This Week in the News

We begin with extensive coverage on the US Supreme Court’s “historic,” “landmark” and “watershed” decision on same-sex marriage; report on Israel’s reaction to the Vatican’s treaty with the Palestinian Authority; and point out that most Muslim countries reject Iran and its agenda.

 We continue with the terrible state of affairs in Greece and the dire financial situation in Puerto Rico; speak on ongoing futile attempts to silence Donald Trump and his resolve to fight back; and we conclude with the mysterious death of a popular doctor openly opposed to the vaccination of children.

Supreme Court RULES on Same-Sex Marriage

The Associated Press wrote on June 26:

“Gay and lesbian Americans have the same right to marry as any other couples, the Supreme Court declared Friday in a historic ruling deciding one of the nation’s most contentious and emotional legal questions… The vote was narrow – 5-4…  [with Kennedy’s usual swing vote supporting it. Kennedy also wrote the majority opinion.]

“In praise of the decision, President Barack Obama called it ‘justice that arrives like a thunderbolt.’…  [The four dissenting  judges] accused their colleagues of usurping power that belongs to the states and to voters, and short-circuiting a national debate about same-sex marriage. ‘This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us,’ Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice… [He said:] ‘… do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.’

“Justice Antonin Scalia said he was not concerned so much about same-sex marriage as ‘this court’s threat to American democracy.’ He termed the decision a ‘judicial putsch.’ Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented…

“Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, Obama praised the decision as an affirmation of the principle that ‘all Americans are created equal.’…”

Opposition… But to What Extent?

Newsmax wrote on June 26:

“Franklin Graham, the president of… Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, said that the Supreme Court did not define marriage and therefore cannot re-define it… ‘God gave us marriage. Period. And God doesn’t change his mind,’ Graham told Fox Nation.

“’If pastors are going to be forced to provide marriage services for gay couples, I’m not going to do it… ‘Long before our government came into existence, marriage was created by the One who created man and woman — Almighty God — and His decisions are not subject to review or revision by any manmade court. God is clear about the definition of marriage in His Holy Word: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24) …’

“Earlier reports state that many Christian evangelicals say they would refuse to obey a decision allowing gay unions. ”

Breitbart wrote on June 26:

“President Obama reacted quickly to the Supreme Court decision to redefine marriage today, sending out a message on Twitter. ‘Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else,’ he wrote on his Twitter account. He signed his message with the hashtag ‘#LoveWins.’”

Some demonstrators at the court doorsteps, cheering the decision of the Supreme Court, were carrying signs, saying “Our Fight Against the Bible.”

 BBC News reported on June 26:

“Former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called the ruling ‘an out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny’… Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, a state where marriages licenses will now be issued to same-sex couples, said the justices ‘have imposed on the entire country their personal views on an issue that the Constitution and the Court’s previous decisions reserve to the people of the States.’” wrote on June 28:

“Texas is doubling down on the fight against Friday’s ruling by the Supreme Court legalizing gay marriage. On Sunday, state attorney general Ken Paxton issued a statement calling the SCOTUS ruling ‘lawless’ and declaring that county clerks could refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, citing religious objections…

“Paxton’s statement follows a declaration from Texas governor Greg Abbott on Friday that he, too, would continue to fight the SCOTUS ruling. Texas is hardly alone in refusing to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling. Both Louisiana and Mississippi have said they will wait on issuing licenses. Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal issued a statement echoing Gov. Abbott’s statement and Alabama governor Robert Bentley, no stranger to the battle over issuing same-sex marriage licenses, is also digging in to fight the ruling.”

However, this approach was tried before when states adopted same-sex marriages, and it failed. Sadly, the “law of the land” does not seem to allow religious objections for county clerks…

Deutsche Welle added on June 28:

“The Supreme Court has attempted to ‘unwrite the laws of nature and the laws of nature’s God’ with its decision, said Huckabee. Huckabee urged people to flout the decision, and he compared doing so to President Abraham Lincoln ignoring a 1857 high court decision that black people could not be citizens.

“Huckabee also derided President Obama for what Huckabee saw as flip-flopping on the issue, pointing out that the president opposed gay marriage until 2012: ‘He was either lying in 2008 or he’s lying now, or God has rewritten the Bible and only Barack Obama has gotten the new edition.’…

“Many of the Republican candidates took to social media to vent their frustration… Not every Republican was disappointed, however. Former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, changed his Facebook profile picture to display the rainbow stripes associated with gay pride following the ruling…”

Of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s adulterous conduct is hardly an endorsement for any moral cause in the matter of marriage. In addition, the justices re-defined the clearly expressed will of America’s founding fathers, to totally rewrite the Constitution… which they have no authority to do. But it is now the “law of the land,” altering and redefining the plain language of the Constitution and holding that the Constitution states that marriage is between a man and a woman–and a man and a man–and a woman and a woman… and what else? It seems that only a constitutional amendment could change the legal status quo… and this is extremely unlikely to occur.

 The concept that we are all equal and we are all free to marry whom we want has potentially devastating consequences, if viewed on its face value: Does this mean a father can marry his daughter? Does this mean, a brother can marry his sister; a man can marry five women; or a woman can marry five men? Obviously, the issue that two transgender people can marry each other has now been answered in the affirmative. But what about bestiality and other abnormal sexual practices?

 Obama’s and Clinton’s “Evolving” Opinions

The Associated Press reported on June 28:

“When President Barack Obama praised the Supreme Court’s watershed same-sex marriage ruling, he held it up as evidence that a ‘shift in hearts and minds is possible.’ Obama may well have been describing his own public trajectory on gay unions — a complicated path that took him through opposition and ambivalence to enthusiastic embrace…

“Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign jumped on the Supreme Court decision, changing its red campaign logo to a rainbow colored H, releasing a gauzy video of gay wedding ceremonies, and blasting out supportive tweets aimed at building its campaign list. In a fiery speech Friday night to Democratic activists in Northern Virginia, Clinton said that ‘love triumphed in the highest court’ and declared: ‘We can sum up the message from the court and the American people in just two words: Move on.’

“But like Obama, such expressions of support mark a remarkable shift for Clinton, who opposed gay marriage for more than two decades as a first lady, a U.S. senator and a presidential candidate. Just three months ago, Clinton’s position was that while she personally supported gay marriage the issue was best left for individual states to decide — a policy stance held by most of the Republican presidential field. ‘It has been an evolutionary process,’ said Fred Sainz of the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group. But he said Obama now stands as one of the great champions of gay rights, up there with the likes of Harvey Milk. As for Clinton, he said, ‘she connects with gay people on a level that is beyond explanation.’…

“By 2004, as [Obama] ran for the U.S. Senate, he said he opposed gay marriage for politically strategic reasons, saying Republicans would exploit the issue, and he advocated instead for gay civil unions. In his 2006 book, ‘The Audacity of Hope,’ he cited his own faith as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage…

“He came out firmly for same-sex marriage in 2012 and called for it in his second inaugural address. But earlier this year, his former top strategist, David Axelrod, wrote that Obama had feigned opposition to gay marriage for most of his political career, grudgingly taking Axelrod’s advice that African-American religious leaders and others would oppose him if he let it be known he supported gay marriage. ‘If Obama’s views were ‘evolving’ publicly, they were fully evolved behind closed doors,’ Axelrod wrote. Obama disputed the account…

“Clinton’s path into the embrace of the gay community has been similar. She backed her husband’s Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, described marriage between a man and a woman as a ‘fundamental bedrock principle’ in a 2004 Senate floor speech, and dodged the question when asked in 2007 whether she agreed with Gen. Peter Pace, then the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, that homosexuality was immoral. But as secretary of state, Clinton emerged as a champion of gay rights, declaring that ‘gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights,’ at a 2011 conference in Geneva.”

True politicians have spoken…

 The US Supreme Court under Kennedy Plays God

Breitbart wrote on June 26:

“The day after declaring Obamacare magically rewritten and that the lawsuits against discrimination in housing require no proof of actual discrimination, the Supreme Court found a unicorn in the 14th Amendment. By a vote of 5-4, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy under that aforementioned 14th Amendment (adopted in 1868, when every state in America criminalized sodomy) requires that every state in America grant marriage licenses to men who want to marry men and women who want to marry women, and that every state recognize such licenses from every other state…

“As our Supreme Rulers, the Supreme Court can declare what they want to declare, since rule of law died long ago… But this decision is particularly galling to those who believe words have meaning and that government is not God… Government is God, a dignity-conferring institution capable of making moral that which religion teaches is sinful, logic teaches is worthless, and societal experience teaches is societally counterproductive.

“Naturally, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has made it his lifelong work to read same-sex rights into the Constitution (this, after all is the man who once wrote, based wholly on the authority of the voices in his head, that the Constitution mandates ‘respect’ for sodomy), delivered the majority opinion…

“Kennedy quotes everyone from Confucius to Cicero on the importance of marriage. Then, begrudgingly, he admits, ‘It is fair and necessary to say these references were based on the understanding that marriage is a union between two persons of the opposite sex.’ He adds, patronizingly, that the view that such a definition is the only definition ‘has been held – and continues to be held – in good faith by reasonable and sincere people here and throughout the world.’

“But those people are wrong, because Justice Kennedy says so… Kennedy and the Court now contend that the intent of those who want to change marriage is a defining feature here, and that since people are born gay, this is their only path to happiness…

“Kennedy’s case is simply that to be against same-sex marriage is bigotry: ‘It demeans gays and lesbians…’

“For thousands of years, everybody got it wrong. For hundreds of years, every American state got it wrong. Today, the vast majority of the planet’s population gets it wrong, and so do hundreds of millions of Americans. But their wrongness is ‘manifest.’ Why? Because Kennedy says so.

“But he goes even further: he explains that rights emanate not from God or nature, but from the wise oligarchs of the government, who can reinterpret rights as they see fit… Which means that since the government is God, it can change the definition of fundamental rights and institutions at whim… It does not matter whether religious Americans stand for traditional marriage because of their religion or because of secular concerns. They are… to be considered legal bigots…

“The majority opinion drew [four] dissents… ‘Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be,’ [Chief Justice] Roberts writes, in a line that would have been far more convincing before he rewrote Obamacare in favor of how it should have been written according to him…”

The US Supreme Court’s recent decisions have been strictly political in nature and, in fact, have nothing to do with the law or the Constitution. That is the sad and shameful state of affairs in the United States of America.

 The Fall and Decline of America—Orthodox Christians to Become Persecuted Exiles in the USA

Time wrote on June 26:

“No, the sky is not falling — not yet, anyway — but with the Supreme Court ruling constitutionalizing same-sex marriage, the ground under our feet has shifted tectonically. It is hard to overstate the significance of the… decision — and the seriousness of the challenges it presents to orthodox Christians and other social conservatives. Voting Republican and other failed culture war strategies are not going to save us now.

“Discerning the meaning of the present moment requires sobriety, precisely because its radicalism requires of conservatives a realistic sense of how weak our position is in post-Christian America. The alarm that the four dissenting justices sounded in their minority opinions is chilling. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia were particularly scathing in pointing out the philosophical and historical groundlessness of the majority’s opinion. Justice Scalia even called the decision ‘a threat to democracy,’ and denounced it, shockingly, in the language of revolution…

“But when a Supreme Court majority is willing to invent rights out of nothing, it is impossible to have faith that the First Amendment will offer any but the barest protection to religious dissenters from gay rights orthodoxy. Indeed, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito explicitly warned religious traditionalists that this decision leaves them vulnerable.

“… we have to accept that we really are living in a culturally post-Christian nation. The fundamental norms Christians have long been able to depend on no longer exist… This is the new normal… The Supreme Court has now, in constitutional doctrine, said that homosexuality is equivalent to race. The next goal of activists will be a long-term campaign to remove tax-exempt status from dissenting religious institutions. The more immediate goal will be the shunning and persecution of dissenters within civil society.

“… social and religious conservatives must recognize that thedecision did not come from nowhere. It is the logical result of the Sexual Revolution… orthodox Christians must understand that things are going to get much more difficult for us. We are going to have to learn how to live as exiles in our own country…

“So many Christians… have no clue how far things have decayed in our aggressively secularizing world…  four Supreme Court justices [were] in effect declaring from the bench the decline and fall of the traditional American social, political, and legal order. We live in interesting times.”

 The Signs of the Time—Facebook, Google, Apple and Others All in Support of Gay Marriage

On June 27, wrote the following:

Facebook has introduced a new feature that lets users show off their support for marriage equality by superimposing a rainbow over their profile picture. CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally announced the Celebrate Pride tool on his personal page following the US Supreme Court’s ruling that same-sex couples have the constitutional right to marry.

“In another post Zuckerberg said, ‘Our country was founded on the promise that all people are created equal, and today we took another step towards achieving that promise. I’m so happy for all of my friends and everyone in our community who can finally celebrate their love and be recognised as equal couples under the law. We still have much more to do to achieve full equality for everyone in our community, but we are moving in the right direction.’…

“Other IT bigwigs such as Apple, Google, Uber and Salesforce too have voiced their support for gay marriages on social media channels throughout the day. On Twitter, you can automatically make a tiny rainbow heart appear in your tweet by including the #LoveWins hashtag.”

 American Jews Strongly in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

 JTA wrote on June 28:

“American Jews are among the most supportive religious groups of same-sex marriage. Some 77 percent of American Jews expressed support for same-sex marriage, according to data gathered in 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute. Some 47 percent of American Jews polled said they ‘strongly favor’ allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, and 30 percent said they ‘favor’ it.

“Thirteen Jewish groups, among them organizations representing the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative streams, were among the 25 groups that joined the amicus brief filed by the Anti-Defamation League in Obergefell v. Hodges, the case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday that  legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

“The only religious group to be more supportive of same-sex marriage are Buddhists at 84 percent, with 48 strongly favoring and 36 in favor. Seventy-seven percent of religiously affiliated also support same-sex marriage, with 45 strongly in favor and 32 in favor.”

Nothing to be proud of….

 JTA wrote on June 26:

“The notion that the decision would propel a broader debate about LGBT rights concerned the Orthodox Union, which in a carefully worded statement noted that it adhered to the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, but also recognized ‘that no religion has the right to dictate its beliefs to the entire body politic.’”

.. a “carefully worded statement,” indeed.

 Tax Exemption in Jeopardy Because of Biblical Belief?

 JTA wrote on June 30:

“Bob Jones University, the private Protestant college in South Carolina, lost its tax-exempt status in 1983 when the Supreme Court ruled that its policies banning interracial dating on campus were ‘wholly incompatible with the concepts underlying tax exemption.’

“Orthodox Jewish organizations, several of which publicly dissented from the Jewish community’s broad endorsement of the high court’s decision, now worry that similar consequences could befall Jewish organizations that decline to recognize gay marriage. ‘It remains to be seen whether gay rights advocates and/or the government will seek to apply the Bob Jones rule to all institutions that dissent from recognizing same-sex marriage,’ Nathan Diament, the Washington director for the Orthodox Union, said in an email.

“The groups point to an exchange in April between Donald Verrilli, the Obama administration solicitor general, and Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who asked whether a school could lose its tax-exempt status if it opposed gay marriage? ‘I don’t think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it’s certainly going to be an issue,’ Verrilli replied…

“How much of an issue is what is now exercising Jewish groups. Will Jewish schools lose their tax-exempt status if they don’t recognize gay couples? Could they become ineligible for government grants? Or face discrimination lawsuits for teaching the traditional Jewish perspective on homosexuality?…

“Marc Stern, the counsel for the American Jewish Committee, which also filed an amicus brief in favor of same-sex marriage, said immediate consequences were unlikely at the federal level. But on the local and state levels, there would be challenges, Stern said, especially in areas where the gay community has a strong political presence. ‘Will a state or city official take the decision to remove a tax exemption? In San Francisco, it’s a possibility. In New York City, it might happen,’ said Stern, who pointed out that he was speaking as a legal analyst and not expressing the AJC’s views….”

These concerns are not far-fetched or overblown. Mark Oppenheimer writes the biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Times. Time magazine published one of his opinion pieces on June 28, advocating the revocation of tax-exemption for churches and religious institutions which do not support same-sex marriages. 

Native Americans Say “No” to Gay Marriage

The website of published the following article just prior to the US Supreme Court decision:

“In the cultural battle over ‘same-sex’ marriage, one of the American groups overlooked in the debate is the Native American population.  Organized along ancestral tribes, these groups form a diverse, yet significant portion of the U.S. population… Tribal laws of the two largest Native American tribes in the United States prohibit gay marriage, as do the laws of nine other smaller tribes.

“The Navajo and Cherokee Nations, the first and second largest tribes respectively, together have about 600,000 members. The nine smaller tribes that ban gay marriage have another 350,000 members. These tribes all either define marriage as between a man and a woman or explicitly prohibit same-sex marriage…

“Since 2011, six of the eleven tribes revisited and upheld their preexisting legal definitions of marriage as between a man and a woman… Native American bans on gay marriage will remain in effect because federally-recognized tribes have the right to establish their own laws and are not subject to the U.S. Constitution.

“These Native American tribes have thought through this issue and their statements are clear, concise, and legally binding as CNS News explains: For example, the Cherokee Nation Marriage and Family Protection Act of 2004 defines marriage as ‘a civil contract between one man and one woman’ and states that ‘no marriage shall be contracted…between parties of the same gender.’ Title 6 of Chickasaw tribal law states that ‘a marriage between persons of the same gender performed in any jurisdiction shall not be recognized as valid and binding in the Chickasaw Nation.’ …

“The question, at this point, is whether homosexual rights bullies will eventually [focus on] on these Native American tribes as they have done to various Christian businesses around the nation. It is doubtful such challenges could be successful.  But, that may not stop these extremist radicals from trying to foist their ‘gender confusion’ onto Native Americans as well. Native Americans have endured far worse in their past and survived.  They will probably overcome this threat to their way of life as well.”

Israel Unhappy with the Vatican

AFP wrote on June 26:

“Israel’s… foreign ministry expressed its ‘regret regarding the Vatican decision to officially recognise the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a state, in the agreement signed today,’ spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement. ‘This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the PA to return to direct negotiations with Israel,’ he said.

“The accord, a treaty covering the life and activity of the Church in Palestine, was the first since the Vatican recognized the Palestinian state in February 2013. The treaty, which took 15 years of negotiations to complete, was agreed in principle last month and bitterly condemned by Israel as a setback for the peace process. The Vatican’s recognition of the state of Palestine followed a November 12 vote in favor of recognition by the UN General Assembly. Vatican officials have described it as reflecting the Church’s desire to see the conflict in the Holy Land resolved by a ‘two-state’ solution.

“The Vatican has had diplomatic relations with Israel since 1993 but has yet to conclude an accord on the Church’s rights in the Jewish state which has been under discussion since 1999. ‘We also regret the one sided texts in the agreement which ignore the historic rights of the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to the places holy to Judaism in Jerusalem,’ Nahshon said… ‘Israel will study the agreement in detail, and its implications for future cooperation between Israel and the Vatican.'”

Iran Rejected by Most Muslim Countries

Newsmax reported on June 28:

“Iran is viewed poorly… by Muslim-majority countries… Unfavorable views of Iran predominate in several Muslim nations in the Middle East — 89 percent in Jordan, 64 percent in Turkey, 58 percent in Lebanon, and 57 percent in the Palestinian territories.

“In Lebanon, 95 percent of Shiite Muslims have a favorable view of Iran, the nation with the world’s largest Shiite population, but just 5 percent of Sunni Muslims… have a favorable view of Iran.

“In Asia, seven nations have an unfavorable view… including mostly Muslim Malaysia (47 percent vs. 34 percent favorable) and Indonesia (41 percent vs. 36 percent favorable).

“Muslim Pakistan has a favorable view of Iran — 57 percent of respondents feel that way, while 16 percent have a negative view…”

The Joke with Greek Bailout Funds

The Huffington Post wrote on June 26:

“In 2010 and 2012, Greece accepted bailout deals from European creditors totaling hundreds of billions of euros in order to prevent the collapse of the Greek banking system. The funds kept Greece from a potential default that would force it out of the eurozone, but most of the enormous sum of money involved in the bailouts ultimately didn’t end up funding public services or directly going to the Greek people.

“Instead, as The New York Times reported in 2012, much of the bailout funds went back to the same creditors who gave Greece both the bailouts. This resulted in a situation where the so-called troika of the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission were effectively lending Greece money so it could pay off the debt it already owed them. As a senior adviser to Germany’s Deutsche Bank told the Times then, the troika ‘is paying themselves.’

“At the time, the bailouts stopped a potential ‘Grexit,’ or Greek withdrawal from the eurozone, and quelled fears that Greece’s collapse could have a disastrous domino effect throughout the eurozone. But some economists say it did very little to actually put the nation on a path to growth…

“The first bailout largely went to paying off the private creditors that held Greek bonds and were owed debt payments, notes The Washington Post. This removed some of the danger that if Greece defaulted on its loans, it would lead these French and German banks to bankruptcy and in turn have a negative impact on Europe’s financial system. However… the bailout may have set up the Greek economy for a fall…

“In exchange for lending the funds, the creditors required Greece to institute strict austerity measures that many economists blame for holding back the country’s economic recovery. It also set up a stringent schedule of debt payments for Greece to meet with its creditors, but the country didn’t experience the growth predicted by the IMF that would have potentially given it the funds to pay these debts.

“This year’s debt crisis negotiations have focused around a June 30 deadline for Greece to pay the IMF 1.6 billion euros, with additional payments owed to the ECB in July and August… large amounts of the 7.2 billion euro tranche of bailout funds potentially released in these negotiations would quickly recirculate back to the creditors who lent it…”

David Cameron Prefers Greece to Leave the Eurozone

The Guardian wrote on June 26:

“David Cameron told a fellow EU leader that it ‘might be better’ for Greece to withdraw from the eurozone to allow it to fix its economy…

“The note, a leaked account of a private discussion between the prime minister and one of his European counterparts about his EU reform demands, indicates that Cameron made his remarks in an informal part of the meeting. The note says: ‘On Greece, the PM wondered if it was wise for Angela Merkel to allow the discussion with Greece to take place at PM level and mused that it might be better for Greece to leave the eurozone in order to sort its economy out – though also accepted that there were major risks in that too.’

“The prime minister’s remarks may cause some irritation among eurozone leaders who are fighting to avoid a Greek default, which could lead to its exit from the euro… The British prime minister’s suggestion that Greece might be better off outside the euro may revive criticism of Cameron among some eurozone countries for lecturing them on the single currency, which Britain decided not to be part of….

“Sir John Holmes, Britain’s former ambassador to France, told BBC… in 2012 that EU leaders were resentful of Cameron’s interventions. Holmes said: ‘Other leaders find David Cameron’s lectures rather irritating.’”

Keep Greece in Eurozone?

The Local wrote on June 28:

“This weekend there have been long lines at ATMs throughout Greece, following the collapse of talks on Saturday to reach agreement on austerity measures put forward by Greece’s creditors. The Greek prime minister’s decision to refer the measures to the Greek electorate in a referendum next Sunday precipitated the failure of the talks…

‘France’s prime minister, Manuel Valls, earlier urged Greece and other nations to do whatever they can to keep Greece in the 19-nation bloc that uses the euro currency. Valls said on Sunday that ‘we don’t know — none of us — the consequences of an exit from the eurozone, either on the political or economic front. We must do everything so that Greece stays in the eurozone.’”

Schäuble: Greece Will Stay in Euro…

 The Local wrote on June 30:

“Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said that Greece will stay in the eurozone even if the Greek public vote ‘no’ on July 5th… The MP said that those present were surprised by Schäuble’s comments as many were now working under the assumption that plans would be put in place to facilitate Greece’s exit from the single currency… On Monday and early Tuesday an increasing number of politicians in Germany were already calling for Greece to be gently ushered out of the euro.”

…Or Will it?

Breitbart wrote on June 30:

“Greece has failed to make the payment to the International Monetary Fund which was due at midnight Brussels time (11pm London, 6pm E.S.T.). If the IMF declares the non-payment a default then Greece becomes the first developed European country in 71 years of the IMF to join the club of defaulters, enjoying the illustrious company of the likes of Sudan, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

“At the same time as the possible default, the second European bailout package has now expired and tomorrow [Wednesday] Greece, for the first time in five years, will operate without a financial safety net…

“The IMF does not have to declare failure to pay a default, it can just cover its eyes and wait to see if a solution arises, so negotiations will continue. The real drop dead date is the 20 July when payment is due to the European Central Bank (ECB). If default has not been declared before that date and payment to the ECB is not forthcoming then Eurogeddon is upon us…

“Whatever happens in the next hours, days and weeks Greece has never been closer to falling out of the Eurozone.”

A Week of Huge Uncertainties

The Associated Press wrote on June 28:

“Greece’s parliament voted early Sunday in favor of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ motion to hold a July 5 referendum on creditor proposals for reforms in exchange for loans, with the country’s future in the eurozone looking increasingly shaky.

“Tsipras’ surprise call stunned Greece’s international debt negotiators, and the country took a big step closer to falling out of the euro currency union after fellow eurozone member states refused to extend its bailout program past its expiry date on Tuesday, leaving Greece on the brink of financial chaos.

“In the streets of Greece, worried people queued outside banks for cash from dawn to dusk after Tsipras’ announcement in the early hours of Saturday, after billions of euros had already been emptied in the preceding weeks…

“The radical left-wing leader accused the creditors of using blackmail and ultimatums against his proud but struggling people…

“If Greece’s banks collapse, the government would have to support them itself. Penniless, it would have to revert to printing a new currency, effectively drawing the country out of the euro union…”

Markets Suffering….

 The Guardian wrote on June 29:

“Markets suffered across Asia on Monday as Greece shut down its banks for a week ahead of an increasingly likely debt default… Turmoil in Asia had been widely expected after the failure of 11th-hour talks in Europe over the weekend raised the possibility of a Greek exit from the Eurozone.

“More than $35bn was wiped off the Australian stock market in the first hour of trading on Monday as investors braced for what could become a torrid week. Earlier the euro dropped more than 3% to 133.80 yen, its lowest level for five weeks. The common currency fell as much as 1.9% to $1.0955, its lowest level in almost a month…”

Is It Merkel’s Fault?

The Huffington Post wrote on June 29:

“If Greece leaves the eurozone in the coming days, it will be the result of decisions made by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, more than any other institution or leader… The country is the single largest creditor in the series of bailout payments that the troika has provided to Greece since 2010. As such, Germany under Merkel’s leadership has been the lead architect of the loans-for-austerity policy Europe has used to manage the Greek debt crisis. Germany is also the euro monetary union’s largest economy and, arguably, its most powerful voice on the international stage…

“Under Germany’s leadership, the eurozone nations have insisted that Greece make rapid fiscal adjustments in order to pay off its mammoth debts in a timely fashion. Greece claims — and many economists agree — that it will never be able to repay the debt it currently owes the troika of creditors, and that continuing to try to do so is preventing the country from recovering economically…

“As such, analysts believe that if Greece leaves the eurozone, history will treat Merkel as the European leader who is most to blame…”

Merkel—the Villain of the Greek Drama?

The Washington Post wrote on June 30:”

“Her critics call her the villain of the Greek drama, a taskmaster forcing a bankrupt nation to its knees. But even as the Greeks reach their breaking point, the leaders of Europe are lining up behind German Chancellor Angela Merkel… Europe needs the deep pockets of its economic powerhouse, Germany, in case a broader financial crisis erupts from a Greek exit from the euro. And if there’s a revolt brewing so far, it’s against Tsipras, while Merkel is enjoying a surprising level of support… Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, for instance, has been a long-standing critic of Merkel’s tight fiscal line for Europe. But on Tuesday, he defended her, saying any effort to blame Berlin for a pending Greek tragedy is ‘a convenient alibi that doesn’t correspond to reality.’…

“French President François Hollande, who is, like Tsipras, a leftist, has nevertheless backed Merkel’s conservative stance. While calling for continued dialogue, he echoed the German consensus that Athens cannot dump austerity and keep the euro. And some of the harshest criticism of Tsipras is not coming from the Germans at all, but from nations such as Spain and Portugal that endured painful cuts and have begun to emerge from their financial black holes. Their leaders, not coincidentally, also have strong opponents on the left who would be empowered if Tsipras is seen to be a success.”

…Or Is It also the Fault of the German Media and the German Public?

The Local wrote on July 1:

“‘No more billions for the greedy Greeks’ or ‘Merkel shoots down new proposals from Athens’: these are just a couple of the bold headlines Germans have digested with their morning coffee in recent months. In a country still massively reliant on traditional forms of media – newspapers, and above all television – for its news, these headlines matter.

“In a 2015 survey, Reuters found that the country’s biggest online news source, Spiegel Online reaches just 16 percent of the population – despite 89 percent of people having access to fast internet. By contrast, large numbers continue to read newspapers and watch the two big TV news shows – ARD’s Tagesschau and ZDF’s Heute – which reach 52 and 38 percent of Germans, respectively.

“… the upshot for Greece has been a German Chancellor anxiously listening to the petulant voices coming from the talkshow armchairs and the tabloid rage of Bild against the spendthrift Hellenic Republic. Because those are the voices that will inform the largest single bloc of voters – the older people who will form the base for the next round of general elections. That meant prescribing the same tough medicine for Greece as seemed to be working in countries like Spain, Portugal and Ireland in the years following the financial crisis…

“The Sueddeutsche Zeitung pointed out on Wednesday that ‘alongside the politicians the people also bear responsibility’ for what has happened… The only way this can become a success story is if Merkel finally exhibits the flexibility and dedication that she’s been rightly demanding of the Greeks for five years,’ the SZ concludes.

“But the only way Merkel will be able to do that is by freeing herself from the fear of the media and the German people’s verdict – and on past form, that’s unlikely to happen.”

…and also Puerto Rico?

Chicago Tribune reported on June 28:

“Puerto Rico’s governor believes the U.S. territory’s $72 billion public debt is unpayable, a spokesman confirmed late Sunday, adding another blow to a world financial system already struggling with a possible default by Greece…

“Puerto Rico’s constitution dictates that the debt has to be paid before any other financial obligation is met. If Garcia seeks to not pay the debt at all, it will require a referendum and a vote on a constitutional amendment…

“Puerto Rico’s governor recently confirmed that he had considered having his government seek permission from the U.S. Congress to declare bankruptcy amid a nearly decade-long economic slump. His administration is currently pushing for the right for Puerto Rico’s public agencies to file for bankruptcy under Chapter 9. Neither the agencies nor the island’s government can file for bankruptcy under current U.S. rules…”

 If Puerto Rico Defaults

Marketwatch reported on June 30:

“U.S. investors would actually have much more to lose in a potential Puerto Rican default than in a Greek default. The reason is that Puerto Rico’s bonds are trading in the U.S. municipal bond market, while the vast majority of Greek debt is in the hands of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and eurozone countries.”

Don’t Mess with Donald Trump

Politico wrote on June 26:

“Donald Trump sent a letter to Univision CEO and president Randy Falco on Friday informing him that ‘no Univision officer or representative’ is allowed to use his Trump National Doral, the resort and golf club immediately adjacent to Univision offices in Miami…

“The move is the latest in a public dispute that started Thursday when Univision announced it would end its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which is co-owned by Trump and NBCUniversal, based on what it described as Trump’s ‘insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants’ during the launch of his presidential campaign. Trump later announced that he would sue Univision for breach of contract and defamation, and accused Univision of defaulting on an ‘iron-clad’ $13.5 million contract, which he said it had no right to terminate.

“In the letter, Trump writes to Falco, ‘Please be advised that under no circumstances is any officer or representative of Univision allowed to use Trump National Doral, Miami—its golf courses or any of its facilities. Also, please immediately stop work and close the gate which is being constructed between our respective properties. If this is not done within one week, we will close it.’ In a post-script, Trump added: ‘Please congratulate your Mexican Government officials for having made such outstanding trade deals with the United States. However, inform them that should I become President, those days are over. We are bringing jobs back to the U.S. Also, a meaningful border will be immediately created, not the laughingstock that currently exists.’

“Shortly after publication of this item, a Univision spokesperson told the On Media blog that the following directive had been sent to all employees: ‘As part of this decision, [Univision Communications Inc.] employees should not stay at Trump properties while on company business or hold events/activities there.’

“Trump accused Univision of capitulating to pressure ‘put on them by various sources in Mexico.’ ‘The Mexican government is putting pressure on Univision to get me to stop exposing the weaknesses the U.S. has at the southern border,’ he said during the interview, citing his claims that U.S. leaders were ‘incompetent’ on trade with Mexico, allowing the country to take advantage of the U.S., and that the southern border ‘is a sieve’ that ‘illegals are pouring through…’”

CNN reported on June 29 that “NBC Universal, under pressure from an array of Hispanic groups, is severing its business ties to presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Miss USA pageant, scheduled for July 12, will no longer air on the network. Nor will the Miss Universe pageant, scheduled for next January. Both pageants were, until now, jointly owned by NBC and Trump… Trump told CNN correspondent Athena Jones that he may sue NBC… Trump is also the face of NBC’s ‘The Apprentice.’… On Monday, the network indicated that it wants to keep ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ going, but without Trump as the host.”

With these attempts to silence Trump, the opposite may be achieved. It appears that he will go full steam ahead… Note the next article.

 The Hill wrote on June 28:

“GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says the Obama administration is making the U.S. ‘look like we’re beggars,’ as they pursue a long-term deal on Iran’s nuclear program… ‘The Persians … are very good negotiators… They’re dealing with fools…, ’ he said, adding that Obama is ‘not a negotiator.’…

“Speaking to reporters in Vienna on Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry said both sides still have ‘very tough issues’ to deal with before striking a deal. Trump likened the talks… to the prisoner swap the administration made with the Taliban for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl… ‘We get Sgt. Bergdahl, the traitor, and they get five leaders that they’ve wanted for years, and they’re out now on battlefield trying to kill everybody, including us,’ according to Trump… ‘It’s a very sad time for the country as far as I’m concerned,’ he said.”

 Trump Sues Univision for 500 Million Dollars in Damages

Breitbart wrote on June 30:

“GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision after it terminated its contract to carry the Miss USA pageant, scheduled for July 12.

“In a news release, Trump’s team announced: ‘Under the contract, Univision is required to broadcast the pageant live on television in Spanish.  While Univision claims its decision came solely in response to comments by Mr. Trump during a June 16, 2015 campaign speech announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, the decision was, in reality, a politically motivated attempt to suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins to campaign for the nation’s presidency…

“‘Nothing that I stated was different from what I have been saying for many years. I want strong borders, and I do not support or condone illegal immigration. There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration. This is a major security issue for the United States… I have great respect for Mexico and love for the Mexican people and their tremendous spirit!…'”

CNN pointed out that they had reviewed the contract, and that the law suit for breach of contract is by no means frivolous.

NBC Cuts Ties with Trump, but not with Sharpton?

Newsmax wrote on June 30:

“Conservatives are calling foul on NBC for cutting ties with Donald Trump on Monday while keeping the Rev. Al Sharpton as a host on its sister cable network MSNBC… Al Sharpton… has called Jews white interlopers…”

Of course, Al Sharpton has made many derogatory comments pertaining to whites, playing the “race card” whenever he gets a chance.

 … and Now Macy’s

Bloomberg reported on July 1:

“Donald Trump has announced he is severing his ties with Macy’s due to ‘pressure being put on them by outside sources.’ The real estate tycoon and presidential candidate issued a statement on Wednesday terminating his relationship with Macy’s, the same day the retail giant said it would phase out its line of Trump menswear.

“Trump said like NBC, which cut ties with Trump on Tuesday, Macy’s is caving to pressure… ‘Clearly, NBC and Macy’s support illegal immigration, which is totally detrimental to the fabric of our once great country. Both Macy’s and NBC totally caved at the first sight of potential difficulty with special interest groups who are nothing more than professional agitators, who are not looking out for the people they purport to represent, but only for themselves. It is people like this that are actually running our country because our leaders are weak and ineffective.’…

“Trump said he’s fine with losing the clothing line, much of which is made in China and did not always meet his standards. ‘While selling Trump ties and shirts at Macy’s is a small business in terms of dollar volume, my principles are far more important and therefore much more valuable,’ he said. ‘I have never been happy about the fact that the ties and shirts are made in China, and should I start a new product line somewhere in the future, I would insist that they are made in America.  I was never satisfied with manufacturing my product in China, but because of what they’ve done in terms of devaluing their currency, it is very hard for other companies to compete and make such apparel in the United States. These are the kinds of issues I am committed to addressing. Securing our border, negotiating trade deals that benefit the United States and bringing jobs back to America is my top priority.’”

Macy’s decision to phase out Trump products might back-fire. According to Newsmax, dated July 1, “GOP 2016 presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Donald Trump are rising in national polls among GOP primary voters. While Bush holds 19 percent of the vote among Republican voters, Trump holds 12 percent, making them the only Republican presidential candidates to have a double-digit showing in the poll, Business Insider reports.” Trump also holds second place in New Hampshire and Iowa among likely participants of Republican voters, according to Breitbart, dated July 1.

Mysterious Death of Anti-Vaccine Doctor

CBS/AP reported on June 27:

“Authorities say Dr. Jeff Bradstreet, who published research based on the medically disproved claim that vaccines cause autism, has been found dead in an apparent suicide in North Carolina. The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release issued this week that Bradstreet died of what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest… His body was found by a fisherman. The sheriff’s department said Tuesday that a handgun was also pulled from the river…

“Bradstreet ran a clinic in Buford, Georgia. He also owned Creation’s Own, a maker of dietary supplements, which he also prescribed… agents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, aided by the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, raided the Bradstreet Wellness Center last week. The FDA did not reveal to the paper why agents had searched Bradstreet’s office.

“Bradstreet’s family is now raising funds online to investigate his death, including ‘an exhaustive investigation into the possibility of foul play.’…

“In 2009, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims…  found Bradstreet’s research claiming causation between autism and environmental mercury exposure, which were published in non-peer-reviewed journals, and his testimony about links between a young patient’s autism and his MMR vaccination, to be unconvincing and unsupported by evidence…”

This article operates from the wrong assumption that causation between vaccination and autism has been “medically disproved.” This is clearly a false statement, and an opinion of just one court to the opposite is hardly convincing. The mysterious death of the doctor promoting the opposite raises at least an eyebrow. Whether the truth will ever come to light may be doubtful.

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