"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Corruption is Everywhere
President Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Tom Marino, has withdrawn his name from consideration following whistleblower claims that he pushed a law that protects opioid drug distributors
“Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, two days after CBS’ 60 Minutes program featured several former employees of the Drug Enforcement Administration saying that the legislation that Marino (R-Pennsylvania) championed last year made it all but “impossible” for the government to go after unscrupulous distributors of addictive opioid pills.
The Justice Department, under which the DEA operates, said Tuesday it will review the law’s impact on the government’s enforcement powers.
The bill, called Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, was signed into law by president Obama last year, after it was passed by both chambers of Congress. Critics say it effectively stripped the DEA of its authority to investigate suspicious transactions as the government is now required to meet a higher standard before taking enforcement actions.
In the CBS program, former head of the DEA's Office of Diversion Control Joe Rannazzisi also suggested that Marino put pressure on the DEA to get rid of him last year, after Rannazzisi accused Marino and the bill’s co-sponsor Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) of protecting distributors he was investigating.
Marino and Blackburn wrote the DOJ inspector general, demanding that Rannazzisi be investigated for trying to "intimidate the United States Congress." Soon after, Rannazzisi was stripped of his responsibilities. He went from supervising 600 people to supervising none - so he resigned, Rannazzisi told CBS.
Marino and Blackburn should be investigated for possible corruption, and the DOJ Inspector General should be fired for giving in to questionable pressure from Congress. - just my humble opinion!
Last month, Trump nominated Marino to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy. In August, the president said the opioid epidemic was a “national emergency,” after his Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis reported that the US faces the death toll equal to “September 11th every three weeks” as opioid abuse claims the lives of up to 142 Americans every day.
But Trump has yet to formally declare the emergency status, which would then unlock additional resources to fight the epidemic.
“We are going to be doing that next week... It’s a very important step. And to get to that step, a lot of work has to be done, and it’s time-consuming work,” Trump said at a news conference Monday.
Former DEA officials featured in the CBS program also alleged that their bosses at the agency during the Obama administration ‘shut off’ investigations into large distributors of addictive opioid pills, even when there was ample evidence of suspicious dealings. The drug industry used their money and influence to pressure top lawyers at the DEA, Rannazzisi said.
The ex-employees said one of the reasons for the roadblocks was the “revolving door” between the DEA and the drug industry, as a number of the administration’s top lawyers landed lobbying jobs for the pharmaceutical companies and drug distributors upon leaving the government, including the former DEA attorney who wrote the legislation for which Marino is now in hot water.
It would seem corruption is not confined to 3rd world countries. Who else thinks there needs to be a full-scale investigation into the lobbying of Congress?
£200mn worth of propaganda. What the British paid to keep the war going in Syria and ensure many Muslim migrants continue to infiltrate Europe.
White Helmets in Syria © Abdalrhman Ismail / Reuters
Almost £200 million of British taxpayers’ money has gone to supporting Syrian opposition groups, independent journalist Vanessa Beeley told RT. One of the groups to benefit from the funds are the White Helmets, which are alleged to have links with terrorists.
Speaking to George Galloway on his RT show Sputnik, Beeley said the funds were released from the UK’s Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) to support the Syrian opposition. She said part of that money was used by the White Helmets to feed media outlets that are rarely in Syria and offer a false narrative of what is happening there.
“If we look at the narrative produced from Aleppo… it never came from the 1.5 million majority in West Aleppo that was government-held and government-protected, but who lost over 11,000 civilians from mortar fire from East Aleppo - so from the Western-backed terrorists in East Aleppo.
“The narrative came from East Aleppo and it came from affiliates of Nusra Front, which included the White Helmets and from citizen activists that had been produced in Gaziantep [in Turkey], with money coming in from the UK government,” she added.
“[The UK government] actually admitted very recently that almost £200 million [US$260 million] has gone from this public fund into funding the Syrian opposition inside Syria.
“So in other words, all of these journalists, media activists, who were trained in Turkey and then infiltrated back into Syria, to produce the propaganda, and that includes the White Helmets."
The White Helmets have been hailed by the Western media as “peace-bearing heroes” who save lives. A Netflix documentary film praising the group as “unarmed and neutral civilian volunteers” even won an Oscar for best documentary short feature in February.
However, the group has long been plagued by allegations of having ties with terrorist groups. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said in April that the White Helmets are involved in covering up terrorist crimes.
“The White Helmets not only feel at home on territories controlled by Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State, but also openly express positive attitudes towards them, providing them with information and even financial assistance,” she said at the time.
Beeley has previously told RT that Aleppo residents, who have lived under terrorist rule for five years, “witnessed the White Helmets working alongside Al-Nusra Front as well as participating in executions and torture and working as an Al-Nusra Front civil defense unit.”
She went on to say that the “White Helmets is a major construct funded by the UK, the US, the EU and the Gulf States that promulgates the propaganda against the Syrian government and the Syrian Arab Army,” and that this can partly explain the media silence when such scandals emerge.
In June, a member of the White Helmets was caught on camera helping a group of unidentified militants disposing of bodies of beheaded Syrian Army or pro-government soldiers in Daraa province.
In another incident in May, footage emerged showing several members of the group’s rescue team helping to remove a body of a man shot dead by rebels in the town of Jasim, also in Daraa province.
Then there was the fact that several White Helmuts videos featured the same girl.
In fact, many of the mainstream media videos of shocking suffering in Syria are fake and many were not even shot in Syria.
Another international journalist discredits MSM reporting in Aleppo. Admittedly, this comes from RT with it's built-in bias, but most of the words come from the Bolivian documentary maker herself. You won't see this on western MSM because that would insinuate that they were fooled by the fake news and guilty of very sloppy journalism.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Corruption is EverywhereBy Danielle Haynes
UPI -- A car bomb on Malta's southern island killed a journalist who linked the government to the Panama Papers scandal, local police said Monday.
Daphne Caruana Galizia, 53, died when her car exploded shortly after she left her home in Bidnija, BBC News reported. The bomb left her vehicle in several pieces along a road and nearby field around 3 p.m.
Caruana Galizia filed a police report 15 days before her death saying she had been threatened, The Times of Malta reported.
Earlier this year, she accused Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of wrongdoing, linking him and his wife to the Panama Papers. The papers included documents detailing financial information, some of which included fraud and tax evasion.
Despite the accusations, Muscat condemned her death. Police opened a murder investigation.
"I condemn without reservations this barbaric attack on a person and on the freedom of expression in our country," he said in a televised statement.
Muscat said there was "no justification ... in any way" for her death.
"I will not rest before justice is done," he said.
Thousands of people gathered Monday night in Sliema for a candlelight vigil. Maltese nationals in London also held an event outside Malta's High Commission in Mayfair.
The Backlash from IslamizationBy Allen Cone
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz and his girlfriend Susanne Thier arrive at a polling station in Vienna on Sunday to cast their votes in the Austrian federal elections. Kurz, 31, will become the nation's next chancellor, according to final provisional results. Photo by Christian Bruna/EPA
UPI -- Sebastian Kurz will become Austria's next chancellor and Europe's youngest leader at 31, according to provision final results Sunday.
Kurz's People's Party captured 31.4 percent but because it's not a majority the party will need to form a parliament coalition, likely with the Freedom Party with 27.4 percent, according to the poll results. The 800,000 absentee ballots and ones by voters outside of their home districts need to be counted Thursday.
About 79.3 percent of the 6.4 million voters turned out for the election, up from the 74.9 percent four years ago.
In May, Kurz pulled his party out of the ruling coalition with the Social Democratic Party, which was second in voting Sunday with 26.8 percent. The current chancellor, Christian Kern, was elected 18 months ago as leader of the Social Democratic Party.
"This is a clear mandate for change," Kurz told cheering supporters in Vienna. "We've got a lot of work to do. We need to create a new political style and a new political culture."
The Freedom Party was part of a coalition between 2003 and 2005, the last time a far-right party helped run the government.
The Green Party had only 3.3 percent, which was below the 4 percent cutoff to win a seat in The 183-member National Council, which is determined proportionally based on the votes. The Pilz party, which was started by former Green politician Peter Pilz, and the Neos, a liberal party, surpassed the threshold.
"The result is a catastrophe. It is a defeat for the real questions of the future, the existential questions," Helga Krismer, spokeswoman for the Green Party in Lower Austria, said to The Local in Austria.
The People's Party and the Freedom Party, which is led by Heinz Christian-Strache, have a hard stance on refugees and immigration.
Kurz, Austria's foreign minister, in 2015 opposed opening European Union borders to 1 million mostly Muslim asylum seekers and migrants. That year, Austria took in around 90,000 asylum seekers, mainly Syrian Muslims.
The Freedom Party was originally founded by a former Nazi, Anton Reinthaller, in 1956.
Gernot Bluemel, who is a friend of Kurz and a party official in Vienna, said their party will keep any coalition partner in check.
"The crucial point is we are pro-European," Bluemel said to NPR. "So, we would never accept an anti-European course in the government coalition. We would never accept an anti-Semitic course in government. Never, ever, ever."
Kurz grew up and still lives in the working-class Vienna neighborhood of Meidling. His mother was a teacher and his father was a manager.
"He was raised with the idea that if you work hard, if you play by the rules, then you can achieve your goals. You can realize your dream," Bluemel said. "In a country where the level of taxes is being raised higher and higher, this dream is becoming more and more unrealistic."
Austria is scheduled to take over the European Union presidency next year.
In May, Emmanuel Macron, at 39, was elected the youngest president in France.
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Ukraine opens monument to nationalist icon Petliura
blamed for anti-Jewish pogroms
Ataman Simon Petlyura (С) and his staff © Sputnik
A monument to Symon Petliura, who fought for Ukrainian independence after the 1917 Russian Revolution, and under whose leadership thousands of Jews were killed in pogroms, has been opened in the city of Vinnitsa in western Ukraine.
The sculpture was erected in the courtyard of the building that formerly hosted the Ministry of Post and Telegraph of the self-proclaimed Ukrainian People’s Republic, which was headed by Petliura in 1917-1921. The Ukrainian nationalist icon is portrayed sitting on a bench with a map of the country in his hands.
The Vinnitsa authorities unveiled the monument on Saturday, when the country marked the Defender of Ukraine Day – a new holiday ordered by President Petro Poroshenko in 2014.
“He was a man who sincerely loved his country, his native language, who tried to be honest with his own people,” Valery Korovy, the chairman of the Vinnitsa Region administration, said of Petliura, claiming that the Soviets did everything to “malign this honest man,” as cited by Ukraina.ru.
It is the first monument to Petliura in Ukraine, which previously only had a bust erected in the capital, Kiev, and a memorial sign in Poltava.
35,000 - 50,000 Jews killed
Petliura fought for Ukraine’s independence from Soviet Russia, following the October Revolution of 1917. During his time as the head of the Ukrainian People's Republic, between 35,000 and 50,000 Jews were killed in a string of pogroms.
This, apparently, occurred in just 4 years and had nothing to do with the Holocaust.
After his cause failed Petliura fled to Paris, where he was killed in 1926 by a Ukrainian-born Jewish watchmaker, Sholom Schwartzbard. Despite Schwartzbard being caught red-handed, he was later acquitted by a French court, which ruled that he was acting in the heat of the moment after 15 of his relatives were killed in the pogroms.
Petliura’s apologists claimed he was personally against the pogroms, but lost control of his armed forces who engaged in killing Jews. Schwartzbard’s defense and some historians, however, hold Petliura directly responsible as the head of the government who did nothing to prevent them as he wanted to avoid a spat with his forces.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian authorities have been facing criticism over their attempts to glorify controversial nationalist figures, including those who openly sided with the Nazis.
In 2000, they awarded ‘Hero of Ukraine’ titles to Stepan Bandera and Roman Shukhevych, who collaborated with the Nazis during World War II and were involved in mass killings of Jews and Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.
The decision was later annulled under condemnation from the European Parliament, but Bandera and Shukhevych still have monuments and streets named after them across Ukraine.
© Odd Andersen / AFP
German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere prompted a backlash from his own party and political allies by suggesting that Germany introduce Muslim public holidays. He was, however, backed by the leader of the Social Democrats, Martin Schulz.
“I am ready to discuss the issue of whether we should also introduce a Muslim public holiday,” de Maiziere said early this week, adding that the German authorities “could probably easily do that.”
He went on to explain that, in some German states where many Catholics live, there are already some religiously defined Christian public holidays, while in other parts of the country, they are not officially introduced.
“In places where there are many Muslims, why cannot one discuss also [the introduction] of a Muslim public holiday?” the minister said at an election event staged by his party, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), ahead of regional elections in Lower Saxony.
His proposal, however, quickly provoked a wave of indignation within the ranks of his own party as well as among their Bavarian allies, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU).
“Our Christian legacy is non-negotiable,” Alexander Dobrindt, the head of the CSU faction in the German federal parliament, said, commenting on de Maiziere’s statement.
“Introduction of Muslim public holidays in Germany is out of question,” he added.
His words were echoed by another CSU member, interior policy expert Stephan Mayer, who said that “Germany has for centuries carried the legacy of Christian traditions and was defined by it.”
“As of yet, nothing has changed in this field,” he said, adding that a statement that “Islam belongs to Germany” can be proved neither by the historical experience nor by the present situation.
De Maiziere’s fellow senior CDU member, Wolfgang Bosbach, was, however, more reserved in his criticism. He said that, even though everyone in Germany has every right to celebrate whatever religious holidays they want, the legal protection of non-Christian holidays “is a different issue.”
The politician said he sees no reason to discuss such issues and said that the politicians should instead ask “when Christians will finally have the same religious freedom in all Muslim countries as Muslims [in Germany].”
In the meantime, a CSU deputy head, Manfred Weber, warned that such a move could actually hinder the integration of Muslims into German society, arguing that public holidays cannot be introduced only to serve the needs of a certain community.
His statement was, however, disputed by Aiman Mazyek, the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, who said that introduction of Muslim public holidays would foster integration.
Such holidays would show that Muslims are a part of Germany and become a sign of “mutual understanding as well as good and friendly coexistence” of various parts of the German society, Mazyek told Passauer Neue Presse.
The interior minister, however, received support for the proposal not only from the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, but also from Martin Schulz – the leader of the Social Democratic Party and political rival.
“One should think about this proposal,” Schulz told German dpa news agency on Saturday. He also lambasted the CDU and CSU for attacking de Maiziere. In Germany, one has to be able to make a proposal and then discuss it seriously and without anxiety, Schulz said.
In the meantime, the uproar prompted the interior ministry to clarify de Maziere’s statement. The minister “has made it clear that our public holidays come from a Christian tradition and it should stay so, according to his point of view,” the ministry’s spokeswoman told Bild.
“He was, however, ready to discuss certain Muslim holidays in some particular regions,” she said, adding that the minister “basically still holds to an opinion that our holiday culture has Christian roots and no other.”
De Maiziere’s statements came at a time when Germany is still stunned by the historic success of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party at the latest federal parliamentary election, in which the CDU and their Bavarian allies suffered their worst results in more than half a century.
Since 2015, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her decision to allow in hundreds of thousands of refugees, around one million mostly Muslim asylum-seekers have arrived in Germany, putting a strain on its social welfare system and sparking a rise in anti-migrant sentiment.
Now, the party of Angela Merkel, whose ‘open door’ policy sparked enormous controversy, is struggling to win back voters from the right-wing AfD. On October 9, the CDU and its Bavarian sister party agreed to cap Germany’s intake of asylum-seekers at 200,000 a year.
Muslims pray during Friday prayers in the street in front of the city hall of Clichy, near Paris, France. © Benoit Tessier / Reuters
In just a few years, Islamic suburbs of Paris will obey their own set of rules, they will have their own laws, their own principles, maybe even their own police. It is already the case, Alexandre Mendel, author of the book ‘Partition’ told RT.
Europe has been facing a large number of migrants coming from the war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East. Today many are concerned about the Islamization of Europe and the failure of Muslims assimilating into their new countries.
RT met with a writer Alexandre Mendel, whose new book “Partition” is devoted to the Muslims' failure to integrate in France, and discussed the current situation in that country.
RT: Please start by describing for our readers your book.
Alexandre Mendel: My last book, 'Jihadist France,' was only about the French terrorists. ‘Partition’ is mainly about Islamization of France, about what’s going on in France, in schools, hospitals, at work, in sports clubs, etc. I am not talking this time about terrorism itself, but about the way France decided whether the French government - like it or not – collaborated and accepted some kind of arrangements with Islam. This is the main topic of the book.
There are at least two things that are important about the Islamization. The first one is that you cannot be always blind with this problem. For 20-30 years we let down our rules, our principals, our republican ideals; we negotiated with Islamists. We are totally blind to this kind of small signals that some parts of France were becoming Islamized. That can explain the terrorism today in France. If we didn’t accept these little arrangements with radical Islam, we probably wouldn’t have had so many attacks in France. That is why it is so important today not to be blind anymore in France and to tell the truth.
My book is made of many, many reports in France. It is not a theoretical book – it is a book written by a reporter. We went there, we went to the schools, to the hospitals, to the cities where people and police never set foot to see the reality and just to talk about the reality. A lot of French people, especially a lot of French journalists and French politicians never go there. It is very important today to be a reporter in these areas where nobody sets foot anymore. This is a testimony of our modern time.
RT: What should be done to integrate people into society? Is it only a Muslim thing, or other groups, as well?
AM: In my book, I say that there is no solution, because it is too late; there won’t be any solution. You can’t send them back to their country - they are French - the French cannot send them back. What France will become in the next 10 or 20 years will be a kind of new Lebanon in some places in France.
For example, take some suburbs in Paris: they will have their own set of rules, they will have their own laws, their own principals, maybe even their own police. It is already the case. The fact that in France right now in many places France has no control in these areas. We accepted it already and we won’t fight back to get these suburbs back to France. It is already done – we already lost the war against them.
So the rich people in France will be in the fancy neighborhoods of Paris, far from the problems, and then the poor people will have to deal with Islamism on a daily base. This is the way we accepted that already.
RT: Why did integration fail in France, do you think?
AM: Integration has failed in France, but not only France – in many other countries, because we buried our republican principal to actually mimic what exists in Great Britain, in Canada, or in the US; accept that you could be French, get French citizenship without even speaking French, without even going to the Republican French School, get French citizenship, without living like the French. France is not a new country of immigration – it has a very long story of immigration. People in the 1920s came to France from all over Europe – from Poland, from Russia, from Armenia, Italy, and there was no problem to integrate them, no problem at all…
The fact is, Muslims simply cannot integrate and remain Muslims. If they soften Islam to make it possible for them to integrate into western society, the next generation will curse them for it and become twice as radical. There is no saving France or Europe as long as Muslims are being welcomed with open arms.