Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s lawyers and aides are scouring the professional and political backgrounds of investigators hired by the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, looking for conflicts of interest they could use to discredit the investigation — or even build a case to fire Mr. Mueller or get some members of his team recused, according to three people with knowledge of the research effort.

The search for potential conflicts is wide-ranging. It includes scrutinizing donations to Democratic candidates, investigators’ past clients and Mr. Mueller’s relationship with James B. Comey, whose firing as F.B.I. director is part of the special counsel’s investigation.

The effort to investigate the investigators is another sign of a looming showdown between Mr. Trump and Mr. Mueller, who has assembled a team of high-powered prosecutors and agents to examine whether any of Mr. Trump’s advisers aided Russia’s campaign to disrupt last year’s presidential election.

Some of the investigators have vast experience prosecuting financial malfeasance, and the prospect that Mr. Mueller’s inquiry could evolve into an expansive examination of Mr. Trump’s financial history has stoked fears among the president’s aides. Both Mr. Trump and his aides have said publicly they are watching closely to ensure Mr. Mueller’s investigation remains narrowly focused on last year’s election.

During an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said he was aware that members of Mr. Mueller’s team had potential conflicts of interest and would make the information available “at some point.”

Mr. Trump also said Mr. Mueller would be going outside his mandate if he begins investigating matters unrelated to Russia, like the president’s personal finances. Mr. Trump repeatedly declined to say what he might do if Mr. Mueller appeared to exceed that mandate. But his comments to The Times represented a clear message to Mr. Mueller.

“The president’s making clear that the special counsel should not move outside the scope of the investigation,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a White House spokeswoman, said during a news briefing on Thursday.

Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel, declined to comment.

For weeks, Republicans have publicly identified what they see as potential conflicts among Mr. Mueller’s team of more than a dozen investigators. In particular, they have cited thousands of dollars of political donations to Democrats, including former President Barack Obama, made by Andrew Weissmann, a former senior Justice Department official who has expertise in fraud and other financial crimes. News reports have revealed similar donations by other members of Mr. Mueller’s team, which Mr. Trump’s allies have cited as evidence of political bias. Another lawyer Mr. Mueller has hired, Jeannie Rhee, represented the Clinton Foundation.

To seek a recusal, Mr. Trump’s lawyers can argue their case to Mr. Mueller or his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein. The Justice Department has explicit rules about what constitutes a conflict of interest. Prosecutors may not participate in investigations if they have “a personal or political relationship” with the subject of the case. Making campaign donations is not included on the list of things that would create a “political relationship.”

The examination of Mr. Mueller’s investigators reflects deep concerns among the president’s aides that Mr. Mueller will mount a wide-ranging investigation in the mold of the inquiry conducted by the independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr during the 1990s. Mr. Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton began by reviewing an Arkansas land deal and concluded several years later with the president’s impeachment over a lie about a sexual affair.

By building files on Mr. Mueller’s team, the Trump administration is following in the footsteps of the Clinton White House, which openly challenged Mr. Starr and criticized what Mr. Clinton’s aides saw as a political witch hunt.

John Dowd in 2011. Mr. Dowd, a veteran Washington defense lawyer, will now take the lead representing President Trump. CreditBrendan McDermid/Reuters

Mr. Trump’s advisers are split on how far to go in challenging the independence of Mr. Mueller, a retired F.B.I. director and one of the most respected figures in law enforcement. Some advisers have warned that dismissing Mr. Mueller would create a legal and political mess.

Nevertheless, Mr. Trump has kept up the attacks on him. In his interview with The Times, which caught members of his legal team by surprise, he focused on the fact that Mr. Mueller had interviewed to replace Mr. Comey as the F.B.I. director just a day before Mr. Mueller was appointed special prosecutor, saying that the interview could create a conflict.

“He was sitting in that chair,” Mr. Trump said during the Oval Office interview. “He was up here, and he wanted the job.” Mr. Trump did not explain how the interview created a conflict of interest.

In addition to investigating possible collusion between Russia and Mr. Trump’s advisers, the special counsel is examining whether the president obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey. Some of Mr. Trump’s supporters have portrayed Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey as close friends. While they worked closely together in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush and are known to respect each other, associates of both men say the two are not particularly close.

Mr. Mueller’s team has begun examining financial records, and has requested documents from the Internal Revenue Service related to Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul J. Manafort, according to a senior American official. The records are from a criminal tax investigation that had been opened long before Mr. Trump’s campaign began. Mr. Manafort was never charged in that case.

Federal investigators have also contacted Deutsche Bank about Mr. Trump’s accounts, and the bank is expecting to provide information to Mr. Mueller.

A lawyer for Mr. Trump, Jay Sekulow, declined to address the potential conflicts he and the other lawyers for Mr. Trump have uncovered about Mr. Mueller’s team. He said, however, that “any good lawyer would raise, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate venue, conflict-of-interest issues.”

Mr. Sekulow is one part of a legal team in the midst of being reorganized, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Sekulow, a firebrand lawyer with deep conservative credentials, will serve as Mr. Dowd’s deputy. Two people briefed on the new structure said it was created because the investigation is much more focused in Washington, where Mr. Dowd has a long history of dealing with the Justice Department.

Mark Corallo is no longer working as a spokesman for the legal team. A former Justice Department spokesman, Mr. Corallo was one of several people cautioning against publicly criticizing Mr. Mueller.

The shake-up comes weeks after Mr. Dowd and Mr. Kasowitz had a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Mueller. The lawyers said they hoped Mr. Mueller would conduct a thorough investigation but asked that he wrap it up in a timely manner because of the cloud it had cast over the presidency, according to a senior American official and two others briefed on details of the meeting. Mr. Dowd said Mr. Trump would fully cooperate with Mr. Mueller, one of the people said.

It is not unusual for lawyers to meet with prosecutors to establish a line of communication, or to encourage them to move quickly. Mr. Trump’s situation is unique, though, because of his team’s public threats that they could fire Mr. Mueller at any time.

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John McCain Cancer Just Took Horrible Turn… Doctor Drops Bombshell

The shocking news about Senator John McCain’s health has just gotten worse.

Late yesterday evening, 80-year-old McCain announced that he was struggling with brain cancer. 

Now, a doctor has dropped a bombshell about just how serious that health issue is for the long-serving Republican senator.

“Glioblastoma is a brain tumor that’s a particularly aggressive type,” Dr. James Pinckney explained to Trending Today USA.

“It grows from support tissue in the brain called astrocytes … and unfortunately, it has a pretty poor prognosis,” the board certified family physician and MD revealed.

According to Dr. Pinckney, the simple fact is that McCain’s survival odds are not good.

“Most people with glioblastoma typically have a survival rate of around ten percent,” the physician continued.

“And most people… unfortunately, this is so aggressive, live anywhere from 14 months to 3 years after the initial diagnosis,” explained the doctor. “So, our thoughts and prayers go out to Senator McCain and his family.”

While the reality is that John McCain is facing a very difficult uphill battle, there are still treatment options available.

“He’s going to undergo chemo and radiation, I heard that the surgery was successful, that they removed the vast majority of the glioblastoma,” relayed Dr. Pinckney.

“However, this is a very aggressive tumor and it most likely will return,” he stated. “And that’s why he needs the radiation and chemotherapy.”

Conservatives have certainly had their issues with Senator McCain over the years, but there comes a point when politics are pushed aside.

For all of his faults, John McCain is an American hero who faced hardships during the Vietnam war that most people cannot imagine. He then rose above his living nightmare as a prisoner of war to enter a public service career that has made him respected by people of all political parties.

McCain is a fighter, and although the odds are stacked against him, we genuinely wish him and his family strength during this difficult time.

Jewish Voice for Peace: Increasing Anti-Israel Radicalism

In recent months Jewish Voice for Peace, the largest and most influential Jewish pro-BDS group in the United States, has taken increasingly radical positions and has employed questionable tactics in pursuit of its mission to diminish support for Israel. The following are some of ADL’s main concerns with the group’s ideology and tactics.

Harassing LGBT Groups:

One of JVP’s longtime tactics has been to allege that Israel’s proud record of support for LGBTQ rights is merely a way of directing attention away from its mistreatment of Palestinians. Recently JVP has taken this tactic to the next level, targeting a pro-Israel LGBTQ youth group with harassment at the Celebrate Israel Parade in NYC on June 4. According to reports, JVP members disrupted the LGBTQ contingent, cutting their microphones and blocking them from marching. JVP also supported the expulsion of the Jewish group, A Wider Bridge, from the Chicago Dyke March on the grounds that they carried rainbow flags which resembled Israeli flags, stating after the incident that Zionism is the equivalent of supporting “racism and violence.”

Shutting down Dialogue:

Although JVP pays lip service to the importance of dialogue and discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in practice JVP members have shouted down and interrupted campus speeches by guests whom they consider too Zionist.

Celebrating Palestinians Convicted of Terrorism:

In its zeal to condemn Israel at every opportunity, JVP has celebrated figures who have been convicted of engaging in terrorism, including Rasmea Odeh and Marwan Barghouti.

JVP feted Odeh at its 2017 conference, describing her as “a feminist leader… [who has] survived decades of Israeli and US government persecution and oppression.” In fact, Odeh was sentenced to life in prison by an Israeli military court in 1970 for her membership in an illegal terrorist organization and for planting the explosives used in two 1969 Jerusalem bombings.

On June 2, JVP ran a paid advertisement in the Jewish newspaper, The Forward, which featured an extended quote from Barghouti alleging that Israel has purposely inflicted suffering on Palestinians who are incarcerated in Israeli prisons. Bizarrely, JVP described Barghouti as the leader of a Palestinian prisoner hunger strike, omitting the fact that he is a terrorist convicted of murdering five Israelis.

Undermining US-Israel Security Cooperation:

JVP has ramped up efforts to break longstanding programs that allow members of the US and Israeli police and defense communities to train together and share best practices for fighting terrorism. Under the project name “Deadly Exchange,” JVP asserts that joint training and exchange programs are responsible for rising levels of police brutality and racism against minorities in the US because the American law enforcement are inculcated with disrespect for minorities and a cavalier attitude towards violence by their Israeli counterparts. A recent promotional video from JVP implicitly blames US Jewish organizations, who run many of the exchange programs, for rising levels of racism and violence in the US. The video demonizes both Israelis and American Jews and blames them for some of the worst problems in society.

Israel has strengths and weaknesses, things to teach and things to learn, like any country in the world. It is perfectly legitimate to criticize Israeli policies. But JVP single-minded desire to paint Israel as a source of racism and violence has led it far beyond legitimate criticism of Israel. JVP has also turned on American Jews who are not deemed supportive enough of JVP’s agenda. JVP has always used its status as a Jewish organization to shield it and other anti-Israel groups from criticism, and to impart a veneer of legitimacy to the BDS movement. Over time it became more confrontational, protesting and disrupting office buildings belonging to US Jewish institutions and organizations. Now JVP has set itself outside even the broadest conception of American Jewry’s big tent, attacking the liberal bona fides of pro-Zionist American Jews and using language to describe American Jewish organizations that veers uncomfortably close to age-old anti-Semitic canards about Jews using their influence to undermine the societies of the countries in which they live.

For additional ADL research on Jewish Voice for Peace, view our comprehensive report

Investigation into Records of Sexually Abused Foster Children Ensnares Seattle Mayor

http://www.renegadetribune.com/investigation-records-sexually-abused-foster-children-ensnares-seattle-mayor/

 

By Matt Agorist

Seattle, WA — Over the past several years, multiple victims have come forward and accused Seattle Mayor Ed Murray of sexually abusing them when they were children in the 1980’s. Delvonn Heckard, one of the alleged victims, filed a lawsuit against the mayor in April, setting off an investigation by the Seattle Times. What the Times found was nothing short of bombshell and vindication for his alleged victims.

As the Free Thought Project reported in April, Murray’s attorney publicly denounced the allegations of sexual abuse from the victims. One of those victims was Jeff Simpson, whose case prompted the controversy in 2008.

“The previous accusers were investigated by law enforcement and the press and found to be not credible and their claims meritless,” attorney Robert Sulkin told reporters in April.

However, these claims were easily made because the Oregon Department of Human Services’ (DHS) foster-parent records of his abuse were said to be destroyed. The mayor himself even felt secure enough to say last month that the press not finding the supposed records of his abuse of Simpson demonstrated his innocence — a move he now likely regrets.

Not content with hearing that the records had been destroyed, the Times tried, once again, to obtain them. Using Murray’s statements urging the media to pursue those records and noting the victim’s authorization to release the details of the abuse, DHS finally released the information.

“We used our discretion to determine disclosure was in the public interest to protect other children and prevent anyone else from being put in a similar situation,” said Caroline Burnell, manager of the legal unit for DHS’ public-affairs office. “A person in a position of power and authority could use that authority to coerce or otherwise force people into a vulnerable position.”

As the Seattle Times reports:

The Times emailed a video link of the news conference to DHS two days later, noting those statements. The agency considered the totality of information provided when deciding to release the records, Burnell said. They included the Child Protective Services assessment finding Simpson’s allegations valid; a detective’s reports citing two additional witnesses; and a letter from the District Attorney’s Office indicating prosecutors had not determined Simpson was lying.

The records, dating back to 1984, explicitly noted that Ed Murray should “never again be utilized as a certified CSD resource for children.” It also showed that a criminal case was brought against Murray by prosecutors but in spite of the multiple accusations, charges were somehow never filed.

Naturally, the Mayor has taken to bashing Simpson and telling the public to consider his troubled past. But none of those things are relevant to what happened when he was under Murray’s care.

Speaking in an interview this week with KPTV, Simpson noted that he would take a lie detector and do whatever it takes to make sure other children don’t suffer the same fate as he did.

“Mayor Murray is a child molester,” Simpson said Tuesday. “The worst things that you can think of were what Ed has done to me.”

As KPTV reports, Simpson said he was told by state agencies over and over that the records in his case had long been destroyed. Learning they not only existed, but were released publicly this week, he said was an answer to his prayers.

“It’s nothing short of a miracle,” he said. “All of a sudden, not only do we get the paperwork but we get all of the records that were supposedly destroyed.”

The records vindicating Simpson’s claims are just the beginning. It now gives the accusations of the other potential victims merit as well.

Sadly, as this alleged abuse happened over 30 years ago, the statute of limitations for criminal charges has since run out. But Simpson just wants closure.

Simpson notes that he is now working with an attorney to help achieve this closure and has started a fundraising page for those efforts.

While Murray and his team of high profile attorneys attempt to demonize those who claim to be victims of the mayor, it is important to note just how common pedophilia is — especially among the elite — who are rarely ever held accountable.

Just this week, former speaker of the house, Dennis Hastert was released from prison after he admitted to raping multiple young boys. His already insultingly low sentence of 15 months was allowed to end 2 months early.


This article originally appeared on The Free Thought Project.

Chester Bennington, Linkin Park Singer, Is Dead at 41

Chester Bennington, the ferocious lead singer for the platinum-selling hard rock band Linkin Park, has died. He was 41.

Brian Elias, the chief of operations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, confirmed the death and said it was being investigated as a possible suicide. Mr. Elias said that law enforcement authorities responded to a call shortly after 9 a.m. Pacific Time and were conducting a death investigation in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County.

Mr. Bennington, who was known for his piercing scream and free-flowing anguish, released seven albums with Linkin Park. The band’s most recent record, “One More Light” arrived in May and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. The band was currently on tour and scheduled to play a concert Thursday night in Mansfield, Mass.

Mike Shinoda, one of the band’s founders, spoke on behalf of the group in a tweet. “Shocked and heartbroken,” he wrote, adding that the band will be issuing a statement.

Mr. Bennington also performed in the side project Dead by Sunrise and joined Stone Temple Pilots as its lead singer after the band split with the singer Scott Weiland in 2013.

In May, he responded to the death by hanging of his friend, the singer Chris Cornell, in a note he shared on social media. “I can’t imagine a world without you in it,” he wrote. “I pray you find peace in the next life.”

A week later, he posted a series of positive tweets. In one, he shared a photo of his daughter graduating from the University of San Diego. In another, he wrote about being creatively inspired: “Feeling very creative this last week. I’ve written 6 songs and I’m happy with all of them. Just getting started.”

But Mr. Bennington had also been open about his struggles with the drug and alcohol addiction that had fueled many of his biggest hits with Linkin Park.

“I have been able to tap into all the negative things that can happen to me throughout my life by numbing myself to the pain so to speak and kind of being able to vent it through my music,” he said in a 2009 interview with Noisecreep. “I don’t have a problem with people knowing that I had a drinking problem. That’s who I am and I’m kind of lucky in a lot of ways cause I get to do something about it.”

On “Crawling,” one of the band’s defining singles from its 2000 debut, “Hybrid Theory,” which went on to sell more than 11 million copies in the United States, Mr. Bennington sings: “There’s something inside me that pulls beneath the surface/consuming, confusing/this lack of self-control I fear is never ending.”

Linkin Park – “Crawling” Video by Linkin Park

He said later that the song was “about feeling like I had no control over myself in terms of drugs and alcohol.”

“That feeling,” he added, “being able to write about it, sing about it, that song, those words sold millions of records, I won a Grammy, I made a lot of money.”

Still, as the group’s career progressed, Mr. Bennington was adamant about remaining transparent in his music with regards to his personal ups and downs. The recording studio, he told Rock Sound, “is not a safe place for me to be unless I’m doing what I need to do — taking care of myself, being real, being open, getting it out, taking all the steps to make myself whole.”

“If it wasn’t for music I’d be dead,” he added. “One hundred percent.”

A full obituary will appear soon.

Chester Bennington’s Death Comes on Friend Chris Cornell’s Birthday

Chester Bennington

 

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington was found dead of an apparent suicide in his home south of Los Angeles on Thursday — which also would have been the birthday of late Soundgarden singer and good friend of Bennington’s, Chris Cornell.

Cornell would have been 53 on Thursday. He also died by suicide in May.

Bennington performed a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” at Cornell’s private funeral service in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Forever Cemetery on May 27. He also released an emotional open letter to Cornell the day the Soundgarden singer died.

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Chris Cornell suicide

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“Thoughts of you flooded my mind and I wept,” Bennington wrote. “I’m still weeping, with sadness, as well as gratitude for having shared some very special moments with you and your beautiful family. You have inspired me in many ways you could never have known. Your talent was pure and unrivaled. Your voice was joy and pain, anger and forgiveness, love and heartache all wrapped up into one.”

“I pray you find peace in the next life,” he added. “I send my love to your wife and children, friends and family. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life.”

The two also teamed up on a professional capacity, with Cornell touring with Linkin Park in 2007 and 2008. On stage, Linkin Park would join Cornell for a version of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike,” and Cornell would join the band to collaborate on its hit “Crawling.”

Bennington was found in his Palos Verdes Estates home on Thursday morning. TMZ reports that he died of suicide by hanging.

OJ Simpson granted parole for Las Vegas robbery

http://abcnews.go.com/US/oj-simpson-granted-parole-las-vegas-robbery/story?id=48689499

 

O.J. Simpson has been granted parole after nine years in prison for a Las Vegas robbery, a group of four Nevada commissioners decided today.

The imprisoned former NFL player could be released as early as Oct. 1.

Simpson, 70, delivered a rambling account of the case to the parole board earlier today, maintaining that he didn’t intend to steal but “wish this would have never happened.”

Simpson was at times jovial and combative with the members of the parole board, expressing his remorse and saying he’s humbled by his incarceration. Simpson was sentenced to prison following an arrest in 2007 during a botched robbery in Las Vegas, when he led a group of men into a hotel and casino to steal sports memorabilia at gunpoint. He contended the memorabilia and other personal items belonged to him.

Simpson said today, “I take full responsibility.”

Simpson’s account of the botched robbery

Simpson appeared remotely via video conference from Lovelock Correctional Facility in Nevada, where he’s serving time for kidnapping and armed robbery. Simpson began by explaining what he said led to crime, telling the board how he learned that some “some guys” were trying to “fence” what he said were his personal mementos in Las Vegas.

“As a perfect storm we all ended up in Las Vegas, you know? I was there for a wedding and [was told that] the property was there.”

He later continued, “I said, ‘Of course I would like to get the property.’ He told me the names of what he thought were the people in the room, and I realized these are friends of mine. You know? Actually guys who helped me move, helped me move and store some of this stuff.”

Simpson explained, “When I came into the [hotel] room I noticed spread out everywhere was my personal property.”

“The only thing I saw that was on display that wasn’t mine was some baseballs, and I made it clear to everybody those are not mine. All I want is my property. … I wasn’t there to steal from anybody.”

“I would never, ever pull a weapon,” he said.

Simpson added, “I haven’t made any excuses in the nine years I’ve been here and not trying to make an excuses now.”

When asked if he believed that the property was his, Simpson replied, “It’s been ruled legally by the state of California that it was my property and they’ve given it to me.”

Simpson: ‘I was always a good guy’

Simpson reassured the board he would be successful meeting the conditions of his parole before it was granted, saying, “I’m not a guy who lived a criminal life.”

Simpson said in his nine years behind bars, he’s been “a good guy.”

“I was always a good guy, but could have been a better Christian, and my commitment to change is to be a better Christian.”

He said he took an “alternative to violence” course in prison, calling it “the most important course anybody in this prison can take because it teaches you how to deal with conflict through conversation.”

“I had some problems with fidelity in my life, but I’ve always been a guy that pretty much got along with everybody,” he said.

Simpson said he’s missed 36 birthdays with his children while behind bars and missed their college graduations. Once released, he said he wants to spend as much time as he can with his family.

Simpson’s lawyer fumbles letter

During the hearing, Simpson’s attorney, Malcolm LaVergne, planned to read to the board a letter Simpson wrote to a Nevada assemblyman, but LaVergne had difficulty finding it and asked Simpson in front of the commissioners, “Did you take the letter? I can’t find it now.”

He then located the letter and read it to the board; in the letter, Simpson advocates for state funds to go toward education for inmates.

LaVergne then argued to the board that Simpson’s letter didn’t ask for special treatment or an early release, but instead showed how Simpson wants to help other inmates have “a better life.”

Simpson’s daughter: ‘We just want him to come home’

Simpson’s eldest daughter, Arnelle Simpson, also spoke at the hearing, appearing emotional as she told the board her father is her “best friend” and her “rock.”

“No one really knows how much we have been through, this ordeal in the last nine years,” she said, noting that “he didn’t make the right decision” on the day of the robbery.

“We just want him to come home,” she said. “This has been really, truly hard. … I know that he is remorseful.”

Robbery victim speaks: ‘O.J. never held a gun on me’

Bruce Fromong, one of the robbed memorabilia dealers and a victim in the case, spoke in Simpson’s favor at the hearing. He admitted the hotel room did contain items that belong to Simpson, but said that on the day of the robbery, “Simpson was misguided.”

Fromong continued, “He was led to believe that on that day, there were going to be thousands of pieces of his personal memorabilia, pictures of his wife from his first marriage, pictures of his kids. He was told there were going to be possibly his wife’s wedding ring, thousands of things. He was misled about what was going to be there that day.”

“O.J. never held a gun on me,” Fromong said. “O.J. is my friend, always has been, and I hope will remain my friend.”

Key moments in Simpson’s life

Simpson’s football career took him from the University of Southern California to the Buffalo Bills. Following his retirement, his celebrity status catapulted him to movie stardom and a cushy Brentwood, California, mansion.

More than 20 years ago, Simpson went on trial for the killing of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. The two were found on June 12, 1994, stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home. On Oct. 3, 1995, at the end of a televised trial that captivated the nation, Simpson was acquitted of all criminal charges. He has always maintained his innocence.

A civil jury later ordered Simpson to pay $33.5 million in damages after finding him liable for wrongful death in the double murder.

For the 2007 robbery, Simpson was charged with a number of felony counts, including kidnapping and armed robbery. He was found guilty and sentenced to up to 33 years in prison.

His bid for a new trial in the case was rejected in 2013, but he was granted parole that same year on some of the charges, based on good behavior. He was not released from prison at that time, since his prison sentences were set to run consecutively. Simpson had to wait until this year to appear again before the parole board.

Simpson’s friend, Tom Scotto, told ABC News earlier this year that Simpson is “hopeful.” Scotto said if Simpson is freed, he would want “to just keep a low profile, be with his kids, be with his family, play golf.”

Ron Goldman’s family speaks ahead of parole hearing

Hours before the parole hearing, Ron Goldman’s father, Fred Goldman, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America,” “What’s troubling to me is not only him, but the whole system gives second chances to violent felons or, for that matter, anyone in jail. … Ron doesn’t get a second chance.

“Ron never gets to spend his life doing what he wanted to do,” Fred Goldman continued. “We’ll never get to share his life, and the killer will walk free and get to do whatever he wants.”

Fred Goldman said the parole board should take into account that Simpson was found liable for the killings in the 1997 civil trial.

“I think his whole history of violence, ignoring the law, no respect for the law, no remorse for virtually anything he’s ever done is an indication of who he is as a person,” Fred Goldman said. “I don’t think there’s any reason to think that he’s going to be a decent human being in society. I think he’s proved otherwise.”

Added Ron Goldman’s sister, Kim Goldman, “We lived our life with [Simpson] walking the streets and sharing the same roads that we did.”

“With him being locked up in Lovelock, it’s been a chance for us to kind of reclaim some control over our life and have some glimpse of sanity,” she said. “I’m preparing myself for that to be changing come October.”

ABC News’ Jenna Harrison and Sabina Ghebremedhin contributed to this report.

Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington dies of apparent suicide

 – TMZ reports Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington has died.

TMZ reports Bennington died of an apparent suicide at a private residence in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles County.

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Bennington was found before 9 a.m. on Thursday.

Bennington was married with six children from two wives. The singer struggled with drugs and alcohol for years.

He had said in the past he had considered committing suicide because he had been abused as a child by an older male, TMZ reported.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The crisis center provides free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to civilians and veterans.

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Adolf Hitler’s Speech on Replacing ‘Modern Art’ with ‘Eternal Art’

http://www.renegadetribune.com/adolf-hitlers-speech-cleansing-germany-modern-art/

 

July 18, 1937

In the collapse of Germany after the war the economic decline had been generally felt, the political decline had been denied by many, the cultural decline had not even been observed by the majority of the people. It was an age of phrases and catchwords: in the economic sphere the hard facts of misery and unemployment deprived these phrases of their force: in the political sphere such phrases as ‘international solidarity’ had more success and veiled from the German people the extent of the political collapse. But in the long run the failure of the parliamentary democratic form of government, copied from the west – a west which, regardless of this democratic form, still continued to extort from Germany whatever there remained to extort – defeated the phrase-mongers. Far more lasting was the effect of these phrases in the cultural field where they resulted in a complete confusion concerning the essential character of culture. Here the influence of the Jews was paramount and through their control of the press they were able to intimidate those who wanted to champion ‘the normal sound intelligence and instinct of men’. Art was said to be ‘an international experience’ and thus all comprehension of its intimate association with a people was stifled: it was said that there was no such thing as the art of a people or, better, of a race: there was only the art of a certain period. Thus it was not Greeks who created the art of Greece, Romans the art of Rome, etc. – in each art a particular period had found its expression. Art is a ‘time-conditioned phenomenon’. So today there is not a German or a French art, but a ‘modern art’. This is to reduce art to the level of fashions in dress, with the motto ‘Every year something fresh’ – Impressionism, Futurism, Cubism, perhaps also Dadaism. These newly created art phrases would be comic if they were not tragic.

The result was uncertainty in the judgements passed on art and the silencing of those who might otherwise have protested against this cultural Bolshevism [Kulturbolschewismus], while the press continued to poison our sound appreciation of art. And, just as in fashions one must wear ‘modern’ clothes whether they are beautiful or not, so the great masters of the past were decried. But true art is, and remains, eternal: it does not follow the law of the season’s fashions; its effect is that of a revelation arising from the depths of the essential character of a people which successive generations may inherit. But those who do not create for eternity do not readily talk of eternities: they seek to dim the radiance of these giants who reach out of the past into the future in order that contemporaries may discover their own tiny flames. These facile daubers in art are but the products of a day: yesterday – non-existent; today – modern; tomorrow – out-of-date. The Jewish discovery that art was just a matter of period was for them a godsend: theirs could be the art of the present time. Theirs was a small art – small in form and substance – and at the same time intolerant of the masters of the past and the rivals of the present. There was a conspiracy of incapacity and mediocrity against better work from any age. The nouveaux riches, having no judgements of their own in artistic matters, accepted these artists at their own valuation. It was an added attraction that these works of art were difficult to understand and on that account very costly: no one wished to admit lack of comprehension or inadequate resources! But, if one does not oneself understand, probably one’s neighbour will not either, and he will admire one’s comprehension of obscurity.

For this ‘modern art’ National Socialism desires to substitute a ‘German’ art and an eternal art. This House of German Art is designed for the art of the German people, not for an international art. The people in the flux of phenomena are the one constant point. It is that which is abiding and permanent and therefore art as the expression of the essential character of the abiding people must be an eternal monument, itself abiding and permanent; there can therefore be no standard of yesterday and today, of modern or un-modern; there can be only the standard of ‘valueless’ or ‘valuable’, of ‘eternal’ or ‘transitory’. Therefore, in speaking of ‘German art’, I shall see the standard for that art in the German people, in its character and life, in its feeling, its emotions and its development.

From the history of the development of our people we know that it is composed of a number of more or less distinct races, which in the course of millennia through the formative influence of a certain outstanding racial kernel produced that mixture that we see before us in our people today. This force – which formed the people in time past and which still today continues that formative activity – lies in the same Aryan branch of mankind that we recognise not only as the support of our own civilisation but of the earlier civilisations of the ancient world.

The way in which our people was composed has produced the variety in our own cultural development but, as we look upon the final result of this process, we cannot but wish for an art that may correspond to the increasing homogeneity of our racial composition, and thus present in itself the characteristics of unity and homogeneity. Many attempts have been made through the centuries to define what ‘to be German’ really means. I would not seek to give an explanation in the first instance. I would rather state a law – a law previously expressed by a great German: ‘To be German is to be clear’, and that means that to be German is to be logical and true. It is this spirit that has always lived in our people, which has inspired painters, sculptors, architects, thinkers, poets, and above all our musicians. When on 6 June 1931 the Crystal Palace [Glaspalast] was burned down, there perished with it an immortal treasure of German art. The artists were called Romantics and yet they were but the finest representatives of that German search for the real and true character of our people, for an honest and decent expression of this law of life divined by our people. For it was not only their choice of subject that was decisive but the clear and simple mode of rendering these sentiments. Many of their original works are lost, we possess only copies or reproductions, but the works of these masters are removed by a great gulf from the pitiable products of our modern so-called ‘creative artists’. These masters felt themselves to be Germans, and consequently they created works that should be valued as long as there should be a German people to appreciate them. But these modern works we should also preserve as documents illustrating the depths of that decline into which the people had fallen. The Exhibition of ‘Degenerate Art’ [Entartete Kunst] is intended as a useful lesson.

During the long years in which I planned the formation of a new Reich I gave much thought to the tasks which would await us in the cultural cleansing of the people’s life: there was to be a cultural renaissance as well as a political and economic reform. I was convinced that peoples who have been trodden underfoot by the whole world of their day have all the greater duty consciously to assert their own value before their oppressors, and there is no prouder proof of the highest rights of a people to its own life than immortal cultural achievements. I was therefore always determined that, if fate should one day give us power, I should discuss these matters with no-one else but would come to my own decisions, for it is not given to all to have an understanding for tasks as great as these. Amongst the plans which floated before my mind both during the war and after the collapse was the idea of building a great new exhibition palace in Munich; and many years ago I thought of the place where the building now stands. In 1931 I feared that I should be anticipated and that the ‘men of November’ would erect an exhibition building. Plans were indeed produced for an edifice that might well have served for a railway station or a swimming bath. But, when we came to power in 1933, the plan had not been executed: the erection of the building was left to the Third Reich. And the building is so unique, so individual that it cannot be compared with anything else: it is a true monument for this city and more than that – for German art… It represents a turning point, the first of the new buildings that will take their place amongst the immortal achievements of German artistic life.

But the House is not enough: it must house an exhibition and, if now I venture to speak of art, I can claim a title to do so from the contribution that I myself have made to the restoration of German art. For our modern German state, which I with my associates have created, has alone brought into existence the conditions for a new and vigorous flowering of art. It is not Bolshevik art collectors or their henchmen who have laid the foundations, for we have provided vast sums for the encouragement of art and have set before art itself great, new tasks. In politics, as in German artistic life, we are determined to make a clean sweep of empty phrases. Ability is the necessary qualification if an artist wishes his work to be exhibited here. People have attempted to recommend modern art by saying that it is the expression of a new age but art does not create a new age, it is the general life of peoples that fashions itself anew and often looks for a new expression… A new epoch is not created by littérateurs but by warriors, those who really fashion and lead the peoples and thus make history… It is either impudent effrontery or an almost inconceivable stupidity to exhibit to people today works that might have been made by a man of the Stone Age perhaps ten or twenty thousand years ago. They talk of primitive art but they forget that it is not the function of art to retreat backwards from the development of a people: its sole function must be to symbolise that living development.

The new age of today is at work on a new human type. Men and women are to be healthier and stronger. There is a new feeling of life, a new joy in life. Never was humanity in its external appearance and in its frame of mind nearer to the ancient world than it is today… This, my good prehistoric art stutterers, is the type of the new age, but what do you manufacture? Malformed cripples and cretins, women who inspire only disgust, men who are more like wild beasts, children who, were they alive, would have to be seen as cursed by God.

And let no one tell me that this is how these artists see things. From the pictures sent in for exhibition it is clear that the eye of some men portrays things otherwise than as they are, that there really are men who on principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, clouds sulphur-yellow, or, as perhaps they prefer to say, ‘experience’ them thus. I need not ask whether they really do see or feel things in this way, but in the name of the German people I have only to prevent these miserable unfortunates, who clearly suffer from defects of vision, from attempting violently to persuade contemporaries by their chatter that these faults of observation are indeed realities or from presenting them as ‘art’. There are only two possibilities here. Either these ‘artists’ really do see things in this way and believe in what they represent. Then one has only to ask how the defect in vision arose, and if it is hereditary the Minister for the Interior will have to see to it that so ghastly a defect of vision shall not be allowed to perpetuate itself. Or if they do not believe in the reality of such impressions but seek on other grounds to burden the nation with this humbug, then it is a matter for a criminal court. There is no place for such works in this building. The industry of architects and workmen has not been employed to house canvases daubed over in five hours, the painters being assured that the boldness of the pricing could not fail to produce its effect, that the canvas would be hailed as the most brilliant lightning creation of a genius. No, they can be left to cackle over each other’s eggs!

The artist does not create for the artist. He creates for the people, and we shall see to it that the people in future will be called on to judge his art. No one must say that the people have no understanding for a really valuable enrichment of its cultural life. Before the critics did justice to the genius of a Richard Wagner, he had the people on his side, whereas the people have had nothing to do with so-called ‘modern art’. The people have regarded this art as the outcome of an impudent and shameless arrogance or of a simply deplorable lack of skill. It has felt that this art stammer, these achievements, which might have been produced by untalented children of eight to ten years old, could never be considered an expression of our own times or of the German future. When we know today that the development of millions of years, compressed into a few decades, repeats itself in every individual, then this art, we realise, is not ‘modern’. It is on the contrary extremely ‘archaic’, far older probably than the Stone Age. The people in passing through these galleries will recognise in me its own spokesman and counsellor. It will draw a sigh of relief and gladly express its agreement with this purification of art. And that is decisive: an art that cannot count on the readiest and most intimate agreement of the great mass of the people, an art which must rely upon the support of small cliques, is intolerable. Such an art only tries to confuse, instead of gladly reinforcing, the sure and healthy instinct of a people. The artist cannot stand aloof from his people. This exhibition is only a beginning, but the end of Germany’s artistic stultification has begun. Now is the opportunity for youth to start its industrious apprenticeship, and when a sacred conscientiousness has at last come into its own, then I have no doubt that the Almighty from the mass of these decent creators of art will once more raise up individuals to the eternal starry Heaven of the imperishable God-favoured artists of the great periods. We believe that especially today, when in so many spheres the highest individual achievements are being manifested, in art also the highest value of personality will once again assert itself.


Via NS Europa.

California: Hitler Speech Played Over High School Stadium Loudspeakers

Ventura County sheriff’s deputies are investigating reports that a speech by Adolf Hitler was played over the public address system at the Newbury Park High School stadium over the weekend after a possible break-in at the press box.

(Ventura Country Star)

Sheriff’s Detective Tim Lohman said callers who apparently live in the neighborhood reported hearing the speech Saturday night and songs played the previous night.

Deputies did not find anyone inside the facility either night but confiscated a CD on Saturday, when the speech was reportedly played.

Lohman said he did not know what was on the CD, which has been entered into evidence. No suspects have been identified, he said.

Lohman said he did not know whether there were any security cameras or witnesses. It was also unclear whether someone broke into the facility or entered through an unlocked door.

School officials could not be reached Monday for comment.

Assistant Sheriff Bill Ayub said incidents involving neo-Nazi graffiti and comments occur sporadically around Ventura County but are not pervasive.

“We take that very seriously,” he said.