A Democrat on Trump's voter fraud commission asked for more transparency. Here's what happened next

Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap (maine.gov)

The request from Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap seemed to be a given for any member of President Donald Trump's voter fraud commission: He wanted transparency. But Dunlap, among a handful of Democrats on the panel launched by executive order in May with the stated goal of restoring confidence and integrity in the electoral process,…

Trump and Pence unnerve Holy Land Christians

Trudy Rubin: Trump and Pence unnerve Holy Land Christians
Bethlehem. A week before Christmas, there was only a handful of tourists snapping photos of the huge decorated tree in Manger Square, with its strings of red and white lights. The large plaza in front of the Church of the Nativity was nearly empty except for a handful of visiting clergy. Chalk the absence of visitors…

Actor and comedian Jonah Hill suffers a devastating personal loss that no one saw coming

Jonah Hill

Jonah Hill and brother Jonah Hill’s brother Jordan Feldstein tragically passed away on Friday night at the young age of 40. According to a statement from the family, the Maroon 5 manager died from a heart attack in his home. “Unfortunately, last night Jordan called 911 for shortness of breath, when paramedics arrived it was determined…

House Ethics Committee expands inquiry into US Rep. Blake Farenthold

Image result for Blake Farenthold, R-Texas

The House Ethics Committee late Thursday announced an expanded investigation into the conduct of U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, going beyond sexual harassment to look at possible improper use of House staff for his congressional campaigns.

The committee will look into whether Farenthold required congressional staffers to work on his campaigns, and whether the disgraced congressman, who said a week ago he will not run for re-election, lied to the panel.
The bombshell announcement from the Ethics Committee came in a letter from Chairwoman Susan Brooks, R-Ind., and ranking member, Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., saying the committee had unanimously voted to expand the jurisdiction of the inquiry into Farenthold’s activities. The committee announced earlier this month that it was forming an investigative subcommittee to look into the sexual harassment allegations against him.


The Danger of American Fascism Under Donald Trump

As was Warned By Vice President Wallace in 1944
Henry A. Wallace
An article in the New York Times, April 9, 1944.
From Henry A. Wallace, Democracy Reborn (New York, 1944), edited by Russell Lord, p. 259.
1. On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write an article answering the following questions:
A. What is a fascist?
B. How many fascists have we?
C. How dangerous are they?
2. A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military, clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.
3. The perfect type of fascist throughout recent centuries has been the Prussian Junker, who developed such hatred for other races and such allegiance to a military clique as to make him willing at all times to engage in any degree of deceit and violence necessary to place his culture and race astride the world. In every big nation of the world are at least a few people who have the fascist temperament. Every Jew-baiter, every Catholic hater, is a fascist at heart. The hoodlums who have been desecrating churches, cathedrals and synagogues in some of our larger cities are ripe material for fascist leadership.
4. The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.
5. If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.
6. American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.
7. The European brand of fascism will probably present its most serious postwar threat to us via Latin America. The effect of the war has been to raise the cost of living in most Latin American countries much faster than the wages of labor. The fascists in most Latin American countries tell the people that the reason their wages will not buy as much in the way of goods is because of Yankee imperialism. The fascists in Latin America learn to speak and act like natives. Our chemical and other manufacturing concerns are all too often ready to let the Germans have Latin American markets, provided the American companies can work out an arrangement which will enable them to charge high prices to the consumer inside the United States. Following this war, technology will have reached such a point that it will be possible for Germans, using South America as a base, to cause us much more difficulty in World War III than they did in World War II. The military and landowning cliques in many South American countries will find it attractive financially to work with German fascist concerns as well as expedient from the standpoint of temporary power politics.
8. Fascism is a worldwide disease. Its greatest threat to the United States will come after the war, either via Latin America or within the United States itself.
9. Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. American fascists of this stamp were clandestinely aligned with their German counterparts before the war, and are even now preparing to resume where they left off, after "the present unpleasantness" ceases:
10. The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. It may be shocking to some people in this country to realize that, without meaning to do so, they hold views in common with Hitler when they preach discrimination against other religious, racial or economic groups. Likewise, many people whose patriotism is their proudest boast play Hitler's game by retailing distrust of our Allies and by giving currency to snide suspicions without foundation in fact.
11. The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy. They use isolationism as a slogan to conceal their own selfish imperialism. They cultivate hate and distrust of both Britain and Russia. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They demand free enterprise, but are the spokesmen for monopoly and vested interest. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection.
12. Several leaders of industry in this country who have gained a new vision of the meaning of opportunity through co-operation with government have warned the public openly that there are some selfish groups in industry who are willing to jeopardize the structure of American liberty to gain some temporary advantage. We all know the part that the cartels played in bringing Hitler to power, and the rule the giant German trusts have played in Nazi conquests. Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.
13. It has been claimed at times that our modern age of technology facilitates dictatorship. What we must understand is that the industries, processes, and inventions created by modern science can be used either to subjugate or liberate. The choice is up to us. The myth of fascist efficiency has deluded many people. It was Mussolini's vaunted claim that he "made the trains run on time." In the end, however, he brought to the Italian people impoverishment and defeat. It was Hitler's claim that he eliminated all unemployment in Germany. Neither is there unemployment in a prison camp.
14. Democracy to crush fascism internally must demonstrate its capacity to "make the trains run on time." It must develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as scientific research and inventive ingenuity outran our ability to devise social mechanisms to raise the living standards of the people, we may expect the liberal potential of the United States to increase. If this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.
15. The worldwide, age long struggle between fascism and democracy will not stop when the fighting ends in Germany and Japan. Democracy can win the peace only if it does two things:
A. Speeds up the rate of political and economic inventions so that both production and, especially, distribution can match in their power and practical effect on the daily life of the common man the immense and growing volume of scientific research, mechanical invention and management technique.
B. Vivifies with the greatest intensity the spiritual processes which are both the foundation and the very essence of democracy.
16. The moral and spiritual aspects of both personal and international relationships have a practical bearing which so-called practical men deny. This dullness of vision regarding the importance of the general welfare to the individual is the measure of the failure of our schools and churches to teach the spiritual significance of genuine democracy. Until democracy in effective enthusiastic action fills the vacuum created by the power of modern inventions, we may expect the fascists to increase in power after the war both in the United States and in the world.
17. Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.
18. It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction. But if we put our trust in the common sense of common men and "with malice toward none and charity for all" go forward on the great adventure of making political, economic and social democracy a practical reality, we shall not fail


Gop’s List of Economists Backing Tax scam Includes Ghosts, Office Assistants, Ex-felons, and a Sprinkling of Real Economists.

Never did I imagine that something resembling the current tax plan could possibly be proposed by the Trump administration, let alone then approved by the Senate. What in God’s name are these people thinking? Does anyone involved truly believe that this will spur growth and raise all boats, or are there more sinister forces at work?
Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they all honestly believe that offering generous tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations while pushing a decidedly mixed bag on middle class to poor folks will actually bring on a new golden age. Where would they get such an idea? Apparently, these people:

It therefore appears that economists think this is right. Some economists. Very few economists. Hand-picked economists.
In point of fact, serious questions have already been raised regarding many of the signatories (Gop’s List of Economists Backing Tax Cut Includes Ghosts, Office Assistants, Ex-felons, and a Sprinkling of Real Economists). According to the linked article, among the relevant issues are:
One of the signatories, Gil Sylvia of the University of Georgia, does not have a biography page or any online trace of employment at the university. A university representative told The Intercept that no one with the name Gil Sylvia is employed there.
Another signatory to the RATE letter, Seth Bied, is not an economist. He is a low-level office assistant at the New York State Tax Department, whose spokesperson said Bied does not remember signing the economists’ letter.
Other signatories are far from independent voices. One is an in-house economist at a financial services firm based in Illinois. Another is an in-house economist with Bank of America.
Others on the list are part of advocacy groups that have made tax cuts their biggest legislative priority. James C. Miller III, one of the signatories, is an official with Americans for Prosperity, the Koch brothers-run advocacy organization hell-bent on passing tax cut legislation. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, another signatory, is head of the American Action Forum, the sister group of the American Action Network, the dark money group aligned with Ryan’s political team.
This certainly raises serious questions regarding the reliability of the “experts”  President Trump references in this tweet:
Author screen shot.
President Trump Tweet regarding economists' support.
Even more damning is this. Shown below are the reactions of 38 prominent–and not hand-picked–economists from across the political spectrum to the following statement: “If the U.S. enacts a tax bill similar to those currently moving through the House and Senate — and assuming no other changes in tax or spending policy — U.S. GDP will be substantially higher a decade from now than under the status quo” (http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/tax-reform-2).
Economists’ Reactions To “The Tax Plan Will Grow U.S. GDP"
0%Strongly Agree
19%Strongly Disagree
Those who conducted this survey did not have a vested interest or a political bias. Not surprisingly, the results contrast rather sharply with those referenced in the above tweet.
Or take this list, which in less than twenty-four hours already exceeds the length of that advertised by the President (and is still growing–those involved, which include me, got a very late start because never in a million years did we suspect that a “pro” list could possibly be constructed!):
Incidentally, I personally checked each signatory and, barring any Google search errors, every single one really does exist and really is an expert on macroeconomics–and is strongly opposed to the tax plan.
Just this morning my wife and I were discussing what we might have to do to cut back on spending if this plan goes into effect–cut back. This is hardly what a growth-spurring tax plan should have families discussing. Nor is giving firms higher after-tax profits a logical means of increasing investment and employment. Why do all the stores at the mall hire extra workers over November and December? Because profits rose in October? Of course not, it’s because they expect extra sales over the holiday season. The rise in sales increases employment and investment–and then profits go up. You can’t reverse the order and expect the same results.
And, indeed, the current tax plan is completely upside down. Despite the vote, there is still time to fix it, however; so please get on the phone to your representatives and make sure this disaster doesn’t occur. It’s an unconscionable mess and no hand-picked list of “experts” changes that fact.


Doug Jones Wins Alabama Race

Update 12-/13/17

Roy Moore Refuses To Concede: We Know God Is In Control And The Votes Are Still Coming In [VIDEO]

*Editors Note On Tuesday Morning I predicted that if Turnout was above 10 percent Doug Jones could win, and either way it would be a very close race, 
Doug Jones, a Democrat, won the special election on Tuesday to fill the United States Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, now the attorney general. Mr. Jones aimed to create a lead in the urban counties that include Birmingham and Montgomery, and across a band of largely black counties. Strong support for Roy S. Moore, the Republican, was expected in rural, mostly white parts of the state.
One critical battleground was a trio of smaller, whiter cities: Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. Late Tuesday night, Mr. Jones led by a large margin in Mobile County, and he had won Tuscaloosa County and Madison County, home of Huntsville.

Doug JonesDemocrat671,15149.9%
Roy MooreRepublican650,43648.4
Total Write-Ins22,8191.7

Trump's Treasury Admits Tax Plan Won't Pay For Itself

Trump's Treasury Admits Tax Plan Won't Pay For Itself

After months of pressure from watchdog groups, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, led by Trump-appointee Steve Mnuchin, has released a one-page analysis of the Republican tax bill. The report shows that even when analyzed under Republican-favored methods, the tax cuts will enlarge the federal deficit and will require additional policy changes to create the revenue needed to pay for them.

From Ivanka Trump: Happy Holidays

Ivanka Trump Mocked For 'Happy Holidays' Tweet

On the eve of Hanukkah, first daughter Ivanka Trump decided to wish her followers “Happy Holidays!” on Twitter. Soon after, she started getting backlash from the social media users for not championing her father’s mission of bringing back Christmas – an agenda he reiterated multiple times after he took office. Ivanka, who was born a Christian,…

Video: Russian Officials Publicly Threaten to Release Blackmail on Trump

It seems like Russian President Vladimir Putin may be deciding that popular vote loser Donald Trump is more trouble than he’s worth after he failed to lift US sanctions against Russia multiple times.
Russian officials are speaking out against Trump, mocking him, taunting, and talking about releasing information that could finish off Trump’s struggling presidency.
A Russian debate took place on Russian state-run television where several Russian officials discussed various political issues. One of which was was Nikita Isaev, the Director of the Russian Institute of Contemporary Economics.
He said, “Let’s hit Trump with our Kompromat!”, (Note: in Russian, this means “compromising material”, is damaging information about a politician or other public figure used to create negative publicity, for blackmail, or for ensuring loyalty).
This certainly looks like a reference to the infamous Pee Pee Tape or, at the very least, some type of other blackmail material the Kremlin is holding over Trump’s head.
The host asked, “Do we have it?” Isaev responded “Of course we have it!”
You can watch the hour-long Russian-language video can be watched here.

Nikita Isaev’s call for the release of Kompromat. The interested part here is that someone in Isaev’s position wouldn’t have said something like this on Kremlin-controlled TV unless Vladimir Putin gave him permission to say it.


U.N. Official Shocked at Poverty In Rural Alabama

A United Nations official investigating poverty in the United States was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world.

Mueller And Friends Should Be 'Locked Up' Says Fox Host

Mueller And Friends Should Be 'Locked Up' Says Fox Host

A Fox News host has suggested the FBI and Department of Justice should undergo a “cleansing” that would see Special Counsel Robert Mueller and a number of other staff “locked up.” Jeanine Pirro commented on Saturday night that there was corruption in the departments that necessitated investigation – blaming Mueller, former FBI director James Comey and…

Congress Spinning It's Wheels On Health Care

Congress ostensibly moved a little bit closer to wrapping up its end-of-year to-do list yesterday but has made no progress toward resolving the myriad health care issues on that list.
  • Both chambers have now passed a two-week spending bill, keeping the government open until Dec. 22, when we'll have to do this all again — for real. House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement he was "glad" the House had acted to "fund the Children's Health Insurance Program."
  • Reality check: The stopgap bill makes it easier for states to tap existing, leftover CHIP funding. It does not authorize new federal funding for the program. A slew of states will start running out of money early next year, and the pot of money they're able to draw from now won't last very far into 2018.
  • The goal is still to pass a larger CHIP funding extension with the longer spending bill, but there's no agreement yet on the substance of that extension.
  • Ryan has promised conservatives that none of these spending bills will include a restoration of the Affordable Care Act's cost-sharing payments, according to Politico.
  • That's one of the policies Sen. Susan Collins had insisted on, and her other ACA-related demand — another, larger set of payments to insurance companies — would be even harder to pass in the House.
  • Collins told a local TV station she would consider voting against the final tax bill if she's not happy with it, though the interview only covers her efforts to avert an automatic cut in Medicare payments — not the ACA-related provisions.
  • Senate Republican leaders could afford to lose Collins' vote, as long as no one else follows her and Alabama's Senate seat is still in GOP hands whenever a final bill comes to the floor.
The bottom line: The rest of this month is going to be a roller coaster.


Right Wing Media Wants Us To Believe Trump Has Loose Dentures

WATCH: Trump's Dentures Just Tried To Escape From His Mouth During His Israel Speech

On Wednesday, Donald Trump announced that the United States will now officially recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and he announced plans to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city in the near future. At the end of the speech, the 71-year-old former reality show star started slurring…

Florida's Democrats Speak Out about Michael Flynn's Plea Deal

Florida Democrats believe Friday’s news that the plea deal negotiated by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn points to bigger problems for President Donald Trump and his closest advisers. Several weighed in after the story broke.
“Flynn’s guilty plea is another significant step in making the case that there was collusion with the Russians,” declared Sen. Bill Nelson.
Val Demings, a former Orlando police chief, said the news tells her the Trump administration thinks it is above the law.

“As a 27-year law enforcement officer, it is deeply offensive to me that this administration has repeatedly hidden behind cries of ‘law and order’ while breaking the law themselves,” she stated in a release.
“Every American should be disturbed that the Trump administration considers themselves above the law,” she continued. “Before now, the question was whether this went all the way to the top. President Trump and his inner circle will have a sleepless night.”
Alcee Hastings of Miramar called Flynn’s deal “the latest step in uncovering the degree to which the Trump administration colluded with the Russian government.”
“Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn has admitted to contacting the Russian Government, under instruction from President Trump’s transition team, and then lying about it to the FBI. Even though today’s guilty plea was not unexpected, it is still an outrageous and shameful admission of purposefully misleading the American people.”
Ted Deutch of Boca Raton said Flynn’s guilty plea only raises more questions about potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
“As I have repeatedly said, Special Counsel [RobertMueller must be allowed to continue his work unobstructed by the White House, and the House Judiciary Committee must independently examine any possible obstruction of justice,” Deutch said.
Darren Soto of Orlando said, “Flynn has dodged this investigation from the start, so this perjury charge is not surprising. The information he may reveal could be, though.”


Trump says he feels 'very badly' for Flynn, points finger at Clinton

US President Donald Trump said Monday he "feels badly" for his former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty last week to lying to the FBI, and lamented that his former rival Hillary Clinton "lied many times" and nothing happened.

An Old Tweet Returns To Bite Sarah Sanders In The Ass

An Old Tweet Returns To Haunt Sarah Sanders

Twitterati has a long memory when it comes to controversial tweets. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders found this out the hard way when one of her old tweets, which spoke ill of those critical of the FBI, was dug up and retweeted by social media users Sunday. The tweet was written last November — just…

Protecting Yourself from skimmers at the Pump

Image result for Protecting Yourself at the Pump

Protecting Yourself at the Pump

Many Floridians travel to see friends and family during the holiday season, and the U.S. Department of Transportation reports that about 91 percent of long-distance holiday travel is by personal vehicle. It's imperative to take precautions against scammers aiming to profit off holiday travel.
Card skimmers are small, electronic devices that capture information from the magnetic strip on credit or debit cards when swiped during a transaction. Over 900 of these skimmers have been found on gas pumps in Florida since March 2015, and individual skimmers have been found to hold as many as 100 credit card numbers. These devices were commonly attached to card readers on the outside of the pump, but some criminals now install skimmers inside the pump and use Bluetooth technology to transmit card and pin information. These devices are undetectable unless the pump is opened for maintenance or inspection.
Here are a few tips that will reduce your risk of encountering skimmers at the pump:
  • Pay inside with either cash or a credit card.
  • Use a pre-paid cash card to pay for your gas at the pump.
  • Do not use a pump that looks as though it has been tampered with.
  • Use the pumps closest to the front of the station, as scammers usually place skimmers in pumps furthest out of sight.
  • Monitor your credit and bank accounts regularly for unauthorized activity.
If you identify unauthorized activity on your accounts, contact your bank or credit card company, file a report with local authorities, and consider placing a credit freeze or fraud alert on your accounts.


Will Donald Trump and Fox News Get on Their Knees and Apologize to Jose Ines Garcia Zarate

Claudia Cowan reports from San Francisco.

Immigrant acquitted in shooting of Kate Steinle

A Mexican national was acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges Thursday in the fatal shooting of Kathryn Steinle, a Bay Area woman whose slaying in 2015 became a flashpoint in the national debate over people in the U.S. illegally and the role of local police in enforcing federal immigration laws.

First Copy of Jesus’ Writings to His Brother/Cousin Discovered

*Editors note, my 20 years of study of The Nag Hammadi Library  shows James Is Jesus's Cousin by blood and husband to Mary Magdalene- Ron Mills 

For the first time, scholars have found a copy of the original Greek manuscript describing what Jesus secretly taught his brother James. Biblical scholars at the University of Texas at Austin discovered the manuscript in the Nag Hammadi Library at Oxford University, where it may have been a tool teachers used to help students learn to…

Trump Still Believes 'Birther' Obama Conspiracy


President Donald Trump still believes that former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate may be fake, The New York Times reported Tuesday. A senator told the publication that Trump has still not moved on from the conspiracy theory with which he launched his political career.

GOP Strategist: Sarah Sanders Spews Trump 'Horse Shit'

Image result for Sarah Sanders Spews Trump 'Horse Shit'

GOP Strategist: Sarah Sanders Spews Trump 'Horse Shit'

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a "serial congenital liar" who buries the American people "in an avalanche of horse shit" and must know in her soul that what she's doing is wrong, a GOP strategist and media consultant said Monday night.

Roy Moore Alters Story About Accusers

Roy Moore Alters Story About Accusers

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama made his first public appearance in almost two weeks on Monday night, and he used it to change his account about a series of accusations of sexual contact with teenage girls and to compare the rush of claims against him to the Trump-Russia investigation. In the past three…

Is Donald Trump Lying about his part in the release of UCLA basketball players from China Jail

Chinese Professor Just Explained How Trump Is Lying About Saving Three Americans

President Donald Trump attempted to call out LaVar Ball’s lack of gratitude when he supposedly saved his son from being incarcerated in a Chinese prison. Calling him “ungrateful”, President Trump had time to step away from his presidential duties because LaVar wasn’t appreciative enough.
Unfortunately, President Trump may be trying to make this a bigger deal than what it really is. According to a Hong Kong University law professor, shoplifting is a relatively minor charge, and it does not carry the kind of jail time that Trump may think it does. According to professor Fu Hualing, he would be “surprised if they were even prosecuted.” A shoplifting charge in China is relatively minor, with foreigners typically being deported and not put in jail. So it makes sense how LaVar might’ve been more realistic in his appreciation since it wasn’t a charge that required interception by the president.
On Monday, November 6, Cody Riley, LiAngelo Ball, and Jalen Hill were arrested after they stole sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China. After being arrested, the three surrendered their passports and were released on a $2200 bail, but were forced to stay in their hotel. This demand was made by the team and not by Chinese authorities.
On November 11, the team left to go back to the United States. The three shoplifters stayed behind with Doug Erickson, director of the basketball administration. The next day, President Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at one point during his 12 day trip to Asia. Apparently, Trump said that he discussed the arrests of the three players with Jinping, with the players finally being eligible to go back to the United States just a couple of days later. Charges were withdrawn by this point, and the bail money was refunded. The players returned on November 14.
On November 15, President Trump publicly asks if the UCLA basketball players will thank him, saying that they were “headed for 10 years in jail!” The two players thanked him and apologized for their actions. The three players were subsequently suspended from the team indefinitely.
If Donald Trump actually met the president of China during his 12-day rendezvous is up to speculation – but the truth of the matter is that the situation was blown out of proportion


Secret Origins of Thanksgiving

Image result for what thanksgiving means to native american

Fray Sahagun ( Bernardino de Sahagún ) a Franciscan friar, missionary priest and pioneering ethnographer who participated in the Catholic evangelization of colonial New Spain (now Mexico) describes a “Feast of Thanksgiving” practiced by the natives (particularly travelers).
In book 9 of 12 he refers to a group of traveling merchants known as the Pochtecas, (followers of Quetzalcoatl, who they worshipped under the patron name Yiacatecuhtli or Yacateuctli, Lord of the Vanguard). These traveling merchants are recorded celebrating their safe arrival from a successful business trip by having a “Thanks Giving Feast;”
“A feast and ceremony of thanksgiving were organized by the returning merchants, also on a day of favorable aspect. There was a prelude to the ceremony of eating mushrooms in which they sacrificed a quail and offered incense to the four directions. They made offerings of flowers and fragrant herbs to the gods in various temples. The eating of mushrooms took place in the earlier part of the evening, and the mushroom eaters did not at least then eat food. At midnight a feast followed, and toward dawn the various offerings to the gods, or the remains of them, were ceremonially buried.”
“At the very first, mushrooms had been served. They ate them at the time when the shell trumpets were blown. They ate no more food; they only drank chocolate during the night, and they ate the mushrooms with honey. But some, while still in command of their senses, entered and sat there by the house on their seats; they danced no more, but only sat there nodding. One saw in vision that already he would die, and then continued weeping, one saw that he would die in battle; one saw in vision that he would be eaten by wild beasts; one saw in vision that he would take captives in war; one saw in vision that he would be rich, wealthy; one saw in vision that he would buy slaves, he would be a slave owner; one saw in vision that he would commit adultery, he would be struck by stones, he would be stone; one saw in vision that he would steal, he would also be stone and saw in vision that his head would be crushed by stones-they would condemn him; one saw in vision that he would perish in the water; one saw in vision that he would live in peace, and tranquility, until he died; one saw in vision that he would fall from a roof top, and he would fall to his death; however many things were to befall one, he then saw all in vision: even that he would be drowned. And when the effects of the mushrooms had left them they consulted among themselves and told one another what they had seen in vision. And they saw in vision, what would befall those who had eaten no mushrooms, and what they went about doing. Some were perhaps thieves, some perhaps committed adultery. Howsoever many things there were all were told-that one would take captives, one would become a seasoned warrior, a leader of youths, one would die in battle, become rich, buy slaves, provide banquets, ceremonially bathe slaves, commit adultery, be strangled, perish in water, drown. Whatsoever was to befall one, they then saw all in vision. Perhaps he would go to his death in Anauac.” (Florentine Codex, Dibble & Anderson, Bk 9 pp.38-39)
It is unclear whether this account inspired the Thanksgiving (as we know it today), however it is certain that such practices were quite common in the “New World”, especially prior to the arrival of the new settlers!