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TBR News November 21, 2018

Nov 21 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. November 21, 2018:” The Antichrist is described by Pentecostals as the ‘son of perdition’ and the ‘beast’!

They claim that this interesting creature will have great charisma & speaking ability, “a mouth speaking great things”.

The Antichrist, they allege, will rise to power on a wave of world euphoria, as he temporarily saves the world from its desperate economic, military & political problems with a brilliant seven year plan for world peace, economic stability and religious freedom.

The Antichrist could well rise out of the current chaos in the former Soviet Union. The prophet Ezekiel names him as the ruler of ‘Magog’, a name that Biblical scholars agree denotes a country or region of peoples to the north of Israel. Many have interpreted this to mean modern day Russia. It could also be Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, perhaps one of the Baltic States or even the lewd and dissolute Socialist Sweden.

His power base will include the leading nations of Europe, whose leaders, the Bible says, will “give their power and strength unto the beast.”

The Bible even gives some clues about his personal characteristics. The prophet Daniel wrote that the Antichrist “does not regard the desire of women.” This could imply that he is either celibate or a homosexual. Daniel also tells us that he will have a “fierce countenance” or stern look, and will be “more stout than his fellows”–more proud and boastful.

Unfortunately, the so-called Book of Daniel was written during the reign of the Roman Emperor Nero, not many decades earlier as its proponents claim, and has been extensively modified by early Christian writers to predict the arrival of their personal Messiah, or Christ, on the Judean scene. The so-called ‘wonderful’ prophetic statements put into the mouth of Daniel are absolutely and wondrously accurate…up to the reign of Nero and then fall as flat as a shaken soufflé afterwards

It is well known that Pentecostals loathe homosexuals, among many other groups not pleasing to them, and would like nothing better than to shove them into a bottomless pit filled with Catholics, rock and roll fans, teenaged mothers, Communists, gun control advocates, Tarot card readers, Christian Scientists, abortionists, Wayne Newton fans, Asians, Jews, African-Americans and Latino Surnamed Hispanics.

The seven year peace-pact (or covenant) that is engineered by the Antichrist is spoken of a number of times in the Bible, and may even have already been signed in secret. The historic peace agreement signed between Israel and the PLO at the White House on September 13, 1993, vividly illustrates how dramatically events in the Middle East are presently moving in this direction eager Pentecostals, awaiting their Celestial Omnibus, will inform anyone who is interested and a greater legion of those who are not.

Under the final terms of the fictional Covenant, Jerusalem will likely be declared an international city to which Judaism, Islam and Christianity will have equal rights. Scripture indicates that the Jews will be permitted to rebuild their Temple on Mt. Moriah, where they revive their ancient rituals of animal sacrifice.

According to modern prophecy the Antichrist will not only be a master of political intrigue, but also a military genius. Daniel describes several major wars that he fights during his seven year reign, apparently against the U.S. and Israel, who will oppose him during the second half of his reign.

For awhile, most of the world is going to think the Antichrist is wonderful, as he will seem to have solved so many of the world’s problems. But, three-and-a-half years into his seven year reign he will break the covenant and invade Israel from the North.

At this time he will make Jerusalem his world capitol and outlaw all religions, except the worship of himself and his image. The Bible, according to the Pentecostals, says that the Antichrist will sit in the Jewish Temple exalting himself as God and demanding to be worshipped. If this passage, and many others of its kind, actually appears in the King James Version of the Bible, no one has ever been able to find it

It is at this time that the Antichrist imposes his infamous ‘666’ one-world credit system.

It must be said that the Antichrist does, in point of fact exist. He can be seen on a daily basis on the walls of the Cathedral at Orvieto, Italy in the marvelous frescos of Lucca Signorelli. He looks somewhat like a Byzantine depiction of Christ with either a vicious wife or inflamed hemorrhoids.

Pentecostals strongly believe that U.S. public schools “departed from the faith” when in 1963 the Bible and prayer were officially banned. Now, Pentecostals believe with horror, thousands of these same schools are teaching credited courses in “the doctrines of devils”–the occult and Satanism.

Even a cursory check of curriculum of a number of American public school districts does not support this claim but then the Pentecostals have stated repeatedly that they represent 45% of all Protestants in America. The actual number, excluding the Baptists, is more like 4%.

What they lack in actual numbers they more than compensate for by their loud and irrational views so that at times it sounds like the roar of a great multitude when in truth, it is only a small dwarf wearing stained underwear and armed with a bullhorn, trumpeting in the underbrush

Frantic Pentecostals estimated that according to their private Census for Christ there are over 200,000 practicing witches in the United States and allege there are literally millions of Americans who dabble in some form of the occult, psychic phenomena, spiritualism, demonology and black magic. Their statistics claim that occult book sales have doubled in the last four years.

What is seen by terrified Pentecostals as The Occult today is no longer the stuff of small underground cults. They believe that many rock videos are an open worship of Satan and hell that comes complete with the symbols, liturgies, and rituals of Satanism, and the Pentecostals firmly and loudly proclaim to anyone interested in listening, that “millions of young people” have been caught in their evil sway.

Popular music is termed “sounds of horror and torment” that Pentecostals firmly believe is literally “driving young people insane and seducing them into a life of drugs, suicide, perversion and hell.” It is forgotten now but the same thing was once said about ragtime and later, jazz. If this had been true, perhaps the real reason behind the First World War, the 1929 market crash, the rise of Franklin Roosevelt and the lewd hula hoop can be attributed to Scott Joplin and Ella Fitzgerald.

It is also to be noted that the immensely popular Harry Potter series of children’s books are loudly proclaimed as Satanic books designed to lure unsuspecting children into the clutches of the Evil One. Any sane person who has read these delightful fantasy books will certainly not agree with these hysterical strictures. In point of fact, it would be exceedingly difficult to locate any person possessing even a modicum of sanity who would believe any of the weird fulminations of the Pentecostals.

Outraged Pentecostals now firmly state that in the beginning years of the Twenty First Century, ‘even the most shameless acts of blasphemy and desecration are socially acceptable.’

‘Acts of blasphemy and desecration’ sound like human sacrifices carried out on nuns at bus stops during the noontime rush hour or lewd acts with crucifixes performed by drug-maddened transvestites on commercial airlines.

In his weird Book of Revelation the lunatic John of Patmos claimed he foresaw that in the last days the world would turn away from God in order to worship and follow Satan.

Such a prophecy would have seemed believable to previous generations, but not so in our more enlightened and secular humanist day. Hard-core Satanism has been called by rabid Pentecostals noise-makers as: ‘the fastest-growing subculture among America’s teens, and the revival of witchcraft & the occult is “one of the World’s fastest growing religions!”

The Table of Contents 

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 87
  • The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations
  • The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington
  • Trump ‘stands with’ Saudi Arabia and defends crown prince over Khashoggi
  • Turkey attacks Trump’s ‘comic’ stance on Khashoggi killing
  • This Thanksgiving, I’m Grateful for Donald Trump, America’s Most Honest President
  • The chickens are coming home to roost.
  • Why most health news is fake news

 

 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 87

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018

 

  • Jun 30, 2018

“I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Three days prior, Trump tweeted in capital letters to push Republicans in the House to vote for the bill he called Goodlatte 2. He wrote then: “HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!”

  • Jul 3, 2018

“Do you know that West Virginia is second in the nation in the percentage increase of GDP? Think of what that means. And (Gov.) Jim Justice just said, ‘Before we met Trump, that number was not good.’ Pretty close to last, right? And combinations of a lot of good people with (Sen.) Shelley Moore Capito, and you, and us. But now, think of that. Texas was first. Texas. Doing a great job. Great governor there, too. But Texas was first. West Virginia was second — percentage increase of GDP. That’s an incredible accomplishment in a short period of time. Incredible.”

Source: Speech at Salute to Service dinner in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

in fact: Trump spoke of this achievement in the present tense, but it had long ago stopped being true. West Virginia was indeed second in the nation in GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017, more than a year prior to Trump’s speech — but by the fourth quarter of 2017, the last quarter for which the government had issued state rankings, West Virginia had fallen to 44th in the country, at a mere 1 per cent growth. For the whole year of 2017, Virginia ranked 10th in the country with 2.6 per cent growth.

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times

“And coal is coming back. And it’s also coming back for another reason: national security. And your governor knows very well, and your senator knows very well what that means with coal. You know, you bomb a pipeline, that’s the end of the pipeline. With coal, that stuff is indestructible. You can move it around on a truck, you can dump it at the plant, you can do whatever the hell — you can rain on top of it for a long time. Right, Jim? It can rain like crazy. You can do whatever you want — snow, sleet, wind. You just dump it. It’s there. You hit those pipelines, they’re gone, and that’s the end of it.”

Source: Speech at Salute to Service dinner in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

in fact: Coal is not “indestructible” or impervious to weather-related problems. Said Jeremy Richardson, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists: “This is patently false, that coal is indestructible. When I saw that headline — I happened to see that this morning — I was like, ‘He does know that we burn it, right? I mean, that’s what we do with it. We shovel it into boilers and we burn it and we make electricity. So from a physics perspective, that’s just false.” Coal mine fires can be particularly difficult to extinguish; one has been burning under the Pennsylvania town of Centralia since the 1960s. Earth Magazine reported in 2010: “Coal fires are a problem all over the world. Such fires endanger nearby communities, waste precious resources and produce tons of noxious and greenhouse gases. Centralia is not the only coal fire burning in the United States. In fact, it’s just one of 38 burning in Pennsylvania alone. The hundreds of underground fires in the United States, from Pennsylvania to Alabama to Wyoming, combined with the thousands thought to be burning in China, India and elsewhere, are one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide and pollution on Earth.” And burning is not the only way coal can be damaged; E&E News, the energy and environment publication, reported in response to Trump’s remarks: “Frozen coal piles, for example, were cited as a major issue when a deep freeze hugged the northeastern United States in 2014, according to a report from federally appointed grid overseers. And when Hurricane Harvey flooded the Texas Gulf Coast last year, waters saturated coal piles at one plant outside Houston and cut off rail deliveries to the power plant.”

“Coal exports — you remember I said ‘Coal. Coal. Clean coal.’ Jim, clean coal. Right? We always say, ‘clean coal.’ And what they can do now is incredible with coal. Clean coal exports skyrocketed by more than 60 per cent nationwide…”

Source: Speech at Salute to Service dinner in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

in fact: Trump’s number is right, but the term “clean coal” is false in itself. Trump was referring to a 60 per cent increase in overall coal exports; there is nothing “clean” about this coal. Even if one were to believe that there is indeed “clean coal,” a term that is the creation of industry spin, the term is not meant to be applied to all coal, which is how Trump uses it. The phrase, the New York Times reported, “is often understood to mean coal plants that capture the carbon dioxide emitted from smokestacks and bury it underground as a way of limiting global warming.”

Trump has repeated this claim 7 times

“But they (reporters) are back there. They would have said there’s no way — 3.4 million new jobs since Election Day. They would have said, ‘No way.’ They would have said, and a lot of people would have said.”

Source: Speech at Salute to Service dinner in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

in fact: It is not true that the media would have accused him of exaggerating if he said 3.4 million jobs would be created in the 19 months after the election. The number of jobs created over the previous 19 months, under Obama, was 4.1 million.

Trump has repeated this claim 16 times

“We have secured, this year — with the help of (Sen.) Shelley (Moore Capito) and your great congressman — a record $700 billion for our military. And next year, $716 billion — most amount ever.”

Source: Speech at Salute to Service dinner in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

in fact: Neither of these amounts is a record. As the New York Times noted, Obama signed a $725 billion version of the same military bill for the 2011 fiscal year.

Trump has repeated this claim 11 times

“The Washington Post is constantly quoting ‘anonymous sources’ that do not exist. Rarely do they use the name of anyone because there is no one to give them the kind of negative quote that they are looking for.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There is no evidence that the Post has invented fake sources for its stories on Trump.

Trump has repeated this claim 12 times

“Wow! The NSA has deleted 685 million phone calls and text messages. Privacy violations? They blame technical irregularities. Such a disgrace. The Witch Hunt continues!”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There is no evidence that this NSA decision, or data, was in any way connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his campaign’s relationship with Russia, the probe he calls a “witch hunt.”

“Just out that the Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: There is no evidence to support this claim. (We will update this entry if Trump or anyone else provides some.) As PolitiFact explained, Trump’s claim appeared to be based on a Fox News article that was, in turn, based solely on statements quoted in the Iranian press from Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, a hard-line cleric critical of the country’s nuclear deal. Nobody else has publicly made such a claim; a chorus of former Obama officials said the claim was false; experts on Iran also expressed overwhelming skepticism. PolitiFact reported: “Richard Nephew, who works for Columbia University and was the State Department’s lead sanctions expert from August 2013 to December 2014, told PolitiFact that the claim ‘is entirely nonsense.’ ‘It would have made no sense for us to have done this and less sense for the officials to have agreed/requested citizenship. While I was on the team, this wasn’t even discussed, considered or thought about. I would bet any sum you’d care to wager that this didn’t come up after I left the talks. And, it is worth noting that after years of congressional inquiry into this, we never heard of it. I find it hard to believe that’s because this one opposition politician in Iran was the only person who knew about it.”

 

The CIA Confessions: The Crowley Conversations

November 21, 2018

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 publications.

 

Conversation No. 91

Date: Monday, July 21, 1997

Commenced: 8:15 AM CST

Concluded: 8:50 AM CST

RTC: I decided to let the phone ring for awhile, Gregory. I’m glad I got you. You appear to have won some money from me.

GD: Pardon?

RTC: Oh yes, I thought you might like to know that your friend James Atwood is dead.

GD: Ah! Start the week with good news, Robert. How did this totally unexpected thing happen? Shot to death in a Savannah mall by a drug crazed dwarf? Dead elephant fell out of a passing cargo plane and landed on him while he was walking his dog?

RTC: (Laughter) No, nothing so noticeable. One of our people took James out for Sunday brunch and he had a sudden embolism and fell face down into his salad.

GD: An embolism? Into the salad? (Laughter) My, my, such a tragic but somehow expected death. An autopsy?

RTC: I doubt it. He was getting old. Sixty seven by my information. I’ll send you a check.

GD: I will honor it. Will they bury him in Arlington with full military honors?

RTC: Probably not.

GD: Well, at least he didn’t shoot himself in the back of the head and fall off his boat.

RTC: Yes. The Paisley syndrome. Well, they both had mouth problems.

GD: And just think, if I hadn’t filled Critchfield in about James that time, Jimmy might still be operating down there; spreading joy wherever he went.

RTC: Do I know her?

GD: Know who?

RTC: Joy.

GD: (Laughter) Oh yes, that must be Joy Kobinski. We call her the Mattress Queen. Do you  know what Jimmy said when Joy had a runny nose?

RTC: Please tell me, Gregory.

GD: Why, she was full.

RTC: (Laughter) My God, have you no compassion?

GD: Very little. I save it for my dogs, Robert. Why waste compassion on those who do not deserve it? Jimmy tried to use me and to rip me off once. Perhaps he even planned a salad drop for me, who knows? And don’t pity the dead, Robert, they are at peace. You know, in retrospect, I can comfort myself by considering the number of people I have brought peace to.

RTC: I share your sentiments.

GD: That’s why we talk to each other, Robert. Wonderful shared memories of those departed for a better land. Still, unless their silence is beneficial to me, I prefer to keep them alive so I can poke them up once in awhile. Small pleasures to contemplate when one is depressed.

RTC: Have you always been so brutal, Gregory? Subtle and creative  but brutal I must say.

GD: No, not always. Why would you believe it, Robert, when I was young, I was loving and kind.

RTC: When you were three?

GD: No, up until high school. I was essentially a private person, disliked by most of the teachers and some of the student body because I always said what I thought,, but only if asked. And I knew a good deal about people; their sins of commission and omission. People are afraid of this sort of thing so I was generally avoided. So when a very attractive and intelligent girl in one of my classes became very friendly with me, I was, to be sure, very pleasantly surprised. No, my hormones were not raging, Robert, and it was what I believed was a very warm and friendly relationship. In fact, this began to occupy my thoughts more and more and each time I talked with her, I became more and more interested and, I might add, very happy.

RTC: These things happen.

GD: Oh, they do but not very often to me, I assure you. So, I began to explore the means to widen the relationship outside of school. She had what we would call very correct parents but that did not bother me because my own family was the same way. Then, as the Christmas season was approaching, I thought in my innocence we might go to San Francisco and attend a performance of Handel’s ‘Messiah.’ I love the work and in fact, when my grandfather died, I inherited an autograph copy of the conductor’s text for this back when King George II attended a London performance and stood for the ‘Hallelujah chorus.’ When the King stood, so also did the entire house and that’s why today everyone stands. Well, so much for that. Anyway, I prepared my scenario and got up the nerve to ask her. A couple of days later, I came to school late after a dentist’s appointment and when I was walking down the empty halls to my classroom, I ran into her so I very politely chatted with her for a few minutes and then invited her. She looked right at me, over my shoulder and then walked towards me and past me away down the hall. At first, I thought she had seen someone but when I turned, there was no one.

RTC: What was the reason for that? Did you ask her?

GD: No, I watched her walk away and then just stood there. I was so stunned that I told the school nurse I had just had a tooth extraction and was having some pain so she sent me home. There was no one there so I just went to my apartment and sat in the armchair for a long time. I wondered what it was that I had said to cause her to just walk away. I went over my very short conversation a dozen times…a hundred times is more like it…but could find nothing.

RTC: I assume from this that you were of an unsettled mind.

GD: Yes, very. And no, I did not call her or try to visit her. She did what she did and there was no point in bothering with it any further. This was on a Friday and Monday, I went to school early and had my class changed so I didn’t have to see her any more. I did see her from time to time in the halls but we never made eye contact at all. Devastation, Robert, total devastation but I would not chase after anyone, believe me. Anyway, about six months or later, give or take, I was talking with a girl and she mentioned that everyone knew I was very friendly with this girl but didn’t appear to be around her anymore. Before I could concoct some story, she told me that my friend was a member of a very aggressive young Christian group that met every week at the school and that this girl was what my communicant told me was a ‘seeker.’ That is, she was chosen by the group to single out what were essentially social misfits, befriend them and bring them into the group. Once they did this, the mark would be passed off to another handler. And, she added, they were not permitted to get too close to their victims and had to break off contact if the relationship heated up. I personally don’t think going to see a sacred oratorio at Christmas is particularly intimate but who knows what evil lurks in the minds of women? I later came to the conclusion that the evil lay in their pants. Robert, I was polite with her but got away as fast as I could because I got very, very angry. I was nothing but some poor sucker to be lured into some Jesus freak group and I was so mad I started to shake.

RTC: Well, I don’t blame you.

GD: Yes, well, I walked around the football field for about an hour until I calmed down. Then, of course, I did remember her little comments about her circle of worthy friends and so on. And I noticed that she was now walking and talking with some other social misfit and learned that she had a very serious boyfriend in the Jesus group. This did not go over too well with me, Robert, not at all. So I decided to teach all of them a lesson in manners.

RTC: Not with a gun I assume.

GD: No. If you kill a person, they are immune from ongoing payback. I thought about it for some time and then I made up a letter from her to a fictional Miguel Ramirez. As I created him, Miguel was an illegal who worked in the local animal shelter, euthanizing unwanted cats. He got tired of giving them fatal shots because they would fight and scratch him so he took them by the tails and slammed them into the wall of his work area. Sometimes, Miguel had to slam them several times….

RTC: Jesus….

GD: No, cats. And no one who worked there wanted to go into the room so the walls were a smeared mess. Anyway, this girl was enamored, very enamored, of Miguel and her letter to him was full of grossly explicit discussions of their sexual writhings amidst the cat remains. Oh yes, very graphic indeed. So I had her letterhead copied in a San Francisco print shop, envelopes too, and wrote, or rather typed this grossly pornographic and sadistic letter out. I took one of the envelopes with her name printed on the back flap, just like the original, and wrote my name is pencil on the front. Into the mail and when it came, erased my address and typed in Miguel’s at the local Humane Society. So, I put the terrible letter into the envelope and later, I was sitting next to a school gossip in the library and slipped it into her bulging notebook. You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you, Robert? And then I waited, and waited. About a week later, she found it and proclaimed its contents throughout the land and unto all the inhabitants thereof. Oh, my God, what an uproar! We didn’t have the Xerox then but we did have Thermofax and within a week, that evil missive was all over the school and the town. My gossip mongering sister had two copies and someone in my mother’s bridge club had give her a copy. Of course I got a ragging for having the bad taste to associate with such a vile monster but I took my ass chewing peacefully.

RTC: And the result?

GD: Well, her Christian parents were horrified but not at her. No, they believed she did not write it and they found out there was no Miguel at the cat killing emporium but no one would listen to them and the letter was copied and recopied for months afterwards. My former friend? Her family sent her off to a Christian academy in southern California. It’s location was supposed to be a secret but a friend who worked after school filing in the principal’s office found out where her school transcripts had been forwarded so I sent them copies of the Miguel screed along with a fictional letter from an outraged local parent, warning them of the foul beast they had taken unto themselves. I understand that she left the place a month later and I never heard about her again. Of course her truly Christian real boyfriend had dumped her very quickly, the image of her nude writhings amid the decaying cats must have sickened him. But then I dealt with the religious freaks. They had a student office in the school and I broke into it one night and planted a number of bad things around. First off, I had bought a box of rubbers from a friend, filled the ends with liquid starch and draped and threw them all over the little room. There was a picture of an Aryan Jesus on the wall and I tossed one on top of the frame. And several large uncooked and shelled prawns under the couch and I scattered a few truly awful porn pictures here and there. The shrimp started to rot and I dropped a note in the school snitch box about the wild sex orgies going on right under the nose of Jesus. The smell got very bad very quickly and when the assistant principal and a janitor went into the room, one of them threw up. Of course the group was at once banned from the campus and many students expressed outrage and the Miguel letter was dragged into the situation as a typical example of these sick people.

RTC: My oh my, Gregory. You really must have been angry to do all that.

GD: Oh, very angry, Robert, very, but also eventually very satisfied.

RTC: You know, what she did may have seemed to be terrible to you but that is standard recruitment procedure with most intelligence agencies. We do the same thing. Pick out targets, befriend them and when we have gained their friendship and confidence, pass them along to their new handlers. I can understand why this upset you but she was obviously doing what she thought was right.

GD: Well, she might have thought it was right but I certainly didn’t, did I?

RTC: No, you obviously did not. You wreaked absolute havoc, Gregory and took no prisoners.

GD: I do not ask for quarter, Robert and I never give it. And I recognize that all societies must have a moral core or they collapse. The Christians have their examples and the Muslims and other have theirs. All well and good. Frederick the Great said once that all men in his kingdom were free to find Heaven in their own way. And I agree, but by God, I will not tolerate any religious group stepping outside their church, mosque or synagogue and taking their particular nonsense out aggressively to the public. The Muslims and the Jews don’t do this but the lunatic Christians are a worst pest than an invasion of mice. First of all, from a purely historical point of view, I personally doubt if Jesus ever existed. Jesus was a very common name in Roman Judea. I do not accept the nonsense about the manger, the wise men, the star or other myths and legends. There is no contemporary mention of Jesus or his gang anywhere other than a patently forged reference in Flavius Josephus. The Gospels are full of misinformation and were written long after the event and then rewritten to suit various current political themes. No, if Jesus did exist, Jesus was an Essene. Most theological scholars agree with this by the way. But I go a little further. There exists a considerable body of information on the Essenes of the period. They were put out of business after this, by the way. No, the Essenes, were an all male agricultural community who practiced a communistic way of life and hated women. In short, like the Spartans or Zulus, they were a homosexual community.

RTC: Not nice, Gregory.

GD: I can easily prove this. Oh yes, let the little children come unto me but only the boys. Anyway, I want nothing to do with such Easter Bunny- type myths and legends and as long as these people keep to themselves, all well and good but of course they think they have the only game in town and act accordingly. In earlier times, I would have been burnt at the stake. Say, do you know what St. Dismas the Thief said to Jesus while both of them were up on their crosses?

RTC: I’m afraid to ask you, Gregory.

GD: Dismas said, ‘Say, Jesus, I can see your house from up here.’

RTC: (Laughter) Well, assuming you are right….

GD: And I am….

RTC: Well, I rather pity this poor girl who was only trying to get you to share her joy in Jesus.

GD: Well, she was sharing her pudenda with Miguel the Cat Basher as well.

RTC: (Laughter) Perhaps she went into other work after you finished with her. By the way, did anyone ever suspect you?

GD: No. I never said a word to anyone. I just sat back and savored my revenge. Revenge is a tasty dish, Robert, but always far better if eaten cold.

(Concluded at 8:50 AM CST)

 

The Only Regime Change that Is Needed Is in Washington

November 19, 2018

by Philip Giraldi

American Herald Tribune

One of the things to look forward to in the upcoming holiday season is the special treats that one is allowed to sample. Fruitcake and nuts are Thanksgiving and Christmas favorites. They usually come in tins or special packages but it seems that this season some of the nuts have escaped and have fled to obtain sanctuary from the Trump Administration.

Currently, there is certainly a wide range of nuts available on display in the West Wing. There is the delicate but hairy Bolton, which has recently received the coveted “Defender of Israel” award, and also the robust Pompeo, courageously bucking the trend to overeat during the holidays by telling the Iranian people that they should either surrender or starve to death. And then there is the always popular Haley, voting audaciously to give part of Syria to Israel as a holiday treat.

But my vote for the most magnificent nut in an Administration that is overflowing with such talent would be the esteemed United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey. The accolade is in part due to the fact that Jeffrey started out relatively sane as a career diplomat with the State Department, holding ambassadorships in Iraq, Turkey, and Albania. He had to work hard to become as demented as he now is but was helped along the way by signing on as a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), which is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Jeffrey set the tone for his term of office shortly after being appointed back in August when he argued that the Syrian terrorists were “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.” Jeffrey, who must have somehow missed a lot of the head chopping and rape going on, subsequently traveled to the Middle East and stopped off in Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been suggested that Jeffrey received his marching orders during the visit.

James Jeffrey has been particularly active during this past month.  On November 7th he declared that he would like to see Russia maintain a “permissive approach” to allowing the Israelis to attack Iranian targets inside Syria.  Regarding Iran’s possible future role in Syria, he observed that “Iranians are part of the problem not part of the solution.”

What Jeffrey meant was that because Israel had been “allowed” to carry out hundreds of air attacks in Syria ostensibly directed against Iran-linked targets, the practice should be permitted to continue. Israel had suspended nearly all of its airstrikes in the wake of the shoot-down of a Russian aircraft in September, an incident which Moscow has blamed on Israel even though the missile that brought down the plane was fired by Syria. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed. Israel reportedly was deliberately using the Russian plane to mask the presence of its own aircraft.

Russia responded to the incident by deploying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria, which can cover most of the more heavily developed areas of the country. Jeffrey was unhappy with that decision, saying “We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?” And he defended his own patently absurd urging that Russia, Syria’s ally, permit Israel to continue its air attacks by saying “We understand the existential interest and we support Israel” because the Israeli government has an “existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power projection systems such as surface-to-surface missiles.”

On November 15th James Jeffrey was at it again, declaring that U.S. troops will not leave Syria before guaranteeing the “enduring defeated” of ISIS, but he perversely put the onus on Syria and Iran, saying that “We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014.

As virtually no one but Jeffrey and the Israeli government actually believes that Damascus and Tehran were responsible for creating ISIS, the ambassador elaborated, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for the cycle of violence in Syria that, he claimed, allowed the development of the terrorist group in both Syria and neighboring Iraq.

He said “The Syrian regime produced ISIS. The elements of ISIS in the hundreds, probably, saw an opportunity in the total breakdown of civil society and of the upsurge of violence as the population rose up against the Assad regime, and the Assad regime, rather than try to negotiate or try to find any kind of solution, unleashed massive violence against its own population.”

Jeffrey’s formula is just another recycling of the myth that the Syrian opposition consisted of good folks who wanted to establish democracy in the country. In reality, it incorporated terrorist elements right from the beginning and groups like ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliates rapidly assumed control of the violence. That Jeffrey should be so ignorant or blinded by his own presumptions to be unaware of that is astonishing. It is also interesting to note that he makes no mention of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, knee-jerk support for Israel and the unrelenting pressure on Syria starting with the Syrian Accountability Act of 2003 and continuing with the embrace of the so-called Arab Spring. Most observers believe that those actions were major contributors to the rise of ISIS.

Jeffrey’s unflinching embrace of the Israeli and hardline Washington assessment of the Syrian crisis comes as no surprise given his pedigree, but in the same interview where he pounded Iran and Syria, he asserted oddly that “We’re not about regime change. We’re about a change in the behavior of a government and of a state.”

Actually, the only regime change that is needed is in Washington and it would include Jeffrey, Bolton, Haley, Pompeo, and Miller. And while we’re at it, get rid of son-in-law Jared Kushner and his claque of Orthodox Jews, Jason Greenblatt the “peace negotiator” and David Friedman the U.S. Ambassador in Israel. None of them are capable of acting to advance any American national interest, which they wouldn’t recognize even if it hit them in the butt. Once they are gone the U.S. can bid the Middle East goodbye and leave its constituent nations to sort out their own problems. Jeffrey’s ridiculous prescriptions for the Syrians and Russians are symptomatic of what one gets from a team of yes-men who have latched onto some dystopic ideas and pursued them relentlessly, blinded by what they believe to be American power. Someone should tell them that their antics have made that power a commodity that is dramatically depreciating in value, but it is clear that they are not listening.

 

Trump ‘stands with’ Saudi Arabia and defends crown prince over Khashoggi

President issues extraordinary statement of support and repeats Saudi claim that murdered journalist was ‘enemy of the state’

November 20, 2018

by Julian Borger in Washington and Martin Chulov in Beirut

The Guardian

Donald Trump has expressed his unstinting support for Saudi Arabia and claimed there was “nothing definitive” linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

In the extraordinary statement issued on Tuesday – which begins with the words “The world is a very dangerous place!” – Trump quotes Saudi officials as describing Khashoggi as an “enemy of the state”.

The 649-word statement appears to be a presidential act of defiance against the CIA, which has reportedly concluded that the Saudi prince ordered the killing, and the Senate, which is considering bipartisan legislation that would suspend weapons sales to Saudi Arabia among other punitive measures.

He told reporters at the White House that the CIA “didn’t make a determination” on the murder, and that they had “nothing definitive” on its perpetrator. The claim is contradicted by multiple reports that the intelligence agency has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the hit on the former Saudi insider who had become a persistent critic.

In his written statement, Trump wrote: “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!

“That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi. In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

As he has in the past with Vladimir Putin, Trump put official denials of wrongdoing from Riyadh on a par with US intelligence assessments.

He said: “King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman vigorously deny any knowledge of the planning or execution of the murder of Mr Khashoggi.”

The president acknowledged that Congress might have another view and the strength of congressional opinion soon became apparent when the Republican senator Lindsey Graham – otherwise a fervent Trump fan – issuing a statement predicting “strong bipartisan support for serious sanctions against Saudi Arabia, including appropriate members of the royal family, for this barbaric act which defied all civilized norms

The South Carolina senator added: “While Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of the crown prince – in multiple ways – has shown disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic.”

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee sent a joint letter to the president on Tuesday evening demanding he make a clear official statement to Congress on the prince’s involvement in the murder

Fred Ryan, the publisher and CEO of the Washington Post, said: “The CIA has thoroughly investigated the murder of this innocent journalist and concluded with high confidence that it was directed by the crown prince. If there is reason to doubt the findings of the CIA, President Trump should immediately make that evidence public.”

Trump’s statement, titled “standing with Saudi Arabia” sought to portray the kingdom as an essential US ally in a struggle against Iran, and an irreplaceable customer for US arms sales.

He claimed a breach in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh would produce an oil price spike.

“If you want to go see oil prices go to $150 a barrel, all you have to do is break up our relationship with Saudi Arabia,” Trump said in his remarks to reporters.

His statement made a series of false or unsubstantiated claims, suggesting that Riyadh is buying $110bn in US weapons. The actual total of offers since Trump took office is less than $15bn, and the value of actual signed contracts is significantly lower than that.

A new independent report found that US arms sales to Saudi Arabia account for fewer than 20,000 US jobs a year – less than a 20th of the employment boost Donald Trump has claimed.

Trump said in his statement: “The crime against Jamal Khashoggi was a terrible one, and one that our country does not condone.” He pointed out that the US has imposed individual sanctions on 17 Saudis identified by Riyadh for their alleged involvement in the 2 October murder.

The president said that “representatives of Saudi Arabia say that Jamal Khashoggi was an ‘enemy of the state’ and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood”.

Trump added: “My decision is in no way based on that.” But he did not explain why he mentioned the smear against Khashoggi at all.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, when asked about the Saudi monarchy’s complicity in Khashoggi’s death, said: “It’s a mean, nasty world out there.”

Pompeo declined to comment on intelligence assessments of the murder, but said: “Facts will obviously still continue to come to light. I’m confident of that. It’s the way the world works.”

Nicholas Burns, the under-secretary of state for political affairs in the George W Bush administration, said: “This Trump statement on the Khashoggi murder is beyond embarrassing. It is shameful.He is silent on our most important interest – justice.”

Trump’s enthusiastic support for Riyadh coincides with a drive by the crown prince to rehabilitate himself on the world stage. The Argentinian government confirmed to the Guardian on Tuesday that he is on the list of attendees at the G20 summit at the end of the month in Buenos Aires.

Also on the guest list is Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has condemned Riyadh for the murder and whose government has put out a steady stream of leaks from the investigation, pointing towards Saudi government culpability at the highest levels.

In the latest of those leaks, the influential pro-government outlet Habertürk published excerpts of a purported transcript of an audio recording of the murder.

According to its account, the Saudi hitman chosen as a lookalike among Jamal Khashoggi’s assassins was apparently recorded saying: “It’s creepy to wear the clothes of a man we killed 20 minutes ago.” He then he stepped from the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul in a failed attempt to prove the murdered dissident had left the building.

The chilling detail was among the latest excerpts released by Turkish officials seven weeks after Khashoggi was murdered. Other details include Khashoggi demanding, “Release my arm, what do you think you’re doing?” moments after entering the diplomatic mission.

A listening device inside the consulate apparently captured Maher Mutreb, a trusted aide of Prince Mohammed, replying: “Traitor, you will be brought to account.”

 

Turkey attacks Trump’s ‘comic’ stance on Khashoggi killing

Ankara says US president’s comments about Saudi crown prince are not credible

November 21, 2018

Reuters

Istanbul-Turkey on Wednesday accused the US of trying to turn a blind eye to the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, and dismissed comments from Donald Trump on the issue as “comic”.

On Tuesday Trump said the US would remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, despite saying that the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, may have known about the plan to kill Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist.

Of the possibility that Prince Mohammed had a hand in the murder, Trump said: “Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t.” The CIA believes Khashoggi’s death was ordered directly by the crown prince, who is Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

On Wednesday, Numan Kurtulmuş, the deputy chairman of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AK party, dismissed Trump’s assessment. “Yesterday’s statement is a comic statement,” he told the state broadcaster TRT Haber.

“It is not possible for an intelligence agency such as the CIA, which even knows the colour of the fur on the cat walking around the Saudi consulate’s garden … to not know who gave this order,” he said. “This is not credible either for US public opinion or the world public opinion.”

But in his remarks outside the White House on Tuesday, Trump also defended Saudi Arabia as a key ally and justified his prioritisation of the trading and defence partnership over tough punishment for the murder as “America first”.

Trump then tweeted on Wednesday morning about falling oil prices and added: “Thank you to Saudi Arabia.” He made no mention of Khashoggi.

“Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy! $54, was just $82. Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” he tweeted.

He followed that a minute later with a tweet simply repeating his regular rallying cry to supporters: “Make America great again” in all capitals.

Trump acknowledged that the US Congress might have another view about the necessary consequences of the killing of the journalist and dissident. And the strength of congressional opinion soon became apparent when the Republican senator Lindsey Graham issued a statement predicting “strong bipartisan support for serious sanctions against Saudi Arabia, including appropriate members of the royal family, for this barbaric act which defied all civilised norms”.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee sent a joint letter to Trump on Tuesday evening demanding he make a clear official statement to Congress on the prince’s alleged involvement in the murder.

 

This Thanksgiving, I’m Grateful for Donald Trump, America’s Most Honest President

November 21, 2018

by Jon Schwarz

the Intercept

There’s no question that Donald Trump is the most flagrantly, compulsively, and voluminously dishonest president in American history — which is saying something, given the competition. He’s probably told 27 more lies during the time it took you to read this one sentence.

But as preposterous as it sounds, there’s a case to be made that he’s simultaneously America’s most honest president. Every now and then, in the midst of his unending eruption of prevarication, Trump will blurt out the truth about the United States in a way that no normal politician ever has.

Most recently, when asked whether he would consider sanctioning Saudi Arabia for its Mafia-like murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Trump was hesitant. Why? “Because they are ordering military equipment. Everybody in the world wanted that order. Russia wanted it, China wanted it, we wanted it. We got it. … Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon … I don’t wanna lose an order like that.”

Getting the Saudis to gift as much of their oil profits as possible to the U.S., particularly when it boosts large defense contractors, has been a priority of every president since World War II. During the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the chairs of Exxon, Mobil, Texaco, and Standard of California — that is, the four American corporations engaged with the Saudi state oil company Aramco — wrote to then-President Richard Nixon. If the U.S. was seen to be openly supporting Israel, they warned, “the whole position of the United States in the Middle East is on the way to being seriously impaired, with Japanese, European, and perhaps Russian interests largely supplanting United States presence in the area.” Then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger obediently arranged for American arms to be shipped to Israel as inconspicuously as possible.

Indeed, the money that flows to U.S. multinationals due to our relationship with the Saudis may be a key reason that America has been able to run huge trade deficits for decades without damage to our economy.

But that’s not the kind of thing any standard-issue, high-level politician can say. Prior to Trump, Americans could only get this kind of honesty from fiction, as in the famous diatribe by the chair of a huge conglomerate in “Network”:

The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! … There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon!

And Trump’s Saudi comments are just a sampling of his startling truth-telling. Other examples include:

  • During a 2016 Republican presidential debate, Trump said, “Obviously the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. … We should have never been in Iraq. … They lied, they said there were weapons of mass destruction.” At the time, this seemed like standing up in the Vatican and declaring that the whole concept of the holy trinity is stupid. But it turned out that GOP voters weren’t bothered by Trump’s reckless accuracy. Furthermore, just before the 2016 election, Trump declared that America had “wasted $6 trillion on wars in the Middle East — we could have rebuilt our country twice — that have produced only more terrorism, more death, and more suffering — imagine if that money had been spent at home. … We’ve spent $6 trillion, lost thousands of lives. You could say hundreds of thousands of lives, because look at the other side also.” All of this was true (with the slight caveat that while the wars will eventually cost at least $6 trillion, we haven’t paid out all of that money yet). Trump’s reference to the huge number of foreigners our wars have killed, and implication that their deaths were a bad thing, was particularly unpresidential.
  • During the 2016 campaign, Trump referenced the strong possibility that factions of the Saudi royal family were complicit in the 9/11 attacks — in the context of the Bush administration’s decision to invade Iraq. “Who blew up the World Trade Center? It wasn’t the Iraqis. … Take a look at Saudi Arabia, open the documents,” he said on “Fox & Friends.” Yet more strangely for a Republican, Trump also acknowledged that George W. Bush was president in 2001 and might bear responsibility for what happened. “The CIA said there was a lot of information that something like that was going to happen,” Trump said during a CBS interview in February 2016. “Could he have done something about it? Well, his CIA said they knew about things happening.”
  • Trump has even been honest about America’s overall history. When Bill O’Reilly demanded to know what Trump thought about Vladimir Putin being a killer, Trump responded: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?” On an earlier occasion when asked about Putin, Trump similarly remarked that “I think our country does plenty of killing also.”
  • Trump has also told the truth about money in politics, from the unusual position of someone with the personal experience of purchasing politicians. In a 2015 speech about Jeb Bush’s Super PAC, Trump explained, “He raises 100 million, so what does 100 million mean? A hundred million means he’s doing favors for so many people. It means lobbyists. It means special interests. It means donors. Who knows it better than me? I give to everybody. They do whatever I want.” Then, as the other Republican candidates supplicated themselves before varied billionaires, Charles and David Koch in particular, Trump repeatedly and honestly referred to them as puppets.
  • Trump even specifically called out pharmaceutical and defense corporations for ripping off U.S. taxpayers because “they have a fantastic lobby. They take care of all of the senators, the congressmen. They have great power.”
  • According to “60 Minutes” correspondent Leslie Stahl, Trump told her off-air that he attacks the press strategically: “He said, ‘You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all, so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.’” Interestingly, Trump understands the media well enough that he correctly felt he could tell the truth to Stahl without repercussions. Stahl didn’t mention this in public for almost two years. When she did so, it wasn’t on TV, and she didn’t reference this when she interviewed Trump on “60 Minutes” again in this past October.
  • In a CNN interview just before the 2008 election, Trump said this about Nancy Pelosi: “When she first got in and was named Speaker, I met her. And I’m very impressed by her. … I like her a lot. But I was surprised that she didn’t do more in terms of Bush and going after Bush. … It just seemed like she was going to really look to impeach Bush and get him out of office, which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing, [impeaching him] for the [Iraq] war. … He got us into the war with lies.” This was true: It would have been a wonderful thing for the Democrats to impeach Bush, and it’s disappointing that they didn’t.
  • Trump’s 2016 nickname for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was “Lyin’ Ted.” Cruz is indeed a huge liar.

Of course, telling the truth on all these matters has never caused Trump to behave differently from a standard U.S. president. We will still support the Saudis, no matter how gruesome their behavior in 2001 or 2018. We are still in Iraq and Afghanistan for the indeterminate future. We’ll keep on un-innocently killing people around the world. Trump is eagerly turning himself into a puppet for GOP billionaires, big pharma, and defense contractors. He’ll keep on talking about “fake news.” And Ted Cruz has been transformed, in Trump’s estimation, from “Lyin’ Ted” into “Beautiful Ted.”

But there should be a hopeful lesson here for any politicians considering whether they should risk telling the truth. Trump has broken every taboo in U.S. politics, including the bad ones. It turns out you can be honest on the most sensitive topics and the heavens won’t collapse upon you. Regular Americans actually don’t mind and will still vote for and support you. Leaders who want to tell the truth in hopes of changing the world can rationally give it a shot and see what happens. As we say grace this Thanksgiving, we should consider giving thanks for this unexpected but real forward progress.

 

The chickens are coming home to roost.

It’s only a question of when.The Coming Bankruptcy of the American Empire

November 20, 2018

by Hunter DeRensis

The American Conservative

Better to bring the troops home on our terms than wait for a debt crisis to do it for us.

Herbert Stein was chair of the Council of Economic Advisors under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford and is the father of the more well known Ben Stein. In 1976, he propounded what he called “Stein’s Law”: if something cannot go on forever, it will stop. Stein was referring to economic trends, but the same law applies just as much to foreign policy and the concept of empire.

Stein’s Law at first glance might seem like a banal platitude. But we should be fully cognizant of its implications: an unsustainable system must have an end. The American empire is internally flawed, a fact that anti-imperialists both left and right should appreciate.

The United States’ national debt is approaching $22 trillion with a current federal budget deficit of over $800 billion. As Senator Rand Paul often points out, bankruptcy is the Sword of Damocles hanging perilously close to Uncle Sam’s neck. Outside of a handful of libertarian gadflies in Congress such as Paul, there is no serious political movement to curb the country’s wayward spending. It would take some upset of multiple times greater magnitude than Donald Trump’s 2016 victory to alter this course.

The United States holds the most debt of any country in the history of the world. In fairness, when our debt-to-GDP ratio is factored in, there are many countries in far more perilous economic situations than the U.S. But there will come a tipping point. How much debt can the system hold? When will the cracks grow too big to hide? When will the foundation crumble? There’s a great deal of ruin in a nation, said Adam Smith, and our ruin must ultimately come.

Is bankruptcy possible? As some Beltway economists remind us, no. Technically the government has the power to artificially create as many dollars as it needs to pay its debts. But this kind of hyper-inflation would deprive the U.S. dollar of any value and tank the global economy that trades with it. Simple failure to pay back our debt might even be a better scenario that such an inflationary hellscape.

When the world loses confidence in the American government’s ability to pay its debt, or the interest rate on our debt becomes unsustainably high, choices will have to be made. No more kicking the can down the road, no more 10-year projections to balance the budget. Congress, in a state of emergency, will have to take a buzzsaw to appropriations. And the empire will be the first thing to go.

Just like its warfare state, the government’s welfare state has plenty of internal calamities. But while it might be the preference of some megalomaniacal globalists to let the proles starve while preserving overseas holdings, it’s not going to happen. What would transpire if Social Security checks stopped showing up in mailboxes and Medicare benefits got cut off? When presented with that choice, will the average American choose his social safety net or continued funding for far-flung bases in Stuttgart, Okinawa, and Djibouti? Even the most militaristic congressperson will know which way to vote, lest they find a mob waiting outside their D.C. castles.

Neoconservatives constantly harp on the danger of vacuums. Without a U.S. presence, the logic goes, more sinister forces will take over. What happens when American troops must be evacuated from all over the world because we can’t afford to keep them there anymore? There’s no debate, no weighing of options, and no choice. If the money isn’t there, the money isn’t there. Nothing could tie the hands of America’s military more than a debt crisis. And if one happens, it will be in part because those same neoconservative intellectuals preached a multi-trillion-dollar global war to remake humanity in our image. Hubris leads to downfall.

This is the kind of danger that Rand Paul and others warn about. Not only are our undeclared wars illegal, counterintuitive, and destabilizing to foreign regions, they’re financially destabilizing for us as well.

A radical reexamination of America’s overseas assets and obligations must take place. Ideologically motivated wars have led us to the precipice of financial disaster. American foreign policy must adopt a limited, highly strategic view of its national interest and use its remaining wealth sparingly and only when necessary. Realism can stave off national ruin. Close bases in Germany and bring the money home, instead of forcing the troops to evacuate in the dead of night after it’s too late. Enter negotiations with the Taliban and have a planned withdrawal from Afghanistan, lest it end with helicopters fleeing Kabul like they did Saigon. Make the hard choices before circumstances make them for you.

Our leaders ignore Stein’s Law at their own peril. No matter what, U.S. troops are coming home. Better it be our decision than the debt collectors’.

 

 

Why most health news is fake news

September 6, 2018

by Dr. Ronald Hoffman

Recently, we’ve been regaled with headlines like these:

“Study Warns Low-Carb Diets ‘Unsafe,’ May Lead To Early Death”—studyfinds.org

“A No-go for Keto? New Study Finds Low-Carb Diets Increase Mortality”—fooddive.com

“A Low-Carb Diet Could Cut 4 Years Off Your Life, So Just Eat the Damn Pasta”—Esquire

No wonder nobody can figure what to eat anymore!

In a recent podcast, which you can download here, I’ve weighed in on all the faults with the Lancet study these articles quote.

But that’s not really the point. Dr. John Ioannidis just articulated why, when it comes to selecting the “ideal” diet, we’re looking in all the wrong places.

If you’ll recall, Ioannidis is the same skeptic who called out scientific studies 13 years ago, in a paper audaciously titled “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False”.

Fast forward to 2018, and Ioannidis must be as sick and tired as I am of the faulty scientific methodology and over-reaching conclusions of papers like the Lancet low-carb hatchet job.

His new polemic is entitled “The Challenge of Reforming Nutritional Epidemiologic Research”. In it, he calls for “radical reform” of the scientific method as applied to the fundamental question of “What should we eat?”

If we cast the microscope on foods, we can demonstrate that virtually anything can kill you: French fries (acrylamides); dairy (prostate cancer); strawberries (pesticides); steak (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons); beans (lectins); fish (mercury and PCBs), and coconut oil (saturated fats) to name but a few.

Ioannidis points out that, if you were to believe recent studies:

“ . . . Eating 12 hazelnuts daily (1 oz) would prolong life by 12 years (ie, 1 year per hazelnut), drinking 3 cups of coffee daily would achieve a similar gain of 12 extra years, and eating a single mandarin orange daily (80 g) would add 5 years of life. Conversely, consuming 1 egg daily would reduce life expectancy by 6 years, and eating 2 slices of bacon (30 g) daily would shorten life by a decade, an effect worse than smoking. Could these results possibly be true?”

Ioannidis, as a veteran scientist, knows his statistics and argues that data manipulation can lead to unwarranted conclusions. He calls out researchers for bias and using selective reporting to reinforce their pre-conceived notions.

There are over 250,000 individual foods, food preparation methods vary widely, and the same food may be pristine or laden with toxins depending on the circumstances of their harvesting and processing, Ioannidis asserts. And they’re eaten together with other foods in endless permutations: “Disentangling the potential influence on health outcomes of a single dietary component from these other variables is challenging, if not impossible.”

Further, all these conflicting studies may be doing more harm than good, undermining public confidence in nutritional science, and leading to dietary nihilism.

Ioannidis further argues for research transparency, and a reigning in of sweeping claims:

“Reform has long been due. Data from existing cohorts should become available for reanalysis by independent investigators. Their results should be presented in their totality for all nutritional factors measured, with standardized methods and standardized exploration of the sensitivity of conclusions to model and analysis choices. Readers and guideline developers may ignore hasty statements of causal inference and advocacy to public policy made by past nutritional epidemiology articles. Such statements should be avoided in the future.”

I think the problem has been compounded by the influence of the media, avid for “news-you-can-use.” Science can be a boring, iterative, plodding endeavor. Researchers are lured by the Siren-call of “relevance”; today, more than ever before, they’re tempted to torture conclusions with instant pop-culture applicability out of obscure, conflicting data.

Dramatic pronouncements about this or that food or diet feed the ever-demanding news cycle. They generate splashy interviews that confer star status on staid researchers and keep grant money flowing to cash-hungry institutions.

But most of all, health writers and science journalists bear responsibility for these excesses. They don’t know how to critically evaluate studies; many have meager scientific backgrounds, and they no longer conform to journalistic standards.

They’re also under-the-gun to generate clicks at the expense of nuanced facts, and they’re time-pressured, so it’s easy to simply crib pre-masticated press releases from journals and university public relations departments rather than formulate original stories.

There’s a premium on reports of studies with certain catchy themes: “cancer/Alzheimer’s/heart disease-breakthrough,” “longevity/anti-aging,” “global warming/climate change,” and lifestyle issues about diet, exercise, sleep and stress. Unfortunately, stories debunking supplements have been in vogue lately.

Frequently, unwarranted implications for humans are based on studies performed with rats or mice; other papers tease relevance from short observations of a handful of individuals; still others rely on the faulty recollections of study participants about how they ate, drank, exercised, or slept.

Journalists also have a notoriously short attention span. A recent paperrevealed that media accounts of a scientific breakthrough were rarely followed up by stories disclosing that subsequent studies never panned out.

A recent Vox.com article (“Study: half of the studies you read about in the news are wrong”) points out why this is a problem:

“The PLOSOne analysis paper found that only 48.7 percent of 156 studies reported by newspapers were confirmed by a subsequent meta-review. The percentage dropped to 34 when the researchers focused on initial studies only.”

I, too, sometimes fall prey to the imperative to grab for an attention-getting headline, but I take my responsibility seriously, as a gatekeeper of information that my Intelligent Medicine readers and listeners apply to their daily lives. It’s not always easy, but I try to perform my due diligence and gift the truth from the distortions, passing along my careful interpretations to you.

BOTTOM LINE: Don’t always trust the headlines—Be wary of fake health news!

 

 

 

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