Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

(Communicated by the Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Media Advisor)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting, today (Sunday, 17 April 2016), which was held at Maaleh Gamla, on the Golan Heights, in honor of the 34th Government’s first year in office:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

“We are here, on the Golan Heights. This is the first time that the Government of Israel has held an official meeting on the Golan Heights in the 49 years that they have been under Israeli rule. The Golan Heights have been an integral part of the Land of Israel since ancient times; the dozens of ancient synagogues in the area around us attest to this. The Golan Heights are an integral part of the State of Israel in the new era. During the 19 years that the Golan Heights were under Syrian occupation, when they were a place for bunkers, wire fences, mines and aggression, they were for war. In the 49 years that the Golan Heights have been under Israeli rule, they have been for agriculture, tourism, economic initiatives and building. They are for peace. In the stormy region around us, Israel is the stabilizing factor; Israel is the solution, not the problem.

I must tell you that many countries in the region have already recognized this and the trend of understanding and cooperation with them is strengthening. Israel will continue to act in order to maintain its security and the quiet on our northern border and opposite the Gaza Strip. The quiet has been maintained as a result of the defensive and counter-terrorist operations of the IDF and, if need be, certainly if we are attacked, of the understanding by our enemies that we will respond against them in very great strength.

I chose to hold this festive Cabinet meeting on the Golan Heights in order to deliver a clear message: The Golan Heights will forever remain in Israel’s hands. Israel will never come down from the Golan Heights. The population on the Golan Heights grows year by year; today it numbers approximately 50,000 and there are thousands of families due to join them in the coming years. We will continue to strengthen the residents, the communities, the industry and the agriculture however we can, including through the decisions that we will make at this meeting.

While what is happening on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights is clear, one cannot say this about what is happening on the Syrian side. I spoke last night with US Secretary of State John Kerry and I told him that I doubt that Syria will ever return to what it was. It has persecuted minorities, such as the Christians, Druze and Kurds, who are justly fighting for their future and their security. But it also has terrorist elements, especially Daesh, Iran and Hezbollah, and others, that want to impose radical Islam on Syria and the region, and from there continue to impose it throughout the world.

I told the Secretary of State that we will not oppose a diplomatic settlement in Syria, on condition that it not come at the expense of the security of the State of Israel, i.e. that at the end of the day, the forces of Iran, Hezbollah and Daesh will be removed from Syrian soil. The time has come for the international community to recognize reality, especially two basic facts. One, whatever is beyond the border, the boundary itself will not change. Two, after 50 years, the time has come for the international community to finally recognize that the Golan Heights will remain under Israel’s sovereignty permanently.”

 

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Chronicling the collapse of Syria and the rise of the Islamic State.

By KIP EIDEBERG

The Weekly Standard
APR 11, 2016

It is an ordinary summer day in northern Syria, in 2013. No barrel bombs filled with shrapnel that indiscriminately kill all living things; just a few artillery shells that no one pays much attention to.

Suddenly a bomb hits close to a house where members of the Free Syrian Army are drinking tea. The men are thrown violently to the ground. Then they begin to laugh.n“They never stopped laughing, these men,” writes Samar Yazbek in The Crossing. “It was as though they inhaled laughter like an antidote to death.”

Yazbek, an outspoken critic of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, was forced into exile from her homeland in 2011, only to make several clandestine trips back to war-torn northern Syria in 2012 and 2013. Her language is personal and powerful. She describes acts of horror that are almost too unbearable to process: corpses, crippled children, survivors clustered in shacks and hovels, constant airstrikes from the sky.

“The only victor in Syria is death: no one talks of anything else,” she writes. “Everything is relative and open to doubt; the only certainty is that death will triumph.”

This is a powerful, moving, and often poetic account of a peaceful uprising that began with much promise only to descend into bloodshed. She conducts long interviews with warlords, men from the Free Syrian Army as well as representatives of the Islamic State.

The armed people’s resistance brigades, as she calls them, trying to defend their communities, were not strong enough and, ultimately, lacked antiaircraft missiles to protect the civilian population against Assad’s relentless bombing campaign. When better-armed and better-funded Islamic extremists moved in, their influence over villages and towns grew, and northern Syria gradually fragmented into independent areas controlled by different rebel groups.

By the time ordinary Syrians realized what was happening, it was too late. By 2012, a power vacuum had spread across the northern part of that country. It was quickly filled by the Islamic State and groups such as the al Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front, which set up a network of local informants and sharia courts to control the population.

On December 6, 2014, a year and a half after Yazbek’s last trip to Syria, the 74-year-old German journalist, publisher, and former Bundestag member Jürgen Todenhöfer traveled from Turkey to territory claimed by the Islamic State. He was the first Western journalist allowed into areas controlled by the Islamic State, and his journey is meticulously described in My Journey into the Heart of Terror.

Todenhöfer’s book, like many other first hand accounts from inside authoritarian regimes, has its limitations: It is not always clear if the story unfolds through the eyes of the author or the jihadists that are all too eager to serve as his guides.

He travels with a guarantee of safe passage from the office of the caliph, which is dominated by ex-officers from Saddam Hussein’s army and security services. At every checkpoint, before every interview, he flashes the letter and animosity quickly turns to camaraderie. It is all a bit too convenient.

In fact, it is hard not to suspect that Todenhöfer is (or allows himself to be) taken in by his jihadist hosts, who pose with their M16s, sport Bayern Munich jerseys, play video games, and drink Pepsi. But thanks to the courage and commitment with which he reports from deep inside Islamic State territory, the reader is treated to some rare and intimate encounters with Islamists.

A car trip through IS-controlled territory with Jihadi John as driver and Abu Qatadah—also known as Christian E., a sandy-haired former IT specialist from the Ruhr—as tourist guide is a surreal experience.

Todenhöfer asks Abu Qatadah if IS has anything to do with religion, and quotes the verse from the Koran saying that whoever kills a person unjustly has killed all mankind.

Abu Qatadah calmly explains that all infidels must die, and Shiite Muslims, as apostates, are no exception. “If they do not convert,” he says, “then they must die. It sounds crass, but we do not care about numbers. We have no borders, only front lines. The goal is world domination.”

At the Syria-Turkey border, Todenhöfer watches as trucks filled with new recruits arrive every 20 minutes. “I just could not believe the glow in their eyes,” he writes. “They felt like they were coming to a promised land, like they were fighting for the right thing.” The would-be jihadists are carefully documented and screened:

What are their weaknesses? Who can be blackmailed into remaining with the group? Which addictions can be exploited? The Islamic State operates like any other well-organized intelligence agency during wartime, with informants placed in strategic locations.

In Mosul, the largest city occupied by IS, Todenhöfer meets many Europeans. These are young men and women who, frustrated with life in the West, have been lured to the Middle East by promises of adventure and the good life. (Recent research shows that the vast majority of people who join IS and other jihadist groups are recruited by family and friends; radicalization hardly ever occurs in mosques.)

Todenhöfer paints a picture of a vibrant city full of life, where a curious sense of normality reigns. The stores are open; the streets are full of people; father and sons enjoy raisins, ice cream, and coffee as they stroll around the ancient streets. It is like any Western city—except that 1.5 million people are brutally controlled by no more than 15,000 jihadists.

At the end of his journey the façade starts to crumble. Todenhöfer tries on a suicide vest; but when he examines the trigger, the young fighters standing around him quickly put an end to the demonstration. Fear overcomes bravado.

These are two very different firsthand accounts from behind the borders of the Islamic State. Above all, Samar Yazbek bears witness: The Crossing is a personal account of her devastated homeland, a chronicle of how Syria has systematically been “hanged, drawn and quartered.”

Jürgen Todenhöfer’s reportage is, at times, tediously admonitory but provides a fascinating account of people little understood in the West. He sets out to understand life among the jihadists and returns with a stark warning:

The Islamic State is “much stronger and much more dangerous” than the West realizes. And regardless of who is dropping the bombs, the civilian population is suffering unimaginable horrors.

 
Kip Eideberg is a writer and consultant in Washington.

 
Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Any one of these ‘coincident events’ when taken singularly appear to not mean much, but when taken as a whole, a computer would blow a main circuit if you asked it to calculate the odds that they have  occurred by chance alone. Unfortunately, by no coincidence his time table corresponds exactly with the impending demise of the United States as a world power.

Do we want a successor that promises to continue his agenda?

Read below and  ponder the Obama-related ‘coincident events’, that  superimpose the bigger picture  i.e., Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal and the National Security Agency revelations with Hillary Clinton.

(Who surely deserves a carefully outlined summary of “fortuitous coincident events” of her own)

Barack Hussein Obama:
just happened to know 60s far-left radical revolutionary William Ayers, whose father
just happened to be Thomas Ayers, who
just happened to be a close friend of Obama’s communist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who
just happened to work at the communist-sympathizing Chicago Defender with Vernon Jarrett, who
just happened to later become the father-in-law of Iranian-born leftist Valerie Jarrett, who Obama
just happened to choose as his closest White House adviser, and who
just happened to have been CEO of Habitat Company, which
just happened to manage public housing in Chicago, which
just happened to get millions of dollars from the Illinois state legislature, and which
just happened not to properly maintain the housing which eventually
just happened to require demolition.  Not to mention that this is the property that would have been the grounds that hosted the Olympics, had Obama’s efforts been successful.

 

Valerie Jarrett also
just happened to work for the city of Chicago, and
just happened to hire Michelle LaVaughan Robinson (later Mrs. Obama), who
just happened to have worked at the Sidney Austin law firm, where former fugitive from the FBI Bernadine Dohrn also just happened to work, and where Barack Obama
just happened to get a summer job.

 

Bernardine Dohrn:

just happened to be married to William Ayers, with whom she
just happened to have hidden from the FBI at a San Francisco marina, along with Donald Warden, who
just happened to change his name to Khalid al-Mansour, and Warden/al-Mansour who
just happened to be a mentor of Black Panther Party founders Huey Newton and Bobby Seale and a close associate of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and al-Mansour
coincident events just happened to be financial adviser to a Saudi Prince, who
just happened to donate cash to Harvard, for which Obama
just happened to get a critical letter of recommendation from Percy Sutton, who just happened to have been the attorney for Malcolm X, who
just happened to know Kenyan politician Tom Mboya, who
just happened to be a close friend of Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., who
just happened to meet Malcolm X when he traveled to Kenya .
Obama, Sr.

 

just happened to have his education at the University of Hawaii paid for by the Laubach Literacy Institute, which
just happened to have been supported by Elizabeth Mooney Kirk, who
just happened to be a friend of Malcolm X, who
just happened to have been associated with the Nation of Islam, which was later headed by Louis Farrakhan, who
just happens to live very close to Obama’s Chicago mansion, which also
just happens to be located very close to the residence of William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who
just happens to have been occasional baby-sitters for Malia and Natasha Obama, whose parents
just happened to have no concern exposing their daughters to bomb-making communists.

 

After attending Occidental College and Columbia University, where he
just happened to have foreign Muslim roommates, Obama moved to Chicago to work for the Industrial Areas Foundation, an organization that
just happened to have been founded by Marxist and radical agitator Saul the Red Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals, who
just happened to be the topic of Hillary Rodham Clintons thesis at Wellesley College, and Obamas $25,000 salary at IAF
just happened to be funded by a grant from the Woods Fund, which was founded by the Woods family, whose Sahara Coal company
just happened to provide coal to Commonwealth Edison, whose CEO just happened to be Thomas Ayers, whose son William Ayers
just happened to serve on the board of the Woods Fund, along with Obama.

 

Obama also worked on voter registration drives in Chicago in the 1980s and
just happened to work with leftist political groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and Socialist International (SI), through which Obama met Carl Davidson, who
just happened to travel to Cuba during the Vietnam War to sabotage the U.S. war effort, and who
just happened to be a former member of the SDS and a member of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, which
just happened to sponsor a 2002 anti-war rally at which Obama spoke, and which
just happened to have been organized by Marilyn Katz, a former SDS activist and later public relations consultant who
just happened to be a long-time friend of Obamas political hatchet man, David Axelrod.

 

Obama joined Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), whose pastor was Reverend Jeremiah Wright, a fiery orator who

just happened to preach Marxism and Black Liberation Theology and who delivered anti-white, anti-Jew, and anti-American sermons, which Obama
just happened never to hear because he
just happened to miss church only on the days when Wright was at his most enthusiastic, and Obama
just happened never to notice that Oprah Winfrey left the church because it was too radical, and
just happened never to notice that the church gave the vile anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan a lifetime achievement award.

 

Although no one had ever heard of him at the time, Obama
just happened to receive an impossible-to-believe $125,000 advance to write a book about race relations, which he
just happened to fail to write while using the cash to vacation in Bali with his wife Michelle, and despite his record of non-writing he just happened to receive a second advance, for $40,000, from another publisher, and he eventually completed a manuscript called Dreams From My Father, which
just happened to strongly reflect the writing style of William Ayers, who
just happened to trample on an American flag for the cover photograph of the popular Chicago magazine, which Obama
just happened never to see even though it appeared on newsstands throughout the city.

 

Obama was hired by the law firm Miner, Banhill and Galland, which
just happened to specialize in negotiating state government contracts to develop low-income housing, and which
just happened to deal with now-imprisoned Tony Rezko and his firm Rezar, and with slumlord Valerie Jarrett, and the law firms Judson Miner
just happened to have been a classmate of Bernardine Dohrn, wife of William Ayers.
In 1994 Obama represented ACORN  and another plaintiff in a lawsuit against Citibank for denying mortgages to blacks (Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Federal Savings Bank), and the lawsuit
just happened to result in banks being blackmailed into approving sub-prime loans for poor credit risks, a trend which
just happened to spread nationwide, and which
just happened to lead to the collapse of the housing bubble, which
just happened to help Obama defeat John McCain in the 2008 presidential election.

 

In 1996 Obama ran for the Illinois State Senate and joined the New Party, which
just happened to promote Marxism, and Obama was supported by Dr. Quentin Yong, a socialist who
just happened to support a government takeover of the health care system.

 

In late 1999, Obama purportedly engaged in homosexual activities and cocaine-snorting in the back of a limousine with a man named Larry Sinclair, who claims he was contacted in late 2007 by Donald Young, who

 

just happened to be the gay choir director of Obamas Chicago church and who shared information with Sinclair about Obama, and Young
just happened to be murdered on December 23, 2007, just weeks after Larry Bland, another gay member of the church
just happened to be murdered, and both murders
just happened to have never been solved. In 2008 Sinclair held a press conference to discuss his claims, and
just happened to be arrested immediately after the event, based on a warrant issued by Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who
just happens to be the son of Joe Biden.

 

In 2003 Obama and his wife attended a dinner in honor of Rashid Khalidi, who
just happened to be a former PLO operative, harsh critic of Israel , and advocate of Palestinian rights, and who Obama claims he does not know, even though the Obamas
just happened to have dined more than once at the home of Khalidi and his wife, Mona, and
just happened to have used them as occasional baby-sitters. Obama reportedly praised Khalidi at the decidedly anti-Semitic event, which William Ayers
just happened to also attend, and the event Obama pretends he never attended was sponsored by the Arab American Action Network, to which

 

Obama just happened to have funneled cash while serving on the board of the Woods Fund with William Ayers, and one speaker at the dinner remarked that if Palestinians cannot secure a return of their land, Israel will never see a day of peace, and entertainment at the dinner included a Muslim children’s dance whose performances
just happened to include simulated be-headings with fake swords, and stomping on American, Israeli, and British flags, and Obama allegedly told the audience that Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine and there has been genocide against the Palestinian people by (the) Israelis, and the Los Angeles Times has a videotape of the event but
just happens to refuse to make it public.

 

In the 2004 Illinois Democrat primary race for the U.S. Senate, front-runner Blair Hull

 

just happened to be forced out of the race after David Axelrod just happened to manage to get Hulls sealed divorce records unsealed, which just happened to enable Obama to win the primary, so he could face popular Republican Jack Ryan, whose sealed child custody records from his divorce
just happened to become unsealed, forcing Ryan to withdraw from the race, which
just happened to enable the unqualified Obama to waltz into the U.S. Senate, where, after a mere 143 days of work, he
just happened to decide he was qualified to run for President of the United States!

 

And now you really do know some of the rest of the story…..Perhaps you know someone else who also might like to read it, especially  before the forthcoming  Presidential, Senatorial and House elections

 

II  Since this article was written another unusual fortuitous coincidence occurred – The sudden death of Right Wing stalwart Supreme Court Chief Judge, Antonin Scalia and …

For some reason Antonin Scalia’s family waives autopsy after justice is found with pillow over his head; death certificate will say ‘natural causes’

BY JASON SILVERSTEIN, SHAYNA JACOBS NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  February 16, 2016

Veteran homicide investigators in New York and Washington, DC, on Monday questioned the way local and federal authorities in Texas handled the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. “It’s not unreasonable to ask for an autopsy in this case, particularly knowing who he is,” retired Brooklyn homicide Detective Patricia Tufo told The Post.

“He’s not at home. There are no witnesses to his death, and there was no reported explanation for why a pillow is over his head,” Tufo said. “So I think under the circumstances it’s not unreasonable to request an autopsy. Despite the fact that he has pre-existing ailments and the fact that he’s almost 80 years old, you want to be sure that it’s not something other than natural causes.”
Bill Ritchie, a retired deputy chief and former head of criminal investigations for the DC police, said he was dumbstruck when he learned that no autopsy would be performed.“How do you know that person wasn’t smothered? How do you know it’s not a homicide until you conduct an investigation? You have to do your job. Once you go through that process, you can conclude that this is a naturally occurring death.”
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara said she declared Scalia dead via telephone based on what cops and marshals at the scene told her — that there were no signs of foul play.
“How in the world can that Texas judge, not even seeing the body, say that this is a heart attack?” Ritchie wondered. “A US marshal can’t tell you. You need a medical professional. If this was Joe Blow, you say OK, 79 years of age, health problems, maybe natural causes. But this is a sitting justice of the Supreme Court!”

 

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

II Geert Wilders, Leader of Dutch Party of Freedom – Islam’s War against the Free World  (Jews and the State of Israel)

 

www.israel-commentary.org

Looking in vain for glasnost in Tehran.

By REUEL MARC GERECHT

The Weekly Standard,  MAR 14, 2016
Barack Obama and his tireless secretary of state, John Kerry, sold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in part as a means to reinforce Iranian “reformers,” “moderates,” and “pragmatists.” They were always quick to add that the atomic accord stood on its own technical merits. Yet the non-nuclear dimension of the deal was no small part of the sugar that made the JCPOA more appealing.

A more temperate Islamic regime, which gave first priority to the well-being of its people, would be less likely to abuse the JCPOA’s weaknesses. And the accord has serious limitations: Within 8 years, the Islamic Republic can start producing advanced centrifuges; within 15 years, clerics will be free to construct as many centrifuges and enrich as much uranium as they wish.

The unorthodox inspection regime that the White House agreed to, which at the suspect Parchin facility restricted the International Atomic Energy Agency to remote, robotic sampling, also suggests that the administration really hopes to see the Islamic Republic moderate over the next decade.

The 2016 Iranian parliamentary elections ought to be viewed as one more sign that the overarching political premise of the deal made no sense. (Just as Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu unequivocably warned before the US Congress, March 3, 2015 — much to the anger of arch-narcissist Barack Obama) The new parliament voted in at February’s end is composed of—and again the Western nomenclature is far from ideal—radical hardliners, hardliners, conservatives, and a few tepid, nervous reformers.

Real reformers, Iranian politicians and intellectuals who want to change radically the governing structure of the Islamic Republic and convert a theocracy into a democracy, were silenced, imprisoned, exiled, murdered, and banned from politics when the pro-democracy Green Movement was stamped out after the fraudulent presidential election in 2009.

What we have left in the Islamic Republic’s theocratically managed democracy, in which parliament has no real power, are regime-loyal laymen and mullahs who are all Islamic revolutionaries but differ, at times strongly, on who should lead the cause and how the country’s economic system should be structured.

Anyone who isn’t a member of the third-world-loving-please-don’t-let-America-bomb-Iran-stop-the-warmongering-neoconservatives movement and has studied the Islamic Republic knows that when parliament chairman Ali Larijani, a highly intelligent, dissent-crushing, women’s-rights-loathing, supreme-leader-loving, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards, allies himself with President Hassan Rouhani and his followers, the latter aren’t seeking to change fundamentally the Islamic Republic.

Many Westerners want to believe that Rouhani’s economic preferences, which would reduce the state’s heavy hand in commerce and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’s monopolizing role in industry, will sooner or later lead to greater political and cultural freedom. The power of Adam Smith will triumph over Islam, so to speak.

Hassan Rouhani and his former mentor, the clerical major-domo Ali Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, liberalized Iran’s economy in the 1990s when Rafsanjani was president and the de facto co-equal of Ali Khamenei, whom he had elevated to supreme leader in 1989 upon Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s death.

Rafsanjani eased up a bit on cultural expression and didn’t blow a gasket when middle-class and affluent Iranian women started to add a bit of color to their clothing and push back the scarves covering their hair. Rafsanjani made a personal pitch to successful Iranian expatriates to come home and invest. Rafsanjani and his aide-de-camp Rouhani especially tried to attract European money to Iran.

As Rouhani put it in 1994, “Because of the fierce competition between Europe and the United States, we must expand our relations with Europe and counter America’s conspiracy.” The two clerics tried—and failed—to check the growing economic and political power of the Revolutionary Guards.

However, Rafsanjani, with Khamenei, could come down brutally on those who politically or culturally pushed the envelope too far. Many intellectuals, at home and abroad, were assassinated during Rafsanjani’s presidency by officers and agents of the ministry of intelligence. Rafsanjani and Rouhani, who’d been the driving forces behind that ministry’s creation and had men closely aligned with them serving in its highest ranks, were unquestionably culpable for this terrorism, as they were also undoubtedly “in” on the attack at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, which left 19 Americans dead and 372 wounded.

Some Iranian students believed that Mohammad Khatami, a complicated cleric who sincerely wrestled with the collision of Western and Islamic ideas, would usher in an age of reform after he succeeded Rafsanjani in 1997; Rouhani’s deeply felt antipathy toward them exploded during the 1999 student protests. Rouhani, then secretary of the supreme national security council, gave a fire-breathing speech threatening the students with death.

Clerics do change. There are many Iranian mullahs who were once die-hard believers in theocracy and the Islamic Revolution who have grown disenchanted. Most of them have been harassed, some even tortured and exiled for their growing doubts. There is, however, no evidence to suggest that Hassan Rouhani or the vast majority of his supporters who won parliamentary seats in Tehran are what we might call discreet evolutionary mullahs and laymen. There is no reason to believe that the Iranian president has even a smidgen of the reflection and self-doubt that Mikhail Gorbachev did when he attempted to save communism through glasnost.

Foreign policy analysts and grand strategists don’t have to be slaves to history and read meticulously every speech and book of foreign VIPs, but they can’t ignore them and gainsay the obvious. Mutatis mutandis, Rouhani is the same man he was in 1999. That he might look better than he did then is only because the Iranian political system has moved so far “right” since the halcyon days of the “Islamic Left” in the 1990s, when reformist clerics and laymen tried peacefully and democratically to introduce change into Iranian society and politics. The only ones who’ve really changed are the fallen heroes of Khatami’s brief period of reform. They’ve become forlorn, desperate to see hope even in men who once literally gave the orders to jail and beat them. It is an Orwellian irony.

Regardless of what happens inside Iran, President Obama and his supporters will continue to embrace the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. They will never accept the argument that a nuclear agreement that enhances the power of Islamic revolutionaries is so politically counterproductive as to negate the logic of the deal itself. The truth: Since the second Iraq war became politically unpalatable, the vast majority of American progressives haven’t cared that much about what happens inside the Islamic Republic, whether hardliners rise and moderates fall.

Liberals may cite, with the greatest of reverence, Iranian dissidents who are praying that Rouhani 2.0 won’t be as nasty as Rouhani 1.0; that his enmity towards the Revolutionary Guards will spill over into civil society and at least create buffers between their demurrals and the guards’ rapacity. But for the American left, what really matters is that the United States isn’t going to war over the Iranian nuclear issue. As long as that is true, Rouhani is a moderate. The Iranian people just need to be patient. The arc of history is on their side. Crony capitalism will eventually set them free.  (as will elephants eventually fly)

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a contributing editor, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

By the brilliant Rabbi Berel Wein

Parsha TAZRIA,  Torah portion of the week

From: Leviticus (Vayikra), the Third Book of Moses, The Hebrew Bible

The ritual of circumcision has been one of the basic institutions of Jewish life since the beginnings of our familial and national existence. It is this covenant of our father Avraham which has always been a testament to the eternity of the Jewish people, to its heritage and identity.
As in the case of Avraham circumcising his son Yitzchak on the eighth day after the infant’s birth, the Torah emphasizes this matter in this week’s Torah reading. The eighth day always has significance in Jewish thought and life. It is a day of action and of looking forward, of the future and not merely of the nostalgic past. The ritual of circumcision consecrates the boy to a life of service and holy purpose.

It channels the life giving force that lies within him to nobility and circumspection, in avoidance of wanton lust and dissolute behavior. It is the covenant that is inscribed in our very flesh that constantly marks our identities as Jews and signals our loyalty to our faith and tradition. That is why the ceremony of circumcision is always a joyous one marked with a festive meal and a gathering of friends and family.

The prophet said twice: “In your blood shall you live.” One of these instances refers to the blood of the infant at the moment of his circumcision. It is the blood of life and hope, of purpose and of uniqueness.

Throughout the ages, the Jewish ritual of circumcision has been under attack. The Greeks thought it to be a mutilation of the human body, which to them was their temple of worship. The Romans banned it because to them it was a symbol of the Jewish nationalism that they endeavored so mightily to crush and extinguish forever.

Much of the Christian world, in separating itself from its Jewish roots, objected to and ridiculed the practice of circumcision. They could not refute its biblical origin but claimed that its time had passed, with the coming of this “new” faith completely replacing the “old” one. But the Jews steadfastly maintained their practice of circumcision for their infant boys and for those males who wished to convert to Judaism.

This characteristic Jewish stubbornness continually angered the Christian world with many a blood libel and pogrom caused by the insistence of Jews to circumcise their male children. In the modern era in the western world where Christianity waned and weakened, the attack on Jewish circumcision practices nevertheless continued though in a different form.

Now these attacks took on a “humanitarian” coloration, supposedly protecting the helpless infant from the pain and discomfort of circumcision. The banning of circumcision by legislative action became the favorite tactic of those who wanted to rid their societies of Jews and Judaism.

And this struggle against the covenant and people of Avraham continues today throughout parts of Europe. Some of this is still a legacy of the communist ideology of the Soviet Union that banned circumcision in its “workers’ paradise” for many decades until its own collapse. But behind all attempts to discredit and attack circumcision lies the unreasoning hatred of the Jewish people. It is an age-old battle.

Shabbat shalom

Rabbi Berel Wein

Berel Wein (born March 25, 1934) is an American-born Orthodox rabbi, lecturer and writer. Rabbi Wein and his wife moved to Israel in 1997. They settled in the Rehavia neighborhood of Jerusalem. He has authored several books concerning Jewish history and popularized the subject through more than 1,000 audio tapes, newspaper articles and international lectures. Throughout his career, he has retained personal and ideological ties to both Modern Orthodox and Haredi Judaism. His numerous works and blog are readily available on the Internet.

PS  Coincidentally, I just received notice that a few days ago,  six immigrants to Israel were awarded the Nefesh B’Nefesh Bonei Zion Prize and one of them  was Rabbi Berel Wein, founder and director, The Destiny Foundation.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Redacted from an excellent, in-depth 5 page article that must be read in its entirety.

By JONATHAN S. TOBIN

COMMENTARY Magazine

December 2015 (No, nothing has changed since December – worse if anything with Bernie or Hillary in the leadership)
President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran survived a congressional challenge in September 2015, despite its extreme unpopularity with the American people. With very few exceptions, Democrats in the House and Senate rallied to the president’s side and (in the case of the Senate) refused to allow even a token vote to be cast in opposition. This was a turning point, for the deal formally recognizes the eventual right of Iran to become a nuclear power—a right that places Israel in profound existential jeopardy.

 

 

Supporters of Israel will continue to claim that the Jewish state is a bipartisan cause in the United States, but as the Iran vote has made painfully clear, this assertion has become more hope than reality. When it came to the most important vote for Israel in a generation, Republicans in both the House and the Senate unanimously opposed the agreement, while an overwhelming majority of Democrats backed it.
Though many Democratic activists and voters remain ardent backers of Israel, those making up the liberal base of the party are not. On issues such as Iran and the conflict with the Palestinians, Democrats are, at best, split, with their left wing increasingly speaking in open opposition to the Zionist cause. More to the point, much of the Democratic Party has followed President Obama’s lead in seeking to redefine what it means to be pro-Israel. They claim they are acting out of “tough love” rather than disdain, and that they are acting in Israel’s best interests in contravention of the views of Israel’s own lively and disputatious electorate.

 

Those claims ring increasingly hollow, but until now they have proved sufficient for a strong majority of Jewish voters and a great many financial backers of Jewish origin in the Democratic Party. It seems that while Republicans actually compete with one another to demonstrate their pro-Israel bona fides, Democrats no longer have to bother.John F. Kennedy was the first American president to meet with an Israeli prime minister and became the first to sell arms to the Jewish state. But a U.S.-Israel relationship did not really take off until Lyndon Johnson succeeded him. Johnson’s “green light” to Israel to defend itself against Arab aggression just prior to the outbreak of the 1967 war was a critical moment in the development of the alliance between the two countries.

 

It was only after Israel had triumphed in that war and gained the strategic depth it needed to be less vulnerable to annihilation that American leaders began to think of Israel as an asset to the West in the Cold War, not a mere irritant to relations with the Arab and Muslim worlds.

 

Jimmy Carter’s thinly disguised disenchantment with Israel led to a record-low Jewish vote for a Democratic presidential candidate when he ran for re-election in 1980—and Carter’s unyielding bitterness about that was a key motivation for his emergence as an unmistakably anti-Israel voice in the decades following his humiliating defeat.

 

Carter’s four years in office featured near-constant strife with Israel and the Likud government led by Menachem Begin, who took office in 1977. It was the first rightist government Israelis had elected in the state’s 29-year history. Though Begin’s supposed intransigence was blamed for the trouble—an intransigence belied by the accords that were Carter’s only foreign-policy success—the real issue was Carter’s sub-rosa hostility toward Israel, a factor that would not be fully understood until he left office.

 

In 1979, UN ambassador Andrew Young took it upon himself to meet secretly with representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization, then correctly designated as a terrorist group. The strength of pro-Israel sentiment among Democrats was such that Carter faced enormous pressure to fire Young, who later resigned at Carter’s request. But the incident became a flashpoint, as black leaders hotly protested Young’s departure in an intra-party split that foreshadowed future problems for Israel with left-wing Democrats.

 

Carter’s thinly disguised disenchantment with Israel led to a record-low Jewish vote for a Democratic presidential candidate when he ran for re-election in 1980—and Carter’s unyielding bitterness about that was a key motivation for his emergence as an unmistakably anti-Israel voice in the decades following his humiliating defeat.

 

Many Americans had fallen in love with a pioneer Israel governed by the socialist Labour Party and represented by the romance of the agricultural and social collective known as the kibbutz. For liberal Democrats, the full-throated nationalism of Begin’s Likud Party proved disquieting, as Likud’s voting base was made up not of Jews of European origin like them but of Sephardic Jews to whom they felt little connection. Though his policies were little different from those of his Labour predecessors when it came to security issues, Begin was demonized in the press and disdained by Jewish liberals following the lead of disgusted Ashkenazi Israelis astonished to find themselves out of power for the first time.

 

Begin had retired by the time the first Palestinian intifada broke out in 1987. By this point, media depictions of Israel as an imperial force dominating a captive populace could no longer be blamed exclusively on Likud. The country was then led by a coalition government, and the task of putting it down fell to none other than the former Labour prime minister and future peace-process martyr Yitzhak Rabin, who oversaw a response he himself called “might, power, and beatings.” The Palestinian attempt to pose as the underdog in the conflict with Israel was assisted by a liberal mainstream media that viewed the Palestinians as the new David to Israel’s Goliath.

 

Arafat responded to Camp David by launching the terror war known as the Second Intifada. Nonetheless, many Democrats clung to the idea that the Jewish state had not taken enough risks for peace. The peace process itself had ironically bolstered the fallacious notion that Israel was the possessor of stolen goods rather than the administrator of disputed territories to which it also had rights.

 

But as the intifada continued, any concerns that liberals might be abandoning their support for Israel were entirely overshadowed by concerns about the first President George Bush. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker was as openly hostile to Israel as Carter had been. At one point, Bush refused to give Israel loan guarantees to build housing for Russian Jews because of a dispute over West Bank settlements. Democrats railed against Bush’s treatment of Israel and reaped the benefits in 1992 when Jewish support for Bush in his failed reelection bid reached a modern low of 11 percent.
Bush’s replacement by Bill Clinton seemed to further solidify the Democratic Party’s standing as the preeminent pro-Israel party. Clinton’s affection for the Jewish state was genuine, and his hosting of the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasir Arafat on the White House Lawn earned him applause from most of the pro-Israel community.

 

 

Soon enough, the “peace process” created new problems for Israel among Democrats. With the Oslo process already failing in 1996, Israelis again turned to the right and elected Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. Netanyahu proved willing to continue negotiating with the Palestinians in spite of their violations of the accords. But the liberal disaffection with him was unmistakable, and it fed off the idea that the dark face of Israel had been unmasked at the moment that Yigal Amir assassinated Yitzhak Rabin during a pro-Oslo rally in 1995.

 

Arafat responded to the Camp David Accords  by launching the terror war known as the Second Intifada, which should at least have demonstrated to all honest observers that the Palestinians were more interested in pursuing their quixotic goal of eliminating Israel than in a two-state solution. Nonetheless, many Democrats clung to the idea that the Jewish state had not taken enough risks for peace. The peace process itself had ironically bolstered the fallacious notion that Israel was the possessor of stolen goods rather than the administrator of disputed territories to which it also had rights. In the view of a growing number of liberals, the rationale for Israel’s existence depended on giving up this land no matter the consequences for its security.

 

Israelis across the political spectrum lost faith in the peace process owing to both the Second Intifada and the conversion of Gaza into a terror state after Ariel Sharon withdrew every settler, soldier, and settlement in 2005. But their concerns had no impact on many Democrats who still claimed to be friends of Israel.

 

By the time of Barack Obama’s election as president in 2008, the leader of the Democrats was a man who made no bones about representing himself as someone who was hostile to Israel’s Likud Party even as he claimed unconvincingly to be sympathetic to the country itself. And unlike his recent predecessors, Obama believed that creating more “daylight” between Israel and the United States was the key to the peace process.

 

But unlike presidents who had picked fights with Israel before, Obama seemed able to do so without getting significant pushback from his own party. He could consistently rely on the backing of most Jewish Democrats in his constant quarrels with the Netanyahu government.

 

Obama then maneuvered worldwide the Iranians recognition for their nuclear program and the end of sanctions, Obama began getting tough with both Israeli critics of his policy and Democrats who were stepping out of line.

 

This struggle proved to be the culmination of the Democratic Party’s long march away from Israel. In early 2015, opponents of a nuclear Iran thought they could still count on overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats for an effort to head off a bad deal. Bipartisan majorities had backed toughened sanctions on Iran over the president’s objection before, and there was hope that a new sanctions bill could pass as well. But at this point, Obama started to treat improved relations with Iran, and a consequent cooling of ties with Israel, as his foreign-policy priority.

 

The Iran-deal vote must be understood in the context of a Democratic Party whose base is now comfortable explicitly articulating its opposition to the Jewish state. At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, pro-Israel motions were omitted from the party platform. Democratic leaders sought to correct the mistake during the proceedings and were visibly shocked when a large majority of those responding to a voice vote on pro-Israel measures expressed their opposition.

 

Changes in American Jewish life are having an additional impact on the decline of pro-Israel Democrats. The 2013 Pew Survey also points to marked decline in a sense of Jewish peoplehood and pro-Israel sentiment among a group that comprises disproportionately loyal Democratic voters and donors. . As that segment of voters became less connected to Jewish identity, so, too, the influence of the pro-Israel community declined among Democrats. Jewish liberals were never single-issue voters obsessed with Israel. But as Israel’s image was battered by wars and the disdain of Obama, it slipped even lower on their list of priorities.
In Barack Obama’s Democratic Party, pro-Israel voices have been marginalized. That marginalization might not be permanent. The next generation of Democrats might come to understand that Obama’s foreign policy—a set of actions that have led to the rise of ISIS, the growing strength of Iran, and “daylight” between the United States and Israel—has made this country and the world more unstable and more dangerous. In American politics, the centrifugal pull of the center ultimately shifts both parties back to moderation on key issues.

 

That dynamic is the last best hope we have for a pathway back to support for Israel on the part of a Democratic Party that has lost its way.

 

(And, it sure won’t find the way back via either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. That fact is a given) jsk

 

Jerome S. Kaufman
Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

What I See Happening In a Trump Presidency

First posted in a political forum hosted by the website One Political Plaza on November 14, 2015.

“They will kill him before they let him be president. It could be a Republican or a Democrat that instigates the shutting up of Trump.  (Hashem Forbid)

Don’t be surprised if Trump has an accident. Some people are getting very nervous: Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Jon Corzine, to name just a few.

It’s about the unholy dynamics between big government, big business, and big media. They all benefit by the billions of dollars from this partnership, and it’s in all of their interests to protect one another. It’s one for all and all for one. It’s a heck of a filthy relationship that makes everyone filthy rich, everyone except the American people. We get ripped off. We’re the patsies. But for once, the powerful socialist cabal and the corrupt crony capitalists are scared. The over-the-top reaction to Trump by politicians of both parties, the media, and the biggest corporations of America has been so swift and insanely angry that it suggests they are all threatened and frightened.

Donald Trump can self-fund. No matter how much they say to the contrary, the media, business, and political elite understand that Trump is no joke. He could actually win and upset their nice cozy apple cart.

It’s no coincidence that everyone has gotten together to destroy The Donald. It’s because most of the other politicians are part of the a good old boys club. They talk big, but they won’t change a thing. They are all beholden to big-money donors. They are all owned by lobbyists, unions, lawyers, gigantic environmental organizations, and multinational corporations – like Big Pharmacy or Big Oil. Or they are owned lock, stock, and barrel by foreigners like George Soros owns Obama or foreign governments own Hillary and their Clinton Foundation donations.

These run-of-the-mill establishment politicians are all puppets owned by big money. But there’s one man who isn’t beholden to anyone. There’s one man who doesn’t need foreigners, or foreign governments, or George Soros, or the United Auto Workers, or the teacher’s union, or the Service Employees International Union, or the Bar Association to fund his campaign.

Billionaire tycoon and maverick Donald Trump doesn’t need anyone’s help. That means he doesn’t care what the media says. He doesn’t care what the corporate elites think. That makes him very dangerous to the entrenched interests. That makes Trump a huge threat to those people. Trump can ruin everything for the bribed politicians and their spoiled slave masters.

Don’t you ever wonder why the GOP has never tried to impeach Obama? Don’t you wonder why John Boehner and Mitch McConnell talk a big game, but never actually try to stop Obama? Don’t you wonder why Congress holds the purse strings, yet has never tried to de-fund Obamacare or Obama’s clearly illegal executive action on amnesty for illegal aliens? Bizarre, right? It defies logic, right?

  • First, I’d guess many key Republicans are being bribed. 
  • Secondly, I believe many key Republicans are being blackmailed. Whether they are having affairs, or secretly gay, or stealing taxpayer money, the National Security Agency knows everything.
  • Ask former House Speaker Dennis Hastert about that. The government even knew he was withdrawing large sums of his own money from his own bank account. The NSA, the SEC, the IRS, and all the other three-letter government agencies are watching every Republican political leader. They surveil everything.
  • Thirdly, many Republicans are petrified of being called racists, so they are scared to ever criticize Obama or call out his crimes, let alone demand his impeachment.
  • Fourth , why rock the boat? After defeat or retirement, if you’re a good old boy, you’ve got a $5 million-per-year lobbying job waiting. The big-money interests have the system gamed. Win or lose, they win.
  • But Trump doesn’t play by any of these rules. Trump breaks up this nice, cozy relationship between big government, big media, and big business. All the rules are out the window if Trump wins the Presidency. The other politicians will protect Obama and his aides but not Trump. Remember: Trump is the guy who publicly questioned Obama’s birth certificate. He questioned Obama’s college records and how a mediocre student got into an Ivy League university.

Now, he’s doing something no Republican has the chutzpah to do. He’s questioning our relationship with Mexico; he’s questioning why the border is wide open; he’s questioning why no wall has been built across the border; he’s questioning if allowing millions of illegal aliens into America is in our best interests; he’s questioning why so many illegal aliens commit violent crimes, yet are not deported; and he’s questioning why our trade deals with Mexico, Russia and China are so bad.

Trump has the audacity to ask out loud why American workers always get the short end of the stick. Good question! I’m certain Trump will question what happened to the almost billion dollars given in a rigged no-bid contract to college friends of Michelle Obama at foreign companies to build the defective Obamacare website. By the way, that tab is now up to $5 billion.

Trump will ask if Obamacare’s architects can be charged with fraud for selling it by lying. Trump will investigate Obama’s widespread IRS conspiracy, not to mention Obama’s college records. Trump will prosecute Clinton and Obama for fraud committed to cover up Benghazi before the election. How about the fraud committed by employees of the Labor Department when they made up dramatic job numbers in the last jobs report before the 2012 election?

Obama, the multinational corporations and the media need to stop Trump. They recognize this could get out of control. If left unchecked, telling the raw truth and asking questions everyone else is afraid to ask, Trump could wake a sleeping giant. Trump’s election would be a nightmare. Obama has committed many crimes. No one else but Trump would dare to prosecute. He will not hesitate.

Once Trump gets in and gets a look at the cooked books and Obama’s records, the game is over. The goose is cooked. Holder could wind up in prison. Jarrett could wind up in prison. Obama bundler Corzine could wind up in prison for losing $1.5 billion of customer money. Clinton could wind up in jail for deleting 32,000 emails or for accepting bribes from foreign governments while Secretary of State, or for misplacing $6 billion as the head of the State Department, or for lying about Benghazi. The entire upper level management of the IRS could wind up in prison.

Obamacare will be de-funded and dismantled. Obama himself could wind up ruined, his legacy in tatters. Trump will investigate. Trump will prosecute. Trump will go after everyone involved. That’s why the dogs of hell have been unleashed on Donald Trump.

Yes, it’s become open season on Donald Trump. The left and the right are determined to attack his policies, harm his businesses, and, if possible, even keep him out of the coming debates. But they can’t silence him. And they sure can’t intimidate him. The more they try, the more the public will realize that he’s the one telling the truth”.

 

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice

Twitter: @israelcomment

II  Retraction:

An Israel Commentary reader just pointed out to me that the web site TruthorFiction.com declared that Bill Bennett did not write the above article.
I am sorry for the “Incorrect Attribution” but I had no part in developing the theory or writing the article.

In any case, the facts presented as to the hate laden direct attacks on Trump by both Democrats and Republicans are indisputable. As to an assassination theory, I believe the concept tongue in check and allegorical. I can’t believe that Trump generates a level of hatred that would lead to assassination, G-d forbid.

Jerome S. Kaufman

 

Bill Bennett: They’d Kill Trump Before They Let Him Be President –Incorrectly Attributed!
Summary of eRumor:

Conservative commentator William J. Bennett has an “interesting take on trump” and speculates, “They would kill him before they let him be president.”

The Truth:

Bill Bennett isn’t behind the “Interesting Take on Trump” assassination theory.
An essay titled “Interesting Take on Trump” was first posted in a political forum hosted by the website One Political Plaza on November 14, 2015. The person who posted it said they’d received it via email. From there, the “Interesting Take on Trump” essay was posted on other message boards and quickly went viral.

These posts and chain emails claim that William J. Bennett, the host of Bill Bennett’s Morning in America Show, has speculated that someone — either Democrat or Republican — would conspire to assassinate Donald Trump rather than let him be president.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

(One more Lefty Justice would make it 5/4 vote  for at least the next two generations. It would destroy the once proud United States of America. Maybe they would allow us into the defunct European Union which by then had become the Iranian/Islamic State Empire. Of course, we would have to pay the  dhimmi tax until coerced into our new Muslin identity and the great beauty of Sharia Law.) jsk

We Oppose Judge Garland’s Confirmation

He is a friend of big labor and regulators, not small businesses.

By JUANITA DUGGAN

The Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2016
President Obama formally nominated Merrick Garland, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to the U.S. Supreme Court. After studying his extensive record, the National Federation of Independent Business believes that Judge Garland would be a strong ally of the regulatory bureaucracy, big labor and trial lawyers. On behalf of the hundreds of thousands of members we represent, the NFIB opposes Judge Garland’s confirmation.

In NAHB v. EPA, Judge Garland in 2011 refused to consider a Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) claim by the National Association of Home Builders against the Environmental Protection Agency despite the law’s clear language. The RFA is one of the few federal statutes that explicitly require certain agencies to take into account the effect of their actions on small employers. Consider that the federal government itself estimates that the typical small business must spend $12,000 per worker annually just to be compliant with federal regulations. With Judge Garland on the Supreme Court, the EPA and other regulators would have a freer hand to impose even more costs on small businesses.

In another case, Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, in 2003, Judge Garland argued that the Commerce Clause, which regulates economic activity between the states, applies to an animal species found in only one state and which has no economic value. In doing so he foreshadowed the creative reasoning that the Obama administration used to defend the Affordable Care Act in NFIB v. Sebelius. We fear that as a pivotal justice on the Supreme Court, Judge Garland could apply his elastic view of the Commerce Clause to almost anything else.

In two other cases involving the National Labor Relations Board, Judge Garland didn’t just side with the government—he argued that business owners should be personally liable for labor violations. In other words, their personal assets, including their homes and their savings, would be exposed to government penalties. What worries us is that Judge Garland has been consistently wrong on labor law. In fact, in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland’s that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB. (Obama’s National Labor Relations Board)

With more than 320,000 members, our organization is the country’s largest advocate for small-business owners. When we asked members on Wednesday whether they wanted to fight the Garland confirmation, the response was overwhelming. More than 90% urged us to take action.

It is especially important that we get involved now because this year and in future sessions, the Supreme Court will hear cases in which NFIB is a plaintiff. We are challenging the Waters of the United States rule, an unprecedented expansion of the EPA’s power to regulate water. The Clean Power Plan, another massive expansion of federal power that we are challenging, threatens to drive up energy costs for consumers—and for small businesses.

Given Judge Garland’s record on the D.C. Circuit Court, is there any question about which side he would take in these cases? When it comes to big government versus small business, we know where he would stand.

Garland is so bad that, This is the first time in the NFIB’s 73-year history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee. As the plaintiff in NFIB v. Sebelius, which upheld the Affordable Care Act, our members know the power that a single Supreme Court justice can wield. We cannot support his elevation to the Supreme Court.

Ms. Duggan is president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

The Incomparable Trump.

BY G. MURPHY DONOVAN,

From: THE AMERICAN THINKER

Donald Trump is a piece of work even by New York standards: tall, white, loud, brash, entrepreneurial, successful, rich, ruthlessly candid, well-dressed, and fond of heterosexual women. He has married at least three delicious ladies in fact. Trump has five children and seven grandchildren. Indeed, his progeny are well above average too, smartly groomed, photogenic, and successful to boot. As far as we know, Donald does not have any tattoos, piercings, unpaid taxes, or under-aged bimbo interns, nor is he a drinker or a junkie.

Trump projects and enterprises probably employ more folks than the NYC school system — or the United Nations. You could say that Trump is living the life, not the life of Riley, but more like Daddy Warbucks with a comb over. “The Donald,” as one ex-wife calls him, is not just living the American dream. Trump is the dream — and proud of it. You could do worse than think of Trump as upwardly mobile blue collar.

He is the grandson of immigrants and the product of Long island, a Queens household, and a Bronx education. The Donald survived the Jesuits of Fordham University for two years before migrating to finish his baccalaureate at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania .

When readers of the New York Times, The New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books speak of “the city”, they are not talking about the Queens or the Bronx . Growing and schooling in the blue-collar boroughs gives Trump a curb level perspective, something seldom found in Manhattan . Or as any “D” Train alumnus might put it, Trump has “a pretty good Bravo Sierra detector.”

So what’s not to like about Donald Trump? He doesn’t just stay in four-star hotels; he builds them. He doesn’t just own luxury condominiums; he makes them. He doesn’t just own historic buildings; he restores them. He doesn’t just eat at the best restaurants; he creates them. He just doesn’t belong to the best country clubs; he builds those too. Donald Trump, unlike the Manhattan/Washington fantasy Press and every Beltway political pimp, doesn’t just pay lip service to a bigger and better economy, he creates micro-economies every day.

In any case, the merits of entrepreneurs like Trump might best be defined by the character or motives of his critics. Trump detractors are for the most part “B” list politicians, ambulance chasers, and a left-leaning Press corps that lionizes the likes of Nina Totenberg, Dan Rather, Chris Matthews, Andrea Mitchell, and Brian Williams. If the truth were told, most of Trump’s critics are jealous, envious of his wealth and they loathe his candor.

Donald might also be hated for what he is not. Trump is not a lawyer, nor is he a career politician who lives on the taxpayer dime. Trump is paying for his own campaign. Bernie, Barack, McCain, and Kerry could take enterprise lessons from a chap like Trump. Unlike most government barnacles, Trump can walk and chew gum at the same time. He knows how to close a deal and build something. He is a net creator, not consumer, of a kind of wealth that provides “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for Americans — real jobs not feather merchants. Today, Trump has nothing left to prove. Yet, success has allowed him the rarest of public privileges, an electoral pulpit and the courage to speak his mind.

Alas, truth is not necessarily a political asset in a socialized democracy. Indeed, the erstwhile presidential candidate stepped on his tongue recently by suggesting that Mexico , already exporting dangerous drugs, cheap tomatoes, and even cheaper labor, was also exporting violent felons to the US . Truth hurts! Trump’s rude candor is underwritten by nearly half a million illegal felons in American jails.

Coincidently, events have conspired to support Trump’s take on Mexican dystopia with the El Chapo Guzman jailbreak and the murder of Kathryn Steinle by Francisco Sanchez. Senor Sanchez sported a lengthy criminal record and had been deported on four previous occasions. San Francisco , a “sanctuary” city, failed to honor existing warrants and released Sanchez from jail just before he blew Kathy Steinle away!

As serendipity would have it, Trump then went to Phoenix on 12 July and gave a stem winder to a sell-out crowd on the subject of illegal immigration. Senator John McCain was not pleased to have The Donald on Arizona ‘s front lawn and intemperately called Trump supporters “crazies.” Trump returned fire saying that McCain was no hero. Here again Trump cut to the quick, pointing out that no one qualifies as a hero because he was shot down or captured. Indeed, being a hostage in North Vietnam is not necessarily heroic either.

McCain is thought by some to be a heroic because he refused to accept an early release. In fact, the Hanoi parole offer was a ruse, a Hobson’s choice, designed to embarrass McCain and his father at CINCPAC. If McCain took the parole and abandoned his fellow POWs, he would have shamed his father and been ostracized by shipmates. Indeed, had John McCain not been the son and grandson of famous and victorious, Pacific Command flag officers, no one would have noticed him then or now.
Few of the demagogues who have come to John McCain’s defense could name any of the 600 Vietnam-era POWs other than McCain. McCain is famous today because he, like John Kerry, has parlayed a very average Vietnam military service into a three-decade political sinecure. We know of 50,000 Vietnam veterans that might be more deserving than John McCain.

 

Unfortunately, they died in a war that generals couldn’t win and politicians couldn’t abide. A body bag seldom gets to play the “hero.” McCain is no political hero either. He is famously ambiguous on domestic issues like immigration. He is also a Johnny-come-lately to Veterans Administration rot, which has metastasized as long as McCain has been in office.

On foreign policy, McCain is a Victoria Nuland era crackpot, supporting East European coups, playing cold warrior, and posturing with neo-Nazis in Kiev . McCain pecks at Putin too because the Senate, like the Obama crew, hasn’t a clue about genuine threats like the ISIS jihad or the latest Islam bomb.

To date, Trump has run a clever campaign. He is chumming; throwing red meat and blood into campaign waters and all the usual suspects are in a feeding frenzy.

McCain, the Press, the Left, and the Republican establishment all have something to say about “The Donald.” It is truly amazing how cleverly Trump manages to manipulate the establishment. If you are trying to sell an idea or a candidacy, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Who knows where the Trump campaign goes? For the moment, he has scored direct hits on Mexico and McCain. With El Capo on the loose again, every time a toilet flushes in Sinaloa, Mexican garbage is likely spill out in Los Angeles , Hollywood , San Francisco , Portland , or Seattle . Indeed, it’s hard to believe that the Left Coast could survive without cheap labor, pistileros, meth, coke, heroin, or weed.

Necrotic immigration and its byproducts are ready made targets for a gunslinger like Trump. Trump is no bigot. He probably employs more Latinos and Blacks than Enrique Peña Nieto or as current President, Barack Obama. In his own way, Donald Trump is both immigrant and POW, a refugee from Queens and still a prisoner of Wharton. The Donald is The Dude, the guy with babes and a role of Benjamins that would choke a shark.

He is the wildly successful capitalist that some of us love to hate. It doesn’t take much insight to compare Trump’s various enterprises with federal programs. Public education, banking oversight, public housing slums, poverty doles, veterans fiascos, Internal Revenue hijinks, and even some Defense Department procurement programs are consensus failures. The F-35 “Lightning” fighter is an illustration, arguably the most expensive single DOD boondoggle in history. Pentagon progressives seldom win a catfight these days, but they still spend like sailors.

In Trump’s world failure has consequences so if and when he fails, he is out of business. In contrast, Washington rewards failure with better funding. Indeed, generational program failure is now a kind of perverse incentive for Beltway politicians and apparatchiks to throw good money after failed programs. The difference between Trump and McCain should be obvious to any fair observer; Trump has done something with his talents. McCain, in contrast, is coasting on a military myth and resting on the laurels of Senatorial tenure.

Any way you look at it, Donald Trump is good for national politics, good for democracy, good for America , and especially good for candor. If nothing else, The Donald may help Republicans to pull their heads out of that place where the sun seldom shines.  (If they have the brains to let him, which they most likely don’t and America will pay the consequences for generations) jsk

You better believe I would vote for Trump over ANYTHING the Democrat party selects. We are in for the fight of our life for this nation and we need someone with a whole lot of nerve, guts or whatever you call it. I am sick of the establishment politicians who stand for nothing, have accomplished nothing and are a large part of the problem in this country,

And if Trump is the nominee I will be campaigning for him. You may not agree with all of this, but there are, I think, many good points.

G. Murphy Donovan, the author,  had two tours in Vietnam as a junior officer and subsequently served as command Intelligence briefer in Hawaii where he updated CINCPAC, John McCain’s father, on POW matters.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

By Jerome S. Kaufman

It was a well polished performance. The poise, demeanor, posture, delivery with game face intact were perfect — truly presidential.  Unfortunately, it was mostly a pack of lies and then worse — some Israel-weakening  plans she promised once in office. (Hashem forbid)

Hillary started out with a giant whopper that laid the groundwork for the rest of the whoppers that followed. She began with “Whatever our (meaning herself and the government of Barack Obama) differences, we have always shared an unwavering, unshakeable commitment to our alliance with Israel and to Israel’s future as a secure and democratic homeland for the Jewish people.” Good luck with that. She, as Secretary of State and Barack as President certainly had a bizarre way of insuring that alliance and security.

She continued, “The next President will sit down to make plans for the security of Israel and our friends around the world.”  Well, that will be a novel idea and quite a task to achieve after the deliberate destructive havoc that she and Barack Obama, with the enabling of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party have created in the Middle East and, in fact, in the rest of the world.

She then took a slam at Donald Trump’a previous position now vigorously and effectively reversed. “Unlike others in the race  although the turmoil in the Middle East presents enormous challenge and complexity, walking away is not an option.

What Hillary failed to mention was that “walking away,” ” leading from behind” was exactly the direction she, as Secretary of State and Barack Obama as President, had done, thus causing the awful state of affairs that now exists in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Libya. “Out-sourcing the solution to dictators (as Obama and Hillary have done) is not an option.” Really! Your administration is a little late in arriving at that obvious conclusion.

She then advised that “Today US and Israel face momentous choices:”

First – “We are prepared to take the US/Israel alliance to the next level” – Whatever that means?

“We will never allow Israel’s enemies to think a wedge can be driven between us.” Huh, evidently she does not think the Ali Khameni, the current Supreme Leader of Iran, thinks that, after Obama  signed a lethal agreement with Israel’s mortal enemy giving them $150 billion in spending money plus a virtually unencumbered route to develop nuclear weapons and the unlimited launching of missile tests designed to carry them, there is a “wedge between Israel and the US.”

She then bragged of her own great diplomatic accomplishments:  Her negotiating in 2012 with PM Netanyahu that produced a cease fire in Gaza. Of course, these “cease fires” are always negotiated after Israel has roundly defeated its enemy and is ready to complete the mop up. At these times, the US and the world rush in to stop the final coup de gras, keep Israel’s enemies viable and repeatedly snatch an Israel defeat from an unequivocal Israeli victory. The worst part is that the Israelis buy into this charade and simply plant the seeds for their enemy’s next try. The Israelis have only themselves to blame for the survival of enemies that should  no longer exist or at least have no desire or will to do further battle. That is not the case.

Hillary continued with the usual boiler plate comments about guaranteeing Israel’s ” Military Qualitative Edge”, even more cooperation between the US Silicone Valley and Israel’s Technical Wunderkindt, stopping the PA glorification of terrorists, stop educating Arab  children to hate, inciting to riot. Of course, the cooperative AIPAC audience applauded, on cue, these meaningless promises as if they were some brand new grand scheme of things.

She then got into the subject of Iran and how we have been concerned with Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon. She told the outrageous lie that she lead the policy of imposing “crippling” sanctions on Iran to force it to the negotiating table and she supported the agreement that has put a lid on its nuclear program! Huh! She went on to claim that Iran’s enriched uranium is all but gone, thousands of centrifuges have stopped spinning, Iran’s potential breakout time has been increased and new verification measures are in place to help us detect and deter any cheating. She concluded that she believed Israel, the United States and the world are safer as a result. But, surely she has got to be kidding! Maybe she did not hear Prime Minister Netanyahu’s assessment of the Iranian Nuclear deal. He and the Israelis consider it an unmitigated disaster.

She did admit that this deal must come with vigorous enforcement, strong monitoring, severe consequence for any violation and a broader strategy to confront Iran’s aggression across the region. She then made a laughable threat of force against Iran and more sanctions that the rest of the world will certainly ignore.

Then, we got a glimpse into the real Hillary and her plans for Israel. Unfortunately Hillary, the former Secretary of the State Department still believes US State Department nonsense and intrinsic anti-Semitism. The Department persists in the belief that the Israeli/PA conflict is at the heart  of all the problems of the Middle East!

Therefore, Israel must be strong enough to take bold actions for peace. “We will keep working for a negotiated peace or lose forever the goal of two states for two people. (For once there were no, on cue, AIPAC applause.) “Despite many set backs I remain convinced that peace with security is possible and that is the only way to guarantee Israel’s long term survival as a strong Jewish and democratic state.” (Maybe, some day, some one will explain this absolute non-sequitur)

“Inaction cannot be an option even though there is much doubt a peace partner even exists. Palestinians should be able to govern themselves in their own state in peace and dignity and only a negotiated two state agreement can provide those outcomes.”

Evidently, Hillary choses to ignore the fact that Israel has been there and done that — all its “bold actions for peace.” Giving up more Israeli land is not an option. Israelis no longer consider  A Two State Solution  an option. Maybe Hillary and the world has forgotten that Israel gave up all the Arab dominated population areas within Judea Samaria for Arab self government; they gave up the Lebanese Security Zone; they gave up all of Gaza and destroyed the beautiful agricultural  Jewish settlements of Gush Katif painfully developed there.

What has been the result? Terrorist regimes took over all these areas immediately – Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria that has never stopped the preaching of Jew hatred and terrorism.

No, Hillary. This is not a plan the Israelis will or should ever try again. The cost in Israeli lives has been far too great and every land give away has made the situation only worse for Israel. So, please stop parading as Israel’s friend. That is a complete lie. Maybe a lie that you learned from your Arab friend, Huma Abedin but actually long before that. We do not want you to continue promoting a State Department illusion of “peace.” Don’t send back John Kerry, please. He is a bad joke — not even a reasonable facsimile of a diplomat.

Originally, I was writing this because I was really mad at the AIPAC audience for being so naive and applauding so much of Hillary’s boiler plate special.

But then, a short time later, Donald Trump walked into the room and much to my surprise, the audience practically tore down the roof  welcoming him with thunderous applause and spent most of the time standing up while they listened. It was as if they had been anticipating his arrival and a breath of fresh air and a breath of straight talk from the master.

And they were not disappointed. The guy has genuine star quality. He attracts people that want to forget the country club Republican. They want to forget the starry eyed liberal that has become nasty and lost sight of reality a long time ago.

And, they also would love to elect a guy whose daughter, Ivanka, married a Jew and voluntarily became Jewish herself,  of all things,  and  is about, momentarily, to have a Jewish baby. And the grandpa Donald is very proud and that grandpa brought tears of pride and joy to the eyes of this one.

 

Jerome S. Kaufman, Editor/Publisher

Israel Commentary

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Redacted from article By BRET STEPHENS

Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2016

 

Barack Obama—do you remember him?—will remain in office for another 311 days. But not really. The president has left the presidency. The commander in chief is on sabbatical. He spends his time hanging out at a festival in Austin. And with the cast of “Hamilton,” the musical. And with Justin, the tween sensation from Canada.

(At the moment however, Obama has suddenly taken great interest in promoting his Supreme Court Justice nominee, who, whatever his previous record shows, is bound to vote dead Left exactly like Obama’s two previous appointees — Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.  Do you really think Obama would make any other choice? What Republican or Democrat or informed American citizen would allow Obama still another appointment and pervert the Court even further to the Left for at least the next two generations? This would  virtually  guarantee our national demise (Obama’s lifelong ambition) as a world military and economic power and as a representative democracy.) jsk

In the place of the departed Obama, is an exact look-alike giving interviews to Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, interviews that are so gratuitously damaging to long-standing U.S. alliances, international security and Mr. Obama’s reputation as a serious steward of the American interest that the words could not possibly have sprung from the lips of the president himself.      (Or from “any” president of  the US).

I was a bit late in reading Mr. Goldberg’s long article, “The Obama Doctrine,” which appeared last week and is based on hours of conversation with the president, along with ancillary interviews with John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Manuel Valls of France, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and other boldface names. Kudos to Mr. Goldberg for his level of access, the breadth of his reporting, the sheer volume of juicy quotes and revealing details.

Still, it’s a deep dive into a shallow mind. Mr. Obama’s recipe for Sunni-Shiite harmony in the Middle East? The two sides, says Mr. Obama, “need to find an effective way to share the neighborhood,” sounding like Mr. Rogers. The explanation for the “sh— show” (the president’s words) in Libya? “I had more faith in the Europeans,” he says, sounding like my 12-year-old blaming her 6-year-old sister for chores not done. The recipe for better global governance? “If only everyone could be like the Scandinavians, this would all be easy,” he says, sounding like—Barack Obama.

Then there’s Mr. Obama the political theorist. “Real power means you can get what you want without having to exert violence,” the president says in connection to Vladimir Putin’s gambles in Ukraine and Syria. That’s true, in a Yoda sort of way. But isn’t seizing foreign territory without anyone doing much to stop you also a form of “real power”? Is dictatorial power fake because it depends on the threat of force?

Elsewhere, Mr. Obama airily dismisses the concept of “credibility” in U.S. foreign policy, noting that Ronald Reagan’s decision to pull U.S. troops from Lebanon after the 1983 Marine barracks bombing didn’t affect U.S. credibility with China or Russia. That’s debatable. But the withdrawal affected our credibility with Iran, which was behind the bombing, and with a young Saudi named Osama bin Laden.

“Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place in 1983?” bin Laden asked in his 1996 declaration of war on the U.S., which also cited Bill Clinton’s abrupt withdrawal from Somalia after the 1993 Black Hawk Down incident. “You left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you.”

As for current threats, Mr. Goldberg asks Mr. Obama what he would do if Mr. Putin made a move against Moldova, “another vulnerable post-Soviet state.” Mr. Obama’s answer—“if it’s really important to somebody, and it’s not that important to us, they know that, and we know that”—is of the April Glaspie school of diplomacy. So long, Moldova.

Mr. Goldberg also discloses that Mr. Kerry (another genius who has never had the brains to “check in” even if he had to) has begged the president to launch cruise missile strikes against the Assad regime in Syria, “for the sake of a little leverage in negotiations!” Mr. Obama has brushed the requests away. Mr. Assad can at last rest easy, if he isn’t already.

U.S. allies fare less well under Mr. Obama’s gaze. David Cameron comes in for a scolding on U.K. military spending, as well as for getting “distracted” on Libya. Nicolas Sarkozy, the former and possibly future president of France, is dismissed by Mr. Obama as a posturing braggart. Regarding the president’s commitment to Israel’s security, Mr. Goldberg reports, citing Mr. Panetta, that the president “has questioned why the U.S. should maintain Israel’s so-called qualitative military edge, which grants it access to more sophisticated weapons systems than America’s Arab allies.”

As for those allies, Mr. Obama treats the Saudis with such naked contempt that it prompted former intelligence minister Turki al-Faisal to denounce the president in an op-ed: “Could it be,” the prince asked, “that you are petulant about the Kingdom’s efforts to support the Egyptian people when they rose against the Muslim Brothers’ government and you supported it?”

Summing up the president’s worldview, Mr. Goldberg describes him as a “Hobbesian optimist”—which philosophically must be the equivalent of a Jew for Jesus. But Mr. Obama has shown that he lacks Hobbes’s understanding that Leviathan must fill the vacuums that will otherwise be filled by an ISIS or a Putin, or an optimist’s belief that American power can shape the world for the better.

(Thomas Hobbes – English materialist and political philosopher who advocated absolute sovereignty as the only kind of government that could resolve problems caused by the selfishness of human beings (1588-1679))

The French diplomat Charles de Talleyrand once said of the (restored) Bourbon dynasty that “they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Given the mix of score-settling and delusion on display in this interview, that may well be the president’s foreign-policy epitaph, too.

Write bstephens@wsj.com.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Making the Socialist Grade

Redacted from an article by MARK PASTIN

The Weekly Standard Magazine

March 7, 2016

Young voters love Bernie Sanders. According to entrance and exit polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders beat Hillary Clinton among voters under 30 by nearly six-to-one.

There are many explanations why Sanders is so popular with the young, not the least plausible of which is that his opponent is so singularly unlikable. There is his apparent directness (“authenticity”), his propensity to promise virtually anything (free college, free health care), and his avuncular demeanor. But the most compelling explanation is that young voters actually like the idea of a socialist revolution.

The lure of socialism to the young is nothing new—I’ve never found students to be particularly put off by the S-word. In fact, they’ve long been eager to embrace it.
Consider Arizona State University, a school not exactly known for campus radicalism. When I was teaching there in the 1980s, I would often start a new semester by asking the class who among them considered themselves to be socialists.

The hands would go up—including a majority in many cases. In 20 years of teaching, whether at Indiana, Michigan, or ASU, this never changed.

When I asked my students what they thought socialism meant, they would generally recite some version of the Marxist chestnut “from each according to ability and to each according to need.”

Many said that they were driven to socialism by the inequities of capitalism—and there were few on the faculty to disabuse them of the notion.

If there is a difference today, it is only that socialism is even more popular with the young than it used to be: It’s now as much a part of going off to school as getting a college-logo sweatshirt.

But I’ve always thought that socialism appealed to students because they have never not been on the receiving end of government largesse. And so I would provide an opportunity for my students—in terms they could understand and appreciate—to learn what socialism means and entails.
When the majority of a class would declare themselves to be socialist, I would offer to run the class along socialist principles, such as the mandate to take from the able and give to the needy.

Specifically, I offered to grade the class on a sort of reverse-curve: Those with the highest GPAs would receive the lowest grades and those with the lowest GPAs would be given the highest grades.

This would be one small step to level the playing field for those less endowed with academic ability or motivation. After all, those with less academic ability or motivation were surely the victims of a rigged system in which social factors including prior education and income inequality disadvantaged the many in favor of the privileged few.

This socialist grading scheme was invariably met with outrage, especially, if unsurprisingly, among high-performing students (who made up a disproportionate number of the self-declared socialists).

You get the same response among students if you offer them the prospect of taking the money that subsidizes their education and using it to feed people in developing nations.

Students are attracted to socialism because they have no skin in the game. To some extent, the same applies to other young people who do not yet have a significant stake in the system. Capitalist beliefs quickly come to the surface when the young are no longer playing with funny money.

We should learn from Bernie Sanders’s success that allowing the glib socialism of the young to go unchallenged has consequences. It does the young no favors to foster in them biases that will only be corrected through decades of hard life-lessons.

Mark Pastin is president of the Council of Ethical Organizations in Alexandria, Virginia. His most recent book is Make an Ethical Difference: Tools for Better Action.

II Don’t lower the bar to achieve diversity; raise others up

Redacted from an Op-Ed Palm Beach Post
March 14, 2016

Ever since we moved to North America — I from India, my wife from Japan — 42 years ago, we heard of the word that neither of us knew much about: diversity.

When we immigrated to the U.S. from Canada, 17 years ago, we began to hear a lot more about “diversity” than we ever did in our close-to-25 years in Canada.
We are now proud citizens of this great country, and belong to the so-called “Asian-American” ethnic group. By one definition — skin color, as postulated by the NAACP — we are part of diversity. But are we really? In fact, we have often wondered what exactly is “diversity”?

Is it our skin color; our gender (as postulated by some feminist groups); our sexual orientation (as defined by the LGBT — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender — group); our religious affiliation; our ethnicity?

Or is it something else — like the country of origin, our body weight, our height, our age, the color of our hair? You get the idea.

My point is that no two humans are exactly alike; therefore, by that definition, we are all different and would fit a plausible and defendable definition of “diversity.”

With that as the background: When my bosses at the company where I used to work — and I had quite a few people working for me — instructed me to fill open positions, keeping diversity in mind, I was confused.

I reflected on the fact that if you looked at the National Basketball Association, the majority of players were African-American. Same with the National Football League.
Golf, on the other hand, is primarily white; as is the National Hockey League. Now why would that be? The answer has to be because the best in their field were needed to get the best team — whether it was basketball, football, golf, hockey or anything else.

It did not matter what was the color of their skin or what was their sexual orientation, or religion, or anything else. We want simply the best — to give us a competitive edge in this very competitive world.

So why would we not want the same in our industries, in our universities, in our public and private institutions, in our governments — and, yes, in Oscars?

In my way of thinking, that is the only way we can give us the competitive advantage we need to keep this great nation where it rightly belongs: at the top.

Otherwise, we risk getting on a slippery slope of continuously lowering the bar, simply to meet some artificial and questionable definition of “diversity.” This is too high a price to pay and was unacceptable to me 42 years ago and even more so now, with the world becoming even more competitive.

The cost of this catering to the lowest common denominator, leads to a decline of our ability as a nation to remain competitive, and be the land of opportunity, and serve as a magnet for diverse people like myself from all over the world.

RAJ AGRAWAL
TEQUESTA, FLORIDA

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About: ,

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Harry & Bess

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.
The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.
When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.
After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.
When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”
Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”
As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.
Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale.
Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician. And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!
I say dig him up and clone him!

 

II The Recognition Of The State Of Israel – May 14, 1948

 

Let me start by saying that Israel was not “created” in 1948, rather it was recreated, or regathered as the bible says, in accordance of the will of Almighty God. This is not a “work of man”, though God certainly used men to bring about His will. With that, let us look at the amazing stand that the United States president, Harry S. Truman, took in defense and support of God’s people, the Jews.

Of further note after this this United States experienced the greatest expansion of prosperity it has even known, and why? Because Genesis 12:3 promises a blessing to any one or any nation that would bless Israel, and after Truman and the US did what it did, God poured out His blessing on us and made the United States of America the richest, most powerful nation on the face of the earth.

“And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Genesis 12:3

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

I can’t even find a way to answer all those that want to cancel their subscriptions – mostly because of this crazy message response.

About the only thing I can offer now is to have you  block the site or label it Spam.  Or just hang in there and all the bad stuff will go away. I hope so.

Thank you for your past support.

Jerome S. Kaufman

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments

Read More About:

Share This Post

www.israel-commentary.org

Clinton Aides shouldn’t take the fall for her self-serving actions.

Wall Street Journal

March 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday victory gives her a clear path to the Democratic presidential nomination, but Bernie Sanders has never been her biggest obstacle to the White House. Her real liability is an email scandal that has put her in legal jeopardy.

Camp Clinton is arguing that the State Department’s Monday release of the final batch of emails ends the controversy over her private server. Yet that release is merely the end of one judicially mandated exercise overseen by a bureaucracy friendly to the former Secretary of State. The real action is in the courts, the FBI and Justice Department.

But even the friendly State Department review has been damaging. Of 30,000 emails Mrs. Clinton turned over to State, we now know that 2,093 were classified as “confidential” or “secret.” Another 22 were classified “top secret”—and State withheld their contents from public release. Mrs. Clinton keeps claiming these were “retroactively” classified, but that’s been vigorously disputed by intelligence community members, who note that at least some of the top-secret emails refer to intelligence projects classified from the beginning.

The latest release provides fresh evidence that Mrs. Clinton knew her server held national secrets. In one email from April 2012, aide Jake Sullivan forwarded Mrs. Clinton a blog post from a jihadist group. Mrs. Clinton replied: “If not classified or otherwise inappropriate, can you send to the NYTimes reporters who interviewed me today?”

The fact that Mrs. Clinton had to ask if this one was classified suggests she knew that people were sending sensitive information to her unsecure server. The new email dump also shows then-Sen. John Kerry sending Mrs. Clinton intelligence he’d obtained from top Pakistani generals.

There’s more to come. Federal judges have spent the past year doing what the State Department wouldn’t—that is, upholding the Freedom of Information Act. Judge Emmet Sullivan recently granted Judicial Watch discovery into whether State and Mrs. Clinton deliberately thwarted FOIA laws.

Judge Sullivan said from the bench: “Here you have Mrs. Clinton and [Clinton aide Huma] Abedin and their private counsel deciding, after neither Mrs. Clinton nor Ms. Abedin were government employees, what emails are federal records, and what emails are not. It just boggles the mind that the State Department allowed this circumstance to arise in the first place.” Yes it does.

Discovery could lead to depositions, interrogatories and new documents that show who approved Mrs. Clinton’s unsecure email arrangement, and who tried to conceal it. Judge Sullivan said he may also issue a subpoena requiring Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Abedin to turn over the entire email system they used.

Many other lawsuits are also proceeding and could provide answers to the many questions that Mrs. Clinton has dodged. Did she turn over all her work email? How many did she edit before giving them to State? Who had access to the server containing confidential information? Was her email hacked by foreign governments or criminals?

All of this is presumably also part of the FBI’s investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. Attorney General Loretta Lynch last week largely dodged Congressional questions about the Clinton probe, though she did divulge that “career” attorneys are working with the FBI. The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Justice has granted immunity to Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department employee who set up the private server at Mrs. Clinton’s New York home in 2009. This suggests that a grand jury may be empaneled if it isn’t underway.

Now that Mrs. Clinton is the odds-on Democratic nominee, the political stakes of all this are enormous. One excuse we are likely to hear is that Mrs. Clinton shouldn’t be held responsible for others who sent her classified information, as California Senator Dianne Feinstein recently said. In other words, let Mrs. Clinton’s aides take the fall.

But those aides—and the country—wouldn’t be in this mess if Mrs. Clinton hadn’t set up an off-grid account to evade disclosure laws and protect her messages from public scrutiny when she ran for President. Her employees can hardly be blamed for using a system she designed, and Mrs. Clinton was responsible as the senior official for knowing the classification rules.

With Donald Trump emerging as the probable GOP nominee, the political and media temptation in Washington will be to protect Mrs. Clinton and legally excuse her behavior. But the law applies equally to everyone if it means anything. These investigations need to follow their honest course and hold Mrs. Clinton accountable for her actions. The country can handle the political fallout.

Subscribe Israel Commentary: www.israel-commentary.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/schmice
Twitter: @israelcomment

 

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments