Archive for September 8, 2017

Blue State Blues: The Week Donald Trump Restored the Republic

September 8, 2017

Blue State Blues: The Week Donald Trump Restored the Republic, BreitbartJoel B. Pollak, September 8, 2017

But Trump has done more than conservatives dreamed possible to make our constitutional system of limited, divided, yet responsive government work as it was designed once again.

Conservatives fumed that Trump obtained nothing in return. But to most Americans, funding emergency hurricane relief is what the government ought to do quickly, setting politics aside.

Amidst all the worrying about how divided our country is, a new feeling is beginning to emerge, a sense of a society and a government that are actually working. Some of that is due simply to the resilience and decency of ordinary Americans, on full display in Texas.

But some of that is because of Trump. How ironic that the great “disruptor” of our political system is turning out to be the leader who is restoring it — and, soon, public faith in it.

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This week has been unusually short — pared on one side by Labor Day, and by Hurricane Irma on the other. But the brief, three-day whirlwind may have been the most consequential thus far of Donald Trump’s presidency.

When he rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and invited Congress to replace it, Trump returned the legislative power to its rightful branch. And when he struck a surprise deal with Democrats to lift the debt ceiling until December, he restored — however briefly — the basic comity necessary for our system to function.

Both of these moves were controversial — and confusing. Conservatives wondered, for good reason, whether Trump had rescinded DACA only to let Congress pass a blanket amnesty for its beneficiaries. And they asked themselves what had become of their party’s hopes to rein in the national debt, which helped fuel the Tea Party wave of 2010.

On substance, Trump has a long way to go before implementing the kinds of policies that would fulfill the promises he made to his supporters, and fulfill the dreams of conservatives who hardly dared to imagine, a year ago, that they would control all three branches of government.

But Trump has done more than conservatives dreamed possible to make our constitutional system of limited, divided, yet responsive government work as it was designed once again.

That process of repair and restoration has been the Trump administration’s silent agenda since January. He began by faithfully executing the law along the country’s borders, letting border patrol and immigration and customs officers do their jobs, slashing illegal immigration by some two-thirds. He continued by overturning excessive regulations that restrained our energy industry and others, repealing some rules that had never even been reported to Congress.

He nominated a solid conservative, Neil Gorsuch, to the U.S. Supreme Court, thus preventing what might otherwise have been a liberal takeover that lasted decades. He withdrew from the Paris Climate Accords, which the previous administration signed in defiance of the Senate’s constitutional power to ratify treaties. And he directed an active federal response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster, showing better management than both of the last two presidents.

The past few days have been more of the same, at a dizzying pace. On Tuesday, Schumer called Trump’s DACA decision “heartless” and “brainless.” The next day, he credited Trump for his “reasonable” debt ceiling deal, which included funding for Hurricane Harvey.

Conservatives fumed that Trump obtained nothing in return. But to most Americans, funding emergency hurricane relief is what the government ought to do quickly, setting politics aside.

Billionaire Mark Cuban, who became such a harsh critic of Trump that he sat in the front row at last year’s first presidential debate with Hillary Clinton, lauded Trump’s debt ceiling decision as “really smart.” Conservatives, understandably, are wary of praise from Democrats and celebrities. But Cuban had nothing to gain from praising Trump — and, given the mood of the Democratic base, much to lose. It is possible he really meant what he said.

Amidst all the worrying about how divided our country is, a new feeling is beginning to emerge, a sense of a society and a government that are actually working. Some of that is due simply to the resilience and decency of ordinary Americans, on full display in Texas.

But some of that is because of Trump. How ironic that the great “disruptor” of our political system is turning out to be the leader who is restoring it — and, soon, public faith in it.

Trump Admin Considering Demanding Israel Give Back Key U.S. Military Aid

September 8, 2017

Trump Admin Considering Demanding Israel Give Back Key U.S. Military Aid, Washington Free Beacon, September 8, 2017

(This seems to be in line with the State Department’s negative perceptions of Israel and Tillerson appears to agree with it. He, as well as members and staff of the National Security Council who adhere to Obama’s views and therefore reject President Trump’s views, must go. Now, before they do any more damage. Please see also,State Dept. Blames Israel for Terrorism, Claims Palestinians Rarely Incite Attacks.– DM)

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson / Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is said to be spearheading the effort to request Israel give back the additional funding, arguing that Israel must stick to the letter of the former Obama administration’s MOU, despite objections by Congress, sources told the Free Beacon.

The State Department is said to be engaged in a lobbying effort to convince the White House National Security Council (NSC) to allow it to request that Israel hand back the additional $75 million so it remains in line with the Obama administration’s MOU, sources said.

Cotton and other Congressional leaders see this as a reckless and unnecessary move that would only increase tensions with Israel at a time when the Jewish state and the U.S. are cooperating on a range of key issues, including the fight against ISIS, Iran, and other terrorist forces in the Middle East.

Tillerson’s State Department has emerged as a source of tension inside the administration, with multiple sources telling the Free Beacon earlier this year that Foggy Bottom is perceived as being in “open war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters.

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The Trump administration is considering forcing Israel to hand back some $75 million in U.S. aid dollars that were awarded by Congress following a hotly contested effort by the Obama administration to financially limit the U.S.-Israel military alliance, according to senior Congressional sources and others familiar with the situation.

Congress allocated Israel an additional $75 million in U.S. aid last year, bringing the total package to around $38 billion, despite attempts by the Obama administration to restrict Israeli efforts to lobby Congress in favor of greater funding for several key military projects.

Lawmakers had objected to the Obama administration’s last minute Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Israel, which capped U.S. aid dollars to the Jewish state and included a provision barring Israel from requesting greater financial assistance from the U.S. Congress.

Now, the Trump administration is considering forcing Israel to hand back the extra $75 million in order to stay in line with the Obama administration’s original MOU, according to multiple sources, who told the Free Beacon that Congress is preparing for a fight with the current administration if it chooses to move forward with the plan.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is said to be spearheading the effort to request Israel give back the additional funding, arguing that Israel must stick to the letter of the former Obama administration’s MOU, despite objections by Congress, sources told the Free Beacon.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) is said to have “strongly warned the State Department” earlier this week “that such action would be unwise and invite unwanted conflict with Israel,” according to one senior Congressional aide familiar with the situation.

Congressional leaders remain concerned that the Obama administration’s MOU with Israel limits lawmakers’ constitutional right to allocate U.S. aid dollars in whatever manner they see fit. The MOU has long been a cornerstone of the U.S.-Israel military alliance and Congress has traditionally amplified funding after consulting with Israeli counterparts.

The State Department is said to be engaged in a lobbying effort to convince the White House National Security Council (NSC) to allow it to request that Israel hand back the additional $75 million so it remains in line with the Obama administration’s MOU, sources said.

Cotton and other Congressional leaders see this as a reckless and unnecessary move that would only increase tensions with Israel at a time when the Jewish state and the U.S. are cooperating on a range of key issues, including the fight against ISIS, Iran, and other terrorist forces in the Middle East.

If the State Department does choose to demand that Israel hand back the money, Congress is prepared to strongly react, sources said.

Insiders who spoke to the Free Beacon about the brewing situation said the State Department-led effort is an attempt to undermine Congress and derail the White House’s strong working relationship with Israel.

Tillerson’s State Department has emerged as a source of tension inside the administration, with multiple sources telling the Free Beacon earlier this year that Foggy Bottom is perceived as being in “open war” with the White House on a range of key issues, including the U.S.-Israel relationship, the Iran portfolio, and other matters.

“This is a transparent attempt by career staffers in the State Department to f—k with the Israelis and derail the efforts of Congressional Republicans and President Trump to rebuild the US-Israel relationship,” according to one veteran congressional advisor who works extensively on Israel. “There’s no reason to push for the Israelis to return the money, unless you’re trying to drive a wedge between Israel and Congress, which is exactly what this is. It won’t work.”

Sources said there is an easy workaround to bring Israel in line with the MOU that would avoid sparking Congressional ire and tensions with the Trump administration.

This method involves clipping the additional $75 million from future appropriations for U.S.-Israel aid, a move that would quietly bring the countries back in line with the agreement and avoid public tensions.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R., S.C.) had held up passage of the 2016 MOU over disagreements with the Obama administration’s restriction about Israel personally lobbying Congress for increased funds.

Graham is said to have viewed it as an effort to trample on Congress’ right to allocate U.S. taxpayer funds and he worked to ensure Israel received the additional $75 million, which was included in the final fiscal year 2017 appropriations bill.

A State Department official, speaking on background, told the Free Beacon that the 2016 MOU “remains in place,” but would not specifically comment on internal deliberations about potentially requesting that Israel had back the millions in additional funding allocated by Congress.

U.S. Islamists Claim Win Over Legislation Banning Funding to Terror-Tied Charity

September 8, 2017

U.S. Islamists Claim Win Over Legislation Banning Funding to Terror-Tied Charity, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abha Shankar, September 8, 2017

Legislation seeking to ban federal funding to a UK-based Hamas charity was withdrawn Thursday after Islamist groups advocated voting against the measure.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla, introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act to block taxpayers’ dollars from going to Islamic Relief Worldwide, IRW, or Islamic Relief UK late last month because the Islamist charity allegedly funneled money to Hamas, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

IRW received $370,000 in federal funding for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016, government records show.

National Islamist groups and their allies rallied to the charity’s defense.

“Islamic Relief Worldwide is a valued partner of numerous governments and the United Nations bodies globally, and exists as a humanitarian organization dedicated to the alleviation of poverty and suffering internationally,” the Council of American-Islamic Relations Chicago chapter (CAIR-Chicago) said in a press release urging American Muslims to pressure Congress to reject the legislation.

The announcement also claimed that “IRW has been awarded $704,662 worth of funding from US federal sources for its work in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Central African Republic.”

CAIR describes itself as the “nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization” but has roots in a Hamas-support network in the United States.

Israel banned IRW from operating in the West Bank in 2014 saying the charity funneled money to Hamas. Iyaz Ali, a British national of Pakistani origin who worked for IRW’s Gaza office, allegedly transferred money to Hamas institutions outlawed in Israel, a 2006 communique issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office said.

Files found on Ali’s computer tied IRW with illegal Hamas funds in the UK, Saudi Arabia, and Nablus, the statement said. Investigators also found “photographs of swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols, of senior Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities.”

The UAE designated IRW as a terrorist organization last year. Britain’s largest bank HSBC also declined to do further business with Islamic Relief UK in January 2016, citing the charity’s alleged terror ties.

In the United States, the DeSantis amendment also drew calls from Islamic Relief USAand the Islamic Society of North America (ISNAasking supporters to contact their representatives to voice their opposition.

Islamic Relief USA labeled the amendment as “malicious and misguided” and claimed it “seeks to denigrate and undermine this widely respected civil society organization.”

“If passed it could cause substantial material damage to IRW’s life-saving work around the world. Lives and livelihoods in some of the world’s poorest and most disadvantaged countries are at stake,” Islamic Relief USA claimed.

The organization has shared close ties with IRW since its inception. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) underscored the connections in IRUSA’s 1993 articles of incorporation: “Your case is being transferred to National Office for further review due to your close association with Islamic Relief, United Kingdom, an organization that does…not have tax exempt status in the United States. As stated in your application, Islamic Relief, United Kingdom will administer the operation of your numerous, diverse programs.”

Those ties continue to this day.

On its “Affiliates and Alliances” page, Islamic Relief USA’s website describes itself as one of “16 Islamic Relief legally separate and independent affiliates (also referred to as ‘partner offices’) around the world.” “Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), a United Kingdom charity, serves as a catalyst, coordinator and implementer of the Islamic Relief family’s relief and development projects around the globe.”

Senior IRW officials have had close ties to the global Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement. Among them:

  • Mohamed Ashmaweyformer chief executive officer of IRW’s board of directors, served on the executive committee of the Muslim Arab Youth Association (MAYA), an umbrella group of militant Islamist groups that hosted conferences featuring radical extremists. Ashmawey also servedas CEO of Islamic Relief USA and ISNA board member.
  • Ibrahim El-Zayat, former chair of IRW’s board of trustees, was a representative of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in Europe, a Saudi nongovernmental organization that seeks to spread the conservative Saudi brand of Islam known as Wahhabism. He also is connected to the Turkish Islamist organization, Milli Gorus. He is reported to have told a meeting of Islamists in Germany: “It is still premature to strike against the Jews and infidels in this country.”
  • AbdulWahab Nourwali, a member of IRW’s board of trustees, servedas “a trustee of WAMY for 12 years, administering and operating the WAMY offices in three major cities in Saudi Arabia with a strength of 300 employees, as well as running and supervision of 23 overseas bureaus some of which have more than 200 employees,” his biography said.
  • Essam El-Haddad, who quit his position as IRW trustee in September 2012, became advisor to Muslim Brotherhood leader and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi. El-Haddad also served on the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau.
  • Issam Al-Bashir, a former director of Islamic Relief Worldwide was minister of Guidance and Religious Endowments for the Muslim Brotherhood in Sudan.

IRW’s annual reports available on its website list donations from terror-tied charities, including:

  • Qatar Charity, formerly the Qatar Charitable Society. It collaborated with the Hamas Ministry of Education in 2009 to build schools to indoctrinate children with pro-jihadist propaganda. Osama bin Laden discussedQatar Charity in 1993 as an important fundraising source for al-Qaida.
  • Charitable Society for Social Welfare’s tax records list now-deceased American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki as vice president. The charity is believed to have been founded by Shaykh Abd-al-Majid al-Zindani, named in 2004 by the Treasury Department as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.
  • International Islamic Charitable Organization is a Kuwait-based Islamist charity tied to Global Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Yusuf Qaradawi. The charity allegedly sent money to “trusted zakatcommittees” in the Palestinian territories, many of which have ties to Hamas.
  • Al Eslah Yemen. Yemen’s second largest political party, founded in 1990, is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood. Saudi Arabia placed it on its terrorist blacklist in 2014. Senior party leaders reportedly have close ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

Islamist groups may have succeeded in blocking the DeSantis amendment, and Islamic Relief USA may continue to receive government grants. Its history and terror connections, however, are well documented. Those facts cannot be changed by political pressure campaigns.

Not Even Two Hurricanes Can Stop Trump Derangement Syndrome

September 8, 2017

Not Even Two Hurricanes Can Stop Trump Derangement Syndrome, PJ MediaRoger L Simon, September 7, 2017

(Please see also, Why Did Trump do a Deal with the Democrats on Funding the Government? — DM)

Would it be too optimistic to expect two giant hurricanes — one flooding a good swatch of Texas and Louisiana and the other about to lay waste to the Eastern seaboard — to shut up the Trump bashers for ten minutes?

Apparently so, because no sooner does the president make an agreement with Schumer and Pelosi to raise the debt ceiling as well as set up a large fund for Harvey recovery and out they come from the left and right — from the left to crow about some sort of “victory” and from the right to complain that the deal didn’t lower the deficit.

Deficit? It’s as if Trump should have been playing hardball and calling for a government shutdown while Irma was tearing through Florida, sending the Pirates of the Caribbean into Tennessee with people fishing in their living rooms, if they’re lucky enough to have a living room anymore.

The shrinks talk about having “the right conversation at the right moment.”  Making a fuss about the deficit in the midst of twin national catastrophes the likes of which we haven’t seen in decades and will cost who knows how many billions to repair is the exact opposite.  It’s having the most counter-productive conversation at the worst possible moment.

And it’s even stupider because the new debt ceiling agreement is only for three months. In a short while they can fight that deficit all they want. As they say in Queens, “shaddup awreddy!”

As for the Democrats, left or otherwise, they should forget about that victory and save the high fives for the touch football game (if they still play that).  That party’s so far out to lunch now they can’t tell the kitchen from the laundry room. Trump can afford to be generous because they barely exist and no one can recall when they last won an election.  Nobody remembered Schumer’s new, new deal — or whatever it was — the day after he announced it. And it’s only going to get worse and everyone knows it. Liberalism isn’t just dead, it’s decomposed. Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book evidently blows up what’s left of the house.  No wonder Trump-bashing is all the Democrats do.  It’s all they’ve got.

But that of course doesn’t stop the Republicans from shooting themselves in the foot and everywhere else.  Even in the midst of two hurricanes, they seem clueless.  Congress and the media remain in a horse race to the bottom while Trump, who seems decisive and in command, is seeing his numbers rise.   Some Republicans appear miffed that they have been cut out of the process in favor of the even more execrable Schumer and Pelosi.  Good. The Republicans need a kick in the you-know-what and a lot more.  Mitch McConnell did something much dumber than incurring Trump’s wrath when he said the “naive” president expected too much too soon from Congress. The majority leader revealed his own inadequacy. “Qui s’excuse, s’accuse,” as the French say.  He who excuses himself, accuses himself.

Despite the constant media drum beat and ceaseless leaks, Trump is looking more impressive eight months into his presidency than at inauguration.  Only he and his cabinet are getting anything done.  And the more he does, the angrier his opposition gets because, in the world of the Beltway, you’re not supposed to do anything, no matter which side you’re on.  It’s as if  giant “Do Not Disturb” signs had been put on all freeway entrances to Interstate 495 (aka the Beltway).

No one is more despised than the person who wants to upset the status quo, particularly an especially rigid one. He or she might show everyone else up.  (Want to know why Maxine Waters hates Trump with such a passion?  Simple.  She’s been the congresswoman from South Central for umpteen decades and NOTHING has improved. In fact, the life of black people in her district has only gotten worse.  What if Trump does something?)

But inevitably, great natural catastrophes shake things up in unforeseen ways.  That’s why most contracts have force majeure clauses.  We’re in the midst of  double force majeure at the moment with some even greater majeure forces on the Pacific horizon of, dare we say it, thermonuclear proportions.  With all of this, at some point, Trump Derangement Syndrome has got to give. One would assume that anyway. But clearly we haven’t gotten there yet

The Latest Victim of the Campus Hate Industry

September 8, 2017

The Latest Victim of the Campus Hate Industry, Gatestone InstituteBruce Bawer, September 8, 2017

(Robbie Travers is a male. Unless he dresses like a female, the photo accompanying the article appears to have been labeled incorrectly. — DM)

As a result of Allman’s complaint, the university is now investigating Travers on “hate crime” charges. A spokesman for the university explained that it is “committed to providing an environment in which all members of the university community treat each other with dignity and respect.” Travers, for his part, has described Allman’s complaint as retaliation for a social-media posting in which he had drawn attention to a comment by Allman that “all men are trash.”

Such perverse thinking, of course, is commonplace today among college students in the English-speaking countries. Instead of taking full advantage of the precious opportunity that a university education affords them, they prefer to spend much of their student years finding examples of oppression — real or imagined — to denounce. 

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All men are trash.” — Esme Allman.

Allman is a young woman who, although a student at one of the finest universities on earth, considers herself to be a multiply oppressed victim and who sees the world around her as swarming with oppressors. She has been so well-schooled in the idea that whites are always the oppressors and dark-skinned people always the victims that when she sees a fellow British subject rooting for his own nation’s side in a war against jihadists, her first and only thought is to brand him an “Islamophobe” — this, even though the enemy in that war are men who would force her into a burka or consider her, as an infidel, deserving of rape and/or death.

So it is that Robbie Travers, whose only offense is believing in freedom and opposing a totalitarian ideology, has found himself in hot water — a real victim of a mentality that is all about power and dogma even as its pretends to be devoted to “dignity and respect” for all.

Robbie Travers is a 21-year-old law student at the University of Edinburgh and an articulate, insightful contributor to Gatestone as well as other websites. In his essays, he has illuminated the topsy-turvy values that dominate contemporary British political discourse – as exemplified by the refusal of the Speaker of the House of Commons to invite President Trump to address Parliament and the refusal of Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn to ban Al Qaeda from Britain as a terrorist organization.

Now, Travers has become the victim of the very forces about which he has written. In April, after the US Air Force carried out a successful anti-ISIS action, he posted a comment on Facebook:

“Excellent news that the US administration and Trump ordered an accurate strike on an Isis network of tunnels in Afghanistan. I’m glad we could bring these barbarians a step closer to collecting their 72 virgins.”

It was no different from a British subject during World War II celebrating the invasion of Normandy. But Travers’s comment offended first-year history student Esme Allman, who filed a complaint with the university. In it, she charged that Travers had violated the student code of conduct and accused him of “blatant Islamaphobia [sic]” and of putting “minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear.”

As a result of Allman’s complaint, the university is now investigating Travers on “hate crime” charges. A spokesman for the university explained that it is “committed to providing an environment in which all members of the university community treat each other with dignity and respect.” Travers, for his part, has described Allman’s complaint as retaliation for a social-media posting in which he had drawn attention to a comment by Allman that “all men are trash.”

Robbie Travers. (Image source: Robbie Travers Facebook page)

Who is Esme Allman? A member of Edinburgh University’s Black and Minority Ethnic Liberation Group, she was a candidate this year for the position of Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) Officer at the university’s Student Association (EUSA). Not only did she not win; for whatever reason, her name doesn’t even appear on the final list of candidates.

But the university’s website does include the text of her candidacy statement, in which she describes herself as a “feminist and womanist from inner-city London” who has “a strong interest in intersectionality” and who values “inclusivity as well as building and preserving safe spaces for us.” It has been important to her, Allman writes, to run “a truly intersectional campaign” for the post of BME Officer; if elected, she promises, her “first job will be to work alongside the other liberation groups to ensure EUSA are fully representative of our views.”

Allman goes on to list several “manifesto points,” including this: “I will continue to engage in the discussions started with academics on the WhyIsMyCurriculumWhite campaign.” What is this campaign? Begun at University College London, it is a self-described effort to “decolonis[e] the academy” and “uprising against the ‘Whiteness’, Eurocentric domination and lack of diversity in the curricula.” Allman also says that she “will continue to work with the StudentsNotSuspects Campaign to protect student groups from the enforcement of the Prevent strategy.”

What is the Prevent strategy? It is part of the British government’s anti-terrorism program; its objective is to prevent Islamic radicalization, which in that country often takes place at universities.

To most sane people in the West, it seems like a laudable goal to keep college students from becoming jihadist murderers. But to certain radical types in the British academy, the very idea of such a policy reeks of Islamophobia. Hence the StudentsNotSuspects Campaign, the name of which gives a pretty good idea of what it is all about.

We don’t know much about Allman. But her candidacy statement makes one thing clear. Although only a first-year student, she has certainly learned the language of identity-group grievance and victimization. “Womanist”, if you didn’t know, is a word coined by the novelist Alice Walker to describe feminists of color and to indicate a focus not only on sexism but on racism. “Intersectionality,” coined by activist Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, refers to the idea that persons belonging to more than one oppressed group experience a form of oppression that is greater than the sum of its parts. Allman’s use of the term “safe spaces” suggests that she considers much of her university campus, and presumably much of the U.K. generally, to be an “unsafe space”; from her membership in to a “liberation group,” we must assume that she considers herself, in some sense, imprisoned or tyrannized. At Edinburgh University, she is “colonized” because of her race and is oppressed by a “white” curriculum.

Given all this, Allman’s complaint about Travers is not only unsurprising, but predictable. This is a young woman who, although a student at one of the finest universities on earth (it came in at #27 in Times Higher Education ‘s latest international rankings), considers herself to be a multiply oppressed victim and who sees the world around her as swarming with oppressors. She has been so well-schooled in the idea that whites are always the oppressors and dark-skinned people always the victims that when she sees a fellow British subject rooting for his own nation’s side in a war against jihadists, her first and only thought is to brand him an “Islamophobe” — this, even though the enemy in that war are patriarchal monsters who would force her into a burka or consider her, as an infidel, deserving of rape and/or death.

Such perverse thinking, of course, is commonplace today among college students in the English-speaking countries. Instead of taking full advantage of the precious opportunity that a university education affords them, they prefer to spend much of their student years finding examples of oppression — real or imagined — to denounce. So it is that Robbie Travers, whose only offense is believing in freedom and opposing a totalitarian ideology, has found himself in hot water — a real victim of a mentality that is all about power and dogma even as its pretends to be devoted to “dignity and respect” for all.

Justice Dept Stands Up For Christian Baker

September 8, 2017

Justice Dept Stands Up For Christian Baker, Front Page Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, September 8, 2017

The government has changed. And the rules have changed.

The DOJ is no longer a pro-crime organization. And instead of persecuting conservatives, it’s now standing up for them against leftist persecution.

The Justice Department on Thursday filed a brief supporting the Colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple on faith-based grounds, in the latest religious freedom case to be considered before the nation’s highest court.

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, had refused to sell a customized cake for a gay couple’s union, claiming a religious exemption to the state’s anti-discrimination law.

“When Phillips designs and creates a custom wedding cake for a specific couple and a specific wedding, he plays an active role in enabling that ritual, and he associates himself with the celebratory message conveyed,” Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey B. Wall wrote in the brief.

Wall added, “Forcing Phillips to create expression for and participate in a ceremony that violates his sincerely held religious beliefs invades his First Amendment rights.”

The First Amendment comes first again. And that is as it ought to be.

US set to quit Al Tanf. Pro-Iranian force moves in

September 8, 2017

US set to quit Al Tanf. Pro-Iranian force moves in, DEBKAfile, September 8, 2017

While Israeli jets were bombing the Syrian CERS chemical facility at Masyaf, 38km west of the central Syrian town of Hama, early Thursday, Sept 7,  control of the Syrian-Iraqi border to the east was quietly changing hands.

DEBKAfile tracks the ongoing process:

  • Washington was winding up discussions with Moscow on terms for US special forces to evacuate the Al Tanf post they were holding in the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian triangle and hand it over to the Syrian army.Quitting Al Tanf is tantamount to the US withdrawal from southeastern Syria and its handover to Syria and its allies, including Hizballah.
  • US-backed Syrian rebel units are also about to leave their posts in the southern town of Daraa, having completed negotiations for a deal with the Russian officers manning this de-escalation zone and Hizballah officers. They have agreed to hand in their weapons and either join up with Syrian government units or disperse.. For the first time in the Syrian civil war, Hizballah announced an important development in the name of Russia.
  • Units of Tehran’s Iraqi surrogate, the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), Thursday night began crossing the border and taking up positions in southeastern Syria. The PMU, although formally integrated in the Iraqi national army, takes its orders from Iran’s supreme Middle East commander, the Al Qods chief Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
  • Early Friday, Sept. 8, Damascus issued a warning to the US and Kurdish forces fighting to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State, not to continue southeast towards the ISIS stronghold at Abu Kamal. This was the announcement: “The Syrian Army High Command views the liberation of the Deir Ez-Zour border city of Abu Kamal as an imperative military endeavor that cannot be dictated by the US Coalition and their allies.”
  • The connotation of this Syrian announcement is obvious: With the way clear for Syrian and Hizballah troops to move into the al-Tanf post, only Abu Kamal remains to be captured for them to achieve full command of all 600km of the Syrian-Iraqi border. Tehran’s key strategic objective of an open land corridor through Iraq to Syria and the Mediterranean will then be in the bag.

Thursday night, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, while ducking confirmation of the Israeli air strike in Masyaf, affirmed instead: “We shall not allow the formation of a Shiite corridor from Iran to Lebanon.”

He was followed by Israeli Military Intelligence (AMAN) commander Maj. Gen. Hertzi Levy, who said “We are dealing resolutely with the threats against us.”

Unfortunately, neither of these declarations appears to correlate with the real events unfolding nearby in southeastern Syria. Predominantly hostile powers are carving out new, strategic facts in that region, which pose great harm to Israel’s national security.