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Daily Headlines for Tuesday

Title 42 was supposed to end on Wednesday, prompting concern that our southern border would see a massive rush of asylum seekers seeking a better life here in America. That was until Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily halted Wednesday’s planned lifting of the Trump-era Title 42 health program Monday after more than a dozen Republican-led states filed an emergency application to the high court. In his order, he gave the DOJ until 5 pm Tuesday to respond to the state's request to halt the ending of the rule, which allows border officials to automatically refuse entry to migrants who may have been infected by the deadly virus.

In the latest episode of the #twitterfiles release Monday, we learned that the relationship between Twitter and the Federal Bureau of Investigation was much more complex than Americans really knew. In an email from February 2021, a Twitter employee bragged to the once-FBI lawyer, turned Twitter Chief council Jim Baker that since Oct 2019, the FBI Has ...

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New Jersey Man Sentenced To 12 Years in Prison for Receiving Military-Type Training From Hezbollah

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that Alexei Saab, aka Ali Hassan Saab, aka Alex Saab, aka Rachid, 46, was sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for receiving military-type training from Hezbollah, marriage fraud, and making false statements.

Saab had been a member of Hezbollah for more than two decades before he was indicted and charged for his involvement with the terror group.

According to court documents, Saab was convicted by a jury in May 2022 after a two-week trial. The sentence was imposed by the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe, who also presided over the trial.

According to prosecutors, Saab was a sleeper cell waiting to activate if Iran was attacked by the United States.

But the jury was unable to reach a verdict on a material support for a terrorist group charge. It acquitted Saab on three other charges.

Prosecutors say that Saab joined Hezbollah in 1996. Saab’s first Hezbollah operations occurred in Lebanon, where he was tasked with observing and reporting on the movements of Israeli and Southern Lebanese Army soldiers in Yaroun, Lebanon.

Among other things, Saab reported on patrol schedules and formations, procedures at security checkpoints, and the vehicles used by soldiers. Saab also, alongside his brother, planted an improvised explosive device that detonated and hit Israeli soldiers, seriously injuring at least one.

Authorities said Saab obtained his U.S. citizenship in 2008 after falsely claiming he had never been a member of a terrorist organization.

Court documents show Saab was ordered by Hezbollah to open a front company to obtain fertilizer for explosives.

While living in the United States, Saab worked as a software engineer and remained an IJO operative.

In approximately 1999, Saab attended his first Hezbollah training. The training was focused on the use of firearms, and Saab handled and fired an AK-47, an M16 rifle, and a pistol, and threw grenades. In 2000, Saab transitioned to membership in Hezbollah’s unit responsible for external operations, the IJO, and he then received extensive training in IJO tradecraft, weapons, and military tactics, including how to construct and detonate bombs and other explosive devices and how to best use these devices in attacks.

Specifically, Saab received detailed instruction in, among other things, triggering mechanisms, explosive substances, detonators, and the assembly of circuits. In pre-arrest interviews with the FBI, Saab was able to diagram multiple improvised explosive devices that would have been viable if constructed as diagrammed.

In 2000, Saab entered the United States. While living in the United States, Saab remained an IJO operative, continued to receive military training in Lebanon, and conducted numerous operations for the IJO. For example, Saab surveilled dozens of locations in New York City — including the United Nations headquarters, the Statue of Liberty, Rockefeller Center, Times Square, the Empire State Building, and local airports, tunnels, and bridges — and provided detailed information on these locations, including photographs, to the IJO. In particular, Saab focused on the structural weaknesses of locations he surveilled in order to determine how a future attack could cause the most destruction.

Saab’s reporting to the IJO included the materials used to construct a particular target, how close in proximity one could get to a target, and site weaknesses or “soft spots” that the IJO could exploit if it attacked a target in the future.

Saab conducted similar intelligence gathering in a variety of large American cities, including Boston and Washington, D.C., Saab admitted that his surveillance was designed to best position the IJO to attack the U.S. in the future. Saab also was tasked by Hezbollah with opening a front company that he could use to obtain fertilizer in the United States for use as an explosives precursor.

In addition to his attack-planning activities in the United States, Saab conducted operations abroad.

For example, in or about 2003, Saab attempted to murder a man he later understood to be a suspected Israeli spy. Saab pointed a firearm at the individual at close range and pulled the trigger twice, but the firearm did not fire. Saab also conducted surveillance in Istanbul, Turkey, and elsewhere.

Finally, in or about 2012, Saab entered into a fraudulent marriage in exchange for $20,000. The purpose of the marriage was for Saab’s purported wife to apply for her citizenship. Saab later falsely affirmed, under penalty of perjury, and in connection with his purported wife’s efforts to obtain status in the U.S., that the marriage was not for any immigration-related purposes.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Hezbollah is a Lebanon-based Shia Islamic organization with political, social, and terrorist components. Hezbollah was founded in the 1980s with support from Iran after the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon, and its mission includes establishing a fundamentalist Islamic state in Lebanon. Since Hezbollah’s formation, the organization has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks that have killed hundreds, including U.S. citizens and military personnel.

In 1997, the U.S. Department of State designated Hezbollah a Foreign Terrorist Organization, pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and it remains so designated today. In 2001, pursuant to Executive Order 13224, the U.S. Department of Treasury designated Hezbollah a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. In 2010, State Department officials described Hezbollah as the most technically capable terrorist group in the world and a continued security threat to the United States.

The Islamic Jihad Organization (IJO), which is also known as the External Security Organization and “910,” is a component of Hezbollah responsible for the planning and coordination of intelligence, counterintelligence, and terrorist activities on behalf of Hezbollah outside of Lebanon.

In July 2012, an IJO operative detonated explosives on a bus transporting Israeli tourists in the vicinity of an airport in Burgas, Bulgaria. The detonation killed six people and injured 32 others.

Law enforcement authorities have disrupted several other IJO attack-planning operations around the world, including the arrest of an IJO operative surveilling Israeli targets in Cyprus in 2012, the seizure of bomb-making precursor chemicals in Thailand in 2012, and a seizure of similar chemicals in May 2015 in connection with the arrest of another IJO operative. In June 2017, two IJO operatives were arrested in the U.S and charged with terrorism-related offenses in the Southern District of New York. In May 2019, a jury convicted one of those two IJO operatives on all counts, and in December 2019, he was sentenced principally to 40 years in prison.

During his sentencing this week, the judge acknowledged Saab's time at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, since being arrested and charged in 2019, and reduced his sentence from the recommended 15 years.

In fact, Judge Gardephe noted that Saab had become a model prisoner since his arrest, helping others incarcerated at New York City's federal jails to get high school equivalency certificates, learn English, and find relief from psychological problems.


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Stick that in your pipe and smoke it
There is no better phrase....

"Hey Joe, stick that in your pipe and smoke it!" Boy oh boy, the phrase that is old as time can be used on the daily to address the Biden administration and their continued push to lie to the American people even when the truth is on display for all to see, they don't give up.

Nope, they double and triple down. Not to mention the first family's association with other pipes, if you know what I mean.

"Stick it in your pipe and smoke it," is actually something that English majors call an idiom. The phrase is used to tell someone that they must accept what one says is true even though they might not like it or agree with it. 

We know you are lying. We see the moves to cover up illicit business dealings and the shady government meddling you and your BFF Barack Obama engaged in to help Hillary Clinton. We know it and we are not stupid. 

When called out on your administration's blatant lies, you continue to try and gaslight the American people to "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. As a matter of fact... there is no curtain."

Are there some crazy conspiracy theorists out there? You bet there is, but why do government officials continue to do things that leave the door wide open for people to speculate about the day-to-day happenings behind closed doors? 

Truth, transparency, and honor negate most people's ability to spread false information. It is that simple. 

For example, I knew that there were things that our government did that we did not know about, and I believed that it was probably for the best. Both for the government to take care of business without interference from the millions of busybodies that make up the populace of this great nation, and for the American people. 

Most Americans do not want to bare the burden of decisions that have to be made by government officials on a daily basis. We want to focus on our home. Our family and our communities. Leave the governing to the government. 

I questioned our government's involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I questioned our government's uncanny ability to meddle in the foreign affairs of other nations by arming, training, and supporting the "opposition" to the sitting government in numerous countries or "propping up" the sitting government, only to have the "opposition" turn around and use that training and those weapons against us or our allies. 

Let's take a look at a few examples from history. 

Can anyone say MS-13? 

To understand MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha, one must go back to the El Salvadoran Civil War that began in 1979 and lasted throughout the 1980s.

America decided to engage in a proxy conflict that was a holdover from the Cold War, with the US-backed government pitted against left-wing guerrillas backed by Cuba, and other Communist countries.

According to the UN, 85 percent of the violence against civilians was committed by government forces and death squads, whom the United States supported with weapons and training. The brutal conflict created hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of whom ended up in the United States. 

We trained them, we armed them and we provided shelter in the United States for the El Salvadore refugees, and MS-13 was born in the barrios of Los Angeles, California. 

When El Salvador’s Civil War ended in 1992, the US government began deporting many Salvadorans. These deportations included members of MS-13 and Barrio 18, one of Los Angeles’ first multi-ethnic and multiracial gangs that included large numbers of Central Americans.  

MS-13 is one of the few gangs with an official motto. The fun-loving bunch's motto is "kill, rape, control." You know, just fun, loving, and completely trustworthy kids from LA. 

Following World War II, the United States started using the newly created Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to covertly overthrow numerous governments around the world. American leaders justified many of these interventions as necessary measures to prevent the spread of communism based on the Cold War's dominion theory. Similarly, in the 21st century, the US defended its Middle East operations as crucial to fighting terrorism.

Remember that time in the late 1980s when President Ronald Reagan intervened in the Iran- Iraq War in support of Baghdad and Saddam Hussein, ultimately leading to an Iraqi victory? 

You read that right. We backed Saddam Hussein. Wonder how that turned out?

The Iran-Contra scandal? The Reagan administration armed CIA-trained Contra fighters in Nicaragua using money obtained from illegal arms sales to Iran. The U.S. government also turned a blind eye in the 1980s to drug trafficking by the Contras in an effort to keep the Cold War operation going.

Now-declassified U.S. documents reveal that Noriega offered to help U.S. officials by assassinating the leadership of Nicaragua's socialist Sandinista government, training Contra fighters and letting Panama serve as a staging ground for U.S. operations, according to Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archives and a co-editor of "The Iran-Contra Scandal: The Declassified History (1993)."

Noriega worked for several US intelligence agencies and was paid well to do so. At one point he was making $10,000 a month. But what does a drug kingpin do with his stack of American dollars? He buys more guns and drugs and despite all the assistance that he provided to the CIA, he was eventually jailed in an American federal prison for drug smuggling. 

The true depth of the Iran-Contra scandal is a book all on its own, with twists and turns that seem suited for an action-packed spy adventure novel... except it's real. It really happened. 

In a 2004 article entitled "Al-Qaeda's origins and links", the BBC wrote:

During the anti-Soviet war Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA

U.S. government officials and a number of other parties maintain that the U.S. supported only the indigenous Afghan mujahideen. They deny that the CIA or other American officials had contact with Bin Laden, let alone armed, trained, coached, or indoctrinated him. American scholars and reporters have called the idea of a CIA-backed Al Qaeda "nonsense", "sheer fantasy", and a "common myth."

However, Foreign Secretary in the UK from 1997 to 2001, Robin Cook, believed the CIA had provided arms to the Arab mujahideen, including Osama bin Laden, writing, "Bin Laden was, though, a product of a monumental miscalculation by Western security agencies. Throughout the '80s he was armed by the CIA and funded by the Saudis to wage war against the Russian occupation of Afghanistan."

But the CIA has a proven record of telling the truth, right? 

We watch television shows and movies that portray some sort of evil warlords and arms dealers. But in reality, the United States is one of the biggest arms dealers around. Remember Operation Fast and Furious?  

But for some reason, it was not until I watched an Amazon limited series that I changed the way I looked at our government. Why? Because it shinned a light on just how twisted and evil those with the kind of power that many in government possess can be. 

In 1985, American DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by Mexico’s most notorious drug lords. Thirty-five years later, three former cartel insiders share unprecedented details. This is the story of Camarena, the drug cartel he infiltrated, and the narc who risked everything to discover the truth.

Two former US law enforcement agents and an ex-CIA contractor have told producers of the limited series, Camarena was actually killed by CIA operatives. To this day, Camarena’s murder is considered the most heinous crime ever committed against the DEA in Latin America, and it took place at the height of the US drug war of the 1980s.

Despite the allegations, and the evidence presented by those that were involved, drug lord Rafael Caro Quintero was convicted in the agent's kidnapping and killing and sentenced to 40 years but went free after 28 years when a Mexican court overturned the sentence in 2013.

Don't get me started talking about the kickbacks, bribes, fraud, waste, coverups, and corruption. 

In short, when one decides to call out conspiracy theories and try to gaslight the American people with lies and propaganda, remember that if our government was transparent, truthful, and for the love of everything holy... stayed away from meddling in other country's conflicts, the American people would have no wiggle room to insert "what ifs."

It is not a MAGA problem. It is an American problem and the lack of integrity in our government. 

In the show, NCIS, Ducky (The doctor) gives a great example of a moral person when he says, "The ethical man knows it is wrong to cheat on his wife, whereas the moral man actually wouldn't."

We know what the right thing to do is, but we are not doing it. Our government's moral compass is broken. 

There will always be alternate facts and there will always be people who doubt the narrative. We are human and we all have brains that work independently of one another. We are not all plugged in and connected to each other. 

The key is constantly standing on the truth. Be the kind of government official who no matter the decision or the outcome, is willing to stand up and defend their actions or take responsibility for their failures. 

So yes. The American people do have a problem with our government. They have a bit of a reputation for not being the nicest and most trustworthy friends to have. In fact, they are well known for their backstabbing and scheming. 

And let me be clear... this is a problem for both Republicans and Democrats. No party is more righteous in its history. They are all part of the same machine. 

So until the Biden administration and all administrations to come can rise to the challenge...  "Stick it in your pipe and smoke on the truth."


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Addiction in America: The Dehumanization of Addiction in America
Part one in a series covering the addiction crisis and the people who are trying to make a difference

When did the world become so cold that the sight of men and women dying on the streets of America from poison administered through a needle was not a call to action, but an opportunity to look away? A chance to pretend that those consumed by addiction are less than human.

Addiction has been a persistent issue in the US, with millions suffering from it. Unfortunately, dealing with addiction as a society has not always been very productive. In many cases, driving addicts underground and the criminalization of addiction has perpetuated rather than resolved the problem. Although approaches to addiction have become more nuanced over the years, the stigma surrounding addiction remains strong.

The dehumanization of addicts is an under-discussed yet essential factor in this problem. In viewing addicts as deviant and dangerous, we strip them of their humanity and force them into a corner. This dehumanization is evident in the language we use to discuss addiction and addicts, making it an insidious issue.  

Progressive policies have attempted to remove the criminalization of stigma that comes with drug addiction, but are the policies making anything better or is it compounding an already bad situation into an easy road to rock bottom?

With that said, there is a lot about drug use and our reaction as a society that plays a role in the continued abuse of illegal substances and the crime that undoubtedly follows. To date, there is no real magic plan that will be the cure for the drug epidemic, and more importantly, a cure for addiction. There is no magic pill to cure homelessness or to tackle the mental health epidemic that has its greedy little hands in just about every destructive behavior known to man, and yet, billions are spent with little to no real solutions. 

What if I told you that the answer to all of it was simple? It begins with compassion. 

Is it possible to even imagine a society that is free of drugs? Even if it seems like an impossible dream, it's worth thinking about how our communities could be improved without the burden of drug-related crimes and homelessness. Sometimes we become so accustomed to the current drug-oriented environment that we forget to envision anything differently. Let's take a moment and imagine a world where this is possible, not just in our community but across the nation. Chances are, you are picturing a utopian dream come true. 

Addiction in America is often stigmatized and criminalized, with addicts being viewed as criminals rather than individuals struggling with a disease. This stigma can have negative effects on individuals, making them feel ashamed and unworthy of help.

It can also act as a barrier to recovery, with individuals feeling unable to seek treatment because of the negative judgment they may experience. Moreover, addiction is often criminalized rather than treated as a medical issue. And some just continue to make the choice to remain addicted and on the streets. No two addicts' stories are the same. 

This approach has led to a vicious cycle of incarceration and recidivism and has failed to address the underlying issues that contribute to addiction. Dealing with addiction as a criminal justice problem is a double-edged sword. While in the short term, a person is forced into sobriety and one less person is off the streets engaging in high-risk behaviors that are a beacon for crimes that can carry deadly consequences, even to innocent bystanders. 

In the long term, incarceration can exacerbate the mental and behavioral problems that lead to addiction, as well as create social and financial issues for the individual and their family. The criminalization of addiction can also worsen the stigma that surrounds addiction, making it even more difficult for individuals to receive the help they need.

It is important to realize that addiction is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted solution, including addressing the social factors that contribute to addiction, providing access to affordable and effective treatment programs, and shifting the focus from punishment to recovery.

Many people tend to think of addiction as an abstract concept. The reality is that substance abuse is causing fatalities on a daily basis, and ruining numerous lives. However, it is challenging to comprehend the severity of the issue until it happens to someone we know personally. Consequently, we tend to continue with our daily lives, ignoring the unfortunate news. It is crucial to note the impact of substance abuse and addiction on our society.

For example, approximately $250 billion is spent on substance abuse and related issues in the national healthcare bill. Lost productivity, crime, and healthcare expenses cost about $740 billion. About 80% of inmates in jail committed crimes while under the influence of drugs or to purchase them. More than 90% of homeless people are dependent on alcohol, while approximately 60% abuse drugs. Furthermore, around 50% of college students binge drink or use drugs, and 70% of abused or neglected children live with parents who abuse drugs or alcohol. Finally, people who abuse drugs or alcohol are responsible for most property crimes.

These numbers might be hard to understand initially, but what's even more concerning is that they are growing with each passing day. Just think of these figures as individuals, who are somebody's close ones, and many of them did not intend to become addicted.

A January 2023 analysis conducted by, found that almost 600 thousand Americans are homeless on any given night.

Around 16 to 20 million people are addicted to alcohol, over 61 million use cigarettes, nearly 600,000 take crack cocaine, and over 1 million use hallucinogens or ecstasy. Moreover, there are around 15 million marijuana smokers, 15 million prescription drug abusers, over 2.4 million cocaine users, and possibly thousands of people addicted to heroin. Over 750,000 use methamphetamine, and in 2020, fatal overdoses crossed 70,000. It is quite concerning that these numbers are increasing at such a staggering rate.

When we talk about drug use in our communities, homelessness, and even crime, we are all too quick to make the story all about the addict or the criminal. We fail to address society's role in the treatment of their fellow human beings. 

From an early age, we are taught that “Good girls and boys didn’t drink or do drugs.”

We were told that if we simply behaved, we never had to deal with the ugly problems of addiction. Poof, it was just that easy. Many people still believe that concept to be true. 

Therefore, all those who are seriously addicted to anything can not be a good person. Full stop. They are people to be afraid of and it makes me wonder, how many addicts know that they are in trouble, but are only compounded by the shame of being one of those bad people? 

I am not talking about making excuses for bad behavior or excusing anyone from the consequences of their decisions. I am talking about finding reasons behind drug and alcohol abuse, mental health issues, and homelessness and what we can do to change the underlying factors so that a cure may be found. Or at least a better plan than the one we are currently working under. 
I am asking the questions and taking a hard look at the way we as a society treat our fellow man, but especially when our fellow man is at their lowest point. 
Are we laughing, abusing, and taking advantage of them? Are we ignoring the problem altogether? Are places like Portland and Philidelphia open-air drug markets a way for all of the "problem" boys and girls to be corraled into one location and then given all the ammunition needed to keep them locked away from society in their own prison of addiction?
Are politicians stepping on the backs of the vulnerable and the hurting Americans to funnel money from assistance programs into their own pockets? 

Addiction treatment in America is plagued by inadequate funding for program development and implementation, which in turn has a significant impact on accessibility.

The absence of access to basic healthcare also poses an issue for those grappling with addiction. The ongoing opioid epidemic in America is a public health crisis, and its impact on addiction treatment is significant.

Options are scarce, and those who require them often face stigma and financial barriers, resulting in a lack of treatment options. It is crucial to invest in addiction treatment programs and expand healthcare coverage to ensure accessibility for those who need it. Addressing the elephant in the room - the lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, and stress management, is critical.

The current approach to addiction in America is often punitive rather than restorative. Policymakers and the public tend to view addiction as a moral failing rather than a complex medical issue. As a result, addicts are often met with punishment rather than treatment, leaving them stuck in a cycle of addiction and incarceration.
I was recently talking with someone who has been on the streets to help where they can, and the stories she told me left me sad and overwhelmed. 
How could I be sad? 
How could I not be? The broken and the forgotten are left to rot away not in a prison cell or far away place that is out of sight... nope. They are rotting away on our city streets and in full view of everyone. They are young and old. Men and women. Pregnant mothers and someone's sons and daughters. 
School children traverse a sea of used and dirty needles just to reach the library or the playground. People are dying, as in six feet under dying, in full view of everyone and no one is lifting a finger to stop them. Children are being born addicted to the sins of their mothers before they even had a chance. Children are entering foster care only to be traumatized and prayed upon by evil people who take advantage of systems that should be so full of the best of us that evil would dare to show its face and yet... it does. 
Teenagers take to the streets to mock, abuse, and assault those that are already so down in life that are one hit, snort, pill away from oblivion. 
Why am I overwhelmed?
Because I see both sides of the issue. I see the tremendous cracks in the foundations of our society and we have almost reached our limit for the number of patches that we can do before the entire structure gives way to rot and ruin. We need something new. 
I am also overwhelmed because I pray that throughout the next two weeks, I can do my small part to highlight some of the amazing people that are out there trying to bring attention to this issue. They are trying to make a difference, even if they just help one person change their lives for the better. But they are individual people. 
Imagine what could happen when the almighty power that is the American people put down their animosities, greed, and disagreements to work towards healing our society.... 
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