There Are Spies And Then There Are Spies

In the last week there has been a wealth of reports about our spy agencies….CIA, NSA, DNI, etc……

It appears that our new wielder of power has a hard on for our intel community….during the transition word came out that he would revamp the agencies…..

President-elect Donald Trump is crafting plans to restructure at least two of the nation’s top intelligence agencies, according to a new report.

Trump is eyeing overhauls of the CIA and the office of the director of national intelligence (DNI), The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world [is] becoming completely politicized,” an individual close to Trump’s transition operation said. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring agencies and how they interact.”

Trump is targeting the CIA and the DNI as he publicly wars with the U.S. intelligence community over its conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.

Source: Trump to revamp intelligence agencies: report | TheHill

Since Trump started picking on the agencies they are starting to show no mercy…..they care not that he be prez……

We don’t know for sure what the U.S. intelligence community collectively thinks of president-elect Donald Trump. But thanks to an invaluable federal law, we do know how to find out.

File a Freedom of Information Act Request with the National Security Agency. Ask for any mention of “Donald Trump” on the cross-agency Intellipedia.

We tried it. It works. Believe us, we’ll be repeating our request over and over and over again during Trump’s administration.

Source: Wondering What U.S. Spy Agencies Think of Donald Trump?

These agencies have a problem the way he does business…..intel decisions made around the dinner table at Mar-a-Lago or the dinner table at the WH.

Since the Flynn debacle can we say that this could be the first salvo in this inter-governmental battle?

In a recent column, I explained how the still-forming Trump administration is already doing serious harm to America’s longstanding global intelligence partnerships. In particular, fears that the White House is too friendly to Moscow are causing close allies to curtail some of their espionage relationships with Washington—a development with grave implications for international security, particularly in the all-important realm of counterterrorism.

Now those concerns are causing problems much closer to home—in fact, inside the Beltway itself. Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration—not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump—that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.

Source: The Spy Revolt Against Trump Begins

There are some that see this situation, the Flynn one, as some sort of “soft coup” by bureaucrats…….

Critics of President Trump may be gloating about the ouster of Michael Flynn as national security adviser, but Eli Lake at Bloomberg View thinks they’re missing a much larger point. Flynn was brought down because the intelligence community leaked transcripts of his talks with the Russian ambassador. This is almost entirely unprecedented, writes Lake. “Normally intercepts of U.S. officials and citizens are some of the most tightly held government secrets,” he notes, and the reason is clear: “Selectively disclosing details of private conversations monitored by the FBI or NSA gives the permanent state the power to destroy reputations from the cloak of anonymity. This is what police states do.” Though Trump was mocked for his tweet saying that leaks were the real story in this mess, the president had a real point, writes Lake.

“In normal times, the idea that U.S. officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism,” writes Lake, but that’s not the case here. Yes, Flynn’s actions and possible links to Russia deserve an investigation, but that’s not the point. He had made himself a target of Democrats with his anti-Clinton rhetoric during the campaign and with the intelligence community because of his fierce criticism, and he seems to have paid the price with what the headline of Lake’s piece calls a “political assassination.” (The Drudge Report was using that phrase in a banner headline.) At the Week, Damon Linker is on board: He calls Flynn’s ouster “a soft coup” by bureaucrats in the intel community, and adds, “This isn’t the way a liberal democracy is supposed to function.” Read Lake’s full piece here, and Linker’s here.

I have a problem with this juvenile tit for tat……our national security is at stake and these d/bags are playing bad around the sandbox….

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INTERSECTION…

Roman (Catholic) Catholicism is a form of Christianity that was founded at the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD), which was convened by Roman Emperor Constantine.

There were subsequent Councils that further defined, consolidated and formalized Roman Catholic doctrine and theology as the faith spread throughout Europe. Accordingly, Roman Catholic (Christian) monarchs were the rulers of the respective countries that constituted Western Europe. Roman Catholic monarchs ruled Europe from the 4th until the 16th century, and advent of the Protestant Reformation. In the wake of the successful religious reformation, Christianity in the western hemisphere bifurcated between Catholics and Protestants. Hence, a Catholic and Protestant dynamic became the subtext and backstory in the popular history of Western Europe, New World development and expansion.

Prior to the advent of Roman Catholicism, Christianity was represented in the framework of Oriental Orthodox tradition, A/K/A Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The Eastern Orthodox Communion of Churches includes, Syrian Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, among others. This diverse Christian community was among the earliest Christians, and they represented the persecuted Christians that lived under the realm of the Roman Empire, during the first 300 years prior to the Catholic dispensation. Prior to the advent of Roman Catholicism, the Christian faith (Eastern Orthodox Christians) community was diverse and eclectic.

The effect of the First Ecumenical Council consolidated the Christian faith under the domination of the Roman Catholic Church. The First Ecumenical Council was consequential to world Christianity because the Orthodox bishops that did not embrace the domination of Roman were excommunicated from the proceedings of the first Council, and all future ecumenical councils. Hence, history records that an “east vs. west schism” developed that ultimately divided the Roman Catholic Church from the Eastern Orthodox group of churches.

While there is much irony associated with the fact that Roman Empire Constantine, a neophyte Christian, was somehow able to convene the bishops representing world Christianity, and convinced them to sign-on to Roman Catholic domination. Be that as it may, history records parallel accounts of the procession of the Christian faith in the east as well as in the west. As a practical matter those of us that hail from the western hemisphere are exposed to Judeo-Christianity in the context of Roman Catholicism and respective Protestant denominations, primarily. Interestingly enough, the discovery of the New World in the 15th century was embroidered with by the unfolding Catholic vs. Protestant religious dynamic. And in particular the founding of America during the 16th century was a Protestant enterprise, by way of the Puritan sect. Although the centuries have witnessed egregious brutality originating from both sides (Catholic and Protestant), some Catholic ideas were grandfathered into the Protestant religion. Additionally, the Protestant “America” experiment incorporated in the United States Constitution, Roman Catholic international law vis-à-vis, Article one, Section eight (Law of Nations). Therefore, elements of both Catholic and Protestant moral sensibilities and ideas reside as a subtext and backdrop of the United States Constitution.

The “America” project is unique to the world in various ways and the America concept pioneered a new paradigm in the nature and organization of nation states, governance, human relations and affairs, for example. Prior to the advent of America, European nation states were governed by a theocracy in the framework of Roman Catholic monarchs. On the other hand, Protestant America was established in the context of a secular government with the operative principle of a separation between church and state.

Moreover, the America government system is comprised of three coequal branches including legislative, executive and judicial, therefore the United States of America established a truly unique new type of nation state. And while America has a secular government, she boosts vociferously her Judeo-Christian founding ethic to the world. Also, the uniqueness of America includes “religious tolerance” which is broadly promoted as a universal objective, if not a moral obligation. Accordingly, many Americans as well as others represent America as a Christian country, in terms of social morals, and philosophical thrust.

Currently, the secular model of government tailored to the specific needs of nation states is vogue in much of the world today, as populations in countries around the world are increasingly pursuing “democratic” reforms. There is the popular perception in many parts of the world that “democratization” is a progressive political objective, and in some quarters, democracy is promoted as a panacea…

On the other hand, some argue that the idea of democracy, as it is popularly defined, is a term of art that is too loosely defined. They observe that the definition of democracy is similar to beauty… And just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, democracy is also in the eyes of the beholder. Needless to say, we don’t intend to explore the various renditions of “democracy” in this essay. However, we observe that there are some nation states define their democracies in various ways. There are one party democracy’s, social-democracies, religious democracy’s, military democracy’s, among other variations. And as a political matter of fact America is a constitutional republic and is not a democracy, as per the founding documents…

Currently, America and Western European have 5 centuries of secular government under their respective belts roughly. Although there are many emerging democracies, the majority of people in the world continue to live under a theocratic form of government. The most prominent theocracy governing in the world today is the religion of Islam, but other predominantly Islamic countries have secular governments. Christianity and Islam are the most popular religions in the world and their respective dominance will remain for the foreseeable future.

Any cursory examination of history relative to the two religions will reveal centuries of adversarial relationships between Christians and Muslims, shedding each-others blood from ancient times until currently. The unfolding adversarial relationship threatens a world-wide conflagration in secular terms, and from a religious standpoint it portends end-times eschatology and apocalyptic biblical implications. As some find it easy to draw odious conclusions concerning the near future, a coherent understanding of history relative to the advent of Christianity and Islam, and their dynamic interface is elusive. On the other hand, the popular historical narrative is uninformed from both conventional religious perspectives. It is timely and propitious to examine both Christianity and Islam in the framework of their organic relationship as religions of Abraham.

IN PART TWO WE WILL OFFER A BASIC EXAMINATION OF THE HISTORICAL PROCESSION OF CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM…

For a broad reference visit www.BalthazarMonastery.comMaterial is accessible, but please know that the site is having a major facelift that will be complete in from 4 to 6 months. Stay tuned…

G. J News | Ace News Room
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Do You Know The Way To Democracy?

WE are always going on about democracy. That magical occurrence that we Americans have and most others do not. But are we truly tied hard to the concept? I know most people would say yes….but there are times when I do have my doubts….no matter how vocal some are on the subject.

I have asked myself this question especially after seeing the voting history of Americans……but also something that I read on this situation….this is an opinion piece (keep that in mind before the attacks start)…..

There is much to celebrate in the court decision against President Trump’s immigration ban. It was a stirring victory for the rule of law and reaffirmation of the independence of the judiciary. Yet America faces a serious problem which that decision did not address: the erosion of public faith in the rule of law and democratic governance.

While we have been focused on partisan divides over government policy and personnel, an almost invisible erosion of the foundations of our political system has been taking place. Public support for the rule of law and democracy can no longer be taken for granted.

Source: Americans aren’t as attached to democracy as you might think | Austin Sarat | Opinion | The Guardian

And now there seems to be a bit of a Constitutional crisis brewing and the outcome could be very telling….the below link is to a bit if a Russian tilt to it….but the thoughts are valid……

When he says “the security of our nation is at stake,” he refers demagogically to the imaginary threat of terrorists from seven countries. He is right to say “the security of our nation is at stake,” but not at all in the way he means –the security of our nation is profoundly at stake in this case because, if he wins, then presidential orders will become dictatorial decrees beyond the reach of the courts.Our constitutional crisis continues.

At issue is Executive Order 13769, issued January 27, 2017, establishing the so-called Muslim ban on immigrants from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Libya). The order was prepared with limited vetting and implemented with no advance planning, creating immediate, global chaos that led to numerous court challenges and partial stays of the order. The case brought January 30 by the states of Washington and Minnesota together persuaded a Washington State judge (appointed by President Bush) to issue a nationwide temporary restraining order (TRO), enjoining the U.S. government from enforcing key provisions of the Executive Order (which the government apparently took its time to obey). The government’s motion for an emergency stay of the TRO was heard February 7 by a three-judge federal district Appeals Court (one step below the U.S. Supreme Court). On February 9, the Appeals Court unanimously affirmed the lower court’s ruling and left the TRO in place, unmodified, until the lower court holds a duly-scheduled hearing of the government’s appeal of the TRO before deciding whether to make the TRO permanent.

Source: Towards a “Democratic Dictatorship”? Constitutional Crisis Deepens as Trump Fights “Checks and Balances” | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

All this back and forth over the Excutive Orders (EOs) that President Trump has been signing leads some Americans to think that he is trying to by-pass Congress and possibly the laws of the land.

This thinking has got many Americans looking for alternatives to their politics……and socialist groups are getting bombarded with membership requests…..

“As it became clear that the organised left was getting stronger and facing more formidable threats to its agenda … it was clearly time to get involved,” the 26-year-old writer from New York explained.

The far-right in the United States – and in Europe – has been energised by Trump’s victory and his Republican Party’s firm grip on both chambers of Congress.

“The only way to oppose this level of the malignant power [of Donald Trump] is to get organised,” Southard said. “This moment is radicalising a lot of people due to the levels of outrage and disgust. People all over the country are asking what to do. The answer in one word is: Organise.”

Source: More Americans joining socialist groups under Trump | USA | Al Jazeera

This couple of years to come could possibly becoming the turning point in American politics……personally, I say about damn time for I have been preaching for political change for 4 decades….I am getting old now and this, if it holds up, brings a glimmering of hope in this old heart….

Americans are starting to see that there is something beyond the traditional politics that they are accustom to in the past.

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Senate Confirms Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

Today the United States Senate voted to elevate their colleague, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) to the position of United States Attorney General, marking the end of a confirmation process that has included questions of racism and prejudice.

Mr. Sessions survived an-along party-line vote of 52 to 47, another sign of extreme partisanship in the Senate this session. No Republican broke with their party for this vote, which is divergent with how Senators voted on the confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education, in which two Republican senators voted against her.

The confirmation process was brutal, even by the low standards of today’s politics that have defined the Senate in recent years. The process also created a moment of stardom for Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), who was told to stop speaking at a debate about Mr. Sessions confirmation. She was reading a letter from a woman who said Mr. Sessions was a racist, Senate Republicans claim that the action violates a Senate rule not to demean another Senator on the floor.

Senate Democrats spent the time between the incident on the floor and the confirmation vote seething about the treatment of Ms. Warren when she was reading a letter about Mr. Sessions on the Senate floor during a debate session. She was reading a 1986 letter written by Coretta Scott King that claimed Mr. Sessions used “the awesome power of his office to chill the free exercise of the vote by black citizens) while he was serving as a United States Attorney in Alabama.

Since Mr. Sessions was nominated and the Senate began hearings about him, Republicans have denied any and all allegations that he is a racist or has discriminated against African-Americans.Everybody in this body knows Senator Sessions well, knows that he is a man of integrity, a man of principle,”

-Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)

Mr. Sullivan said that the “twisting” of Mr. Sessions record offended him, as Democrats continued to attack Mr. Sessions.

His confirmation marks the end of a very liberal Justice Department and the beginning of a sharply conservative era for the DOJ and its 113,000 employees. A former federal prosecutor and Attorney General for Alabama, Mr. Sessions aligns with Mr. Trump in that they are both “law and order” politicians and they surely intend to implement that agenda as they work together over the next four years or more.

Advocates for civil rights worry that he will reverse eight years of Obama administration policy that assures accountability in police departments, state and local government, and private companies. They point to his voting record and past remarks to substantiate such claims.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), said Wednesday that on civil rights, immigration, abortion, criminal sentencing and a myriad of other issues, Mr. Sessiosn was far beyond the mainstream and pushed “extreme policies” that target minorities.

That partisan and personal criticism was at its apex on Tuesday nightwhen Republicans invoked an arcane rule that prevents a Senator from demeaning the character of another Senator. Ms. Warren was reading a letter written in 1986 that was brought up when Mr. Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Ronald Reagan, he was not confirmed by the Senate based on allegations of racism that were too substantial to ignore as hearsay.There should be no question that he is more than qualified to be the nation’s top law enforcement officer

-Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa)

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How Bob Ferguson Became The Man To Stop Trump’s Immigration Order

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson was flying home from a conference for Democratic Attorney General’s in Florida when the protests of President Trump’s immigration order were at their apex.

He’s a staunch Democrat from a staunchly Democratic state. His boss is also a Democrat, his boss being Governor Jay Inslee. They were both outraged at the news of the immigration order, and just like everyone else, Ferguson wanted to stop it. The second he touched down in Washington, he planned to go home and come to work with a plan to stop the order.

And he did stop it.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport was in disarray when Ferguson landed. TSA agents who didn’t know what to do, protesters who were crowding the airport waving signs and yelling, and refugees who were being detained as a direct result of the order.

His plan was simple but meticulously crafted. Ferguson filed a complaint in the United States District Court in Seattle claiming that the immigration order would cause lasting damage to Washington state as a whole. This claim was based on the truth that so much of Washington’s economy relies on international trade and trade relations, something Ferguson believed the order threatened.

It was Washington State Solicitor General Noah Purcell who had the idea to join with private companies to stop the order. Soon, with just a few phone calls, Ferguson had Expedia and Amazon on board against the immigration order. Both Expedia and Amazon are headquartered in Washington, Expedia in Bellevue and Amazon in Seattle.

[The order is] unlawful and unconstitutional

Ferguson was once a state chess champion, he knows well how to construct a strategy and execute it to achieve the desired result. His work taking down President Donald Trump’s immigration order is the most forceful and effective of all legal challenges so far, and there have been many. The night protests were raging in the streets of New York, a Brooklyn Judge sided with the ACLU in a case against President Donald Trump’s immigration order.

To read my article about all of the potential ways Trump’s immigration order could be unconstitutional, follow this link: https://braedenpoliticslife.com/2017/01/31/breaking-sally-yates-replaced-as-acting-ag/

Governor Jay Inslee was quick to act, too. Even though his Attorney General wasn’t in Washington, Inslee sent a message to the office of the Attorney General, telling them to come up with a strategy to fight the order immediately.

From my standpoint there is a risk in everything, but I am someone who believes in calculated risk

It seems that this order has created many stars and hero’s, Bob Ferguson is certainly one of the biggest. Does Ferguson have Donald Trump to thank for his sudden time in the spotlight?

It’s part of our nature and history, this is the first time this administration has been reigned in

-Washington Governor Jay Inslee

Ace Related News: After the ban was lifted this happened on Sunday: WASHINGTON: Donald Trumps ban temporarily lifted and airlines around the world allowed people to board flights as usual to the US and one lawyer,waiting at New York’s Kennedy Airport said visa and green-card holders from Iraq and Iran were encountering no problems as they arrived // Ace News Services

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Donald Trump To O’Reilly: “You Think Our Country Is So Innocent?”

President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly something quite defensive in response to a comment by the TV host. The interview will be aired today, prior to the SuperBowl

You think our country is so innocent?

Donald Trump said the above to Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview. The quote that will soon be plastered on the front pages of every major newspaper in America is in response to a comment O’Reilly made about Russian President Vladamir Putin, who Donald Trump has defended in the past.

He once again reinforced the perception that he respects Putin, and that he admires him.

I do respect him. Well, I respect a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean I’ll get along with them,”

O’Reilly pressed Trump even further about Putin, saying that “Putin is a killer.”

Trump didn’t back down, instead he compared Putin’s reputation to that of the United States.

There are a lot of killers. We have a lot of killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?

Trump also said that he thinks the United States is “better” off getting along with Russia than not.

If Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all around the world, major fight. That’s a good thing.

It wasn’t the first time that Trump touched on the subject of Putin’s political killings.

Note: Donald Trump isn’t fazed at all by Putin’s journalistic murdering? Even the notion of it?

During an interview with Morning Joe in 2015, Trump was pressed on the same issue by Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough.

He kills journalists that don’t agree with him,”

Joe Scarborough, host of Morning Joe on MSNBC

Trump retorted with an answer almost identical with the one he gave to O’Reilly.

Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing too, Joe,”

This week, an eminent Putin critic had symptoms of poisoning for the second time since 2015. Republican Senator John McCain (Arizona), who is openly anti-Russia, tweeted newspaper editorials that call for the United States to formally denounced the incident as an act of political retribution. He called both editorials “a must-read.”

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