Incredible… America’s Banks in Cahoots with Big Brother
Fox Business wrote on February 5:
“Americans are furious following Fox News’ report that Bank of America may have handed private customer information over to the U.S. government related to the Capitol Hill riot. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson reported on Thursday night that Bank of America, at the request of federal investigators, combed through customer data in search of people and transactions that fit a certain profile – potentially placing individuals at the Capitol on the day of the Jan. 6 riot. More than 200 people were reportedly identified as fitting the profile, which included engaging in transactions in D.C. on Jan.5 or Jan. 6, renting hotel rooms, buying weapons within a specified date range, as well as making certain flight purchases. The individuals identified were reportedly flagged to federal authorities without their knowledge.
“The report has triggered outrage among customers and the general public whose privacy and private information have become increasingly vulnerable… A spokesperson for Bank of America said the bank does not comment on its communications with law enforcement. ‘All banks have responsibilities under federal law to cooperate with law enforcement inquiries in full compliance with the law,’ the spokesperson said.
“A spokesperson for Wells Fargo declined FOX Business’ request for comment. Citi and JPMorgan did not return FOX Business’ requests for comment.”
Their silence speaks louder than words…
Outrageous Attack on Christianity and the Bible
The Wrap wrote on February 5:
“Bill Maher dove headfirst into ripping Trump supporters who are evangelical Christians on the latest episode of HBO’s ‘Real Time.’ During his weekly ‘New Rules’ segment, Maher eviscerated Christians and the Book of Revelations, which he argued was just as unhinged as the conspiracy theories spread by QAnon. Maher also said Trump-supporting conservatives who are still convinced the 2020 election was rigged in favor of President Biden are part of a ‘mass delusion.’ ‘There’s a lot of talk now about how Republicans should tell their base who still believe the election was rigged that they need to grow up and move on and stop asking the rest of us to respect their mass delusion,’ Maher said Friday. ‘Of course it is a mass delusion. But the inconvenient truth here is that if you accord religious faith the kind of exalted respect we do here in America, you’ve already lost the argument that mass delusion is bad.’ Maher argued that it shouldn’t be surprising, then, that most of the senators who objected to certifying the electoral college votes for Biden were also fundamentalist Christians. And many of Trump’s supporters, the host contended, follow the former president with a god-like reverence that is often very tied up in their religious beliefs…
“It’s fun to laugh at QAnon with the baby-eating lizard people and the pedophile pizza parlors, but have you ever read the Book of Revelations? That’s the Bible, that’s your holy book, Christians, and they’ve got… stuff you only see after the guy in the park sells you bad mushrooms,” he joked.
“The host then turned to railing against evangelical Christian lawmakers like Ted Cruz and Paul Gosar, who tried to overturn election results by baselessly claiming the 2020 election was ‘stolen’ from Trump. Cruz and Gosar were among a group of senators who objected to certifying electoral college results in Arizona, along with Senators Josh Hawley, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Kennedy, Roger Marshall and Tommy Tuberville. Maher pointed out that each of those senators also identified and campaigned as fundamentalist Christians…
“A longtime outspoken critic of nearly all religions, Maher has referred to himself as agnostic in the past and has said that he thinks all religions are ‘stupid’ and dangerous.”
Does Big Tech censor, suppress and delete these offensive and hateful comments as well, as they have done regarding Bible-upholding expressions, or do they look the other way and ignore them under the disguise of “free speech.” We all should know the answer.
Over 2 Million Guns Purchased in January
Breitbart wrote on February 5:
“A report by the Washington Post indicates over two million guns were sold during January 2021.The Post reports the sales figures represent ‘the third highest one-month total on record.’ March 2020 saw gun sales surge above two million amid coronavirus shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. Then the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd spawned social unrest that fed into even higher gun sales of ‘2.8 million in June and 2.5 million in July.’
“After January 2021’s surge in gun sales, the Post noted ‘It’s common for gun sales to jump when a Democrat takes over the White House.’ This squares perfectly with an observation by National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Mark Oliva, who told Breitbart News gun sales would continue strong in 2021 because of President Biden’s gun control pledges.”
Surely, this is not the only reason.
House Manager Raskin in Blatant Violation of the Constitution
On February 5, the Ron Paul Institute published the following eye-opening article by Law Professor Jonathan Turley:
“Over the last four years, we have seen an alarming trend of law professors and legal experts discarding constitutional and due process commitments to support theories for the prosecution or impeachment of Donald Trump or his family… No principle seems inviolate when it stands in the way of a Trump prosecution. Yet, the statement of House manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., this week was breathtaking. A former law professor, Raskin declared that the decision of Trump not to testify in the Senate could be cited or used by House managers as an inference of his guilt — a statement that contradicts not just our constitutional principles but centuries of legal writing… [Raskin] wrote in a letter to Trump that ‘If you decline this invitation, we reserve any and all rights, including the right to establish at trial that your refusal to testify supports a strong adverse inference regarding your actions (and inaction) on January 6, 2021.’…
“The Fifth Amendment embodies this touchstone of American law in declaring that ‘[n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.’… the silence of an accused cannot be used against him in the way suggested by Raskin. There was a time when members of Congress not only respected this rule but fought to amplify it… The Supreme Court has been adamant that the type of inference sought by Raskin is abhorrent and abusive in courts of law…
“It is true that this is not a criminal trial. It is a constitutional trial. As such, the Senate should try an accused according to our highest traditions and values. That includes respecting the right to remain silent and not to have ‘inferences’ drawn from the fact that (like prior presidents) Trump will not be present at the trial or give testimony… There appears no price too great to pay to impeach or prosecute Trump. Now, the House is arguing against one of the very touchstones of our constitutional system and legal experts are silent…”
They are either cowards or they are even in silent agreement, only to get rid of Trump.
Trump Responds to Raskin on Gab
Newsmax wrote on February 5:
“Former President Donald Trump returned to social media for the first time since he was banned from Twitter and Facebook last month, posting a letter from his attorney to House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., on his Gab account.
“‘We are in receipt of your latest public relations stunt,’’ the letter [by attorney David Schoen] begins. ‘As you certainly know, there is no such thing as a negative inference in this unconstitutional proceeding. Your letter only confirms what is known to everyone: you cannot prove your allegations against [the] 45th President of the United States, who is now a private citizen. The use of our Constitution to bring a purported impeachment proceeding is much too serious to try to play these games.’’…
“[Trump’s] Gab account, which last showed a post from Jan. 8 when he announced he would not attend the inauguration, has only 1.4 million followers, a fraction of his following on the much larger platforms Twitter and Facebook. Gab, which also was blamed by critics for aiding in the Jan. 6 disturbance at the Capitol, has about 3.4 million users.”
Newsweek wrote on February 6:
“[Trump’s] post [on Gab] has racked up more than 62,000 likes since Friday and Trump’s [Gab] account has 1.4 million followers. This is far fewer than the 88 million Twitter followers he could boast before his ban. However, Gab is now the only social media platform Trump has access to. Despite being encouraged to join Parler – another site popular with his supporters – Trump declined to do so…
“Gab CEO Andrew Torba has said the site had 275 million page views in the last 30 days and 2.3 million new members…”
There are other reports that claim that Trump might be thinking of creating his own social media platform.
Dershowitz: Impeachment Trial Blatantly Unconstitutional and Trump’s Defense Not Frivolous
Newsmax wrote on February 6:
“Political partisans are abusing their constitutional scholarship and violating the Constitution in this impeachment ‘show trial’ of former President Donald Trump, according to legal expert Alan Dershowitz… ‘The president made the right decision. You don’t walk into a perjury trap when you have people you know are going to be hostile to you. The best arguments he can make, and he will make, are the constitutional ones, namely the Senate had no jurisdiction over a former president and the speech was covered by the First Amendment.’
“Dershowitz rejected the legal opinion of ‘so-called constitutional scholars’ that are saying making the First Amendment argument is ‘frivolous.’ ‘Lawyers, listen to me,’ Dershowitz [said]….’I’m an expert on legal ethics and I’m also an expert on the Constitution. I’m telling you: Make those arguments; don’t listen to the 144 scholars; they’re wrong.’ The arguments ‘are not frivolous, they’re serious arguments, they should be presented to the Senate, the Senate should hear both sides of those issues,’ Dershowitz continued. ‘Congress has put itself above the law…
“‘They say the president is not above the law; they’re right, but Congress is not above the law, and the law makes specific provisions for when a president can be impeached and you can’t impeach a president in violation of the First Amendment. The First Amendment says Congress… shall make no law abridging the First Amendment of free speech, and an impeachment resolution is effectively a law. It is state action, and Congress is prohibited from violating the First Amendment…’”
This impeachment trial is a joke and a circus. Democrats are acting out of vindictiveness and fear that Donald Trump might return.
Predictably, as CBS News reported on February 10, “The Senate voted to move forward with former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial on Tuesday, with a majority of senators determining they have jurisdiction to place former presidents on trial in cases of impeachment. By a vote of 56 to 44, the Senate rejected arguments by Mr. Trump’s attorneys, who asserted that holding an impeachment trial of a former president is unconstitutional.
“Six Republicans joined all 50 Democratic senators in voting to move forward with the trial. But the vote also served as an indication of Mr. Trump’s eventual acquittal, since 17 GOP senators would need to vote with Democrats in order to convict him.”
The Sun added on February 10: “DONALD Trump’s second impeachment trial is moving forward after a 56-44 Senate vote on Tuesday afternoon – but acquittal appears certain.”
Still, the Democrats are displaying a compelling presentation of their narrative, while the defense of Trump’s attorneys has been, so far, overwhelmingly disappointing.
Fox News wrote on February 10:
“Former President Trump was ‘furious’ and ‘beyond angry’ over his defense team’s showing on Day One of his second impeachment trial despite his ultimate acquittal almost certain… he was particularly incensed with the effort thus far by his attorney Bruce Castor. Trump believes Castor gave a rambling opening argument… Castor’s 45-minute opening remarks were widely panned on social media after he praised the House impeachment managers for a job ‘well done.’ ‘The American people just spoke and they just changed administrations,’ Castor said at one point. He said the public is smart enough to ‘pick a new administration if they don’t like the old one, and they just did.’ Castor’s comment prompted the Associated Press to run the headline, ‘Trump Never Conceded He Lost, But His Impeachment Lawyer did.’”
Newt Gingrich commented that he would fire Castor right away, and Prof. Dershowitz wondered what the defense team was trying to do with their rambling and incohesive presentation.
No Delay Because of the Sabbath
JTA wrote on February 9:
“Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial will not be delayed by Shabbat now that his Orthodox Jewish lawyer has withdrawn his request for the delay.
“Last week, David Schoen asked for and received permission to delay the proceedings should they extend into Friday evening and Saturday, as they are expected [to]. But on Monday he withdrew the request, saying he had worked out a solution with the former president’s legal team: Schoen’s role would be completed by the time Shabbat begins.”
This does not sound too good for the defense team.
“The Trump Political Show Trial”
In his weekly column, Ron Paul wrote the following in The Ron Paul Institute on February 8:
“The Senate trial for now twice-impeached former President Donald Trump is set to begin this week, with little doubt over the outcome… Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who is required by the Constitution to preside, has by refusing to participate made it clear that he does not consider the upcoming action in the Senate to be a legitimate impeachment trial. So if it is not a legitimate trial, what is it, then? Judging from the House impeachment resolution, it looks more like a banana republic ‘show trial’ than a careful case detailing Trump’s ‘high crimes and misdemeanors.’
“Trump was impeached by the Democrat-controlled US House for ‘incitement of insurrection’ over the January 6th melee at the US Capitol. Telling his supporters they must fight or they’re ‘not going to have a country any more’ was cited in the impeachment resolution as evidence that Trump ‘gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government’ and has ‘demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office.’
“Trump also told them to march to the Capitol ‘peacefully and patriotically’ to encourage Congress to consider his claims of election fraud, but Democrats in the House say that he didn’t really mean it… the House had no interest in… hearings. They wanted a snap impeachment. They wanted no witnesses. They wanted to benefit from the universal mainstream media narrative that the mob who entered the Capitol building was not just unruly Americans angry over what they believed was a rigged election, but was actually trying to overthrow the government to keep Trump in power.
“The House Democrats knew that the ‘insurrection’ narrative would not stand the test of time – anyone familiar with ‘color revolutions’ or coups overseas would easily recognize that this was not one. So they rushed through the impeachment not because they wanted to remove him from an office he no longer occupied, but because they wanted to bar him from ever running for office again. It does raise the question: what are they afraid of? They called their impeachment a victory for democracy, but isn’t preventing Trump from running again a subversion of democracy?…”
Conspiracy to Prevent Trump from Winning or Challenging the Election Result
Breitbart wrote on February 5:
“Time magazine has published a detailed account of what it describes as a ‘conspiracy’ between ‘left-wing activists and business titans’ to create ‘an extraordinary shadow effort’ to ‘protect’ the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times had reported on the effort in January, referring to the ‘Democracy Defense Coalition.’ The Daily Beast hinted at it in the fall. But the Time article is the most in-depth report at what others suggested was going on behind the scenes. The article by Molly Ball, titled ‘The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the 2020 Election,’ presents the effort as a heroic effort to preserve a free and fair election, and to fend off President Donald Trump’s anticipated claims of fraud.
“Ball’s description, however, also matches what she calls a ‘paranoid’ view of an effort to make it difficult for Trump to win: “‘The handshake between business and labor was just one component of a vast, cross-partisan campaign to protect the election–an extraordinary shadow effort dedicated not to winning the vote but to ensuring it would be free and fair, credible and uncorrupted. For more than a year, a loosely organized coalition of operatives scrambled to shore up America’s institutions as they came under simultaneous attack from a remorseless pandemic and an autocratically inclined President. Though much of this activity took place on the left, it was separate from the Biden campaign and crossed ideological lines, with crucial contributions by nonpartisan and conservative actors… Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction. After Election Day, they monitored every pressure point to ensure that Trump could not overturn the result… That’s why the participants want the secret history of the 2020 election told, even though it sounds like a paranoid fever dream–a well-funded cabal of powerful people, ranging across industries and ideologies, working together behind the scenes to influence perceptions, change rules and laws, steer media coverage and control the flow of information. They were not rigging the election; they were fortifying it. And they believe the public needs to understand the system’s fragility in order to ensure that democracy in America endures.’
“Ball describes the participants in this plan as ‘democracy campaigners.’ It was led by Mike Podhorzer, a ‘senior adviser to the president of the AFL-CIO,’ one of the nation’s most powerful labor unions, aligned with the Democratic Party.
“Ball notes: ‘In his apartment in the D.C. suburbs, Podhorzer began working from his laptop at his kitchen table, holding back-to-back Zoom meetings for hours a day with his network of contacts across the progressive universe: the labor movement; the institutional left, like Planned Parenthood and Greenpeace; resistance groups like Indivisible and MoveOn; progressive data geeks and strategists, representatives of donors and foundations, state-level grassroots organizers, racial-justice activists and others.’
“By April, she notes, Podhorzer was hosting two-and-a-half-hour Zoom meetings with other participants in the project. They pushed Congress to fund vote by mail, and persuaded Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to ‘election administration funding.’ (As Breitbart News warned, Zuckerberg’s donations looked more like a Democrat get-out-the-vote effort, and was aimed primarily at Democrat-heavy counties in key battleground states.)
“The campaign also used legal efforts to change voting procedures during the COVID pandemic, leading to a ‘revolution’ in mail-in voting: ‘Only a quarter of voters cast their ballots the traditional way: in person on Election Day,’ Ball notes.
“The group also used a ‘nameless, secret project’ to fight ‘disinformation.’ Their method was ‘to pressure platforms to enforce their rules, both by removing content or accounts that spread disinformation.’ Ball does not mention the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, but tech companies, mainstream media outlets, and former intelligence officials leapt in October to call the laptop potential Russian ‘disinformation,’ and to suppress it. Twitter blocked links to the story, and also locked the Post out of its account for more than two weeks. The story was later shown to be true, with Hunter Biden announcing — after the election — that he was under FBI investigation.
“The group also decided to exploit the violent unrest that spread across the nation in the wake of George Floyd’s death in May, and took steps ‘to harness its momentum for the election without allowing it to be co-opted by politicians.’
“Toward the end of the election, Ball reports, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce set aside old disputes to join the AFL-CIO in creating an alliance to reject claims of election fraud. Ball notes that some Republicans also aided in the effort. As Breitbart News reported at the time, there was a nationwide left-wing movement to unleash more unrest if Trump claimed victory in a close election. Ball’s reporting confirms that the ‘shadow’ effort was coordinating such efforts. She adds that the ‘national mobilization network’ was told to ‘stand down’ after it appeared Biden would be the winner.
“Later, she says, Podhorzer’s network decided to make sure there were few counter-demonstrators at the January 6 ‘Stop the Steal’ demonstration in Washington, DC, ensuring that blame for what happened would be placed on Trump alone.”
This sounds more like efforts to destroy democracy, rather than to save and uphold it.
US Supreme Court: Prohibition of Church Gatherings Unconstitutional
The LAT wrote on February 5:
“The Supreme Court lifted California’s ban on indoor church services during the pandemic Friday, ruling that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s strict orders violate the Constitution’s protection for the free exercise of religion. The justices in a 6-3 decision granted an appeal from a Chula Vista church that has repeatedly challenged the state restrictions on church services, including its ban on singing and chanting. The ruling overturned decisions by federal judges in San Diego and San Bernardino, and the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco, which upheld the state’s orders despite earlier warnings from the high court.
“But the majority said the state may limit attendance at indoor services to 25% of the building’s capacity, and singing and chanting may be restricted as well… The justices in the majority differed among themselves, but they agreed California had singled out churches for unfair treatment. ‘California worries that worship brings people together for too much time. Yet, California does not limit its citizens to running in and out of other establishments; no one is barred from lingering in shopping malls, salons, or bus terminals,’ wrote Justice Neil M. Gorsuch in one of three concurring opinions.
“The state’s ban on indoor services was challenged in separate lawsuits by the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista and the Harvest Rock Church in Pasadena, and Friday’s order applies directly to them. But its legal logic would block enforcement of a similar ban at other churches.
“The court’s three liberals — Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor — dissented…”
The Associated Press wrote on February 6:
“Chief Justice John Roberts wrote… that California’s determination ‘that the maximum number of adherents who can safely worship in the most cavernous cathedral is zero—appears to reflect not expertise or discretion, but instead insufficient appreciation or consideration of the interests at stake.’
“In addition to Roberts, Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Amy Coney Barrett also wrote to explain their views. Gorsuch and Justice Clarence Thomas would have kept California from enforcing its singing ban. Barrett, the court’s newest justice, …wrote that ‘if a chorister can sing in a Hollywood studio but not in her church, California’s regulations cannot be viewed as neutral,’ triggering a stricter review by courts. The justices said the churches who sued can submit new evidence to a lower court that the singing ban is not being applied generally.”
Deadline wrote on February 5:
“President Joe Biden says that Donald Trump should not receive intelligence briefings even though they typically have been given to previous former presidents… Biden told CBS Evening News… that he doesn’t think Trump should receive the briefings [because of] his ‘erratic behavior unrelated to the insurrection,’ referring to the Jan. 6 siege on the Capitol. ‘You’ve called him an existential threat. You’ve called him dangerous. You’ve called him reckless,’ O”Donnell said at one point in the interview. ‘Yeah, I have. And I believe it,’ Biden said.
“O’Donnell then asked him what was his ‘worst fear if [Trump] continues to get these intelligence briefings.’ ‘I’d rather not speculate out loud,’ Biden said. ‘I just think that there is no need for him to have the– the intelligence briefings. What value is giving him an intelligence briefing? What impact does he have at all, other than the fact he might slip and say something?’”
Some feel that Biden acts because of vindictiveness and revenge.
Biden Revives Fairy Tale
The New York Post wrote on February 4:
“President Biden on Thursday told State Department employees he was ‘shot at’ overseas — reviving a claim that previously stirred controversy. ‘You have great personal courage. I’ve been with some of you when we’ve been shot at,’ Biden told a group of diplomatic aides in Washington. Biden did not offer a detailed description of being shot at. But he was forced to walk back a similar claim in 2007 as veterans warned him not to exaggerate. Biden said during a CNN-hosted Democratic presidential debate in 2007 that he was ‘shot at’ inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone. He later revised the claim, saying that in fact, ‘I was near where a shot landed.’…
“Biden has a reputation for gaffes and stretching the truth. He said incorrectly in 2008, ‘ I am a hard coal miner,’ and was forced to drop out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary for plagiarism of speeches and a law school paper.”
The left-liberal press had a field day with Trump when they could quote his misrepresentations and lies (and they quoted quite a few). But what about Biden who does not seem to be the most truthful person either? Not much is being published by the left-liberal mass media in that regard.
Fox News Fires Lou Dobbs
The Los Angeles Times wrote on February 5:
“Fox News Media has canceled ‘Lou Dobbs Tonight,’ the program hosted by television’s staunchest supporter of Donald Trump and of his assertions of voter fraud in the 2020 election…
“Dobbs, who was signed to Fox News by former Chief Executive Roger Ailes in 2011, has long been the company’s most outspoken supporter of Trump’s economic and immigration policies. In the weeks after the election, he expressed anger on his program that the Republican Party did not do more to act on the former president’s claims that the election was rigged in favor of Biden…
“When he arrived at Fox News, he immediately made waves by questioning the U.S. citizenship of then-President Obama… Dobbs’ program typically averaged around 300,000 viewers a night in the 7 p.m. Eastern hour, the largest audience on any business news channel…”
Newsmax reported on February 5:
“Fox News has been in turmoil as long-time viewers have abandoned the channel since Election Day. Former President Donald Trump has attributed his election loss to Joe Biden to unfair coverage by Fox News as well as massive voter fraud.
“The firing of Dobbs will add weight to critics’ claims the network has gone soft backing conservative views. Fox has also been reeling as its ratings have been in a tailspin as the network has dropped to third place behind CNN and MSNBC.
“Newsmax appears to be the main beneficiary as its viewership has soared. Newsmax is now the 4th highest-rated cable news channel in the U.S.”
Breitbart added on February 5:
“The sudden development comes after voting systems company Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion defamation suit against Fox News and hosts Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and Maria Bartiromo. Smartmatic alleges that the network broadcasted falsehoods about the company that caused both financial and reputational damage. Dominion Voting Systems, another voting software system, recently sued Rudy Guiliani and Sidney Powell for $1.3 billion over their voter fraud claims. Fox News maintains that the voting systems company’s claims against it are meritless.”
Newsmax reported on February 5:
“Former President Donald Trump reportedly issued a statement in support of television host Lou Dobbs… Trump said the following through spokesman Billy Bush. ‘Lou Dobbs is and was great. Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me.’”
Most House Republicans Do NOT Oppose Trump
The Independent wrote on February 4:
“The vast majority of House Republicans refuse to denounce Donald Trump’s… claim that November’s presidential election was stolen… A survey from Reuters shows that 133 of the 147 lawmakers who voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s electoral college win on 6 January still back, or will not reject, Mr Trump’s continued insistence that he was robbed of a second term.
“A poll administered between 22 and 25 January showed that 81 per cent of Republican voters still have a favourable view of Mr Trump, while less than 20 per cent said they supported a conviction in his second Senate impeachment trial, and 56 per cent thought he should run again in 2024.”
US Senate Supports Keeping US Embassy in Jerusalem
The Algemeiner wrote on February 5:
“The US Senate approved an amendment to Friday’s COVID-19 relief package that pledges to keep the US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, reaffirming the 2018 decision by former President Donald Trump to relocate it from Tel Aviv. The amendment, included in a budget measure approving a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, passed by a 97-3 vote, with only Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (D-VT) voting against it. The broader pandemic relief measure passed narrowly, 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote…
“The Trump Administration’s decision to move the embassy came more than two decades after the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, passed by the Senate on a 93-5 vote, which recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set aside funds to move the US Embassy there. In the interim, every president before Trump had invoked waivers to delay applying the law. In his Senate confirmation hearings in January, Secretary of State Antony Blinken committed to keeping the US Embassy in the Israeli capital. ‘There’s not much the U.S. Senate agrees on these days,’ wrote American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris on Twitter. ‘Happily, here’s one point of agreement: [The] U.S. embassy should stay in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city.’”
But why would this aspect even be part of the Corona Stimulus Package?
International Criminal Court to Rule on “Israeli War Crimes”
Reuters wrote on February 5:
“Judges at the International Criminal Court on Friday found the court has jurisdiction over war crimes committed in the Palestinian territories, paving the way for a possible criminal investigation… The decision prompted swift reactions from both Israel, which is not a member of the court and rejects its jurisdiction, and the Palestinian Authority, which welcomed the ruling…
“… The Court’s territorial jurisdiction… extends to the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, namely Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem…
“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the decision, saying in a video statement: ‘When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure antisemitism.’ He condemned the court for investigating Israel when it ‘defends itself against terrorists’ while refusing to investigate what he said were brutal dictatorships in Iran and Syria that committed horrific atrocities almost daily. ‘We will fight this perversion of justice with all our might,’ Netanyahu said in the video, shaking a fist…
“U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter: ‘The United States objects to today’s… IntlCrimCourt decision regarding the Palestinian situation.’ ‘We will continue to uphold President Biden’s strong commitment to Israel and its security, including opposing actions that seek to target Israel unfairly,’ Price added.
“The Trump administration had vehemently opposed the ICC.
“Jamil Dakwar, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Human Rights Program, said U.S. President Joe Biden should do nothing to undermine the ICC’s independence…”
Let’s wait and see how strong Biden’s commitment to Israel really is.
Closing the Aqsa Mosque?
Israel 365 wrote on February 9:
“Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion warned that he would order the Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount to be closed unless the Muslim residents of East Jerusalem agreed to be vaccinated in more significant numbers… ‘they won’t be allowed into hotels. They won’t be allowed into mosques. They won’t be allowed into schools…
“The move comes two months before the month-long Ramadan fast-feast when many Muslims come to pray en masse on the Temple Mount. The head of the Arab communities of east Jerusalem announced, ‘In two months will be Ramadan. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will not be permitted to enter the mosque. You will not be permitted to return to work. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will not be allowed on the train. You will not be permitted into doctors’ offices. That is the way it must be.’…
“Despite nationwide lockdowns, Israeli officials are reluctant to enforce closures on the Temple Mount in fear of a violent Arab reaction…”
No LGBT in Turkey?
Breitbart wrote on February 5:
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday ‘there is no such thing’ [in Turkey] as LGBT… Erdoğan’s comments… came in response to a recent incident at Istanbul’s Bogazici University in which protesters displayed a poster depicting Mecca – Islam’s holiest site in Saudi Arabia, which all Muslims pray towards – with various LGBT flags and symbols. ‘The poster placed a mythical creature of half-woman and half-snake found in Middle Eastern folklore on the site of worship along with the flags of LGBT, lesbian, trans and asexual people. The text below said the artwork was a critique of traditional gender roles,’ according to the Associated Press.
“Istanbul police on January 30 arrested two people on charges of ‘inciting hatred and insulting religious values’ for helping to display the poster at a protest exhibition at the university. While Turkey is a secular nation with no official state religion, it is currently ruled by the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is led by Erdoğan.”
US Won’t Withdraw Troops from Germany… For Now
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 5:
“The German government welcomed US President Joe Biden’s plan to stop the planned withdrawal of thousands of US troops from German soil, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman said on Friday. ‘We have always been convinced that American troops being stationed here in Germany [serve] European and transatlantic security and hence is in our mutual interest,’ Steffen Seibert told reporters. US troops have been stationed in Germany since World War II. Former-President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw almost a third of the soldiers based in Germany [was] met with heavy criticism.
“Biden said on Thursday that the withdrawal would be halted at least until his incoming Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had completed a review of US military presence around the globe…”
Biden—Not Much of a Difference for Europe
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 7:
“Right now, the United States has a huge amount of the COVID-19 vaccine, perhaps too much even… Citizens, journalists and politicians in Germany and the rest of the EU have been observing these developments in astonishment, asking what went wrong here… Merkel… offered this explanation: ‘The US has a war act in force on the export of vaccines, and in some cases on important supplies for vaccines…’ In other words, Germany and the EU are considered to be third-class partners by its allies and friends and will be left in the lurch in these difficult times. This is a sobering assessment…
“If Donald Trump was still US president, this outcome might have been more predictable — even palatable. But his successor Joe Biden, of whom the EU had such high expectations, is not lifting a finger to help either. He has signed an executive order upholding the ban on exporting vaccines decreed by Trump…
“Even with a Democrat in the White House, what Merkel said in May 2017 after Trump’s first G7 summit as president still holds true: ‘The era in which we could fully rely on others is over to some extent. […] We Europeans truly have to take our fate into our own hands.’…
“For four years, most of the EU tolerated Trump and hoped at the same time that Brexit would not become a reality. But it’s becoming clear, a few turbulent weeks into 2021, that Biden has not meant an automatic return to better times and the UK really is no longer part of the European Union.”
Biden Outmaneuvered by Merkel
Fox News wrote on February 9:
“President Biden’s government has been outmaneuvered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on critical security fronts, Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence for the Trump administration, told Fox News. ‘You have to give it to Chancellor Merkel: She outmaneuvered Joe Biden in just three weeks. Merkel made it clear she would not take sides between communist China and capitalist America, reversed the 10,000 U.S. troop withdrawal that Trump previously announced and got the Biden administration to stop enforcing Nord Stream 2 sanctions,’ Grenell said… The Nord Stream 2 deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime will transfer Russian gas to Germany via a pipeline running under the Baltic Sea. Critics say the project will ensure that Germany becomes dependent for its energy needs on Russia—a major adversary of the US and Europe.
“For Grenell, who was the first openly gay person to hold a U.S. Cabinet-level position and who also served as ambassador to Berlin from 2018 to 2020, the ‘message is you can have a “Germany First” policy, have your businesses totally engaged with China, and you do not need to take sides between Communist China and America…
“Grenell said Berlin is eager to ‘start normalized trade with Iran.’ Germany is the Iranian regime’s biggest European trade partner…”
No Fresh Election in Italy? Draghi to Become Next Prime Minister?
Breitbart wrote on February 5:
“Italian president Sergio Mattarella has called on former European Central bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi to form a new technocrat government following the resignation of Giuseppe Conte rather than call fresh elections. Mr Draghi accepted the offer to form a government on Wednesday after a meeting with the Italian president and will begin talks with various political parties in the parliament to secure the majority needed to properly govern the country…
“If Draghi is unable to come to terms with enough parties to form a solid majority, he will likely return to President Mattarella and refuse the position of Italian prime minister… Should he form a new government, it would not be the first time in recent years a pro-European Union figure has come to head the Italian national government. Following the resignation of long-serving Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2011, European Commissioner Mario Monti was appointed prime minister and led a technocrat government from November 2011 to April 2013…”
The Associated Press added on February 6:
“Italian Premier-designate Mario Draghi on Saturday secured preliminary support from two key parties for forming a new government that will decide how to spend more than 200 billion euros ($240 billion) in European Union funds to help relaunch Italy’s pandemic-ravaged economy. The populist 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League both signaled support for a Draghi-led government, saying they were ready to put aside bitter rivalries for the good of the country and increasing the potential for a broad-based government of national unity… Before Saturday, Draghi already lined up the support of the Democratic Party, former Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, former Premier Matteo Renzi’s Italy Live, and the small Free and Equal party.
“After their meetings with Draghi, both 5-Star Movement leader Vito Crimi and League leader Matteo Salvini spoke about acting in the interest of Italy, the first Western nation to be struck hard by the coronavirus. With the economic fallout of the pandemic still being tallied, both acknowledged they would have to put aside political rivalries and betrayals in order to do so…
“Salvini cited the weight of the EU recovery funds needed to relaunch the Italian economy after a national lockdown and subsequent public health restrictions… Crimi said that Italy would be judged by its European partners on how it spends the considerable funds, and that the 5-Stars want to guarantee the money will be distributed ‘with honesty, transparency and in the exclusive interest of citizens’ well-being.’
“The world is watching us and will judge if the country has changed,″ Crimi said.”
Reuters reported on February 10:
“The leader of Italy’s 5-Star Movement on Wednesday rescheduled an online party vote on whether to support a government led by former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, urging its members to vote yes… The 5-Star has the largest number of lawmakers. With pledges of support from a host of groups from left to right, Draghi does not need their votes but an absence would undermine his efforts to build a national unity alliance…
“Posts on the party blog suggest many members are uneasy at the prospect of hooking up with a former president of the European Central Bank, despite calls from the movement’s founder, Beppe Grillo, to endorse the initiative… Politicians expect Draghi to see President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella before the end of Friday to confirm he has sufficient backing to form a government and to present a list of ministers.”
Russia Expels EU Diplomats
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 5:
“Russia expelled three European diplomats on Friday, accusing them of taking part in ‘unauthorized’ rallies supporting jailed Kremlin critic Alexi Navalny… The trio come from Germany, Sweden and Poland. It was unclear which rank they hold in their respective diplomatic missions…
“The EU’s top diplomat [Josep Borrell] ‘strongly condemned this decision and rejected the allegations that they conducted activities incompatible with their status as foreign diplomats.’…
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: ‘We condemn Navalny’s sentence and also the expelling of diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland.’ It was ‘another facet’ of ‘what can be observed quite far from the rule of law in Russia,’ Merkel added at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Berlin. She said that the Nordstrom 2 pipeline will remain unaffected, but that Germany would continue to pursue sanctions against individuals in Russia. It was ‘strategic’ and a ‘diplomatic task’ to remain in conversation with Russia despite ‘deep differences’ because ‘we are neighbors,’ Merkel added. Macron meanwhile condemned the expulsion and Russia’s treatment of Navalny and his supporters ‘with the utmost firmness.’…”
Germany, Poland and Sweden Expel Russian Diplomats
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 8:
“Germany, Poland and Sweden on Monday expelled Russian diplomats in their countries… Moscow hit back at the expulsions… ‘Today’s decisions by Poland, Germany and Sweden are unfounded, unfriendly and are a continuation of the very series of actions that the West is taking with regard to our country and which we qualify as interference in our internal affairs,’ Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on state channel Rossiya 1. EU Commission chief Josep Borrell is expected to meet with foreign ministers from the 27 EU states on February 22 to mull new sanctions against Moscow. The move would require a unanimous vote among EU members…
“Russia’s decision on Friday also came as Borrell was meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Borrell said he learned about the expulsions on social media. ‘The messages sent by Russian authorities during this visit confirmed that Europe and Russia are drifting apart,’’ Borrell wrote in a blog on his return to Brussels. ‘It seems that Russia is progressively disconnecting itself from Europe and looking at democratic values as an existential threat.’”
Russia must be laughing at these kinds of meaningless “strong” condemnations and potential sanctions (requiring unanimous consent).
Pompeo Disputes WHO’s Explanation of Origin of COVID-19
Newsmax wrote on February 10:
“Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday a statement from the World Health Organization that the COVID-19 pandemic did not likely begin with a leak from a Wuhan, China laboratory has not changed his mind about the origins of the deadly disease or the validity of the WHO itself. ‘I’ve seen that headline and I must say the reason we left the World Health Organization was because we came to believe that it was corrupt,’ Pompeo said… ‘It had been politicized. It was bending a knee to China…’
“Peter Ben Embarek, who heads the WHO’s team of experts investigating the origins of COVID-19, said Tuesday it is ‘unlikely’ that a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology started the outbreak… Experts continue to believe the virus is likely to have originated in animals before it spread to humans… Pompeo also insisted that he, personally, continues to ‘know there was significant evidence this may well have come from that laboratory.’”
Spahn’s Wings Clipped?
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 10:
“In November, Google and the Health Ministry [under Jens Spahn] launched a cooperation to steer German-language searches about the 160 most common illnesses to a government-funded website. ‘Anyone who Googles about their health should land on our government site, and find the information that they need there,’ Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters, standing alongside Google’s vice president for Central Europe, Philipp Justus… ‘[It] should become the central port of call for reliable health information on the internet,’ he said…
“But a state court in Munich provisionally shot down the deal on Wednesday. In essence, it found that the ministry’s bid to secure prominence for its information had been… putting private providers of health information at an unfair disadvantage… Judge Gesa Lutz warned in her ruling that Google and the Health Ministry teaming up could put ‘serious private health websites’ at risk financially and thus threaten ‘a reduction in freedom of the press and of opinion.’…
“Google is Germany’s search engine of choice with more than 90% of all online searches (97% on mobile devices)…
“This case in Munich, which is still subject to review, was only looking at whether the deal put private publishers at an unfair commercial disadvantage. The legitimacy of the gesundheit.bund.de website or its Health Ministry funding was not in question. The court was also not considering whether a government should be allowed to strike such a deal with a company like Google, or whether there might be scope for abuse of power in some cases.”
Merkel and Spahn have come under increased attack due to their mishandling of the availability of vaccines.
Tucker Carlson: Authorities Are Lying about Covid Vaccine
According to the Wrap, dated February 9, “Tucker Carlson leaned into ant-vaxx rhetoric on his Fox News Tuesday night, saying that powerful people are ‘for certain’ trying to deceive you about the COVID-19 vaccine.” He stated this:
“After months of hearing that life could never return to normal until we get a vaccine, we’ve got a vaccine. Two vaccines, actually. But life did not return to normal. Life got worse. We were instructed to take the new vaccine as soon as possible, and then to put on more masks. One mask was no longer enough. Anyone who complained about that was punished. Most people obeyed the orders. They had no choice. But the whole thing made them nervous. How could it not? Why exactly did the rules change all of a sudden, they wondered. Was there a good reason for that?…
“Why are Americans being discouraged from asking simple straightforward questions about it, questions like: How effective are these drugs? Are they safe? What’s the miscarriage risk for pregnant women, for example? Is there a study on that? May we see it? And by the way, how much are the drug companies making off this stuff?… In a democracy, every citizen has a right to know the answer. But instead we got fluff and propaganda. The media rollout for the vaccine came off like a Diet Pepsi commercial at the Super Bowl: tons of celebrity endorsements, not a lot of science… from the very first day, the way the authorities handled the COVID vaccine did not inspire confidence. If the vaccine was so great, why were all these people lying about it? And they were lying, clearly they were lying. You know that for certain because from the moment the COVID vaccine arrived, the most powerful people in America worked to make certain that no one could criticize it…”
Tough New Covid Rules and Lockdown Extensions
Daily Mail wrote on February 10:
“[Under a new law] Travellers who lie about where they’ve been face 10 YEARS in jail, all arrivals must take three Covid tests, hotel quarantine starts Monday and it could last until AUTUMN. New even stricter rules on coronavirus testing for arrivals to the UK are being introduced by ministers. As well as having to test negative before departure, people will be screened twice during isolation period. From Monday arrivals from ‘red list’ states will have to spend 10 days in ‘quarantine hotels’ at own expense.”
Deutsche Welle wrote on February 10:
“Germany’s federal government and state leaders agreed on Wednesday to extend the nationwide shutdown until March 7, beyond the previous February 14 deadline… A decision paper released after the meeting said Chancellor Angela Merkel and the state leaders would meet again on March 3 to assess the situation. Other measures that were discussed included: Hairdressers will be allowed to open again starting on March 1 if they follow rigorous hygiene conditions. Schools and day care centers should be ‘the first to gradually reopen,’ but it is for individual states to decide how and when. All nonessential shops and services remain closed. People in shops and on public transport are required to wear medical masks, which include surgical masks as well as FFP2 filter mask. Employers must, wherever possible, allow employees to work from home until March 15. Contact at private meetings is restricted to just one other person not living in the same household. Schools are largely closed and students are taught through distance learning.”
More nonsensical rules are hard to imagine. But then read the next article.
Life Site News reported on February 8:
“Swedish Health Minister Lena Hallengren announced at a recent press conference the government’s intention to provide a ‘digital vaccination certificate’ to residents who receive a COVID-19 vaccine, allowing them to ‘travel abroad on holiday or to meet a loved one.’ The minister said she is convinced that a ‘vaccination certificate is probably as desirable as getting vaccinated,’ raising speculation that the digital identifier could become necessary for accessing international travel, as well as going about everyday activities such as like shopping and eating out… the digital ‘passport’ will allow those people to have a copy on their phones… Sweden’s announcement follows that of Denmark which announced its own plans to establish a ‘vaccine passport’ program to identify those who have been vaccinated, for the sake of travel.
“… In the last few weeks, the president of the European Union Commission has thrown her support behind an EU-wide ‘vaccine passport’ scheme… Ursula von der Leyen said it should be ‘a medical requirement to have a certificate proving that you have been vaccinated.’ The president welcomed the idea that vaccine ‘passports’ might be utilized to control travel between member states of the EU…”
No Global Travel until 2024?
The Jerusalem Post wrote on February 5:
“… the pandemic will not be solved by spring 2021, health experts said. It will not be over in 2022. And according to the most optimistic predictions, the skies will only really begin to open, and travel and tourism will resume, sometime between 2023 and 2024… While the world recovers from COVID-19, it will be plagued by economic and health challenges that impact everyone…”
Let’s hope these predictions are wrong.
Acknowledgement and Disclaimer
These Current Events are compiled and commented on by Norbert Link. We gratefully acknowledge the many contributions of news articles from our readership. The publication of articles in this section is not to be viewed as an endorsement or approval as to contents or accuracy of the selected articles, but they are published for the purpose of pointing at worldwide developments in the light of biblical end-time prophecy and godly instruction. Our own comments are provided in italics.