Expense reports fraud, where business expenses are misrepresented in order to deceive a business or the IRS.
Not all of these fraudulent activities are specifically tax fraud, but they can all be used for the purpose of committing tax fraud. This is because they involve misrepresenting the value or existence of properties and expenses in order to deceive individuals, businesses, accountants, and tax auditors.
So what does this teach us about tax law? Well, by understanding what we aren’t supposed to do, we should be able to figure out what we are supposed to do, at least in the eyes of the IRS.
•We’re supposed to pay a portion of anything inherited or received as a gift if it’s worth a significant amount.
•If we’re taking out a loan instead of receiving a gift, we have to go through proper channels in order to ensure that the payment schedules and interest rates are set fairly.
•And we’re not supposed to lie about the values of our properties, investments, or business expenses.

Steve King: Republican congressman known for racist rhetoric loses primary race in Iowa
Randy Feenstra unseats nine-term conservative, who was repeatedly reprimanded by party leaders for interactions with white nationalists
June 3, 2020
by Daniel Strauss and agencies
The Guardian
The controversial Iowa Republican congressman Steve King has been ousted in Tuesday’s primary, losing his re-election race to the state senator Randy Feenstra.
King had faced the re-election fight of his life. The nine-term conservative congressman, who was repeatedly reprimanded by leaders in his own party for racist rhetoric and interactions with white nationalists, found himself in a nightmare situation for an incumbent congressman.
He had been stripped of his committee assignments, abandoned by more mainstream Republicans and chastised by party leadership. He had even lost support from prominent conservatives in Iowa.
Feenstra declared victory on Tuesday evening, promising he’d deliver “results for the families, farmers and communities of Iowa”.
King on Tuesday faced four Republican primary challengers, including Feenstra. Several of King’s former supporters had thrown their weight behind Feenstra.
For years, King was a source of headaches for Republican party leadership.
He has tied immigrant children to being drug mules, questioned whether minorities have contributed anything valuable to western civilization and displayed a Confederate flag on his desk. He has wondered why it is offensive to be called a white nationalist. He has also associated with far-right figures including the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, and once argued to a far-right Austrian publication that elites were trying to reduce the white population and increase minorities population and increase minorities.
Even the Republican Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, suggested that King seek other careers.
In November, Feenstra will face his Democratic opponent, who is hardly a shoo-in. In the last five presidential elections, Iowa’s fourth congressional district has voted for the Democratic presidential nominee only once – in 2008 for Barack Obama.
Iowa’s vote was held alongside a host of other primary contests on Tuesday that tested the nation’s ability to run elections while balancing a pandemic and sweeping social unrest.
Joe Biden, the de-facto Democratic presidential candidate, was on the cusp of formally securing the nomination after winning hundreds more delegates in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota.
Other victories of the night included Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader – who won an easy nomination in the Democratic primary in Maryland’s fifth district, a seat he has held for 40 years – and Yvette Herrell, who won the Republican primary in New Mexico’s second district.

Scientists alarmed as Trump embraces fringe views and extreme theories amid pandemic
Trump has a history of defying scientific findings but his actions during coronavirus have startled even his most vocal critics
June 3, 2020
by Oliver Milman
The Guardian
The early months of Donald Trump’s administration saw its approach to science routinely compared to George W Bush’s – both governments were highly sympathetic to large corporations, distrustful of anything to do with the climate crisis and enthused at the idea of delegating oversight to the states.
Trump’s version may have been more abrasive and bungling but it at least seemed a familiar extension of the last Republican administration.
More recently, however, scientists have been struck by Trump’s embrace of fringe beliefs and extreme, unsupported theories. Suddenly, it is not the profit-driven lobbyists and lawyers that are the worry, it is the quacks, cranks and conspiracy theorists.
“They have exceeded my imagination with their scientific denial,” said Gretchen Goldman, a research director at Union of Concerned Scientists. “Previous administrations at least gave the appearance of wanting scientific evidence and qualified people in positions of power. This administration clearly doesn’t care, which changes the game.”
Trump himself has a long history of defying mainstream scientific findings on the existence of climate change and the efficacy of vaccines, but his actions during the coronavirus pandemic have startled even his most vocal critics.
The president falsely claimed Covid-19 would evaporate in the April sunshine, expressed bewilderment that a vaccine wasn’t imminent and pondered the merits of injecting disinfectant as a treatment. Trump has also repeatedly touted the benefits of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug he says he himself has taken as a precaution despite evidence it can cause heart problems in some patients. The World Health Organization recently halted trials to see if the drug could treat Covid-19, citing safety fears.
From its inception, the Trump administration has handed leadership of federal agencies to figures who have represented polluting industries. Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, heads the Environmental Protection Agency, while David Bernhardt, another former energy lobbyist, is in charge of America’s public lands as secretary of the interior.
The deregulatory zeal of these agencies, often in the face of scientific advice, has seen droves of scientists leave the government. In a January estimate, 20% of high-level scientific positions within the government are vacant, with long-term officials complaining of being sidelined or silenced.
But the administration has also increasingly shown willingness to ally itself with groups far more fringe than the standard class of lobbyist that inhabits Washington DC.
The administration defended Trump’s use of hydroxychloroquine by pointing to supportive statements from the Association of Physicians and Surgeons, an outlier group that has questioned whether HIV causes Aids (it does), argued abortion causes breast cancer (it does not) and even alleged former president Barack Obama used hypnosis techniques to trick voters, especially Jewish people, into supporting him (there is no evidence of this).
In April, Trump unveiled advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that Americans should wear face masks to curb the spread of Covid-19, but has since echoed fringe rightwing views that masks are pointless or somehow unmanly. The president said on Tuesday it was “very unusual” that Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, was seen wearing a mask, calling its use “politically correct”.
“The elevation of fringe views is even more vivid with coronavirus, the impacts are more evident,” said Goldman.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration has aligned itself with an anti-abortion lobbying group called the Center for Family and Human Rights, helping spread its message to the UN, while Trump’s own spiritual adviser Paula White has said she hopes abortion laws are overturned, declaring on a video that emerged in January: “We command any satanic pregnancies to miscarry right now!”
The pandemic has obscured a determined push by the Trump administration to further roll back regulations designed to prevent pollution and protect public health, with some of these efforts jarring uncomfortably with the federal government’s own analysis.
For example, the administration is scaling back fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks, a process that has provoked a lawsuit from 23 aggrieved states and, according to a study of the EPA’s own figures, will cause an extra 18,500 deaths over the next three decades from air pollution, as well as $240bn more in extra fuel costs for Americans.
“This administration is antithetical to science, there is an ideological mandate to roll back regulations. Facts and logic doesn’t matter, even the law doesn’t matter,” said Chris Frey, a a professor of environmental engineering at NC State University.
Frey was part of an EPA clean air advisory panel that was dismantled as part of a revamp that has seen agency panels filled with industry-aligned and fringe characters – including an official who has argued air pollution is good for public health – and the process of considering science rerouted to bypass a large body of research that links pollution to harm such as asthma and heart disease.
“It will take years to undo the damage. This administration is honestly a threat to public health,” Frey said. “The past three years have hurt the US scientific community in a lot of ways. If this continues for another three years, I don’t know if it’s robust enough to take it.”
US politics’ problematic relationship with science doesn’t just hinge upon one administration, however. Until the election of a handful of people with scientific backgrounds in the 2018 midterms, Bill Foster was the only member of Congress with a scientific PhD. Foster has admitted the experience often felt lonely and frustrating.
“We’ve achieved a lot with science but I’m embedded in a culture that doesn’t value science,” said Foster, an Illinois Democrat. “The heroes we are looking for are the people who have spent their careers in science.”
Foster added that Trump’s reaction to mask wearing has cost lives.
“If he had said masks are very useful and then apologized for the fact the stockpile of masks was so low, many tens of thousands of Americans would be alive today,” he said. “That is the tragedy that bothers me more than anything.”

‘He wears the armor of God’: evangelicals hail Trump’s church photo op
The president’s appeal to his base amid protests was derided by some Christians. Others saw a victory in a world of evil
June 3, 2020
by Matthew Teague in Fairhope, Alabama
The Guardian
No one accuses Donald Trump of subtlety. When the US president raised a Bible overhead on Monday evening outside St John’s Episcopal church in Washington DC, the sign was unmistakable: an appeal to his evangelical base for loyalty, as protests and riots roared across America.
Not every Christian answered the call. The Rev Gini Gerbasi, an Episcopal priest, said police used teargas to drive her and others from St John’s before Trump’s appearance. “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” she told Religion News Service.
But many of Trump’s evangelical supporters, far from Washingtons political stage, saw the move as a victory in a world rife with evil.
“My whole family was flabbergasted,” said Benjamin Horbowy, 37.
The Horbowys had gathered in Tallahassee, Florida, to watch live as Trump walked from the White House to St John’s. “My mother just shouted out, ‘God give him strength! He’s doing a Jericho walk!’”
A Jericho walk, in some evangelical circles, refers to the biblical book of Joshua, where God commanded the Israelites to walk seven times around the opposing city of Jericho, whose walls then came crashing down.
Horbowy already supported Trump politically – he heads the local chapter of a pro- Trump motorcycle club and is campaigning for a seat in Florida’s state senate – but when Trump lifted the Bible, Horbowy and his family felt overcome spiritually.
“My mother started crying. She comes from Pentecostal background, and she started speaking in tongues. I haven’t heard her speak in tongues in years,” he said. “I thought, look at my president! He’s establishing the Lord’s kingdom in the world.”
Did he feel that conflicted with the Gospel of John, where Jesus said “my kingdom is not of this world”?
“Well,” Horbowy said, “that’s a philosophical question.”
After watching Trump’s gesture, Horbowy changed his Facebook profile photo to one of Trump outside St John’s, with added rays of light emanating from the Bible. “It was the coolest thing he could do. What more could he do, wear blue jeans and ride in on a horse?” he said.
The catalysts for the protests was the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Asked about that, Horbowy said, “There’s a Bible verse that says we shouldn’t talk about evil things. We can just say, ‘There’s evil’ and move on.”
He couldn’t remember the exact verse, he said.
So how did devotees like Horbowy become such a potent force that Trump would signal them in his hour of need? One answer lies in their relationship with Trump. They have given him their fervent support at the ballot box and in turn they have seen a conservative takeover of the courts and an assault on reproductive and LGBTQ+ rights.
Their power and worldview is a culmination of trends that started decades ago, according to John Fea, a history professor at Messiah College and himself an evangelical Christian. “It’s rooted in fear,” he said.
In the 1980s, Fea said, several forces converged to alarm white Christians: a removal of official prayer and Bible readings from schools, an influx of immigrants from Asia and the Middle East, and the final desegregation of schools like Bob Jones University.
“So came the emergence of the Christian right,” Fea said.
Figures like Jerry Falwell and James Dobson started wielding political influence in a new way, followed today by a new generation that includes Franklin Graham and the Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, one of Trump’s leading evangelical defenders.
“What seems to be missing in much of the coverage is that a group of protesters had tried to burn that church to the ground 24 hours earlier,” Jeffress said.
Jeffress sees no conflict between Trump’s behavior and the Bible he held up Monday evening. “You mean, does he pretend to be perfectly pious?” he said. “No.”
Fea calls faith leaders like Jeffress “court evangelicals”.
“Trump has these people around him,” Fea said. “They’re telling him, ‘You need to get your evangelical base on board.
People once concerned with piety, Fea said, now crave “an exercise in pure political power”, and the Bible is not longer a spiritual weapon but an earthly one.
When Trump describes himself as a “law and order” president and holds aloft a Bible, he conflates which law he will enforce, and whose order will follow. In a short speech before the walk to St John’s, Trump said he would “dominate the streets”. That is the “kingdom in the world” Horbowy referenced.
“I believe it’s like Ephesians 6:10 through 19,” Horbowy said from Florida. “I believe this is a president who wears the full armor of God.”
But one of those verses – verse 12 – says explicitly that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood”, but against spiritual enemies.
“Well,” Howbowy said. “He’s fearless.”

The Gay Essenes and Jesus
by Thomas Kinkaid Kimmel, Jr.
The history and dogma of the Essenes
The Essenes, a Judean cult, were an agricultural community that had a communistic approach to their life style. There was a common purse and shared wealth and much, if not most, of the first expressed Christian dogma came directly from the Essenes. Unfortunately, like the Spartans and Zulus who were essentially a military community cult, the agricultural Essenes were male-oriented and homosexual in nature and performance. The Essenes were outlawed by the Romans, and many members were subsequently crucified in a general crackdown under Titus, not because of their sexual practices but because of their political opposition to Roman rule The small remnants of the Essenes retreated to the Dead Sea area and eventually died out.
The Essenes are discussed in detail by Josephus and Philo. Scholars believe that the community at Qumran that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls were Essenes, that Jesus was an Essene, and Christianity as we know it today evolved from this sect of Judaism, with which it shared many ideas and symbols The Essenes are best known today as the inhabitants from Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were located by Bedouins first in 1947. It is now known that they were closely affiliated with the Hasidim, a sectarian group that included the disciples of Hillel and Menahem the Essene who left for Damascus in 20 BCE.
The Gospel of John makes references to the disciple whom Jesus loved (John 13:23, 19:26, 21:7, 20), In the text, this beloved disciple is present at the crucifixion of Jesus, with Jesus’ mother, Mary.
It has traditionally been assumed that the disciple whom Jesus loved is a self-reference by the author of the Gospel, traditionally regarded as John the Apostle.
Aelred of Rievaulx, in his work Spiritual Friendship, referred to the relationship of Jesus and John as a “marriage” and held it out as an example sanctioning friendships between clerics.[6] It has been claimed that it was held by Francesco Calcagno, who was investigated on that account by the Venetian Inquisition in 1550.
James I of England may have been relying on a pre-existing tradition when he defended his relationship with the young Duke of Buckingham: “I wish to speak in my own behalf and not to have it thought to be a defect, for Jesus Christ did the same, and therefore I cannot be blamed. Christ had his son John, and I have my George
In the Gospel of John, the disciple John frequently refers to himself in the third person as ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved’.” One might argue that Jesus loved all of his followers in a non-sexual way. Thus to identify Jesus’ love for John in a special way might indicate a sexual relationship. The disciple was “the” beloved. He was in a class by himself. During the Last Supper before Jesus’ execution, the author(s) of the Gospel of John describes how the “beloved” disciple laid himself on Jesus’ inner tunic — his undergarment. See John 13:25 and 21:20. Robert Goss, assistant professor of comparative religion at Webster University in St. Louis, LA, noted that Jesus and the beloved disciple: “… eat together, side by side. What’s being portrayed here is a pederastic relationship between an older man and a younger man. A Greek reader would understand.” On the other hand: Some commentators have suggested that it was a common practice in Judea at that time for heterosexual man to lay his head on another’s undergarment. Such behavior was common between two heterosexuals in an emotionally close but non-erotic relationship during the first century CE.
Morton Smith, of Columbia University reported in 1958 that he had found a fragment of a manuscript which at the Mar Saba monastery near Jerusalem. It contained the full text of Mark, chapter 10. Apparently the version that is in the Christian Scriptures is an edited version of the original. Additional verses allegedly formed part of the full version of Mark, and were inserted after verse 34. It discusses how a young man, naked but for a linen covering, expressed his love for Jesus and stayed with him at his place all night.
Mark 7:14-16 shows that Jesus approves of homosexual acts. The critical phrase reads: “There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him…” Jesus gave great emphasis to this teaching, directing it to everyone.
Mark 14:51-52 describes the incident when Jesus was arrested by the religious police. It describes how one of Jesus’ followers was scantily dressed. The King James Version says he had a linen cloth cast on his naked body; the size and location of the cloth is not defined. The New International Version says that he was “wearing nothing but a linen garment.” When the police tried to seize him, they were able to grab only his cloth; the man ran away naked. Reverend Peter Murphy wrote: “We don’t know from the sources what really was going on, but we do know that something was very peculiar between Jesus and young men.” 11 (Emphasis in the original.)
Michael Kelly wrote of Jesus’ attitude towards a same-sex couple as described in Matthew 8:5-13: and Luke 7:2: “One day a Roman Centurion asked him to heal his dying servant. Scholars of both Scripture and Ancient History tell us that Roman Centurions, who were not permitted to marry while in service, regularly chose a favorite male slave to be their personal assistant and sexual servant. Such liaisons were common in the Greco-Roman world and it was not unusual for them to deepen into loving partnerships….Jesus offered to go to the servant, but the centurion asked him simply to speak a word of healing, since he was not worthy to welcome this itinerant Jewish teacher under his roof. Jesus responded by healing the servant and proclaiming that even in Israel he had never found faith like this! So, in the one Gospel story where Jesus encountered people sharing what we would call a ‘gay relationship,’ we see him simply concerned about — and deeply moved by — their faith and love.” Kelly implies that Jesus’ sensitivity towards the gay couple might have arisen from his own bisexual or homosexual orientation.
Some commentators argue from silence. They note that there is no passage in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that directly describes anything about Jesus’ sexuality. There are many direct and indirect references to Jesus’ sensuality. He was accused of being a “drunkard and a glutton” and of partying with “prostitutes and sinners.” He apparently enjoyed a tender foot massage from a woman. Yet, neither Jesus’ sexuality nor his celibacy is mentioned. Yet, sex is referred to, elsewhere in the Bible, quite often. One might argue that the books in the Christian Scriptures might have once described Jesus’ sexual relationships, but that these passages have been vigorously censored by the later church because they were unconventional.
Other commentators have noted that Jesus is silent towards homosexuality in the Gospels. Yet, Paul’s opinions and those of many other authors in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) are clearly stated. They conclude that Jesus could reasonably have been gay.
In the Renaissance period (14th—16th centuries), a man was accused and tried in Venice (c.1550) for heresies, one of which was his claim that John was Christ’s catamite (cinedo di Cristo), an idea that apparently had a certain following in Italy at the time. In England, Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) authored the famous homoerotic play Edward II (1591). Then after his death, Richard Baines in a libel case claimed that Marlowe had professed that “St. John the Evangelist was bedfellow to Christ and leaned alwaies in his bosome, that he used him as the sinners of Sodome.” Another playwright Thomas Kyd said that “He [Marlowe] would report St. John to be our Saviour Christ’s Alexis,” referring to the love which the Greek shepherd Corydon felt for the fair youth Alexis as described in Virgil’s Eclogues 2 and about which Marlowe had written in his poem “The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.”71 James I, king of England and Ireland (1603-1625), shrewdly neutralized charges brought against him in Parliament over his homosexual relationship with George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, by noting that “Christ had his John and I have my Steenie.” Later, the philosopher and jurist Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) devoted himself to trying to decriminalize homosexual relations in Britain, where hangings for this had increased. In an only-partially published manuscript titled Not Paul but Jesus, Bentham mentions the special fondness which Jesus had for John, and asked, “Could John have meant to imply that he and Jesus were lovers?” Then he added, “[G]ood taste and . . . prudence would require us to turn aside” from such a “topic of extreme delicacy,” although at the same time a regard for human happiness, truth and justice still “compel” this author “to go over it.” In the modern period, the Austrian psychoanalyst
Modern scholars who believe that Jesus and his Beloved Disciple shared a homosexual relationship. Modern interpreters who hold that there was a homoerotic relationship here include: Hugh Montefiore (1969), Robert Williams (1992), Sjef van Tilborg (1993), John McNeill (1995), Rollan McCleary (2003), Robert E. Goss (2006), and James Neill (2009).
The United Reformed Church of Christ of Great Britain in its document Toward a Christian Understanding of Sexuality (1984) wrote that Jesus “may have . . . been homosexually inclined.”
Psychoanalyst Richard C. Friedman (1988) viewed Jesus and his ‘ beloved disciple’ as having a homosexual marriage. Rosemary Ruether (1978) and Nancy Wilson (1995) held that Jesus was bisexual.
Going further in the other direction, Morton Smith (1973) suggested that as part of a secret baptismal ritual Jesus may have had physical union with more than one of his disciples.―although this view is based on a later ‘heretical’ text.
Theodore Jennings (2003) believes definitely that Jesus and John “were lovers,” although he notes that the Bible tells us nothing more about how Jesus and his Beloved shared their love beyond the physical intimacy described at the Last Supper.

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