Iranian Students Set to Start at U.S. Universities Are Barred From Country

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

Iranian Students Set to Start at U.S. Universities Are Barred From Country

The students, who were mostly headed to schools in the University of California system, had visas in hand when they were blocked from their flights this month.

ImageNima Abdollahpour had planned to study electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis.

At least a dozen Iranian students who were set to begin graduate programs in engineering and computer science say their visas were abruptly canceled and they were barred from their flights to the United States this month.

The sudden batch of visa cancellations, which came at a time of heightened tensions between the United States and Iran, set off a scramble by university officials, lawmakers, the students’ union and Iranian-American advocates to figure out what had happened.

The State Department said that there had been no change in policy regarding student visas, and higher education officials say that visa problems arise every fall for some of the hundreds of thousands of international students who travel to attend American colleges and universities.

But the students, most of whom were headed to schools in the University of California system, say their visas were revoked at the last minute, without any warning or explanation. Most were prevented from boarding flights in Iran, and others from boarding connecting flights in the Persian Gulf. One was detained at Boston Logan International Airport and then turned back.

Many of the students said that a State Department webpage showed their visa cases had been updated around Aug. 30, and they were prevented from boarding in early September.

All of that came before a Sept. 14 attack on two key Saudi oil installations, which has escalated a standoff between the United States and its ally Saudi Arabia against Iran.

[President Trump announced a new round of sanctions against Iran on Friday.]

A law enacted in 2012 under President Barack Obama requires the United States government to deny visas to Iranian students whose coursework would prepare them to work in the energy or nuclear sectors in their home country. Consular officials have wide discretion on how to interpret the statute and put it in place, said Jamal Abdi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, a Washington-based group.

Mark Dubowitz, the chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, also based in Washington, said he appreciated that the 2012 law had sought to prevent knowledge gained in the United States from being used in the service of the Iranian government.

But he pointed to the difficulty in predicting how students would use technical skills that are widely sought after and applicable in many industries. He suggested a more radical approach: to overturn the Trump administration’s travel ban and require Iranian students in sensitive fields to stay in the United States after graduation.

Most Iranians cannot obtain visas to travel to the United States because of the travel ban on visitors from their country, as well as from Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. But there are narrow exemptions, including for students. Most of the students who were barred had been given single-entry visas, and were prepared to go years without seeing family members who would not have been able to visit them.

In phone interviews and emails, the students said they were crestfallen. Some had left high-level jobs or sold their homes, or had turned down opportunities in Europe or Canada. Most said their studies had been fully funded, and many had been slated to begin teaching or research positions in addition to their studies.

“I feel I’m damaged emotionally, financially, academically,” said Peyman, 23, who was supposed to begin a degree in electrical engineering at the University of California at San Diego. He asked to be identified only by his first name because he did not want to jeopardize his chances of getting another visa.

Peyman said that he had been barred from a connecting flight in Qatar this month and that an airline employee had scrawled “CANCELLED” across his visa in pen, saying the instructions to do so had come from the Department of Homeland Security.

The State Department does not release data on visa revocations, and the department said it could not release information about individual cases.

Mr. Abdi, the president of the National Iranian American Council, said the group normally hears about visa denials, not last-minute revocations. But new vetting procedures — including reviewing social media information from visa applicants — have been “a black box,” he said.

The student workers in the University of California system are represented by the United Automobile Workers Local 2865. Its president, Kavitha Iyengar, said in a statement that her members “do not deserve to be discriminated against.”

She said that the union often helps members who have visa issues, but that she had never seen a problem of this scope.

John A. Pérez, the chairman of the University of California system’s Board of Regents, said the university would stand with its international students “no matter where they were born — and protect them in any way we can from the unpredictable actions of this administration.”

The university’s media relations office said in a separate statement that it was working with government agencies and lawmakers to resolve the issue. It also noted that other Iranian students in the science, technology, engineering and math fields had arrived on campus before September.

A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection reiterated that there had been no change in policy. He added that the agency had the authority to cancel visas but also had policies in place “to ensure multiple layers of review when adjudicating a denial of admission.”

The White House did not immediately respond to a question about whether visa policy had been changed.

At a time when the Iranian economy is in dire condition, hobbled by American sanctions, many Iranian students pay out of pocket to visit the American embassies in Armenia or Turkey for visa interviews, in addition to paying for plane tickets and other arrangements.

Nima Abdollahpour, 23, completed his bachelor’s degree at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, which is often called the M.I.T. of Iran, and had planned to study electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Davis.

He said he and other students had grown frustrated as they were directed from one government agency to the next.

“I am a student who will lose another year or two of my life to find another program, as well as tons of money and energy,” he said.

Chinese scholars have also faced restrictions on visas to the United States amid tensions between the two countries, prompting educators to voice concerns about the possible impact on innovation and on researchers already in the United States. Last month, nine Chinese undergraduate students enrolled at Arizona State University were detained at Los Angeles International Airport and sent back to China without explanation.

In a statement on Thursday, Michael M. Crow, the president of Arizona State University, criticized Customs and Border Protection’s handling of the student visa process.

“They are unevenly and inappropriately making determinations that have no factual basis and that they have no experience making,” he said.

“If C.B.P. and D.H.S. do not take this problem seriously,” Mr. Crow said, “all universities need to seek review by Congress and the courts.”

More coverage of international students’ entry to the United States
Harvard Student Says He Was Barred From U.S. Over His Friends’ Social Media Posts

International Students Face Hurdles Under Trump Administration Policy

Visa Delays at Backlogged Immigration Service Strand International Students

Karen Zraick is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who writes frequently about race, gender and civil rights. She has also worked as an editor on the International desk and in news curation. @karenzraick

Bahama’s Residents Ask: Where Is Our Government?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

 

By Kirk SempleFrances RoblesRachel Knowles and 

MARSH HARBOUR, the Bahamas — In the hours and days after Hurricane Dorian tore through the Bahamas’ Abaco Islands, the first government rescuers many residents saw were American. Coast Guard helicopters cut through the sky to evacuate the sick and wounded.

The distribution of emergency supplies of food, water and medicine has been mostly coordinated by an ad hoc network of volunteers from Bahamian and American nonprofit groups. But Abacos residents say their own government, whose resources were largely wiped out, has been notably absent in the six days since the Category 5 storm struck and killed at least 43 people.

Also, the Bahamas and other small island nations work through a regional organization, the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate emergency response and relief and their help is not always clearly visible to people struggling on the ground.

“It’s ridiculous. Ridiculous,” said Martin McCafferty, a contractor based here in Marsh Harbor, the biggest town on the Abaco Islands. “This is a catastrophe, and they should be here in numbers.”

Governments, large and small, often need several days to mobilize after a major disaster, especially as local responders often fail to show up because their own homes have been demolished.

For example, after Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, Puerto Ricans waited several days for food to start flowing because air and seaports were closed. When the goods were finally sent in, the island lacked truck drivers to pick up and distribute them. Puerto Rico was left paralyzed.

But since Dorian carved a path of destruction across the Abacos and Grand Bahama islands this week, residents say the seeming absence of the Bahamian government has been glaring. And when the roads between isolated settlements needed to be cleared of broken trees and downed power lines, the work was mostly done by ordinary citizens.

ImageHurricane Dorian left several small villages on Grand Bahama island destroyed.
CreditMeridith Kohut for The New York Times

Foreign governments, mainly the United States and British, have a notable presence. That’s because a tiny country like the Bahamas — its population of 330,000 is roughly 0.1 percent of the United States’ — is easily overwhelmed by a catastrophe on the scale of Hurricane Dorian.

The Caribbean relief agency, made up of 18 countries, has been working behind the scenes on a response plan. It enlisted the assistance of foreign governments, the United Nations and aid organizations, said Elizabeth Riley, the organization’s deputy executive director.

“One country does not have sufficient assets,” she said. “We look to sister nations to provide them.”

Additionally, some aid is bypassing government distribution channels altogether, arriving on private planes and boats from people in South Florida and elsewhere who frequently visit the Bahamas to fish or vacation there. Cruise lines and airlines have also stepped in.

Glen Rolle, a Freeport resident, was one of a team of nearly 30 civilian volunteers who borrowed Jet Skis and tractors, fighting through raging winds and storm surges to pull the stranded people of Grand Bahama down from the roofs of their homes.

A fire truck went by and they flagged it down, Mr. Rolle said. They were told the crew could do nothing to help.

“We said, ‘Come on, man, what you all mean y’all can’t help? Y’all are supposed to be first responders,’” he said. “I just don’t understand. Where are our first responders?”

Image

Credit Meridith Kohut for The New York Times

Since the storm, an increasing sense of desperation has taken over the streets of Marsh Harbor. People have broken into stores and businesses, some to take food and critical supplies, but others to thieve nonessential goods, including washing machines and truck tires.

In the absence of a strong, visible law-enforcement presence, some business owners took matters into their own hands, posting armed guards on their properties.

“Our armed forces, they fell down. They fell down on the job,” Mr. Rolle said. “They are here to protect and serve, but they weren’t up to the task.”

The National Emergency Management Agency, known as NEMA, said in a statement to the Times that the government was doing everything it could.

“Hurricane Dorian turned into a monster hurricane overnight,” it said. “We deployed security, food, water and other resources as quickly as was possible once the all clear was given so that first responders were not put at risk.

“We are continuing to deploy more resources to stabilize Abaco and Grand Bahama in the wake of one of the most powerful hurricanes ever in the Atlantic.”

A Bahamas Defense Force official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record, said that while the Bahamian government was involved in the relief effort, appearances might be different, especially when the public only sees foreign helicopters. The Defense Force was not flying helicopters in the disaster zone for a simple reason, he said: It didn’t have any.

Image

Residents waiting to be evacuated from the port of Marsh Harbour.
CreditDaniele Volpe for The New York Times

The American Coast Guard had evacuated 290 people by Saturday morning. Another agency from the U.S., Urban Search and Rescue Virginia Task Force 1 out of Fairfax, Va., sent 57 rescuers to find people who were trapped in debris. They arrived early Thursday with four dogs and 50,000 pounds of equipment such as saws and torches.

“We may be the first folks from a government agency this population has seen,” said John Morrison, the Virginia group’s spokesman.

Earlier this week, once the storm had faded, a group of seven men in Treasure Cay, a settlement on Great Abaco Island, used chain saws and machetes to clear the road to Marsh Harbour. It took them four hours.

The government was nowhere to be seen, said Deangelis Burrows, 47, a building contractor who lives in Treasure Cay and was part of that volunteer work crew.

He said that normally the government would immediately deploy work crews to clear roads, and security forces to safeguard the population. But not this time, he said Saturday.

“I haven’t seen them,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re somewhere else on the island but they’re certainly not here. It’s unreal.”

The airport in Marsh Harbor has become a critical hub for incoming relief supplies and personnel and for storm refugees trying to flee. But the job of reopening the airport this week fell, at least in part, to an American non-government group, G.S.D.

Image

United States Marines at the airport of Marsh Harbour.
Credit Daniele Volpe for The New York Times

Since then, the group’s members have been serving as the airfield’s air traffic controllers.

HeadKnowles, a Bahamian nongovernmental relief organization, is coordinating the flow of evacuees through the airport. Since Wednesday, the group has overseen the evacuation of at least 1,300 people, all by private plane, said Daylland Moxey, 27, who has been helping lead HeadKnowles’ effort at the airport.

Several police officers have been supervising the terminal entrance and members of the Royal Bahamas Defense Force have been providing some security around the perimeter. But otherwise Bahamian government officials have been scarce.

Throughout the day, hundreds of storm refugees waited at the airport for a chance to score a seat on an outgoing plane.

Many were clustered inside the terminal, which was cast in semidarkness because of an island-wide blackout. Others were bunched up on the sidewalk outside, behind a security cordon, hoping to get a chance to move into the building and closer to a plane heading off the island.

Several private planes had come throughout the day, unloaded relief supplies and filled their seats with storm survivors, whisking them to Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas.

At least one large aircraft belonging to Bahamas air, a government-owned airline, had touched down, too. But it had taken only employees and their families.

Spotting a reporter walking through the terminal, several people took the opportunity to air their complaints.

Image

Aid arriving from Nassau to the port of Marsh Harbour in a Royal Bahamas Defense Force ship.
Credit Daniele Volpe for The New York Times

“The government hasn’t sent one plane!” yelled Reynon Ferguson, 31, who had been waiting at the airport all day along with hundreds of others in the hope of scoring a seat on an outgoing flight.

“Lousy government! Lousy prime minister!” Jerusha Williams shouted, referring to Hubert Minnis.

Another man, Delano Hart, 41, joined the bitter chorus.

“Private jets, private jets, private jets with four or five seats — and we have multitudes here!” he hollered.

Desperate people carrying backpacks and suitcases have also been swarming a dock on the harbor hoping to board boats to Nassau. On Thursday, some 15 private boats — ranging in size from small yachts to large ferries fitting several hundred — took storm refugees off the island. At least a half-dozen more private vessels, including a ferry packed with people and cars, shipped out with hundreds more evacuees on Friday.

On Saturday, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line said it brought 1,550 hurricane evacuees aboard the Grand Celebration Humanitarian Cruise ship, which sailed to West Palm Beach, Fla., from Grand Bahama.

The government presence at the port wasn’t totally invisible this week.

A few police officers and members of the Defense Force have been stationed at the wharf trying to maintain a semblance of order as evacuees gathered each day. Two ships from the Defense Force were docked and were unloading relief supplies.

But the evacuation process has been ad hoc and chaotic, leaving residents to sift through uncertain information, separating rumor from fact.

“Nobody’s telling us when the boat going,” said Jimmy Mackey, 40, a builder, who stopped by the port on Friday night looking for information about departing evacuation vessels. “They should have a government guy here, somebody being here telling you when the boat is leaving.

“But do you see anybody telling you anything?”

Azam Ahmed contributed from Mexico City.

A version of this article appears in print on , Section A, Page 23 of the New York edition with the headline: Desperate Bahamians Ask: ‘Where Are Our First Responders?’. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

The history behind the Statue of Liberty

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIVIA GENIUS)

 

The history behind the Statue of Liberty

Even if you’ve never had the opportunity to visit New York City, you know that one of its most popular tourist attractions is the Statue of Liberty. Also known as Lady Liberty, this statue has been a welcome sight in New York’s harbor for over a century. But what about the backstory behind this beautiful statue? The Statue of Liberty may be full of symbolism, but she also has a rich history that most people don’t know.

The statue was a joint effort

Credit: studiocasper / iStock

Most people think that the Statue of Liberty was a gift from the French to the United States, but the story runs deeper than this. Yes, the statue was a gift to commemorate a strong alliance between France and the U.S., but both countries agreed to financially contribute to the overall build. While France focused on fundraising and crafting the actual statue, America committed to building the base and covering those costs.

Funding issues stalled progress on the statue

Credit: Stas_V / iStock

To say that building the Statue of Liberty was a monumental effort is a bit of an understatement. The French historian Edouard de Laboulaye initially pitched the idea for the statue in 1865 with a goal of completion for the centennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1876. But raising funds was so difficult that actual production on the statue didn’t begin until 1875. Finances weren’t just an issue for the French. The U.S. delegation also struggled to raise money to build the pedestal.

It took a decade to create the statue

Credit: GCShutter / iStock

In 1875, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi began working on the statue. He was known for creating large-scale sculptures and was awarded the commission. While he knew how to create the statue’s exterior, he worked with Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel (who created the Eiffel Tower) and Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc to create a sturdy steel framework to attach the copper sheets. Bartholdi completed production on the statue in 1884.

Creating the pedestal

Credit: Kirill Sergeev / Shutterstock.com

While the French were hard at work on the statue, the Americans focused on finding a location, funding, designing, and building the pedestal where the statue would sit. To raise funds, several inventive methods were used including contests, fundraisers and exhibitions. One such contest involved the iconic sonnet that is inscribed on a plaque at the base of the statue. “The New Colossus” was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883, who won one of the contests. Her sonnet includes these memorable lines: “Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free/The wretched refuse of your teeming shore/Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me/I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” However, this plaque wouldn’t be added to the pedestal until 1903.

As completion of the statue neared, Joseph Pulitzer, owner of The World newspaper, used his paper to secure final funding. He leveraged his opinion column to shame wealthy readers into donating toward the pedestal—and it worked. Meanwhile, the American architect Richard Morris Hunt was tapped as the winning designer for the pedestal. He created a granite pedestal in 1884 and donated his production fee toward funding the statue. The U.S. delegation selected Fort Wood on Bedloe’s Island as the statue’s home in Upper New York Bay. Final funding for the pedestal ended in August 1885, and in April 1886, the pedestal was completely built.

Reassembly and dedication

Credit: Albert Fernique [Public domain]

How do you transport a statue that is 151 feet (46 meters)? You don’t just strap it to a barge and hope for the best. After Bartholdi finished production on the Statue of Liberty, it had to be disassembled and packed in over 200 crates to ship to the U.S. for reassembly. The statue didn’t arrive in New York until June 1885. Once on Bedloe’s Island, it took four months to completely reassemble it. On October 28, 1886, President Grover Cleveland oversaw the dedication for the Statue of Liberty in front of a large crowd of well-wishers.

Name changes and jurisdiction

Credit: tupungato / iStock

Most people don’t know what Bedloe’s Island or Fort Wood is, let alone where they are located. But present-day Liberty Island underwent name and designation changes before it became what we know it as today. The island and the statue were initially maintained by the United States Lighthouse Board because the statue’s torch was used as a beacon by sailors. In 1901, the War Department took control of the lands even when Fort Wood was designated a National Monument on October 15, 1924.

In 1933, the grounds officially fell under the control of the National Park Service. On September 7, 1937, the National Monument grounds were expanded to include all of Bedloe’s Park, and the island was officially renamed to Liberty Island. In 1965, after Ellis Island was shuttered as an immigration point, it became part of the National Park Service and the Statue of Liberty National Monument.

Chinese FM urges US not to ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan-related issues

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF SHANGHAI CHINA’S ‘SHINE’ NEWS NETWORK)

 

Chinese FM urges US not to ‘play with fire’ on Taiwan-related issues

Xinhua
Chinese FM urges US not to 'play with fire' on Taiwan-related issues

AFP

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a joint press conference with Hungarian Trade and Foreign Minister on July 12, 2019 in Budapest.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Friday urged the United States to correctly handle Taiwan-related issues, and not “play with fire.”

Wang made the remarks here when meeting the press with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

The US government, ignoring China’s solemn position and firm opposition, recently approved arms sales to Taiwan, he said, noting that China has lodged solemn representations with the US side.

China is seriously concerned about Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen’s “transit” in the United States, and firmly opposes any official contact between the United States and Taiwan in any form, added the Chinese top diplomat.

Wang noted that “Taiwan independence” separatist activity is against the trend of history and interests of the people across the Taiwan Strait.

It has neither a future nor a way out, and is doomed to fail, he added.

The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affairs and allows no outside interference, Wang said, adding that no one or any force can stop the historical process of reunification between the two sides across the Taiwan Strait, nor should they underestimate the firm will of the Chinese government and people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

China urges the US side to fully recognize the seriousness of Taiwan-related issues, honor its commitment to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques with action, and correctly handle Taiwan-related issues in accordance with the important consensus, reached by heads of state of the two countries, on advancing bilateral ties based on coordination, stability, and cooperation, he said.

China urges the United States not to send wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces or make any more wrong moves, and not even to “play with fire” on Taiwan-related issues, said the Chinese foreign minister.

Washington would “lift a rock only to drop it on its own feet” if it attempts to make new difficulties and troubles for the China-US relations, he said.

Trusting The Government: U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, All The Same?

Trusting The Government: U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, All The Same?

 

I was born in the mid 1950’s and grew up watching Walter Cronkite deliver the evening news. Mr. Cronkite was by most considered to be the “most trusted man in America.” Whom is it that you totally trust the most in American news media or within the political realm today? With all the news outlets of today all trying to get you to watch or listen to them I find it difficult to put much trust in any of them. There are two main reasons for that, one is that each of these outlets are companies, they are ‘for profit’. Two is the consideration of where are they getting their information?

 

I am in my early 60’s now so during the past 50 years or so we here in the U.S. have been constantly told that we are the good guys and governments who are Communist are the bad guys. From all of the reading and studying that I have done over the years I really don’t doubt that these Communists governments are far less than friendly toward their own population nor to others. Communists seem to think military first and usually military only and it is a proven fact that very few people who are military oriented are very good public leaders. Military frame of mind and civilian frame of mind seldom seem to end up within the same person. Then again within the non-communists countries the people have to put up with politicians who seem to change their mind like farts in a breeze. Here in the U.S. we the people have learned a lot since the NSA murdered John and Bobby Kennedy back in the 60’s. When Nixon was President he illegally expanded the war in Vietnam into Laos and Cambodia. We had military personal who died there or were captured there that our government turned their back on as well as their families basically saying they must have deserted. When the U.S. officially left Vietnam Nixon got on TV and said there were no more POWs in southeast Asia, knowing very well that he was lying to the people. Reality comes down to the fact of truth or not the truth, trust or not being able to trust.

 

Now I am going to talk about current events here in the U.S. and this reality of trust or no trust. On a personal level can you trust a person on really serious matters when you absolutely know as a fact that they have lied to you many many occasions?  In the last 24-36 hours we have been hearing on the news that Iran shot down an unmanned U.S. spy drone. The early news strongly hinted that the drone was over Iranian land which by all forms of international law would have been a violation committed by the Americans and Iran would have had every right to shoot it down. By international law every country which borders a body of water has 12 miles sovereignty except for China’s Communists government who seems to want to claim at least a few thousand miles sovereignty but that is another story for other articles. Now the U.S. government is saying that the drone was 21 miles off of Iran’s coast and if this is true then basically Iran committed and act of war against the U.S. and the U.S. government would have the right to retaliate against Iran. The issue is, how can we trust our own government when they and especially our President is a habitual liar? President George W. Bush’s lies paved the way for us to start a war with Iraq. Personally I believe that he was just trying to show his Daddy that he could ‘one-up’ him and take out Saddam. Think of the cost of those lies in terms of thousands of people dead and about a trillion dollars of taxpayer money thrown into that bloodbath. Today’s news headline said that some of the Republicans in the Senate were upset that President Trump called off a bombing raid in Iran that would have started an all out war with them and their allies. Going to war with anyone should not be a partisan matter and going to war should not be in the hands of one person. If we are going to enter a war this war should be voted on and passed by at least 2/3 of the Congress and the Senate. This is not a computer game, many thousands of people will die. So, what is the truth on this matter, can you or I honestly trust anything that Mr. Trump says? Personally I don’t. Credibility is something that our leaders no longer have, their word is not good enough any more. If we go to war with Iran they have many allies including many sleeper cells within our own borders, many Americans on American land will die, life as we have always know it here in the States will be over. But, how the hell can we the people ever know if what we are being told is the truth, or just another lie.

 

The Way of Truth is the Only Path to Life!

The Way of Truth is the Only Path to Life!

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to JohnChuckacharya_sanonymouschristianapfnbibletruthsbonniebrianbrianBTPorderscheryl.jones.jcommentcommentsconniecontactcontactcontactcontactcontactcontactcopyrightdaviddmartinbtdrdavedrjohnsondroberts47dylan.elevene.wooneddie2769editorEmailenewsgospelhelloHelphenryicelebratetruthinfoinfoinfoinfoinfoinfoinfoinquireJAHjames.arendtjeff.aufderheidejwlpeacekenLepantoInstitutemailmarkmclarkenashidynathanmepostprayerQ&Aremnantrodbradfordrussell.hallocksearchforthetruth2016spreadingtruthministrysubmissionssubmissionssupportThe_ONE_ChurchTheEconomicCollapseBlogtipstruthtruthtruthandtidings.newsTruthBeToldHUTruthFromGod.comtruth-in-loveTruthlovertruthseekersTruthstreamnewstruthtellerstodaytruthwatchers1tsweexalttheewebmasterwespenre
Hi John, Bro Chuck &Truthers,
How come there are so many false prophets throughout America to fool gullible Americans with so much false prophecies to delude them? Quote: “It’s simply foolishness to post, tweet, or speak that God’s will was in Trump’s win.” So please help Ascertain the Truth of: –
1.    6 Interesting Facts About Donald Trump’s Christian Faith, https://www.christianpost.com/news/6-interesting-facts-about-donald-trumps-christian-faith-140522/;
2.    A Christian Case Against Donald Trump, http://www.beliefnet.com/news/articles/a-christian-case-against-donald-trump.aspx;
3.    A Dire Warning to Christians About Donald Trump, http://www.jesusisprecious.org/wolves/donald_trump.htm;
4.    American Evangelicals Have Been Hoodwinked Into a Big Lie About Israel and the Rapture, https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/american-evangelicals-have-been-hoodwinked-big-lie-about-israel-and-rapture/ri24342;
5.    CAN TRUMP TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TRUTH AND HIS LIES? https://www.newsweek.com/trump-difference-truth-lies-552292;
6.    Donald Trump would be the worst president in American history, http://theweek.com/articles/630092/donald-trump-worst-president-american-history;
7.    Donald Trump, False Prophets, and Why You’re Struggling to See God, http://www.thepalmerperspective.com/2017/01/12/donald-trump-false-prophets-and-why-youre-struggling-to-see-god/;
8.    Here’s A Running List Of President Trump’s Lies And Other Bullshit, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/maryanngeorgantopoulos/president-trump-lie-list;
9.    Investigative journalist tells MSNBC how ‘Trump Tower became a cathedral of money laundering’, https://www.rawstory.com/2018/08/investigative-journalist-tells-msnbc-trump-tower-became-cathedral-money-laundering/;
10.    Many false prophets are throughout America, https://z3news.com/w/false-prophets-america/;
11.    Please Stop With The Donald Trump Prophecies! https://endtimeheadlines.org/2016/08/please-stop-with-the-donald-trump-prophecies/;
12.    Prophecy as propaganda: the Trump prophecies as political persuasion, http://www.mentoringprophets.com/2016/12/prophecy-as-propaganda-trump-prophecies.html;
13.    Renowned Economist Rips Trump As A Gibbering, ‘Delusional’ Threat, https://www.gardenweb.com/discussions/5332761/renowned-economist-rips-trump-as-a-gibbering-delusional-threat;
14.    The Mark Taylor – Trump Prophecy is a Delusion, http://watchmanscry.com/?p=6326;
15.    The myth and the reality of Donald Trump’s business empire, https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/02/29/the-myth-and-the-reality-of-donald-trumps-business-empire/;
16.    The terrible truth about Trump’s latest assault on immigrants, http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/terrible-truth-trump-latest-assault-immigrants-article-1.4017625;
17.    The True Face Of The Dalai Lama, http://www.ascertainthetruth.com/att/index.php/comparative-religion/where-religions-differ/717-the-true-face-of-the-dalai-lama;
18.    THE UGLY TRUTH ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXTREME ANTI-IMMIGRANT CAMPAIGN, https://www.splcenter.org/news/2018/06/22/ugly-truth-about-president-trumps-extreme-anti-immigrant-campaign;
19.    The uncomfortable truth about Christian support for Trump, https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/the-uncomfortable-truth-about-christian-support-for-trump;
20.    The World Can’t Afford Donald Trump: Narcissist-in-Chief, https://www.politicususa.com/2015/12/02/world-donald-trump-narcissist-in-chief.html;
21.    Trump an Asset of the Russian Government? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50064.htm;
22.    Trump Supporters Aren’t Stupid. They’re Foolish, http://thefederalist.com/2016/05/18/trump-supporters-arent-stupid-theyre-foolish/;
23.    Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain, https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/donald-trump-lies-liar-effect-brain-214658;
24.    What’s Wrong With The News These Days? https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-s-Wrong-With-The-News-by-Samuel-Vargo-Fake-Media_Media_Media-And-Democracy_President-180817-426.html;
25.    Why are Trump’s lies not ruinous to him? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-met-grossman-trump-lies-supporters-20180621-story.html;
26.    Why Do Trump Voters Believe His Lies? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/why-do-trump-voters-believe-his-lies-heres-a-hint_us_58d9389ae4b0f633072b3a1b.
Sadly such a deluded, demented and deranged fool has his followers which lead to this question, “Who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?” as he is leading that deluded, demented and deranged part of the world, America(ns) and westernized oriental Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Japanese, Singapore Chinese and Taiwanese Chinese fools to wage wicked wars against the other part of the world from Turkey, Russia, Iran to China. So gullible are those Americans which should serve as a warning to wise Americans NOT to follow every and any false prophets and their false prophecies! Pity the fools, and pray to our Father God of truth to lead and guide us by His Spirit of truth and word of truth to the way of truth, the only path to life!
Thanks, most gratefully & sincerely yours,
_________________________________
The Way of Truth is the Only Path to Life!
———————————————————————–
On Sun, 8/19/18, John Robles <[email protected]> wrote:
Subject: Don’t let them erase us from history
To: “John Robles” <[email protected]>
Date: Sunday, August 19, 2018, 10:49 PM
Dear Friends,
The Globalist criminals are getting bolder and bolder in Moscow but although they believe they are pounding nails into our coffin they opposite is true. Yesterday for no reason at all we were blocked on VK, right after I reached 4,000 followers/friends. Coincidence? No… Then today I found out that all of the audio for my years of interviews at the Voice of Russia have been deleted as have all the audio files of the thousand so of radio shows and journalistic work that was done by the Voice of Russia World Service. I have curated all of my work and have reserves and will now be uploading all of the interviews onto our server. This is a huge load on the server and is temporary. We need to buy a second server for these files and as a reserve because if anything happens to ours we are done. Some of you on this list have interviews I am hosting and this should worry you as well.In short they are trying to re-write history and cover-up 911 and Israeli Saudi crimes. I have found some never before published interviews such as this one with Dr Scott Bennet… It was my last interview with the VOR and if you listen as I just did you will understand why. We exposed their entire house of cards and Dr Bennet did it as only he could. You can listen and download and spread for free here http://www.jar2.com/Interviews/Scott_Bennett.html and stay tuned for new downloadable files and interviews here: http://www.jar2.com/Interviews/All_Interviews.html I encourage all of you to spread and share and download these interviews as they will simply disappear forever if anything happens to my server or me. Rebroadcast, publish, quote, use anyway you want just include a link and a request to support our fight. These are my 100% legal intellectual property and you have my permission to use and spread…If you do broadcast or republish please send me a link and I will place it on the appropriate page. To describe what it is like to watch as you are erased from history is something that I can not describe but which I ask you to help prevent.Sincerely your friend in truth,
John Robles
Found this too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_granted_asylum
__________________________________________
On Sat, 8/18/18, John Robles <[email protected]> wrote:
Subject: Please read and help the fight for truth
To: “John Robles” <[email protected]>
Date: Saturday, August 18, 2018, 1:52 PM
Dear All,Best of the day to all of you. I am writing to you all to ask those of you in the USA to please remember that we are human beings over here and that the Internet as a means of communication belongs to the entire world. I also ask you to remember that even though me and my family have asylum in Russia we are still human beings and we were forced to leave and continue to be targeted for attempting to expose the crimes of an illegal, unconstitutional government in the US that is not of the people. These global attempts by the US and the Shadow Government of the Corporation to hide their crimes by dumbing down the populace and silencing anyone who threatens to expose them is a clear and unarguable indication that you are, and we are living in a world that has been taken over by lunatics whose only agenda is securing global domination for themselves.We have human rights and basic rights as human beings and those rights for me and my family continue to be violated even though we have asylum in Russia. This has being brought home for us again with a block from VK which is now owned by someone who fled Russia and is now a UK citizen and is helping in the insane campaign of the elites to demonize and destroy Russia.  As a human being I have a right to make a living and I count on 6the Internet to do so, it is also my only voice therefore it is also a violation of my human right to have a voice. As a journalist this censorship is a violation of my right to perform my responsibility to inform. The criminals have divided the people and politicized the demonization of anyone who threatens to expose them. Something I have been doing for years but that is my responsibility as a journalist and my right to perform that function outweighs their right to hide their crimes. I have defended Alex Jones, even though he even put out weird KGB theories, but that is his right as a journalist and that is his human right to express his opinion. Alex was one of the few who took the pizzagate evidence and put the pieces together and tried to inform the people. He lost his children, then he became the subject of a witch hunt and was forced to politicize himself either by supporting Trump or Clinton when all he was doing was trying to shed light into dark corners.Documents showing plans by a US installed nazi junta for a nuclear False Flag that will poison the water supplies for millions of innocent people is NEWS! You must be informed and you would not know about this if it wasn’t for me and JAR2. We have a right to exist and the truth has a right to exist even when it is an inconvenient one for globalist criminals who have made their prosperity dependent on cannibalizing the people and countries of the world. You may not agree with the “politically inconvenience” of some of the truth we publish but you must agree with the inalienable basic human right and journalistic right to publish that truth. I beg you all to please support the site and spread awareness that we exist.Thank you!
——————————————————————————————
On Fri, 8/17/18, Changshi Yang <[email protected]> wrote:
Subject: Know & love the way of truth against powerful delusion!
Date: Friday, August 17, 2018, 9:30 AM
Hi John, Hopefully Truthers are of help to expose the truth of the lie! Hi Bro Chuck & Truthers, Satanists take pleasure in printing and marketing their subverted satanic scripture perversions which then cause powerful delusion that let them carry out disinformation warfare with false flags and fake news as they, the real enemies, use deflection to divert attention to their enemies as the enemies with seemingly innocuous insidious insinuations that let them have the whole nation’s focus on the supposed enemies as in this created Russophobia and Sinophobia while they, the real enemies get away with war crimes committed ostensibly in the name of Russia and China which then get the blame for those wicked white vatican satanists racists plotters murderers globalists wicked wars waged against humanity! Know and love the way of truth against powerful delusion to believe the lie! Here are what the fake armageddon plan and project weapon is all about:
1. Iran faces devastating US secret ‘SHOCK and AWE’ war plan that can be deployed in HOURS,
http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=174729;
2. Project Armageddon Weapon, http://xmenrebirth.wikia.com/wiki/Project_Armageddon;
3. The Armageddon Plan, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2004/03/the-armageddon-plan/302902/;
4. The Cosmic False Flag, http://www.reportingthetruth.com/the-cosmic-false-flag-ufo-experts-claim-shadow-government-will-fake-alien-invasion-to-gain-total-control-over-humanity/;
5. The Neocon Zionist Plan for an Apocalyptic War in the Mideast, http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=97577;
6. WW3 ALERT: Israel’s Death Wish and Fake Armageddon, http://themillenniumreport.com/2018/05/apartheid-state-of-israel-determined-or-destined-to-trigger-armageddon/http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=99151. How then can U.S. be blessed when it help God’s enemies, Israel claiming that those who bless it will be blessed. Now after 70 years blessing Israel, ask: is America blessed or cursed in the state it is in now!
Thanks, most gratefully & sincerely yours,
___________________________________________
Know & love the way of truth against powerful delusion!  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Brazil: It Appears Your Government Is As Crooked And Inept As The U.S. Government

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF BRAZIL 247 NEWS)

 

Americans Own Nothing We Are Only Serf’s And Sharecroppers At Best

Americans Own Nothing We  Are Only Serf’s And Sharecroppers At Best

I can see a lot of folks reading this title and thinking that this dude is smoking something. I can especially see the indignation on the faces of a lot of the folks who have worked their hearts out to be able to have titles to land, houses, stocks and bonds, lot of toys and a lot of cash. I can understand why some folks would get upset  with me for making such a statement, and they have a right to be upset. But, don’t be upset with me for speaking the truth. I do agree with these folks, if I am speaking the truth then they and indeed all of the people, even us poor folks should be angry. In this article I will explain my position as to why I believe the way I do about this issue. If you are mad at what I am going to say, you need to direct that anger at the people who make this title and honest and correct statement, not me, I didn’t write any of these laws.

Now I am going to open up my side of this thought for you. I want you to think about this question please, but before you come to an unmovable state of mind please concentrate on what is being said first please. Now, if your possessions can be legally taken away from you, are your possessions ever really ours? I am going to use the house we call home and our cars we drive to push across a plain picture of how we are all being cheated and stolen from. Friends, we are only leasing “our” possessions, in this (our) country, we can never completely totally own them.

I’m pretty sure that you are not surprised that I am going through the tax venue to show you why it is that the governments (city-county-state-federal) that owns absolutely everything. From being a long haul truck driver for about 30 years and logging a little over 3.75 million miles about 3.5 of that in the States the rest in Canada you get to see and hear a lot of changes occurring all around our country. All these things that I would not ever have seen or noticed or known about if I had remained in a factory or law enforcement type of careers. One of the things that you notice is just how much land the Federal Government owns especially in the West. You can drive for many, many miles at a stretch and all the land you see on both sides of the road is Government land. I am going to start east and then go west because a good example to start off with would be the city of Detroit Michigan which is on the border with the beautiful country of Canada and with the city of New Orleans Louisiana which sits as a southern border at the Gulf of Mexico.

Detroit and New Orleans got to where they are from different paths, but still, they are where they are, which is sad and horrible for so many people. Detroit got into the financial possession they are in because of hundreds of thousands of jobs that disappeared during the latest depression. New Orleans got into their current possession because of Hurricane Katrina. In both cities there are massive amounts vacant homes. In Detroit the homes are still there, quickly becoming slums, in New Orleans a lot of the houses were destroyed by wind and water and if they are still physically on the land they are long since condemned. One of the things they do have in common, the people do not own those properties, nor anything that was left in them anymore. This is true even if your property was 100% owned by the tenant. What I am saying is the truth if the owner didn’t keep the property in good condition and of course, if they did not keep up with all of the property taxes. If you didn’t do these things a government agency now own’s (your) paid off property.

Florida would be good place to look at housing issue also but in a lot of cases for different reasons, sort of. As most Americans probably know that Florida is a place were a lot of retired folks from the northern states move to once they have retired. A whole lot of these people who came down there from places like Illinois and Ohio sold their homes and bought a home there. I lived there from  July 1, 1997 till December 15, 2000 and I still have several good friends living there. I put that last sentence in so you would know that I have some knowledge on this issue there. I heard several local area people as well as others on the radio talking about the hard spot they were now in and were going to have to move out of Florida. The reason people kept using was that they no longer had the income to overcome the State’s constantly raising the taxes. I really felt bad for these older people as many didn’t have anywhere they could go to. Some will say well, they can always move in with their kids. There are many who had no one they could move in with. They couldn’t go back to their other house up north because they sold it so that they could buy the home in Florida. If these people were not able to sell their Florida home it will come a time in their near future that one government taxing agencies or another will scoop that property up. There is also the problem down there where the parents have died and the kids who are still up north have a property they cannot afford so they dump it on the market. The problem is when the taxes on that property come due and the kids can’t or won’t pay it the government whom the taxes were owed to now own the property. There is another taxing issue also, it is called the inheritance tax the people who simply don’t have the money to pay the tax or they are not willing to pay it, the Government will take it off your hands for you.

I have now given you three of the four scenarios I am going to give on how and why. You know that once in our recent past when people talked about small town America they had a smile in their eyes because many were born there and raised there but had left. Many small country towns around America are just a ghost of what they were back before, let’s say 1980. A lot of people, especially the younger, and especially the higher educated moved out of small town America and swore that they would never live in that environment again. Many kids cant wait to get to 18 yrs old so that they can go to bigger cities where there is nightlife and better jobs than back in the country. In a lot of cases the industries in these small towns dried up because they couldn’t compete with their bigger better financed competitors who are on the good trade routes into the bigger cities. As I have driven around  our country I have seen so often, especially out west, homes that are being overcome by  grass and weeds. A lot of these homes I have seen look like they are or were nice looking homes, quite often brick homes. There is always a reason for each situation, but for now I would like you to think of a situation as if it were you in the picture. You bought a home for you and your bride out in the country away from the cities and the masses of people, you have kids and raise them and they move away. You and your wife grow old and die. If you are one of the kids the property is given to you, but you don’t want it, you have a job and a life in a city far away. Well for one, you could now have to pay an inheritance tax on the property. You decide you will just sell it before it is taken away from you and hopefully you can make a nice piece of change from the sale. Eventually you start lowering the price of it until you realise that you are not the only one who doesn’t want to live out in the sticks, you can’t sell the house, so the government takes it for taxes due.

I know that there are folks who still think such things could not be possible in our Country, all I can say to that is, O’ really. Do you remember back about 25 yrs ago a Country Singer that most Americans know named Willie Nelson got into hot water with the IRS? Well it seems that the IRS wasn’t very happy with him to put it kindly. Evidentially the IRS said that Willie owed them a lot of money. To make a long story short, Willie had a lot of land and many other possessions, the IRS took just about everything the man owned. Now there is one other case involving a Country Singer named Dottie West, she was nowhere near as well-known or nearly as wealthy as Willie so the government boys really messed with her life. Well, it seems that Ms Dottie got herself in a whole lot of trouble with the IRS also. Ms Dottie did not have the wealth and the possessions that Willie had so the IRS boys showed up at her house one morning with a moving van, they cleaned her out of everything. Now to give the Tax boys some credit, they as far as I know always give you a few notice letters before they come after you. You know, the kind of letters aimed at scaring your shadow right off of your body. When they got to her house, excuse me, to their house and they took absolutely everything, and I do really mean everything, inside and out on the property. Seriously now they not only took the clothes in her closets they took every piece of furniture. They took all of her jewelry even taking the rings and necklace she had on. There is one other thing, before they took her telephones she had to call her neighbor to get a dress to put on because they even took the dress she had on. They left this woman with just the panties and bra that she was wearing. I know several are chuckling at what I just wrote thinking there is no way that she was treated that way. Friends  I would not have ever believed it if I hadn’t heard her on one of those Country talk shows telling this story out on the air waves. If it wasn’t true she was sure taking a big chance that there were no IRS or other government people listening to her on the program. I don’t remember how much time she was given to vacate her/their house, I am pretty sure she said but I just don’t remember what she said.

Back in the mid 1970’s I was only making about seven or eight thousand dollars a year and I started getting very unfriendly letters from the IRS. Back then I just used the W-2 forms to file taxes at the end of the year and when you only worked at one job it should have been pretty much nothing to worry about, I was wrong. Six years after that tax year is when I started getting notices that I missed claiming $400.00 that one year and now, after penalties and interest I owed them $2,200.00. I knew it wasn’t possible being I had only had that one job. The real kick in the butt was that when I called them at the number given I got to speak with a man who was having a really bad day I guess. I asked the man to tell me about this four hundred dollars I had earned and not claimed. You know, on that four hundred dollars, what would the tax have been, maybe $75.00, and now I was supposed to pay them twenty-two hundred. The part that I will always remember to the day I die is the answer he gave me it was “we don’t have to tell you anything, just pay the money you owe”. I have to admit that when people who have the power to rub your butt in the dirt and they have no Spiritual conscience they can really put a hurt on us, the little people.

We all know that when we purchase any item we have to pay the taxes on that item at the store register. About eighteen months ago my wife and I bought a 2005 Chevy so we could have a “back up car”  paying cash at that time. Now we have this piece of paper in our safe that says we own it. Now by law no one can take this car from us legally correct? The problem here is that this answer is wrong. The Courts can take it from you, the Police can physically remove it from you and of course there is a plethora of taxing agencies that can take it for all different kinds of different taxes within the  different Government Agencies. If it can be legally taken from you, is it really yours? Courts even have the authority to freeze all of your banking accounts and disallow you from selling any of your properties.

We all have the Federal income taxes we have to pay on all of our earnings. The last I heard there are six states that do not have a State income tax so that leaves forty-four that still have to pay that also. Then of course we all have taxes on every item that can be construed as income, even gifts. The Federal folks get you, then we have the State taxes on everything we buy and of course we can’t forget the County and City taxes. I guess the biggest gripe I have with our Governments taxing arrangements is the personal property taxes we have to pay. You know, we already bought and paid the taxes at the store, then each year we have to pay the taxes on our possessions year after year. The other big problem the tax system should have to stop doing is their so-called “Death Tax”. Why does any one government or person have any right to tax a person or family after their loved ones just died? Now you have to pay this huge tax bill to the Federal Government, that is just plain wrong. Many people are put into a position of having to sell what you just inherited or the Federal Boys will simply take it from you. When we moved to the state of Tennessee about ten years ago I learned of a tax they have here that I had never heard of before. This is a $25.00 Wheel Tax, it is a tax that you have to pay every year on every vehicle that uses a license plate. There are many other taxes and fee’s, heck, you can’t even go fishing without buying a permit first. We could probably between us name off at least a half a page more, we all know that this system is way broke, but how do we the people change anything when the “Public Servants” control almost everything we own, use or see? These bloated Government Agencies would probably tax our used toilet paper if they could find a way to do it. Heck why not, they tax the not yet used product at the stores.

I think I have made my point about why I used the title I did, that we don’t really own anything, we are just renting it paying on the same things every year. Remember some of the people will stoop so low that they will even take the wedding rings off you and your wife’s hand. You know something, now I love the people of this country, it is the people that make what a country is, not the Governments. When a Government stoops so low as to put a Death Tax on their own people they are sinking so low they are raking hot coals out of Hell. We are all in the end game of our lives, but all our hard work, if we were lucky we rented a piece of land. To the money people at the top of the human chain of life all of us little people are no better than Serf’s and Sharecroppers at best. When we die, none of us can take anything with us, all of our possessions are now gone onto someone else who has to keep on paying and paying and paying. If anyone quits paying for any reason they will lose what they thought they had. I believe that is why every person needs to get in touch with your inner self and attach ourselves toward our Creator. There is a calmness then within you that is not like our hard-earned and worked for possessions, this is a calmness that no one can take from you. You can give it away but not any Government or even the Gates of Hell can take this away from you.

America The Lost

America The Lost

When I write something via free thought I am a person who for the most part needs a title first so that I can write to it. I settled on this title because it is unfortunately true in so many ways. By no means am I anti-American, I am not anti any country. As most people in our country probably know, our country is very sick and I do believe it is now to the point where it is terminal. I completely believe that the only chance our country has of survival is if the vast majority of our population (and our leaders) turns back to God our creator with all our hearts, minds, and souls. To be totally honest with you I just don’t see that happening. I believe that the three biggest pieces of cancer in our country are where the three main media centers are located, Hollywood, NYC, and DC. The pretty Lady with the Torch and all of Her land to Her west is crumbling all around Her and us. Also, these so-called Political Parties who always sell themselves to the highest bidders is destroying all of the fiber which our Country was created on and either it stops very soon or our country will not be in existence for our kids and grand-kids.

There are people in our country who want to get rid of the second amendment (the people’s right to have the means to protect ourselves and our families) all together. I believe that most of the people who wish this to happen are filled with good intentions, it is my contention that these folks are a good bit unrealistic in their thoughts though. Even to this date with all of the revelations shown to us by Mr. Snowden along with the IRS flaws and the so-called Patriot Act which burnt the Constitution, some people still think that our government is only filled with good intentions. Many people do not realize that our Country’s founding Fathers had seen first hand how a country where it’s people could not defend themselves were treated by the government. The Founding Fathers very much intended for it to be where We The People could defend ourselves from a government that oppresses its own people. They plainly wanted the people to be able to revolt if necessary. Do you remember your history classes about how the governments of Europe made it illegal for the people to possess arms and then how the Governments oppressed it’s people, where the people with no means to defend themselves simply became servants to the ruling class? How many lessons did you learn from what happened at Ruby Ridge where the government agents orders were “if it breathes, kill it”. Or do you remember the mass murdering of almost all of the men women and children at Waco? Do you honestly think that your best interest is what our government has on its daily agenda?

Now before you get to thinking that I am some right-wing gun-toting Militia member grand-pappy whose agenda is chaos you could not be further from the truth. I am not an anti gun person at all, and I do own a couple myself. I do believe that everyone has the God-given right to be able to protect themselves and their family. Just like I am not a hunter yet I believe people have the right to hunt if they want to. I am not a vegetarian, I do buy and eat meat from the grocery store, one can not say they are anti hunting if they are not a vegetarian, they would be what is  called a hypocrite. O by the way in case you wanted to pigeon-hole my political association  as being a Republican or as a Democrat, I am neither, I am a long time registered Independent.

Enough now about weapons and people’s concerns of them. I would now like to turn my attention on the economics problems as they are many. If my education was in economics I and many of you could probably write a book on our countries economic issues. I am just an old guy who is speaking from the school of lessons learned from a lifetime of paying attention. O in case you wondered about it, my degrees are in Sociology and in Anthropology but I did study some economics classes while in school. A few months ago I wrote an article in this blog called “It’s Called Trickle Up Economics”, if you would, please spend a few moments reading it. In it I discussed my irritation on how the so-called Stimulus Package money was used. What I wrote (in my opinion) in that blog post spells out my anger without me basically rewriting it here today.

Folks, I love this Country and I love the people who make up the fiber of this Country, for a country is it’s people, not their government. I don’t like the governments of several countries on this Globe but disliking a country’s government doesn’t mean I dislike the people. It is like in our country, I do not like the direction our Country is being led into but I would still give my life to protect our people. It really bothers me when I see how crooked and inept our Government has become and it is only we the people who can change it before we all are led straight into the belly of Hell by this inept evil leadership. I am not mad at how things are, I am just very sad at how blind our country has become and how evil our leaders are.

U.S. Government Commits Treason Against Its Kurdish Allies; Again

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Michael Weiss is a national security analyst for CNN and author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.”

(CNN)Two weeks ago, one of Iraq’s top security officials asked a trusted Kurdish intermediary to deliver a message to Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the semiautonomous fief in northern Iraq which has been something of an American protectorate since 1991.

“Tell Massoud that war is coming if he doesn’t back off,” Hadi al-Ameri said, according to someone privy to the conversation. “Do not provoke us by counting on the Americans.”
Ameri was referring to the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, which the Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, has controlled militarily for three years and politically for even longer.   Iraqi forces had left the city in 2014 as their war with ISIS raged, but now that the terrorist group was on the run, Iraq had every intention of recapturing it.

Michael Weiss

On October 16 some 9,000 Iraqi government forces, including Shia militias under the command of Ameri, invaded and took Kirkuk in a matter of hours. With rare exception, Kurdish peshmerga, a professionalized guerrilla army, whose name translates as “those who face death,” retreated northward in a snaking, convoy of Humvees, tanks and armored vehicles. Tens of thousands of Kurdish civilians also fled to Erbil, the capital of the KRG, where officials were plunged into a state of late-night chaos and confusion.
Long considered the Kurds’ Jerusalem, Kirkuk had fallen without much of a fight. And what violence did occur was between two US allies, with American taxpayer-financed weaponry. American-made Abrams tanks operated by Iraqi forces fired on American-armed Kurdish peshmerga, who returned fire, destroying at least five American-made Humvees.
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This is because in spite of its meek professions of neutrality, Washington did take a side in this conflict: that of Iraq’s central government. But it did more than that by attempting to minimize the role its regional adversary, Iran, apparently played in the reconquest of Kirkuk. The commander of the Quds Force, the foreign expeditionary arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, was reportedly instrumental in the Kirkuk operation.
Nothing better illustrates the incoherence of America’s stance in the Middle East than the fact that it turned out to be on the same side as Major General Qasem Soleimani, who occupies a status within US intelligence circles somewhere between Professor Moriarty and Darth Vader. He and his proxies are believed by US officials to have caused hundreds of American fatalities and injuries on the battlefields of Iraq.
Yet it’s hard to overstate what the Iranian operative has just pulled off. Not only did Soleimani out-marshal and humiliate Washington by brokering a cleverer and more cynical deal, which undercut its own vain attempts at conflict resolution, but he was then rewarded with US legitimization of his scheme. (Iran officially denied any involvement in the recapture of Kirkuk.)
All this occurred less than 72 hours after President Trump heralded a get-tough-on-Iran policy, which included the designation of Soleimani’s parent body, the Revolutionary Guards Corps, as a terrorist organization. In his strategy statement, Trump said: “The Revolutionary Guard is the Iranian Supreme Leader’s corrupt personal terror force and militia,” and he promised, “We will work with our allies to counter the regime’s destabilizing activity and support for terrorist proxies in the region.”
Except the US just did the opposite in Kirkuk and alienated its longest and most stalwart counter-terrorism ally in Iraq, who, as the Kurds like to remind us, have never burned American flags much less attacked American soldiers.

Kirkuk on edge after Peshmerga pushed out

Kirkuk on edge after Peshmerga pushed out 02:31
“We had so much trust in America,” a top Kurdish officer told me last week. “We never thought America would accept Iranian proxies using American weapons against their allies.”  One of his colleagues put it even more plangently than that: “It might be better if we just join Iran’s axis.”
Such are the paradoxes and unintended consequences of how America wages its never-ending war on terror — by alienating its friends and empowering its enemies — in the name of national security.

America’s singular focus on ISIS

In the three years since ISIS stormed the Iraqi city of Mosul in June 2014, the United States has had monomaniacal tactical focus on smashing Sunni extremist head-loppers at the expense of underwriting its long-term strategic interests.
In a rush to dismantle the so-called caliphate, Washington has assembled and empowered a host of sectarian actors with antagonistic agendas who have been forced into a tenuous polygamous marriage of convenience. But now that ISIS is on its back foot — it just lost its de facto capital of Raqqa in the same week as the Kirkuk drama, in large part because of the spadework of another Kurdish-led proxy army — that marriage is disintegrating.
“For America, it’s all about counterterrorism and ISIS,” said Emma Sky, the British former governorate coordinator of Kirkuk during the US-led occupation of Iraq. “Across the region, ISIS isn’t people’s number-one enemy. They’re more at odds with each other. The US still doesn’t understand this.”
For the Kurds, the power struggles are as much internal as they are external.  The Kirkuk crisis would almost certainly not have happened without two precipitating events which fell within quick succession of each other.
The first was a referendum for independence held on September 25. A symbolic, non-binding plebiscite, and the second since the US toppled Saddam in 2003, it nonetheless drew opposition from every regional and Western government (save Israel’s), which argued that the referendum violated the sovereignty and geographical integrity of Iraq — concepts that hold mythical sway in foreign ministries more than they reflect brute reality in a deeply balkanized Iraq.
Conceived by Massoud Barzani and sold as a prelude to the world’s largest stateless people, long reliant on the caprices and mercies of the great powers, attaining their century-long dream of establishing a homeland, the referendum was a domestic political victory in its breadth even if an international defeat. Ninety-three percent of Kurds voted in favor of independence, in defiance of just about everybody, not least of all Baghdad and Washington.
The second precipitating event was the death of Jalal Talabani, the first non-Arab president of Iraq and the eminence grise of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, or PUK, one of two shot-calling parties in Iraqi Kurdistan. Headquartered in the governorate of Sulaimaniya, the PUK had also commanded the peshmerga in Kirkuk and so the near-bloodless loss of the city on Monday can only have happened because of a prearranged agreement between that party and Baghdad.
Absent from the backroom dealmaking was the other, stronger shot-caller, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, based in Erbil. This party is headed by Barzani and his family, who control the KRG’s foreign policy and their own peshmerga paramilitary.

Kurds’ ‘Game of Thrones’

Iraq's President's Jalal Talabani attends the 11th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Summit in Istanbul on December 23, 2010.

For decades, the PUK and KDP — which is to say the House of Talabani and the House of Barzani — have vied for dominance in northern Iraq, often aligning with their mortal enemy Saddam Hussein to get the better of the other in internecine disputes which have devolved into civil war. In recent years, the PUK has developed a close working relationship with Qasem Soleimani.
The plan was apparently set in motion around the time of Talabani’s memorial ceremony in Baghdad on October 8. The dead leader’s eldest son Bafel met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, according to a senior KDP official I spoke to, who speculated that Bafel “saw the obvious, an opening in the Kurdish political parties to exploit in his family’s interests.” Days later, Soleimani paid a call on Bafel to reaffirm Abadi’s seriousness, according to Reuters, citing a PUK official.
Bafel was almost certainly acting under the instructions of Jalal’s widow, Hero Talabani, who along with her sister Shahnaz, represent what remains of the Talabani brain trust.
“Jalal was the tactician, the strategist, everything,” Nibras Kazimi, an Iraqi scholar and former advisor to the US Department of Defense, told me. “Hero and her sister were the enforcers. They handled money, they handled keeping people in line.” But now their patriarch is dead, and their futures uncertain.
Challengers exist within the PUK to assume Jalal’s throne, chief among them KRG’s Vice President Kostrat Rasoul Ali and, the governor of Kirkuk, up until Monday, Najmaldin Karim, who are seen as Hero’s top rivals within the party.  Perhaps not coincidentally, both not only opposed Baghdad’s reclamation of Kirkuk but were also driven from the city the instant it happened — in Ali’s case, after peshmerga fighters loyal to him put up some resistance to Iraqi forces.
“If I go back, my life is in danger,” Karim told Bloomberg. “Even the night when all this happened, I had to maneuver carefully to go to safety.”

Iraq seizes disputed city from Kurdish control

Iraq seizes disputed city from Kurdish control 01:45
In this telling, Hero has cast herself as a kind of Cersei Lannister of Kurdistan after her husband’s demise, seeking to secure her political relevance and enormous fortune — the Talabanis are thought to be worth millions — by cutting a deal with Iran’s master operative to undermine Barzani and scatter her enemies within the PUK. Not bad for someone unused to strategizing.
Bafel Talabani rejects the claim that the PUK and Iran orchestrated their own deal. “Unfortunately we reacted too slowly,” he told Reuters. “And we find ourselves where we are today.” (Attempts to reach Saddi Pira, the head of the PUK’s foreign relations, for comment on this story were unsuccessful.)
One US national security official believes that machinations by Hero Talabani are the real story of the Kirkuk debacle. “Look at the crowd Barzani managed to draw in Sulaimaniya on the eve of the referendum,” that official told me. “It was something like 25,000 people. Hero could never draw such numbers on her own. You think that didn’t factor into calculations about what to do about Kirkuk?” Rather than submit to Barzani’s dominance in the absence of her force-of-nature husband, she’s underwritten her longevity by siding with Abadi and Soleimani.
Working in her favor is the fact that Iraq’s prime minister is up for re-election in 2018.  A Shia ally of Washington and Tehran, Abadi is looking to capitalize on his government’s military victory against ISIS and brand himself the standard-bearer of Iraqi nationalism. The prime minister is facing fierce competition next year.  Among his likely opponents are former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, another Shia from Abadi’s own political party, whose sectarian thuggishness against Sunni Iraqis helped invite ISIS back into the country; and Hadi al-Ameri, the Iraqi security chief who delivered the message to Barzani and is not just considered as close to Iran by US intelligence, but an active agent of Iran. (Ameri fought on Iran’s side in the Iran-Iraq War under the aegis of the IRGC.)
To stand a chance at being given another term next year, Abadi had to regain Kirkuk — no premier can allow it to fall outside the hands of the central government. And he needed Tehran’s help, from which he only stands to benefit in a forthcoming context with Iranian surrogate contenders for the leadership.  “Iran wanted to expand its influence and remove the last obstacle to control all of Iraq,” a KDP official told me. “The whole operation was planned and executed by Qassem Soleimani.”

A busy Sunday

KDP officials blame the Talabanis for reneging on a late-hour agreement, brokered on the eve of the Kirkuk recapture, about how to proceed with negotiations over the fate of the city with Baghdad. At a meeting held in Dukan, Sulaimaniya, on October 15, Massoud Barzani, his son and intelligence chief Masrour, his nephew and KRG prime minister Nechirvan sat down with their PUK counterparts, including Hero and Bafel.
According to one of the attendees of the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Bafel told the KDP that he had consulted Abadi as well as Americans and British diplomats about reintroducing Iraqi forces into Kirkuk. However, Bafel apparently denied reaching any formal agreement with Abadi; he was merely tabling a proposal for further dialogue with the central government and both powerhouse Kurdish parties.
Kirkuk fell within 24 hours.

Kirkuk governor: Time is right for Kurds' vote

Kirkuk governor: Time is right for Kurds’ vote 05:25
According to the The New Yorker, Soleimani met that same day with PUK officials in Sulaimaniya, not long after the bipartisan confab in Dukan had wrapped up. “It’s not clear what was included in the deal,” journalist Dexter Filkins wrote, “but the speculation is that [Soleimani] offered a mix of threats and inducements, including money and access to oil-smuggling routes.”
Whether or not the US actively tried to forestall such side action is beside the point because the Kurds now view it as an accomplice to the seizure of its Jerusalem, a psychic scar already being likened to Saddam’s “Arabization” policies of the mid-1970s when forced population transfers changed the demography of Kirkuk from a city with a Kurdish majority into one with a plurality of Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen.

America’s misfire

Reproach is the soap of the soul in the Middle East, where American allies have a habit of speaking melodramatically when slighted or jilted, only to then return to the fold when they once again realize that aligning with even an unreliable superpower is better than not doing so. (The Kurds are first among equals in this regard.) But American credibility has taken a lashing in the last week. And even an overly emotional KDP can point, convincingly, to a trifecta of falsehoods coming from Washington.
First, the Pentagon denied any untoward military buildup south of Kirkuk by Iraqi government forces in preparation for the city’s takeover. On October 12, Major General Robert White, the commanding general of US ground troops in Iraq, told reporters that Iraqi forces, including Shia militias, were in positions to the south of Kirkuk but only in order to protect the city of Hawija, which had just been freed of ISIS, from a jihadist resurgence. “And they haven’t moved since they occupied,” White said.
Nonsense, said a senior Kurdish intelligence officer. “We were feeding solid intelligence to coalition members, including the US, about Iraqi deployments. Detailed information on locations, numbers, groups and types of weapons in the field — including American weapons — days in advance of the operation.”
I asked the US Army Public Affairs office if General White still stood by his assessment that Iraqi deployments were only in Hawija on an anti-ISIS mission. A spokesperson for the office didn’t respond in time for publication.
I was shown an email sent by a Kurdish intelligence officer to various US lawmakers on October 12. “We are facing an unprecedented military threat by Iraq and its Shiite militias,” the email read, “[a]nd possibly an imminent attack. “Thousands have been deployed near Kurdish front lines. These areas have zero ISIS presence. They are armed with heavy weapons, some American in fact, including tanks, armored vehicles, mortars and artillery.”
The office of one US senator who received the email confirmed its authenticity but stressed that information delivered by foreign intelligence service takes time to vet and corroborate.
Next, Central Command called the exchange of artillery and gunfire between some PUK commanders who resisted orders to evacuate and Iraqi forces a “misunderstanding” and professed not to take a “side” between Baghdad and Erbil, a position President Trump, who once famously mistook the Quds Force as a Kurdish entity, reiterated on Tuesday on the White House lawn.
Finally, the Pentagon denied that any Shia militias were in Kirkuk. This, in spite of the demonstrable fact that Hadi al-Ameri and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandes, whom the US Treasury Department sanctioned in 2009 and described as an “advisor” to Soleimani, were present for the lowering of the Kurdistan flag at the city’s provincial council building, and the raising of the Iraqi one. (Al-Muhandes was convicted in absentia in Kuwait and sentenced to death for planning lethal terrorist attacks against the US and French embassies there in 1983.)
The head of one notorious Shia militia, the League of the Righteous, which in 2007 killed five US servicemen in the Iraqi city of Karbala, even publicly thanked the PUK for its cooperation in the Kirkuk handover. “We salute and appreciate the courageous position of the peshmerga fighters who refused to fight their brothers in the Iraqi forces,” he tweeted.
The US has also, bizarrely, downplayed Soleimani’s role in the Kirkuk affair. One State Department official told reporters last Thursday, “I’m not aware of any Iranian involvement in that, per se” —   an assessment the Kurds find risible at best and iniquitous at worst.
The US dismissal of Iranian aggression against Iraqi Kurds also carries troubling implications in Syria.
A race-to-Berlin scenario is unfolding between US backed Kurdish-led paramilitaries and Bashar al-Assad’s army in the campaign against ISIS in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Rick Francona, the former military attache at the US embassy in Damascus and a CNN contributor, Washington’s wishy-washiness on the Kirkuk question has sent a stark message to its other Kurdish allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces, as the US-backed forces are called: “We may not be there to protect you, either.”
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“Once ISIS has lost all or most of its territory in Syria as it has in Iraq, the Syrian regime will attempt to reassert its control over the areas now held by the SDF,” Francona  told me. “The Iraqis have set a precedent for that.”
And if Assad and his Soleimani-built militias try to reclaim territory gained by the Syrian Kurds, will the U.S. defend or abandon its friends in that fight?
“There is no doubt that Barzani overreached with his ill-timed referendum and his belief in America’s unqualified support for him,” said Sir John Jenkins, the former British ambassador to Iraq. “But it should never have got to this point. It may not be about Iran for Abadi. But sure as hell it’s about Iran for Iran. They must be loving it.”