Friday, April 29, 2016
Saturday Politics is sometimes about American conservatives. We conservatives are a quiet lot. We have turned our other, often Christian, cheek so many times that we have become doormats. Leftist/Progressives call us right-wingers, backward, uneducated, racist, anti-women, dangerous gun toters, and Bible-waving fanatics. But, they never call us what we are -- the American Majority. ~~~~~ American Thinker website gave a polling summary this week that proves this. George Washington University announced on April 25 its latest Battleground Poll. The single most repeated result in the history of that poll has been the "persistent conservative majority." The responses show that 55% of Americans identify themselves as "Very Conservative" or "Somewhat Conservative," while 40% call themselves "Very Liberal" or "Somewhat Liberal." Excluding those who don't know or won't respond, conservatives constitute 58% of Americans. American Thinker reports : "Every GWU Battleground Poll over the last sixteen years has shown the same overwhelming conservative majority in America. The size of the conservative majority has varied a bit over the last sixteen years, but the existence of a strong conservative majority -- sufficient to provide a landslide in any national election -- has not changed at all." ~~~~~ The Battleground Poll agrees with Gallup polls. Every Gallup state-by-state poll has shown that the vast majority of states have more conservatives than liberals. In its last seven state-by-state surveys, Gallup found that conservatives outnumber liberals in at least 47 of the 50 states. ~~~~~ SurveyUSA in its February 50-state poll found that 40% of Americans consider themselves either "Very Conservative" or "Conservative," while only 21% of Americans consider themselves "Very Liberal" or "Liberal." ~~~~~ State polls, typically conducted by state media, agree. Presidential "swing states" show the same breakdown. In Nevada, 37% call themselves "Conservative" and 19% "Liberal." In Colorado, 32% call themselves "Conservative," and 21% call themselves "Liberal." In the 2015 Florida poll, 35% of Floridians called themselves "Conservative" and 20% called themselves "Liberal," and in 2016, the poll found that 42% called themselves either "Very Conservative" or "Conservative," while 23% called themselves "Very Liberal" or "Liberal." Purple states, which Republicans often view as out of reach, have conservative pluralities. In Michigan. 39% call themselves "Very Conservative" or "Conservative," while 30% call themselves "Very Liberal" or "Liberal." In Oregon, the 2014 poll showed 27% calling themselves "Conservative," while 21% called themselves "Liberal," and in the 2015 poll, 27% called themselves "Conservative," and 24% called themselves "Liberal." Minnesota, considered the most "Liberal" state, when polled four consecutive times by KSTP-TV in Minneapolis during 2014 to 2015, had the same results : "Conservatives" outnumber "Liberals" by amazing pluralities, starting from earlier polls to the most recent : 33% to 18%, 35% to 17%, 35% to 14%, and 33% to 17%. Perhaps most surprising is California, considered the breeding ground of Progressives. In two 2015 and 2016 polls sponsored by SurveyUSA, "Conservatives" slightly outnumbered "Liberals." This result agrees with polls in California over the last decade that show there are as many "Conservatives" as "Liberals," or even slightly more, in this state so essential to the success of the Left in American politics. ~~~~~ Dear readers, one reason Donald Trump appeals to American conservatives is his plain talk about a GOP timidity that first angered and then outraged them. GOP voters, donors and party volunteers see their national leadership, especially in Congress, as cowardly -- so afraid of the Leftist mainstream media, as well as of verbal and physical political correctness enforcers, that they let media-protected Democrat Progressives walk all over them. At last, they have a champion who they believe will end the Reign of Democrat-Progressive Terror -- and give their Washington leaders courage.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
A Remembrance. ~~~~~ Nahal Oz became a kibbutz in 1953. Roi Rotberg, the Nahal Oz security officer, was regularly involved in chasing off infiltrators from Gaza. On 29 April 1956, he was caught in a prepared ambush; Arab harvest workers began to reap wheat in the kibbutz's fields, without authorization, in a spot where Rotberg would see them. As he rode toward them to chase them off, others emerged from hiding to attack. He was shot off his horse, beaten and shot again, then his body was dragged into Gaza. His remains were returned on the same afternoon, badly mutilated, after United Nations intervention. ~~~~~ Almost sixty years later, in April, a young Israeli soldier was captured by islamic terrorists and horribly beaten and shot. He escaped and was found by his brothers-in-arms on the same day in April in which Roi Rotberg had been ambushed, shot, beaten and mutilated. Our friend lived for eight months after his ordeal. He was young. He was fearless. He was a patriot. He will live in the hearts of his friends forever. ~~~~~ Here is the graveside eulogy Moshe Dayan gave for Roi Rotberg. It is wholly fitting to repeat it here for our friend, not on the day he died, but on this, the day he was found and comforted in the arms of his brother soldiers. "Greater love than this hath no man, than that he give up his life for his friends." Rest in peace. ~~~~~ Moshe Dayan : "Early yesterday morning Roi was murdered. The quiet of the spring morning dazzled him and he did not see those waiting in ambush for him, at the edge of the furrow. Let us not cast the blame on the murderers today. Why should we declare their burning hatred for us? For eight years they have been sitting in the refugee camps in Gaza, and before their eyes we have been transforming the lands and the villages, where they and their fathers dwelt, into our estate. It is not among the Arabs in Gaza, but in our own midst that we must seek Roi's blood. How did we shut our eyes and refuse to look squarely at our fate, and see, in all its brutality, the destiny of our generation? Have we forgotten that this group of young people dwelling at Nahal Oz is bearing the heavy gates of Gaza on its shoulders? Beyond the furrow of the border, a sea of hatred and desire for revenge is swelling, awaiting the day when serenity will dull our path, for the day when we will heed the ambassadors of malevolent hypocrisy who call upon us to lay down our arms. Roi's blood is crying out to us and only to us from his torn body. Although we have sworn a thousandfold that our blood shall not flow in vain, yesterday again we were tempted, we listened, we believed. We will make our reckoning with ourselves today; we are a generation that settles the land and without the steel helmet and the cannon's maw, we will not be able to plant a tree and build a home. Let us not be deterred from seeing the loathing that is inflaming and filling the lives of the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who live around us. Let us not avert our eyes lest our arms weaken. This is the fate of our generation. This is our life's choice -- to be prepared and armed, strong and determined, lest the sword be stricken from our fist and our lives cut down. The young Roi who left Tel Aviv to build his home at the gates of Gaza to be a wall for us was blinded by the light in his heart and he did not see the flash of the sword. The yearning for peace deafened his ears and he did not hear the voice of murder waiting in ambush. The gates of Gaza weighed too heavily on his shoulders and overcame him."
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
During a speech in Germany Monday, a hallucinating President Obama said : "We are fortunate to be living in the most peaceful, most prosperous, most progressive era in human history." That was just before he announced a deployment of 250 more American special forces troops to Syria. Obama said : "Most people live in democracies. We're wealthier and healthier and better educated..." Obama returned to reality long enough to note the increase in "dangerous forces" around the world threatening to pull society backward : "Our progress is not inevitable." ~~~~~ The May 2015 Armed Conflict Survey by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) found that in 2008 there were 63 armed conflicts around the world with 56,000 fatalities, whereas in 2014 there were only 42 armed conflicts but they produced 180,000 fatalities. Obama got it backwards, while even the leftist Guardian newspaper understood IISS : "The numbers reflect the extremely violent fighting in Syria and Iraq and deaths in Afghanistan increasing following the withdrawal of western combat troops." Who decided to withdraw allied troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and delay a deployment in Syria until forced by Russia's arrival? Obama. ~~~~~ Now that Russia has consolidated power in Syria, it wants more details about US plans to send the 250 special forces to Syria. President Obama's Monday announcement, according to Reuters, increases US forces in Syria sixfold and will help militia fighters who are taking back territory from ISIS militants. Will Obama comply with Russia's demand? Probably -- making 250 American soldiers goldfish in Russia's al-Assad fishbowl. ~~~~~ Reuters reported Wednesday that Iran's Supreme Leader has accused the US of scaring businesses away from Iran : "On paper the United States allows foreign banks to deal with Iran, but in practice they create Iranophobia so no one does business with Iran." US banks are prohibited from doing business with Iran because of US sanctions charging that Iran supports terrorism and human rights abuses -- and working on nuclear weapons, we might add. Secretary of State John Kerry told Iran Foreign Minister Zarif on Saturday the US is not trying to stop Iran dealing with non-US banks : "Unfortunately there seems to be some confusion among some foreign banks and we want to try and clarify that." ~~~~~ The Washington Post reported in November that the US has delivered $260 million in non-lethal military equipment to help Ukraine fight the Russian-backed insurgency, but some equipment is little more than junk. A Ukraine special forces unit is using battered 1980s US Humvees. A 120-man infantry unit received a single bulletproof vest - a model US troops stopped using ten years ago. Such US equipment on Ukraine front lines has led to distrust and lower morale. It also calls into question the US commitment to the two-year war, with 9,000 dead, while Russia's well-equipped separatists are still firmly in control of eastern Ukraine. A senior Defense official says the US was wholly unprepared for Russia’s Ukraine offensive and had to source funds and respond to aid requests from a “cold start.” Others say the junk equipment symbolizes US policy that does the minimum to bolster Ukraine and deter Russia. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says there is strong bipartisan support for Ukraine, noting a recently authorized $300 million package - including lethal aid. The only issue, Thornberry added, is that we can’t make the President deliver it.” ~~~~~ Foreign Policy wrote a week ago that ISIS is using mustard gas against the Kurds, asking why the US isn't helping. Kurdish leaders in Iraq have appealed to the West for gas masks. They are still waiting for them. As America’s most effective ally against ISIS, the Kurds say privately they are puzzled by the delay. ~~~~~ Dear readers, maybe Obama has finally found his peace strategy. Do nothing. Peace will follow -- peace controlled by islamic terrorists and aggressors -- but, maybe Obama would say : "Hey. Peace is peace. Don't knock my legacy."
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Some statements are so crazy that they're a sure sign the speaker is stupid or indulging in falsehood, or both. For example, Monday millionaire Hillary Clinton called billionaire Donald Trump out of touch : "At some point, if you want to be President of the United States, you’ve got to get familiar with the United States. Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it...go make a big speech and insult everyone you can think of and then...get on that big jet and go back to your country club house in Florida or your penthouse in New York.” ~~~~~ Trump has honestly said : "I'm very rich." He always adds that he's paying for his campaign because he doesn't want to owe anybody any favors as President. ~~~~~ But, Hillary is a closet 'rich bitch,' pretending to be middle class, understanding their problems and wanting to help them. The truth is very different -- but we don't expect Hillary to tell the truth, do we? ~~~~~ Money Nation reports Hillary Clinton's net worth is $31.3 million, based her 2015 US Public Financial Disclosure Reports. Bill Clinton's estimated net worth is $80 million, for a Bill and Hillary Clinton net worth of $111 million. Only 5,000 US households have a net worth over $100 million. ~~~~~ Profit Confidential says Hillary Clinton’s $31.3 million net worth is 459 times more than that of the average American household. In 1973, she received her law degree from Yale Law School. Then, she married Bill Clinton in 1975, became Arkansas first lady, and joined the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock in 1977. In 1991, her last year at Rose, she made more than $200,000. But, after Bill's presidency, Hillary’s net worth was MINUS $8.0 Million in 2000. The Clintons' debt was very large legal expenses related to Bill's sexual harassment lawsuits and impeachment, and her Whitewater and Travelgate investigations. So, Hillary's wealth was built in the last 15 years because of the Clinton Foundation. Her net worth jumped in 2014, with $12.0 million in speaking fees. In 2015, Clinton was paid from $100,000 to $335,000 per speech, with one between $500,000 and $1,000,000. For 52 speeches in 2014 and 2015, Hillary averaged $231,337. In 2009, when she left the Senate to become Secretary of States, her salary went to $186,600, that is, $12,600 more per year than her US Senator salary of $174,000. In 2009, Hillary reported buying between $5 million and $26 million in money market funds and real estate. ~~~~~ Hillary doesn't put public service high on her list of reasons to give speeches. According to a May 31, 2013 email, Clinton’s standard speech contract includes : (1) Round-trip travel by chartered private jet, Gulfstream 450 or larger, plus round-trip business class travel for two advance staff. (2) Hotel accommodations selected by her staff, including “a presidential suite for Secretary Clinton and up to three adjoining or contiguous single rooms for travel aides and up to two additional single rooms for advance staff.” (3) A $500 travel stipend for out-of-pocket costs for Clinton’s lead travel aide. (4) Meals and incidentals for Clinton, travel aides and advance staff, and all phone call costs. ~~~~~ The Clintons own a home in Chappaqua, NY, bought in 1999 for $1.7 million. They bought “Whitehaven," a 5,500-square-foot brick colonial in the exclusive Observatory Circle area of northwest Washington for $2.85 million after Hillary won her Senate seat in 2000. Experts estimate the home is now worth $5.6 million. ~~~~~ After paying $3 million for Chelsea's dream wedding in 2010, Bill and Hillary helped Chelsea and her husband buy a $9.25 million New York City apartment in 2013, according to Vanity Fair sources. Chelsea staff deny this. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the disappearing middle class has worked paycheck to paycheck since 2008, juggling mortgage, rent, Obamacare costs, student and car loans and credit card debt. But Hillary only wants their votes. She is a rich, ambitious, woman riding her husband's coattails. A Hillary Senate race aide told author Ed Klein in 2005 : "She has this unbelievable ability to be a liar. She is soulless.”
Monday, April 25, 2016
Reuters reports that Republican presidential rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich agreed on Sunday to stay out of each other's way in three upcoming GOP state primaries in last minute collusion meant to block front-runner Donald Trump from winning the party's presidential nomination. Cruz's campaign said in a statement he would be focusing on Indiana to give Kasich a clearer shot at Trump in Oregon and New Mexico, where Kasich expects to do well. Kasich, in turn, will shift his resources west and away from Indiana. The Indiana primary is on May 3, Oregon's is May 17 and New Mexico's June 7. ~~~~~ Trump has won the most state primaries, but he also has to win most of the remaining primaries to collect the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the nomination on the first ballot at the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland. The Cruz and Kasich campaigns believe their Sunday agreement could help limit Trump's ability to win the needed 1,237 delegates. If no candidate has 1,237 delegate votes on the first vote at the GOP Convention, many delegates will be allowed to switch sides on subsequent ballots. Some Republican strategists who oppose Trump have been calling for such a deal for weeks. The question now is whether the Cruz-Kasich deal is too late. ~~~~~ Many Republican leaders, who think Trump would lose the White House and cause down-ballot losses in the House and Senate elections in November, say the race will and should go to a second or third ballot if no candidate reaches 1,237. Trump has for some time complained that party officials are rigging the system against him. For example, in February, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the campaign playbook that governed past primaries is "shredded" and suggested that candidates gang up against Trump. In mid-April, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said : “When a nominee gets to 1,237, he will actually be the candidate. If he doesn’t, there will be a second ballot, and about 60% of the delegates who are bound on the first ballot will be free to do whatever they want....And I’m increasingly optimistic that there actually may be a second ballot.” McConnell later said he had expressed himself "inelegantly." ~~~~~ A Real Clear Politics Monday polling report shows how right Trump is in labeling the Cruz-Kasich move "desperation." The polls show that in all but one primary, Cruz and Kasich combined cannot beat Trump. *According to the latest USA Today/Suffolk poll on the Republican presidential nomination, Trump leads Cruz, 45% to 29%. Kasich trails at 17%. *A Pennsylvania GOP presidential primary PPP survey shows Trump leading Cruz, 51% to 25%, with Kasich at 22%. *A Connecticut GOP presidential primary PPP survey has Trump ahead of Kasich, 59% to 25%. Cruz is at 13%. According to a Gravis Connecticut poll, Trump leads Kasich, 54% to 27%. Cruz trails at 9%. *A Rhode Island GOP presidential primary PPP survey, Trump leads Kasich, 61% to 23%, with Cruz at 13%. A Gravis Rhode Island poll has Trump ahead of Kasich, 58% to 21%. Cruz trails at 10%. *A Maryland GOP presidential primary Gravis poll shows Trump leading Kasich, 53% to 24%, with Cruz at 22%. ~~~~~ Sunday, Trump tweeted : "Wow, just announced that Lyin' Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. Desperation!" ~~~~~ Dear readers, watching the GOP leadership and the Republican National Committee go from "It'll be over by March, Jeb is the candidate" to self-destructive public plotting against the only candidate actually bringing record numbers of GOP voters to the polls is, as Trump says, "pathetic." What's more, it is amateurish. In Indiana, 22% of Kasich voters say Trump is their second choice. Kasich said Monday that his Indiana supporters should vote for him, he never told them not to. It seems likely the Cruz-Kasich deal will simply help Trump because 'desperation politics' doesn't work. Send the amateurs packing. Vote for Trump this week.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
President Obama added to his outrageous threats to America's oldest, most loyal friend on Saturday, warning the British against exiting the EU. He told the BBC : “We wouldn’t abandon our efforts to negotiate a trade deal with our largest trading partner, the European market. But rather, it could be 5 years from now, 10 years from now before we were able to actually get something done.” Britain ought to beware and consider who Barack Obama really is. ~~~~~ Remember Black Wednesday -- September 16, 1992? The British Conservative government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after it was unable to keep the pound above its agreed lower limit value in the ERM. It was George Soros, the high-profile currency market speculator, who devalued the pound, making over £1 billion profit by short selling sterling. In 1997, Soros' 1992 action was estimated by the UK Treasury to have cost the UK £3.4 billion. ~~~~~ Did George Soros have political, as well as financial, gain in mind when he brought down the British pound? Consider this. Conservatives had won the 1992 general election. The September 1992 Gallup poll showed a 2.5% Conservative lead. By October, after Black Wednesday, their poll had plunged from 43% to 29%, while Labour jumped to a lead it held steadily for the next 14 years, and Labour won three consecutive general elections under Tony Blair. ~~~~~ George Soros may have been trying to destroy British conservatism, just as he is now trying to destroy American conservatism. He is a major power behind the western left, pumping millions of dollars into Progressive causes annually. He wants open borders, world government, weakened Christianity, gun control, abortion, and euthanasia. In December 2012, Soros told Neera Tanden, a close Hillary Clinton ally who now heads the Soros umbrella political organization Center for American Progress, that he regretted supporting Obama over Hillary in the 2008 Democratic primary, according to an email released by the State Department, in which Tanden confirmed this to Clinton. An August 2012 New Yorker article said Soros gave $5 million to help elect Obama in 2008. A 2013 CNS News report said, "Soros’s Open Society Foundation...gave $100 million dollars to ‘immigrant rights‘ projects in the United States," listing the beneficiaries : La Raza, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Amnesty International and Immigration Equality. The Washington Times reported in January 2015 that Soros was funding the Ferguson protests : "Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of the Soros nonprofit Open Society Foundations." ~~~~~ Dear readers, it seems Soros is also funding Republicans. In March, Breitbart published reports about a Soros-linked group taking credit for trying to violently disrupt Donald Trump campaign rallies. The Center for Responsive Politics says another Soros-linked group is coordinating an operation to stop Trump by financing the John Kasich campaign. According to the CRP, Soros Fund Management is one of Kasich’s top financial contributors -- a close associate and protégé of Soros, Scott Bessent, gave the Kasich super PAC 'New Day For America' $200,000. Bessent was then chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management LLC. He now has his own hedge fund, Key Square Group, funded with $2 billion from Soros. CRP says the contributions were in Federal Election Commission data it analyzed. The Kasich super PAC press secretary downplayed the Soros connection, saying : "The contribution...was a personal contribution by Scott Bessent, a longtime Republican donor. It did not come from George Soros....In the 2016 cycle alone, Mr. Bessent has also contributed to Jeb Bush's Super PAC, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Speaker John Boehner....Mr. Bessent has also donated to Marco Rubio, Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul in the past." No wonder voters are flocking to Trump to save America.
Friday, April 22, 2016
Saturday Politics this week is about remembering the Jewish Passover festival that began at sundown Friday, commemorating the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and God's redemption of the Jews, and all mankind. Please join me in wishing a happy and blessed Passover to all our Jewish friends. Chag same'ach, חַג שָׂמֵחַ (Happy holiday). ~~~~~ EXODUS 12 : 1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in Egypt, 2 “This month is to be for you the first month, the first month of your year. 3 Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household. 4 If any household is too small for a whole lamb, they must share one with their nearest neighbor, having taken into account the number of people there are. You are to determine the amount of lamb needed in accordance with what each person will eat. 5 The animals you choose must be year-old males without defect, and you may take them from the sheep or the goats. 6 Take care of them until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the members of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. 7 Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs. 8 That same night they are to eat the meat roasted over the fire, along with bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat the meat raw or boiled in water, but roast it over a fire—with the head, legs and internal organs. 10 Do not leave any of it till morning; if some is left till morning, you must burn it. 11 This is how you are to eat it: with your cloak tucked into your belt, your sandals on your feet and your staff in your hand. Eat it in haste; it is the Lord’s Passover. 12 On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. 14 This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. 15 For seven days you are to eat bread made without yeast. On the first day remove the yeast from your houses, for whoever eats anything with yeast in it from the first day through the seventh must be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day hold a sacred assembly, and another one on the seventh day. Do no work at all on these days, except to prepare food for everyone to eat; that is all you may do. 17 Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come....20 Eat nothing made with yeast. Wherever you live, you must eat unleavened bread." ~~~ 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them....24 “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ 27 then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshipped.... ~~~ 29 At midnight the Lord struck down all the firstborn in Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn of the prisoner, who was in the dungeon, and the firstborn of all the livestock as well. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the Egyptians got up during the night, and there was loud wailing in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead..31 During the night Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! Go, worship the Lord as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”
Thursday, April 21, 2016
When I was a child, my mother would warn me about lying by saying I would always be caught out by a lie. I still don't know why the phrase "caught out" is used, but as a child, I tried not to lie because I knew it must be an unpleasant experience. However, I always knew what pompous meant -- merely saying the word conjured up bloated self-importance. Yesterday, those two words merged as I watched Barack Obama being snubbed with finesse when he arrived in Riyadh and, later, when he walked meekly beside Saudi King Salman, the 80-year-old monarch who had learned the subtleties of power politics before Obama was born. I understood what it means to be caught out not just in lies but in pompous lies. In those televised moments that captured the Arab world's lesson to the self-important amateur, Barack Obama was revealed as the pompous liar he has been about his agenda and allies. ~~~~~ President Obama went to Saudi Arabia to paper over his eight years of indifference and hostility toward America's longterm Middle East partner. He undoubtedly thought it would be easy. But, Obama was greeted at the airport by Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar Al Saud and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, in an arrival not broadcast live on Saudi TV, which is routine with visiting heads of state. It quickly caused talk of a snub, because King Salman, with other senior Saudis, was seen earlier on TV greeting leaders of Arab Gulf states on the tarmac, ahead of Thursday’s summit of the six-member, Saudi-dominated Gulf Cooperation council, which Obama addressed. Afterward, King Salman greeted Obama in the Riyadh al-Auja palace, where they posed for photos and exchanged stilted remarks before a two-hour meeting. Even after the obvious snub, the White House tried to deny that ties with Saudi Arabia are fraying, saying Obama "really cleared the air" with King Salman at their meeting. ~~~~~ What led to Obama's come-uppance? Even before he became President, Obama called the Saudis "our so-called allies" at a 2002 rally. As President, his support for the 2011 ouster of long-time Egyptian leader and US ally Hosni Mubarak was seen by the Saudis as betraying established relationships and causing chaos before Egyptians rejected the Moslem Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia took up the task of helping Egypt recover. Later, Obama refused to act on his "red line" threat of military force against Syria's al-Assad. Finally, the US announced it was secretly meeting with sunni leader Saudi Arabia's arch-rival shiite leader Iran for talks that led to the 2015 nuclear deal bitterly opposed by the Saudis. It drove the final wedge between the Kingdom and the US President it had come to see as untrustworthy and, worse, perhaps in the enemy camp. Obama’s recent comment that the Saudis and Iranians should "share the neighborhood" angered the Saudis, causing sharp public criticism of an American "pivot" toward Iran. The White House said the 9/11 attacks weren't discussed Wednesday, but Saudi Arabia has warned it might sell $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes a bill allowing the Saudi government to be held legally liable for the attacks if any official is shown to have been complicit -- a charge Saudi officials have long denied. Former CIA Middle East expert Bob Baer told CNN that US-Saudi relations may be so damaged that the US will be stuck with Iran. ~~~~~ Retired Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al Faisal talked to CNN's Christiane Amanpour Wednesday, offering an insight into Arab culture : "If you want to change course and establish new grounds for understanding, you don't have to be insulting." ~~~~~ Dear readers, that's why Barack Obama was snubbed. His Chigago-style cynical bullying may have worked with Americans for awhile, but not with Saudi Arabia, proud Arabs who expect courtesy even when bitterly disagreeing, as when Obama insists the Iran deal "cut off every single one of Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon." The next President must restore relations because the US, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel hold the Middle East together.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
On Monday, Iraq Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, facing mass protests over delays in halting corruption, said he hopes Iraq's parliament can vote "in the next few days" on a cabinet of non-party technocrats. Hanging over al-Abadi's head is last Saturday's threat by powerful Iran-backed shiite Moslem cleric Moqtada al-Sadr of major street protests if Iraq MPs failed by Tuesday afternoon to name a technocrat cabinet ready to weed out graft and mismanagement. There was no vote on Tuesday. Voting has been postponed several times as al-Abadi's February announcement -- made under coercion by al-Sadr and his shiite clerics -- of an overhaul of the government has been delayed by disputes and protests. Al-Abadi says political turmoil could jeopardize the armed forces' campaign against ISIS militants who still control large areas in Iraq's north and west, including Mosul, where Iraqi forces, backed by the US, are making gains against ISIS. ~~~~~ On Monday, thousands of al-Sadr's shiite followers held a sit-in near the heavily fortified Green Zone, where parliament and government offices are located, to support al-Sadr's warning to MPs, calling on them "to convene immediately in order to overcome the obstacles." The "obstacle" is a dispute among MPs about the future of Speaker Salim al-Jabouri. A large group of MPs refuses to meet under Jabouri's speakership, supposedly because he won't let them question al-Abadi on his proposed cabinet. ~~~~~ The Washington Post reported Wednesday that al-Sadr has now spoken, asking the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to help find a solution to Iraq’s political crisis “even through holding early elections.” Al-Sadr’s message came after MPs failed to convene to vote on Speaker al-Jabouri. Al-Sadr ordered Sadrist MPs to halt their parliament sit-in, so as to make a quorum possible. But he told his followers to continue rallying in Bagdad’s Tahrir Square, calling for : "continuing peaceful protests in the same intensity and even more in order to pressure the politicians and the lovers of corruption. Nobody has the right to stop it, otherwise the revolution will take another turn," referring to al-Abadi's decision to restrict protests in Baghdad to central Tahrir Square. Al-Sadr also asked MPs loyal to him not to attend any session except to vote on the cabinet. ~~~~~ On Monday, the New York Times reported that President Obama will send US military advisors closer to the front lines of the war against ISIS, part of an escalation of the US military campaign in Iraq. The advisors -- who had assisted Iraqi military divisions of 10,000 troops -- will now assist units of 2,000 soldiers directly involved in frontline fighting. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, making the announcement to American troops at the Baghdad airport, said the Pentagon will deploy Apache attack helicopters, long-range artillery and increased logistical support for the Iraqi military. The Kurdish regional government, with the most successful anti-ISIS military campaign in Iraq and Syria, will receive more than $415 million, disbursed monthly to pay and feed Kurdish soldiers. DoD officials had said the Iraqis would recapture Mosul last year. Now, they say the earliest will be later this year. And, Obama said in an interview with CBS News Monday he expects “that by the end of the year, we will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall.” ~~~~~ Dear readers, it has been two years since Obama ordered operations against ISIS, which still has 10,000 fighters in Iraq and controls large parts of the country. Ending the US military presence in Iraq was a key Obama campaign promise in 2008. He took out the last troops in December, 2011. Since the rise of ISIS, he has pledged that no “combat” troops will be deployed, making White House and DoD descriptions of Obama's Iraq war hard to decipher. But, one thing is clear. The US is in a second war in Iraq. We won the first one before Obama lost it. I wonder how the US military feels about fighting the same war twice, necessary as it is.
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Donald Trump spoke to the New York State Republican Party annual gala on Thursday evening. Although his remarks covered a wide range of topics, and mainstream media focused on what they saw as a Trump attack on Texas Senator Ted Cruz, they got it wrong. You won't hear it from the mainstream, but New York Republicans were treated to a rare Donald Trump, speaking eloquently and from his heart about "New York Values." Here is as much of the text of Trump's speech as I could piece together. It should go down in history as one of the great descriptions of New Yorkers and of Americans. ~~~~~ Donald Trump : "I want to just talk, just for a second, about New York values that we all know so well. Where do we see the values? We see the values with our New York police and firefighters. They don't get enough credit. These are great, great people, great Americans. We see New York values in the state's transit workers, in families that go to the parks, in restaurant workers in delis and factory workers in upstate New York. You see it all over, you see tremendous, tremendous spirit. You see it really in the whole fabric of the community. Number one : Honesty and straight talk. It's the energy to get things done. Big energy. You see it in our work ethic. We work hard and we're proud. We're builders. We make things. You see it in our family values and our families. It's courage and community service. We have courage and we do great great jobs for our community, we have great community service, and that's where you see it. New York values were on display for all to see in the aftermath of 9/11 -- a strike at the heart of our city and our nation. In our darkest moments, as a city, we showed the world the very, very best in terms of bravery and heart and soul that we have in America. This was the worst attack in the history of our country. And when you think of what we've done since then and how we've reacted, that's New York values. In our darkest moments as a city, we showed the world the very best of America -- the firefighters, first responders, police officers and the Port Authority workers -- what they did in the immediate aftermath. All of them who ran up those stairs, knowing that the end could be very near. They knew it. They felt that building. They knew bad things were going to happen and they ran up those stairs and nobody came back. That's New York values. The people in the towers who helped rescue each other and those that perished knowing that if they left earlier, they could have gotten out. They didn't want to do it. They stayed. They helped other people. Those are New York values. The restaurants and local businesses who kept their shops open to help the first responders and help people in need. Those are really the people when you think in terms of New York values. The bravery. You never heard about somebody who left, who was running in the opposite direction. Everyone who helped to clear the rubble, those people were amazing. Every small act of kindness, every great act of courage. Those are New York values." ~~~~~ Dear readers, this speech captured everything that all the other contenders in the 2016 presidential campaign lack -- conviction, patriotism, passion, pride in America and her people, feeling that comes from the heart and not from a speechwriter's laptop. Say those closing words with Donald Trump : "Every small act of kindness, every great act of courage. Those are New York values." And he could easily have added, "Those are American values." It may not be Ronald Reagan at his best, but we conservatives have our new leader, if only we are wise enough to recognize him.
Monday, April 18, 2016
TheHill reports that on Monday congressional offices were visited by associates of The United States Council of Moslem Organizations (USCMO). TheHill says USCMO, created in 2014, is a front formed to advance the US plan of the Moslem Brotherhood, whose agenda is laid out in a document put into evidence by federal prosecutors in the largest terrorism financing trial in US history, US v. Holy Land Foundation. Written in 1991 by a top Moslem Brotherhood operative, Mohamed Akram, "The Explanatory Memorandum on the General Strategic Goal of the Group in North America" was intended for Brotherhood leaders in Egypt. It explicitly states that the mission of the Moslem Brotherhood in North America is "destroying Western civilization from within...by [the infidels'] hands and the hands of the believers so that Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions." TheHill lists two other key facts in the Memorandum : (1) It contains a list of 29 groups labeled "Our organizations and organizations of our friends: Imagine if they all march according to one plan!" Some of these Moslem Brotherhood fronts and others formed since 1991 are members of USCMO; (2) The Memorandum details that until they are strong enough to win by violence, the Brotherhood's favored technique for "destroying Western civilization" is "civilization jihad," the use of stealth and subversion to influence and penetrate western governments and civil institutions. USCMO is a new Brotherhood jihadist instrument : a self-described US "political party" to dominate and mobilize US Moslem voters to support Brotherhood demands from candidates and help achieve favorable outcomes in the 2016 elections. (For more on the USCMO, see "Star Spangled Sharia: The Rise of America’s First Moslem Brotherhood Party," on Amazon.) ~~~~~ TheHill article is by Frank Gaffney, called an "anti-Islam gadfly" by the Washington Post. Gaffney was Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Reagan, is president of the conservative Center for Security Policy in Washington and is foreign policy advisor to presidential candidate Ted Cruz. You can check out the Center for Security Policy's "Civilization Jihad Reader Series." American Thinker, a top 100 conservative online magazine, has also written about USCMO. "The Patience of the Jihadists" is good. ~~~~~ USCMO founding member, Moslem American Society, described by federal prosecutors as the “overt arm” of the Moslem Brotherhood in the US, was in 2014 designated a terrorist organization by the UAE. Mazen Mokhtar, a USCMO board member, is MAS executive director. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), another founding member of USCMO, was listed in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial. CAIR was designated a terrorist organization by the UAE in 2014. The president of Islamic Circle of North America, identified as a Moslem Brotherhood front during the Holy Land trial, sits on the board of USCMO. ~~~~~ Why was USCMO invited to Congress? Well, two members of Congress already have helped USCMO. Representatives André Carson (D-Ind.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) spoke at the USCMO inaugural banquet in June 2014. They haven't criticized USCMO's later participation in anti-Semitic, pro-Hamas, pro-Brotherhood demonstrations or its fundraising for Islamic Relief USA, a large, UK-based islamic charity that supports Hamas. In 2014, USCMO joined anti-Israel protesters in Chicago for "Stand with Gaza," marking USCMO´s first public expression of solidarity with Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Moslem Brotherhood. USCMO has also said it intends to work with radical non-Moslem groups like Soros-backed Black Lives Matter. ~~~~~ Dear readers, ISIS by force and the Moslem Brotherhood by stealth proceed by the idea that Moslems are superior to non-Moslems, with the right to rule over and enslave them. This is not the view of the vast majority of American Moslems, but the US must act to prevent Moslem Brotherhood and USCMO sharia-based infiltration of US Moslem groups and communities. Remember Paris and Brussels.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
It's time for a new topic after four days of American immigration blogs -- maybe excessive, but without facts, dealing with America's immigration crisis is just feelings, used by Obama and Progressives to shame goodhearted Americans into making decisions against their country's best interests.. You have the facts. Use them. ~~~~~ Tuesday, New Yorkers vote on delegates to the party conventions that nominate US presidential candidates. I prefer Trump and Cruz over the Republican establishment, and that includes Kasich because, while he can cite his achievements in government, that is exactly the problem -- so can every other GOP or Democrat officeholder. They have all "achieved" America into the current near-collapse of citizen trust in its government. And, without trust, the social compact between citizens and government that is the soul of the US Constitution cannot exist. ~~~~~ What about the Democrats? New York Democratic voters prefer establishment Hillary Clinton over outsider Bernie Sanders by about 53% to 43%. While Sanders connects with young people, women and Democrats who sense he's being honest with them, Hillary has tied up the Democrat party machinery and money. Yet most Democrat voters think she is dishonest and untrustworthy. A March Quinnipiac poll found 68% of voters see Bernie Sanders as “honest and trustworthy," while 67% of voters found Hillary Clinton “not honest and trustworthy.” ~~~~~ In a February 18 CBS Evening News interview with Scott Pelley, Hillary said this about lies when Pelley said :《"You know, in '76, Jimmy Carter famously said, "I will not lie to you." CLINTON: Well, I have to tell you I have tried in every way I know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the American people. PELLEY: You talk about leveling with the American people. Have you always told the truth? CLINTON: I've always tried to. Always. Always. PELLEY: Some people are gonna call that wiggle room that you just gave yourself. CLINTON: Well, no, I've always tried. PELLEY: I mean, Jimmy Carter said, "I will never lie to you." CLINTON: Well, but, you know, you're asking me to say, "Have I ever?" I don't believe I ever have. I don't believe I ever will. I'm gonna do the best I can to level with the American people."》Maybe it's quibbling over fine points, but not once did Hillary Clinton use the word "lie," choosing to say "leveling" to describe her past statements to Americans. ~~~~~ Switch to Hillary's emails. Last week, the FBI team investigating Clinton extradited to the US a man, "Guccifer," jailed in Romania for computer hacking. He hacked Clinton confidant Sid Blumenthal, to whom she sent many emails containing state secrets. We know this because Clinton-Blumenthal emails released under FOIA requests were proven by the CIA and State Department to contain secret information that they redacted before release. On April 11, Hillary gave a "Meet the Press" interview, once again saying she is willing to answer "any questions that anybody might have" about the server. When Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley heard this, he wrote Clinton's lawyer David Kendall, asking if Hillary knew whether her emails were hacked by "Guccifer," who was the first to reveal her use of a private server. Grassley wrote : "I hope this means you are reconsidering your refusal to answer the questions I asked you....I also hope it means you will substantively respond to this letter as well...." ~~~~~ Dear readers, Hillary always says her emails weren't marked 'Secret.' That has nothing to do with her sworn obligation to protect classified information. Either she is quibbling to cover her lies or she doesn't know the difference between lies and truth. Either way, why would a Democrat vote for her for President? Because she's being forced on them. The Democrat Party has fixed it so Superdelegates and pro-rata delegates favor Hillary. Bernie has almost no chance. At least for now, Republicans have a choice, unloved as Trump and Cruz are by the GOP establishment.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Saturday Politics can be about US immigration. After the Civil War, with states passing immigration laws, the US Supreme Court ruled in 1875 that immigration is a federal function. Congress's first immigration law, the Page Act of 1875, outlawed Asian contract laborers, prostitutes, and convicts. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act capped Chinese descent immigrants for 10 years, with renewals in 1892 and 1902. Congress's 1907 Dillingham Commission reviewed the effects of US immigration, concluding it had shifted from central, northern, and western Europe to southern Europe and Russia. It was obvious -- 5.3 million Italians entered the US from 1880 to 1920, along with 2 to 4 million central European Catholics and Jews. The Polish became the largest central European ancestry group in the US after Germans. Lebanese and Syrians arrived in large numbers, the vast majority Christians, but some Jews, Moslems and Druze also, many settling in New York City and Boston. ~~~~~ Congress acted. The 1921 Emergency Quota Act and the 1924 Immigration Act restricted southern Europeans and Russians and set European quotas. The National Origins Formula of 1921/1924 enacted more restrictive immigration national-origin quotas, with preference for central, northern and western Europeans, while severely limiting Russians and southern Europeans and declaring all Asians ineligible. The Western Hemisphere had no quotas, so the 1920s ushered in 40 years of : European quotas; open entry from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America; and case-by-case entry of Jewish refugees from pre-WWII Nazi Germany, Jewish Holocaust survivors, central Europeans fleeing Communism, Hungarian refugees after the 1956 uprising, and Cubans after the 1960 Castro takeover. ~~~~~ In 1950, with the Korean War came the Internal Security Act, barring Communists. The 1952 McCarran Walter Immigration Act affirmed the 1924 national-origins quota system, using immigration formulas that yielded 175,455 annual slots. Families of US citizens and people born in the Western Hemisphere were still exempt. In 1953, the Refugee Relief Act created refugee status for non-Europeans. In 1954, Operation Wetback deported illegal Mexican immigrants, whose numbers had increased 6,000% since 1944, with cheap labor, displaced US workers, and labor law violations that increased criminality, disease and illiteracy. The US Border Patrol, with local, county, state and federal authorities and the military, began a quasi-military sweep for all illegals, deporting more than a million Mexicans, while perhaps as many left the US voluntarily. ~~~~~ The President Johnson-backed 1965 Hart-Celler Act was intended to create racially equal immigration. What it did was unintentionally favor Asian, Middle Eastern and African immigrants. The racially-based quota system didn't, as Congress projected, produce "traditional" European results. Family-based and job skills categories led to a surge in Korean, Chinese, Indian, Philippino, Pakistani, and African entries. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) introduced penalties for employers hiring illegal immigrants. Congress also created IRCA amnesty for 1 million illegal immigrant workers. In practice, amnesty was granted to 3 million illegals, most from Mexico. ~~~~~ Dear readers, in the 20th century, Americans continued to favor restrictive immigration. That's who we were. Now, there's a stalemate -- Obama and his Democrat Progressives, wanting a wide open refugee door, loose borders and amnesty for 11 million illegals vs. Republicans, wanting only vetted non-terrorist refugee immigrants, controlled borders and an end to amnesty. There's no immigration policy reflecting "who we are" because we can't decide who we are. A political war rages over immigration. Vetted refugees and secure borders are common sense. The November election will resolve amnesty. If an American-interests-based immigration policy is not enacted, America will become a dumping ground, and 250 years of being "American" will vanish. We will never again know "who we are."
Thursday, April 14, 2016
In 1775, the American colonies were united by shared traits : small, privately-owned businesses; villages not relying on British trade, growing or making nearly everything they needed, most created by family groups of several generations; a rural population, with 80% owning the land they lived on and farmed; English language, laws and Protestantism. After 1700, the Industrial Revolution led some colonists to move to cities, as in England. Poor jobless English young people who couldn't afford passage to America used indentured service as their ticket out of poverty. Similarly, 60,000 British convicts were transported to British colonies in Georgia in the 1700s, most only guilty of being very poor and jobless. ~~~~~ There was little immigration from 1770 to 1830. The foreign-born in the US bottomed around 1815, at about 1.4% of the population. Most of the immigrants who had arrived before the American Revolution were dead, with almost no new immigration thereafter. ~~~~~ Large scale immigration resumed in the 1830s -- British, Irish, Germans, Central Europeans and Scandinavians, attracted by cheap farmland. Artisans and skilled factory workers joined the growing industrial sector. Unskilled Irish Catholic workers built canals and railroads, settling in urban areas or new northeast textile mill towns. The population doubled by births every 25 years and pushed the US frontier to the Pacific by 1848. ~~~~~ Nearly all population growth up to 1830 was internal, so 98.5% of the population was native-born. The first significant Catholic immigration in the 1840s during the Irish Famine shifted the population from 95% Protestant to 90% by 1850. Before the Civil War, American dislike of immigration became political anti-Catholicism, directed at the Irish and Germans. The Catholic Church was viewed as hostile to American values. Catholics and German Lutherans became Democrats. Protestants joined the new Republican Party. They all supported the Civil War. Available records -- the 1850 census was the first that asked about birthplace -- show that immigration totaled 8,385 in 1820, rising to 23,322 by 1830, and to 599,00 by 1840. By 1850, immigration jumped to 1,713,000, including 781,000 Irish, 435,000 Germans, 267,000 British, and 77,000 French. Failed 1848 revolutions saw many European intellectuals and activists lured by land, relatives, freedom, opportunity, and jobs in the US. ~~~~~ But, with westward expansion, America was about to experience a new immigration pattern. In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War and gave US citizenship to 60,000 Mexican residents of the New Mexico Territory and 10,000 living in California. In 1849, the California Gold Rush pulled 100,000 prospecters from the eastern US, Latin America, China, Australia, and Europe. California became a state in 1850. Of the 23,054,000 Americans, 9.7% were immigrants, a high exceeded only by the 1607-1641 initial immigration. ~~~~~ After 1880, technology intervened. Large steam-powered ships replaced sailing ships, yielding lower fares and greater immigrant mobility. Farming advances in southern Europe and Russia created surplus labor. Young people, 15 to 30, became the largest immigrant group. This third wave of US immigration was a true flood, with 25 million Europeans arriving. Italians, Greeks, Hungarians, Poles, and other Slavic speakers were the bulk, among them 2 to 4 million Jews, adding to the tiny minority of the original middle colonies. ~~~~~ Dear readers, the 1880-1930 immigrant wave created the US industrial labor pool for steel, coal, automotive, textile, and garment production. America became an economic giant. But, urban enclaves, numbers, and American antipathy toward foreigners, led to anti-immigration organizations. By the 1890s, Americans -- still Protestant, northern European, multi-generation native-born -- declared immigration a serious danger to health and security. Congress acted, passing the first severe immigration laws, with no hint of "That's not who we are." Tomorrow - 20th century immigration issues.
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
1607 -- the first English colony, Jamestown, Virginia, learned to grow tobacco profitably, created plantations along Chesapeake Bay in Virginia and Maryland, and began the first and longest era of American immigration, lasting until the American Revolution in 1775. Isolated English outposts became British America, attracting northern European immigrants -- almost all British, German, and Dutch Protestants. The British were by far the largest group. Many young men and women, especially in the South, arrived as indentured servants, their passage paid by colonial employers who needed farm or shop workers -- they received food, housing, clothing and training but not wages. At the end of the indenture (age 21), they were free to marry and start their own farms on the first frontier. ~~~~~ Religious freedom, especially for Protestant sects who objected to the English Anglican Church, was a driving force for organized group immigration to the New World. One hundred English Pilgrims established the now-famous Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1620. At the peak of New England settlement, 20,000 English Puritans, mostly from southeast England, settled in and around Boston, Massachusetts from 1629 to 1641, creating a land dedicated to their religion. Large scale immigration to the earliest New England colonies -- Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire -- ended before 1700. But, for the next 150 years, their "Yankee" English descendants populated New England states and upstate New York. They were more urban and educated than other colonists, with many skilled farmers, tradesmen and craftsmen. They started the first university, Harvard, in 1635 to train their ministers. They settled in small villages for mutual support (with their own militias) and common religious lifestyles. Shipbuilding, commerce, agriculture, and fishing were their main income sources. ~~~~~ New England's healthy climate (cold winters killed mosquitoes and other disease-bearing insects, unlike southern colonies weakened by malaria and yellow fever), small separated villages (minimizing contagion), and abundant food supply led to the lowest death rate and highest birth rate in the colonies. New England grew rapidly, reaching a population of 900,000 by 1790. Importantly, these New Englanders, with Virginians and Pennsylvanians, became the intellectual, financial and military backbone of the American Revolution. ~~~~~ The eastern and northern frontier around the first New England colonies was settled by descendants of original New Englanders, and by Dutch, who built settlements along the Hudson River in New York after 1626. Wealthy Dutch patroons set up large estates and brought in rent-paying farmers. Others became rich by creating trading posts to trade with Native Americans. The Dutch also started cities such as New Amsterdam (later New York City). After the British acquired and renamed the colony New York, Germans and Yankees arrived. ~~~~~ Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware were the middle colonies. Pennsylvania was settled by British Quakers and German Protestants, and later, Scots-Irish Presbyterians on the frontier, who soon dominated the Appalachians from Pennsylvania to Georgia. From 1680 to 1725, Pennsylvania's commercial center, Philadelphia, was run by prosperous Quakers and Germans. After Pennsylvania was founded in 1680, many settlers arrived in the middle colonies. Protestant sects were offered religious freedom and good, cheap land. ~~~~~ Dear readers, pre-1775 American colonies were British by language, culture, law, economy and religion -- financed privately by British settlers or families using free enterprise to entice settlers, without Royal or Parliamentary help. "That's not who we are" didn't exist. Immigration was northern European, Protestant and often contractual. Except for Canadians, few just wandered in. Nearly all Americans were at least third generation natives. Of the 3,900,000 Americans, 2,560,000 (66%) were English. Immigation was over. Tomorrow, we'll look at the 19th century.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Immigration is a hot button issue in the United States, especially when the migrants are labeled "refugees" and come from war-torn Middle East countries. President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and many other Democrats use the phrase "that's not who we are" to try to shame those who oppose their open-door policies for Middle East refugees. They use the same phrase to attempt to justify doing nothing to deport the 11 million illegal immigrants now in the US or to secure America's southern borders. ~~~~~ There is one European country that has already gone down the path favored by Obama and Clinton. France has long had an open door for North Africans of former French colonies, most of whom are Moslem. This, combined with little effort to halt illegal immigration or keep Moslem enclaves under French law has led to no-go zones and increased religious tensions and jihadist terrorist acts in Paris and other large French cities. ~~~~~ Consider this. In 2012, French President Hollande carried out a campaign promise and created a 75% tax on millionaires. Some high-profile rich Frenchmen left the country, including Bernard Arnault, chief executive of luxury group LVMH, who applied for Belgian nationality, and actor Gérard Depardieu, who also moved across the border to Belgium before obtaining Russian citizenship. Obviously, the tax took in much less than predicted and was dropped. And, despite the high-profile exits, there was no mass exodus of rich people from the country. ~~~~~ But leaving because of terrorism is another matter. Last year, 10,000 rich people left France -- an amazing 3% of all the millionaires in the country. The data is in a report compiled by New World Wealth, an agency that publishes data-based reports on the global wealth sector. The report, Millionaire Migration in 2015, showed France topping the list of countries with maximum millionaire outflows, losing 10,000 millionaires, or 3% of its millionaire population. Among the cities with maximum millionaire outflow, Paris was at the top, losing 6% of its millionaire population, that is 7,000 millionaires in 2015, to the UK, the US, Canada, Australia and Israel. The report warns : "The large outflow of millionaires from France is notable -- France is being heavily impacted by rising religious tensions between Christians and Moslems, especially in urban areas. We expect that millionaire migration away from France will accelerate over the next decade as these tensions escalate." After France, the list of countries with millionaire outflows includes China ranked second, followed by Italy, India, Greece, the Russian Federation, Spain and Brazil. Millionaire inflow data showed Australia as the favorite destination with maximum inflows in 2015 -- a total of 8,000 new millionaires. The US was ranked second with 7,000 inflows, followed by Canada, Israel, the UAE and New Zealand. Australian cities Sydney, Melbourne and Perth saw significant millionaire inflows in 2015 from China, Europe, the UK, the US and South Africa, with Sydney topping the chart with 4,000 new millionaires, or 4% added to its existing millionaire population. According to the report, Melbourne and Perth had 3,000 and 1,000 new millionaires in 2015, respectively. Tel Aviv, Dubai, San Francisco, Vancouver and Seattle were also among the top eight cities with millionaire inflows. ~~~~~ It is often said that people vote with their feet, so the rich leaving France is a strong "no" vote for the French government's handling of its much publicized "Moslem question." Recently, Hollande dropped the proposal to take away French citizenship for convicted terrorists, sending a greenlight to terrorists and a negative signal to the French people, who, in growing numbers, don't want to live in a place where political correctness is more important than their security. ~~~~~ Dear readers, attitudes toward immigrants to the United States have cycled between favorable and hostile since the 1790s. Tomorrow we will look at US immigration history to show how false the phrase "that's who we are" really is.
Monday, April 11, 2016
Saudi Arabia has signed a $20 billion deal to finance Egypt's petroleum needs for five years and a $1.5 billion deal to develop its Sinai. The agreements were signed during a Cairo visit by Saudi Arabia's King Salman, a rare foreign trip for the 80-year-old monarch. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf oil producers have pumped billions of dollars into Egypt's stagnant economy since the army toppled President Mohamed Morsi of the Moslem Brotherhood in 2013 after mass protests against his rule. Gulf Arab countries aid Egypt because they see the Moslem Brotherhood as a threat and want to help Egypt revive an economy that collapsed under Morsi and the Brotherhood in 2011. The Saudi-Egyptian Business Council said Saudi businessmen also will invest $4 billion in projects, including the Suez Canal, energy and agriculture. The Saudi deal to develop the Sinai will help Cairo fight an islamist terrorist insurgency that feeds on discontent and poverty among the Sinai population. ~~~~~ Despite aiding Egypt since 2013, the Gulf states and Saudi Arabia worry about President al-Sisi's inability to halt corruption and economic inefficiency. They also want a bigger role for Egypt -- the region's largest country and a sunni intellectual center -- regionally. King Salman's visit to formalize the deal personally with al-Sisi indicates how important Egypt and Saudi Arabia are to each other in security matters. It also shows that Saudi Arabia still supports al-Sisi. ~~~~~ The surprise of the King's five-day visit was Egypt's announcement that it will transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Egyptians are furious, especially since Egypt's state-owned newspaper reported that Israel was informed in advance about the treaty, as part of the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace deal. Egyptians were upset their government told Israel but not them. The government said in a statement it has signed maritime demarcation accords with Saudi Arabia that put the islands of Tiran and Sanafir in Saudi waters, a six-year process. Saudi and Egyptian officials say the islands belong to the Kingdom and were under Egypt's control because Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdulaziz Al Saud, asked Egypt in 1950 to protect them. But the accord needs ratification by Egypt's parliament, and a well-known lawyer, Khaled Ali, filed a complaint with the administrative court, arguing that according to a 1906 maritime treaty the islands are Egyptian and the move is a transfer of sovereignty. Ali also alleges the accord violates article 151 of Egypt's constitution that requires all treaties related to sovereignty to be approved by referendum. The court will hear the case on May 17. ~~~~~ With Iraq, Syria and Yemen in civil wars, and Saudi Arabia occupied with its own power struggle with Iran, Riyadh reportedly feels it must stop Egypt from failing and will continue aid despite tighter budgets because of falling oil prices. But, the Saudi approach to Lebanon, cutting off $4 billion in aid, and the Gulf states halting aid to Lebanon, are the result of the growing role there of Iran's ally Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia is convinced that shiite Hezbollah, backed by Iran, now pulls the strings in Beirut. But the Saudi response, cutting aid, seems self-defeating to many Lebanese because it will weaken the army, a counter-balance to Hezbollah, leaving Hezbollah even stronger. An unnamed European diplomat said : "By default we're abandoning Lebanon to Iran." It makes Iran more dominant than ever in unstable Lebanon. Saudi Arabia is angered that "a militia that is classified as a terrorist group is now hijacking measures in government," Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in March. Saudi Arabia believes Hezbollah carries Iranian power and influence beyond Lebanon -- fighting for President al-Assad in Syria and with Houthis in Yemen. ~~~~~ Dear readers, it is clear that Saudi Arabia is drawing the line that divides the Middle East into sunni/shiite, Saudi Arabia/Iran. The Middle East armageddon has not started but the world should do more than wring its hands because if it starts, it will become world war III.
Sunday, April 10, 2016
Recently, the Daily Signal website of the Heritage Foundation wrote an essay about current political dialogue on whether NATO is still an important component of the American-European alliance. The essay's answer pointed out -- possibly without intending to -- that NATO is still vital but needs reform. Daily Signal says : "Europe is currently experiencing a belligerent and aggressive Russia with old-school 18th-century imperial ambitions....While Russia’s actions in Ukraine may seem unimportant to some in Western Europe, there are those in NATO’s east that view them as a very legitimate security concern." And then comes the essay's core : "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was founded in 1949 with the mission to protect the territorial integrity of its members and - if required - defeat the Soviet Union. While NATO’s members are no longer worried about the spread of communism, many current NATO members are certainly worried about protecting their territory from Russian expansion. Several were once under the iron fist of the Soviet Union after World War II and therefore view Russia’s bellicose behavior today as an existential threat." ~~~~~ When Donald Trump, the military, and defense analytics experts agree that NATO is no longer relevant and must be changed, they are really skipping over NATO's historical mission and focusing on its efforts in Afghanistan and the Mediterranean to help solve problems unrelated to its mission. But, that original mission -- to protect the territorial integrity of Europe and, if required, defeat the Soviet Union -- is still critical, although the USSR has disappeared, only to be replaced by a Russia under Vladimir Putin that is both modernizing its military at a rapid pace and aggressively seeking to reclaim Soviet satellite territories in eastern Europe. ~~~~~ There may be differing opinions about whether the European Union threatened Putin by taking freed satellites into the EU and NATO. But, this does not alter the fact that for the first time since World War II, Russia has invaded and occupies Crimea and large portions of Ukraine and Georgia, is expanding in the Arctic, and is threatening the Baltic States. The US needs a NATO that can contain Russian aggression and defend the territorial integrity of its European allies. No other NATO mission matters. As Daily Signal said : "The cornerstone of the NATO alliance is in its founding treaty, which states (in Article 5) that an attack on one is an attack on all. If the US were to walk away from this commitment, there would be serious consequences. Russia would likely continue to [advance] over central and eastern Europe, and within a generation, the US could again be forced into sending hundreds of thousands of troops back across the Atlantic to fight a war in Europe." ~~~~~ We can agree with Trump and others that NATO needs revision, if we remember that the changes relate to the expansion of its original mission, including the EU battle against migrants and terrorist groups. NATO was not designed to fight islamist terrorism. It was designed to defend Europe's territorial integrity. If the world or the Middle East needs a NATO-like alliance to fight terrorism, let them form it and pay for it -- because President Obama's phantom alliance is a sham. ~~~~~ And, dear readers, in order to accomplish its goal, it is important to the US that other NATO members increase defense funding. But, this doesn't mean a large unified EU military ground and air force. The US, with Britain, France and Poland, must accept this responsibility. Europe has proven in the last century that its military proficiency is deficient and divisive. So, money - yes - under NATO control. But, EU or national large-scale armies - no. That would be a waste of EU and member-state money better spent on technology, intelligence and rapid strike forces. Containing Russian aggression in Europe is much less expensive than liberating it once again. A strong US-led NATO that defends Europe's territory is key to a stable Europe that champions human rights and showcases democracy.
Friday, April 8, 2016
Saturday Politics is often about Hillary's highly questionable life. Ed Klein -- he wrote "Unlikeable," the best-selling book on Hillary Clinton -- recently told Newsmax that Hillary thinks she's not going to be indicted by the Justice Department in the email scandal, despite warnings from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and other close advisors. Klein says : "...according to my sources, she's been warned time and time again by Bill Clinton and some of her lawyers that she's in deep trouble....Hillary keeps saying: 'Bring it on folks. Bring it on. I'm fine. I'm going to get through this. 'I've had this before, and they haven't been able to touch me and they're not going to be able to touch me this time.' That's what she thinks." ~~~~~ Donald Trump told Breitbart that Hillary is only playing nice with President Obama because she's trying to stay out of legal trouble arising from the email scandal. Trump made the remark when asked about Bill Clinton's recent speech remark calling Obama's presidency an "awful legacy." Trump's analysis? "If he said that, Hillary will be indicted. In all fairness, that's incredible, because I think she's being nice to Obama for only one reason: She wants to get protected. That's the only reason she's nice to him....If Bill Clinton made that statement, that is a disaster for Hillary's election. And it's a disaster for the relationship between Hillary and Obama." ~~~~~ The FBI last week made a significant announcement about Hillary that should be negative for her presidential campaign, except that Democrats and the mainstream media don't seem to be care about supporting a presidential candidate who's under FBI investigation. The FBI is now officially expanding its investigation into Hillary’s use of her home email server to transmit classified intelligence. Moving beyond questioning her “gross negligence” with national defense information, the FBI is investigating Hillary for violating federal law by providing “materially false” information -- US Code 18, Section 1001 -- which includes pressuring a third party to conspire in a cover-up and is punishable by a 5-year prison sentence. An unidentified intelligence source told a reporter : “The Agents involved are under a lot of pressure...” Former FBI assistant director Tom Fuentes said this means the FBI is in a criminal investigation, which is obvious from the amount of resources deployed. An investigation is also being “stepped up” on Hillary Clinton’s use of email immediately after the cover-up of the terrorist attack on America’s consulate in Benghazi that resulted in the death of four Americans. ~~~~~ Judge Andrew Napolitano says Hillary is "laughing" at the FBI when she claims it's conducting a "security review" instead of an investigation. During an interview on Fox News, Napolitano argued that Clinton does know that “she’s the target of the criminal investigation....What she’s done is for the umpteenth time in public sent a dog whistle to the FBI, a signal to the FBI....She knows it is a criminal investigation, she knows she’s the target...she knows the government has an extraordinary amount of resources investigating her, and she is laughing at them. Not a good thing to do.” ~~~~~ Dear readers, it this isn't enough to support Bernie Sanders' assertion that Hillary isn't qualified to be President, try this. In their new book, Bill & Hillary: So This is That Thing Called Love, authors Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince report interviews with Clinton insiders who claim Bill slept with so many women that Hillary repeatedly forced him to get an HIV test. The first tests were negative, the book says, but recently, HIV has been suggested by some to explain Bill's rapid aging. The Clintons have always kept their medical records secret. Clinton blames his appearance on his heart surgery and "new diet." Former Clinton advisor and analyst Dick Morris says his old boss doesn’t look good these days -- that on TV Bill is washed-out, listless, apathetic, "very slow-talking and even slower thinking." That's Saturday Politics -- not pretty.
Thursday, April 7, 2016
President Obama met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in the Oval Office on Monday, in a photo-op meant to rebuke Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who questions whether there’s still a need for the NATO defense alliance in the format it has had since 1949. The announced purpose of the meeting was to discuss the March terrorist attacks in Brussels, home of NATO headquarters, as well as the surge of refugees driven from Syria and Iraq by ISIS. But, it oozed politics, because Trump, still the GOP front-runner despite a massive effort to dethrone him, is questioning US alliances, including NATO. Obama told the media : "NATO continues to be a linchpin, a cornerstone of our collective defense and US security policy." Stoltenberg called the alliance "as important as ever....Terrorism affects everyone from Brussels to San Bernardino." He didn't take reporters’ questions about Trump’s remarks. ~~~~~ White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the meeting, on NATO's 67th anniversary, had nothing to do with Trump : "[It] was actually organized shortly after the beginning of the year...long before Mr. Trump’s ill-advised comments." Only Earnest mentioned Trump by name, but the Obama/Stoltenberg message was clear. ~~~~~ Trump has called NATO "obsolete" and says the US pays “far too much” for the alliance, which includes former Soviet republics that want its support against Russia. Obama said the alliance would back eastern Europe, noting that NATO is helping Ukraine, a non-member, improve its defensive capabilities while the alliance negotiates with Russia to end the conflict in Ukraine’s eastern provinces held by Russia-backed separatists. Obama said he and Stoltenberg also discussed "what’s been happening in the southern plane of NATO" where more than a million migrants have tried to enter Europe in the last year, driven by ISIS aggression in Syria, Iraq and Libya. Obama said NATO will work with the EU "to help prevent the tragedy we saw last summer," when thousands of migrants drowned crossing the Mediterranean. ~~~~~ Trump argues that NATO should be reconfigured for current needs, with other members, which both he and Obama call "free riders," paying more. Obama stands by the US commitment to NATO, while saying most other NATO members don’t meet the goal of spending at least 2% of gross domestic product on defense. NATO, in a report last June, estimated that five of the alliance’s 28 members -- the US, Poland, the UK, Greece and Estonia -- meet the 2% threshold. ~~~~~ Trump’s criticisms of NATO are supported by analysts who argue the military alliance should get more scrutiny by Washington. Trump calls for NATO to be more focused on counter-terrorism, which defense experts say is happening in Europe anyway, independently of NATO. However, they say there could be more focus on non-traditional threats. Others credit Trump with highlighting the need to discuss NATO. Retired Army Colonel John Bonsell, a former senior GOP aide on the Senate Armed Services Committee, says : "In watching the debates on both sides, I haven’t really seen the new world debated and how we’re going to approach [it] and what that means for defense. So if this spurs a debate, I’m happy." Job Henning, a defense analyst who advocates broad NATO reform, says : “When Trump talks about NATO being obsolete, it is dismissed as crazy rhetoric. But he is actually asking questions that are pretty similar to what a lot of people have been asking....NATO hasn’t been updated to serve our interests....It didn’t provide a current security environment...that could have helped us avoid what happened with Ukraine, and with Syria." ~~~~~ Dear readers, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also met with Stoltenberg. The Senators echoed Trump, telling Stoltenberg he must work with NATO members to reduce the US contribution of 72% of NATO total defense expenditures, or face angry American taxpayers. Most of the Senators see NATO as an indispensable alliance that is in serious need of updating. We can all agree with that. Thank you, Mr. Trump.
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Sunday, Czech Republic Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said his country will send back to Iraq a group of Iraqi Christians who tried to move on to Germany instead of staying in the Czech Republic. CTK news said a group of 25 Iraqis took a bus on Saturday to Germany, where they were stopped after crossing the border. German police asked the Czechs to take the Iraqis back and it was agreed, according to CTK. Chovanec said the 25 Iraqis had abused Czech generosity and should go back home. Police imposed a week deadline for them to leave. Chovanec said : "The 7-day deadline, which the Iraqi Christians got along with their passports, is meant for them to be able to arrange the return home. This time cannot be used to break laws or to move to another Schengen country. I asked the Czech police to use all legal means so that these people, who abused the good will of the Czech Republic and her citizens, are returned to Iraq." Thirty-seven Christian families were supposed to go to the Czech Republic from Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq and Lebanon refugee camps, but Chovanec has suspended the relocation program. It should be noted that several thousand people, mostly Moslems, passed through Czech territory last year in the mass wave of migration. None of them were returned to the Czechs or sent back to Iraq or Syria. ~~~~~ Human rights organizations say attacks against Christians around the world increased greatly last year. David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, says : "I don't believe most Americans have an accurate understanding of the real state of Christian persecution around the world." Curry cited poor US news coverage. Open Doors USA is part of an international organization based in the Netherlands that tracks and brings awareness of Christian persecution through its World Watch List. It began in 1955 when a Dutch man smuggled Bibles into Poland during Soviet occupation. In 1981, Open Doors smuggled 1 million Bibles into China in Project Pearl, landing them on a beach where 10,000 Christian Chinese waited to distribute them throughout China. Time magazine described Project Pearl as “A remarkable mission...the largest operation of its kind in the history of China." Another million Bibles were smuggled into the Soviet Union in 1988. Open Doors USA reports over 7,000 Christians were killed last year because of their faith...almost 3,000 more than the previous year." The fastest growth areas are the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, Curry said. The numbers are expected to climb again this year. ~~~~~ Last month, human rights organizations pressured the Obama administration to declare deaths of Christians by ISIS genocide. In his statement, Secretary of State John Kerry cited the beheading of 49 Egyptian and Ethiopian Coptic Christians in 2015, among other atrocities. Open Doors welcomed Kerry's declaration, saying the persecution in the Middle East and Africa "increasingly takes the form of ethnic cleansing." ~~~~~ Last December, Johnnie Moore, author of "Defying ISIS: Preserving Christianity in the Place of Its Birth and in Your Own Backyard," told Newsmax President Obama will do something to help persecuted Christians around the world only when "the people in this country raise their voices." Moore hit Obama's inaction, based on not wanting to fuel a holy war : "So, that means that a million Christians in Iraq and a million in Syria that have lost their lives or lost their homes...don't get any special treatment from the United States." ~~~~~ Dear readers, this isn't just a Middle East problem. American Christians are very worried about religious freedom. A just released LifeWay Research survey finds 63% say they're facing more persecution, with 38% who "strongly agree," up from 2013, when 50% felt growing persecution, and 28% strongly agreed. And 60% say religious liberty is declining in America, up from 54% in 2013 -- 74% of Protestants and 59% of Catholics say Christians face growing intolerance. Christians are clearly targeted for persecution. Tell President Obama to act. Contact your Senator. Be a Proud Christian.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
When President Obama commented from Cuba on the Brussels jihadist attacks, he said : "We will do whatever is necessary to support our friends in Belgium." As we know, what Obama did was go to a baseball game before flying down to Argentina for a tango. When he finally got back to Washington, he mentioned Brussels in his weekly radio talk. As usual, he used the attack to call for US openness to refugees, urging Americans to lead by "example" in immigration policy. But, President Obama has done much that runs counter to the fight against islamic terrorism. ~~~~~ New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton is furious about Obama's decision to cut NYC counter-terrorism funds by $200 million -- a 50% reduction. Bratton said Obama's proposal "It's mind-boggling that we have to fight with our own government to get money to protect our cities, particularly when cities around the world are being attacked." When Senator Chuck Schumer of New York -- soon to become the Senate's Democrat leader -- criticized Obama's decision, the White House hit back through White House spokesman Josh Earnest : "...Senator Schumer’s credibility [is questionable] in talking about national security issues, particularly...when it relates to homeland security....Senator Schumer is somebody that came out and opposed the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. He was wrong about that position, and when people look at the facts here...they’ll recognize that he’s wrong this time, too." ~~~~~ Was Senator Schumer wrong about the Iran deal? On March 28, a US Navy ship seized thousands of weapons enroute from Iran for Houthi rebels in Yemen, according to Fox News. The Iran shiite regime supports the shiite Houthi's terrorist war against Yemen, backed by sunni Saudi Arabia and America. The illegal arms shipment is the latest aggressive move by Iran since the Obama nuclear deal was agreed, including testing ballistic missiles with the phrase "Israel must be wiped out" written on them in Hebrew. The Iran missile program is forbidden by UN resolutions, but Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Jazzayeri said : "The White House should know that defense capacities and missile power, specially at the present juncture where plots and threats are galore, is among the Iranian nation's red lines...and we don’t allow anyone to violate it." The Washington Free Beacon reported Monday that Congress is investigating whether the Obama administration has made concessions or is rewriting the Iran deal. Congressman Mike Pompeo said : "The gap between their promises on the Iran nuclear deal and today's scary reality continues to widen. We are now trying to determine whether this was intentional deception on the part of the administration or new levels of disturbing acquiescence to the Iranians." For example, Secretary of State Kerry claimed ballistic tests are part of the deal, but the administration later said they are outside the deal, thus agreeing with Iran's Foreign Ministry, which told Iran's Fars News Agency the ballistic missile program is outside the ban. Last summer, Obama assured Congress and the public that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) would be able to inspect suspicious sites. The Iranians responded that their military facilities are off limits. When the IAEA wanted to inspect the Parchin facility, Iran refused, allowing a ceremonial visit by the IAEA director. Iran was allowed to collect its own site samples. But, Obama argues Iran has complied with its primary commitments -- removing low enriched uranium, modifying key nuclear sites, allowing greater transparency in its program. ~~~~~ Dear readers, Obama accepted a deal that allows Iran to retain its massive nuclear program, built in defiance of the UN. Iran now has a loaded gun for blackmailing the world. If concessions are refused, Iran can restart its program. In theory, a US President could re-impose sanctions, but it would be immensely difficult. Iran knows this and continues to alter the nuclear deal. Is Obama serious about fighting jihadist terrorism? No.
Monday, April 4, 2016
Tuesday is primary election day in Wisconsin. For the past ten days, everyone in America, and many non-Americans, have been pounding on one theme -- Donald Trump is going to lose in Wisconsin because he is a psychologically unbalanced combination of Jack the Ripper and Dr. Strangelove. The media hasn't needed to find above-the-fray Democrats to do the dirty work of shredding Trump -- Republicans are fighting each other for microphone time. In their suicidal urge to feed on one of their own, Republicans have threatened everything except ordeal by water and roping Trump to a stake planted in the center of a crackling bonfire. The most extreme attack came from none other than Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus -- whose oatmeal face and voice are thankfully soon to be retired. This weekend, Priebus vowed not to give Trump’s campaign -- if he wins the nomination -- control over the party apparatus leading up to the November election, according to the New York Times. At an off-the-record happy hour with reporters last week, Priebus said that, regardless of its being an unprecedented decision, he would not be layered over by Trump loyalists, according to two people present. In modern presidential campaigns, the presumptive nominee of the party, even before gaining the nomination, takes de facto control over the party and its apparatus, with the party and RNC chair taking direction from them. The NYT report by correspondents Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin details Trump's Thursday meeting Chairman Priebus and his staff in Washington. Trump said afterward the gathering was "a very good meeting...It's really a unity meeting." The NYT said Priebus didn't see it quite the same way. ~~~~~ I continue to believe that Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee. I continue to believe that he and Senator Ted Cruz need to form a team to cover the range of conservative and Republican thought and issues, as well as to provide the full range of expertize America desperately needs in the aftermath of the Obama disaster. I continue to believe that the "professional" Republican class has been "eating its young" during the last few years by condemning Ted Cruz, who is unquestionably the brightest and most articulate conservative in American politics. And, I continue to believe that the current rush by the same GOP "pro's" to embrace Cruz as a lesser evil than Trump is such a cynically self-serving ploy that no real conservative can stomach it. Cruz belongs with Trump, not with the GOP's Obama-fellow-travelers who now call themselves the Republican leadership. ~~~~~ But, dear readers, truth to tell, Donald Trump has brought a lot of his current troubles on himself. While Trump was using politically incorrect marketing techniques to rise to the top of the crowded GOP candidate list, he worked a few key issues fundamental to conservatives -- immigration, fair trade, jobs, Iran and terrorism. It worked because politics is a lot like a golf swing -- the candidate and the voters can remember only so many things. Trump got into trouble when he began to flit over everything from nuclear re-armament and NATO to abortion. Butterflies flit. Presidential candidates pick their agenda issues and like the successful preacher : "Tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em. Tell 'em. Tell 'em what you told 'em." Donald Trump needs to follow that advice, because whether he wins or loses in Wisconsin, he's heading into home territory as the GOP primaries move east into Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Connecticut and New York. Get your act back together, Donald. Make Ted Cruz an offer he can't refuse. Be cool and hang tough. Don't let the extremely hostile media fluster you. Don't believe anything the GOP insiders and RNC tell you. And, above all, remember, America needs you as it has seldom needed anyone.
Sunday, April 3, 2016
Will Chancellor Merkel's Deal with Turkey Destroy What's Left of Greece after Her Austerity Ultimatum?
Politicians can be so despicable that denouncing them seems inadequate -- Germany's self-serving, cynical stance about the European migrant crisis this weekend, for example. While fellow EU member Greece is under virtual migrant seige, on Sunday, the day before the first expulsions of refugees from Greece to Turkey under a deal concocted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to slow the flow of migrants to Germany, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Tagesspeigel he thinks the migrant crisis has peaked : "It is with great caution that I say the high point of the migrant crisis is behind us." He said the number of migrants arriving in Germany from Austria -- the main entry point for refugees -- fell to 140 a day in March, compared to thousands a few months ago. Yes, because the Austrian army keeps migrants out of Austria, so they pile up at Austria's borders with Italy and the Balkans. ~~~~~ The German public forced Chancellor Merkel to slow the arrival of migrants after 1.1 million people entered Germany last year -- Merkel invited them with open arms and forced the rest of the EU to do the same. When her usually obedient sheep refused, Merkel did the deal with Turkey to take back migrants passing from Turkey to Greece and on to Germany. Turkey demanded €6 billion as a first payment. The Chancellor ponied up. Merkel's political problem was solved. But, others believe migrants will increase when new routes open up, such as crossing from Libya to Italy. Merkel's de Maziere says : "If people come via this route again, we will need to find similar solutions like we did with Turkey and also start talks with North African countries," proposing reception centers in North Africa for migrants returned to Italy from northern EU countries -- in exchange for humanitarian programs. That's political-speak for paying German Euros. ~~~~~ While Germany celebrates, Greece nears chaos. The Greek government expects more violence with Monday's implemention of Merkel's deal, when 750 migrants will be sent back to Turkey. Rioting, rebellion, and roadblocks by thousands of trapped refugees across Greece have raised alarms in Athens about how to enforce a deal already challenged by the UN over its legality. Greek islands are flashpoints, with as many as 800 people breaking out of a razor-wired detention center Friday. On the Greece-Macedonia border, migrants break into empty houses and block roads. Greece's migration spokesman, Giorgos Kyritsis, says : "We are expecting violence. People in despair tend to be violent. The whole philosophy of the deal is to deter human trafficking [into Europe] from the Turkish coast, but it is going to be difficult...” ~~~~~ Is Chancellor Merkel, the de facto EU president, helping Greece? Not much. On Sunday, hours before the first expulsions from Greece to Turkey, Kyritsis said Frontex, the EU border agency, has not sent needed personnel to oversee the operation. Eight Frontex boats will transport men, women and children, detained on Greek islands and selected for deportation, back across the sea to Turkey following fast-track asylum hearings. But of the 2,300 officials the EU promised Greece, only 200 have arrived. Kyritsis admitted : "We are still waiting for the legal experts and translators they said they would send. Even Frontex personnel haven’t got here yet.” Nor has Greece received the humanitarian aid it was promised. So, Greece, bankrupt and under the thumb of Merkel and her northern European financial henchmen, manages the crisis -- and continuing refugee flows -- alone and on very limited funds from the state budget. ~~~~~ Dear readers, migrants may destroy what's left of Greece after Merkel's draconian austerity. Merkel's popularity is improving, but her Greece-bashing conservative bloc still suffers. A Sunday poll put it at a four-year low of 33%, while the anti-immigrant AfD party is up 1 point at 13%. How long will Merkel's Turkish fix work? While Merkel's Euros last. As Margaret Thatcher said : “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."
Friday, April 1, 2016
Saturday Politics : The Future of America and Europe Depends on Electing Leaders Who Will Tightly Control All Borders and Vet Migrants
Saturday Politics this week is about jihadist terrorism. Despite Europe's failures, we should note that Wednesday a French judge began a formal investigation of a French man arrested last week on suspicion of planning an imminent act of "extreme violence." Prosecutors found an "unprecedented" cache in his apartment : five assault rifles, handguns, chemicals, explosives, five false passports, brand-new mobile phones and two laptops with information about bomb-making and jihadist groups. Last July, the man was sentenced in absentia to 10 years in prison in Belgium for recruiting islamist fighters. A collaborator was arrested in Rotterdam on a French police request and will be extradited. ~~~~~ This week, Danish Prime Minister Rasmussen proposed to curb hate speech by radical imams, after a TV documentary showed imams in eight Danish mosques advocating illegal acts such as bigamy, stoning, and corporal punishment for Moslem women and children. The PM wants a list of registered "hate preachers" not allowed to speak publicly in Denmark; criminalizing subversive talk; and keeping certain people from visiting places of worship or gathering places : "...we can get those people, who, under the cover of religion and theology, erode our society." ~~~~~ Put aside US military and civilian intelligence groups expertly finding, following -- and arresting when permitted -- jihadists. What are US political leaders doing? Obama, despite increasing islamic terrorism and public anger, is implementing his plan to admit 100,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the US in 2016. In his Easter radio talk, Obama said the US must engage Moslems as partners in the fight against terrorism. If 'moderate' Moslems exist, they are silent, unwilling to take a public stand or organize a rally against radical Islam. The Obama "J.V. team" is not taken seriously by his administration, and mainstream media and political leaders belittle Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, calling them racists for their common sense plans to defeat this unique danger. ~~~~~ What do Moslem refugees entering the US believe? We don't know, because they aren't properly vetted, especially about beliefs and intentions regarding jihadism. FBI director James Comey says there's no way to properly screen the 10,000 Syrian refugees entering the US -- forget the 100,000 Obama wants to take in. But, beliefs in refugees' home countries suggest refugee beliefs. In Middle East countries, 80-90% favor sharia as the law of the land. Seven to 40% of Middle East and North Africa Moslems believe suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified. American Moslems were polled in 2007 and 2011 -- 8% said "suicide bombing or other violence against civilians is often or sometimes justified to defend Islam from its enemies." With 3.3 million US Moslems, if 8% are likely to accept suicide bombing or other violence to defend Islam, and one in a thousand of the 8% actually attempts such acts, then 264 potential jihadist terrorists are already in the US, not counting the new "refugees," some of whom, based on Europe's experience, are islamic jihadists. ~~~~~ The US cannot defend itself against Brussels and Paris-type attacks any more than Belgium and France could, for the same reasons : soft leftist political leaders and a public multicultural mindset that excuses every wrong and thinks appeasement will convert islamic jihadists into Dorothy on the Yellow Brick Road. Only the vastly suprerior US intell community saves us. So, the US spends $1 trillion annually on national security programs, and the US is vulnerable, as San Bernardino confirmed. ~~~~~ Dear readers, as in Europe, the way to prevent jihadists from entering America is to bar any Moslem who cannot be fully vetted. This is not racism. It is not unconstitutional religious testing. It is the pursuit of political and societal survival. Ideally, we could eliminate the threat where it originates, the Middle East. But that will not happen while Obama, Hillary or any insider is President. Trump or Cruz, ideally together, is the best hope for American security.