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  • Now DHS Chief Kirstjen Nielsen, not aware Russia, and Putin personally, infested our American 2016 election to help Trump win
  • Too Big to Jail banks cash in on best quarter since cashing out Main Street with Great Recession, so Congress repeals piece of Dodd-Frank peace of mind protection hedge against Great Recession II
  • Volcano lava threatens Hawaiian power plant
  • Kim Jong-un’s queen moves south Knight, rooking pretender king, checking him between NRA praises and scripted thoughts & prayers
  • Friday 18 May 2018 ten dead, ten wounded in Santa Fe Texas in ninth 2018 school shooting

Another entry in America’s Mass Murder journal, annotated by Trump-Pence administration writhe with foreign invasion, domestic terrorism, treasonous flirtations and an anti-American caste system’s inspiration for GOP Deportation Bus.

This is dereliction of Duty, Honor Country!

  • The more, in Trump we trust, the dimmer our exceptional majestic dreams of humane character become
  • The more we allow truth decay and failure to extract arrogant denial from reality of Manafort indictment and Flynn, Gates & Papadopoulos confessed guilt, the greater our consensual collusion with trumped fiction.

The first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II reigns over a U. K. where, the overwhelming majority of police, don’t carry guns.

By contrast, Americans endure increasing revelations from abused minors, sexually harassed women, violent discrimination against LGBTQ and non-Caucasians — and America’s gun murders are nearly thirty times higher than the Mother Country.

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Probably the greatest gift personal liberty offers, is the freedom to choose wisely — unless unbridled individual choice performs shotgun weddings between young minds still developing full comprehension of connecting bridge between actions and consequences — and excessive accessibility to handheld destruction.

We can believe in selective manipulation of Bill of Rights’ amendments or stop giving middle and high school students, like Parkland’s Nikolas Cruz, lethal weapons fully capable of automatic mass murder.

We can build on Constitutional law and Statue of Liberty history or emulate corrupted morals of false prophet supremacists profiteering from our willingness to embrace false security.

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We either rebuild our American Home of the Brave on the crumbling infrastructure of Corporatism’s rented craven, or on the solid rock of reason, civility and unity.

Either way, our choices define us — hacked 2016 elections spawning a lawless ICE or accepting our FBI as protective wall of investigated facts.

While bids for grandeur bull trade away USA in global china shops, favoring armed teacher tweets ignore truth: Santa Fe High School exemplifies gun runners’ hardened targets definition.

Blocked numbers, obscured usury, the family that steals together stays together, long enough to defraud American Dream, abuse national environment and ban Statue of Liberty brand, before exiting Stage Right into, what profits a man if he trumps the whole world but loses his soul.

To sustain, no one is above the law, we must insist in this country, we include presidents, members of their administration and their erosion of our human decency: domestic violence, ICE and every form of discrimination.

Whether the New York Times or Washington Post, we are free to act on 2016 election facts or be accessories to Trump/Pence administration’s violation of America’s First Amendment.

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American patriotism should protect America from those distracting Americans from the swamp devil in the details of Qatar and Kushner 666 5th Avenue’s, art of the deal — or do we deserve Trump/Pence?

In 2018, our death toll for students and teachers killed by guns, outnumbers the number of American military active duty deaths. If MIA, what one item would have spared lives?

Refusing an amateur President a royal ceremony invitation from the world’s fifth oldest monarchy celebrating its continuing evolution, in the persons of Prince Harry and feminist Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle illustrated, with the aplomb of true greatness, England’s vision — including declining Pence/Trump religious and racial discrimination stains on their Stand By Me.

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Sanctuary Church — whose proper name is World Peace and Unification Sanctuary, but which also goes by the more muscular-sounding Rod of Iron Ministries — stands inconspicuously on a country road that winds through the village of Newfoundland, Pa., 25 miles southeast of Scranton. The one-story, low-slung building used to be St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Before that, it was a community theater, which is why there are no pews, only a semicircle of tiered seats facing the old stage, now an altar.

On a Sunday morning in late February, 38-year-old Pastor Hyung Jin “Sean” Moon, son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, entered stage right wearing a white hoodie and cargo pants. He strapped on a leather headband and picked up a microphone. “OK, take it away,” he said to the electric pianist and two female vocalists who function as the choir. They launched into the first of four songs: “O, light of grace, shining above / lighting my dim shadowed way … ”

The 200-plus congregants packed into the room sang along with gusto. Pastor Sean stood by his front-row seat with his wife at his side, wringing his hands like an orchestra conductor. The song cycle ended and, after a brief prayer, he took center stage. “Look at all these crowns of sovereignty!” he exclaimed, gazing upon his audience. One tenet of the Sanctuary Church is that all people are independent kings and queens in God’s Kingdom — a kind of don’t-tread-on-me notion of personal sovereignty. Hence, symbolic gold and silver crowns bobbed on row after row of heads.

This crowd was about twice the usual size because this service was the warm-up for a renewal-of-marriage-vows ceremony scheduled for Wednesday morning. Scores of couples already had arrived from Japan and Korea. That ceremony — officially, the “Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Earth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing” — would cap a week of activities that thus far had included an arts festival, a survival skills contest and a goat-butchering demonstration.

The wedding-blessing event was generating nationwide attention — something new for Sanctuary Church, which, until now, hadn’t even registered on the radar of the Pocono Record, the daily newspaper. A key pillar of Sanctuary dogma is the importance of owning a gun, particularly the lethal, lightweight AR-15 semi-automatic, which the National Rifle Association has proclaimed “the most popular rifle in America.” Last fall, Pastor Sean had studied the Book of Revelation. It makes multiple references to how Christ one day will rule his earthly kingdom “with a rod of iron.” Although Revelation was written long before the advent of firearms, Pastor Sean concluded that “rod of iron” was Bible-speak for the AR-15 and that Christ, not being a “tyrant,” will need armed sovereigns to help him keep the peace in his kingdom.

As a result, a recent Sanctuary Church news release had noted that “blessed couples are requested” to bring with them to the upcoming Book of Life ceremony an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle “or equivalents.” This was unfortunate timing for the church: The next day a young man walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and killed 17 people with an AR-15. Shooters had used that same model rifle to carry out mass murders in Las Vegas; Orlando, Fla.; San Bernardino, Calif.; and other cities.

That latest tragedy was freshly imprinted on millions of minds, among them Pastor Sean’s. He eased into his hourlong Sunday morning sermon by reminding everyone of what President Donald Trump had pointed out after the Parkland shooting: “He said if the teachers were armed, they would have shot the hell out of that guy. This is the first time we’ve heard a president talk like that. This is God’s grace, folks.”

Virtually the entire congregation was coming back Wednesday for the big blessing ceremony, so he reviewed some safety precautions, like securing rifle triggers with a zip tie: “Remember, folks, you can never take back a bullet.” That was not to say worshippers couldn’t pack heat. Those with a concealed carry permit were welcome to bring their loaded pistol Wednesday (their “mini rod of iron”) in addition to their AR-15. You never know, “there may be a wolf in sheep’s clothing who tries to make trouble,” said Pastor Sean.

After delivering a few social announcements (parents seeking marriage partners for their adult children were meeting at 3 p.m.; the next day at 5 p.m. there would be an AR-15 “breakdown” tutorial on how to properly disassemble the rifle), Pastor Sean delivered the meat of his sermon. He plowed familiar ground at first, citing Bible passages where the “rod of iron” was used to smite evildoers. Pacing the altar, he then segued into a freewheeling, gunfire-and-brimstone diatribe.

“You must shed the slave mentality and adopt the royal mentality. … The Democratic Party has become the Communist Party funded by Nazi collaborator George Soros. … The fake ministers and fake priests are pushing a dictator-Christ.” He took potshots at some favorite targets: Hillary Clinton (“she was paying for the Russian dossier”), Pope Francis (“a socialist, communist devil”) and government that gets too big for its britches. “Jesus never centralized power. Jesus never created government,” he said. “The worst killer in all of humanity the last one hundred years is centralized government.”

He showed a video clip of younger church members undergoing quasi-paramilitary training as sanctuary’s standby Peace Police/Peace Militia. They shoot rifles on the run in the woods. They wear camo for the Lord. They learn Filipino knife fighting. “It’s not about being a bada–. It’s about practicing to be deadly because you love people,” Pastor Sean told his flock. “The way of the rod of iron is the way of love.”

In a few days, reporters, photographers and TV camera crews would swarm upon sleepy Newfoundland for the wedding-blessing ceremony — professional gawkers lured by the incongruous coupling of semi-automatic rifles and a house of worship. But the media circus also would quickly move on, without fully answering questions left dangling. Who, exactly, are these Sanctuarians? And, with their injection of guns into the country’s already divisive mix of politics and religion, what do they want?

When the Rev. Sun Myung Moon died of complications from pneumonia in 2012 at age 92, it set off a power struggle within his family. Sean, with backing from older brother Kook Jin “Justin” Moon, contends he was selected from among his 10 adult siblings to inherit the Unification Church mantle and be crowned the next-generation “Second King” — not a full-fledged messiah like his father purported to be, but nonetheless responsible for finishing the work of building God’s Kingdom. Meanwhile, their mother, Hak Ja Han, asserts the Rev. Moon, her husband of 52 years, passed the baton to her.

The church they were fighting over has roots in both Korea and America. The Rev. Moon — born in 1920 in what is now North Korea but was then part of Japan — said Jesus appeared to him when he was 15 and asked him to take on the “special mission” of completing God’s Kingdom on earth, Cheon Il Guk in his native Korean. First, however, he went off to study electrical engineering in Japan and got arrested (and tortured) twice for his activity in the Korean independence movement. He returned home, married and after World War II moved to Pyongyang, where the communist government threw him in a labor camp for preaching Christianity. When that camp was liberated near the end of the Korean War, Moon headed south.

He established a church in Seoul in 1954, dubbing it the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity. He codified his beliefs in a text titled “Divine Principle.” One core construct says Satan seduced Eve in the Garden of Eden. This caused “the fall” of humankind by contaminating the bloodlines she and Adam transmitted through Cain and Abel. God sent Jesus to serve as a Second Adam to find sin-free love and salvage the family of man. But Jesus didn’t live long enough to marry. It thus became Sun Myung Moon’s destiny to step in as a Third Adam and redeem the world.

His ministry put a premium on the sanctity of traditional marriage and condemned premarital sex, divorce and homosexuality. That conservative message found an audience in Seoul, though police arrested him twice — for suspicion of having religious sex orgies and ducking the draft. (Both charges ultimately were dropped.) By 1957, he’d built a network of 30 churches and was wired into the South Korean business community and government. The only glitch was that his own marriage proved imperfect, ending in divorce. However, Hak Ja Han soon entered his life. They married in 1960, and followers hailed them as God’s anointed “True Parents.”

A decade later, the Rev. Moon came to the United States, a necessary foothold for uniting the planet under his Unification banner. Moon spun a web of foundations and interlocking companies, reportedly becoming South Korea’s first billionaire. His followers were untroubled by his wealth, but Congress investigated his empire, and then the IRS came after him. In the mid-1980s, Moon served 13 months in prison for failure to declare $162,000 in taxable income. Ever the entrepreneur, he made arrangements in prison to start the conservative Washington Times, saying he did it “to fulfill God’s desperate desire to save this world.”

Unification Church membership figures have always been elastic, ranging from tens of thousands to several million. In 2009, the Washington Times cited 110,000 “adherents.” Whatever the correct number, it had peaked by the late 1990s. Yet the Rev. Moon pressed on. In 2003, a double-page ad in the Washington Times trumpeted this news: All 36 deceased American presidents acknowledged Sun Myung Moon’s greatness. What’s more, each one had written an endorsement letter from the Great Beyond. “People of America, rise again. Return to the nation’s founding spirit,” said Thomas Jefferson, once characterized as a “howling atheist” by political opponents. “Follow the teachings of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Messiah to all people.”

Jefferson was, of course, one of the architects of America’s system of government — which will become obsolete if the Rev. Moon’s vision of God’s Kingdom on earth comes to pass. Pastor Sean is convinced that will happen, and in preparation, he has taken it upon himself to write a Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk, grounded in principles articulated by his father.

If all proceeds according to divine plan, the country will be ruled by monarchs drawn from his branch of the Moon family. If the Kingdom comes in Sean’s lifetime, he’ll take the reins as king of the United States. Brother Justin — who serves as Sanctuary Church’s de facto assistant pastor — is set to be inspector general, a super-special prosecutor charged with rooting out government corruption. Don’t worry. It’s not a theocracy, Sean says: “We would refer to it as a libertarian Christian monarchy or maybe a libertarian republican democracy.”

The son also rises

The Moons primarily raised their 13 children on an estate north of New York City owned by the Unification Church. The main house at East Garden had 12 bedrooms, seven bathrooms and church minions catering to their every need. But life was far from idyllic. One son died in a car accident, another committed suicide and a third succumbed at a relatively young age to drinking and drugs.

Sean Moon wrote about the downside of their gilded childhoods in a 2005 memoir. “We grew up many times seeing parents one or two weeks, combined over various visits, out of the year,” he recalled. “I many times felt scared, abandoned, and neglected. … We were surrounded, constantly, by [church] members. … I sat and seethed in anger many nights, as I drifted off to sleep.”

The Rev. Moon fancied himself an outdoorsman. There were guns around the mansion, and, at 14, Justin fired one. It was love at first recoil: By 18, he had a permit to carry. He went on to major in economics at Harvard and earn an MBA at the University of Miami, tinkering with gun designs in his spare time. After graduate school, he opened Kahr Arms in office space across the Hudson River from East Garden, using a $5 million loan from his father. His immediate goal, he later told American Handgunner magazine, was to create “an ultracompact 9-millimeter pistol.” And he did.

Kahr introduced its palm-size K9 model in 1995; people and police departments gobbled it up. Justin’s success with the company caught his father’s eye. Kahr soon was absorbed into one of the Unification Church’s corporations. Justin moved to Korea to take on the added role of president of a sister subsidiary. By 1999, Kahr had enough cash to buy the company that produced the storied Thompson submachine gun once toted by gangsters such as Baby Face Nelson. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reports Kahr sold 40,274 pistols and 9,086 rifles in 2016.

Justin Moon is a hyper-defender of the Second Amendment. Private citizens, he says, should have unfettered access to any handheld weapon the U.S. military uses. “Were every woman in America to exercise their right to bear arms, America would basically eliminate its crime rate,” he told me one morning at Kahr Arms. “Nobody would be able to rape them or rob them.”

While Justin was climbing the Unification Church’s corporate ladder, Sean followed in his footsteps only as far as Harvard. He got a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts and a master’s of theology, and spent eight years studying Buddhism in the United States, Korea and India.

He had a compelling reason to go off in search of himself. Sean was in college in October 1999 when his brother Young Jin “Phillip” Moon jumped out the 17th-floor window of a Las Vegas hotel. He was 21, a year older than Sean. They had been inseparable growing up. “For most of our lives we shared the same room, the same video games, and the same Doritos chips,” Sean wrote in his memoir.

In July 2007, the prodigal son returned to the fold of the Unification Church. Sean had telegraphed his intentions the previous fall by doing 12,000 prayer bows over six days; on one of those days he also made a poster-size calligraphy of the Korean character seong (“sincere”), using a paintbrush dipped in his blood, which had been extracted by a physician.

Sean’s initial job was pastor of a Unification Church in Seoul. Within 10 months, he was put in charge of international church operations. On three ceremonial occasions, he says, his father named him “heir and successor.” However, he also sent conflicting signals to oldest brother Preston and to Hak Ja Han. A few days after her husband’s passing in 2012, Hak Ja Han summoned Sean to the magnificent Peace Palace the Moons had built in the mountains north of Seoul. According to Sean, she put him on notice that “I’m God. I’m Hananim.” To which he replied, “Mummy, please, you can’t say that. Father’s not going to be happy.”

He says she phased him out of church activities and stopped taking his phone calls. In September 2013, on the first anniversary of his father’s death, Sean went to the palace in hopes of seeing his mother. In his version of events, she had security guards shoo him away.

Justin Moon sided with his younger brother. Coincidentally, around that time, New York lawmakers passed several gun-control measures that irked him. He decided to extricate himself and Kahr Arms from the Unification Church and move Kahr headquarters elsewhere. Eastern Pennsylvania beckoned: reasonable cost of living, excellent schools for his seven children, and 900,000 NRA members within a 300-mile radius of the state capital, Harrisburg.

By spring 2013, both brothers’ families were ensconced in Pennsylvania. Sean began holding Sanctuary Church services in his living room (in a town appropriately named Lords Valley). When the congregation outgrew the space, he did his preaching in the banquet room at a Best Western. In May 2014, sanctuary settled into the former Catholic church in Newfoundland. Members voluntarily have dug into their pockets, contributing $683,000 in 2015 and $491,000 for the first six months of 2016. A foundation Justin runs in brother Phillip’s name supports sanctuary with grants (almost $380,000 combined in 2015 and 2016), plus it bought the church site. That revenue stream should keep the lights burning for the foreseeable future and Pastor Sean’s camouflage-colored Jeep Wrangler on the road.

In January 2015, Sean publicly renounced his mother for hijacking the Unification Church and rewriting and editing his father’s religious texts. He has since taken to calling her the “whore of Babylon.” Last September, Sanctuary Church shunted Hak Ja Han aside, and a posthumous wedding was thrown for the Rev. Moon. He (well, his spirit) married 90-year-old Hyun Shil Kang, supposedly the first person to join his ministry in the early 1950s. She moved to Pennsylvania to live with Sean and his family.

Hak Ja Han did not comment on specific allegations made by her son, but Ki Hoon Kim, continental chairman of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification USA, responded in an email: “I know with certainty that Dr. Moon has reached out to her son, Hyung Jin, numerous times since February 2013 asking him to come back to Korea to meet with her, but he has refused each request. … We can’t know exactly what took place in private discussions between mother and son, but it’s clear that he holds an escalating resentment towards her. … Even if Dr. Moon had made such a statement [that she is God], it is in line with our theological beliefs that she and her husband are one with God, just as Jesus said, ‘I and the Father are One.’”

In Jin Moon, second oldest of the surviving children, took an active role in the Unification Church until about eight years ago. She currently lives in New Jersey and has never before spoken out publicly about Sean and Justin. However, she says, “the language that’s coming out of Sanctuary Church is quite alarming,” so she feels obliged to raise her voice. She loves her brothers “ferociously” but says that the possibility their commingling of God and guns could inadvertently incite violence “is the great concern for the family.” And, yet, she thinks healing and reconciliation is possible. “I still believe in the unity of my family,” she says.

There seemingly is not much interest in reconciliation on the part of her brothers, however. Indeed, kicking Mom out of the family tree was not enough to satisfy Justin Moon. At a question-and-answer session with church members in 2016, he explained that if a queen tries to usurp a king’s throne, the ultimate price must be paid: “It’s the king’s responsibility to arrest her and execute her.”

Any second thoughts about Hak Ja Han having committed a capital offense? Sitting at his office desk one morning, sporting his ever-present Kahr Arms baseball hat, Justin told me he stands by his earlier remarks: “It’s a comment on the record. I’m not going to walk it back.” All he was willing to do was change the analogy: “I love my mother,” he said, but what if she attempted to overthrow the U.S. government? “She should probably be tried for treason.”

Straight shooters

A year and a half ago, Sanctuary Church bought a larger house for Pastor Sean, his wife and their five children. Heaven’s Palace is perched on a hill overlooking Matamoras, the easternmost town in Pennsylvania, near the Delaware River. Sean has a brown belt in Brazilian jiujitsu and several nights a week teaches a class inside his converted garage. The students are church members, most in their 20s, and most of them active in the so-called Peace Police/Peace Militia.

On a Wednesday in late March, eight women and five men paired up for a practice session, trading positions as Moon guided them through a series of jiujitsu holds and mini-bouts. Dressed in a salmon-colored kimono top and loose-fitting black pants, he sat yoga-style on his knees facing the class. “Work it! There you go! That’s definitely burning it into your muscle memory, your hippocampus.”

A burst of action. A pause for sips of water and a few pushups. Repeat, repeat. More guidance. Using his son as a prop, Sean stopped at one point to demonstrate the kimura hold, a double-wrist lock you can put on an opponent’s shoulder and upper arm. “Once we have the kimura position, we’re going to capture the shoulder with chest pressure,” he said while tying his son in a knot. “Basically, you’re sitting on the head so it doesn’t move.”

“He explains things well,” said Doug Williams, a retired police officer and Sanctuarian who lives next door and studied judo in his younger days. “He’s strict, but he’s inspiring at the same time. The kids know that.”

They obediently ground one another’s faces into the mat for two hours. Everyone then knelt and recited the Lord’s Prayer in unison. Sean lifted his arms and murmured, “All glory to God.” Class dismissed.

Sean Moon never raises his voice teaching jiujitsu in the garage. Inside the house, however, he regularly unleashes the higher-octane side of his personality. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 5 to 8 a.m., Pastor Sean records a live webcast, called “The King’s Report,” in a room next to the kitchen.

He sits at a desk with an AR-15 rifle prominently displayed next to his microphone, always decked out in a shirt and tie, the camouflage suit jacket he bought on eBay, and a crown made of polished rifle shells. He’ll interview an occasional guest and show clips from the NRA’s digital TV channel.

But mostly he discusses the latest stories being featured by his conservative-media holy trinity — the Drudge Report, Breitbart News and Alex Jones’ paranoia-pushing Infowars — and riffs at length about current events, from Oprah Winfrey’s potential presidential bid (“She worships Satan. She promotes the New Age Christian view of God, which is a relevant God, which is, of course, Satan”) to gun-control advocates (“They are complete demons. … They want to make you completely vulnerable to the predations of the wicked”).

While the Rev. Moon seldom indulged in personal attacks, Sean and Justin regularly toss verbal grenades. They’re also more enamored with guns than their father — and more overtly political.

“No question about it,” Sean told me one afternoon as we chatted in the orchestra section of the theater-turned-sanctuary: God’s hand was at work in the 2016 presidential campaign. A week before Election Day, Justin spoke to a group of Japanese Sanctuarians who were visiting Pennsylvania and described in biblical terms what was at stake: Hillary Clinton, he said, was the “Fallen Eve” who would start a war (possibly nuclear) with Russia. Donald Trump was the “Adam-type figure” who wanted to attack and “bring judgment on the government, on the archangel.” Depending on the outcome, he added, “the nature of God’s judgment on this world will be dramatically different.”

Both Moons shoot straight on and off the firing range. Sean on Al Gore: “A fricking nutbag.” Sean on 9/11: “False flag.” Sean on Hollywood liberals: “The most despicable, thieving, conniving, manipulating, evil, wicked, iniquitous demons on the planet.” Justin on the United Nations: “Satanic.” Justin on welfare recipients: “Parasites.” Justin on Democrats: “There are a lot of pedophiles in the Democratic Party. They realize that Trump is coming to get them. Literally. Round them up and put them in prison and execute them.”

Their straight talk caught up with them three weeks before the blessing ceremony. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremists, issued a “Hate Watch” on Sanctuary Church — ironically, further raising its profile. SPLC took issue with a “cult leader” urging followers to carry guns and with comments Sean made about public school children “getting indoctrinated into the homosexual political agenda” and “the transgender agenda.” Sean responded by posting an alert of his own on Facebook: “Southern Poverty Law Center is well known as an extreme left hate group.”

Thanks to Trump

In December 2013, Justin Moon paid $2 million in cash for a 620-acre industrial site north of Newfoundland. On Aug. 30, 2016, he held the grand opening of Kahr Arms’ Tommy Gun Warehouse showroom store, the place to go for rifles, pistols, knives and the Brooklyn Smasher steel baseball bat that in an emergency can be used to club an intruder or a deer to death. The grand-opening guest of honor was Eric Trump. “That came about because God made it happen,” Justin told me. Somebody from the Trump campaign had called him out of the blue and said, “Eric wants to come.”

So Eric came, and Sean introduced him by saying: “It’s my opinion that we must elect a president that will protect and expand the right to bear arms. … I hope we can all agree that Hillary Clinton should never be the president of the United States. … God bless the U.S.A., and please buy some guns and ammo!”

Eric, in an open-collar shirt and dark sports jacket, stood in front of a wall of rifles and next to a U.S. flag. “This election for every gun owner is a huge thing. It will be the difference between adding to our Second Amendment freedoms or not adding to our Second Amendment freedoms,” he said, then switched to the topic of America hemorrhaging jobs. “We don’t make anything here anymore. That’s why Justin deserves a tremendous, tremendous round of applause. … Our government does not make it easy on you, either from a shooting perspective or from a manufacturing perspective.”

A year and a half later — on a Saturday night before the renewal-of-vows ceremony — Rod of Iron Ministries and Kahr Arms hosted a “President Trump, Thank You” dinner at the Best Western in Matamoras. This time the only Trump in attendance was a life-size cardboard cutout of the president.

The event doubled as a fundraiser for Gun Owners of America, an organization Executive Director Emeritus Larry Pratt said takes “a more robust position” on guns than the NRA. Pratt lives in northern Virginia and served one term in the House of Delegates in the early 1980s. His dinner speech not only denounced any restrictions on gun sales and possession, it went a giant step further by asserting “the feds should have nothing to do with law enforcement anywhere.”

Sean Moon echoed that ultra-libertarian theme. “Government is becoming a totalitarian crime syndicate,” he warned, on its way to creating “a dystopian, Christ-hating hell on earth.” Justin alluded to his father, saying, “without our property and our guns, we’re nothing but laborers in a communist death camp.”

The dinner opened with a moment of silence for the Parkland shooting victims, followed by a prayer led by Sanctuarian Ted O’Grady, who gave thanks for Trump: “This room knows that this is only the beginning … that you will be the president that ushers in God’s Kingdom on earth.”

It ended with Hyun Shil Kang, Mrs. Moon No. 3, selecting the winning raffle ticket for the door prize: an AR-15 rifle donated by Kahr Arms. The winner was a middle-aged woman whose reaction was surprisingly muted; it turned out she already owns an AR-15.

A few days later, on Wednesday morning, about 20 demonstrators gathered outside Sanctuary Church armed with only signs. “Father Forgive Them.” “Pickles for Peace, No More Absurd than Guns for God.” As a precaution, all students at the elementary school a half-mile away had been bussed to other classrooms for the day. But no wolves in sheep’s clothing tried to make trouble.

John Hind, a lifelong Newfoundlander, soaked in the scene from his front porch across the street. “They’re good neighbors,” he said of the Sanctuarians. “They haven’t bothered nobody.”

“But they’re weird,” snorted his friend Carol Wood, puffing a cigarillo. “And blessing their guns? It’s confusing, and it’s irritating.”

Inside the church, Timothy Elder, acting as master of ceremonies, informed the overflow congregation and some 50 reporters and cameramen lining the walls (plus about a hundred people watching a video feed in the adjacent community room) that “this is not a blessing of inanimate firearms.” It was strictly a recommitment of sacred wedding vows – for people bearing firearms.

Just before 10:30, Elder asked everyone to remove their AR-15s from their cases, “being careful to point the muzzle up and remove your finger from the trigger.” Camera shutters clicked crazily. Attendants in pink-and-white vestments led a procession into the sanctuary, followed by a three-man, armed color guard dressed in combat fatigues. Next came Pastor Sean, the “Second King,” and his wife, Yeon Ah Lee Moon, the “Queen,” both clad in white. Justin Moon was on their heels, his dark suit topped off by his baseball hat. Mother Kang took a seat in a white-and-gold chair on the altar. A crown was placed on the chair next to her, representing the absent Rev. Moon.

Pastor Sean carried a bound copy of the Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk, which he carefully laid on a table on the altar. His wife cradled a gold-plated AR-15. “The King and Queen will now place the Rod of Iron on its ceremonial stand where it will guard the Constitution,” Elder explained.

The brides and grooms in attendance, some 500 total, jointly sipped from tiny cups of wine. They took their vows (“Do you promise an eternal bond as husband and wife?”). The King said an extended prayer, acknowledging their “right to sovereignty, the right to keep and bear arms, the right to inherit the earth and protect it from socialism, communism and political Satanism.” Husbands and wives then exchanged rings. The sanctuary filled with applause, then cheers.

Outside a polite battle of words raged. On the front lawn, a contingent of Korean Sanctuarians unfurled a 20-foot-long banner referencing their divided country: “Thank you USA. We will never forget America’s grace. Trump chosen by God, relocate the tactical nucleus to the 38th line.” A chest-high rail fence runs along the property line, hugging the road. The Sanctuarians occupied one side, the protesters commanded the other.

Two adversaries faced off in gentlemanly mouth-to-mouth combat. Gideon Raucci is a second-generation Unificationist in his late 20s who switched allegiance to Sanctuary Church. He’s active in Sean’s Peace Police. Teddy Hose, 39, is a writer-graphic artist who flew in from San Francisco. He was part of a film crew shooting a documentary on cults. He’s also a second-generation Unificationist who grew up near East Garden in close contact with the Moon family. Hose left the church years ago.

“It can take just one bullet to change everything,” he told Raucci.

“I totally hear you about being responsible with guns,” Raucci replied.

“What I feel is not coming across to the rest of the community around you, this is scaring people …”

“This might open up something beautiful where people understand where we’re coming from,” Raucci said. “Your focus is on loving your neighbor, I’m totally down with that. … We’re taught to never be the initiators of violence.”

“David Koresh and Charles Manson both used the Book of Revelation,” Hose reminded him, “because it’s a very extreme part of the Bible.”

It went back and forth like that for about 10 minutes. Then they reached over the fence, and hugged.

‘I love Sean’

The day after the blessing ceremony Regis Hanna, a Georgetown University graduate in his late 60s who recently moved to Pennsylvania to join the Sanctuary Church congregation, walked into Kahr Arms’ Tommy Gun Warehouse showroom with his wife, Nancy. Right inside the door stands a taxidermy triptych: a lion and a leopard attacking an antelope, all three animals shot by Justin Moon on safari in Tanzania. “Infowars” was playing on the big-screen TV. Posters of beautiful women in spiked heels, flashing slit skirts and Kahr pistols, adorn two walls. Hanna was thinking of buying a handgun. He moved here from Panama, where gun laws are strict and where he spent 21 years doing missionary work for the Unification Church. He and Nancy did a lot of family counseling with unwed couples. Theirs was one of the early American marriages arranged by the Rev. Moon. They’ve been together 43 years and have seven children.

After the Unification Church rupture, the Hannas chose to cast their lot with Pastor Sean. Regis, a round-faced man of mellow temperament, is now part of sanctuary’s paid staff, and today it was his job to field any post-ceremony calls. The church’s main number had been forwarded to his cellphone, which rang shortly after he entered the showroom. It was a New Jersey area code. He put the call on speaker phone.

“Are you f—ing insane? You don’t know the meaning of religion! You ought to be ashamed of yourselves!”

A minute later, another call came in. Oklahoma area code: “I was wondering if you’re accepting more people into your group.” Hanna told the man he could catch Sanctuary services on YouTube.

Another call. British Columbia. “I love what you guys are doing. I love Sean.”

“Thank you, brother,” said Hanna.

Hak Ja Han’s ascension to the head of the Unification Church had ripple effects, and many hundreds of people faced the same decision the Hannas did. Friendships got torn apart, marriages blew up and families were divided as church members declared different loyalties. Most Unificationists stayed with the parent church; some went with Pastor Sean; a few followed oldest brother Preston Moon, who established a secular Global Peace Foundation in Seattle. Others quit the movement altogether.

Kyle Toffey, 65, was a longtime Unificationist who lived in Korea for 10 years. He admitted to me that “at first it did sound a little bit off the wall” when Pastor Sean added an AR-15 twist to the blessing ceremony, but he and his wife participated. He has learned to “reserve my skepticism” and trust Sean’s judgment. Plus, he has grown to appreciate the responsibility and self-confidence that comes with being armed: “In the morning when you strap on a pistol, you feel like the sheriff of the town.”

Dan Fefferman used to worship with Regis Hanna at a Unification Church in Washington, D.C. He and his wife were married in the same group ceremony as the Hannas. They live in Bowie, Md., now and stayed with the Unification Church, but Fefferman visited Sean Moon’s congregation several times.

“A lot of us went to check it out,” Fefferman said in a phone interview, “hoping we could talk sense into him.” In his opinion, the Moon brothers “attract the more unbalanced members” that can be found in any religious sect. He considered Rod of Iron a “far-right group with a paramilitary aspect to it.” Not a hate group per se, “but I certainly hope and expect the FBI is watching them closely.”

For second-generation church members, these choices are more emotionally complex. The Unification Church is the only anchor they’ve known. Andrew Stewart’s parents raised him in the Church. He spent several college summers as an intern on a nondenominational farm near Newfoundland, where he got exposed to Sanctuary Church. He helped with some minor building renovations and attended Sunday services. The vibe grew progressively darker, he said. Although personally fond of many people he met, it struck him as odd that, theologically, “the church thrives off the ability to make people angry.” He gradually drifted away from sanctuary and this spring left the Unification Church, too.

Somiya Chapman Gabb — whose father was part of the Unification Church support staff at East Garden — was so offended by Hak Ja Han’s revising of Rev. Moon’s religious texts that she jumped to Sanctuary in early 2015. She and her husband were then living in Yonkers, New York, a three-hour round-trip drive. But she and her family felt increasingly out of tune with Sanctuary’s often “scathing” sermons. Also, a member of the congregation told her that another Sanctuarian had pulled a loaded gun on him. By the end of 2017, the Gabbs stopped making that long Sunday drive to Pennsylvania. They read the Bible and pray at home now. Gabb thinks “there’s still hope” that Sanctuary Church can right itself but said Sean Moon “is one word away from a violent situation and he may not even know it.”

Bad news is good news

Individually, Sanctuary Church members come across as honest, reasonable, upright folk, the stuff of good neighbors. Collectively, the dynamic changes. So much of the church discourse can’t abide contrasting opinions and worldviews. You don’t hear much talk about, or empathy for, the poor, the infirm, the weak. Most enervating, though, is the steady drumbeat of dystopia. To be a devout Sanctuarian requires almost superhuman faith in the cleansing waters of catastrophe. It’s like standing on the deck of the Titanic and rooting for the icebergs.

Justin Moon told me we’ve entered “that End of Times time frame” prophesied in the Book of Revelation, when God and “his champions” will “take the political power in the earth” away from Satan. Viewed through that lens, the 2016 election was “very different.” Actually, hugely different. “I believe God is using Donald Trump,” he said, a sentiment his brother shares. “He is an imperfect person, a sinner, but God has chosen to use him. Just like King David was an imperfect person.”

The apocalyptic events predicted in the Bible began unspooling, Justin explained, during his father’s lifetime: World War II, the Cold War, famines, disease epidemics and “the continuing confusion we see today.” Biblical timelines are unpredictable, but he is confident the End of Times and the corresponding advent of Cheon Il Guk will come in his son’s lifetime, if not his own. His father, the Rev. Moon, said so.

Sean Moon’s Constitution of the United States of Cheon Il Guk is a powerful document. It throws the country in reverse and then steps on the gas. Consider just these few provisions: The House of Representatives will elect the president. The king will pick Supreme Court justices. Congress cannot levy income taxes or property taxes; nor can it fund health care, education, Social Security or Medicare. The constitution specifically states there will be no Central Bank, Environmental Protection Agency or national police force.

Oh, and there will be no standing military of any kind. Justin Moon says the United States will follow the “Swiss model” of national defense. For example, he says, the Swiss Air Force has a small number of paid managers who schedule airplane maintenance and design training regimens, but citizen volunteers take care of all the planes and fly them, too. He says the Swiss defense system has kept Switzerland safe and secure for a long time. This is true, though being a neutral country may have a little something to do with that.

Trump was doing a fine job implementing God’s plan, the way Pastor Sean saw it — that is, until he signed the omnibus spending bill that added another trillion dollars to the national debt. Then came the April airstrikes on Syria. A few days later Sean Moon addressed these developments in a “King’s Report” webcast: “This is very, very disturbing for the actual Trump supporters who got him elected. We don’t want war. We’re sick of foreign entanglements. … He’s completely doing a 180. He’s becoming frickin’ Hillary Clinton. … If he continues down this road, America is dead, folks. … He’s a man with many flaws, many sins, and now he’s capitulating to the most evil wickedness on the planet.”

That wickedness kept getting worse. The day he recorded this particular “King’s Report,” news broke that the judge overseeing the court case of the president’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, had officiated at the 2013 wedding of George Soros (“the Antichrist; he has his Rothschild fingers in everything,” Pastor Sean moaned) and Nancy Pelosi was a guest. The fix is in, he said. One way or another, the “deep state” is going to take Trump down.

Then again, for Pastor Sean, the good news is that all this bad news is actually great news. He perceived a hidden hand at work, puzzling it out live on “The King’s Report.” The quicker the country goes down the toilet, the quicker Americans will come to their senses and embrace the Rod of Iron and Cheon Il Guk. It now appears to him that God is using Trump to run America into the ground, not make it great again. “We didn’t know exactly how it would unfold,” Pastor Sean told his fellow Sanctuarians, YouTube watchers and the world, “but we knew that in the end times, it gets worse before it gets better.”

Tom Dunkel is the author of “Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball’s Color Line.”

AFFTON, Mo. – Police responded to another gun store break-in, this time at Affton’s Triple Threat Armory Tuesday morning. However, the store not only captured clear video but employees locked up all the guns before closing.

“We take time to lock up our guns every night for this reason,” co-owner Tanya Stephan said. “We do not want criminals on the street with guns.”

Stephan said the thieves only got away with a couple magazines. They also stole gun boxes, but they were all empty.

The crooks also left behind plenty of clues.

“We got two of them with facial recognition and one of them didn’t have gloves on, so we’ve got fingerprints taken,” she said.

Freeze frames from surveillance video show a guy in the hoodie peaking at the camera out of the corner of his eye. You can get a good look at part of another man’s in another shot.

St. Louis County police have been here before, returning today to gather evidence and dust for fingerprints.

“This is the third time in less than a year that we’ve been broken into,” Stephan said.

This, despite the fact Stephan said it’s obvious from the outside that the guns are all locked away.

“These counter lights are on every night. We leave the blinds open. They were looking in the window all three times,” she said. “So I don’t know what makes them think they’re going to get anything when they come in here.”

Triple Threat is among at least six stores recently hit, including Razorback Armory in Des Peres, On-Target in Valley Park, Modern Weapon Systems in High Ridge, and Southern Armory in Crestwood.

Police arrested Andre Legardy in January, linking him to a break-in at Wentzville’s Eagle Eye USA, but federal investigators said he was linked to others, which they’re still tracking.

Since the criminals aren’t getting the message Triple Threat Armory locks up its guns, the owners said they may install bars over the windows, which is something they were hoping to avoid.

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As details surface about the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Friday that left 10 dead, a familiar pattern has emerged: The shooter was a white male who had been rejected by a female classmate. The mother of Shana Fisher, one of the victims in the art classroom where police say 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered and opened fire, told the Los Angeles Times that her 16-year-old daughter “had 4 months of problems from this boy.… He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no.” Sadie Rodriguez said her daughter recently stood up to Pagourtzis in class, and “a week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like.” The Santa Fe shooting could be the second school shooting in recent months driven by such rejection. In March, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey was shot in the head at Great Mills High School by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins after she had ended their relationship. Her injuries left her brain dead. She later died after she was taken off life support by her family. We are joined by Soraya Chemaly, a journalist who covers the intersection of gender and politics. She is the director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project.

TRANSCRIPT

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted also to go to the issue of the motive for the killing. No official motive has been announced for the massacre, but a familiar pattern has emerged: the shooter a white male who had been rejected by a female classmate. The mother of Shana Fisher, one of the victims in the art classroom where police say Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered and opened fire, told the Los Angeles Times that her 16-year-old daughter had four months of problems with this boy. “He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no,” unquote. Sadie Rodriguez said her daughter recently stood up to him in class, and, quote, “a week later he opens fire on everyone he didn’t like,” she said. Rodriguez also spoke to Houston station ABC13.

SADIE RODRIGUEZ: How do you deny when someone says, no, they don’t want to be with you? He had to have been mentally unstable. You know, nobody was paying attention to him. He’s going to school wearing upside-down crosses, you know, and trench coats.

AMY GOODMAN: While investigations into the attack are ongoing, the Santa Fe shooting could be the second school shooting in recent months driven by such rejection. In March, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey was shot in the head at Great Mills High School in a hallway just before classes began by 17-year-old Austin Wyatt Rollins after she ended their relationship. That was in Maryland. Her injuries left her brain-dead, and she later died after she was taken off life support by her family.

I want to bring into this conversation Soraya Chemaly, a journalist who covers the intersection of gender and politics, director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project.

Soraya, one more time, though this hasn’t been confirmed, the mom of one of the shooting victims says that this shooter, now in custody, went after her daughter for months trying to make her his girlfriend.

SORAYA CHEMALY: Yes. She described his persistence, and, I think, really focuses us on this question of boys and men who cannot take no for an answer. And so, we see, for example, headlines — I think it was yesterday, Reuters had a headline that said “spurred advances provoked this attack.” And headlines like that are particularly unhelpful, because it actually sort of reverses the trajectory of the harm and leads to conversations about shooters like this really being bullied and defending themselves.

So we see in a lot of these cases of shooting two primary metaphors to describe what’s happening. One is a metaphor of war and sort of self-defense. And the other is of disease and pathology. I would argue that both, actually, hide and mask some of the core issues that we won’t talk about: misogynistic extremism and terrorism. And these school shootings often, as you say, include an aggrieved sexual entitlement on the part of the shooter. And so many of these mass shootings, well over 50 percent, close to 60 percent, begin with a history or an incident of intimate partner or known acquaintance violence.

AMY GOODMAN: And we just heard Ed Scruggs referring to the case in Ponder, Texas —

SORAYA CHEMALY: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN:  — where a man walked into a Texas home and shot his three children, his ex-wife and her boyfriend, before turning the gun on himself. The only survivor, the man’s ex-wife, the grieving mother, “took to Facebook Live … from her hospital bed in a series of heart-wrenching videos to express her devastation at the loss of her family,” reading from the — from USA Today. So, this has just taken place in Texas, then followed by the Santa Fe shooting. You write, Soraya, about this intersection of “incel” groups, men’s rights activists, white supremacists and neo-Nazi sites that have been cross-pollinating ideas and using gaming to talk to boys. Explain.

SORAYA CHEMALY: So, they’re, all of these, communities that thrive online. They organize and grow on many different platforms, whether it’s 8chan or 4chan or Reddit. Their ideas sort of get laundered up the media food chain until they’re more palatable to mainstream audiences. But the core of so many of these ideologies, whether you’re talking about what are known as “incels,” which are involuntary celibates, or, you know, racist, neo-Nazi white supremacist groups, one of the fundamental, ordinal forms of dividing people and controlling people is gender. It is the first order of dividing and controlling people. And so, we see very similar messages being promulgated across these communities, which often cross-pollinate.

And one of the, I think, really unremarked-upon aspects of this is the degree to which young boys who are playing games, often in networked fashions, are exposed to these ideas. And no one’s really talking to them about it. So, we use a lot of language in talking about these shootings that hide the effect of gender. So, if we say that people are using guns, really what we mean are boys and men are using guns. If we say that people lack empathy, really what we mean are that boys and men lack empathy. And so, in these cases, which are so incredibly, overwhelmingly perpetrated by young men — almost always young white men in these school shootings — we still hear people say, “Well, we don’t really have a good profile of the shooter.” And that’s not true. We do have good profiles of these shooters. And we need to investigate why it is that we continue to cultivate a lack of empathy in boys, in general, and to ignore the warning signs by excusing them, saying things like “Boys will be boys” and “This is what boys do,” which is really very heartless, I think.

AMY GOODMAN: And, Murtaza, just as Soraya is talking about these male mass shooters, the whole issue of them being white male Christian? Now, you don’t usually hear white and Christian when you hear about these mass shootings. You hear about a shooter. If the person were not white or were Muslim, you hear about their religion, you do hear about their color. Do you think this explains the relative inertia around the issue of gun control?

MURTAZA HUSSAIN: Well, we have a habit in this country that when a crime is committed by a minority group, we generalize that crime to the entire group, where when it’s done by a white person or a white male, it’s viewed as an individual act. Now, I don’t think that we should generalize this act to any category of people, but we should question why we do that for certain cases and don’t do that for others.

I think that Soraya is very correct to highlight that there is a class of entitled young men who are very angry, and they have the ability to act on their anger in a very broad fashion because of the access to weapons in this country, as well. So there’s a confluence of different factors here. I think that we should resist the urge to, you know, call this a white Christian terrorist act, in the absence of more evidence, but we should also extend the same —

AMY GOODMAN: Three seconds.

MURTAZA HUSSAIN:  — generosity of categorization to other groups, as well.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank Murtaza Hussain, Soraya Chemaly, as well as Ed Scruggs and Kolten Parker.

Mourners attend a prayer vigil to remember the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting on Sunday in nearby League City, Texas. On Friday, a student allegedly entered the school with two guns and opened fire, killing 10 people. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Scott Olson/Getty Images

Mourners attend a prayer vigil to remember the victims of the Santa Fe High School shooting on Sunday in nearby League City, Texas. On Friday, a student allegedly entered the school with two guns and opened fire, killing 10 people.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Three days after a shooting at a Texas high school took the lives of eight students and two teachers, a town and a country are trying to figure out what comes next.

Gov. Greg Abbott called for a moment of silence across Texas at 10 a.m. local time, to honor the memory of those who died in Friday’s violence in the city of 12,000 between Houston and Galveston.

“The act of evil that occurred in Santa Fe has deeply touched the core of who we are as Texans,” Abbott said in a statement. “In the midst of such tragedy, we pray for the victims and those mourning in Santa Fe, while we work to ensure swift and meaningful action to protect our students in schools across our state.”

The public schools in Santa Fe, Texas, are closed Monday and Tuesday, as the community mourns and grapples with how to put the pieces back together.

The alleged shooter, a 17-year-old student at the school, has been charged with capital murder and aggravated assault.

On Sunday, the first of the funerals took place. Pakistani exchange student Sabika Sheikh, 17, was remembered in a service at a mosque in suburban Houston, before her body is returned to her family in Karachi, The Associated Press reports.

“Even through her death, she will continue to be a diplomat. Even in her death, she is pulling the relationships between Pakistan and the United States, specifically the Houston area, even closer,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, according to USA Today.

“I’m almost to the point where you almost become speechless because these incidents are happening way too much,” Turner added. “The best way we can honor Sabika is to take preventable steps to try and mitigate this from happening again.”

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has been pointed in his response to the violence in nearby Santa Fe. “This isn’t a time for prayers, and study and Inaction, it’s a time for prayers, action and the asking of God’s forgiveness for our inaction (especially the elected officials that ran to the cameras today, acted in a solemn manner, called for prayers, and will once again do absolutely nothing),” he wrote in a Facebook post on Friday.

“We need to have a national background check system that is uniformed with real teeth and real consequences for those that try to defeat it in trying to get guns and for those that sell guns to the wrong people,” Acevedo told NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro. “We need to take pragmatic action to keep guns in the right hands. I tell you what we all need to do is to stop throwing our hands up. This is the American people. We are a can-do people. We’re a can-do country. And we can put a man on the moon and aircraft on Mars. We certainly can address the gun violence which is really a public health epidemic in this nation.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick doesn’t agree that guns are the problem, instead citing violent video games and abortions.

“We have 50 million abortions,” he told CNN on Sunday. “We have families that are broken apart, no fathers at home. We have incredible heinous violence as a game, two hours a day in front of their eyes. And we stand here and we wonder why this happens to certain students.”

Students at Santa Fe High School had different opinions on whether the alleged shooter was a normal, friendly kid. A fellow football player said he’d been joking around with the suspect just the day before on a field trip, while another classmate described him as “really strange and quiet” and says she wasn’t surprised that he was the one who allegedly carried out the attack.

The mother of Shana Fisher, one of the victims, believes her daughter was specifically targeted.

“He kept making advances on her and she repeatedly told him no,” Sadie Rodriguez told the AP. “He continued to get more aggressive.” She said her daughter had “stood up to him” the week before the shooting, but did not give further detail.

Meanwhile, students around the country used a hashtag to respond to the Santa Fe High shooting and to advocate for gun control.

“#IfIdieInASchoolShooting politicize my death. It’s not too soon to talk about guns. It’s too late,” wrote Sofie Whitney, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a student killed 17 people in February.

Zion Kelly is a high school student in Washington, D.C., whose twin brother was killed in an attempted mugging in September. “#IfIdieInASchoolShooting or any shooting, I want to be buried right next to my brother,” he wrote.

CLOSE

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, 17, is in custody after authorities say he opened fire at Santa Fe High School May 18, 2018 and killed 10 people. One officer and several others are also wounded. Natalia Contreras/Caller-Times

SANTA FE, Texas —  The shots that left 10 people dead at Santa Fe High School started in the art hallway, said junior Branden Auzston.

The teen heard a fire alarm, which made him think there was an actual fire because the school had just had a fire drill two weeks ago.

“We go outside and we were told to get in the grass,” Auzston said. “Then I see my teacher and he screamed ‘Just run!’”

He said it felt like a movie, and that nothing seemed real.

Law enforcement officials said 17-year-old student Dimitrious Pagourtzis walked into the school with a shotgun and a .38-caliber pistol. The guns belonged to his father.

It’s unclear whether a student, teacher or the gunman pulled the fire alarm during the shooting. 

Nine students and one adult were killed in the shooting that happened just before 8 a.m. at the start of classes Friday.

MORE: Texas high school students walked out of class over gun violence. Now they are the victims.

More: What we know about the Texas Santa Fe High School shooting victims

The school had two police officers on duty, and one was critically wounded in the shoot-out, according to Steven McGraw, director of the state Department of Public Safety. A state trooper also engaged the gunman, McGraw said.

“We know that because they were willing to run into that a building and engage them right now, other lives were saved,” McGraw said.

At least one other person was in custody, but the official believed the person was not believed to be a suspect.

Explosives were found in and around the school soon after Pagourtzis was arrested on suspicion of capital murder and aggravated assault of a peace officer. A second person has been taken into custody for questioning.

Ten other people were wounded, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during an afternoon news conference near the school.

“We come together today as we deal with one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools,” Abbott said. “It’s impossible to describe the magnitude of the evil of someone who would attack innocent children in a school.”

Pagourtzis, the suspected school shooter, was described as quiet and someone who “stuck to himself.”

He kept a journal on his computer and a cellphone that detailed the plans for his attack, Abbott said.

The plans also included his taking his own life after the shooting, but he instead gave himself up to law enforcement.

Daisy Sullivan, a Santa Fe senior and Auzston’s girlfriend, said Pagourtzis seemed “like a normal kid.”

But she wasn’t completely shocked about what happened Friday, only two weeks before her high school graduation.

“I thought it could happen. I was surprised but not shocked about it because of the way some of the kids are treated at the high school,” Sullivan said. “Other kids just don’t care. They’re like ‘Oh, I’m older than you. Oh, I’m taller or bigger than you. They still pick on people, and sometimes it pushes people off the edge.”

RELATED: https://www.facebook.com/branden.auzston.9/videos/2581072192118280/

It is the state’s second mass shooting in less than a year.

Last November, a gunman walked into a church in Sutherland Springs, a town near San Antonio, and opened fire. The shooter, who was later killed after a bystander wounded him, left 25 people, including a pregnant woman, dead. At the time, that was called one of the worst mass shootings in modern Texas history.

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The school shooting follows one on Feb. 14, when a former student killed 17 people at a Florida high school.

Several of the injured students in Friday’s shooting are being treated at area hospitals and a number were listed in critical condition.

President Trump called it a “very sad day” at the White House. He spoke with Abbott and pledged to work with the governor to provide appropriate federal assistance.

“My administration is determined to do everything in our power to protect our students, secure our schools and to keep weapons out of the hands of those who pose a threat to themselves and to others,” Trump said. “May God heal the injured and may God comfort the wounded.”

The president ordered flags be flown at half-staff across the nation.

The shooting comes after a false report of a shooter at the school in February prompted some students to run out of the school. The high school has about 1,400 students. The school district is based in Santa Fe, Texas about 45 miles south of Houston.

Santa Fe students were in the midst of preparing for final exams next week. The school’s seniors are set to graduate on June 1. Prom was held this past weekend.

Letter from school district: https://www.sfisd.org/cms/lib/TX02215329/Centricity/Domain/8/SuperintedentMessage5_18_18.pdf

Hours after the shooting, Auzston and Sullivan were still trying to find their friend, Chris Stone, at the Alamo Gym where students were being reunited with their families.

Police also tried to find Stone by pinging his cellphone’s GPS location, Sullivan said.

Neither student wanted to believe their friend was gone. But Stone’s father told ABC 13 in Houston he couldn’t find his son and knew he didn’t make it out alive.

“I know it happened in the art room and that’s where Chris was,” his father said.

LIVE VIDEO: Active shooter prompts lockdown at Santa Fe High School in Texas

Stone was in 11th grade and Auzston had known him since middle school.

“He’s one of my best friends; he’s a great person,” Auzston said. “I don’t want to believe that he’s gone.”

The Caller-Times’ Mary Ann Cavazos Beckett and Chris Ramirez, and The USA TODAY Network’s Rick Jervis, Bart Jansen and Christal Hayes contributed to this report.

RELATED COVERAGE:

MORE: Santa Fe, Texas, high school shooting: What we know about fatalities, injuries

MORE: Trump: ‘We grieve for the terrible loss of life’ after Santa Fe High School shooting

MORE: Santa Fe High School shooting: Here are some facts about the Texas school, Santa Fe ISD

 

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Heading toward mandatory team workouts and preseason training camp, the big question for the New Orleans Saints is who will be No. 2 behind quarterback Drew Brees in 2018 and is that player the heir apparent when Brees decides to call it a career?

I know the Saints brought in former Texans’ starter Tom Savage to be the back-up at least for now. But I’m hoping strong preseason from two of New Orleans’ young guns has the coaching staff rethinking that position before the 2018 season begins.

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If Kaitlin Bennett had been allowed to carry a gun at Kent State University as a student, she wouldn’t have carried an AR-10 rifle. She would have carried her handgun instead.

But the 22-year-old said she chose to pose with the rifle for her graduation photos Sunday because it made for a stronger symbol: That, as a non-student, she could at last arm herself on the northeast Ohio campus. To Bennett, the photo was the culmination of her years as a conservative student activist, during which she advocated for students to be able to carry concealed weapons on the same campus where, almost 50 years ago, the Ohio National Guard opened fire into a crowd of unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine.

“I believe that if the government has it, we should have it. Machine guns – any weaponry,” Bennett told The Post Tuesday afternoon, shortly after her graduation photo went viral, garnering more than 3,200 retweets and 1,000 comments on Twitter.

“To make sure the government can’t go against the citizens,” she said. “We should be able to protect ourselves against a tyrannical government.”

Bennett, who was raised by a Republican family in Zanesville, Ohio, knew her photo would provoke backlash. She’d found herself at the center of controversy on campus plenty of times before. Just three weeks ago, she co-organized an open-carry demonstration that invited nearby residents to bring their firearms to the university. (Kent State University bans students, staff and faculty from carrying “deadly weapons,” according to its website. State law allows graduates and visitors to openly carry weapons on campus, but only outdoors, according to a university spokesman.)

But Bennett never imagined the photo would spread so rapidly across the country. In the photo, Bennett is wearing a white dress and wedge heels. Her brother’s AR-10 rifle, equipped with a scope, is slung over her shoulder. In her hand is her black graduation cap, marked with the cutout rifle and the words “COME AND TAKE IT.” The historic slogan dates back to the Revolutionary War and the Texas Revolution against Mexico, she said, when Texan rebels fashioned a flag with the phrase over the image of a cannon as a sign of their defiance.

She was with her family and her boyfriend Sunday, the day after she graduated, when the photo was taken, she said. A campus officer was with the group as well, as Bennett had notified the university of her intent to photograph with the rifle.

The caption on the photo read, “Now that I graduated from @KentState, I can finally arm myself on campus. I should have been able to do so as a student- especially since 4 unarmed students were shot and killed by the government on this campus. #CampusCarryNow.”

The photo was met with criticism. One Twitter user commented, “If person of color was walking around campus with a gun the whole damn police station would come and shoot them in a second #WhitePrivilege.” Another wrote, “You have no reason to have that anywhere near an institution like @KentState and I firmly believe that by having photos like this taken where you’re slapping their rules in the face you’re the worst kind of gun advocate.”

Aliah Kimbro, a 19-year-old Kent State sophomore, told Refinery 29 that it was hard for her to support Bennett as a black woman, knowing her own gun rights “aren’t safe anywhere.”
 

kaitilin benett

Kaitlin’s photo was met with a lot of criticism, with people saying that black person could not have done that.

“To see that tweet, ‘Come and take it,’ as if lives weren’t taken on that campus due to gun violence, just shocked me,” Kimbro told Refinery 29. “Kent became an open-carry campus in the last year and there were many protests from that, the incident of May 4 not forgotten.”

Since posting the photo, Bennett said she has also received death threats.

“I’m not nervous, because everyone knows that I’m armed,” she said. “I don’t know why they would threaten an armed person.”

Kaitlin Marie tweeted “Thanks to all who have sent me death threats for taking a picture. You’re the biggest advocates for gun rights. You proved exactly why people carry.”

As president of the university’s chapter of the libertarian media outlet Liberty Hangout, she’s used to being attacked, said Bennett, who was also formerly president of the Kent State chapter of Turning Point USA, a conservative organization. She said conservative students on campus have in the past been assaulted and said that in April someone swung at one of Liberty Hangout’s cameramen, breaking his equipment.

Kent State University was recently ranked the safest college campus with more than 10,000 students in Ohio and the 25th safest in the country by the National Council for Home Safety and Security. A university spokesman, Eric Mansfield, said in a statement that the university has a full-time, certified police force of more than 30 sworn officers who protect the campus. The officers are visible, well-trained and on duty 24/7 to protect students, staff and faculty.

Bennett called the university out on Twitter for touting their safety ranking, and wrote that her cameraman had been assaulted “for supporting the 2nd amendment.”

“The presence of a firearm would have deterred this assault,” she wrote.

Bennett isn’t the first student this graduation season whose graduation photo with a gun has gone viral. In April, Brenna Spencer of the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, posted a photo where she wore a “Trump for Women” T-shirt with a handgun in the waistband of her jeans while standing outside a Tennessee museum. She told ABC News that she wanted the photo to “show who I am as a person.”

Bennett, who graduated Saturday with a bachelor’s in biology, plans to pursue a job in the field. But she also plans to stay in Kent, Ohio, and continue her activism on campus and her involvement with Liberty Hangout.

She said many people have attacked her for suggesting students should carry rifles on campus. But that’s not what she intended to do, she said. While she plans to buy an AR-style rifle for herself in the near future, she would use it primarily to practice target shooting in her family’s expansive back yard, because the rifles are “super fun, and easier to shoot.”

“On campus I would never carry an AR-10 for self-defense,” she said. “There’s so many people who aren’t getting it – it’s just a photo shoot.”

Kaitlin Marie tweeted “I have no apologies for my graduation photos. As a woman, I refuse to be a victim & the second amendment ensures that I don’t have to be.”

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

LYNDHURST — Alexia Jorge has been playing baseball for as long as she can remember.

“Probably since I was about three years old,” said the Lyndhurst teenager, now 14 years old. “I always played baseball.”
Jorge was a baseball player through Lyndhurst Little League, playing shortstop and pitching, before settling into her natural position of catcher. She played baseball with and against the boys, even going up against her older brother Victor a few times.

Victor Jorge is an accomplished wrestler at Lyndhurst, having reached the Region 4 tournament in each of the last two seasons.

But Alexia has stuck to her guns and played baseball, even when others tried to convince her to play softball with the girls.

“I never wanted to go play softball,” Jorge said. “I wanted to keep going with baseball. I’ve played baseball my whole life and I feel it’s more competitive with baseball.”

So when the time came for Alexia to enroll at Lyndhurst High School last September, she had one idea in mind.

“I was going to play baseball,” Jorge said. “That was always my goal.”

Jorge was prepared to reach her goal by playing for a competitive travel club team called Nutley Central. She regularly plays with and against the boys with that team.

“My teammates never had any reaction towards me,” Jorge said.

But there was one instance where Alexia was pitching and unleashed her knuckleball. That’s right, the teenager can throw a mean knuckler. Take that, R.A. Dickey.

“The rest of the team was really supportive,” Jorge said.

And never has there been a mention of the word “softball.” She won’t hear it. She’s a baseball player.

Lyndhurst High School head baseball coach Pat Auteri has been very familiar with Jorge’s talents.

“She has come to our camp every year since I became the head coach,” Auteri said. “She was at the camp when Butchie (former head coach Butch Servideo) ran it. I knew of Alexia because she played on my nephew’s Little League team. So I knew all about her.”
And when Auteri heard that Alexia was going to try out for the baseball team, he had no qualms.

“I’ve seen her play a lot,” Auteri said. “I think because I knew of her and I knew the type of kid she is that I didn’t have a problem. She really loves the game. You see her passion. She goes out there and enjoys every minute she plays.”
So Jorge earned her spot on the Lyndhurst freshman squad this year. She regularly plays catcher for the Golden Bear freshmen and sometimes gets a chance to throw that knuckler.

“I’ve been able to see some of her games,” Auteri said. “Her coach (Mark Offiitto) also gives me reports about her. She’s one of the best players we have on the freshman team.”

And later this month, Jorge will travel to Vero Beach, Florida, where she will play with the Team USA girls’ national baseball team.

Jorge earned a spot on the squad, for girls ages 14 through 17, at tryouts on Long Island and later Virginia and Maryland.

“I first wasn’t old enough to play for the national team,” Jorge explained. “So I was invited to the breakthrough series. When I got word, I was excited. I was hitting in the batting cages, when my mom (Tracy) got an e-mail. I didn’t believe it at first. But the next day, it really hit me. I couldn’t stop smiling.”

Jorge believes that she can play on the national level.

“I’m pretty confident,” Jorge said. “I know it’s not going to be easy. I just hope I do well there.”

Jorge said that she has been hitting the ball better of late, which gives her confidence.
“I hit some good shots to the outfield,” Jorge said. “I also hit some ground balls pretty hard.”

And what’s the reaction from opponents when they realize she’s a girl?

“Sometimes, I’m behind the plate and they don’t notice,” Jorge said. “I have short hair, so they can’t tell and they certainly don’t expect that I’m a girl. Then, they realize it after I take off the mask. When they realize I’m a girl, they’re all shocked. I think it’s pretty funny.”

Jorge has one more goal in mind.

“Absolutely, varsity baseball is definitely in the future,” Jorge said. “That’s what I want.”

And there’s no talk at all about playing softball with the girls.

“That’s not what I want,” Jorge said. “I think the world is starting to conform to allow girls to play varsity baseball. I want that. I want to play baseball. I feel baseball and softball are two different sports. I’m better at baseball.”

Auteri is willing to give Jorge a shot.

“We’re going to give her every opportunity to make the team,” Auteri said. “She’ll be in the mix. The door is always open. She’s a kid who plays the game she loves. She knows the game and loves the game. You can’t ask for more than that.”

Jorge is set to play baseball all summer long with her travel team. It will include a trip later this year to the Cal Ripken Experience in Aberdeen, Maryland. Jorge has already played at the Cal Ripken Experience facilities in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

As for her trip to Florida beginning May 31?
“I think it’s going to be fun and exciting,” Jorge said. “I just can’t wait.”

CAPTIONS

Lyndhurst High School freshman Alexia Jorge is making history as the first girl to ever play baseball in the Lyndhurst program. She is also getting a chance to play baseball on the national level with the Team USA camp for baseball playing girls in Vero Beach, Florida later this month. Photo by Jim Hague

Lyndhurst’s Alexia Jorge is a standout catcher and pitcher on the Lyndhurst High School freshman baseball team. Photo by Jim Hague

The Gaza Massacre that the whole world witnessed on May 14, 2018, applauded by the US capitalist press by its focus on the Trump family’s smiles at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and ignoring Nazi Israel’s slaughter paid for with our tax dollars, must be answered by supporting the only 2 parties that support the Palestinian liberation struggle, Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party.

The Gaza Massacre that the whole world witnessed on May 14, 2018, applauded by the US capitalist press by its focus on the Trump family’s smiles at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and ignoring Nazi Israel’s slaughter paid for with our tax dollars, must be answered by supporting the only 2 parties that support the Palestinian liberation struggle, Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party.

The Democrats and much of the capitalist press claim to be anti-Trump but their actions make it very clear they have no fundamental difference with Republican Trump with their support of Nazi Israel and the rest of the US war machine. The theocratic, racist, anti-women US military base and settler colony known as Israel receives $3 to $4 billion a year from American taxpayers, supported 100% by the Democrats and Republicans at all levels of office. There are sometimes a few Democrats providing a fig leaf over the shameful reality of Nazi USA’s support of Nazi Israel by protesting “excesses” of Nazi Israel, but they always support giving our tax dollars to Nazi Israel. The reason the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) movement is so hated by Nazi Israel to the point where they have banned outstanding peace organizations is because the BDS movement weakens the Nazi Israeli economy.

Israel is the 4th largest military power in the world, although since it is the primary recipient of billions of US dollars and weapons upon demand, one could say it is the second largest military power in the world, the first being the backward USA, which is only first in producing military hardware. It is also one of 9 nuclear weapons countries. The USA is last in life expectancy and infant mortality in the industrialized world, with DECLINING LIFE EXPECTANCY SINCE 2015, because we do not have socialized medicine and we have 50% poverty; we cannot have guns and butter.

We are not helpless sitting here thousands of miles from Gaza. We can and must take a stand by registering now to support Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party. They need us to stay on the ballot, and we need them. At every level of office, the Democrats and Republicans are pro-Nazi Israel. The 60 day report on registration, by County, dated April 6, 2018, in PDF format, is at: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/report-registration/report-registration-april-6-2018/

You can register online at https://covr.sos.ca.gov/?language=en-US
Peace & Freedom Party’s candidate for governor is Gloria LaRiva. For more on her and other P&F candidates, see
http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/national/election-2018/candidates-2018
http://www.lariva2018.com/lariva_news
The Green Party candidate for governor is Josh Jones. See:
http://www.josh4gov.org/
There are other Green Party candidates. See http://www.gp.org/2018_candidates
For more information, see
http://www.peaceandfreedom.org/home/
http://www.cagreens.org/
http://www.gp.org

To help you and others understand the importance of supporting the only 2 parties that support the Palestinian liberation struggle, Peace & Freedom Party and the Green Party, the following is the reading list you will never get from the capitalist press.

Laughing Israelis at 9/11 Inside Job site in NYC:
Israelis – Not Muslims – Cheered in Jersey City on 9/11 by Glen Ford, 11/27/15 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/israelis-not-muslims-cheered-in-jersey-city-on-911/5491920
From: http://www.blackagendareport.com/print/israelis_cheered_9/11
Also see:
http://www.blackagendareport.com/node/966
http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/fiveisraelis.html“Joyous Celebration” during 9/11 World Trade Center Inside Job at http://israellobby.org/urbanmoving
9/11 Suspects: The Dancing Israelis, The Corbett Report: 17 minutes at:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XHm56O2NTI
Correction on speculation that the Laughing Israelis were a distraction: The Zionists knew they had absolute immunity from prosecution in their complicity in perpetrating the 9/11 Inside Job and view themselves as a master race, “the chosen people,” which we see daily now in Israel. This is further proof that all nationalism is reactionary and religion is both superstition and reactionary.

Laughing Israelis at World Trade Center on 9/11/01 identified themselves on TV, and much more on Israel’s complicity in the 911 Inside Job which should surprise no one since Israel, a US military base since its inception in 1948, is and always has been part of the US military-agent provocateur-spy system of US imperialism. EHUD OLMERT, mayor of Jerusalem in 2001, from a terrorist Irgun family, visited New York City on 9/10/11. While all civilian flights were grounded immediately after the 9/11/01 Inside Job and for at least a week thereafter, a full El Al Boeing 747 left New York City’s JFK airport for Israel with authorization from the US Department of Defense, and US military officials were at the JFK airport to make sure this flight was cleared for take-off. Florida, the alleged base of the non-existent “Arab hijackers” was and is a base for Israeli Mossad operations as is the rest of the USA. EHUD BARAK, who has degrees in physics and mathematics, attended Stanford University, was Israel’s Defense Minister during the Massacre of Gaza of 2008-2009, making him a war criminal according to the Goldstone Report, and was Prime Minister of Israel from July 1999 to March 2001, when he came to the US to work as a partner in SCP Partners, a Mossad-run private equity company concerned with “security,” which had in its portfolio a company called Megallurg Holdings, Inc. capable of producing and applying an advanced form of super-thermite, a powerful explosive, which was found in the dust of the Twin Towers. On 9/11/01, he stated on BBC TV that the world faces a War on Terror and called for an invasion of Afghanistan, clearly the cover for the 911 Inside Job.

“Israeli police teach schoolchildren how to shoot Palestinians” by Ali Abunimah, 5/2/18 at
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-police-teach-schoolchildren-how-shoot-palestinians

Zionist treats Africans like Wild Animals, Grabbing Them By The Hair and Taking Their Picture. See http://observers.france24.com/en/20180501-shocking-photos-migrants-humiliated-tel-aviv

“Israeli Sniper Rifles Made in USA” by Joyce Cediac, 4/30/18 at
https://www.globalresearch.ca/israeli-sniper-rifles-made-in-usa/5638483

“Youtube Censors Abby Martin Interview Explaining Israeli Fascism in 28 Countries” by Whitney Webb, 4/7/18 at
https://www.mintpressnews.com/youtube-censors-abby-martin-video-on-israeli-fascism-in-28-countries/240222/

The Youtube 28 minute movie, which refers to the 51 Day Gaza Massacre by Israel is:
“Jewish-American on Israel’s Fascism: “No Hope For Change From Within”” Abby Martin interviews Max Blumenthal at
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlNn1v4_Uf0&bpctr=1522915691

“In Wake of Gaza Massacre, Israeli Leaders Should Be Prosecuted for War Crimes” by Marjorie Cohn, 4/8/18 at
https://www.truthdig.com/articles/in-wake-of-gaza-massacre-israeli-leaders-should-be-prosecuted-for-war-crimes/

Gaza’s Offshore Gas Fields:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/war-and-natural-gas-the-israeli-invasion-and-gaza-s-offshore-gas-fields/11680

“Pre-Mediated Murder: How Israel Provided Evidence of Its Own War Crimes” by Ben White, 4/6/18 at
https://www.mintpressnews.com/pre-meditated-murder-gaza-israel-provided-evidence-crimes/240189/

Women hating promoted in Nazi Israel:
“Israeli airport rejects ad urging women not to give up seats to ultra-Orthodox men” 4/2/18
https://www.rt.com/news/422993-israeli-airport-haredi-women/

“Irish students, teachers vote for solidarity with Palestine” by Nora Barrows-Friedman, 4/7/18 at
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/irish-students-teachers-vote-solidarity-palestine

Labor for Palestine, Respecting the BDS Picketline at
http://laborforpalestine.net/2016/02/11/bds-campaign-expanding-lets-forge-ahead-cupw/

“Palestinian Postal Services Workers Union Pres Imad A A Temeiza & CUPW VP (Canadian Postal Worker Union Vice President) on Israeli Apartheid” 1/25/18. 20 minutes, Labor Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c-F4KXTZXY&feature=youtu.be
Both union representatives make many good points for union solidarity with the Palestinian workingclass.

“Israeli Zim Ship Shanghai At Standstill In Oakland By ILWU Action & Picket Line” 9/27/14. 46 minutes Labor Video Project.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy5JuSB-0O8&feature

“ILWU Rank and File Back Picket Of Zim Ship Piraeus At Port Of Oakland” 8/30/14. 34 minutes. Labor Video Project.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZK1hoSkR_c&feature=youtu.be

“Israeli Company Targeted by Oakland Blockade Imports Ammunition Into US”
Thursday, 28 August 2014 By Darwin BondGraham Truthout Reprint at:
http://laborforpalestine.net/2014/08/28/israeli-company-targeted-by-oakland-blockade-imports-ammunition-into-us-truthout/

“Israel releases ‘BDS blacklist’ banning 20 NGOs from entering country” 1/7/18 at
https://www.adalah.org/en/content/view/9347

“Why Has Israel Banned Jewish Leftists But Not Members Of Nazi-linked Groups?” by Natasha Roth, 1/9/18 at
https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/01/09/why-has-israel-banned-jewish-leftists-not-members-nazi-linked-groups
Members of fascist organizations are welcomed to Israel.
http://www.martinmcmahonlaw.com
The milestone must read $34.5 billion lawsuit exposing the US-Zionist theft of Palestinian land is at http://www.martinmcmahonlaw.com/Tamimi_Complaint.pdf on the website of the plaintiffs’ attorney, Martin McMahon and Associates and may be found with the use of PACER at the site of the US District Court, District of Columbia, Case 1:16-cv-00445, Tamimi v Adelson.

The defendants include Sheldon Adelson, Norman Braman, Lawrnce Ellison, Daniel Gilbert, John Hagee, Lev Leviev, Irving Moskowitz, Haim Saban, Elliott Abrams, American Friends of Ariel, Friends of Israel Defense Forces, Gush Etzion Foundation, The Hebron Fund, G4S PLC, RE/MAX, LLC, Readymix Industries, Veolia North America, Volvo Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co, Motorola Solutions, Inc, and Nordstrom, Inc.

The Complaint is for 1. Civil Conspiracy, 2. War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide, 3. Aggravated and Ongoing Trespass, 4. Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) Violations under 18 USC §1962(C), 5. War Crime of Pillage.

http://palestinelegal.org/

“Fifty years later: Myths and facts about the Six Day War” by Richard Becker, 6/7/17 at
https://www.liberationnews.org/fifty-years-later-myths-and-facts-about-the-six-day-war/
from his book, Palestine, Israel and the U.S. Empire. PSL Publications, 2009

“Why Palestine is Still the Issue” by John Pilger, 7/11/17 at
https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/07/11/why-palestine-is-still-the-issue/
and his 2002 movie, “Palestine is Still the Issue” is at
http://johnpilger.com/videos/palestine-is-still-the-issue
and
https://vimeo.com/17401477

“US and Israeli-Made Weapons in Hands of ISIS Terrorists. Discovered by Syrian Government Forces” by Samer Hussein, 5/26/17 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-and-israeli-made-weapons-in-hands-of-isis-terrorists-discovered-by-syrian-government-forces/5591949

Israel Assisted in US attack on Syria:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9QnbcUOwWA

Thus, once again, it is proven that ISIS is the US CIA and the US junior partner, Israel.

“On the 35th Anniversary of Sabra and Shatila: The Forgotten Refugees” by Dr. Ang Swee Chai, 9/15/17 at
https://www.globalresearch.ca/on-the-35th-anniversary-of-sabra-and-shatila-the-forgotten-refugees/5609182

US Police train in Israel:

“Atlanta mayor rejects demand to end Israel police training” by Rania Khalek, 7/21/16 at
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/atlanta-mayor-rejects-demand-end-israel-police-training

“Israel-trained police “occupy” Missouri after killing of black youth” by Rania Khalek, 8/15/14 at https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israel-trained-police-occupy-missouri-after-killing-black-youth

http://www.blackforpalestine.com/read-the-statement.html: Linked to US police & soldiers train in Israel: “The Ferguson/Palestine Connection” by Kristian Davis Bailey, 8/19/14 at:
http://www.ebony.com/news-views/the-fergusonpalestine-connection-403#axzz3hxNNSlLi

“Israel Security Forces Are Training American Cops Despite History of Rights Abuses” by Alice Speri, 9/15/17 at:
https://theintercept.com/2017/09/15/police-israel-cops-training-adl-human-rights-abuses-dc-washington/

Israel’s profiteering in supplying spy tools and weapons, as well as training American police:
https://indypendent.org/2017/06/the-spoils-of-war/

Israel has 80 nuclear weapons as of May 2017. See
https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/israelprofile

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/ussliberty.html
http://www.wrmea.org/1993-june/the-assault-on-the-uss-liberty-still-covered-up-after-26-years.html
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2014/10/day-israel-attacked-america-20141028144946266462.html

On the Israeli Occupation Industry. http://whoprofits.org/ (A project of Israel’s Coalition of Women for Peace)

Apartheid Roads: Promoting Settlements, Punishing Palestinians
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/opt_prot_maan_apartheid_roads_dec_2008.pdf

Construction of Settlements Upon Private Land
http://peacenow.org.il/eng/sites/default/files/Breaking_The_Law_formal%20data_March07Eng.pdf

Institute for Middle East Understanding: Elad, the Jewish National Fund & the US Taxpayer-Subsidized “Judaization” of Silwan, 10/8/14
http://imeu.org/article/elad-the-jewish-national-fund-the-us-taxpayer-subsidized-judaization-of-sil

Torture and Abuse Under Interrogation updated 3/29/16
http://www.btselem.org/torture

Human Rights Watch: Occupation, Inc. How Settlement Businesses Contribute to Israel’s Violations of Palestinian Rights, 1/19/16 at
https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/01/19/occupation-inc/how-settlement-businesses-contribute-israels-violations-palestinian

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions: http://icahd.org/

American Friends Service Committee: Israel’s Settlement Policy in The Occupied Palestinian Territory
https://afsc.org/resource/israel%E2%80%99s-settlement-policy-occupied-palestinian-territory

Al Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East: Israel Denies Palestinians Equal Water Access, 4/8/13 at
http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/04/westbank-water-restrictions-israel.html

Meyer Lansky, a Jewish gangster, was a proud Zionist and contributed money and guns to the founding of Israel. See:
Cuba Pre-1959: The Rise and Fall of a U.S. Backed Dictator with Links to the Mob by Timothy Alexander Guzman, July 23, 2015 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/cuba-pre-1959-the-rise-and-fall-of-a-u-s-backed-dictator-with-links-to-the-mob/5464738

The torture perpetrated by Israel against Palestinians with US tax dollars in its efforts to steal Palestinian land was described with illustrations in Beyond Chutzpah: On The Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman Finkelstein (2005) University of California Press, particularly in the chapter, Chapter 6, Israel’s Abu Ghraib.

Anti-Defamation League, a staunch Zionist organization, Supports Racist Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri and New York Police who choked Eric Garner to death after he protested 11 times that he can’t breathe. See
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1PgWafnuqHRYkwN-y0h22g4PDCiyNrNUWbdOm36dDwYg/viewform?c=0&w=1

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Ilan Pappe
(2006) Oneworld Publications, ISBN 978-1-85168-555-4
(Has full details on the 1948 to present mass murder of boys and men, rape and murder of girls and women and theft of Palestinian land all planned by David Ben-Gurion, first president of Israel, and cohorts, as Ben-Gurion described in his diary quoted in Pappe’s book.)

Israel-Palestine on Record by Howard Friel and Richard Falk
(2007) Verso, ISBN 978-1-84467-109-0 (Contains eyewitness testimony for 2000 to 2006 of Israeli destruction of Palestinian homes and the horrors of daily life in Occupied Palestine due to daily Israeli terrorism, all paid for with $4 billion US tax dollars annually, making Israel the 4th largest military gang in the world).

Occupy AIPAC (AIPAC stands for American Israel Public Affairs Committee-pro-capitalist, pro-Israel wealthy lobbyists who deliver almost entire US Congress and every president to support the US military base that exists to protect US Middle East oil profits and US imperialism around the world, commonly known as Israel. They are officially lobbyists but in reality, are a mouthpiece of the US capitalist class as Israel is a colony of the US. Occupy AIPAC opposes AIPAC.)
http://www.occupyaipac.org
http://www.occupyaipac.org/about/articles-on-aipac/

National Lawyers Guild: Free Palestine Committee
http://www.nlginternational.org/com/main.php?cid=11

Al-Nakba (Catastrophe) Awareness Campaign
http://www.al-nakba-history.com/

http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/
http://www.breakingthesilence.org.il/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Children_and_Youth_Soldiers_Testimonies_2005_2011_Eng.pdf

http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com/en/

Zionism in the Age of Dictators by Lenni Brenner at
https://archive.org/details/ZionismInTheAgeOfTheDictators

The Iron Wall by Lenni Brenner at
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/ironwall/index.htm

The Hidden History of Zionism by Ralph Schoenman at
http://www.marxists.de/middleast/schoenman/index.htm

51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis edited by Lenni Brenner
(2002) Barricade Books, New Jersey, ISBN 1-56980-235-1

The Transfer Agreement by Edwin Black
(1984, 2001) Carroll & Graf, NY, ISBN 0-7867-0841-7
http://www.transferagreement.com/

The Third Reich and the Palestine Question by Francis Nicosia
(1985) University of Texas Press, ISBN 0-292-72731-3

December 4, 1948 letter to New York Times from Albert Einstein and others condemning Zionist terrorist Menachem Begin and the massacre at Deir Yassin:
http://www.thehypertexts.com/Albert%20Einstein%201948%20Letter%20New%20York%20Times%20Nakba.htm
and https://archive.org/details/AlbertEinsteinLetterToTheNewYorkTimes.December41948

Boycott, Divest, Sanctions Movement against Zionist Israel at
https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/what-were-top-10-bds-victories-2016
(“What were the top 10 BDS victories of 2016?” by Nora Barrows-Friedman, 12/30/16)

“Israel and US Hide Names of Companies Supporting Israeli Settlements” by Marjorie Cohn, 12/2/17 at
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/42771-israel-and-us-hide-names-of-companies-supporting-israeli-settlements
Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
“Representatives of Palestinian civil society launched the BDS movement in 2005. They called upon “international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel similar to those applied to South Africa in the apartheid era … [including] embargoes and sanctions against Israel.””

“The call for BDS specified that “these non-violent punitive measures” should last until Israel fully complies with international law by (1) ending the occupation and colonization of all Arab territories and removing the barrier wall; (2) affirming the human rights of Israel’s Arab-Palestinian citizens to full equality; and (3) affirming the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their land as required by UN General Assembly Resolution 194.”

“BDS was a major factor behind the 46 percent decrease in foreign direct investment in Israel in 2014, according to a UN report. A World Bank report revealed that Palestinian imports from Israel dropped by 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015.”

Exposing the Sordid and Continuing Alliance Between Zionism and Anti-Semitism” by Max Blumenthal, 11/22/17 at
https://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/zionism-anti-semitism-alliance-israel-joseph-massad

“Ukraine: Israeli Special Forces Unit under Neo-Nazi Command Involved in Maidan Riots” by Michel Chossudovsky, 3/3/14 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-israeli-special-forces-unit-under-neo-nazi-command-involved-in-maidan-riots/5371725

Zionist Supporters of “Good Night Left Side” European fascists at:
“Israeli calls for Palestinian blood ring at fever pitch” by David Sheen, 7/15/14 at
http://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-calls-palestinian-blood-ring-fever-pitch/13578
The screenshot enlarges the whole short video at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzd4pytX7bg

“How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis” by Max Blumenthal, 11/18/14 at
http://www.alternet.org/world/how-israel-lobby-protected-ukrainian-neo-nazis

“Terrorism: How the Israeli State Was Won” by Tom Suarez, 8/2/17 at
http://www.globalresearch.ca/terrorism-how-the-israeli-state-was-won/5602231
On December 14, 2016 Tom Suárez spoke at The House of Lords, London, at the invitation of Baroness Jenny Tonge. Drawing from his recently published book State of Terror, he addressed the centennial of the Balfour Declaration and his views on the way toward ending today’s Israel-Palestine “conflict”. The article are Suárez’s remarks. The book may be found at http://www.state-of-terror.net/

Israel’s nuclear war capacity and history of threatening the former Soviet Union in an excellent article by John Steinbach:
http://www.nuclearfiles.org/menu/key-issues/nuclear-weapons/issues/policy/israeli-nuclear-policy/steinbach_israeli_program.pdf

Zionsts and Anti-Communist Witchhunts in the USA:

The Strange History of the Anti-Defamation League: ADL Spies
by Jeffrey Blankfort, June 12, 2013, Counterpunch at
http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/12/adl-spies/

“The ADL Spying Case Is Over But the Struggle Continues” by Jeffrey Blankfort, 2/25/02 at
https://www.counterpunch.org/2002/02/25/the-adl-spying-case-is-over-but-the-struggle-continues/

The Israel Lobby Archive at
http://www.irmep.org/ila/ or http://www.israellobby.org/

ADL Watch:
http://www.webshells.com/companies/adlwatch/

Walled: Israeli Society at an Impasse by Sylvain Cypel
(2005, 2006) Other Press, ISBN 13:978-1-5905 1-210-4
(A good early history of the apartheid wall and history and contemporary life of Israel and its relationship to the US as a military base. The lack of separation of church and state is evident as “All Israeli students study the Hebrew Bible in public school for several hours a week, from the elementary grades through high school (knowledge of the Bible is tested on the high school exit examination.)” (p. 177) Superstition and militarism clearly go together This is a sign of an extremely backward society).

A Wall in Palestine by Rene Backman
(2006, 2010) Picador/St. Martin’s Press, NY ISBN 978-0-312-42781-8
(Good maps of the apartheid wall and description of resistance to it; it is clearly a land grab as there are means of going through wall and thus it has nothing to do with security; also describes segregated roads and racist license system).

An Israeli in Palestine by Jeff Halper (an American who moved to Israel in 1973 at age 27, is a professor of anthropology, is the leader of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions Campaign against Israel described in Appendix 4). (2008) Pluto Press, ISBN 978-0-7453-2226-1. “There is not even a civil mechanism by which Jewish, Christian, and Muslim citizens of Israel can marry each other since personal status, citizenship, marriage, death, inheritance, is regulated by religious and not civil law.” p. 76

Palestine Inside Out by Saree Makdisi, (2008, 2010) Norton Press, ISBN 978-0-393-33844-7. With a beautiful foreword by Alice Walker, comparing the racist horrors of Zionist Israel to white racism in the USA, Makdisi, a Palestinian-American professor of English literature at UCLA, writes a detailed account of the daily horrors of life in Occupied Palestine. His periodic sections “By the Numbers” offer useful statistics, his maps are plentiful, and his entire book is a ringing indictment of the mental illness that is religion and the anti-women horror of theocratic states. As Americans read it, we must remember that this is all paid for with our tax dollars and supported 100% by every single Democratic and Republican politician at every level of government. It is opposed by all socialist parties and the Green Party.
http://sareemakdisi.net/books/

Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, Vol. 3 by Alan Hart (2005, 2010) Clarity Press, ISBN 0-932863-69-8/978-0-932863-69-0. Alan Hart, a former ITN (part of British news agency that produces outstanding Channel 4 of UK) and BBC Panorama correspondent, covers the horrors of Zionism in Israel and its relationship to the United States from 1967 to January 2010 from the perspective of a non-Jewish journalist with lots of worthwhile insights.