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FTR #953 Saint Bernard: Rebel Without A Clue

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Gabbard and Bernie Sanders

Grover Norquist

Grover Norquist

Introduction: Against the background of Trumpian political volatility made manifest in Syria, we look at St. Bernard [Sanders] and the implications of actions he has taken.

This program is presented in the context of the “shock to the system” that Steve Bannon and other Trump advisers see as necessary and imminent.

After detailing more about the Hungarian fascist manifestations of Sebastian Gorka, the Trump administration’s point man for counter-jihadism,  the program turns to the possible use of the Sanders campaign as a vehicle for the GOP to infiltrate and/or maneuver jihadist elements into prominence in the Democratic Party.

In numerous programs, we have noted the suppression of Operation Green Quest, which targeted individuals and institutions linked to the Al-Taqwa/Muslim Brotherhood milieu on the one hand, and to the Karl Rove/Grover Norquist-generated Islamic Free Market Institute on the other. Karl Rove, Grover Norquist and Graham E. Fuller, the Muslim Brotherhood’s and jihadis’ most significant backer in the intelligence community, factor into this analysis:

Rove financed Sanders campaign through the American Crossroads super-PAC. ” . . . American Crossroads—founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove—and several other conservative-backed super PACs have spent the last month intentionally fueling the Bern, but their zeal has more to do with an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton, whom they still see as the likely Democratic nominee and harder to defeat in the general election. . . . Crossroads is one of several groups that has released ads that have been aimed at branding Sanders as the only true progressive in the race—a strategy the Vermont senator’s campaign also embraces. . . .”

  1. Graham E. Fuller says that he was ” . . . . galvanized at watching the spectacle of Bernie Sanders proclaiming issues in his campaign that had been virtually off limits for political discussion for decades: gap between rich and poor, rapacious international trade deals, a fair wage, free university education, the call for US balance (gasp!) in handling the Arab-Israeli, issue, etc. The great thing about Bernie — even if he probably won’t get nominated — is that he has pushed hawkish, friend-of-Wall-Street Hillary to the left. . . .”
  2. Fuller’s actual views are the opposite of Sanders policy points: “. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-economic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon enemy to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller. . . ‘There is no main­stream Islamic organization…with rad­i­cal social views,’ he wrote. Clas­si­cal Islamic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully objected to social­ism and communism….Islam has never had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is unevenly dis­trib­uted.’ . . . .”
  3. Faisal Gill, a former operations director for Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute and official with George W. Bush’s Department of Homeland Security is now the head of Vermont’s Democratic Party, a post he has used to join Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard to promote Keith Ellison as head of the Democratic National Committee. Ellison is now the deputy chair of the DNC, the post formerly held by Gabbard. ” . . . . Yet some officials remain concerned that Gill apparently enjoys the political protection of Norquist, the architect of the 1994 Republican election sweep that brought Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich to power as House speaker. Norquist speaks of ‘crushing’ his political opponents and dismisses those who don’t agree with his anti-tax, anti-government agenda as ‘Bolsheviks.’ His power derives from a formidable coalition of evangelical, business and other conservative groups that he controls to push favored GOP issues, as well as from his close relationship with White House political chief Karl Rove. . . .”

The program also notes a number of other things about the Sanders campaign:

  1. He was promoting open primaries for the Democratic Party, which would enable Karl Rove and the Republicans to choose the Democratic nominee.
  2. Sanders was a Presidential elector for the Socialist Workers Party, embracing a stance which would have made him terminally vulnerable had he gotten the Democratic nomination. ” . . . . In 1980, Sanders served as an elector for the Socialist Workers Party, which was founded on the principles of Leon Trotsky. According to the New York Times, that party called for abolishing the military budget. It also called for “solidarity” with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba; this was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis. . . .”
  3. The SWP was a vehicle for infiltration and the acquisition of a “left cover” by Nazis and spooks, including Lee Harvey Oswald.
  4. The Third Reich saw Leon Trotsky’s methodology as worthy of emulation. (The SWP is a Trotskyite political party.) ” . . . . ‘You should read his books,’ he [Hitler] barked. ‘We can learn a lot from him.’ . . .”
  5. To what extent have the GOP and the overlapping Underground Reich focused on Sanders (without his knowledge) as a vehicle for infiltrating the Democratic Party? In FTR #’s 941, 942 and 945, we noted the numerous fascist connections of Tulsi Gabbard, one of the driving forces behind Sanders’ ascent. To what extent has the Trotskyite template served as a vehicle for Gabbard, and, perhaps, Ellison to infiltrate the Democratic Party?

1a. Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s national security advisor for counter-jihadism, spoke positively on TV back in 2007 about the move by the far-right Jobbik party to start its own “Hungarian Guard” paramilitary militia based on the WWII “Arrow Cross” Hungarian Nazis.

“EXCLUSIVE: Controversial Trump Aide Sebastian Gorka Backed Violent Anti-Semitic Militia” by Lili Bayer; Forward; 4/3/2017.

As a Hungarian political leader in 2007, Sebastian Gorka, President Trump’s chief counter-terrorism adviser, publicly supported a violent racist and anti-Semitic paramilitary militia that was later banned as a threat to minorities by multiple court rulings.

In a video obtained by the Forward of an August 2007 television appearance by Gorka, the future White House senior aide explicitly affirms his party’s and his support for the black-vested Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda) — a group later condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for attempting to promote an “essentially racist” legal order.

Asked directly on the TV interview program if he supports the move by Jobbik, a far-right anti-Semitic party, to establish the militia, Gorka, appearing as a leader of his own newly formed party, replies immediately, “That is so.” The Guard, Gorka explains, is a response to “a big societal need.”

Hungary’s official military, he stressed, “is sick, and totally reflects the state of Hungarian society…. This country cannot defend itself.”

As he speaks during the program, a banner headline reading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard” runs across the screen. The Hungarian acronym is a reference to Gorka’s own, party, known in English as the New Democratic Coalition.

Both the interviewer and Gorka refer to the move to establish the paramilitary outfit as “the Fidesz-Jobbik initiative,” reflecting Gorka’s contention that Fidesz, a larger right-wing party, was quietly backing Jobbik in its effort.

Gorka’s affirmation of support for the far-right militia echoed statements his party posted on its website that same month, backing the Guard’s establishment and referring to it as “the Fidesz-Jobbik initiative,” an apparent attempt by Gorka and his party to somewhat distance themselves from the controversial militia at the same time. In one such statement, a party faction indicated its awareness of the Guard leaders’ extremism, declaring bluntly, “We support the establishment of the Hungarian Guard despite the personalities involved.”Another August statement spoke more generically of “a need for guards” in discussing the new militia’s establishment.

The following month, another party statement attacked critics of the Guard, alleging that they opposed the militia to please U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, a Hungarian-born Holocaust survivor who had proposed legislation to bar Guard members from entering the United States. Lantos, a California Democrat, cited the Guard’s affinity for “the fascist Arrow Cross regime” that ruled Hungary at the end of World War II, when it participated in the deportation of Hungarian Jews into Nazi hands and killed thousands more.

On the TV presentation, when his interviewer notes the ways in which the Guard “echoes October 1944, or sometime around then” through its uniforms, arms training and street marches, Gorka strongly defends his party’s support for the Guard, though not without some ambivalence.

“I’m not saying it’s a good solution, but neither shooting training nor using the Arpad flag [is] unconstitutional,” he replied. The Arpad red-and-white flag, a nationalist symbol emblazoned on the Guard’s uniform, was also used by the Arrow Cross during World War II.

As for the Guard’s black vests, which the interviewer cited as reminiscent of the Arrow Cross’s black shirts, Gorka said: “When the police shows up to deal with bank robbers in black uniforms, who talks about a fascist police in Hungary? Nobody! Now, it is possible that when they put together all these things, the effect in the end will be very bad, but it’s not my problem. It would be Fidesz and Jobbik’s problem.”

During the 11-minute interview, which aired on Hungary’s Echo TV, Gorka dismissed concerns expressed by the Jewish community, and in particular fears that the Guard provoked among Hungarian Holocaust survivors. As is often the case in Hungary, the interviewer refers to Holocaust survivors obliquely, as “people who experienced 1944” — when hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps — or as those who experienced “the Arrow Cross regime.”

Many such people, the interviewer noted, “are saying now is the time to leave Hungary. So in effect [the establishment of the Hungarian Guard] is facilitating the flaring-up of anti-Semitism?”

“This is a tool,” Gorka replied. “This type of accusation is the very useful tool of a certain political class.”

The Guard was well known for its members’ anti-Semitism. Members often attended memorial ceremonies for World War II-era Hungarian fascists. In a 2008 speech, István Dósa, who served in the Guard as a high-ranking captain, referred to Jews as “Zionist rats” and as “locusts” while also discussing “Zionist-Bolshevik genocide” and calling Hungarian Jews “nation-destroyers.”

In his current position as deputy assistant to the president, Gorka, who immigrated to the United States and became an American citizen in 2012, serves as Trump’s chief consultant on counter-terrorism issues, and in particular on fighting jihadists. He has characterized the United States in this effort as a country “at war” and, in a recent interview, reaffirmed Trump’s call during his presidential campaign for surveillance of American Muslim communities. Neither Gorka nor the White House responded to emailed requests from the Forward for a response to the information the video reveals about Gorka’s support for the Guard.

Critics have questioned Gorka’s expertise in the field of terrorism, which was the subject of his doctoral thesis at Budapest’s Corvinus University, where he received his doctorate. Some have cited serious flaws in his thesis and noted his failure to publish any scholarship on the issue in peer-reviewed journals. But his August 2007 TV interview also raises questions about his understanding, at least at that point in time, of basic security structures and legal realities in key countries that are fighting terrorism.

Asked during the interview if it was “normal” for a political party in “developed democracies” to establish “in reality, a paramilitary group,” Gorka responded: “Well it depends on which country. If we look at the Swiss or Israeli example, then it’s completely natural…. Even in America, where the largest and wealthiest military exists, there are such programs where people can access weapons almost for free if they attend an organized shooting training and always belong to an organization.”

Gorka dismisses the interviewer’s objection that the units in these countries — military reserve units in Israel and Switzerland, or, in the United States, National Guard forces — “are in effect under the military’s control.”

“It is clear after the disturbances in Hungary last year [that] a need has arisen” to which Jobbik is responding, Gorka says.

Jobbik, which announced its establishment of the Hungarian Guard in June 2007, has a long record of anti-Semitic and anti-Roma positions and statements. One of the Guard’s founding members was Gábor Vona, Jobbik’s leader. The organization’s declared aim was to defend “ethnic Hungarians,” since, its founders argued, Hungary lacked other means of “physical, mental or spiritual self-defense.”

The Guard was formally banned in 2009, with the country’s highest court ruling that its anti-Roma marches violated the rights of the Hungarian Roma community. In 2013, two of its members were found guilty in a string of racially motivated murders of Hungarian Roma, including the killing of a 5-year-old, committed in 2008 and 2009.

In 2013, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Hungary’s unusual blanket ban on the group was legal. “The movement’s activities and manifestations were based on the racial conflict between Hungarian majority and Roma minority,” the court ruled.

Gorka’s interview was aired about three weeks before the Guard’s first official swearing-in ceremony. But at the time, many observers and Jewish groups were already protesting against the Guard and calling for a ban.

In an August 2007 open letter, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder and European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor warned then-Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány that the “impending creation of an armed guard, under the false guise of ‘sporting and shooting clubs,’ with uniforms resembling those worn by fascists in World War II” was a danger to democracy and should be stopped.

Gorka’s party, which he had launched only recently, was competing intensely with Jobbik and Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party at the time. While confirming his support for the Guard, its uniforms and its paramilitary nature, when asked whether the Guard would, indeed, resolve the problems he outlined in Hungary’s military and society, Gorka remarked: “Ah, it’s not that sure. With some kind of presentable organization, or several organizations, it could be possible.”

Following the interview, the New Democratic Coalition posted a link on its own party website, under the heading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.” But nearly two weeks later, the party complained in a post on its website that his comments had been “misinterpreted.”

During the TV exchange, Gorka’s interviewer alluded to a popular conspiracy theory in Hungary regarding Israeli security companies maintaining an armed presence on Hungarian territory to back the government. “As you all mention in the analysis you wrote as well, Israeli-owned security companies which also do government tasks have to be liquidated,” the interviewer told Gorka.

The coalition’s leader did not contradict his interviewer’s account.

The televised interview was not the only time Gorka defended the Guard. A month later, in an interview with a Hungarian online portal, Gorka said that when it comes to the Guard, “it’s not worth talking about banning or a national security risk.”

Gorka left Hungary shortly thereafter, as his efforts to build a career in politics there failed. In 2008, after a report surfaced in a German-language publication about his support for paramilitary organizations, he wrote a letter denying that he had ever supported the Guard.

There is no evidence that Gorka himself has ever engaged in overtly anti-Semitic acts or participated in any of the Guard’s activities. But Gorka and some of his political supporters have argued that he has fought anti-Semitism throughout his career. The newly available video footage signals that Gorka not only failed to fight anti-Semitism, but also supported an openly intolerant paramilitary group and publicly rejected the Jewish community’s concerns about their own safety and the safety of other minorities due to the group’s founding. . . .

 

. . . . Gorka’s party, which he had launched only recently, was competing intensely with Jobbik and Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party at the time. While confirming his support for the Guard, its uniforms and its paramilitary nature, when asked whether the Guard would, indeed, resolve the problems he outlined in Hungary’s military and society, Gorka remarked: “Ah, it’s not that sure. With some kind of presentable organization, or several organizations, it could be possible.”

Following the interview, the New Democratic Coalition posted a link on its own party website, under the heading “UDK Supports The Hungarian Guard: Sebestyen [Sebastian] Gorka on EchoTV.” But nearly two weeks later, the party complained in a post on its website that his comments had been “misinterpreted.”

During the TV exchange, Gorka’s interviewer alluded to a popular conspiracy theory in Hungary regarding Israeli security companies maintaining an armed presence on Hungarian territory to back the government. “As you all mention in the analysis you wrote as well, Israeli-owned security companies which also do government tasks have to be liquidated,” the interviewer told Gorka.

The coalition’s leader did not contradict his interviewer’s account.

The televised interview was not the only time Gorka defended the Guard. A month later, in an interview with a Hungarian online portal, Gorka said that when it comes to the Guard, “it’s not worth talking about banning or a national security risk.”

Gorka left Hungary shortly thereafter, as his efforts to build a career in politics there failed. In 2008, after a report surfaced in a German-language publication about his support for paramilitary organizations, he wrote a letter denying that he had ever supported the Guard.

1b. Sanders was a Presidential elector for the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party in 1980. In addition to being an indication of Sanders being politically and intellectually immature, we wonder if sinister elements may have focused on him, tabbing him for eventual manipulation. (We do not feel that Sanders himself is willfully sinister–we feel he is immature, unintelligent and vulnerable to manipulation.)

“Bernie Sanders’ Radical Past” by Michelle Goldberg; Slate; 2/24/2016.

. . . . There’s more. In 1980, Sanders served as an elector for the Socialist Workers Party, which was founded on the principles of Leon Trotsky. According to the New York Times, that party called for abolishing the military budget. It also called for “solidarity” with the revolutionary regimes in Iran, Nicaragua, Grenada, and Cuba; this was in the middle of the Iranian hostage crisis. . . .

1c. The SWP was used as a vehicle for giving a left cover to spooks and Nazis, including Lee Harvey Oswald.

The Militant;” Wikipedia.com

. . . . Current publication[edit]

The Socialist Workers Party was founded on December 31, 1937, by Trotskyists following the expulsion of the “Socialist Appeal faction” from the Socialist Party of America. The SWP’s newspaper continued to be known as Socialist Appeal until 1941 when it was renamed The Militant. This publication has continued without interruption into the decade of the 2010s.

In the summer of 2005, The Militant became a bilingual newspaper, published in both English and Spanish (El Militante), and with lead articles and editorials appearing in both languages. A French edition was inaugurated in 2012 named Le Militant.

The Militant is not officially owned or controlled by the SWP. To protect the party and the paper, The Militant is owned by a private group[citation needed], although the endorsement the paper gives to the SWP is clear.

Controversy[edit]

The Militant became notorious after a photo surfaced showing Lee Harvey Oswald, the sniper who assassinated president John F. Kennedy, holding a copy of the publication along with a rifle. . . .

2. Many key Nazis saw the Trotskyite political paradigm as a template for their own operations. We wonder if Sanders is being manipulated by elements looking to undermine the Democratic Party.

The Nazis Go Underground by Curt Riess; Doubleday, Doran and Co., Inc. [HC]; Copyright 1944 by Curt Riess; p. 11.

. . . . Strangely enough, among the underground movements for which the Nazis, or at least a few of them, have always had a particular interest was the Communist underground of the early twentieth century and the Trotsky underground in the late nineteen twenties and early thirties. On one occasion, during the late twenties, Hitler himself asked a few of his lieutenants what they thought of Leon Trotsky. Since Trotsky was a Communist and a Jew on top of that, these lieutenants pretended to feel disgust and horror at the mere mention of his name. The Führer, however, did not agree with them. “You should read his books, “ he barked. “We can learn a lot from him. “

At least one of the Nazis besides Hitler did read Trotsky’s books and became very familiar with his ideas and methods of organization. That man, of course, was Himmler. He also knew many things about Trotsky’s methods, because Rudolf Hess and several other men of the Hess organization were at different times in close touch with the Russian Communist leader. The development of the Trotsky movement may have given Himmler more than one idea for the underground movement he is now working out. Trotsky was deprived of any direct power after his exclusion from the Russian Government. But even then he still retained considerable indirect power, because he did not lose contact with his adherents, many of whom kept their key positions within the apparatus of the state. If, as frequently happened, one of these men was found out to be a conspirator against the Soviet Russian Government, all he had to do was to say that he had been wrong, to repent, and in most cases he would be reinstalled and could continue exercising his subversive influence. It was thus that Trotsky, or, rather, Trotsky’s movement, continued to hold a great number of positions party, within the army, within the secret police, and, above all, within the diplomatic service. It was at least theoretically possible that the day would come when all these men would take over their departments in which they were working. And thus, indeed, an underground movement could have taken over the whole government and the running of the country without any great difficulty. . . .

3a.  None other than Graham E. Fuller, the “ex” CIA officer who is (arguably) the biggest advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. intelligence community describes himself as being “galvanized” by Sanders. The values espoused by Sanders are the opposite of those advocated by Fuller. WHY is Fuller so supportive of Sanders?

  • None other than Graham E. Fuller, who was CIA station chief in Kabul, helped start the first Afghan war, was something of a Godfather for al-Qaeda and figures in the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, is pulling for “Boinie,” as well as touting Donald Trump as a desirable candidate. “. . . . Like many others, I have been galvanized at watching the spectacle of Bernie Sanders proclaiming issues in his campaign that had been virtually off limits for political discussion for decades: gap between rich and poor, rapacious international trade deals, a fair wage, free university education, the call for US balance (gasp!) in handling the Arab-Israeli, issue, etc. The great thing about Bernie — even if he probably won’t get nominated — is that he has pushed hawkish, friend-of-Wall-Street Hillary to the left. She has as much acknowledged that. That will be Bernie’s greatest legacy. I would have hoped that the issues Sanders has raised can never be shoved back into the political toothpaste tube again. . . . .”
  • Might elements of the CIA be pulling for “Boinie?” Compare Graham E. Fuller “feeling the Bern” with his advocacy for the Muslim Brotherhood: “. . . Fuller comes from that fac­tion of CIA Cold War­riors who believed (and still appar­ently believe) that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam, even in its rad­i­cal jihadi form, does not pose a threat to the West, for the sim­ple rea­son that fun­da­men­tal­ist Islam is con­ser­v­a­tive, against social jus­tice, against social­ism and redis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth, and in favor of hier­ar­chi­cal socio-economic struc­tures. Social­ism is the com­mon enemy to both cap­i­tal­ist Amer­ica and to Wah­habi Islam, accord­ing to Fuller. . . ‘There is no main­stream Islamic organization…with rad­i­cal social views,’ he wrote. Clas­si­cal Islamic the­ory envis­ages the role of the state as lim­ited to facil­i­tat­ing the well-being of mar­kets and mer­chants rather than con­trol­ling them. Islamists have always pow­er­fully objected to social­ism and communism….Islam has never had prob­lems with the idea that wealth is unevenly dis­trib­uted.’ . . . .”

3b. To give us some depth on Fuller’s views and how frankly fishy his support for Sanders is, we review the Brotherhood’s advocacy of corporate economics.

Ibn Khaldun is highly regarded by the Brotherhood and that attitude has led the corporate business community to support the Brotherhood. Note that no less an authority than the World Bank views Ibn Khaldun—revered by the Brotherhood—as “the first advocate of privatization”!

“Islam in Office” by Stephen Glain; Newsweek; 7/3-10/2006.

. . . . The Muslim Brotherhood hails 14th century philosopher Ibn Khaldun as its economic guide. Anticipating supply-side economics, Khaldun argued that cutting taxes raises production and tax revenues, and that state control should be limited to providing water, fire and free grazing land, the utilities of the ancient world. The World Bank has called Ibn Khaldun the first advocate of privatization. [Emphasis added.] His founding influence is a sign of moderation. If Islamists in power ever do clash with the West, it won’t be over commerce.

3c. We note that Karl Rove was helping to finance the campaign of Bernie Sanders.

. . . . American Crossroads—founded by former Bush adviser Karl Rove—and several other conservative-backed super PACs have spent the last month intentionally fueling the Bern, but their zeal has more to do with an effort to weaken Hillary Clinton, whom they still see as the likely Democratic nominee and harder to defeat in the general election.

In the wake of Clinton’s close Nevada win, Crossroads claimed credit for driving her numbers down in favor of Sanders.

“American Crossroads and Bernie Sanders helped Nevada caucus-goers see right through Hillary Clinton’s manufactured zeal on immigration reform after spewing virulent Trump-like rhetoric—and that one-two punch shaved Clinton’s 50-point lead a year ago to a slim, single digit win,” Steven Law, Crossroads CEO and president, said in a statement.

Crossroads is one of several groups that has released ads that have been aimed at branding Sanders as the only true progressive in the race—a strategy the Vermont senator’s campaign also embraces.

“If it helps push the needle so that she loses a state, and she comes out a weakened candidate, then fantastic,” said Ian Prior, communications director for Crossroads.

On Monday, Future 45, a super PAC reportedly backed by hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer, launched the latest in its own series of ads that seem to defend Sanders. . . .

. . . . Still, the Clinton campaign has cried foul, noting that Sanders’s supporters have been echoing Republican attacks on Clinton and that he certainly has not been rejecting the ads. . . .

5a. Sanders was an advocate of making all Democratic primaries “open”–permitting Republicans to help choose the Democratic presidential candidate.

“Making Democrats’ Primaries More Open Could Be Harder Than You Think” by Scott Detrow; National Public Radio; 5/21/2016.

As the Democrats’ primary process begins to wind down, the big question on a lot of people’s mind is, what does Bernie Sanders want?

The Vermont senator now has a lot of clout within the Democratic Party, and is in the position to demand some changes.

One thing Sanders has voiced concerns about is how Democrats vote for president: He’s made it clear he doesn’t like closed primaries, where only Democrats can vote.

Neither do Sanders supporters. When Sanders mentioned during a primary night rally this week that Kentucky is “a closed primary, something I am not all that enthusiastic about, where independents are not allowed to vote,” the California crowd roared to life with boos.

So, perhaps Sanders will make a push the party to embrace open primaries at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

There are electoral stakes here. All year, Sanders has done better in contests where independents, or even registered Republicans, were allowed to participate.

Of course, has also done well in caucuses, which are very closed and very limited, compared to statewide primaries. . . .

5b. More about Sanders’ advocacy of open primaries for the DNC:

“Open Primaries Are a Terrible Idea, Especially Knowing the GOP is Moving Toward Closed Primaries” by Bob Cesca; The Daily Banter; 5/25/2016.

Basic logic dictates that members of the Democratic Party should be exclusively tasked with choosing the Democratic Party nominee for president…

. . . .Meanwhile, the Democratic Party is under pressure from Bernie Sanders supporters to eliminate closed primaries, thus allowing any registered voter to chime in, regardless of party affiliation. The idea is that too many independent voters who wanted to support Bernie Sanders were unable to do so in 29 states because they weren’t registered Democrats. But, see, you can’t have your Bernie cake and eat it, too. You can’t shun the Democratic Party then expect to have a voice in who the Democrats nominate. It’s up to the Dems to decide, not independent voters who refuse to join a party, or Republicans, for that matter, who have a vested interest in seeing Democrats defeated.

Frankly, there shouldn’t be any open primaries in the first place. Basic logic dictates that members of the Democratic Party should be exclusively tasked with choosing the Democratic Party nominee for president, as well as congressional offices and so forth.

Second, it’s a huge mistake for the Democrats to unilaterally make a change like this since it’d leave the process completely and lopsidedly vulnerable to Republican tampering, not unlike Rush Limbaugh’s “Operation Chaos” in 2008 whereby Republicans, freed up after John McCain secured his nomination, were urged to cross over and vote for Hillary Clinton in order to stir up the contentiousness of that race. Open primaries allowed it to happen.

Nevertheless, no one was disenfranchised by the existence of 29 closed primary states. (Voter ID and local incompetence, on the other hand, disenfranchised many.) Independents who managed to overcome an unforgivably glitchy registration process were allowed to vote in the Democratic primaries, even in the closed states, by planning ahead and registering as Democrats. Furthermore, there’s always the opportunity to help decide the nominee from one of the third parties. Weirdly, however, it always seems like the third parties nominate the same people over and over (Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, for instance). It appears as if the Democratic Party, and even the GOP, has a much more strenuously democratic (small “d”) process than the Libertarian or Green parties, each of which magically nominate the same two candidates every year with very little input from voters. Funny how that works.

Anyway.

And finally, eliminating closed Democratic primaries is mostly about Bernie Sanders failing to win the nomination, and not out of an idealistic democratic need for inclusiveness. This appears to be a post-mortem reaction after failing to secure the nomination, having realized too late that closed primaries would hurt Bernie’s chances. Conversely, Bernie supporters would likely support closed primaries if such a rule had helped, rather than hurt Bernie’s delegate count. Clearly, there’s a bit of sour grapes here, and no decisions about eliminating closed primaries should be made while tensions are still high and feelings are still crushed. The consequences would only serve to harm Democratic candidates and Democratic whip counts, especially if the GOP chooses to go with closed primaries across-the-board.

So, hopefully this particular movement will die a quick death before any damage is done.

6a. In FTR #941, we highlighted the push by Bernie Sanders and his prominent backer Tulsi Gabbard to have Keith Ellison, an African-American Muslim to be head of the DNC. He was not elected head of the DNC, but is now deputy chair of the DNC, the position formerly held by Gabbard.

We fleshed out Gabbard’s incoherent politics and fascist links in FTR #’s 942 and 945 as well.

Ellison is networked with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Nation of Islam as well.

With Ellison now holding down the #2 position in the DNC, the Democrats may be poised to be cast as “the Terrorist Party” in the event of a future incident or incidents.

“The Ellison Deception” by Jared Israel [edited by Samantha Criscione]; The Emperor’s New Clothes; 1/30/2017.

 . . . . If you are like most people, you probably don’t know much about Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam, but after you read what I have posted below, you will see that describing it as “radical black Muslims” trivializes the horror of an apparatus of fascists – photographic negative images of David Duke and company – thus supporting the impression, which David Corn and others wish to convey, that the Ellison controversy is nothing more than the politically motivated harassment of a progressive politician, exploiting some minor indiscretions, long, long ago. . . .

. . . . As Pioneer Press, the second highest circulation newspaper in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, reported in a June 21, 1998 article on Ellison’s campaign for the office of State representative, Ellison had been the Minnesota ‘coordinator’ [7] of the so-called Million Man March.  Given that Farrakhan’s march was a Nation of Islam project, it follows that the Minnesota coordinator was either a member of the Nation of Islam or so close to the NOI as to be indistinguishable from a member.  Indeed, the June 21, 1998 article states that at that time – that is, three years after Farrakhan’s march – Ellison was a member of the Nation of Islam:”Ellison has been active in the community, but not within the established DFL party [the Democratic Party in Minnesota]. A member of the Nation of Islam, Ellison was the coordinator of the Minnesota participants in the Million Man March and the subsequent community group that formed.” [See footnote 7]

In the next article in this series, I will present hard evidence that Ellison was already a member in 1995, when he was organizing for Farrakhan’s march.

(During the current debate over Ellison’s Nation of Islam ties, nobody else has mentioned the June 21, 1998 Pioneer Press article, let alone posted it on the Internet.  You can read it in Appendix I, where we have copied it for Fair Use – very fair, since it contains information vital for assessing a key politician.  Let’s get this information out to as many people as possible!) . . . .

6b. We note that another of Keith Ellison’s supporters to head the DNC was Faisal Gill, a Grover Norquist protege whom we covered in FTR #467. Gill was the former operations director of Norquist’s Islamic Free Market Institute.

“Vermont Elects First Muslim Party Chair, Sends ‘Strong Message’ to Trump” by Alex Seitz-Wald; NBC News ; 3/6/2017.

“To have a Muslim and immigrant to be the state party chair sends a really strong message to Trump and his type of politics that this is not where the country is at,” he told NBC News.

The White House released a new executive order Monday restricting travel from six Muslim-majority countries after a federal court halted an earlier version. Trump says the move is necessary for security, but Gill and other critics say it’s merely an attempt to legally discriminate against Muslims.

Gill is an outsider in ultra-white, ultra-liberal Vermont in more ways than one. In a state that is nearly 95 percent white, a Pakistani-born former Republican from Virginia stands out.

“Us and Wyoming keep going back and forth for least diverse,” Gill quipped.

After emigrating to the U.S. and going to law school, Gill served five years in the Navy’s JAG corps before entering Republican politics in Virginia. That led to a post in the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush. . . .

6c. In FTR #467, we discussed a Fifth Column that Mr. Emory believes facilitated the 9/11 attacks. One of the principal elements in the development of this Fifth Column is GOP kingmaker Grover Norquist’s active recruitment of Islamists to the Republican cause. Many of Norquist’s Islamist recruits had terrorist ties. Among the Norquist recruits is Faisal Gill, whose sensitive position with the Department of Homeland Security places him in possession of top-secret information about the vulnerability of America’s seaports, aviation facilities and nuclear power plants. Gill, in turn, is linked to Abdurahman Alamoudi, part of the Al Taqwa milieu implicated in the financing of Al Qaeda. Gill’s appointment is all the more alarming in light of his apparent lack of intelligence qualifications.

Now, Gill is in the Democratic Party and was touting Muslim Brotherhood and Nation of Islam fellow traveler Keith Ellison to head the DNC.

Recapping a portion of FTR #467, the program highlights the appointment of Faisal Gill—a Norquist protégé—to a sensitive intelligence position with the Department of Homeland Security. Note that Gill, in turn, is closely associated with Abdurahman Alamoudi, an intimate of the Al Taqwa milieu.

It is frightening to note the information to which Gill’s appointment has given him access.

Documents seized from Sami Al-Arian indicate that the Fifth Column about which Mr. Emory has hypothesized in connection with 9/11 was indeed contemplated by people targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. (Alamoudi and Al-Arian are part of the milieu targeted in those raids. For more about Al-Arian, see—among other programs—FTR #s 462, 464, 538.)

As is the case with Ellison, can the Democrats now be cast as “the Terrorist Party”? Will Faisal Gill be in a position to communicate useful intelligence for a future terrorist incident?

“How Secure is the Department of Homeland Security?” by Mary Jacoby; Salon.com; 6/22/2004. 

The policy director for the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence division was briefly removed from his job in March when the Federal Bureau of Investigation discovered he had failed to disclose his association with Abdurahman Alamoudi, a jailed American Muslim leader. Alamoudi was indicted last year on terrorism-related money-laundering charges and now claims to have been part of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Abdullah.

After a flurry of interagency meetings, however, Homeland Security decided to leave the policy director, Faisal Gill, in place, according to two government officials with knowledge of the Alamoudi investigation. A White House political appointee with close ties to Republican power broker Grover Norquist and no apparent background in intelligence, Gill has access to top-secret information on the vulnerability of America’s seaports, aviation facilities and nuclear power plants to terrorist attacks. 

The FBI raised concerns with Homeland Security officials in March after discovering that Gill had failed to list on security clearance documents his work in 2001 with the American Muslim council, the officials said. The advocacy group, which was controlled by Alamoudi, has been under scrutiny in an investigation of terrorism financing. The lead agent in that investigation works for an arm of Homeland Security. Gill’s omission of the information on his ‘Standard Form 86’ national security questionnaire is a potential felony violation. There is no evidence, however, that Gill has taken any action to compromise national security.”

A Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman would not comment on Gill or when he was hired, except to say that a ‘thorough investigation’ by the department’s Office of Security found no basis to deny the 32-year-old lawyer a security clearance. Among gill’s political patrons is Grover Norquist, head of Americans for Tax Reform and a key ally of the White House. Gill listed Norquist as a reference on employment documents, the government officials said. Gill also worked in 2001 for a Muslim political outreach organization that Norquist co-founded with a former top aide to Alamoudi. [That is the Islamic Institute—D.E.] Norquist did not respond to phone calls, a fax and an e-mail seeking comment. . . .

. . . . Mark Zaid, a lawyer in private practice in Washington who specializes in security clearance cases, said it would be unusual for an agency to overlook omissions on a security clearance application. ‘Most agencies get really upset and suspicious and act antagonistically toward applicants if they find they withheld information,’ he said, adding that a minor violation might be forgiven. But he said if the issue concerned failing to list employment at ‘a terrorist organization or one that’s being investigated, all sorts of red flags would go up.’ Gill’s placement in the sensitive intelligence job has alarmed government officials because it fits the operating theory of prosecutors and investigators that Alamoudi was part of a long-term scheme by Islamic extremists to place friendly, if perhaps unwitting, associates in key U.S. government positions.

A document seized in a 1995 raid of a close Alamoudi friend and political ally, former University of South Florida professor Sami Al-Arian, outlined a plan to ‘infiltrate the sensitive intelligence agencies or the embassies in order to collect information and build close relationships with the people in charge of these establishments.’ The unsigned document, which authorities believe was authored by Al-Arian in part because it was found among his papers, added: ‘We are in the center which leads the conspiracy against our Islamic world . . . Our presence in North America gives us a unique opportunity to monitor, explore and follow up.’ It instructed members of the ‘center,’ thought to refer to an Islamic think tank that Al-Arian founded, to ‘collect information from those relatives and friends who work in sensitive positions in government.’

Al-Arian is in a Florida prison awaiting trial next year on charges he was the North American leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a group that has targeted Israel with suicide bombings. He denies all the charges. But investigators believe Al-Arian and Alamoudi were part of a broader political Islamic movement in the United States that connects sympathizers of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaida.

‘This movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, is the umbrella under which terror groups have forged ‘a significant degree of cooperation and coordination within our borders,’ former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke told the Senate Banking Committee last year. ‘The common link here is the extremist Muslim Brotherhood—all of these organizations are descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.’ Alamoudi, for example, has spoken openly of his admiration for the anti-Israeli Hamas, which evolved from a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Arian’s circle of associates, meanwhile, overlaps with members of the Brooklyn, N.Y., precursor to al-Qaida that was responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

The ties among Alamoudi, the Muslim Brotherhood and Gill help explain why officials are concerned about whether Gill was adequately vetted. These relationships are difficult to understand without immersion in the indictments, court transcripts and case exhibits; the concerned officials said they fear that busy political operatives in the administration simply do not grasp the national-security issues at stake. ‘There’s an overall denial in the administration that the agenda being pushed by Norquist might be a problem,’ one official said. ‘It’s so absurd that a Grover Norquist person could even be close to something like this. That’s really what’s so insidious.’ . . . .

. . . . In 1999 a group of reformers ousted Alamoudi as AMC executive director amid questions about the group’s opaque finances and mysterious Middle Eastern funding sources. Alamoudi took a position at the affiliated American Muslim Foundation but remained in control of the AMC through friendly board members, the reformers said. ‘I had concerns about the reluctance to reveal information about the finances. They said they’re not doing well, that they needed more money, but I looked at their office [in Washington], and it was very big,’ said one of the would-be reformers, Ikram Khan, a surgeon in Las Vegas. Khan said he resigned from the AMC board when his friend, Nazir Khaja, a Pakistani-American physician from California who was trying to open the group’s books, told him that Alamoudi was not cooperating. ‘I said, ‘if this is the case, I cannot continue to serve in the group,’ and I sent in my resignation letter,’ Khan said. . . .

. . . . U.S. Justice Department is examining whether Alamoudi was conspiring with a London group the Saudi government says is linked to Osama bin Laden. Who is Abdurahman Alamoudi? We really don’t know,’ one of the concerned government officials said.’ So how can we say there is not a problem with his former aide? He [Gill] has access to information about all our vulnerabilities—aviation, ports. He knows what is protected and what is not.’

Yet some officials remain concerned that Gill apparently enjoys the political protection of Norquist, the architect of the 1994 Republican election sweep that brought Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich to power as House speaker. Norquist speaks of ‘crushing’ his political opponents and dismisses those who don’t agree with his anti-tax, anti-government agenda as ‘Bolsheviks.’ His power derives from a formidable coalition of evangelical, business and other conservative groups that he controls to push favored GOP issues, as well as from his close relationship with White House political chief Karl Rove.

In 1998, Norquist and a former deputy to Alamoudi at the AMC co-founded the nonprofit Islamic Institute as part of a drive to win Muslim voters for Bush in 2000. Alamoudi donated $35,000 to the institute, records show. Soon, the Islamic Institute, the AMC and Al-Arian were all working together on a top priority for American Muslims: an end to the use of classified intelligence to jail noncitizens as national-security threats. Al-Arian’s brother-in-law had been jailed on the basis of such secret evidence linking him to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Al-Arian lobbied heavily on Capitol Hill to end the practice. In October 2000, through the efforts of Norquist and Rove, Bush came out against secret evidence in a debate with Al Gore, and the AMC endorsed Bush for president. Al-Arian would later claim that the Muslim votes he rounded up for Bush in Florida helped decide the election.

Gill was in the middle of these advocacy efforts. As director of government affairs at Norquist’s Islamic Institute, Gill lobbied against the use of secret evidence, according to a May 2001 release on the institute’s Web site. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Gill was quoted in news articles as a spokesman for the AMC. A Washington Post article from May 2001, meanwhile, identified Gill as a spokesman for the ‘fledgling’ Taxpayers Alliance of Prince William County, Va., which is affiliated with Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. According to the Post article, Norquist was slated to appear with Gill at an anti-tax rally. . . .

7. The program concludes with an excerpt from Miscellaneous Archive Show M11: Uncle Sam and the Swastika.

At the same that St. Bernard was a Presidential elector for the Socialist Workers Party, Mr. Emory was doing this:

Discussion

18 comments for “FTR #953 Saint Bernard: Rebel Without A Clue”

  1. Two points of interest:

    First, much was made of Sanders’ photos showing him participating in the Civil Rights movement, including this photo:  http://imgur.com/gallery/pHnRuDB. If the photo is authentic, would the FBI have taken an interest in identifying and investigating the apparent “domestic threats” they viewed people like Sanders as?  Did Sanders have a 1960s FBI file?  Even the Reverend William Sloan Coffin, as it turns out, was an informant for the FBI.

    Second, not much notice has been given to the on-the-job media training given to Trump and Bernie (but not Hillary).

    Trump was given an NBC show that effectively gave him “television training” and media practice.  Bernie Sanders has been a weekly radio guest (and more recently, video guest) on the syndicated Thom Hartmann radio show and television show “The Big Picture” every Friday for over 15 years.

    Hartmann is a “bedrock FDR Democrat” whose bona fides are difficult to question.  And yet…

    Hartmann co-wrote a JFK assassination book that erases the CIA as a suspect, pins the blame on the mafia & RFK himself.  The title “Ultimate Sacrifice” refers to RFK’s alleged “sacrificial silence” due to a “cover-up” of a “Kennedy anti-Castro coup plot.”  This theory is lightweight rubbish, of course, as it fails to take into account dozens of examples of plot holes in that theory.

    Hartmann is fluent in German and travels to Germany every year by his own account.  Some of his other interests include children & hypnosis & NLP.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Hartmann#Other_areas_of_notability

    “Trained in the 1970s in Neuro-Linguistic Programming by Richard Bandler (Hartmann is licensed by Bandler’s Society of NLP as both an NLP Practitioner and an NLP Trainer)”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thom_Hartmann#Business_career

    “Hartmann moved to New Hampshire to start The New England Salem Children’s Village,[20] which still operates in Rumney, New Hampshire. He was its Executive Director for five years, and on the board of directors for more than 25 years. NESCT’s child-care model was based on that of the German Salem International organization, and through his affiliation with that group he helped start international relief programs in Uganda, Colombia, Russia, Israel, India, Australia, and several other countries between 1979 and today.[citation needed]

    “…Hartmann founded International Wholesale Travel and its retail subsidiary Sprayberry Travel in Atlanta in 1983, a business which in the intervening years has generated over a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue.[21][22] According to their website, Sprayberry Travel was lauded by the Wall Street Journal in 1984 for being one of the early adopters of frequent travel programs analogous to the recently initiated frequent flyer programs of the airline industry.[23] He sold his share in the business in 1986 and retired with his family to Germany to work with the international relief organization Salem International.[24] In the late 1970s, he had been a trainer in advertising and marketing for The American Marketing Centers (now defunct), and in 1987 after returning from Germany founded the Atlanta advertising agency Chandler, MacDonald, Stout, Schneiderman & Poe, Inc., which did business as The Newsletter Factory.[25] He sold his interest in that company in 1996 and retired to Vermont.”

    Written by Hartmann himself on his website is a denial of being in the CIA.  No BND denial, though.

    https://www.thomhartmann.com/thom-hartmann-biography

    “An inveterate traveler and sometimes a risk-taker, Hartmann has often found himself in the world’s hot spots on behalf of the German-based Salem international relief organization or as a writer, a situation which causes his friends to sometimes wonder aloud if he works for the CIA (he does not and never has). He was, for example, in The Philippines when Ferdinand Marcos fled the country; in Egypt the week Anwar Sadat was shot; in Uganda during the war of liberation by Tanzania; in Hungary when the first East German refugees arrived; in Germany when the wall came down; in Beijing during the first student demonstrations; in Thailand when the military coup of 1991 occurred; in Barbados during the 2004 anti-government strikes and shutdowns; in Bogota and Medellin, Colombia, during the spate of killings of presidential candidates; in Israel, in the West Bank town of Nablus, the week the Intifada started there; on the Czech border the week Chernobyl melted down; in Kenya during the first big wave of crackdowns on dissidents; and in Venezuela during the 1991 coup attempt…”

    That Hartmann gave Sanders invaluable hundreds of hours of media experience is not in question. Whether Hartmann’s background is murky or whether he was a long game player is up to you. Would be possibly noteworthy to look into who purchased his “tea company”.

    Posted by Port of Denver | April 16, 2017, 7:52 pm
  2. @Port of Denver–

    Wow! Bandler’s NLP was utilized by the CIA and is a form of neurolinguistic mind control. It would not surprise me if Bandler was clandestinely funded by the Agency of some similar organization.

    Hartmann’s presence in key areas at the time he was there is more than a little interesting.

    Do note that an undercover operative would not admit that he was such.

    He or she would work to blend in with the milieu targeted for infiltration.

    The cardinal rule for a good double agent: “Make yourself indisputable to the effort.”

    Hartmann has admitted that he worked for a PR firm that has done work for the CIA.

    Good show!

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 17, 2017, 8:59 pm
  3. @Port of Denver: As someone who has listened to Thom Hartman’s show for years and hours of his “Brunch with Bernie” show segments, I can definitely attest to the value of those appearances in raises Bernie’s national profile. Showing up for an ‘anything goes’ Q&A hour week after week for years really did make a big difference both in terms of Bernie’s national profile. But I think it’s important to point out that Thom was anything but a “Bernie or Bust”-er throughout the primary and general campaign. Quite the opposite. And after Hillary won the primary, the call-in segments of Thom’s show often devolved into him fighting wave after wave of “Bernie or Busters” callers (it’s a talk radio show, so those kinds of calls were inevitable, and many were trolls). So while Thom certainly played a big role in the rise of Bernie simply by giving him a regular platform for years (a platform that ended when Bernie entered the 2016 race), he was also one of the leading anti-Bernie-or-bust voices with a national radio show during the race.

    And regarding speculation that he could be CIA, if so that would be quite a twist since he has a nightly show on RT and has been the one of the least-focused liberal talk radio personalities on the Trump/Russia story. The book, “The Prophet’s Way: A Guide to Living in the Now”, where he discusses his mentor, Gottfried Muller, is available on Google books, so that would be one place to look for more info about his background. If he’s some sort of undercover operative, he’s not just deep undercover but seemingly pointlessly undercover too because after years of listening to him I can’t recall anything that struck me as indicative of someone trying to screw over the Left. Quite the opposite. Consistently.

    All that said, it’s definitely useful to note the role “Brunch with Bernie” played in giving him the kind of national fan base on the Left that may have made it seem like he came out of nowhere after starting his 2016 campaign. If anything, that should be one of the most valuable lessons the Democrats can take from the Bernie phenomena: regular question/answer time in a public setting like a radio show is an invaluable political tool. An invaluable tool that’s almost never been turned into a regular thing by any politician in either party. And yet here we are with Bernie being the popular elected official in the US after a campaign where he basically campaigned on the same themes he was promoting during “Brunch with Bernie” all those years. At least “Brunch with Bernie” has been replaced with “Brunch with Marc Pocan” so there’s still at one elected official regularly doing a question/answer segment but it’s unfortunate that more Democrats haven’t found a similar regular Q&A radio spot.

    At the same time, you exactly can’t blame Democratic politicians for not doing more radio Q&A shows simply because of the relative dearth of liberal political talk shows on the air. Not just shows with a national profile like Hartmann’s show which is the most popular liberal talk radio show in the US but still only has a small fraction of the audience of, say, Sean Hannity’s far-right radio show, but also at the local level. Sure, much of the lack of left-wing talk radio is due to the choices of right-wing radio station owners and/or a lack of interest in such formats by liberal audiences, but regardless of the reasons, the Bernie phenomena has underscored the untapped potential for using that format to promote progressive ideas in that talk radio back-and-forth debate environment. Considering the profound, and profoundly negative, impact right-wing talk radio has had on the American psyche and how much influence right-wing talk radio hosts have on the public mind it’s pretty clear that the political talk radio medium can have a huge impact on a populace and the Left has largely abandoned that space. With the exception of a few national shows like Hartmann’s.

    Something that would be nice to see from all this is a push to intertwine the issues of public financing of campaigns with a parallel push to see regular Q&A sessions from elected officials. Like, every week. Tie the two ideas together and make it clear to the public that less time spent fundraising means a lot more time available for direct interactions with the public. Because at this point members of Congress spend more time on the phone fundraising than just about anything else. 3-4 hours a day. All time that could have been much better spent on Q&A sessions and town halls. Or anything else, really, considering political fundraising is basically legal bribery. Plus, the more time the public spends listening to Q&A sessions or attending town halls, the less need there is for political ads in general. So maybe that could be one of the lessons the Democrats can take from the role the Thom Hartmann Show played with the rise of Bernie: “Brunch with [insert elected official’s name here]” isn’t just a catchy radio segment. It could be an important “public lobbying” component of a model for replacing the current nightmare system of lobbying we have today with public financing of campaigns and LOTS of Q&A sessions. And if a big corporation wants to lobby your elected official they can call up during the Q&A session or town hall. Wouldn’t that be fun.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 18, 2017, 2:50 pm
  4. I feel that Sanders was a rodent copulator who participated willingly in an orchestrated campaign to destroy Hillary Clinton and Democratic Party, not because of his vaunted “principles” but because he’s lazy and arrogant and knows he can make a fortune by branding himself as the “liberal” who slimes Democratic party. Though he’s lazy he’s shrewd. He knew exactly what he was doing, why he was doing it, and who the players were. He’s every bit as vile as Trump and Rethuglicans.

    I’m intrigued by your notion about Russians being part of smoke and mirrors effort to conceal who and what were behind hacking of DNC. The whole Russian thing never felt right to me. I feel there were other powers behind it but am not really sure who they are. It appears you are unraveling those threads. I’ve spent 50 years questioning the JFK assassination so I’m wary of the obvious.

    Posted by Kathleen O'Neill | April 18, 2017, 5:31 pm
  5. @Pterrafractyl and Kathleen O’Neill–

    Hartmann certainly was not part of the Bernie or Bust phenomenon, but I’ve regarded him as an intelligence agent or asset from my first awareness of him–his bs book on the JFK assassination.

    That book–claiming the Mafia did it (in short)–was CIA modified limited hangout circa F*ING 1980, and it was published in 2005!

    He’s a very bright guy and if he REALLY wanted to write a book about the JFK hit there was a world of good info to choose from at that point.

    I didn’t know about his interests in hypnosis and NLP at that point.

    The NLP connection smacks of intelligence ties.

    His appearances in world hot spots at key times is very interesting as well.

    I don’t think Sanders was deliberately trying to screw Hillary, but he is PROFOUNDLY immature and the egocentricity and self-righteousness that go with that level of immaturity are all cunning elements would need to manipulate him.

    Plus, he’s not very bright. Sorry, Pterra, but he’s no more than an average intellect with below average political skills.

    The older I get, the more the fable of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” becomes relevant.

    Sanders is the naked emperor of the left and, although I don’t think he is deliberately sinister, that is not really very important.

    He is devoid of real political skills and absolutely infatuated with himself. Plus, he’s stupid.

    The difference between an automobile murderer who sits at an intersection waiting for the intended victim, then guns the car and kills the targeted individual and a drunk who runs a red light and kills someone is the relevant comparison here, in my opinion.

    I strongly suspect the Salem International link is an intel cover.

    The “Russia did it” explanation for the high-profile hacks is ludicrous.

    NO intelligence service would behave like that, unless it were a rival intelligence service trying to target and frame a rival.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 18, 2017, 8:56 pm
  6. I agree with everything you said about Sanders except that he’s not sinister. I think he’s very toxic and malevolent. The fact that the Mainslime Media find him the only “Liberal” they worship should raise red flag (no pun intended).I have to ask myself why hasn’t he been scrutinized to the level that Clinton or Obama have been? I think if more genuine people (not the racist cultists or the paid bots”) knew about him they would become disenchanted.

    Interesting history about Tom Hartmann. I know nothing about him and I don’t listen to him. I haven’t missed anything.

    Posted by Kathleen O'Neill | April 19, 2017, 3:39 pm
  7. Since there’s clearly going to be interest in inquiring whether or not Thom Hartmann is some sort of intelligence agent or something along those lines, let’s play the “Is Thom Hartmann a secret agent?” game. It’s a fascinating game because, on the one hand, there’s basically nothing in Thom’s behavior and body of works that points towards secret nefariousness, other than perhaps his co-authoring of a book that minimizes the CIA’s role in the JFK assassination. But that’s mostly it. On the other hand, if you look at Thom’s personal biography, wow is it spooky. And it’s that contradiction that makes this such a fun game: the more you look at his background the more eyebrowing-raising “hmmm…” fun-facts you come across. And yet, despite all the eyebrow-raising fun-facts you come across, there isn’t really anything that the guy has actually done that seems like the kind of thing a secret spy/disinfo would do. He’s like an international man of mystery, where the biggest mystery is why he’s so mysterious because he mostly just does helpful things.

    Ok, so let’s get started. And we’re going to be citing his wikipedia page pretty extensively here so note that since Wiki pages can change:
    1. He was part of Students for a Democratic Society during the Vietnam war, something he mentions pretty often during his radio show along with the fact that he knew some of the people who joined the Weather Underground. Typically, when he does mention this in the show it involves a discussion about how one particular person in their group who kept advocating that they engage in violent protests later turned out to be an undercover police officer as part of a larger discussion about why violent protests are stupid.

    Spookiness rating: Not too spooky given the context of the times, but certainly notable.

    2. Around the same time he was involved with SDS he got into Christian mysticism and eventually became an ordained Ministers with Coptic Fellowship International in 1971 (when he was around 20 yrs old). He came under the teachings of Master Stanly, who died in 1972 (as described in “A Prophet’s Way”).

    Spookiness rating: It is quite a twist to go from the SDS to being a Coptic Minister by the time you’re 20. Then again, if you’re a hippy who was into Christian Mysticism, getting involved with Coptic Christians does sort of make sense.

    3. While in his 20’s he co-founded The Woodley Herber Company, a company that sold herbal products and operated until 1978. It was during this time that he got degrees in herbology and homeopathic medicine. It was also during this time that he moved to New England to start The New England Salem Children’s Village, a community for abused children based on the Salem International model.

    Spookiness rating: Unless The Woodley Herber Company was a front from something naughty it’s hard to see what’s spooky about that part. And while starting a community for abused children is indeed the kind of thing that would be seen as very spooky in other contexts (i.e., they’re secretly mind controlling the kids!), let’s not forget that there’s no shortage of abused children who needs places to heal and starting a charity to help kids in needs is sort of the default thing someone is going to do if they want to leave a positive mark on the world. Plus, Thom was already a Coptic minister.

    4. Germany-based Salem International was started by Gottried Muller, a man who Thom describes as his personal mentor. He wrote a whole book about it and describes his interactions with Muller in detail. It turns out Thom was originally put in touch with Muller via a friend from the Coptic church who was already working with Muller. It went something like this (from “A Prophet’s Way”, p 44):
    In 1978, on a day when Thom was praying about what to do next in his life, his friend, Don, apparently had a vision of Thom right at that time, called him up, and asked him to come to Stadtsteinach, Germany to meet Muller. It sounds like Don was so taken aback by how saintly Muller was that he felt compelled to invite Thom to Germany to meet him. And the rest of history.

    Spookiness factor: Well, if you read The Prophet’s Way it’s a pretty odd backstory for getting to know Muller. His friend Don apparently had a hallucination while a children’s orchestra that Muller’s group operated was performing in Boston. He saw the face of Jesus hovering over the kids and then Muller gave a great speech that made such an impression on Don that he decided to travel to Stadtsteinach to join Muller’s group. And then called Thom and brought him there. Yeah, it’s a little spooky.

    5. This probably won’t be too surprising given his age, but Gottrfied Muller was…*drum roll*…a former soldier in Hitler’s army. They cover this on Muller’s bio page on Salem International’s web page. It was apparently his experiences in WWII that made him dedicate the rest of his life to God’s works, which eventually included “healing with the Jews”. Specifically, healing with Abram Poljack, one of the founders of Messianic Judaism (the “Jews for Jesus” movement).

    Spookiness factor: Ok, yeah, that’s pretty damn spooky. If you’re looking for a faction of Judaism that’s going to be overrun with fascists you could do worse than Messianic Judaism. It’s also worth noting that he’s recounted on his show how he’s met old Nazis in Germany beer halls. So, you know, you do have to wonder if any of them for Muller’s old friends.

    6. In the 80’s Thom and his wife started a travel agency, International Wholesale Travel and its retail subsidiary Sprayberry Travel in Atlanta in 1983. It did quite well and the Hartmann’s sold his shares in 1986, making the Hartmann’s enough money that Thom could retire and move to Germany to work with Salem International.

    Spookiness factor: Well, starting a business that’s big enough to allow you to retire in a few years is pretty damn impressive. And a travel agency would have potential value if he was working for some intelligence agency or something like that (moving people around the world efficaciously around is a must). But at the same time, it’s not like this was the first company the Hartmann’s started and people create businesses that do well rapidly all the time. As Thom’s said on his show many times, one of his approaches to business is looking for a need that the market isn’t currently serving and that’s a pretty good approach to starting a successful business that can find its groove rapidly.

    7. In 1987 Thom returned from Germany to Atlanta to found the marketing agency Chandler, MacDonald, Stout, Schneiderman & Poe, Inc. He sold his shares in 1996 and re-retired to Vermont.

    Spookiness factor: It all depends. Who were the clients for this firm? If they were spooky clients than, yeah, that’s pretty spooky. Otherwise, well…it’s not like the guy doesn’t have a demonstrable talent for marketing so this seems like a natural fit for his skill. That it was successful shouldn’t surprise us.

    8. In 1996, Thom actually went to the Georgia Police Academy. Yep. And while that sounds really odd at this point in his biography, there is a reasonable-ish explanation: The Olympics were coming to Atlanta in 1996, and as part of a program to beef up security the Atlanta police had a program where citizens could go through an “executive protection” police training course to provide VIP security for the event. That year, Thom was working on a private detective novel and shadowing an Atlanta private investigator, DeWitt Wannamaker, who had worked in a variety of law enforcement jobs and Wannamaker got him into the course. He’s mentioned this experience on his show a number of times.

    Spookiness factor: Ok, it’s odd. At the same time, he had just re-retired that year and had been living in Atlanta before moving to Vermont so it’s not all that odd. But quite a twist for an ex-SDS member.

    9. Thom is highly trained in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which was co-developed by Richard Bandler. And Bandler wrote the forward to Thom’s book about how to use NLP to help kids with ADD.

    Spookiness factor: Yeah, having Richard Bandler write the forward to your book spooky. At the same time, it’s not at all unimaginable that something like NLP could be useful for kids with severe ADD and Bandler’s endorsement is quite significant for a book like this. It’s also worth noting that Hartmann has written about how he suspects GOP spin-miesters like Frank Luntz are utilizing NLP on the GOP masses and he advocates that the Left stop unilaterally not using these kinds of tools. So, in that sense, it’s not like we can hold Thom’s NLP interest against him. If it works, it’s a tool that can be used for good or ill, and in the cases where we see Thom advocating the use of NLP it’s for good reasons. Which is a helluva lot better than an NLP-do-badder like Luntz.

    10. Thom himself recounts all the times he’s been traveling around the world in a locale where something big, politically, was about to happen. And while this has prompted Thom’s friends to ask if he’s CIA, he assures them he’s not. And he does this on his bio page.

    Spookiness factor: Ok, if you need to assure people you’re not CIA in spite of all the CIA-ish stuff in your background, that’s pretty spooky.

    11. The JFK book.

    Spookiness factor: Pretty spooky!

    So that’s a summary of Thom’s spooky background. Spooky in both the ‘intelligence’ sense and the “friend hallucinating Thom’s face and then inviting him to travel to Germany” spooky sense. And when you look at all that is it surely tempting to conclude that Hartmann is some sort of left-wing spook/agent. Because wow.

    But here’s the thing about Hartmann…he’s spooky on paper. But if you actually listen to his show or follow his daily political discourses it’s pretty damn hard to see what on earth spy agency he’s working for because unless there’s a very liberal, progressive, and overall well-intentioned spy agency out there operating in the world it’s not at all obvious who he’d be working for. Is there’s a super secret Central Niceness Agency (beware the CNA) that hired him years ago? The Underground Helpful People? Because unless there’s a ton of secret shady right-wing crap that Hartmann’s done that just hasn’t been revealed, it’s hard to see what kind of ‘spooky’ damage he’s doing. Except, of course, for the JFK book. But that’s still a relatively small thing in terms of the guy’s life’s work. All in all, if Thom’s is actually a secret spy he’s got to be one of the best one’s ever. And one of the worst ever. Worst in ways that make him the best.

    So if you have a chance to catch one of his shows, they’re worth a listen. And yes, you’ll be NLPed, but hopefully in a good way.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 25, 2017, 8:43 pm
  8. @Pterrafractyl–

    Excellent and insightful comment.

    I do note your relative youthfulness, not something for which you are to be faulted.

    Many, many painful years on the front lines of the political wars have given some insight into the ways of intelligence.

    For now, I will just pass along some information from correspondents about some of Hartmann’s activities and milieu:

    “German-based Salem International? Well, that is worth looking at. Don’t have time to do a ton of research on this, but I found the founder of Salem to be DAMN interesting… Keep in mind, Bernie’s appointments of the “Elders of the Protocols of Bernie” to the Dem convention platform committee were very telling. This fits in with that vein, in my opinion. Gotffried Mueller is the founder of this org.

    One HELL of a bio. Even the pre-war part reeks of intelligence work. Keep in mind that folks like Harrer were doing their “travels and research” around this time.

    Note also that Hartmann is a BIG Dalai Lama guy… the DL even invited him to spend a week with him in Dharmasala back in ’99!

    http://www.dalailamafilm.com/cast-thom-hartmann/thom-hartmann-biography-air-america-radio.html

    Gottfried Mueller’s itinerary? Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, and Kurd lands. And then when the war starts? He winds up working with Kurds to help Germany secure oil fields! Gee, his “innocent wanderlust of the mysterious East” sure came in handy just a few years later. After the war? Siemens. “Nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you try!” Then he “becomes disillusioned with capitalism” and wants to promote “healing with the Jews”. So who does he hook up with? Messianic Jews! Basically, Jews who convert to Christianity and try to convince other Jews of Christ’s divinity. Jews for Jesus, for example. Groups like this are often considered anti-semitic and I have seen them hook up with fascist elements before.

    http://www.saleminternational.org/media/downloads/gottfried-mueller-vita.pdf

    1935/36
    First journey to the Orient
    With a bike, a friend and 60 German marks he traveled to the Orient by land and by sea, visiting Cairo and the Pyramids, JeruSALEM, Bethlehem, Bagdad and venturing into the hitherto secluded empire of the Kurds. His first book ‘Breaking into Secluded Kurdistan’, the travelogue of this first journey to the Orient, was published in 1937 by Philadelphia Reutlingen.

    1937/38
    After returning from the Orient, Gottfried Müller had to do his military service.

    He was stationed in Ulm where, among other things, he was trained to ride horses and drive a coach. Eventually, his service ended and he left in the rank of Reserve Second Lieutenant.

    1939/40
    During this time, he was a salesman in Vienna and a horseman in the traditional cavalry regiment “Hoch- und Deutschmeister”. In the meantime,
    World War II broke out. He was drafted to serve in France. In 1940 his brother Christoph was killed in Russia by an exploding grenade.

    1940 – 1942

    Stationed in Reichenbach/ Vogtland, he worked as an instructor for warfare in Russia, and later for the Stalingrad campaign. In between times, he was trained by the German Air Force.

    1942 – 1948
    ‘Operation Mammut’

    Second journey to the orient Seite: 2 / 4
    During the war, he attempted to conquer oil fields for the German army with the help of the Kurds. His secret mission was betrayed. He and his Kurd friend Ramzie were taken prisoner by British and Iraqi forces – he was tortured and sentenced to death, but eventually escaped.

    He described these events in his book ‘In the Burning Orient’ which was first published in 1959 – today the book is in its 3rd edition. The book was later translated into English, Arabic, Turkish and Kurdish. He spent one year in the death cell where he he contemplated life and death.

    This was his inspiration to later found SALEM.

    1948 – 1950
    After the war was over, he was transferred to the British internment camp Hamburg-Neuengamme in 1947 and later to Camp Augsburg.

    He was released in 1948 and in the same year marries his first wife Susanne Firgau who raised their son Amadé during the war. They then had a second
    son, named Alexander. During these years, he lived with his family in an attic flat in Backnang studying economics and working as an insurance agent.

    1951 – 1954
    During this time, he worked for Siemens selling vacuum cleaners and together with his family he moved to Stuttgart. But he was not satisfied with his regular life and the relative prosperity it gave him. Often pictures of his imprisonment and escape, the death cell and his rescue, came to mind. Since being imprisoned he had vowed to be a vegetarian and non-smoker. [Like Hitler–D.E.] Moreover, he had then made God the promise: ‘If I get out of here, I want to serve You and help the poor’. [Yeah, right!–D.E.]

    1955 –1957
    He became more distanced from the idea of making money. He contacted Abram Poljak, a Messianic Jew. The reconciliation between Christians and Jews meant a lot to him. During these years, he organized a number of lectures with Abram Poljak in Germany, Switzerland, England, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

    At this time, he gave everything he possessed to two old and disabled Jewish women who were in need. His marriage had begun to suffer from his continued social commitment and both he and his wife separated, eventually divorcing in the 1960s.”

    I’ll post more from this correspondent later.

    The Battle of Stalingrad, one of Mueller’s resume points, is a damn poor antecedent to spiritual redemptionism!

    Best,

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 25, 2017, 9:44 pm
  9. @Pterrafractyl–

    More about the Salem milieu from this same correspondent:

    ” . . . .When I look at that Salem group, I see German corporatism/charity/intel operations in the background.

    1. Salem has NOT cut ties to it’s Nazi past or Muller. While Muller is long dead, his family is still in total control of the charity. I find that odd… Also, I don’t know if this is common or not in Germany, but Salem is structured as a GMBH or an LLC.

    http://www.saleminternational.org/index.php?seite=the-organisation

    The shareholders` meeting is the highest supervisory and controlling body. It decides all fundamental and guiding objectives and actions that are not assigned to the management or the supervisory board.

    Members:
    Samuel Müller, managing shareholder
    Ursula Müller, shareholder
    Nathan Müller, shareholder

    2. I was being VERY polite earlier when I described “Messianic Jews” as being sometimes tied to fascism. They are TOTALLY fascist, their entire purpose is Jewish erasure through conversion. Hartmann is openly linked with an org founded by a former German soldier (not sure of his party membership, but his CV sure seems to indicate a Nazi) who worked with Messianic Jews. That is inherently troubling.

    3. One of their Supervisory Board members is Suzanne Kraus, who is manager of the CSU party in the Bavarian district of Kalmbach.

    http://www.saleminternational.org/index.php?seite=the-organisation

    4. One of their top charity “partners” is called the Help and Hope foundation, which was founded by a guy named Jost-Stefan Heinig ( usually referred to as Stefan Heinig), who is a titan of German industry. He runs Kik (more about them in a second), which is majority owned by the Tengelmann group, a huge conglomerate. (note: there is an Ernst Tengelmann who was head of Hoechst and most DEFINITELY a Nazi, but I have not confirmed he is related.)

    https://www.helpandhope-stiftung.com/en/the-foundation/

    The Nazis’ power base among the fading small merchant class, among others, led to official measures against nationally operating grocery and department store chains. Among these measures was a stiff revenue tax. Tengelmann, associating with other firms, was able to gain an exemption from the revenue tax, at least for non-Jewish companies. But Tengelmann’s expansion efforts were nonetheless thwarted by protectionist policies that barred the opening of new branches or factories. The outbreak of the Second World War placed Tengelmann’s operations under the ultimate control of the Nazi government.

    The end of the war had left not only the Reich in ruins, but much of Tengelmann as well. Its urban-based stores and factories had not been spared the bombing of the country by the Allied forces, while many of its undestroyed factories now were located in Soviet-controlled East Germany. Moreover, the shortage of goods following the war would make it difficult for the company to resume its operations; on top of this, company chief Karl Schmitz-Scholl had been placed in jail. Nonetheless, Tengelmann was able to resume operations in 1945, under direction of Schmitz-Scholl’s sister Elisabeth Haub. The company reopened shop using mobile trailers. Product assortment was limited, but the company developed several powdered products meant as protein supplements. Tengelmann was once again back on its feet in the 1950s. The company participated fully in the German economic reconstruction that would spark an economic boom that would last into the 1980s.

    NOTE: here is a wikipedia summary (all wiki-caveats apply of course) of how Kik does business. All the cited articles are in German so it may take some translation work to get the full story. The one about the swastika-shaped clothing racks is not online at all, unfortunately. The Bangladesh story sadly illustrates how Heinig likes to bring “Help and Hope” to the people of the Third World…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KiK#cite_note-14

    Building collapse at Savar
    Main article: 2013 Savar building collapse

    On 24 April 2013, the eight-story Rana Plaza commercial building collapsed in Savar, a sub-district near Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. At least 1,127 people died and over 2,438 were injured.[8] The factory housed a number of separate garment factories employing around 5,000 people,[9] and manufactured apparel for brands including the Benetton Group, Joe Fresh,[10] The Children’s Place, Primark, Monsoon, and DressBarn.[11][12] Of the 29 brands identified as having sourced products from the Rana Plaza factories, only 9 attended meetings held in November 2013 to agree a proposal on compensation to the victims. Several companies refused to sign including Walmart, Carrefour, Bonmarché, Mango, Auchan and KiK. The agreement was signed by Primark, Loblaws, Bonmarché and El Corte Inglés.[13]

    In 2009, a man from the German state Schleswig-Holstein pressed charges against KiK under Strafgesetzbuch § 86a, which outlaws the “use of symbols of unconstitutional organisations”, for the chain using swastika-styled clothing racks in their shops.[14]

    KiK have been criticised by the Clean Clothes Campaign for their bad practises in countries such as Bangladesh, where factory workers, often children,[15] are paid as little as €18–24 per month.[16]

    While running almost 50,000 secret credit ratings of staff,[17] overtime is often not paid,[18] despite accusations and lawsuits of KiK paying below minimum wage to their staff in Germany.[19]

    NOTE: A few years ago, Heinig partnered with Karl-Erivan Haub (German family from Pacific Northwest, one of the richest in the world… never heard of them before yesterday!) to buy the German version of Woolworths.

    http://tengelmann.de/en/press/press-archive/news-detail/datum/2010/08/26/unternehmensgruppe-tengelmann-zieht-positive-bilanz.html

    Mülheim an der Ruhr, August 26, 2010 – In the 143rd year of its existence the Tengelmann Group rounded off its 2009 financial year with sales totaling EUR 11.34 billion, representing an increase of 2.6 percent over the year before. The Group operated 4,519 branches and employed 84,516 staff. “The Tengelmann Group was not affected by the global economic crisis. We have recorded a growth in sales and profits and have high equity and further increased liquid funds,” explained Karl-Erivan W. Haub, managing and personally liable partner of the Tengelmann Group, at today’s press conference at the headquarters in Mülheim an der Ruhr. “We are focusing on sound commercial virtues and organic growth generated by our own resources, but we are also taking advantage of specific acquisition opportunities. As a result, our family business is independent of the financial market and is developing in a sustainable manner.”

    The Tengelmann Group is represented in 16 European countries with its Kaiser’s Tengelmann, KiK, OBI and Tengelmann E-Commerce divisions as well as many smaller companies. In 2009, the German subsidiaries developed better than the foreign subsidiaries, which suffered more from the global economic crisis. However, times of crisis also offer unique opportunities: “For the first time we have made notable investments in acquisitions, mainly in market-leading Internet enterprises but also in stationary retail by acquiring stakes in Woolworth,” said Mr. Haub.

    NOTE: The Haub family (probably worth a few hours research themselves) is quite proud of their German history and Christian, Karl-Erivan’s brother, has been a Grand Marshal of the Steuben parade! This “Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company” sounds very interesting.

    http://gacgny.org/news19.html

    Christian W. E. Haub is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc. (A&P), a Montvale, NJ-based operator of more than 436 supermarkets in 8 states and the District of Columbia. Mr. Haub joined the Company in 1991. In December 1993, he was elected President and Chief Operating Officer. In May 1998, Mr. Haub was elected President & Chief Executive Officer. He was elected Chairman of the Board in April 2001, and assumed that office on May 1. He became Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors in August 2005.

    Mr. Haub is a Partner and Co-Chief Executive of The Tengelmann Group, Mülheim, Germany, one of the world’s largest food retailing companies and the majority shareholder of The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co., Inc. Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1964, Mr. Haub is a graduate of the University of Economics, Vienna, Austria, and a German-American in every aspect. . . .:

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 25, 2017, 10:01 pm
  10. More about Thom Hartmann and Germany from a scholarly correspondent:

    ” . . . . Man, does he ever love Germany! Note: I agree with him on many of the progressive things he likes about Germany. But I really can’t find anything negative from him about Merkel.

    But check out these posts from him about the Fatherland…

    http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/the-end-of-poverty/why-are-bmw-and-mercedes-so-rich

    https://www.democraticunderground.com/101717715

    NOTE: This econ prof from Bayreuth is on the Salem board as well. He interviews him here…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gRlBgqKvDjk

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT5DPNZ4CPk

    Oh, and here are his comments on the death of Gottfried Mueller back in ’09.

    https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=146537756020&id=113201214447

    “Herr Müller died on Saturday. Those of you who have read “The Prophet’s Way” will know about him. Thom will fly to Germany after today’s show, funeral Wednesday. Peter B guest hosts tomorrow and Carl and Christine on Wednesday. Show live from Germany Thursday and Friday.”

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 27, 2017, 5:30 pm
  11. @Dave: While it’s undeniable that Thom brings up Germany a lot and often makes comparisons between the US and Germany that puts Germany in a favorable light, it’s important to note that it’s virtually always comparisons where Germany really is doing better than the US, like unionization rates in the labor force, universal health care, and big national investments in solar power. Those are the main areas where he he touts Germany’s accomplishments, at least that I’ve ever heard him bring up. But another important thing to note is that he frequently criticizes Europe, and Germany specifically, over the insane austerity policies that are destroying Europe. Here’s an example from back in 2011 when the eurozone crisis was really heating up where Thom brings up the notion that austerity was basically a back-door way means of Germany winning WWII. Sure, he doesn’t bring up this topic as much as I would prefer since it’s one of the biggest stories of our time, but he definitely brings it up much more than basically any other political talk radio host I’ve heard.

    And, yeah, you’re not going to find him saying many negative things about Merkel, but then again, almost no one on the Left in the US criticizes her. The person who is leading the way on leading Europe into permanent far-right economic straightjacket is routinely feted by US progressives as some sort of great global leader. It’s bizarre, but it is what it is.

    Overall, if Thom’s a secret far-right agent or something like that he’s done a pretty good job maintaining his cover.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 28, 2017, 10:42 am
  12. @Pterrafractyl–

    Some quick points to ponder:

    1.–The cardinal rule for a good double agent: Make yourself indispensable to the effort.

    2.–Note the FFT post at the current top of the page: http://spitfirelist.com/news/nazis-in-new-orleans-2/

    Using Anti-Communism to enslave America was the focal point of the “gargantuan” plot noted by Army intel officer Glenn Pinchback.

    If you are going to use anti-Communism to enslave America, you have to have at least the perceived threat of communism. In that regard, I note the Estonian Nazi background of Kalle Lassen, whose “Adbusters” kicked off Occupy Wall Street, and Sanders’ links to the far right/Karl Rove, etc.

    I believe that the perceived threat of “Bolsheviks” generated by Lassen’s Occupy movement and Bernie’s so-called “revolution” helped generate the “agreement” among the members of the fraternity discussed in the conclusion of “Uncle Sam and the Swastika.”

    In conclusion, note that Hartmann used NONE of the info I have presented over the decades, from open sources, in his b.s. cover-up book about the JFK assassination.

    Also: NEVER forget that, when listening to him, you are probably being subjected to NLP, a form of psycho-linguistic mind control.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | April 28, 2017, 4:09 pm
  13. More about St. Bernard–

    One of the most wretched things he did was to get an awful creature named Cornel West onto the Democratic platform committee, where CW promptly called for people to vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party!

    Great stuff!

    A listener contributed what follows, which I present unedited.

    West is now calling for the dismantling of the Democratic Party.

    Personnally, I would like to see the dismantling of Cornel West.

    His sentiments on CW encompass my own:

    ” What a fucking piece of shit he is… I will admit some amusement on how close he comes to an outright parody of ‘angry black militant’ from the 60s. Reminds me of Chris Rock’s ‘Nat X’ routines… except that Nat X is funny.

    Nat X

    https://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/cast/chris-rock-14736/character/nat-x-66231

    Cornel’s call to destroy the party he was on the convention committee of less than a year ago is below. Nice idea, Bernie, you craphead. Note: I didn’t fully grasp the ramifications of Boin’s ties to the SWP until fairly recently. Knew of the Oswald thing from your work, but there is a LOT more. Stay tuned…

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/24/democrats-delivered-one-thing-100-days-disappointment

    Even as we forge a united front against Trump’s neofascist efforts, we must admit the Democratic party has failed us and we have to move on. Where? To what? When brother Nick Brana, a former Bernie campaign staffer, told me about the emerging progressive populist or social democratic party – the People’s party – that builds on the ruins of a dying Democratic party and creates new constituencies in this moment of transition and liquidation, I said count me in.

    And if a class-conscious multi-racial party attuned to anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-militaristic issues and grounded in ecological commitments can reconfigure our citizenship, maybe our decaying democracy has a chance. And if brother Bernie Sanders decides to join us – with many others, including sister Jill Stein and activists from Black Lives Matter and brown immigrant groups and Standing Rock freedom fighters and betrayed working people – we may build something for the near future after Trump implodes.”

    Posted by Dave Emory | May 2, 2017, 9:40 pm
  14. Slanders’ Field Manager in New Hampshire, Hugo Palma, gave an interview to James O’Keefe and pretended he didn’t know who he was. Palma told O’Keefe that the Democrats were registering fake voters and using false addresses, all to help the Reicht make the DNC look untrustworthy. At first, I thought Slanders wasn’t aware his campaign had been infiltrated but became very doubtful when his campaign was caught stealing mailing lists from the DNC database. I think those mailing lists went straight into the hands of Eddie the Friendly Spook in Moscow who is dispensing RT’s social media Newsfeed. Stein and Slanders were paid to facilitate, they knew.

    Posted by May Frock | June 5, 2017, 1:34 am
  15. @ May Frock–

    Please let us know what the source is for your allegation that Hugo Palma gave the interview to James O’Keefe.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 5, 2017, 3:40 pm
  16. From a regular, trusted contributor.

    “Mentioned before that Jane Sanders was heading for rough waters over this college up in Vermont… looks like it is actually happening! And they hired Scooter Libby’s attorney. I don’t judge them for hiring a good lawyer, nor do I think Scooter Libby deserved to be the scapegoat for the Iraq War. But I do think it interesting and indicative of the kind of circles that Sanders moves in. This is not the first time we have seen this “socialist” close to GOP circles. The lawyer is also known for defending the Big Four accounting firms.

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/24/bernie-sanders-and-his-wife-reportedly-lawyer-up-amid-fbi-probe.html

    This week, Politico Magazine said the couple have obtained legal counsel amidst a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation into whether Jane Sanders fraudulently obtained a bank loan for the now defunct Burlington College in Vermont. Additionally, investigators are probing whether the Vermont senator’s office pressured the bank to approve the loan, Politico Magazine added.

    While the Sanders’ have largely tried to downplay the investigation, the pair has now lawyered up, Politico reported, retaining well-connected Burlington attorney, Rich Cassidy. Also part of the legal team is Larry Robbins, a noted Washington-based defense attorney who represented I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the publication stated.”

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 26, 2017, 4:03 pm
  17. Another salient contribution from the same, above, listener:

    I built a flow chart about a decade ago about Alfa Bank and its networking, as Alfa is back in the news. Just caught somethting while looking them over: the law firm that Bernie and wife just hired in the college scandal? Same law firm that John P. Schmitz and Richard Ben-Veniste (Barry Seal lawyer, 911 Commission member) worked for!

    Mayer Brown.”

    Enjoy!

    Dave Emory

    Posted by Dave Emory | June 27, 2017, 5:23 pm
  18. A [characteristically] incisive and important piece of analysis was sent to me by an associate.

    It concerns Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi milieu and their links to the Bernie Sanders milieu.

    ““A little daddy with a beard telling stories of heaven as if he knew. You could never pin him down, but he often spread rumors through his right hand man who used to be with the CIA and told about the planes he saved.”
    -John Lennon, “The Maharishi Song” (early version of Sexy Sadie, which was about the Maharishi)

    “Maharishi teaches: Invincibility can be obtained on many levels, individual, organizational and governmental.The current thrust of the movement is to create a 7,000 sidhi-flyers group in one country, there by creating an invincible nation.Maharishi teaches organizations can also gain invincibility. He claims that by having a specific percentage of the employees practicing his $3,500 sidhis program an individual can also become invincible.
    One of the qualities of enlightenment is invincibility. Mahesh explains that when an individual, organization or government is invincible, it is impossible for an enemy to even think a negative thought about the invincible. In considering Maharishi’s claims in light of the following affidavit ofGemma Cowhig, I ask:
    Has Mahesh attained enlightenment?
    If he is enlightened, is he invincible?
    If he is invincible, why does he have a fear of the CIA?
    Why would the movement have a fear of a CIA infiltration?”

    Patrick Ryan, MIU Class ’80, August, 1994~ http://www.minet.org/news94sm.dtp.0.html

    “In recent years, the Maharishi’s thinking and policies have become increasingly paranoid. He rails about the Movement being in danger from Rakshasas (demons) — who can only enter buildings from south-facing entrances, while gods protect and enter buildings from east-facing entrances. He has claimed at various times that the TM Movement has been infiltrated by agents of the CIA, American Medical Association, and pharmaceutical companies.”

    http://tmfree.blogspot.com/2008/01/why-i-believe-transcendental-meditation.html

    NOTE: I generally like TMfree (ex-TM members), but I think I’m with the Maharishi on that one! I think his org has been infiltrated for 50 years, whether he liked it or not.

    It wasn’t just the Trump family that got close with TM during the 2016 election, Bernie also tried to milk that cow. Dave, you will love this… nothing better than Bernie backers drooling with New Age clichés. Uggh… Also, keep in mind that, back in 2016, I forwarded a piece by a blind Hillary campaign worker who switched from the Bernie camp, when she saw from the inside that his medical policy was largely based on New Age thinking, leading her to suspect that there would be “more yoga and wellness… fewer wheelchairs” in the lives of the American disabled. I didn’t pay much attention to Bernie and the New Age at the time, however.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-transcendental-meditationists-who-turned-an-iowa-farm-town-into-a-bernie-base/2016/01/29/b4de383c-c5e1-11e5-8965-0607e0e265ce_story.html

    FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Every morning and every evening, and sometimes in between, this rural community appears to undergo a massive outbreak of narcolepsy. Gathering in giant domes or sitting in the privacy of their own homes, hundreds of men and women will take the time to close their eyes, bow their heads and sit motionless for 20 minutes.

    With the caucuses just days away, this unlikely mecca for practitioners of Transcendental Meditation is getting a jolt of activity. There have been visits from Hillary Clinton, as well as HUD Secretary Julián Castro, her who-knows-maybe potential running mate. Ted Cruz drew a big crowd to the small convention center here on a Tuesday night.

    But it was Bernie Sanders whose visit Thursday got the most buzz about town — and it’s he who might benefit most from the Maharishi effect.
    “He represents a higher level of cognitive development,” said Sam Farling, a volunteer organizer here for Sanders. “Hillary Clinton may have the almost militaristic level of organizing — but we have the passion.”

    Farling, a Vietnam veteran originally from Ohio, migrated here decades ago for the same reason as many Fairfield residents: the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
    The gloriously bearded guru, who died in 2008 at age 90 , launched the Beatles and Mia Farrow on spiritual quests and made the ancient Indian tradition of meditation hip. He also helped transform a sleepy farm town into the enlightenment capital of southeastern Iowa: When a group of his acolytes outgrew their digs in California in the early 1970s, they came here, snapping up a newly defunct liberal arts college at a bargain price.

    Now the Maharishi University of Management dominates the town with its 1,000 students, two 25,000-square-foot meditation domes (“over one million hours of transcending has occurred here”) — and a bountiful crop of Bernie 2016 stickers in the parking lot.

    “I think in general it’s a weird school, so people here tend to be more open-minded to new and different things,” said student Kennidy Stood. “Bernie represents a certain ideal, and people aren’t as afraid here to go for that.”

    As a “consciousness-based learning” institution, Maharishi requires students to practice TM; they are encouraged to get brain scans as they start at the university and right before they leave, to see how meditation has affected them. While many other spiritual fads of the ’70s have petered out or been deemed too cultish, TM has held steady, even gaining in popularity as the ancient art of yoga has also entered the mainstream.
    “It’s unlikely the Army and National Institutes of Health would fund a cult,” said Maharishi’s executive vice president, Craig Pearson, noting various grants the school has received.

    NOTE: I would heartily disagree with that notion!

    The school’s sensibilities have taken hold in Fairfield, as a number of TM practitioners (who call each other “Ru,” short for “guru”) have put down roots. Even the mayor, Ed Malloy (“I’m caucusing for Hillary, and my wife is caucusing for Bernie”), is a Long Island transplant who came here for the meditation.
    Many homes face east, their roofs topped with golden Hershey’s Kiss-shaped ornaments; the town boasts a hip coffee shop, an upcycled goods center, vegetarian joints and six Indian restaurants.
    But still, this is small-town Iowa, home to farmers and foundry workers and the Iowa Cattle Association’s best burger of 2015. And for all his old-hippie credentials, not everyone here is in the tank for Sanders.
    “A lot of our community is really hard-wired to look at the most idealistic version of everything,” said Holly Moore, a 1979 Maharishi graduate who is volunteering for Clinton. “But I’m so pragmatic. I don’t think life is all about sitting somewhere with my eyes closed, and not all about a level of activity. It’s a combination of the two.”
    There are even TMers who vote Republican.

    “It’s really about being against the establishment,” said Doug Stewart, a Cruz supporter. It’s more typical for a GOP TMer to lean libertarian, though. This is, after all, the only county in Iowa that Ron Paul won in 2008.
    “If I don’t vote for Rand Paul, I might vote for Bernie,” said David Ballou, who is helping run one of the caucus locations in town.
    Jeff Shipley, the 27-year-old chairman of the county GOP, says he’s not your typical Republican — he’s as keen on legalization and the antiwar movement as he is on fiscal conservatism — and even he can almost feel the Bern.
    “The point of the meditation is to create world peace,” said Shipley, who is himself not a meditator. “You had thousands of people come here with the idea of creating a better world, and they like Bernie for that. If I was a Democrat, I’d support him without a doubt.”

    Two hours before the Vermont senator showed up, the line to the convention center had begun to snake through town. “It’s like Hillary 2.0,” said a local photographer shooting the scene.

    “I had to move a dentist appointment up to early this afternoon to make this,” said David Goodman, a Transcendental Meditationist. “The Novocain is just wearing off.”

    The actress Gaby Hoffmann (“Transparent”) stood in the back wearing a shirt with a stenciled rendering of Sanders’s face, having come to Iowa for 24 hours to support a candidate she has never met. (“But he shops at the same health-food store as my best friend’s mom.”) Susan Sarandon opened the show for him.
    “I came from New York,” the Oscar winner said to knowing applause. “For me, the one thing that is important is consistency and moral courage.”

    NOTE: Sarandon spread Timothy Leary’s ashes at Burning Man a few years back…

    When Sanders took the stage, his voice hoarse from repeating his mantra about income inequality at stops across the state, the crowd broke their reverie and screamed approval for their honorary Ru.

    There’s an open question about whether Sanders is going to be able to turn this enthusiasm into actual caucus-goers. It’s Clinton who has a downtown phone-bank operation here and a field organizer as well as a klatch of volunteers.
    But Fairfield residents are highly trained at keeping cool. If the candidate they adore can’t pull it off, they’ll find peace somehow.
    “People who meditate get in the harmony with the deepest flow of life,” Farling said, “and we already know that overall everything is going to turn out wonderful.”

    NOTE: Yeah, the 2016 election turned out just fucking fantastic, right?! Next up, let’s do away with the myth of TM being “just for liberals”. Here is a puff piece from the right-wingers at Newsmax.

    http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/president-should-meditate-stress/2016/06/07/id/732778/

    …Our next president, whether it be Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders, should meditate every day, says Darrin Zeer, who is known as America’s Relaxation Expert. “The presidency is the toughest job on earth and the most important.” he tells Newsmax Health.

    “We want our president to make the right decisions for global safety and security,” Zeer says, and meditation can help the president manage stress and concentrate better.

    Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, says Zeer, or take up much of the president’s limited time. “Keep it simple,” he says. “Just sit and close your eyes for three to five minutes and focus on your breathing.”

    Meditation could have specific benefits for each presidential candidate, according to Zeer. “Trump could probably use some help with stress management, while Hilary might find that meditation creates acceptance of painful events in her past. Studies have found that meditation slows the aging process, and that might be particularly helpful for Sanders.”

    Meditation is a form of “mindfulness,” which focuses attention on both internal and external experiences that are occurring in the present moment.

    It’s not just the presidential candidates that could benefit from meditation. Recent studies have shown that meditation provides a wide range of health benefits for virtually everyone:

    Protects against heart disease. A study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes followed 201 African-American men and women diagnosed with heart disease. They were divided into two groups: One group practiced meditation while the second group participated in an educational class about heart-friendly exercise and diet.

    After five years, the meditation group experienced a 48 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death from any cause. “Transcendental Meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions,” said lead researcher Robert Schneider.

    NOTE: Let’s take a quick look at some other views of Dr. Scheider’s work as opposed to the uncritical treatment by Newsmax. The thing to always watch for is those who conflate ALL meditation with TM. TM has been attempting to create scientific support for itself for decades. This can be skipped by anybody with a good grasp of why TM doesn’t add up scientifically, but worth citing as some readers or listeners may not understand the flaws. There is more detail in the article, I tried to keep it short.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryhusten/2012/11/25/yet-another-look-at-the-transcendental-meditation-paper/#34230d6265ac

    …I’m grateful for Kaul’s highly technical analysis of the statistical issues raised by Schneider, but I don’t think this case really requires a terribly high level of technical expertise. Common sense actually works pretty well in this case. A trial with barely 200 patients can not be expected to provide broad answers about the health benefits of a novel intervention. As Kaul and others have stated on many other occasions, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence,” and it is quite clear that the evidence in this trial is not extraordinary, at least in any positive sense.

    Questions About Trial Reliability And Data– In his response Schneider tries to skate away from the inevitable questions raised about this paper when Archives of Internal Medicine chose to withdraw the paper only 12 minutes before its scheduled publication time. Schneider can pretend that this incident never occurred, but outsider readers can not help but wonder what sparked this extraordinary incident, and will not be satisfied until the details are fully explained.

    There are additional red flags about the trial. Schneider told WebMD that since the Archives incident “the data was re-analyzed. Also, new data was added and the study underwent an independent review.” Said Schneider:

    “This is the new and improved version.”

    This is an extraordinary claim, because a clinical trial cannot be “new and improved” unless there were serious flaws with the earlier version. What exactly does it mean to say that a paper published in 2012 about a trial completed in 2007 is “new and improved”? (According to ClinicalTrials.Gov the study was completed in July 2007, while June 2007 was the “final data collection date” for the primary endpoint.)

    The 5-year delay between the 2007 completion date and the publication of the data is highly suspicious. What exactly caused this delay? The paper hints at one possible source of delay: as Kaul notes below, the investigators refer to the primary endpoint as a “DSMB-approved endpoint.” This suggests that the primary endpoint was changed at some point in the trial. As Kaul points out, it is not the job of the DSMB to either choose or approve primary endpoints. Since the trial was not registered until 2011 with ClinicalTrials.Gov it is impossible to sort this issue out unless the investigators choose to release the initial trial protocol and statistical plan.

    Schneider’s response also fails to explain why there is a difference in the number of primary endpoint events between the Archives paper and the Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes paper, since the collection date for the primary outcome measure is listed as June 2007 on ClinicalTrials.Gov. I see no reason why the reason for this discrepancy shouldn’t be explained. Although the difference is only 1 event, it inevitably raises questions about the reliability of the data.

    Trial Interpretation– Finally, I am deeply concerned about the way this trial will be used, or misused, to “sell” the brand of Transcendental Meditation in the broadest possible population, ie, everyone. Though the study was limited to African-American with heart disease, here’s what Schneider told the Daily Mail:

    ‘Transcendental meditation may reduce heart disease risks for both healthy people and those with diagnosed heart conditions. The research on transcendental meditation and cardiovascular disease is established well enough that doctors may safely and routinely prescribe stress reduction for their patients with this easy to implement, standardised and practical programme.’

    Meditation may of course be beneficial, but it will never be a cure for heart disease, and it won’t replace other treatments. But here’s what Schneider told WebMD:
    “What this is saying is that mind-body interventions can have an effect as big as conventional medications, such as statins,” says Schneider.

    It shouldn’t be necessary to say, but the evidence base for statins is several orders of magnitude greater than the evidence base for meditation. Further, there have been no studies comparing meditation to statins. Any claim that meditation is equivalent to statins is preposterous.
    To be clear, I have nothing against meditation. Generic meditation is cheap, safe, and even possibly effective. Branded Transcendental Meditation, on the other hand, is a cult, and it is out to get your money. An initial TM program costs $1500, and increases the deeper you get pulled into the cult.

    Here’s what Schneider told Healthday:
    “One of the reasons we did the study is because insurance and Medicare calls for citing evidence for what’s to be reimbursed,” Schneider said. “This study will lead toward reimbursement. That’s the whole idea.”
    Here’s the real source of my discomfort with this trial. For true believers like Schneider, fighting heart disease is important only insofar as it can be employed to further the interests of TM. Scientific standards and medical progress are unimportant in the larger scheme of promoting TM.

    NOTE: Surely the Christian hippie-haters at Fox News will take on this demonic spiritualism! They found Tom McKinley Ball… of the David Lynch Foundation… to help clear this all up. Did my best to delete some of the New Age spew to make this more readable.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/02/19/can-meditation-save-us.html

    …Economic uncertainty, political divisiveness—it seems that our nation and many of us individually are now under more stress than we’re designed to handle.It’s no surprise that increasing numbers of people are turning to meditation for refuge. And why shouldn’t we? It’s just the natural use of our own minds.
    …“If Transcendental Meditation were a new drug, conferring this many benefits, it would be the biggest, multi-billion dollar blockbuster drug on the market.”—former senior NIH researcher Norman Rosenthal, M.D.
    In the 1970s, Transcendental Meditation (“TM”) became a widespread cultural phenomenon. Now there’s a rising new wave of interest in TM, but for different reasons: because there’s so much scientific research verifying its effects.
    Doctors and therapists are recommending it in growing numbers. Business owners offer it as a human resource for employees—such as Oprah Winfrey and her company, Harpo Productions.

    Prison systems in the U.S. and abroad are implementing programs for inmates. Hundreds of schools around the world are offering TM-Quiet Time programs for students. But mostly, people are learning it because they notice positive change in someone they know who’s learned.
    ….Here’s the beauty of Transcendental Meditation: it’s a stress-reducing practice that transcends personal opinion, likes and dislikes, beliefs and ideologies. It works on the basis of something deeper and more universal—the mind’s natural tendency.
    Tom McKinley Ball is a writer for the David Lynch Foundation. He attended a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in 1975-76, where he studied with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, and has taught meditation for 38 years.

    NOTE: As mentioned above, I don’t think it is at all crazy to think that the military would help out a cult and vice versa. I think it is fairly standard practice. And the success of TM, which is utterly protected by the controlled media, and revered by the President’s children, bears this out. If anybody has any confusion over whether there are ties between TM and the military-industrial complex, I think this article should dismiss some of that confusion.

    https://www.army.mil/article/139778

    Transcendental meditation: A path to healing
    By U.S. Army
    December 11, 2014
    FORT GORDON, Ga. — Staff Sgt. Todd Knauber used to believe it would sound ridiculous to recommend something like transcendental meditation classes to fellow combat veterans but the results have changed his views.

    Knauber states that, “it is our greatest weapon in helping to combat the scars of conflict. This program provides [veterans] the grounds to reestablish hope; and begin to truly heal.”

    Knauber served nine months as a U.S. Army turret gunner in the far west region of
    Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom before he was injured.

    “Together we have seen both the best and worst humanity has had to offer and we have learned to endure the scars we have been left with.”

    He was told that the longer you are out of the fight, the better things are supposed to get but he found his reality was much different.

    “Every day that hill gets a little steeper. The life back there versus the life here seem worlds apart; one feels like the sole place I belong, or where anything makes some modicum of sense. Some days it’s hard to stay out of that dark place.”

    Without a dependable support system at home, he was having trouble doing his job and maintaining any kind of relationship with his friends and loved ones.

    “I got to a tipping point. Things were bad, but then I was given the greatest gift I have ever received from a stranger.”

    Knauber was offered an opportunity to participate in transcendental meditation as part of his treatment at Eisenhower Army Medical Center.

    Transcendental meditation was something he had never heard of but it offered him the possibility of dealing with the medications, the nightmares, and the physical and emotional pain.

    “It was not a branch for me to grab hold of but rather a taproot under my feet. A stable platform which gives me a moments respite so I can put my pain into perspective enough that I can reattempt the climb.”

    Since he began meditating, there has been a change in his life. He meditates twice a day for 20 minutes and over the course of four months, he has been able to entirely discontinue two medications, Prazosin and Trazadone, and has reduced his Zoloft by half.

    In addition to the calm he says he experiences through transcendental meditation, Knauber says it has made it easier to manage his physical pain from his injuries.

    “I typically have a regimen of several pain medications to manage my physical injuries. Rather than taking a handful of pills seven days a week, I can manage my pain regularly with a few tablets, two to three times a week.”

    Others have even told him that he looks like an entirely different person after starting to meditate.

    “I am vibrant, I smile, and I look much more grounded. The truth is you can’t practice transcendental meditation without it positively affecting you.”

    Doctors promised him through medication and hard work he could potentially heal over the course of years, but since transcendental meditation he has moved much closer to achieving his recovery in months.

    “At times the troubling thoughts and nightmares come back, but as a whole, the progress is palatable.”

    “I feel more in control of my life now, and I’m becoming hopeful about rebuilding and getting better.”

    NOTE: OK, back to the Bernie crowd. Here’s where this gets REAL interesting and relevant in a spitfire context. One of Bernie’s supporters was New Age guru, Marianne Williamson. No surprise there, but what I found interesting was that Williamson ran for Congress a few years back, and we see in her endorsement list some noteworthy names.

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/marianne-williamson-hollywoods-favorite-new-792820

    Marianne Williamson, Hollywood’s Favorite New Age Guru, Backs Bernie Sanders for President
    1:11 PM PDT 5/1/2015 by Tina Daunt
    …Former congressional candidate, social activist and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, who enjoys a wide following in Hollywood, is urging her supporters to back Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in his quest to wrest the Democrats’ presidential nomination away from frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
    …Williamson was one of 16 candidates seeking to fill Democrat Henry Waxman’s 33rd District House seat on the Westside. Her campaign promised to “heal” Washington. She finished fourth in the race.
    …In an email circulated Friday, Williamson described Sanders’ address as “stunning” and said that when asked how many in the audience would support him for president, the “entire room rose to their feet.”
    “Let’s work together to turn this ripple of hope into a massive wave of positivity and power,” Williamson wrote to her supporters. “Winning the White House might indeed take a miracle, but many of us believe in those.” (Williamson’s best known book is the best-selling Course in Miracles.)

    NOTE: Yes, “Course in Miracles”. Remember that name for later…

    http://marianne.com/365-days-of-a-course-in-miracles/

    Commit to the Workbook of A Course in Miracles. Begin any time.
    $25 for the year.
    Every morning you will receive a daily lesson, read by Marianne, by email. These daily audios can be streamed on demand, or downloaded to your computer and saved, so you can build the entire library and return to them again and again.
    A Course in Miracles says, “An idea grows stronger when it is shared.” Join this powerful collective as we journey through the 365 lessons of the Course Workbook together, and watch the many miracles unfold.

    NOTE: I first noticed A Course in Miracles when looking at Von Braun’s Institute of Noetic Sciences. Some of those on the IONS board were very involved with the A Course in Miracles agenda. One of them was William Whitson. Whitson has QUITE the resume. Also, to clear up any confusion, Williamson did not write the original Course in Miracles, though she does seem to imply that. She just wrote a workbook to help explain the original work, which by all accounts is a confusing and unreadable mess.

    http://williamwhitson.com/about.html

    William Whitson gained a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy in 1948. He then pursued a twenty-two year military career in a variety of assignments including a topographic survey of the Philippines; General’s Aide at the United Nations; completion of a Ph.D. in international relations and economics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; instructor at West Point in the economics of national security and international relations; ranger and parachute training; advisor to the Dean of the Korean Military Academy; company command and battle group operations officer with the 82nd airborne division; Chinese language training; political analyst with the American Embassy in the Republic of China (Taiwan); political analyst with the American Consulate in Hong Kong; and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense, Systems Analysis.

    After his retirement from the Army in 1970, for the next decade he engaged in research in China studies and strategic policy planning at the RAND Corporation, the Stanford Research Institute and BDM Corporation. During the 1970’s he lectured at the Air and Army Command and General Staff Colleges, the Air War College, the Army War College, the Central Intelligence Agency, Columbia University, the Foreign Service Institute, the Harvard Business School, the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the National War College and the United States Air Force and Military Academies.

    In addition to numerous articles and papers for the RAND Corporation, he edited The Military and Political Power in China in the 1970’s (1972); Doing Business With China (1972); and Foreign Policy and U.S. National security: Major Post Election Issues (1973) and wrote The Chinese High Command: A History of Military Politics (1956-71) (1973). In 1975, he joined the Library of Congress as Chief of the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division of the Congressional Research Service.

    In 1980, he resigned from the Library of Congress to organize and chair the Emergency Earthquake Taskforce for California. Thereafter, he served as President of CIM Associates, a service corporation to business and government. He is a past member of the Board of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the California Institute for Integral Studies.

    Since 1980 he has also served the Foundation for Inner Peace as a member of the Board of Directors, managing the translation program to yield twenty translations of A Course in Miracles. The fundamental ideas of the Course have inspired all major themes and plot twists in his novels about David Harrison’s inner development. Indeed, David’s passion for flight is a metaphor for his yearning for inner flight.

    NOTE: Let’s take a quick look at the roots of A Course in Miracles.

    http://acim-archives.org/bios/Myths.html

    In the summer of 1965 psychologists Drs. William Thetford and Helen Schucman, tenured members of the teaching staff at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, began to scribe A Course in Miracles.
    Myths and Misinformation is the story of the process by which Dr. Thetford arrived at that juncture. It begins with his early interest in psychology and his acquisition of a Ph.D. in that field from the University of Chicago.
    Next it describes his professional career, including his job as a senior psychologist with the Central Intelligence Agency from 1950 to 1953 and his work with Dr. John Gittinger at CIA to develop the Personality Assessment System (PAS).

    Thetford so respected the intellectual and behavioral forecasting potential of the PAS that, from 1953 to 1965, he received Columbia University grants to help refine the PAS and use it to explore the broad field of personality development.
    Despite his intellectual fascination with the PAS, by 1965 Dr. Thetford was acutely aware of inherent limitations of psychology to explain human behavior. In that awareness Bill one day exclaimed to Helen, “There must be a better way.” When the scribing of A Course in Miracles began in that year, he and Helen Schucman shifted their interest and energies from the analysis of ego development (PAS) to search for the nature of this other way.

    NOTE: If you can’t trust a New Age religion directly birthed from a CIA psychologist, what can you trust? Next up, we find this weird ass letter from Williamson to Hillary, attacking her from the “New Age” left. I find it interesting that Williamson was apparently invited to the White House by Hillary back when she tried to reach out to that crowd in the 90s. Even if she is part of an op (likely), I wonder if Williamson also has a personal grudge against Clinton as Hillary figured out her advice was kooky. It reads like that, and the article following this one seems to support that. Who the fuck starts off a political letter with “Hi Hillary. You know me.”? Sounds as much like a creepy stalker as a cult leader… which I guess is part of the cult leader job description.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-williamson/an-open-letter-to-hillary_b_5606437.html

    …Hi, Hillary. You know me. I mean, we’re not friends, exactly, but we’re acquaintances. You were wonderful to me back in 1994 when you invited me to the White House. It’s a memory I will treasure always, and you gave it to me. I thank you.
    Now, about your presidential run — if indeed you make it. I’m writing you this letter because I think the topic might figure into your decision-making, or maybe not.

    I admit that in 2008 I went with Obama, feeling at the time that he was carrying the real spirit of things, yada, yada, yada. Yeah, well. Anyway.

    That was then and this is now.

    I want a woman president — really, I do. A lot of us do. And yes, you’re so qualified, and yes, we’ve known you forever, and yes, you’d know what to do from Day 1. We all get that.

    But none of that is enough to get my vote, or the vote of a lot of people I know. We only want to vote for you if you run like hell away from that corporate box you’ve landed in. I’m telling you, Hillary. The American people have become hip to what’s happening. We know now that Wall Street runs the country, and we don’t like it. And for many of us, we don’t want to vote for you if Wall Street runs you too.

    There are the seeds of political revolution in the air — a rebelliousness, a rambunctiousness — that America has been sorely missing. It’s faint, at least on the left, but it is there. As a matter of fact, as tragic as it is for a lifelong Democrat to have to admit this, the one place where we have been seeing it manifest recently is on the political right. The Tea Party, sans a codependent relationship with the Republican Party, is causing a real problem for establishment Republicans. And once progressives break free of their codependent relationship with the corporate Democrats, you’re going to have a real problem on your hands too.

    That’s why I’m writing. I have a feeling you’re getting most of your advice from people who think that everything I’m saying here is nonsense. So I’ll say it as loudly as I can.

    STOP NOW. Stop cozying up to the banks, to the chemical companies, to the military-industrial complex, to the party machine, and to all the various financiers who make up the plutocracy now ruining this country. Yeah, I know a lot of them are nice people and that’s cool. But they should not be able to turn the elected representatives of the American people into mere inconveniences they can buy off election after election. And if we have a sense that you’d be just another puppet of the elite, then I don’t believe that you will win. We were fooled once, but I don’t think we’re going to be fooled again.

    In the final analysis, we really do love democracy — and watching it dismantled as it’s being dismantled, and corrupted like it’s being corrupted, has taken a lot of us from denial to real depression to a collective “Hell, no!” that will have electoral consequences in 2016.

    Years ago, George Lakoff compared Republicans to a critical father and Democrats to a nurturing mother. I pointed out a bit later that the critical father had become an abusive one — but that as anyone with any psychotherapeutic understanding knows, the child will ultimately put a lot of his or her blame on the mother who stood by and allowed the abuse to happen! That’s the Democratic Party machine today, Hillary. Please don’t be one of them.

    I know you know exactly what I’m saying, because I remember you — a lot of us remember you — when you were raging against the Establishment machine on top of which you’re now so sweetly perched. That machine is not our salvation; it’s our problem. Corporate Democrats might have gained some power for the party, but at the cost of its soul.

    I’d love to clamor for you, to work for you, to cheer you on. I don’t want to sit on the sidelines longing for Elizabeth or Bernie. I want to hear what’s true from you. I want you to rail against the chemical companies and their GMO’s — not support them. I want you to decry the military industrial complex — not assure them you’re their girl. I want you to support reinstating Glass-Steagall — not just wink at Wall Street while sipping its champagne. In short, I want you to name the real problems so we can trust you’d provide some real solutions.

    But maybe that’s just me wanting you to change, to be someone different than who you are. If that’s true, please forgive my presumption and ignore this letter. But if anything I’m saying rings any kind of true at all, then I hope you’ll start saying so.

    And quickly please, Hillary. People are starting to despair.

    NOTE: Yuk. In this article, longtime Washington reporters Jack Germond and Jules Witcover debunk the notion (started by Bob Woodward, naturally) that Hillary’s outreach to the guru set was somehow equal to the level of New Age input that Nancy Reagan received. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t. Clinton’s connection to Houston (and Williamson by extension) was minor by comparison.

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1996-06-26/news/1996178079_1_jean-houston-hillary-clinton-clinton-relationship

    Hillary’s guru: an indicator of the quality of American political debate
    June 26, 1996|
    By JACK W. GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER

    WASHINGTON — The president’s wife has become a subject of ridicule because of her relationship with a woman named Jean Houston, depicted in Bob Woodward’s new book on the election campaign, ”The Choice.” It probably says a great deal more about the mindless quality of political debate in this country today than it does about Hillary Clinton.
    On the face of it, there was nothing sinister about a White House session described by Mr. Woodward in which Ms. Houston, a motivational expert, urged Mrs. Clinton to conduct imaginary conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi as a way of thinking through her own views on the issues with which she was dealing. Similar techniques are employed in corporation brainstorming sessions conducted by people like Ms. Houston. But most Americans have never even heard of such procedures, let alone taken part in them.

    So a huge audience of people is willing to accept the tabloid categorization of Ms. Houston as ”Hillary’s guru” and quick to laugh at the First Lady for taking part in a seance in the White House solarium. More to the point, it was easy to draw a facile analogy between Mrs. Clinton’s relationship with Jean Houston and Nancy Reagan’s reliance on an astrologer a decade ago.

    In fact, there is no valid comparison. According to a book by Donald Regan, Mr. Reagan’s former chief of staff, the advice Nancy Reagan received from that astrologer had a direct and sometimes determinative influence on the president’s schedule. If the stars were not in the proper alignment, the schedule would be changed. There is no evidence that anything between Hillary Clinton and Jean Houston was ever translated into advice from the First Lady to her husband. Mrs. Clinton says she was seeking help in formulating her ideas for her book, ”It Takes a Village.”

    Even if that explanation sounds like a convenient rationale, there hardly could be anything very sinister in a session in the solarium that also included members of the First Lady’s staff and other outside advisers.

    NOTE: Saving the best for last, here are “33 celebrity endorsements” of the Marianne Williamson campaign. Some VERY intriguing names on this list… I generally hate the term “alt-left”, as it has been used to lump ALL dissent on Russia under one loonybin umbrella. But in this case, I think we do see an “alt-left”… which basically serves the same purpose as the so-called “alt-right”. And the “alt-left” and the CIA/New Age element seem to be the same damn people!

    http://www.presspassla.com/33-celebrity-endorsements-make-marianne-williamson-contender-33rd-district/

    NOTE: Jesse Ventura, part of 2000 Reform Party fiasco, fan of Trump and Bernie, forerunner of Trump in many ways. Longtime Trump friend and ally.

    …20) Jesse Ventura (Former Pro Wrestler)

    This former pro wrestler and renaissance man says, “Marianne is the type of leader we need in Washington today. I commend her for running and support her 100 percent.” See his interview with Marianne.

    NOTE: Kind of weird to see supposed devout Muslim Keith Ellison backing a New Age leader? He basically compares her to MLK. Vomit…

    …21) Keith Ellison (U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District)
    Ellison’s impressive political resume lends even more heft to this incredible endorsement: “I proudly endorse Marianne Williamson. She is a progressive leader who offers to inject a spirit of love, generosity and inclusion into politics as usual. We sure need it. Not only does she challenge conventional politics, but she also challenges spiritual activists because she invites them to bring mindfulness and love into the profane world of politics where knotty problems like campaign finance, stagnant wages, and climate change need solving. Of course, the spiritual activists, like Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and Bishop Desmond Tutu, have always incorporated the sacred into their activism, and achieved results. So in a way, her candidacy is reminding us of how true and meaningful change really happens.”

    NOTE: Yes, John Gray is a huge fan…

    …23) John Gray (Author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus)

    “Marianne Williamson is a truly inspirational leader of our time. I find her stand on “Conscious Politics” profound and support her U.S. congressional candidacy in California.” See more.

    NOTE: Had this next guy tagged for years as a spook. Black New Age leader with dreads, good-looking, hangs with Ramtha (who hates blacks usually!), IONS, all the usual suspects.

    …29)Dr. Michael Beckwith (Author & Spiritual Leader)

    Best known for his substantial appearance in popular documentary, The Secret, Dr. Beckwith supports Marianne by hosting her at his wildly successful New Thought church in Culver City, as well as singing her praises at rallies, like this one here.

    NOTE: New Age bigwig of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” empire of self-help books, Jack Canfield. Pushes the same “Secret Law of Attraction” crap as Ramtha, Williamson, Beckwith, IONS.. well, all of them! In other words, if a mine collapses on your head because Trump got rid of safety regulations, it was your “stinkin’ thinkin’” that made it happen to you! If you had only been a little more positive, things might have worked out.

    …30) Jack Canfield (Motivational Speaker)
    Birds of a feather flock together, don’t they? Jack, like Marianne, is known for inspiring the lives of millions. Check him out here.

    NOTE: Kucinich… no surprise here. Got his political start by pulling support from right-wing Slavic Republicans in Cleveland by going after blacks. Once tried to introduce a bill, written by anti-semitic UFO buff Alfred Langmont-Webre, that included bans on “chemtrails” and weapons made by aliens.
    …32) Dennis Kucinich (Former Ohio U.S. Representative)
    Check out this political heavy-hitter’s endorsement.

    NOTE: Alan Grayson is the craziest Dem in Congress, after Kucinich left, basically the Democratic Trump.
    …33) Alan Grayson (U.S .Rep for Florida’s 9th Congressional District)
    “Marianne Williamson has taught us that ‘playing small doesn’t serve the world.’ Every Member of Congress needs to hear those words. We all need to ‘play big,’ and create a world where each one of us is free to – in Marianne Williamson’s words – ‘let our own light shine.’ In a nation where Marianne Williamson helps to make the laws, our differences will no longer divide us; they will be cultivated and nurtured and cherished, so that every one of us can be all that he or she can be.”

    Wow!

    Sure makes you want to vote for Bernie, dunnit?

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | July 28, 2017, 12:12 pm

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