Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The Real Collusion Story


March 3, 2018 6:30 AM

Hillary Clinton at a “Get Out the Vote” rally in Concord, N.H., February 6, 2016. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
In a textbook example of denial and projection, Trump foes in and out of government wove a sinister yarn meant to take him down.

Barack Obama keeps a close watch on his emotions. “I loved Spock,” he wrote in February 2015 in a presidential statement eulogizing Leonard Nimoy. Growing up in Hawaii, the young man who would later be called “No-Drama Obama” felt a special affinity for the Vulcan first officer of the U.S.S. Enterprise. “Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy,” the eulogy continued. “Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed.”

It is the rare occasion when Obama lets his Spock mask slip. But November 2, 2016, was just such a moment. Six days before the presidential election, when addressing the Congressional Black Caucus, he stressed that the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, threatened hard-won achievements of blacks: tolerance, justice, good schools, ending mass incarceration — even democracy itself. “There is one candidate who will advance those things,” he said, his voice swelling with emotion. “And there’s another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy, is opposition to all that we’ve done.”

The open display of emotion was new, but the theme of safeguarding his legacy was not. Two months earlier, on July 5, in Charlotte, N.C., Obama delivered his first stump speech for Hillary Clinton. He described his presidency as a leg in a relay race. Hillary Clinton had tried hard to pass affordable health care during Bill Clinton’s administration, but she failed — and the relay baton fell to the ground. When Obama entered the White House, he picked it up. Now, his leg of the race was coming to an end. “I’m ready to pass the baton,” he said. “And I know that Hillary Clinton is going to take it.”

But he was less certain than he was letting on. Hillary Clinton was up in the polls, to be sure, but she was vulnerable. Three weeks earlier, on June 15, a cyberattacker fashioning himself as Guccifer 2.0 had published a cache of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). They proved, as supporters of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders had long alleged, that the DNC had conspired with the Clinton campaign to undermine their candidate. Sanders was still withholding his endorsement of Clinton for president, even though her nomination as the Democratic candidate was now a foregone conclusion. At the very moment when Clinton had expected the Democratic party to unite behind her, its deepest chasm seemed to be growing wider. In contrast to Clinton, Obama held some sway over the Sanders insurgents. He came to Charlotte to urge them to support Clinton against their shared enemy, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, Donald Trump.


Monday, March 19, 2018

China Will Block Travel for Those With Bad ‘Social Credit’

Passengers pack the waiting hall at Hongqiao Railway Station, which services terminal 2 at Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport in 2014.
Potograph by Johannes Eisele/AFP--Getty Images

By David Z. Morris
March 18, 2018

Chinese authorities will begin revoking the travel privileges of those with low scores on its so-called “social credit system,” which ranks Chinese citizens based on comprehensive monitoring of their behavior. Those who fall afoul of the system could be blocked from rail and air travel for up to a year.

China’s National Development and Reform Commission released announcements on Friday saying that the restrictions could be triggered by a broad range of offenses. According to Reuters, those include acts from spreading false information about terrorism to using expired tickets or smoking on trains.

The Chinese government publicized its plans to create a social credit system in 2014. There is some evidence that the government’s system is entwined with China’s private credit scoring systems, such as Alibaba’s Zhima Credit, which tracks users of the AliPay smartphone payment system. It evaluates not only individuals’ financial history (which has proven problematic enough in the U.S.), but consumption patterns, education, and even social connections.

A Wired report last year found that a user with a low Zhima Credit score had to pay more to rent a bicycle, hotel room, or even an umbrella. Zhima Credit’s CEO has said, in an eerie prefiguring of the new travel restrictions, that the system “will ensure that the bad people in society don’t have a place to go, while good people can move freely and without obstruction.”

Though the policy has only now become public, Reuters says it may have come into effect earlier — in a press conference last year, an official said 6.15 million Chinese citizens had already been blocked from air travel for social misdeeds.

Trump Hires Lawyer Who Has Pushed Theory That Justice Dept. Framed the President

MARCH 19, 2018

Joseph E. diGenova during a television interview in March 2016. Credit C-Span

MANCHESTER, N.H. — President Trump hired the longtime Washington lawyer Joseph E. diGenova on Monday, adding an aggressive voice to his legal team who has pushed the theory on television that the F.B.I. and Justice Department framed Mr. Trump.

Mr. diGenova, a former United States attorney, is not expected to take a lead role. But he will serve as an outspoken player for the president as Mr. Trump has increased his attacks on the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. Mr. Trump broke over the weekend from the longstanding advice of some of his lawyers that he refrain from directly criticizing Mr. Mueller, a sign of his growing unease with the investigation.

“Former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Joe DiGenova will be joining our legal team later this week,” said Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s personal lawyers. “I have worked with Joe for many years and have full confidence that he will be a great asset in our representation of the President.”

Mr. diGenova has endorsed the notion that a secretive group of F.B.I. agents concocted the Russia investigation as a way to keep Mr. Trump from becoming president. “There was a brazen plot to illegally exonerate Hillary Clinton and, if she didn’t win the election, to then frame Donald Trump with a falsely created crime,” he said on Fox News in January. He added, “Make no mistake about it: A group of F.B.I. and D.O.J. people were trying to frame Donald Trump of a falsely created crime.”

Little evidence has emerged to support that theory.

Mr. Trump’s legal team has been in tumult in recent weeks. On Saturday, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer, John Dowd, called on the Justice Department to end the special counsel investigation. Mr. Dowd said at the time that he was speaking for the president but later backtracked. According to two people briefed on the matter, he was in fact acting at the president’s urging to call for an end to the inquiry.

Earlier this month, Mr. Trump did not tell his lawyers that he was in discussions with another Washington lawyer, Emmet T. Flood, about representing him. Mr. Flood represented former President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings.

Mr. diGenova did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. diGenova is law partners with his wife, Victoria Toensing. Ms. Toensing has also represented Sam Clovis, the former Trump campaign co-chairman, and Erik Prince, the founder of the security contractor Blackwater and an informal adviser to Mr. Trump. Mr. Prince attended a meeting in January 2017 with a Russian investor in the Seychelles that the special counsel is investigating.

Ms. Toensing also represents Mark Corallo, the former spokesman for the Trump legal team who has accused one of the president’s advisers of potentially planning to obstruct justice with a statement related to a 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who supposedly had damaging information Hillary Clinton.

Mr. diGenova has worked in Washington legal circles for decades. He is a former Republican-appointed United States attorney for the District of Columbia. And he has served as an independent counsel in government waste, fraud and abuse investigations, notably a three-year criminal inquiry into whether officials in the George H.W. Bush administration broke any laws in their search for damaging information about then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton.

In 1995, Mr. diGenova declared the investigation he led was “unnecessary.” And, he said, “a Kafkaesque journey for a group of innocent Americans comes to an end.”808Comments

Mr. diGenova was one of several former independent counsels who, in the late 1990s, argued that the role of the independent counsel — as defined in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal — ought to be narrowed.

Drawing on his own experience, Mr. diGenova said in 1998 that the law, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, should not be renewed. He argued that once the independent counsel law was invoked, the prosecutors were forced into bringing “an unnatural degree of targeted attention” to the case. In 1999, the United States Congress let the independent counsel portions of the law expire.

Maggie Haberman reported from Manchester, N.H., and Michael S. Schmidt from Washington. Matt Apuzzo and Eileen Sullivan contributed reporting from Washington. 

"Brazen Plot To Exonerate Clinton' Starting To Seep Out" Daily Caller In...

Pope Francis talks tech, sex and tattoos with young adults

Cindy Wooden - Catholic News Service

March 19, 2018

Pope Francis greets Nick Lopez, 27, director of campus ministry for the University of Dallas, during a pre-synod gathering of youth delegates at the Pontifical International Maria Mater Ecclesiae College in Rome March 19. The meeting was in preparation for the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment this October at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

ROME (CNS) -- The Catholic Church needs the enthusiasm, daring and hope of young people so that it can preach the Gospel energetically and respond to the questions men and women raise today, Pope Francis told some 300 young adults.

"We need to rediscover in the Lord the strength to get up after failure, to move forward, to strengthen hope for the future," the pope said March 19, opening a weeklong meeting in preparation for October's Synod of Bishops.

Most of the young people gathered with the pope at the Legionaries of Christ's Maria Mater Ecclesia College in Rome were chosen as delegates by their national bishops' conferences. Others represented a variety of Catholic movements or ministries, including religious life. But the Vatican also invited delegates from other Christian churches, other religions, including Islam, and young people who describe themselves as nonbelievers.

Pope Francis told the young people that they are the ones who can help the church fight "the logic of 'it's always been done this way,'" which he described as "a poison, a sweet poison that tranquilizes the heart and leaves you anesthetized so you can't walk."

The church and its members must continue to go out, continue asking what God is calling them to and continue finding new ways to respond, the pope said.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Year of Truth? (Truth with Chinese characteristics?)

03/16/2018, 10.20


by Card. Joseph Zen

The considerations of the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong on claims made by recent articles regarding the agreement between Beijing and the Holy See.

Hon Kong (AsiaNews) - Finally the good Fr. Jeroom Heyndrickx, the “God Father” of “China experts,” has come out with his “2018 the year of truth” [referring to the “imminent” (?) China-Vatican Agreement.]

I could ignore the “Breaking the trust” by (now) famous Francesco Sisci. I could resist the temptation of answering Fr. Michael Kelly’s (an expert in Church History?) “Cardinal Zen is just wrong.” But how can I ignore Fr. Heyndrickx or abstain from reacting to his pathetic sermon?

Actually, I think it would have been convenient to answer both Sisci and Kelly, at least briefly, because I would have answered, at the same time, some main points of Fr. Heyndrickx’s article.

I know Sisci. We met a couple of times many years ago. His strong point in life is that he conquered the heart of a girl, who happens to be the daughter of a Chinese General. This allowed him to come and go in the corridors of power in Beijing. But that does not make him a real expert in Chinese matters, even less an expert in Church affairs.

As to the central point of his article, co-authored with a certain Strazzari, I have this to say: I plead guilty of breach of confidentiality, but I did it to discharge the Holy Father from responsibility for those evil (wrong?) things perpetrated by his collaborators in his name (they plan to do their dirty job quietly and let us swallow the fait accompli).

Yes, I am convinced that the Holy See is not always the Holy Father. Until I see an evil deal signed, I refuse to believe that it can be real.

'Lettergate' mystery hits Vatican as conservatives cry foul

March 16, 2018 / 7:17 AM / a day ago

Philip Pullella

3 Min Read

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - First there was “Vatileaks”. Now there is “Lettergate”.

A series of 11 booklets on The Theology of Pope Francis and a letter from former Pope Benedict, which was read out at the presentation of the work, are seen at the Vatican in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters March 15, 2018. Osservatore Romano/Handout via Reuters

For the past week, the Vatican has been enmeshed in a controversy that conservatives say has all the hallmarks of a cover-up but others say is probably the result of botched communications.

On Monday, the head of the Vatican communications department, Monsignor Dario Vigano, moderated a presentation of an 11-booklet series of musings by 11 commentators on “The Theology of Pope Francis”.

Vigano read out a five-paragraph letter from retired Pope Benedict in which Francis’ predecessor, now 90, rejected the “stupid prejudice” of those who say the Argentinian is destroying the Church with liberal theology..

Benedict also disputed suggestions by conservatives that Francis’ academic qualities were lacking, praising his successor as a “man of deep philosophical and theological formation” and finding an “interior continuity between the two pontificates”.

Pope Francis Plan to Take Over the World (2018)

Pope: The Most Powerful Man in History (CNN)

Ex-Guam archbishop appealing sex abuse verdict

The Latest: Ex-Guam archbishop appealing sex abuse verdict

Religion News

Friday, March 16, 2018 5:23 PM EST
By The Associated Press, AP

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Vatican convicting suspended Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron of some charges in a sex abuse trial (all times local):

10 p.m.

The suspended Guam archbishop convicted of some charges in a sex abuse trial says he's appealing the verdict and looks forward to proving his innocence.

The Vatican on Friday removed Archbishop Anthony Apuron from office and ordered him not to return to the Pacific island, a U.S. territory where nearly everyone is Catholic. The Vatican didn't say exactly what Apuron has been convicted of.

Apuron says in a statement he's relieved the tribunal dismissed the majority of accusations against him.

Pope Francis named a temporary administrator for Guam in 2016 after Apuron was accused by former altar boys of sexually abusing them when he was a priest. Dozens of cases involving other priests on the island have since come to light. The archdiocese is facing more than $115 million in civil lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests.

‘Time for God…and rest’: Catholic Poles rejoice as Sunday shopping ban comes into effect


Dorothy Cummings McLean

Tue Mar 13, 2018 - 5:19 pm EST

Poles rejoice as Sunday shopping ban comes into effect

POLAND, March 13, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Stores remained shuttered all over Poland as the country’s new Sunday shopping ban went into effect on March 11.

The new law will be introduced in stages. From now until 2019, stores will be allowed to open two Sundays a month. In 2019, they will be allowed to open for only one Sunday. But in 2020, they will be shut every Sunday, with the exception of a few Sundays falling before Easter and Christmas.

Maciek Kwiatkowski of Otwock, a town near Warsaw, told LifeSiteNews that he welcomed the return of peaceful Sundays. And he wasn’t the only one.

“Salespeople with whom I’ve spoken were really happy because finally they have Sunday for themselves,” he reported. “From my perspective, I didn’t see dissatisfaction among consumers. People simply plan to do their shopping on another day.”

Living in the famous city of Częstochowa, Daria Pietrzak said that Sunday was no different for her, since she has always avoided shopping that day. Sundays are “time for God, family and rest,” she stated. Nevertheless, a number of jokes are circulating on social media, predicting that Poles will overshop on Saturdays and pretending to commiserate with countrymen who now have no idea what to do on Sundays.

“When I was a child all shops were closed on Sunday,” Pietrzak told LifeSiteNews. “On Saturday they were open only until 2 PM. People shopped on Friday. On Saturday they cleaned the house, and on Sunday they rested.”

Traditionally Poles have spent Sundays in church, at family mid-day meals, walking in the woods or countryside or sightseeing, she said.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Antichrist, Vatican and Mark of the Beast Revealed!!! MUST WATCH!

Anti-Christ -Wikipedia, the definition and identification of the Anti-Christ

Unconquerable Forces Waiting

Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. They will start into action forces that cannot be repressed. The lips of children will be opened to proclaim the mysteries that have been hidden from the minds of men.

We are standing on the threshold of great and solemn events. Many of the prophecies are about to be fulfilled in quick succession. Every element of power is about to be set to work. Past history will be repeated; old controversies will arouse to new life, and peril will beset God's people on every side. Intensity is taking hold of the human family. It is permeating everything upon the earth. . . .

Study Revelation in connection with Daniel, for history will be repeated. . . . We, with all our religious advantages, ought to know far more today than we do know.

Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give.

As we near the close of this world's history, the prophecies relating to the last days especially demand our study. The last book of the New Testament Scriptures is full of truth that we need to understand. Satan has blinded the minds of many so that they have been glad of any excuse for not making the Revelation their study. But Christ through His servant John has here declared what shall be in the last days; and He says, "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein."

UN gets $100m in new funds for Palestinian aid after US cuts

UNRWA still faces $350 million shortfall to provide services for estimated 5 million refugees and their descendants

15 Mar 2018, 4:57 pm 

FAO, United Nations Food and Agriculture Oranization, Director General Graziano Da Silva, left, shakes hands with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as he arrives to attend a United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, UNRWA, conference, in Rome, March 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

ROME (AP) — The United Nations received pledges Thursday of nearly $100 million in new funding for the UN relief agency for Palestinians after the US slashed its aid, but it is still facing a nearly $350 million shortfall this year.

UN officials said the countries providing the new financing included Qatar, Canada, Switzerland, Turkey, New Zealand, Norway, Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, India and France.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said “an important first step was reached” at an emergency donor conference in Rome with the new pledges. But he said “a long way is in front of us” to fully fund the agency, which went into the conference facing a $446 million gap in financing this year — the worst funding crisis in its 68-year history.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

First Undocumented Immigrant Appointed to State Post in California

March 15, 2018

For the first time in California's history, the state has appointed an undocumented resident to a statewide post, announcing the decision just a day after President Donald Trump attacked its immigration approach during a visit to San Diego.

The decision made by the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday saw Lizbeth Mateo, a 33-year-old attorney and immigrant rights activist, appointed to serve on a committee that helps increase college access for students from low-income or underserved communities.

In announcing the decision, Senate President pro tempore Kevin de León appeared to recognize the move as an act of defiance in the face of the Trump administration's current immigration crackdown.


Lizbeth Mateo is the first undocumented resident in California to be appointed to a statewide post Lizbeth Mateo Law

"While Donald Trump fixates on walls, California will continue to concentrate on opportunities," De León told The Sacramento Bee in a statement. "Ms. Mateo is a courageous, determined and intelligent young woman who at great personal risk has dedicated herself to fight for those seeking their rightful place in this country."

Merkel and Trump shake hands as he enters the G20 summit - Daily Mail

‘I’m not afraid:’ What Stephen Hawking said about God, his atheism and his own death

By Lori Johnston

March 14 at 11:02 AM

World-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking dies at 76

Theoretical physicist Stephen W. Hawking died on March 14 at age 76. Hawking was considered to have one of the greatest minds of this generation. (Amber Ferguson/The Washington Post)

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking schmoozed with popes during his lifetime, even though he was an avowed atheist. The famous scientist, who died Wednesday in England at 76, was often asked to explain his views on faith and God. During interviews, he explained his belief that there was no need for a creator.

He said during an interview with El Mundo in 2014: “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn’t. I’m an atheist.”

That followed comments made to Reuters in 2007 in which Hawking, who had a condition much like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS) since 1963, described himself as “not religious in the normal sense.”


2 Mar 2018

Protect the work-free Sunday!

On the occasion of the European Day for a Work-Free Sunday on March 3, the European Sunday Alliance calls on all its supporters to take action against Sunday Work.

The Sunday as a common weekly day of rest is under pressure in Europe. Online shopping offered around the clock, a tendency towards permanent availability of workers due to mobile devices as well as the increasing use of on-call time and the increasing opening of shops, especially in tourist areas on Sundays, endanger not only the work-free Sunday as a common day of rest but also common free time and a rest period from a purely economic-driven lifestyle.

The European Sunday Alliance is convinced that working on Sundays endangers the health and safety of workers as well as the social cohesion in our societies. The challenge of reconciling increasingly flexibilised working schedules with social and civic commitments had just been discussed at the last breakfast meeting of the Interest Group Work-Life Balance in the European Parliament on 22 February 2018. Only a well-protected common work-free day per week enables citizens to enjoy full participation in cultural, sports, social and religious life and allows for reconciliation. That is why the European Sunday Alliance commits itself to safeguarding a work-free Sunday.

The European Sunday Alliance calls on all its members and on all citizens to take action on 3 March 2018 as the European Day for a work-free Sunday with special activities, Church services and information points in order to raise awareness about the unique value of Sunday for the European society and the importance of common free time in a digitalised society.

The European Sunday Alliance is a network of national Sunday Alliances, trade unions, employers’ organisations, civil society organisations, churches and religious communities committed to raise awareness of the unique value of synchronised free time for our European societies. CESI has been a member of the Alliance since 2017.

Logos: European Sunday Alliance/CESI logos © European Sunday Alliance 2018/CESI 2018