French historian nearly deported from U.S. – we are governed more and more, every day, by fearmongers — Eideard

French historian nearly deported from U.S. – we are governed more and more, every day, by fearmongers

via French historian nearly deported from U.S. – we are governed more and more, every day, by fearmongers — Eideard

Officials at Texas A&M University said Henry Rousso was going to be returned to Paris as an illegal alien “due to a visa misunderstanding”…The university stopped the deportation with help from a law professor, local news website The Eagle reported.

❝ “I have been detained 10 hours at Houston International Airport about to be deported,” Mr Rousso, 62, confirmed in a tweet on Saturday…

The Egyptian-born Jewish scholar, a senior researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research, is a specialist on French World War Two history.

❝ Texas A&M University had announced to the conference on Friday that Mr Rousso had been detained upon arriving at Houston airport on Wednesday.

Senior official Richard Golsan said there had been a misunderstanding regarding the parameters of his visa, The Eagle reported.

“When he called me with this news two nights ago, he was waiting for customs officials to send him back to Paris as an illegal alien on the first flight out,” Mr Golsan told the meeting.

❝ He said the university enlisted the help of law school professor and immigrant rights expert Fatma Marouf…

Ms Marouf described the behaviour of customs officials as an “extreme response”…”It seems like there’s much more rigidity and rigour in enforcing these immigration requirements and the technicalities of every visa,” she said…

❝ Mr Rousso went on to attend the conference and thanked his supporters in a post on Twitter.

“Thank you so much for your reactions. My situation was nothing compared to some of the people I saw who couldn’t be defended as I was,” he said.

The pettiness of government flunkies can be distressing under the best of circumstances. Civil service at the base level in the United States is often akin to traditional jobs for “Cousin Ernie” who can’t find employment anywhere – so, you pay to stick him into the state highway department. Add the stress of our so-called president and his demented band of bigots to the equation and this sort of crap will become more and more common.

Legality, common courtesy, sense and sensibility have little or nothing to do with a job chartered in the mind of populist mobs as pest control. The horde will be served. Their Fearless Leader demands obedience.

Gov. Wolf Says State Lawmakers Getting Serious About Local Tax Reform

wolfPHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf says he is encouraged the state legislature may finally be ready to tackle tax reform, a move he says could benefit local property owners who are footing the bill for schools.

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Speaking at a senior forum in Philadelphia, Gov. Wolf says there is growing, bi-partisan interest in doing something about property taxes – the foundation of school funding in most counties in the state, including the suburban counties here.

“I ran on trying to make sure that local taxpayers get a break, especially property taxpayers, because that’s a really particularly regressive and onerous tax on, especially seniors who are on fixed incomes and can’t afford to see their property tax rates go up every year.”

The governor says if the legislature finds a path to tax reform, he’s willing to work with lawmakers to try to make the numbers work.

Wolf’s current budget proposal includes no personal or sales tax increases. It relies instead on consolidating cabinet departments and realizing savings through more efficient government operations.

Local Religious Leaders Stand Together Following Jewish Cemetery Vandalism — CBS Philly

Nearly 200 Interfaith leaders from several religions gathered at the Lutheran Seminary in the Germantown section of Philadelphia to stand in solidarity.

via Local Religious Leaders Stand Together Following Jewish Cemetery Vandalism — CBS Philly

Nearly 200 Interfaith leaders from several religions gathered at the Lutheran Seminary in the Germantown section of Philadelphia to stand in solidarity against the vandalism at a Jewish cemetery in the city’s Wissinoming section.

Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia CEO Naomi Adler says they are planning a community-wide rally at noon on Thursday at Independence Mall for a “Stand Against Hate” event.

“We are naming the hate, and we will not stand for it anymore,” said Adler.

She says every headstone and grave mark11er will be replaced or repaired.

Bishop Claire Burkat, of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, says they “stand in unity.”

“The tombstone desecration at Mt. Carmel Jewish Cemetery is a kind of spiritual violence that must be stopped and denounced by all people who abhor the hate-filled antisemitism that is escalating,” Burkat said.

Monsignor Daniel Kutys, the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, read a statement on behalf of Archbishop Charles Chaput, who had a prior commitment in New York.

“Join in prayerful solidarity with the families of those whose final resting places have been disturbed. Violence and hate against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable,” Monsignor Kutys read.

Imam Anwar Muhaimin of the Quba Masjid says “any act of intolerance – which we’re seeing a lot of today – is something that goes against the spirit of the city that we all know and love.”

“I wanted to stand against the bigotry, intolerance, antisemitism and Islamophobia. We are all in this together, and I pray that God’s power is with us,” said Muhaimin.

Trump’s Ties To Russia Grow

President Donald Trump’s business associate Felix Sater

Donald Trump’s Russian Ties, Part Two

As President Trump’s rehearses and readies himself for his first speech before Congress, more information is being uncovered which show that President Trump, as a businessman, has had ties to Russia and that those ties are still alive and well. This connection between Trump’s real estate enterprise and a Russian thug started in 2007 and as of today, the man in the middle of it all, Felix Sater, was still serving Trump but now he is inside the White House.

Donald Trump was always looking for the next big thing. In 2007 the next big thing was a new hotel/condominium complex to be built in New York and it would be called Trump SoHo. Felix Sater, came on board to help find financing for the project and to work for Trump as a consultant. Questions have arose as to who was this Felix Sater and what was he doing with Donald Trump? How did he become a player in New York real estate? Sater is now counsel to the President even though he has served time for assault and was involved in a large financial ruse that targeted Holocaust surivivors who were swindled out of their life savings. The company that was helping Trump with the financing, Bayrock Group.

Bayrock Group was an real estate investment company that for lack of a better term, had shady ownership. Bayrock was founded by Tevfik Arif, a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan who worked for the USSR’s Ministry of Commerce and Trade for 17 years. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Arif stretched his new empire to Kazakhstan for Trans World Group, a natural resources company run by David and Simon Reuben. He also grew a new business importing and exporting rare metals, chrome, and raw materials. It was in 2001 that Arif created Bayrock Group in the New York Trump Tower as a real estate investment group. The group and Arif have been investigated as a shill for the Russian mafia so that illegal money could be laundered through the company. Arif later then hired Felix Sater as a manager director. The Russian influence would continue with Trump as a partner as Bayrock contracted with future owners for millions the new real estate holding, Trump SoHo.

Felix Sater is a name that, for a long time, Donald Trump tried to forget. Sater was not just a go between for the Bayrock Group but he became a part of Trump’s inner circle. Trump even rewarded Sater with his own business cards which show that Sater was a senior adviser to Trump. Sater is not the kind of man you would think would have the ear of the President of the United States but he does now. Remember the scandal that rocked the Clinton years, called Whitewater? Sater’s reputation and background makes that so called scandal look like high school hijinks. This is Sater’s background.

Sater is a Russian born American whose first run in with the law occurred when he was convicted of first degree assault, a felony, and spent time in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken glass in 1991. Following a year in prison, Sater began a career as a stockbroker and was convicted in 1998 of racketeering in a huge boiler-room securities fraud case. According to the AP describes it as “a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the prominent Genovese and Bonanno crime families.” At least 19 individuals were convicted of crimes in the case. Sater then spent more than a decade as an informant on the Mafia and on national security-related matters. The records indicate that about $40 million was stolen with much of it from elderly investors, including Holocaust survivors. Federal prosecutors kept even the existence of Sater’s racketeering case out of publicly available court records for 14 years. All the while he was working to promote Bayrock Group and enlist Trump as a partner.

Bayrock and Sater continued their partnership with Trump helping to develop the Trump International Hotel and Tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. There were other projects that Bayrock was involved with including, Trump development in Phoenix, Trump SoHo, and worked to being a Trump Tower to Moscow although that did not pan out. Lawsuits ensued against Bayrock and Trump as many of the developments either were not built or were so far behind on the projects that investors wanted their money back. In 2007, Trump was deposed about his relationship with Sater and Bayrock but Trump denied knowing Sater very well. “If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump says in court papers from a 2013 law suit.

Trump ended up settling the lawsuits, which according to him, he never does. He and Bayrock gave back 90% of investors’ money regarding Trump SoHo development. Fast forward to 2017 and Sater’s buddy is now the President of the United States. How in the world can a man who has been charged not only in a violent assault but has been charged with stealing from surivivors of the Holocaust? The other big question is, was Trump lying in 2013 when he said he barely knew Sater or is it now as new information about Sater is being revealed and that he is actually involved in the Trump administration?

This is where Sater’s relationship with Trump gets even more complicated. This man with the questionable background, actually worked on the document, with Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen who would then deliver it to General John Flynn. Cohen also worked with Sater to bring Andrey Artemenko, a member of Ukrainian parliament and former member of the country’s far-right Radical Party together in New York, the plan.

Cohen now denies that this document was ever given to Flynn who at the time was the National Security Adviser, but Artemenko announced Monday, that he in fact had personal confirmation that the plan was delivered to Flynn. The plan was designed for lifting sanctions on Russia and allowing Moscow to lease Crimea for either 50 or 100 years, he said. In return, Russia would have to withdraw its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

President Trump has not spoken on the subject of Sater or Cohen but continues to deny that he has any influence with or any business with Russia. That picture has just gotten a bit more murky.

New DNC Chair Tom Perez: Need to investigate whether presidential election was ‘rigged’ —

Watch Video WASHINGTON, D.C. — New Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is joining calls for an independent investigation into reported contacts between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russians known to US intelligence. “What we need to be looking at is whether this election was rigged by Donald Trump and his buddy Vladimir Putin,” Perez  said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” on Sunday, February 26th.

Perez argued that Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t adequately investigate any possible connections because the Alabama Republican was a close adviser and supporter of President  Trump during his presidential campaign.

“It’s really unfair to any foxes around the country to say that would be the fox guarding the hen house,” Perez said.

Asked about the issue Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said it’s too early to call on Sessions to recuse himself from the investigation.

“I wasn’t saying that he shouldn’t recuse himself or that he should,” Sanders said. “My point is, I don’t think we’re there yet. Let’s work through this process. You guys want to jump to the very end of the line. That’s not how this works. Typically, you go through a congressional oversight review. We’re doing that. Let’s not go to the very end of the extreme. Let’s let this play out the way it should.”

via New DNC Chair Tom Perez: Need to investigate whether presidential election was ‘rigged’ —

All the celeb fashion you should behold from the Oscars red carpet — Metro

(Picture: Getty)

In case you managed to miss this important bit of information (perhaps you were distracted by the equally important British Kebab Awards. We get it.), tonight, 26 February, is the Academy Awards, AKA the Oscars. We’re all very excited to find out the big winners, obviously. We need to know if La La Land will continue to be hyped for all eternity.

But more importantly: fashion.

The Oscars red carpet, if you didn’t know, is a big deal. We shall desperately wait to see each look and marvel at their brilliance.

via All the celeb fashion you should behold from the Oscars red carpet — Metro

Philadelphia Jewish Cemetery Vandalized Dozens of Headstones Damaged


A Philadelphia cemetery has become the latest victim of vandals. Sunday morning, it was discovered at the Mt. Carmel Cemetery on the corner of Frankford and Cheltenham avenues, that headstones of Jewish graves had been overturned breaking many from their support base. There are dozens of graves involved. The vandalism comes on the heels of the overturning of headstones in the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City in the St. Louis area, that Vice President Pence visited last week to help repair the damage to over 100 headstones.

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