~ Featuring ~  
An Epidemic of Loneliness
Arnold Ahlert  
DOJ Should Charge House Dems 
With Extortion For Barr Contempt Threat  
by Mark J. Fitzgibbons } ~ When the Republican-controlled House threatened scumbag/liar-nObama Attorney General scumbag-Eric Holder with contempt for refusing to respond to a subpoena... in the “Fast and Furious” scandal, he was able to laugh it off. It was like the joke about the dispute between God and the devil over the boundary between heaven and hell. When God threatened to sue, the devil wryly replied, “Where are you going to get the lawyers?” Now House Democrats are on the verge of voting to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt for failing to provide them a fully unredacted copy of the dirty cop-Mueller report. Barr has already legally given them transparency beyond what the law requires. For Barr to go further would violate the law that protects confidential information such as what comes from grand jury proceedings. The initial distinction between the scumbag-Holder contempt matter and what may happen to Barr is that the former involved hiding from Congress information about lawbreaking by the government, while the latter would require Barr to violate the law to comply with the subpoena issued by Democrats under House Judiciary Committee Chairman scumbag liar-Jerry Nadler. That’s an important distinction for observers who aren’t so overwhelmed with Trump Derangement Syndrome that they can think clearly. Another major distinction is that the threat to hold Barr in contempt could boomerang back at House Democrats with two potential criminal charges. The crime of solicitation involves soliciting another person to commit a crime. The crime of extortion may involve using the threat of prosecution to coercively dispossess what is owned or possessed by another. Extortion initially was a crime that applied to public officials only. The DOJ may think both of these criminal charges should apply to the requests and demands made to Barr to commit a criminal act itself. scumbagt liar-Nadler and his Democrat colleagues will need to lawyer-up if the DOJ wants to pay hardball here. The threat to hold Barr in contempt presents interesting questions about Article I of the Constitution, which vests all legislative powers in Congress. Based on common law precedent, but not expressly stated in Article I, Congress may issue subpoenas. Such subpoenas may be issued for a legislative purpose, unlike other searches and seizures of persons or papers that require probable cause. And, the authority to issue subpoenas implies a power to hold someone in contempt for refusal to comply...  
Pentagon approves plan to shift 
$1.5B for wall along US-Mexico border
by Brooke Singman and Lucas Tomlinson } ~ The Pentagon has approved a plan to spend an additional $1.5 billion to build 80 more miles of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border... a U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News Friday. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick  Shanahan approved the re-allocation of funds, which were originally earmarked for support of Afghan security forces and other projects, to help pay for the wall along the southern border. "Today, I authorized the transfer of $1.5 billion toward the construction of more than 80 miles of border barrier," he said. "The funds were drawn from a variety of sources, including cost savings, programmatic changes, and revised requirements, and therefore will have minimal impact on force readiness."In March, Shanahan approved the first transfer of Defense Department dollars and redirected $1 billion to help build nearly 60 miles of wall in Yuma, Ariz. and El Paso, Texas. The combined total of $2.5 billion is in response to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the border. But the plan to divert Pentagon funding has sparked criticism from congressional Democrats, who accused Shanahan of not seeking approval to “reprogram” the funds without congressional authority. Shanahan and other senior defense officials claimed in response they did not have to get permission from Congress despite the objections from Democratic lawmakers...
No one in the sun -and gas- 
soaked Middle East needs nuclear power
by Mark Dubowitz and Henry Sokolski  
{} ~ Wednesday’s decision by the Islamic Republic of Iran to break the restrictions of the Iran nuclear deal is a further reminder... that neither Iran, nor for that matter Saudi Arabia, needs nuclear power. Nor, for that matter, does any other state in the gas-soaked, sun-drenched Middle East, where civil nuclear programs are simply nuclear bomb starter kits. Instead of straining to control these programs, or even facilitating them, the U.S. should encourage less risky, cheaper, clean non-nuclear alternatives. The case for nuclear power in the Middle East has never been strong. First, the national electrical systems there are relatively small. Put large amounts of electricity nuclear or non-nuclear on their grids and you risk overloading them and causing blackouts. This is particularly worrisome for nuclear reactors whose safe operation depends on a steady, external supply of electricity to run their coolant and safety systems (think Fukushima). Second, because large reactors can be used to make nuclear explosive materials, they’re prime military targets. Iran, Israel, and the United States each attacked Iraq’s Osirak reactor Israel successfully. Iraq bombed Iran’s Bushehr reactor. Egypt and Iraq targeted Israel’s Dimona reactor. Israel successfully bombed Syria’s reactor at Al Kibar, and, more recently, the Iranian-backed Houthis  claimed they fired missiles at the UAE’s nuclear reactors. Any such strikes risk radiation releases and rattling even the strongest of regimes to its roots think the Soviet Union’s political meltdown, catalyzed, in no small part, by Chernobyl. There is also the danger of insider and cyberattacks that could result in catastrophe. Finally, nuclear power is expensive. The Emirates bought four reactors in 2009 at $6 billion per reactor, while Japan’s recent offer to build similar units for Turkey ran $11 billion per copy. Iran’s reactor at Bushehr cost just as much. What might nuclear electricity cost in the Middle East? The latest estimates are nine cents per kilowatt hour. That’s twice what base-load, natural-gas-fired electricity costs and more than four times what the lowest solar power bids are running. Even onshore wind power is cheaper. But there’s more: Emerging renewable and natural gas technologies promise to make non-nuclear electricity even cheaper and cleaner. Thus, the UAE doesn’t plan to buy any more nuclear reactors. Instead, by 2030, 25% of its electricity will be solar. During the day, photo voltaic panels will feed its grid with electricity costing a fraction of what nuclear runs. When the sun fades, the UAE will exploit concentrated solar power, which uses solar heat stored during the day to generate electricity from late afternoon through early morning. The UAE is currently building the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, capable of generating 700 megawatts. CSP costs more than traditional solar, but still less than nuclear...
Secret U.S. Missile Aims to Kill 
Only Terrorists, Not Nearby Civilians
by Gordon Lubold and Warren P. Strobel } ~ The U.S. government has developed a specially designed, secret missile for pinpoint airstrikes that kill terrorist leaders with no explosion... drastically reducing damage and minimizing the chances of civilian casualties, multiple current and former U.S. officials said. Both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon have used the weapon while closely guarding its existence. A modified version of the well-known Hellfire missile, the weapon carries an inert warhead. Instead of exploding, it is designed to plunge more than 100 pounds of metal through the tops of cars and buildings to kill its target without harming individuals and property close by. To the targeted person, it is as if a speeding anvil fell from the sky, the officials said. But this variant of the Hellfire missile, designated as the R9X, also comes equipped with a different kind of payload: a halo of six long blades that are stowed inside and then deploy through the skin of the missile seconds before impact to ensure that it shreds anything in its tracks. Details about the secret weapon and its deployment were confirmed by more than a dozen current and former U.S. officials. Its development and use haven’t been previously disclosed, though its existence has been the subject of speculation. The R9X is known colloquially to the small community of individuals who are familiar with its use as “the flying Ginsu,” for the blades that can cut through buildings or car roofs and kill the target. The nickname is a reference to the popular knives sold on TV infomercials in the late 1970s and early 1980s that showed them cutting through both tree branches and tomatoes. The weapon has also been referred to as the Ninja bomb.
Pakistan: teen girl has oil thrown on her, 
lit on fire for refusing marriage proposal
by Christine Douglass-Williams } ~ Another case that illustrates the gross human rights abuses against women, based on their lower status in Islam... This case illustrates the cruelty sometimes associated with “forced marriage”.  A teen girl in Pakistan had oil thrown on her and was then set on fire in Pakistan for reportedly refusing a marriage proposal. The intent was to murder her. Her face will never be the same, her life will never be the same. Do Western  feminists care? evidently not. Also in Pakistan, forced conversion and forced marriage of young Hindu and Christian girls are common. Last year, a UK mother took her teen daughter to Pakistan “under the guise of a holiday, but later found herself being forced to marry a relative almost twice her age”. Open door immigration imports a range of abusive Islamic practices.Police on Thursday arrested the key suspect in an attempted murder case, who, along with his unidentified companion, allegedly set a girl on fire in Muzaffargarh for refusing his marriage proposal. A first information report (FIR) was registered by the mother of the teenage girl, aged 15 or 16 years, under Sections 324 (attempted murder), 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) of the Pakistan Penal Code. Police said that the victim, whose suffered burn injuries on her face, body and arms, was shifted to Muzzafargarh District Headquarters hospital. According to police, her condition is stable. According to the FIR, the victim’s mother woke up at around 1.30am during the night when she heard her daughter screaming. She said two men were running away after pouring oil on her daughter and setting her on fire...  
An Epidemic of Loneliness
Arnold Ahlert:  “All the lonely people/ Where do they all come from?/ All the lonely people/ Where do they all belong?” —Eleanor Rigby, Lennon/McCartney, 1966

Perhaps there is no greater irony in modern day America than the reality that we have more ways of communicating than ever before even as millions of American are suffering from loneliness that has reached epidemic levels.

“Since the turn of the century, Americans have been dying from suicide, alcohol-related illnesses, and drug overdoses at a rate that has never before been seen,”  reveals Francie Hart Broghammer, MD, chief psychiatry resident at UC Irvine Medical Center. “Princeton economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton have aptly named these tragedies ‘Deaths of Despair.’ In fact, suicide is now the second leading cause of death for American teenagers and the tenth leading cause of death for Americans, overall.”

The numbers are sobering. Since 1999, half the states in the nation have seen a 30% increase in suicide rates,  according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Moreover, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for those under 50, and each year since 2015, America’s life expectancy has declined. In 2017 alone, 7,000 more Americans committed suicide than died in car accidents, and a staggering 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses.

A 2018 survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults ages 18 years and older, published by global health-service company Cigna, reveals the scope of the problem:

  • Nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone (46%) or left out (47%).

  • One in four Americans (27%) rarely or never feel as though there are people who really understand them.

  • Two in five Americans sometimes or always feel that their relationships are not meaningful (43%) and that they are isolated from others (43%).

  • One in five people report they rarely or never feel close to people (20%) or feel like there are people they can talk to (18%).

  • Americans who live with others are less likely to be lonely (average loneliness score of 43.5) compared to those who live alone (46.4). However, this does not apply to single parents/guardians (average loneliness score of 48.2) – even though they live with children, they are more likely to be lonely.

  • Only around half of Americans (53%) have meaningful in-person social interactions, such as having an extended conversation with a friend or spending quality time with family, on a daily basis.

  • Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.

  • Social media use alone is not a predictor of loneliness; respondents defined as very heavy users of social media have a loneliness score (43.5) that is not markedly different from the score of those who never use social media (41.7).

America is hardly an outlier. “Nearly half of Britons over 65 consider the television or a pet their main source of company,” reveals historian, economist, and demographer Neil Howe. “In Japan, there are more than half a million people under 40 who haven’t left their house or interacted with anyone for at least six months. In Canada, the share of solo households is now 28%. Across the European Union, it’s 34%.”

Psychologists are quick to emphasize that loneliness is not mitigated by the presence of other people. “One feels a sense of emptiness, kind of like an emptiness of the soul,” explains Health Partners psychologist Dr. Cheryl Bemel. “A wounded heart and lack of connection. A sense of disconnection.”

As the Cigna survey notes, social media usage is not an incisive factor, but one would have to be living under a rock not to notice the deleterious effect of cell phones. A society where people used to at least talk to one another — an exchange where various vocal inflections often communicated as much as the words themselves — has been replaced by one where texting rules and emoticons are used to convey subtext.

“The arrival of the smartphone has radically changed every aspect of teenagers’ lives, from the nature of their social interactions to their mental health,” explains author Jean M. Twenge.

Yet it’s not just phones. “For all their power to link kids day and night, social media also exacerbate the age-old teen concern about being left out,” Twenge explains. “Today’s teens may go to fewer parties and spend less time together in person, but when they do congregate, they document their hangouts relentlessly — on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook. Those not invited to come along are keenly aware of it.”

Those who built social media sites are equally aware of their potential pitfalls. In 2017, The Independent profiled  Justin Rosenstein, who invented the “Like” button for Facebook, noting that Rosenstein made a concerted effort to limit his social media time — when he wasn’t completely avoiding it. “It is very common for humans to develop things with the best of intentions and for them to have unintended, negative consequences,” he stated.

As many Americans learned before and since, “best intentions” are the last thing on the minds of far too many tech titans and their Master of the Universe worldview.

Yet perhaps the biggest change that has afflicted America is routinely dismissed. “People who have lost religion and are coasting along on materialism find they have few interior resources to keep going when crisis hits,” writes  columnist Andrew Sullivan. “They have no place of refuge, no spiritual safe space from which to gain perspective, no God to turn to.”

It is far worse than that. Since the so-called “God is dead” social revolution of the 1960s, the radical secularism that has now morphed into social-justice warrior-ism has, and continues to be, promoted by the American Left as the road to social utopia. And almost seamlessly, America replaced its religious leaders with lawyers and therapists. Thus what was once defined as “good and evil” has largely become “legal and illegal,” and “well and unwell,” in all their morally relative — and ostensibly guilt-relieving — glory.

Yet complete Godlessness — or worse, the idea that there is nothing bigger than The Self — doesn’t get it done. All the psychobabble in the world notwithstanding, human beings are hard-wired to wonder how they got here and where they are going, during their lives and afterwards.

As columnist Glenn Beaton astutely explains, “[Secularists] from Lenin to Pol Pot have hated real religion. In the end, they believe, there can be only one religion. They aim to make it theirs and they intend to be the high priests. They don’t intend to share their authority with God.”

Loneliness is more than likely the primary symptom afflicting those unable to reconcile the conflict between people of faith, who insist it cannot be replaced by radical secularism, and those who must dismiss people of faith as “bitter clingers” because faith — by definition — transcends government, and represents the greatest impediment to totalitarian control necessary to achieve socialist utopia.

Moreover, without transcendence, we get what we’ve got: a polarized nation consisting of tribes, each competing to assert moral authority that is neither moral nor authoritative.

Sadly, for far too many Americans, loneliness is the preferred option.  ~The Patriot Post  

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Deep State Treason:  Former State Dept. Official Under Trump Tells China To Quit Negotiating Until Trump Is Removed In 2020

Deep state traitors no longer hide their deep hatred for the American people —

Mrs. Susan Thornton, the former acting assistant secretary of state in the Trump administration, told her Beijing audience to stop negotiating until President Trump is removed from office in 2020.

Until July 2018, she was Acting Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the Department of State and led East Asia policy making amid crises with North Korea, escalating trade tensions with China, and a fast-changing international environment.

The Conservative Treehouse and The South China Morning News reported:

A former official in the Trump administration has said that China can weather the storm brought by the trade war with the United States but might have to “keep steady, keep their heads down and wait” for change in the White House.

Susan Thornton, former acting assistant secretary of state to US President Donald Trump, told a gathering in Shanghai on Wednesday that she hoped a trade deal between the US and China could be concluded by next month.

But the reality was that it would “take a while” for China and the US to talk about cooperation again, Thornton, who in 20 years rose to become the US State Department’s chief negotiator for East Asia and Pacific affairs, told the South China Morning Post.

“I want to be optimistic,” said Thornton, whose 27-year career in Washington ended in July. “I tell all our foreign counterparts they should keep steady, keep their heads down and wait. [They should] try to not let anything change dramatically.”

“If this sceptical attitude towards talking diplomacy continues in this administration, you might have to wait till another administration,” Thornton said at an event held by National Committee of US-China relations and Shanghai’s American Chamber.

Embedded video
EAP Bureau    @USAsiaPacific

Acting Asst. Sec. Susan Thornton and EAP team en route to her nomination hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee! 


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