16 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-19-18

  1. From “The Washington Examiner”

    The Nation of Islam and its leaders have received hundreds of thousands of dollars from the U.S. government since 2008 to teach religious study programs for federal prison inmates, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

    A black nationalist group led by Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam preaches that white people are “blue-eyed devils” and Jews are “the synagogue of Satan.” Its leaders have received at least $364,500 in contracts and awards from the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Department of Justice between fiscal 2008 and fiscal 2019.

    The funding was designed to provide “Nation of Islam religious services,” “Nation of Islam spiritual guide services,” “Nation of Islam study services,” and other related programming led by the organization’s leaders, according to Bureau of Prison records. The Nation of Islam has been labeled a hate group by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
    .

    The Bureau of Prisons on Wednesday declined to provide any details about the contracts, including what year they began and what Nation of Islam reading materials were used for the program. “Contracts are retained six years after final payment, so we are not able to provide details regarding the original contract on which the Nation of Islam began contracting with the Bureau of Prisons,” said a spokesperson.

    The spokesperson cited a regulation that federal correctional institutions “may contract with representatives of faith groups in the community to provide specific religious services which the chaplain cannot personally deliver due to, ordinarily, religious prescriptions or ecclesiastical constraints to which the chaplain adheres.”

    While declining to comment on what the Nation of Islam provided to prisoners, the bureau cited a federal statute that said religious materials must “be previewed by [Bureau of Prison] staff, or any other staff-designated volunteers, prior to distribution” and “materials shall not denigrate or disparage any other religion or religious groups.”

    King said the funding raises concerns about the federal vetting process for prison chaplains in light of reports that prisons can be a breeding ground for radicalization.

    In 2010, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a report that found “as many as three dozen U.S. citizens who converted to Islam while in prison have traveled to Yemen, possibly for Al Qaeda training.” The issue has drawn recent attention in Europe, after a gunman who attacked visitors at a Christmas market in France was reported to have been radicalized during a prior stint in jail.

    “Since there have been too many instances of radicalization occurring in prisons, that, to me, is a public concern as to what is being taught,” King said. “To me, once you’re associated with Farrakhan, that, to me, would end the vetting right away.”

    Federal spending records reviewed by the Washington Examiner show that the funding dates back at least to fiscal 2008, with some contracts apparently approved in 2007.

    The highest spending year appears to have occurred under former President Barack Obama in 2012, when the federal government gave over $47,000 in contracts to Nation of Islam programs. Funding has dropped under the Trump administration. In 2018, the programs received $17,000 and the total obligation for 2019 is $8,250.

    The Nation of Islam was founded in 1930 as a black nationalist offshoot of Islam, but Potok said many of its beliefs are seen as heretical by mainstream Muslims — including the group’s claims that white people are inherently evil and Nation of Islam founder Wallace D. Fard, or Wallace Fard Muhammad, is a deity.

    “The Nation has, right from the beginning, extremely anti-Semitic, anti-gay beliefs,” said Potok. The group has promoted theories that Israel carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and claimed the U.S. government has secretly poisoned black men with a chemical that would turn them gay. Farrakhan, who has led the organization since 1978, once called Adolf Hitler ‘a very great man’ and routinely denounces Jews and white people as evil.

    “White folks are going down. And Satan is going down. And Farrakhan, by God’s grace, has pulled the cover off of that satanic Jew, and I’m here to say, ‘Your time is up. Your world is through,'” Farrakhan said in a speech last February.

    One of the organization’s key texts, The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, claims that Jews were responsible for the transatlantic slave trade and rigged the world economic system to disenfranchise black people.

    The Nation’s corporate entity, Muhammad’s Holy Temple of Islam Corp., received $27,000 from the Bureau of Prisons to carry out ‘Nation of Islam religious services’ at Terre Haute penitentiary in Indiana, according to government records.

    Muhammad’s Holy Temple of Islam is based out of Mosque Maryam in Chicago, the Nation’s national headquarters and Farrakhan’s office.

    Another entity, the North Memphis Study Group, received $23,430 between 2008 and 2010 for “Nation of Islam services” at Forrest City federal penitentiary in Arkansas. The North Memphis Study Group is located at Muhammad Mosque 55, the Nation’s chapter in Memphis.

    The chapter’s recent “video of the week” on its website was titled “SOS: Synagogue of Satan.”

    The Nation’s Muhammad’s Mosque 23 in Buffalo, NY., and Mosque of Charleston in South Carolina, also received $7,850 and $2,500 each for “Nation of Islam services” at Loretto Federal Corrections Institution in Pennsylvania and Williamsburg Federal Corrections Institution in South Carolina.

    In total, the Bureau of Prisons contracted with over a dozen organizations and individuals to specifically provide Nation of Islam programming for inmates. One of these individuals was Verbon Muhammad, a Nation leader in Monroe, La., who received over $60,000 to “provide Nation of Islam religious services.” Muhammad told a reporter at the Louisiana News Star last year that white people are not allowed to attend Nation of Islam religious services.

    “We don’t allow white people in our meetings, period,” said Muhammad.

    The Nation of Islam did not respond to request for comment through its main office or through its attorney Berve Power. Abdullah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation’s Prison Reform Ministry, also did not respond to press inquiries.

    According to the group’s newspaper, the Final Call, Abdullah Muhammad often travels to prisons to give lectures about the group’s philosophy. In November, Abdullah Muhammad spoke to inmates at the Ryan Detroit Re-entry Center in Detroit, the Final Call reported.

    “The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wants you brothers to know that he loves you,” said Abdullah Muhammad during the lecture, which reportedly focused on Bible Scripture and included a video address from Farrakhan.

    One of the inmates said in an interview with the Final Call: “I’m only 19 years old and I go home in about three weeks. I wish Mr. Muhammad lived in Detroit.”

    Farrakhan has implored his followers not to accept money from the U.S. government, saying in a Dec. 14, 2013, statement: “If they offer you anything, look carefully into it, lest the Nation will no longer be tied to the principles that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad desired for us: to make us an independent nation on some of this Earth that we can call our own.”

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  2. Collapsing narratives……

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/trump-russia-dossier-journalist-doubts-christopher-steeles-claims

    “The journalist who was among the first to report on the Trump-Russia dossier suspects many of the allegations made in former British spy Christopher Steele’s collection of memos are “likely false.”

    Yahoo chief investigative reporter Michael Isikoff was one of the journalists who met with Steele during the 2016 campaign. On Sept. 23, 2016, he wrote an article about former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, which outlined how Page had attracted law enforcement’s attention for allegedly trying to establish back channels between the campaign and Russia and for discussing the lifting of sanctions with Moscow-linked officials. The article was frequently cited during congressional investigations into whether the Justice Department and FBI abused surveillance powers by gathering information on Page, a U.S. citizen, after obtaining warrants based on Steele’s unverified work.

    Despite reporting accusations made by Steele, Isikoff told John Ziegler’s Free Speech Broadcasting podcast that many of the claims had still not been corroborated. ”

    ———————-

    Because they’ve been false from the start.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-12-19/los-angeles-bishop-resigns-over-sex-abuse-as-crisis-spreads

    _______________________________

    Los Angeles Bishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse as Crisis Spreads

    VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis accepted the resignation of a bishop in Los Angeles accused of sexually abusing a minor, the Vatican said on Wednesday, in the latest case of clergy misconduct to shake the U.S. Catholic Church.

    A brief Vatican statement said Alexander Salazar, 69, an assistant bishop in Los Angeles, was stepping down. It also distributed a letter on the Salazar case written by the current Archbishop of Los Angeles, Jose Gomez.

    The U.S. Catholic Church is still reeling from a U.S. grand jury report that found that 301 priests in the state of Pennsylvania had sexually abused minors over a 70-year period.

    There will be a major meeting at the Vatican in February on the global sex abuse crisis. …

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  4. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/tale-two-persecuted-pastors-wang-yi-john-gray/

    Contrasts

    _________________________________

    Tale Of Two Persecuted Pastors
    By ROD DREHER

    Poor John Gray! The megachurch prosperity gospel prophet is being persecuted by HATERS:

    Pastor John Gray teared up at times during a Facebook Live video Thursday as he defended buying a Lamborghini for his wife.

    Gray said the luxury sports utility vehicle was bought with “not a nickel, not a penny,” from Relentless Church in Greenville.

    Gray said he has saved and planned his money for years, drawing on a variety of sources including his second book deal and the fourth season of his OWN channel reality show.

    The Lamborghini itself, starting at $200,000, was given to his wife Aventer as a symbol of his love for her, Gray said. The couple celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary Saturday and during the celebration, he gave her the keys.

    John Gray is an associate pastor at Joel Osteen’s prosperity churchatorium in Houston. Says this servant of God, “My best life is seeing my wife happy.” …

    ….

    Meanwhile, in China, Pastor Wang Yi is living his best life too. He has been taken into government custody, and has not been heard from for days. He left instructions to his congregation to release a letter if nobody heard from him in 48 hours. Here is the letter:

    “On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

    As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel. …

    … Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.

    I firmly believe that the Bible has not given any branch of any government the authority to run the church or to interfere with the faith of Christians. Therefore, the Bible demands that I, through peaceable means, in meek resistance and active forbearance, filled with joy, resist all administrative policies and legal measures that oppress the church and interfere with the faith of Christians.

    I firmly believe this is a spiritual act of disobedience. In modern authoritarian regimes that persecute the church and oppose the gospel, spiritual disobedience is an inevitable part of the gospel movement. … ”
    ______________________________________

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  5. Stated plainly, he’s a habitual liar, since he continues to do it. And even under oath.

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/12/18/comey-steele-dossier-republicans/

    “Former FBI Director James Comey continues to falsely claim that Republicans were the initial backers of Christopher Steele and his infamous dossier.

    In congressional interviews on Dec. 7 and Monday, Comey repeatedly claimed that Steele had Republican backers.

    In reality, Steele was hired in June 2016 by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was working at the time for the law firm for the DNC and Clinton campaign.

    Former FBI Director James Comey falsely claimed throughout two recently congressional interviews that Republicans were the initial backers of the infamous Steele dossier, which alleges a vast conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian government to influence the 2016 election.

    Comey claimed twice in an interview Monday with the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees that Republicans initially commissioned the work of Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the dossier. He made similar claims twice more in an interview with the same committees on Dec. 7.”

    ———————-

    “Later, he said that he believed that it was important for investigators to understand that the dossier was “a politically motivated effort, first by Republicans, then by Democrats.”

    It is clear from the transcripts of Comey’s interviews that he was unfamiliar with details of the dossier and how it was handled within the FBI. He was fuzzy on dates and said that he was not familiar with Fusion GPS, the firm the hired Steele, or Perkins Coie, the law firm that hired Fusion on behalf of the Clinton campaign and DNC.

    Comey is not the only Trump opponent to falsely claim that Republicans were involved in the dossier. Democrats and many journalists have repeated the inaccurate claim. The source of confusion revolves around the timeline of Fusion GPS’s investigation into Trump.”

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  6. Nice…..

    I’m sure it was just an honest mistake….. 🙄

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/12/report-facebook-allowed-companies-to-read-write-and-delete-user-private-messages/

    “REPORT: Facebook Allowed Companies to Read, Write, and Delete User Private Messages”

    “So-called “integration partners” were given access to private user data without user knowledge”

    “A report published by The New York Times details Facebook’s relationships with large corporations and the extent to which they provided access to user data.

    One of the more startling revelations in that report — Facebook granted some corporations the ability to read, write, and delete user private messages.

    Facebook also allowed Spotify, Netflix and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write and delete users’ private messages, and to see all participants on a thread — privileges that appeared to go beyond what the companies needed to integrate Facebook into their systems, the records show. Facebook acknowledged that it did not consider any of those three companies to be service providers. Spokespeople for Spotify and Netflix said those companies were unaware of the broad powers Facebook had granted them. A Royal Bank of Canada spokesman disputed that the bank had any such access.

    Spotify, which could view messages of more than 70 million users a month, still offers the option to share music through Facebook Messenger. But Netflix and the Canadian bank no longer needed access to messages because they had deactivated features that incorporated it.

    These were not the only companies that had special access longer than they needed it. Yahoo, The Times and others could still get Facebook users’ personal information in 2017.

    Yahoo could view real-time feeds of friends’ posts for a feature that the company had ended in 2011. A Yahoo spokesman declined to discuss the partnership in detail but said the company did not use the information for advertising. The Times — one of nine media companies named in the documents — had access to users’ friend lists for an article-sharing application it also had discontinued in 2011. A spokeswoman for the news organization said it was not obtaining any data.

    Facebook’s internal records also revealed more about the extent of sharing deals with over 60 makers of smartphones, tablets and other devices, agreements first reported by The Times in June.

    Apple is also implicated in the report:”
    ———————-

    Big Tech only has their own interests at heart. Folks need to keep that in mind while on their platforms.

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  7. HRW mentioned this one last night. In case you missed it……..

    This is why you don’t cry wolf……

    They wasted time on specious and false claims from Ford, Avenatti, and others, so any that may have been legit are too late to the table. Not that I think any of them were legit…….

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2018/12/appeals-court-dismisses-all-ethics-complaints-against-brett-kavanaugh/

    “Appeals Court dismisses all ethics complaints against Brett Kavanaugh”

    ““Because Justice Kavanaugh is no longer a circuit, district, bankruptcy or magistrate judge, a circuit judicial council no longer has the power or jurisdiction under the Act to review his conduct””

    “As part of the warfare against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Democrats and their allies filed dozens of ethics complaints against Kavanaugh.

    Those complaints were referred by Chief Justice Roberts to a judicial council of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    The 10th Circuit judicial council just released an Order dismissing the complaints on the grounds that the judicial code of conduct did not apply to Supreme Court Justice, and now that Kavanaugh was on the Supreme Court, the council could not act.”

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  8. Meh….

    ———————–

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  9. ———————

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  10. ——————–

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  11. 4 days ago when Mueller and a DC Circuit Court issued a mystery subpoena to an un-named party, the press breathlessly reported that it absolutely positively had to be Trump.

    Here’s a Google search of stores in case you missed it.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=is+trump+unnamed+mystery+subpoena+reciepient&oq=is+trump+unnamed+mystery+subpoena+reciepient&aqs=chrome..69i57.14363j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    ———————-

    But they’re wrong, again. Still.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2018/12/19/muellers-magical-mystery-subpoena-scores-unanimous-win-dc-circuit/

    “At least we know now who didn’t get named in the mystery subpoena from Robert Mueller. Just four days after hearing an appeal from a “foreign company” subpoenaed by Mueller in the special counsel probe into the 2016 election, the DC Circuit panel unanimously upheld it. CNN reported last night that the opinion didn’t disclose the identity of the target, but did disclose its status as a foreign-government-based company:

    So it wasn’t Donald Trump or Mike Pence, as many (including myself) had predicted. But who was it, and why does it merit such secrecy in US judicial proceedings? The opinion doesn’t shed light on those questions, although the argument used in the attempt to quash the subpoena rests in part on the fact that the corporation is state-owned:

    The Grand Jury seeks information from a corporation (“the Corporation”) owned by Country A. After receiving a subpoena for that information, the Corporation moved to quash claiming (1) that it is immune under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“the Act”) and (2) that the subpoena is unenforceable as unreasonable and oppressive under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 17(c)(2) because it would require the Corporation to violate Country A’s domestic law. The district court denied the motion. On the sovereign immunity issue, the court assumed that immunity applied, but concluded that it had subject-matter jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3231 and that the subpoena fell within the Act’s exception for commercial activities. The court then rejected the claim that Country A’s law barred compliance. When the Corporation failed to produce the requested information, the court held the Corporation in contempt, imposing a fixed monetary penalty to increase each day the Corporation fails to comply. The Corporation appealed. Reviewing the legal questions presented de novo, In re Sealed Case, 146 F.3d 881, 883 (D.C. Cir. 1998), we affirm.

    What foreign-owned firm with commercial interests in the US with any connection to the Russia probe warrants those security precautions? That might be tough to narrow down. The first thought would be the Internet Research Agency, except that it’s not supposed to be foreign-government-owned; it’s supposedly independent of the Russian government. Also, why would US courts provide so much secrecy for any Russian-owned firm to the extent that it would clear the entire floor to keep people from identifying the firm’s attorneys?”

    ————————-

    Keep fishing.

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