Deadlocked Jury – Trial of Senator Bob Menendez Ends in Mistrial…


According to the general legal outline that surfaced in the trial of Senator Bob Menendez, quid-pro-quo agreements between “abiding friends” can never be considered corruption or defined as ‘bribes’ because,.. just like non-public officials or business associates, close friends would do favors to help and repay each other.

In essence the legal definition of bribery for public officials now comes down to how long the two parties have known each other, and if they can show an abiding friendship. If two parties can show an “abiding friendship“, of undefined duration, no action taken by one party -to the benefit of the other party- can ever be considered bribery, regardless of the scope of the action.

You can bet a social networking strategy and Christmas Card lists of a whole bunch of politicians and public officials will be much longer this year. Everyone involved in paying-off public officials will now begin creating evidence of a much deeper friendship – which is now a proven legal defense.

(Reuters) – The corruption trial of New Jersey’s Democratic U.S. Senator Bob Menendez ended in a mistrial on Thursday, after the jury said it was hopelessly deadlocked on bribery, fraud and other charges.

Menendez, 63, a longtime fixture in the state’s political circles who first joined the Senate in 2006, was accused of accepting private flights, campaign contributions and other bribes from a wealthy patron, Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, in exchange for official favors.

The hung jury was a victory for Menendez and a major setback for federal prosecutors in what was the Justice Department’s first high-profile corruption trial since a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year limited its ability to bring such cases.

It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek to retry Menendez, who is running for re-election next year, and his co-defendant Melgen. In a statement, the Justice Department said it would “carefully consider next steps in this important matter.”

[…] The case was seen as a test for prosecutors in the wake of last year’s Supreme Court ruling vacating the bribery conviction of former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. In doing so, the high court narrowed the grounds for corruption cases.

The trial judge, Williams Walls, strongly considered a defense motion to throw out the case mid-trial in light of the McDonnell decision before deciding against it.  (read more)

Middle East – Who is Who?


QUESTION: Mr. Armstrong; I am confused. On the one hand, you said the Saudis could be sued for 911 and that they have been funding ISIS with the USA. Then Iran is supposed to be a terrorist state. Who is who?

Thanks

KW

ANSWER: It is confusing. Bin Laden was Suni, not a Shia, and he considered Shia Muslims were in the same class as heretics, America, and Israel. He believed these were the true enemies of Islam. So there have been terrorist on both sides of the issue. They are not one group compared to another. I was merely explaining the major religious battle. Each side has its extremes just as do the Jews and Christians. Bin Laden subscribed to the Athari school of Islamic theology which believes in the STRICT interpretation of the Quran. That would be the same as the Born-Again Christians and the Hasidic Jews.

The USA was funding ISIS because they wanted to support Qatar trying to get a pipeline through Syria to compete with Russia. That is why Russia went into Syria. It was the Obama Administration that was giving the blessing to terrorism to overthrow Syria.

At Last – Clinton Foundation Gets Investigated


What goes around, comes around. The Washington Post has reported that the Department of Justice has instructed the US Attorney’s Office to investigate the controversial sale of a uranium group to Russia during the presidency of Barack Obama and the role of the Clinton Foundation. The Obama administration approved the deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a much of the American uranium sources. It turns out that the FBI had gathered significant evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering to get the deal in the USA. According to a letter released on Monday, Justice Secretary Jeff Sessions instructed the prosecutors to consider, inter alia, the appointment of a special investigator and an extension of the investigation.

The list of topics to be investigated includes the handling of the FBI investigation of the full Hillary Clinton’s private email server used during her time as Secretary of State, various affairs of the Clinton Foundation, and most importantly, the role of the Clinton Foundation Sale of the Canadian mining company Uranium One to Russia’s Atomic Energy Agency. The role of former FBI director James B. Comey in protecting Hillary is also fair game for investigation. We may have a clash of two titans – two special prosecutors doing battle to overthrow Trump and Hillary.

Despite all the claims that the Clinton Foundation was a real charity, it was quickly shutting its doors as soon as Hillary lost. Guess it was just about buying influence in the future White House.

Why Iran is a Major Threat


The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions. Each is claiming to constitute the Yemeni government. This is really a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Tran. The Houthi forces control the capital Sana’a who are allied with forces loyal to the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh backed by Saudi Arabia. They are opposed by Yemen’s Shiite rebels who are loyal to the religious government of Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, based in Aden, supported by Iran.

To grasp what this is all about, one must understand Islam. Saudi Arabia in Sunni that boils down to a separation of church and state. They are fighting the Shiite forces of Iran, which believe that religion should control the state. Therefore, the ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels toward the Saudi capital was manufactured by Iran as if this should be any surprise given that Iran is their backer.

This conflict in the Middle East is religious based. This is similar to the threat of Russia back in the Cold War days when Nikita Khrushchev ruled Russia and the ideology that Marxism would conquer Capitalism was the entire issue. Here we have Iran which is similarly a threat to the world political structure because this is where religion should rule the state. Christianity went through that where the state was ruled by religion and to circumvent religion, kings appointed their political allies as priests, bishops, and cardinal. That led to the Investiture Controversy which was the major conflict between the Pope Gregory VII and the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV during the 11th century.

Emperor Henry declared Pope Gregory was no longer pope and the Romans should choose a new pope because of political disputes. When Pope Gregory heard of this he excommunicated Henry IV, declared he was no longer emperor and absolved his subjects from the oaths they had sworn to him. This was the battle of kings to control the Church for political gain.

Even if we look at England and Henry VII’s break with the Catholic Church, one need only just look before the headline. Henry’s Queen was  Catherine of Aragon (1485–1536) who was the aunt of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1500–1558) and was originally Charles I of Spain. Charles V had imprisoned the Pope Clement VII (1478– 1534) following the Sack of Rome in May 1527. Correct, the Holy Roman Emperor invaded Rome to take control of the Church and imprisoned the Pope. There was no way Charles V would allow Henry VIII to annul the marriage with his aunt. Once again we have evidence of kings controlling religion for political purposes.

What is unfolding in the Middle East is similar to the war between Protestants and Catholics, which was really for political and economic power. The corruption in the Church was not the design of the Pope when it had been the kings who appointed people in their domain to run the Church – not the Pope. Nothing could illustrate this point more than the case of Saint Thomas Becket (c. 1119–1170), who was a personal drinking buddy of the King. When he appointed him as Arch Bishop of Canterbury, he suddenly found religion. He then stood up to the King and he was slain right at the Altar.

 

This is a similar nature where here it is the religious Shite seeking to take control of the Middle East and overthrow kings. The recent Saudi Arabia incident of shooting down the Iranian missile on November 4th, 2017 near Riyadh’s international airport, illustrates just how confrontational this really is. Why Obama cut any sort of a deal with Iran given their political beliefs, is truly beyond contemplation.

The Saudi-Iran Brewing War


The turmoil in the Middle East has been instigated in part by fiscal mismanagement. When the money was rolling in with high oil prices, it was assumed, as always, that whatever trend is in motion will remain in motion. Consequently, the government expanded their spending assuming money would continue to flow in. When oil broke, the fiscal mismanagement has been exposed for all to see if they care to look.

Falling oil prices have decimated revenues and trade in the region. Security worries about terrorism, particularly in the US, have led to cuts in airline routes. Then there has also been a long-running diplomatic and trade impasse between Saudi Arabia and its allies on the one hand, and Qatar on the other. Now the good-old-days of easy money and rapid growth has led to concerns about over-capacity, waste, and corruption that nobody cared about when money flowed like oil.

We are witnessing the beginning of a Middle East War between the Suni and Shite where the latter opposes kings and the state should be ruled by religious leaders. Iran and its Lebanese ally, the militant Shia group Hezbollah, claim the Saudis detained Mr. Saad El-Din Rafik Al-Hariri is a Lebanese-Saudi politician who has been the Prime Minister of Lebanon since December 2016. They allege that Saudi Arabia forced his resignation. Rex Tillerson said he had received assurances that Mr. Hariri was free to leave anytime.

According to Reuters, there was “no line-up of Saudi princes or ministry officials, as would typically greet a prime minister on an official visit to King Salman”, they reported with senior sources close to Hariri and top Lebanese political and security officials said. Reuters reported that Hariri’s phone was confiscated, and the next day he was forced to resign as prime minister in a statement broadcast by a Saudi-owned TV channel.

If this is true, then we are witnessing indeed a proxy-war emerging once again in Lebanon. This is a major struggle that is, in fact, seeking to reshape the Middle East with the war building between the conservative Sunni monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shi‘ite revolutionary Iran. These two groups have already been in conflicts that have emerged in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, where they back opposing sides. This appears to be now expanding to destabilize Lebanon, where the Saudis have opposed the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, which is Lebanon’s main political power and part of the ruling coalition. The historical profile of war involving Lebanon is as follows:

  1. First Arab-Israeli War (1948–1949), which involved Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.
  2. 1958 Lebanon Crisis
  3. Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990) Syrian occupation of Lebanon and the Israeli Security Zone
  4. South Lebanon Conflict (1985–2000)
  5. July War (2006) Hezbollah and Israel Stalemate
  6. Fatah al-Islam Rebellion (2007)
  7. 2008 conflict in Lebanon Hezbollah victory
  8. Syria War spillover in Lebanon (2011-2017)

Interesting enough, there have been eight events in 69 years and that works out to 8.625-year cycle on the surface without correlating it to history. According to Reuters, Hariri had to be removed because he was unwilling to confront Hezbollah.

What we can determine, is from a cyclically perspective, 2017 was the turning point from which we should expect to see a rise in the clash between Iran and Saudi groups.

When you turn the conomy down, that is historically when tensions rise.

The Unseen Cause of Rampant Violence in America


The university-bred doctrine of moral relativism, which influences all levels of education in America, spawns moral confusion and violence throughout American society.

By denying the existence of objective rational standards by which to distinguish right from wrong or good from bad, the academic doctrine of moral relativism fosters the primacy of force or violence as opposed to the primacy of reason and persuasion, as the only effective  means by which to resolve differences of opinion and interests among men.

Therefore, to diminish the violence now rampant in America, it will be necessary for the religious and political leaders of this country to criticize the academic doctrine of moral relativism by exposing its logical consequences and pernicious influence on the attitudes and public behavior of American citizens.

Prof. Paul Eidelberg

Sacred Hate Speech


– There’s a lot of talk about hate speech these days. YouTube, Facebook, and others are going to eliminate hate speech. Well I wish them luck with that, but I’m going be talking about some hate I bet they’re not able to eliminate: the hate that is found within the doctrine of Islam for the unbeliever.

For instance, Quran 98:6. The unbelievers amongst the Christians, Jews, and pagans will be in the fire of Hell. These are the worst of creatures. Who’s of the worst of creatures? People such as myself. Now, I don’t know, but when I’m called the worst of creatures, does this qualify for hate speech? Then we have a piece of hate speech that’s repeated five times a day by every good Muslim. The first sura of, or chapter of, the Quran has seven verses, and Muslims repeat these every time they pray. The seventh verse says, not those who anger Allah nor those who go astray. Who are these people who angers Allah? The Jews. Who goes astray? The Christians. So constant prayer by Muslims condemns the Christians and the Jews.

Now then, let’s talk a little bit more about hate, sacred hate. Quran 48:29. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and those with him are the severe against the Kafirs and merciful amongst themselves. Notice that Muslims are to be severe amongst people such as myself but merciful unto themselves. This is sacred hate and sacred love. It has a technical name and is part of the ethical system of Islam. Al-Walaa wal-Baraa, hating what Allah hates, Kafirs, loving who Allah loves, Muslims.

Is this hate speech? Quran 8:55. Surely the vilest of animals in Allah’s sight are the Kafirs. The vilest of animals. Other translations of this verse are lowest of animals. So, I’m the lowest of animals according to Allah. Hate speech? I don’t know; might be.

Quran 4:144. O ye who believe, Muslims, take not Kafirs for friends rather than believers. Do you wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourself? In other words, having a Kafir as a good friend is proof for Allah that you’re not a good Muslim. Here’s another verse.

Quran 66:9. Strive hard against the Kafirs and the hypocrites, moderate Muslims, and be firm against them. Their abode is Hell, an evil refuge indeed. So Muslims are to strive against me.

Now then, it’s not just the Quran, but the Sira and the Hadith, which are the Sunnah of Muhammad, also include hate. Let’s take one example. Muhammad, in the last nine years of his life, committed 95 acts of jihad. Is this hate when he was sending out people to kill, rape, torture, and steal? I don’t know; it seems like it might be.

Islamic doctrine is filled with hate, but I am officially called a hater by CAIR, the Committee on American-Islamic Relations, and SPLC, the Southern Poverty Law Center. Why? Because of talks just like the one you’re hearing now. For this kind of talk, I’m called a hater. When I talk about how Allah hates, I’m the one who’s the hater. So join me in becoming a hater. That is, a scholar of Islam who knows what Islam says about you, the Kafir. Thank you.

Turmoil in Middle East


We have a lot of turmoil going on in Saudi Arabia. There has been the arrest of various princes and people who have been allegedly squandering money. We have the prospect of selling off the oil giant ARAMCO. We have had the ostracization of Qatar on allegations that they are supporting Iran.Now we have the line being drawn further alleging that Lebanon has been linked to Iran in this the regional rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran. The Saudi-allied Lebanese politician, Saad al-Hariri, quit as prime minister on Saturday, blaming Iran and Hezbollah in his resignation speech.

Saudi Gulf affairs minister Thamer al-Sabhan said the Lebanese government would “be dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia” because of what he described as aggression by Hezbollah.

Turkey & USA Relations Turn Bad


The relations between the USA and Turkey have turned for the worst. The USA has now restored the need for a visa after audio recordings have surfaced indicating that the evasion of Iran sanctions was approved by the Turkish President Erdogan. The US arrested Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab in the case of money laundering when he was acting as a middleman between the Turkish government and Iran for years. Since there is now a possibility of the involvement of Turkey in helping Iran circumvent the sanctions, relations have taken a turn for the worse.

The New York prosecutors also charged a representative of the semi-state Turkish Halkbank when he was flying through John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. They have charged him with conspiracy acting with Zarrab. It is alleged that both were doing business on behalf of the Turkish government and directly on behalf of Erdogan with Iran

Iran & War


Iran has a very rich history that lends itself to tremendous insight into the long-term future of the Middle East. It was Cyrus the Great who conquered Lydia which was the birthplace of money issued by the state. The Persians adopted the practice and then continued to produce coins with the same design as the Lydians until they were changed in 510BC and the image of Darius I appears as an archer.

If we begin with the Medes, there have been 17 major overturning events of great importance. The Persians were responsible for the collapse of the Roman monetary system during the 3rd century when they captured the Roman Emperor Valerian I. Then there was the fall of Iran to the Muslim conquest. This latest revolution in 1979 has been one of rising confrontation with the west.

 

The last Iranian Revolution took place in 1979. The cycle bottomed in 2016. Here we are starting a new cycle of rising tension. Keep in mind that Persia has been a major player throughout the centuries. They have not vanished into the sunset. They are moving toward war once again.