Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Kim Jong Un reportedly cried over North Korea's bad economy

Business Insider           ALEX LOCKIE            May 30th 2018    A video of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crying about his country's terrible economy is reportedly circulating in the country.
The video, which was described by a defector, would mark a very strange development and possibly signal big changes coming to the country.
If Kim is crying about North Korea's bad economy, then he's effectively crying about President Donald Trump's successful sanctions regime. 
A video of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crying about his country's terrible economy while surveying its coast has reportedly made the rounds in the country's leadership — and it could be a sign he's ready to cave into President Donald Trump in negotiations. 

In the alleged video, which Japan's Asahi Shinbum quoted a defector with contacts inside the country hasdescribedg, a narrator explains Kim is crying that he can't improve North Korea's economy. 

The defector said the video surfaced in April and high ranking members of North Korea's ruling party viewed it, possibly in an official message from Kim to the party. 

In April, North Korea had already offered the US a meeting with Kim and was in the midst of diplomatic charm offensive where it offered up the prospect of denuclearization to China, South Korea, and the U.S.

The defector speculated that the video was meant to prepare the country for possible changes after the summit with Trump.

 In North Korea, Kim is essentially worshipped as a god-like figure with an impossible mythology surrounding his bloodline. Kim is meant to be all powerful, so footage of him crying at his own impotence to improve his country's economics would be a shock.

Kim's core policy as a leader was to pursue both economic and nuclear development, but around the turn of 2018, he declared his country's nuclear weapons completed. 

Experts assess with near unanimity that Kim doesn't really want to disarm his country, as he went to the trouble to write the possession of nuclear weapons into North Korea's constitution.

Instead, a new report from the CIA says Kim simply wants US businesses, perhaps a burger joint, to open within the country as a gesture of goodwill and an economic carrot, CNBC reports. 
Big if true
Since taking office, Trump has made North Korea a top priority and the toughest sanctions ever on Pyongyang. Additionally, Trump has been credited with getting China, North Korea's biggest ally and trading partner, to participate in the sanctions.

As a result, doing business with North Korea became nearly impossible and its trade deficit with China ballooned. 

For a leader that's meant to be seen as the all-powerful resistance to the West, crying about Trump-imposed sanctions would be a big story possibly signaling an about face. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Why a happy photo of Ivanka Trump with her child provoked rage

When does a perfect Kodak moment between a mother and child become the target of instant online rage?
When the mother is Ivanka Trump, and the moment is posted to social media amid international headlines decrying her father's immigration policies – which have separated children from their parents as families seek asylum across the border from Mexico.

Ivanka Trump posted this photo to Instagram and Twitter on Sunday.
Ivanka Trump posted this photo to Instagram and Twitter on Sunday.
Photo: Twitter/Ivanka TrumpThe First Daughter posted a softly-lit photo of herself cuddling her son Theodore to both Twitter and Instagram on Sunday, with the simple caption of "My ♥️! #SundayMorning".

At any other time, such a post might have gone without much notice.

But for the past week, Americans have been tweeting
#WhereAreTheChildren after it was revealed
the US government lost track of 1475 unaccompanied minors last year. These were children who had arrived in America alone and been placed with carers, who may or may not have been relatives.

A previous case in which federal officials accidentally turned over eight immigrant children to human traffickers sparked widespread fears that these missing children may have ended up similarly victimized.

At the same time, images have been circulating of children, separated from their parents at the US-Mexico border and held in detention centres, sleeping on the floor.

This follows the May 7 announcement by US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions that the Justice Department would begin prosecuting "100 per cent" of people who crossed the border "unlawfully" – including those attempting to seek asylum legitimately.

This is resulting in parents being forcibly separated from their children as they are placed in adult prisons awaiting prosecution.

The children, meanwhile, are being held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

In the course of the day, Ms Trump's tweet gathered more than 19,000 replies, the majority of which – whether they saw her post as calculated cruelty or simply tone deaf – were angry.

"If there were a Tone-Deaf Olympics, you would be its Michael Phelps," tweeted John Pavlovitz.

Another user described Ms Trump's post as "the behavioral equivalent to lighting money on fire in front of a homeless person and spitting on them."

View image on Twitter

Meanwhile at ICE detention center. Note no seats for Moms on this bus.

Ivanka, to post something like this while YOU KNOW your father is taking screaming children away from their parents is the behavioral equivalent to lighting money on fire in front of a homeless person and spitting on them, which is something your father has also probably done. 

It is wonderful to know where your children are and hold them in your arms. I guess others don’t deserve to know where theirs are?


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Retired English Teacher gives Trump a Failing Grade

USA TODAY NETWORKPaul Hyde, The Greenville (S.C.) News, Published 12:03 p.m. ET May 26, 2018 | Updated 3:22 p.m. ET May 26, 2018
A retired high school English teacher corrected a letter she received from President Trump and sent it back to the White House. Veuer's Maria Mercedes Galuppo has more. Buzz60
GREENVILLE, S.C. — In 17 years of teaching English composition in South Carolina public schools, Yvonne Mason had seen these blunders many times before.

Redundancies. Faulty capitalization. Lack of clarity and specificity.

But Mason wasn't grading a student paper. She was reading a letter she received from President Donald Trump.

"I have never, ever, received a letter with this many silly mistakes," Mason said.

The former Mauldin High School teacher promptly did what she had done thousands of times before: She corrected the writing and returned it, this one going back to the White House.

Mason recognizes, of course, that the form letter she received from the president was very likely written by a staff member, not Trump, though the letter does include Trump's signature. It came in reply to a letter she'd written about the Feb. 14 school shooting in Florida.

A photo of Mason's corrections has been widely shared on social media.

"When you get letters from the highest level of government, you expect them to be at least mechanically correct," Mason said.

She dinged the Trump letter particularly for repeatedly capitalizing "nation," "federal," "president" and "state," turning these common nouns into proper nouns.
Former Mauldin High School English teacher Yvonne Mason corrected a letter she received from President Trump and sent it back to the White House. A photo of the letter, with Mason's comments in purple ink, has become a social media sensation. (Photo: Courtesy of Yvonne Mason)

Using her signature purple ink — since harsh red ink is discouraged by some educators these days — Mason identified 11 instances of faulty capitalization in Trump's letter.

"'Federal' is capitalized only when used as part of a proper noun, e.g. the name of an agency," Mason wrote.

She resisted the idea of attaching a grade to the letter.

"If it had been written in middle school, I'd give it a C or C-plus," she said. "If it had been written in high school, I'd give it a D."

The Greenville News reached out to the White House Office of Presidential Correspondence, but officials were unavailable for comment.

Rhetorical activist writes often to officials
Mason, who taught English at middle and high schools for 17 years before retiring last year, is a devoted rhetorical activist, writing letters, emails and faxes to state, local and federal officials.

A recent project had Mason, currently an Atlanta resident, penning a postcard every day for a year to Trump. 

"You can choose to be an active part of this democracy in myriad ways," said Mason, who is also a former actress at Greenville's Cafe and Then Some and an author of a book of criticism about Southern writer Clyde Edgerton. "I choose to write because I'm a good writer, and I'm funny.

"When I taught school for 17 years, I taught my kids in English that the way you present yourself in writing says a lot about who you are, about what you care about, about whether or not you care to get it right."

Trump's letter doesn't respond specifically to Mason's earlier letter to the president. In her letter, Mason asked Trump to meet individually with the family members of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Trump's return letter talks in general terms about school safety.

"It didn't address the letter I wrote," Mason said.

Mason's comments also draw attention to redundant expressions and overuse of the pronoun "I" in Trump's letter. And there's a dangling modifier to boot.

"It's stylistically appalling," she said.

Mason, an advocate of "clear, precise writing," directs Trump to the government website, dedicated to encouraging federal officials to write with clarity and specificity.

"Part of the idea of clear, precise writing is abiding by grammatical and mechanical standards so everyone can be on the same page," Mason said. "Otherwise, you're going to be misunderstood."

Mason said she always emphasized to her students that they needed strong communication skills to be full participants in American democracy.

"Language is the currency of power," she said.

Not all elected officials are poor correspondents, Mason said.

"Lindsey Graham, or his people, writes exquisite letters," Mason said of the state's Republican senator. "I give him credit for that. They are far more on-topic. I understand the nature of form letters, but Graham's are written as if they're addressing your particular concern."

Witchy wants to Know :
How did America go from one of the most intelligent Presidents in US History (Barack Obama) to one of the dumbest (Donald  tRUMP)?
Well, he' SAYS' that he's wealthy, and people believe him. He certainly has no sense of decorum or good taste.   His grammar is baking cookies

tRUMP  is 'TRULY' our first Affirmative Action president. And it is so unfair, he was chosen over legions of better qualified 6 graders!!  HeHe

It should come as no surprise. Previous studies have shown Trump speaks at a Fourth Grade level. 
Nuff  sez...........

How much do you know about Robert Mueller ?

Image result for picture of mueller 
More than half of Americans are not aware that special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has uncovered crimes, according to a new survey from the progressive group Navigator.
The poll found that 59 percent of those surveyed by the left-leaning pollsters believe Mueller has not discovered any crimes, while 41 percent believe that he has. Mueller's investigation has issued 17 criminal indictments and has gotten five guilty pleas. Those who have pleaded guilty to crimes include former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign aides Richard Gates and George Papadopoulos.
President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is among those who have been indicted. The poll also found that nearly all of those surveyed have at least heard of the Mueller investigation. Forty-nine percent said they've heard a lot about it, while 32 percent said they've heard some, 15 percent said they've heard a little, and just three percent said they've heard nothing about the probe. Trump has stepped up his attacks on the Mueller probe in recent days. He targeted rumors that there was a spy placed in his campaign in a tweet on Wednesday.
Donald J. TrumpVerified account @realDonaldTrump 
Look how things have turned around on the Criminal Deep State. They go after Phony Collusion with Russia, a made up Scam, and end up getting caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before! What goes around, comes around!
The president tweeted that the "Criminal Deep State" is "caught in a major SPY scandal the likes of which this country may never have seen before!" Trump tweeted. His tweets came after a meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, after Trump demanded an investigation into the surveillance of his campaign.
The Department of Justice earlier this week asked its inspector general to look into whether the FBI surveilled Trump's campaign.
The Global Strategy Group conducted the survey among a sample of 1,017 registered voters, including 200 independents, from May 11-16.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Impeachment may be Trump's finale

Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Monday that he thinks impeachment will be the "season finale" to President Trump's time in office.
Meacham told "Morning Joe" that Trump's vow to ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the FBI spied on his campaign is similar to former President Nixon's behavior ahead of firing special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and that his presidency is likely to end the same way as Nixon's.

Meacham said that the midterm elections present a likely opportunity for Democrats to impeach Trump.
"I would bet a good bit of money this is going to end up in the House with some kind of impeachment proceeding, and the makeup of that body and ultimately the reaction of the United States Senate, which is supposed to be the great deliberative check and the great final hammer on these things," he said. "I think ... that's going to be the season finale of this."

A majority vote in the House is required under the Constitution to impeach a president, which would be much more likely if Democrats retake the majority in this fall's midterm elections. Democratic leaders have been cautious in talking about impeachment, fearing it could become an election issue for Republicans to turn out their
In the Senate, a two-thirds majority vote is needed to win a conviction on impeachment - a high bar even if Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate.

Nixon was not impeached, but resigned after being told an impeachment vote in the House was unavoidable and that he would likely be convicted in the Senate.
Former President Clinton was impeached by the House in 1998, but was acquitted by the Senate in early 1999.
Meacham said that Trump's "obsession" with former President Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton evokes Nixon.

"Both Nixon and Trump have an ongoing obsession with their former opponents in a way that I think shapes what they do in deleterious ways, to say the least," Meacham said. "He was always obsessed with what President Kennedy had gotten away with, in his view, and remember, of course, that's clearly true with President Trump."

Trump said Sunday that he would ask the Justice Department to investigate whether the FBI under Obama surveilled his campaign, after claiming several times without evidence that there was an FBI informant embedded in his campaign.
The Justice Department asked its inspector general to look into Trump's claims.
"If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.
 C'mon Trump that is sheer paranoia. We all know Nixon was rife with paranoid delusions of conspiracies. He suspected everyone was out to stab him in the back. His most remembered refrain, " I am not a crook!"..... somehow evocative of , "There was no collusion".
Of course this could be another diversionary tactic or another attempt to delegitimize the Russian investigation. If you can make the entire justice system seem like criminals, you have to look good by comparison no matter what you have done.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Formal Wedding Photos

This photo released by Kensington Palace on Monday May 21, 2018, shows an official wedding photo of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle, Windsor, England. Picture: Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, surround by from left, back row, Brian Mulroney, Remi Litt, Rylan Litt, Jasper Dyer, Prince George, Ivy Mulroney, John Mulroney; front row, Zalie Warren, Princess Charlotte, Florence van Cutsem. (Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP)
 George and Charlotte smile sweetly
Wedding portrait. Pictured with Prince Harry and Meghan from left, back row, Jasper Dyer, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles, Doria Ragland, Prince William; centre row, Brian Mulroney, Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth II, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George, Rylan Litt, John Mulroney; front row, Ivy Mulroney, Florence van Cutsem, Zalie Warren, Remi Litt. (Alexi Lubomirski/Kensington Palace via AP)

Informal Shots

Here Comes The Bride

That Veil

Twins On The Train 
Her train was held by twins

First Kiss!

It's In His Kiss

Hold On

The View From Above
Reception Time

Time for the fun second reception

A True Gentleman  

Glam Squad

Off They Go

Mommy And Me

Princess Charlotte Sweetness

Happy Family

Prince George

The Cake

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Randy Rainbow sings Rudy and the Beast


Randy is master of parody and political satire and gives it his own twist. I like how he nails people so precisely with their own words and deeds and turns it into a song.

U.S. Military Just Released This New Stunning Aerial Footage Of Hawaii Kilauea Volcano


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Trump admits Stormy hush payment

Trump and his fixer 

 Donald Trump has officially disclosed his reimbursement to his lawyer for a payment to a porn star to hush her claims of an affair.

The Office of Government Ethics found on Wednesday that Mr Trump ought to have revealed the payment in his previous financial disclosure.  The filing shows he paid back Michael Cohen for a 2016 expense of between $100,001 and $250,000.
Mr Trump previously denied knowing of the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels.
The White House stated in a footnote to the filing that it was listing the payment "in the interest of transparency", even though it contended it did not have to make the disclosure.
However, the head of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) wrote in a letter that "the payment made by Mr Cohen is required to be reported as a liability".
In his letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, the OGE acting director says he is sending the president's latest financial disclosure and last year's one.
The ethics chief writes to Mr Rosenstein that "you may find the disclosure relevant to any inquiry you may be pursuing".
The deputy attorney general is overseeing the Department of Justice investigation into whether Trump aides colluded with alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
The Stormy Daniels payment is a potential legal problem for the president because it could be seen as an illegal campaign contribution.
Mr Cohen, whose records relating to the settlement were seized in an FBI raid last month, is now reportedly under criminal investigation.

Stormy Daniels with Donald Trump

Stormy Daniels says she had sex with Mr Trump at a Lake Tahoe hotel in 2006 . Does anyone believe she didn't have sex with Trump?

In April, Mr Trump said he was unaware Mr Cohen had paid Ms Daniels just before the 2016 election. Mr Trump's payment to Mr Cohen was first confirmed two weeks ago by Rudy Giuliani, another of the president's attorneys, in a television interview. Mr Giuliani said the transaction was to keep Ms Daniels quiet about her "false and extortionist accusation" that she had sex with Mr Trump, suggesting her claim could have damaged his candidacy.
Later that week, the president said the newly hired Mr Giuliani needed time to "get his facts straight". Also on Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee backed up the American intelligence community's findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 US election to help Mr Trump.
The panel's assessment contradicts a conclusion in March by the House Intelligence Committee rejecting allegations that the Kremlin had aimed to boost the Republican candidate's chances.

Grace Mahoney, 16 months, looks at a copy of 'The Art of the Deal' before the start of an event with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on October 15, 2016 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

 Mr Trump earned $100,000-$1m in royalties from "Art of the Deal" in 2017

What else did we learn?

The disclosure shows millions in 2017 income from rents, licences, book and television royalties, company shares, hotel management fees and golf courses, with interests that span the globe from India to Dubai.
The president even collected pensions, including $64,804 from the Screen Actors Guild. The report provides a glimpse of how the president's business fared during his first year in office, though comparisons are difficult since his prior disclosure covered 16 months.
His Washington hotel in a former Post Office building brought in more than $40m in 2017, its first full year in operation.His golf courses, including the president's Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Springs, did not appear to see major gains, despite frequent visits from the president.
Mar-a-Lago contributed $25m in income, compared to about $37m on the previous report. (Assuming the property performs evenly throughout the year, Mar-a-Lago would have brought in about $28m in 2016.)
The president reported royalties from his 1987 book Art of the Deal in the same $100,000-$1m range as he did last year - and sales for some of his lesser titles picked up.
Many of his shareholdings are in mutual and index funds, rather than the cross-section of American companies he once owned.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Melania Trump treated for benign kidney condition, in hospital

Thomson Reuters
May 14th 2018                 3:33PM
BETHESDA, Maryland/CHICAGO, May 14 (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's wife, MelaniaTrump, underwent a surgical procedure on Monday to treat a benign kidney condition and will remain at Walter Reed medical center for the rest of the week, the first lady's office said.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Mrs. Trump, 48, underwent an embolization procedure to treat the kidney condition.

"The procedure was successful and there were no complications," Grisham said. "The first lady looks forward to a full recovery so she can continue her work on behalf of children everywhere."

President Trump spoke with his wife of 13 years before the procedure and talked to the doctor after it was completed, a White House official said.
Trump later traveled by his Marine One helicopter to Walter Reed to visit his wife.

"Heading over to Walter Reed Medical Center to see our great First Lady, Melania. Successful procedure, she is in good spirits. Thank you to all of the well-wishers!" he tweeted.

An embolization is a minimally invasive procedure often used to block the flow of blood to a tumor or an abnormal area of tissue.

Dr. Keith Kowalczyk, a urologist at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, said that based on available information it appeared that Melania Trump was treated for a benign tumor known as an angiomyolipoma.

"It's the most common benign tumor that's out there. It is a tumor, which means it's a growth. There's no worry for it to spread or metastasize. Once it's treated, it's treated," he said.

Kowalczyk said women in their mid to late 40s make up 80 to 90 percent of the cases of angiomyolipomas.

"It kind of all fits. But I don't know. Any time you are doing an embolization, it's because something might bleed. She's young and healthy and I can't really think of any other reason you would embolize someone like that."

Kowalczyk said angiomyolipomas are most commonly found by chance.

"Usually, with embolization there is over a 90 percent success rate," he said.

The Slovenian-born first lady last week rolled out an agenda for her White House work focused on helping children.

A CNN/SSRS poll found last week that Melania was viewed favorably by 57 percent of Americans, up from 47 percent in January. Her husband's job approval rating lags behind hers at 50 percent or less.

(Reporting by Steve Holland in Washington and Julie Steenhuysen in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatisand Leslie Adler)

A very  speedy recovery ...........Shadow &  Witchy

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Obama calls Trump's Iran announcement 'misguided,' decision to withdraw a 'serious mistake

GEOBEATS            May 8th 2018 
Former President Barack Obama has weighed in on President Trump’s announcement that the U.S. will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

“There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East,” Obama wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.”

“The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense,” Obama added.

The former president further called Trump’s announcement “misguided” and a “serious mistake.”

“Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers,” Obama noted.
Barack Obama
 There are few issues more important to the security of the US than the potential spread of nuclear weapons or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. Today’s decision to put the JCPOA at risk is a serious mistake. My full statement: 
There are few issues more important to the security of the United States than the potential spread of nuclear weapons, or the potential for even more destructive war in the Middle East. That’s why the United States negotiated the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in the first place.

The reality is clear. The JCPOA is working – that is a view shared by our European allies, independent experts, and the current U.S. Secretary of Defense. The JCPOA is in America’s interest – it has significantly rolled back Iran’s nuclear program. And the JCPOA is a model for what diplomacy can accomplish – its inspections and verification regime is precisely what the United States should be working to put in place with North Korea. Indeed, at a time when we are all rooting for diplomacy with North Korea to succeed, walking away from the JCPOA risks losing a deal that accomplishes – with Iran – the very outcome that we are pursuing with the North Koreans.

That is why today’s announcement is so misguided. Walking away from the JCPOA turns our back on America’s closest allies, and an agreement that our country’s leading diplomats, scientists, and intelligence professionals negotiated. In a democracy, there will always be changes in policies and priorities from one Administration to the next. But the consistent flouting of agreements that our country is a party to risks eroding America’s credibility, and puts us at odds with the world’s major powers.

Debates in our country should be informed by facts, especially debates that have proven to be divisive. So it’s important to review several facts about the JCPOA.

First, the JCPOA was not just an agreement between my Administration and the Iranian government. After years of building an international coalition that could impose crippling sanctions on Iran, we reached the JCPOA together with the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China, and Iran. It is a multilateral arms control deal, unanimously endorsed by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

Second, the JCPOA has worked in rolling back Iran’s nuclear program. For decades, Iran had steadily advanced its nuclear program, approaching the point where they could rapidly produce enough fissile material to build a bomb. The JCPOA put a lid on that breakout capacity. Since the JCPOA was implemented, Iran has destroyed the core of a reactor that could have produced weapons-grade plutonium; removed two-thirds of its centrifuges (over 13,000) and placed them under international monitoring; and eliminated 97 percent of its stockpile of enriched uranium – the raw materials necessary for a bomb. So by any measure, the JCPOA has imposed strict limitations on Iran's nuclear program and achieved real results.

Third, the JCPOA does not rely on trust – it is rooted in the most far-reaching inspections and verification regime ever negotiated in an arms control deal. Iran’s nuclear facilities are strictly monitored. International monitors also have access to Iran’s entire nuclear supply chain, so that we can catch them if they cheat. Without the JCPOA, this monitoring and inspections regime would go away.

Fourth, Iran is complying with the JCPOA. That was not simply the view of my Administration. The United States intelligence community has continued to find that Iran is meeting its responsibilities under the deal, and has reported as much to Congress. So have our closest allies, and the international agency responsible for verifying Iranian compliance – the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Fifth, the JCPOA does not expire. The prohibition on Iran ever obtaining a nuclear weapon is permanent. Some of the most important and intrusive inspections codified by the JCPOA are permanent. Even as some of the provisions in the JCPOA do become less strict with time, this won’t happen until ten, fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five years into the deal, so there is little reason to put those restrictions at risk today.

Finally, the JCPOA was never intended to solve all of our problems with Iran. We were clear-eyed that Iran engages in destabilizing behavior – including support for terrorism, and threats toward Israel and its neighbors. But that’s precisely why it was so important that we prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Every aspect of Iranian behavior that is troubling is far more dangerous if their nuclear program is unconstrained. Our ability to confront Iran’s destabilizing behavior – and to sustain a unity of purpose with our allies – is strengthened with the JCPOA, and weakened without it.

Because of these facts, I believe that the decision to put the JCPOA at risk without any Iranian violation of the deal is a serious mistake. Without the JCPOA, the United States could eventually be left with a losing choice between a nuclear-armed Iran or another war in the Middle East. We all know the dangers of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon. It could embolden an already dangerous regime; threaten our friends with destruction; pose unacceptable dangers to America’s own security; and trigger an arms race in the world’s most dangerous region. If the constraints on Iran’s nuclear program under the JCPOA are lost, we could be hastening the day when we are faced with the choice between living with that threat, or going to war to prevent it.

In a dangerous world, America must be able to rely in part on strong, principled diplomacy to secure our country. We have been safer in the years since we achieved the JCPOA, thanks in part to the work of our diplomats, many members of Congress, and our allies. Going forward, I hope that Americans continue to speak out in support of the kind of strong, principled, fact-based, and unifying leadership that can best secure our country and uphold our responsibilities around the globe.

Monday, May 07, 2018

Whatever Happened to Josef Mengele ... The Angel of Death ??

Related image
Image result for Josef Mengele ... The Angel of Death ?? images
Related image
Josef Mengele,  AKA ' The Angel of Death', did a pretty smart thing—he did not try to leave Germany right away, as other highly placed Nazis were doing. The border patrol caught most of those people right away. He began to wear his hair differently, grew facial hair and wore rough clothing—as though he was a farmer. He got a job on a farm and for almost 3 years he worked on the farm as a laborer. He mentioned later to friends that he did not know if the farm couple recognized him or not. They did not let on that they did, and they seemed to trust him to be responsible with the crops and the animals. And he was. The whole point was to hide in plain sight until he could arrange to get out of Germany and Europe all together under the name he was using while being a farm-hand.
His goal was Argentina, which had a government that was pro-Nazi and anti-Semitic. There were many German ex-patriots living in Argentina, and he knew he could make friends there and probably live quietly. There was some thought that he wanted to be a part of a strong neo-Nazi group so that Germany could ‘rise again’. This did not happen. After about 3 years on the farm, he had money to leave—his father and grandfather were owners of a big farm-machinery plant in Northern Germany, and they were probably sending him money. He walked a great deal to get to train-stations, and kept his clothing simple and his hair arranged the way it was on the farm. He used a rural German dialect—not proper German.
He did not relate to anyone in a social or educated manner while working his way west. Over a period of weeks, using the train system and walking when he had to, he was able to board a ship for Argentina. Argentina changed over the years that he lived comfortably there—it became less anti-simitic and began to help the organizations who were trying to find escaped Nazi officers.
Thus, with his family’s money and contacts dwindling away, himself aging, he moved to Paraguay. I believe he was living in Paraguay but visiting the beach in Brazil when he drowned in 1979. He was a strong swimmer but it is believed he had a stroke while some distance from shore. He was buried, under the name Wolfgang Gerhard, in the Nossa Senhora do Rosario cemetery in Embu.
Older Mengele ... The eyes of purest evil
Bounty hunters and Nazi hunters continued searching for the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp doctor for many years after his death. Even after his skeleton was found in grave number 321 in Embu, the hunt continued. Skeptics suspected that the Mengele clan in his hometown of G├╝nzburg had invented the story to detract from Mengele's real whereabouts. It is now clear that this is almost impossible, after a DNA analysis of genetic samples taken from Mengele's remains produced a 99 percent match with samples taken from his son Rolf.
"Angel of Death" Diary Shows No Regrets
A diary and letters written by Mengele that recently surfaced in police archives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, show that the infamous concentration camp mass murderer remained a dyed-in-the-wool Nazi until his death. He regretted nothing.
He treated prisoners like laboratory rats during the Nazi era, and surgically removed people's hearts while they were still alive and sliced newborns into pieces --

The diary, as well as 84 other documents and a hand-written life history, were found in two cardboard boxes in the records department of the Brazilian federal police in Sao Paulo. Investigators found the documents in 1985, together with books and personal mementos, in the Sao Paulo home of the German couple Lieselotte and Wolfram Bossert, as well as in their beach house at Bertioga. At the time, however, they paid little attention to their find.
Almost everything was still in perfect condition: the library that included works by Goethe, Goebbels, Erich Fromm und Siegfried Lenz, medical literature about soft tissue rheumatism, an Olympic souvenir placard, a package of "Olla" brand condoms.
In some respects, the find from the eleventh floor of the federal police headquarters building in Sao Paulo is sensational. The letters and diary contain many new details about the life in exile of Auschwitz's "angel of death." They provide sudden insight into Mengele's paradoxically bourgeois character, into his ability to repress memories, into the incomprehensible contradiction between his bestial approach to science and his weakness for the beauty of art.

The letters are addressed to Mengele's son, Rolf, and Wolfgang Gerhard, an Austrian former Nazi who took in Mengele for a few years and moved from Brazil back to Austria in 1971. When he left Brazil, Gerhard gave his friend Josef his identification papers and his identity.
 Mengele may have escaped justice in the eyes of his surviving prisoners and most people of scruples and conscience...but he lived the life of a fugitive, always running, always looking over his shoulder.
He had almost no friends and trusted very few people. I doubt he slept well and he probably saw Nazi hunters around every corner. He knew that, if caught, he would be executed for the atrocities, carnage and crimes against humanity that he was responsible for. Not a very enviable life and if there is a hell, he is burning there, eternally.
All that is left of Josef Mengele, disinterred with his false dentures in place

Thursday, May 03, 2018

NAFTA Still Blowing in the Wind

US President Donald Trump (R) and Canadian PM Justin Trudeau
 Donald Trump has given Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau much to think about
Donald Trump has been keeping Canada on its toes since he became US president at the start of last year. When it comes to matters of trade, Mr Trump has been resolutely hawkish, vowing repeatedly to put "America first". As the US is far and away Canada's largest trading partner, this has inevitably caused concern north of the border. And given that Mr Trump has repeatedly threatened to tear up the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) between the US, Canada, and Mexico, alarm in Ottawa has been somewhat justified. Especially as Donald Trump's administration has already hit Canadian softwood lumber with import tariffs of more than 20%.
Mr Trump hasn't pulled the US out of Nafta, despite having once called it "the worst trade deal ever made". Instead talks have taken place since August of last year between US, Canadian and Mexican trade representatives to agree a new deal. While a deadline of 1 May to sign a new agreement came and went, a new one has been set for 1 June, and face-to-face talks are due to resume on 7 May. In Ottawa there is renewed optimism that a decent deal can be agreed.
"There is positive momentum, but as we all know it won't be done until it's done," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.
Yet despite key voices south of the border backing Canada's call for a positive new Nafta agreement, such as the US Chamber of Commerce, some Canadian industries remain nervous.

"There's a lot of worry," says Francois Dumontier, spokesman for the Milk Producers of Quebec organization. Donald Trump wants the US dairy industry to have improved access to the Canadian market.

A farmer worker in Wisconsin
Donald Trump wants the US dairy industry to have improved access to the Canadian market

Dairy farms in Quebec and across Canada in general are concerned about the talks because of Mr Trump's strong opposition to Canada's dairy supply management system. The long-running scheme, which is undeniably protectionist, offers Canadian farmers a guaranteed price for their milk, and puts high tariffs on dairy goods from abroad. Donald Trump has demanded an end to the system, arguing that it is unfair on American farms and shows that Canada has "disregard" for its trade obligations.

Given that it has already been hit by large US tariffs the Canadian lumber industry is another sector concerned about the details of any new Nafta deal. The US government's complaint is that Canada is improperly subsidizing its lumber industry.. This is a longstanding American frustration, and dispute over the issue has flared up repeatedly between the two countries over the past 30 years.
In December, the US International Trade Commission ruled that Canadian lumber was being sold in the US at less than a fair price, which had "materially harmed" the industry in the US. Canada denies this.
Susan Yurkovich, from the British Columbia Lumber Trade Council, says the industry is coping with the tariffs because demand from the US is currently so high.
"[But] if we were in a down market, it would be very different," she says. The burden of tariffs could break the back of the industry.
Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz has said that uncertainty over the Nafta deal is weighing on the Canadian economy, with investments being postponed or diverted south of the border.
Other companies told the bank they were hopeful their American subsidiaries would benefit from US tax cuts, or were optimistic about reaping benefits from strong economic growth in the US over the coming months.
Last year trade between the US and Canada in both directions totalled $674bn according to the Office of the US Trade Representative.

To help secure a favourable new Nafta deal, Canada has launched a charm offensive in the US. Mr Trudeau and his cabinet ministers have been beating a path down to Washington and to US states with strong economic ties to Canada.
In addition to the prime minister and his colleagues, provincial premiers, big city mayors, and former prime ministers have all also been making the case to American lawmakers to avoid protectionism and embrace Canada-US trade.

They are helped by numerous allies in the US who also want a decent new Nafta agreement, such as the US Chamber of Commerce. This powerful lobbying group has called some of Mr Trump's Nafta demands "highly dangerous", and have urged the president to protect Nafta's economic benefits.
Pro-trade US Republican governors have called on the president not to withdraw from the deal.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a selfie with steel workers at a steel plant in Canada 
Canada's steel workers, such as these visited by Prime Minister Trudeau, hope that a new Nafta deal will secure their future

Until a deal is signed, Canada's steel and aluminium industries are two other sectors of the Canadian economy that remain  very nervous. They want a new Nafta agreement to give Canada permanent exemptions to US tariffs on metal imports. The issue is particularly pressing in Hamilton, Ontario, the largest steel manufacturing city in Canada, where 10,000 direct jobs depend on the product, and supply chains are heavily integrated with the US and Mexico.
 The president  of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, was in Washington DC recently, and says although he was encouraged at what seemed to be reinvigorated talks.
"We just have no idea how this will end up," he says.