Archive for May 13, 2018

A tribute to mothers everywhere

May 13, 2018

By MICHEL NOLAN | MNolan@scng.com | San Bernardino Sun
PUBLISHED: May 13, 2018 at 5:00 am | UPDATED: May 13, 2018 at 5:01 am

Source: A tribute to mothers everywhere

{Spend some quality time with your Mom today. She won’t be around forever. – LS}

Today is for Mom.

Somehow, though, it doesn’t seem right to give her just a day. Doughnuts have a day;  popcorn has a day — there’s even a National Leave the Office Early Day.

Mom deserves more — a lot more.

Not only did she bring us into this world, she took us to doctor appointments, dance classes, soccer and softball practice. She dried our tears and made us eat our veggies.

A mother’s love heals hearts and scraped knees – makes everything better.

Mothers are resilient – they learn to “roll with the blow.”

Some mothers are dynamos. They have full-time jobs, chair a PTA committee, belong to the church choir and still have time to write their congressman.

Mothers try to please us.

They make our favorite tacos and help us with those messy exploding volcanoes for science class. My mother even helped me create a map of Russia, using gumdrops.

Mothers are incredibly strong.

I remember interviewing a mother who lost her 8-year-old twin sons in a car crash. She prayed for peace and coped with the loss, learning the healing power of miracles.

She dealt with the tragedy by creating a coping mechanism.

She prayed a lot and wrote a book, becoming an inspirational speaker on turning grief into peace.

Some moms keep on giving.

For several years I’ve interviewed a mother whose adopted 3-year-old daughter was in the county’s foster system. The young girl and her parents are a happy family, and just before her 10th birthday her mother asked her what she wanted for her special day.

The gift she wanted was to give to others. She is acutely aware of the needs of foster children. With her mother’s help, the young girl began an annual shoe drive to help less fortunate people and provide toys for children at Christmas.

Enter the nonprofit Bonnes Meres Auxiliary of the Children’s Fund.

French for “Good Mothers,” Bonnes Meres each April has a birthday party – with gifts – for all the 6,000 children in San Bernardino County’s foster care system.

Toys and other gifts are presented to the guests of honor by their social workers on each child’s birthday. For some, it is the only gift they will receive.

These kids, many of whom live in group homes or in non-relative care, are not acknowledged on their birthdays. The goal of the birthday party is to make each child feel unique and special, igniting the inner light of the child – like a birthday candle.

Some moms are Blue Stars.

Blue Star Moms honor their sons and daughters serving in harms way with Hometown Hero Banners. The banners proudly wave in communities throughout the country.

This time of year, there are plenty of cards and flowers, but the most important gift we can give our mothers is a hug and let her know we love her.

Years ago, a reader in Bloomington sent a thought for us to remember on Mother’s Day, and every day:

“Love your mother. Don’t forget to tell her how much you love her. One mother is all we have. And when she is gone, there is no one but her memory. That’s all that’s left – and a broken heart.”

I know this to be true.

And here’s a thought for the day, one of my favorite passages from Erma Bombeck’s “When God Created Mothers,” a quote I have shared before:

“The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. ‘It’s too soft,’ she sighed. ‘But Tough!’ said God excitedly. ‘You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.’

‘Can it think?’

‘Not only can it think, it can reason and compromise,’ said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

‘There’s a leak,’ she pronounced. ‘I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.’

‘It’s not a leak,’ said the Lord. ‘It’s a tear.’

‘What’s it for?’

‘It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness and pride.’

‘You are a genius,’ said the angel.

Somberly, God said, ‘I didn’t put it there.’”

 

Complete of topic , but a present .

May 13, 2018

Just to relax in these times.

The story about another Little country ( Holland ) who had to fight to survive against all odds .

And how this country, the first republic in the world lost his republic .

Enjoy !

 

A declaration of independence

May 13, 2018

Source: A declaration of independence – Israel Hayom

Trump to address Jerusalem embassy opening by video

May 13, 2018

Sounds like Trump won’t be physically present at the opening (although his daughter will).

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/trump-address-jerusalem-embassy-opening-video-716095125

US President Donald Trump will address around 800 US and Israeli dignitaries at the ceremonial opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem by video on Monday, the US ambassador said.

“People have been working literally around the clock in getting ready for our opening dedication ceremony on Monday. We’ll be ready,” said David Friedman.

“The president, from my side of things, will be addressing the audience by video,” he said.

It was not immediately clear from Friedman’s comment, on a call with reporters, whether Trump would speak via a live videolink or a pre-recorded address.

Trump announced in December that the US would move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognise the city as the capital of Israel.

In Israel the decision was warmly welcomed but it caused dismay amongst Palestinians and in many world capitals.

Only Romania, Paraguay and Guatemala have announced similar moves since Trump’s decision.

The Israeli army said it would almost double the number of troops surrounding the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank to tackle Palestinian protests against the US embassy opening.

Three additional infantry brigades will be deployed next week, two around the Gaza Strip and one in the West Bank, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters on Saturday.

more at the full article here

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/trump-address-jerusalem-embassy-opening-video-716095125

 

 

Iran just overplayed its hand in Syria

May 13, 2018

Source: Iran just overplayed its hand in Syria – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

The problem for Tehran is that it cannot risk a major conflict with Israel.

BY SETH J. FRANTZMAN
 MAY 13, 2018 12:12
Revolutionary Guard

 Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Iran’s drive to retaliate against Israel has led it to badly underestimate Jerusalem’s resolve and resulted in unprecedented destruction wrought on its infrastructure in Syria.

On May 10 the Israeli Air Force carried out precision strikes against dozens of targets in Syria, including those of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force. Israel was responding to a barrage of twenty missiles Israel says the IRGC fired towards the Golan Heights. Iran gambled in Syria and now shows that its growing regional influence actually acts as a restraint against its ability to carry out attacks.

Since clashes in February in which Iranian personnel were killed at a base in Syria during an Israeli raid, Tehran has vowed to retaliate. In April, further Israeli raids which targeted Iranian missiles and personnel upped Tehran’s need to do something to respond.

However, the IRGC was cautious because it has other interests in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq that it doesn’t want to jeopardize.

As Iran’s power has grown in the region in recent years – in part due to Iranian-backed militias playing a key role in the war against Islamic State in Iraq, and due to Iran’s long-term relationship with the Bashar Assad regime in Damascus and Hezbollah in Lebanon – Tehran is in a bind about confronting Israel.

The more Iranian power grows and its allies, such as Hezbollah, seek to engage in governing institutions, the more an Israel-Iran conflict imperils these carefully managed gains. Iran is too powerful now to risk a large-scale confrontation with Israel. Jerusalem has used this to its advantage, striking targets of opportunity, such as missiles, convoys and other threats that Iran has been unable to hide in Syria. This shadow war, in which Israel has dominated, has involved more than 100 air strikes in five years and increased as US President Donald Trump got closer to cancelling the JCPOA.

One of the central concerns when Trump announced Washington was leaving the Iran deal was that it could lead to a new phase of conflict in the Middle East. On May 8 former Secretary of State John Kerry wrote that Trump’s announcement “puts Israel at greater risk, empowers Iran’s hardliners and reduces our global leverage to address Tehran’s misbehavior.”

In Iraq, the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units, a group of mostly Shi’ite militias, have been integrated as an official force into the Iraqi Security Forces. Hadi al-Amiri, who worked with the IRGC in the 1980s when he was in exile in Iran, is now leading a list called “Fateh” in Iraq. He hopes that his Shi’ite group, the Badr Organization, which helped fight ISIS over several years, will play an even greater role after the country’s recent elections. Like with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Iranian model in Iraq is a combination of armed militia and political clout, with religious sectarian overtones.

Iran wants to construct a network of organizations like Badr and Hezbollah, together with the Assad regime, to cement its influence. Israel sees this as a fundamental threat. “The Iranian octopus is trying to strangle us and break our spirit,” Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett warned in April. IRGC commander Hossein Salami claimed that Tehran’s “hands are on the trigger and missiles are ready.”

The problem for Tehran is that it cannot risk a major conflict with Israel or risk losing all the work it has put into propping up the Syrian regime. Since 2011, when protests broke out against Assad, Tehran has been one of the regime’s main backers. Up to 80,000 volunteers have been trained by Iran in Syria, some of them brought from as far away as Afghanistan and Pakistan. This has been a massive financial investment at a time when Iran is just recovering from the sanctions relief of the nuclear deal and its currency is trading at all time lows. The more Iran builds and invests in Syria, the more it stands to lose. It found that out in the first hours of May 10 when Israel attacked numerous Iranian targets, carrying out its largest operations in recent history. This was in response to the firing of 20 missiles at Israel by Iranian forces in Syria. Reports indicate that “nearly all of Iran’s military infrastructure” in Syria was hit, totaling between thirty and fifty sites. Tehran badly miscalculated and realizes that it must think carefully about using Syria as a base of operations against Israel.

Besides overplaying its hand, a major flaw in Iran’s thinking has been not taking into account the Russian role in Syria. Russia has been working with Iran and Turkey to de-escalate the conflict in Syria, both through talks in Astana and also trilateral talks in November 2017 and April 2018. In addition Russia helped broker a ceasefire in southern Syria with Jordan and the US in July 2017 and Russia has held frequent meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the Syrian situation.

Iran’s rocket fire at Israel risks destabilizing Syria just when the regime has some breathing room after seven years of civil war and Russia opposes anything that might imperil the Assad regime. This leaves Iran with less options. In Syria it risks Iran’s relationship with Russia. Threatening Israel through proxies in Lebanon risks Hezbollah’s hard-won status in the government, most recently acquired again through elections in which Hezbollah allies performed well. Iraq is too far away to really threaten Israel, except by sending Iraqi Shi’ite militias to Syria. In addition, Hamas has been badly weakened in Gaza. Having overplayed its hand Tehran must now consider that conflict with Israel and with other countries, such as Saudi Arabia, are not in its interest. If it wants to keep its influence it will de-escalate the rising tensions near the Golan.

Christians United for Israel

May 13, 2018

Source: Homepage | Christians United for Israel

Who We Are

As the largest pro-Israel grassroots organization in the United States, Christians United for Israel is also the only Christian organization devoted to transforming millions of pro-Israel Christians into an educated, empowered, and effective force for Israel.

Christians United for Israel, D C Summit July 23-24, 2018

 

Join us in Washington for the National Christians United for Israel, D.C. Summit with Pastor John Hagee & Erick Stakelbeck. July 23-24, 2018

Register now at http://www.cufi.org/summit.

.
John Hagee, the founder of CUFI ( 4 million members0 delivers the benediction at the opening of the Jerusalem Embassy tomorrow.

 

Off Topic: Trump’s chaotic style is starting to make sense

May 13, 2018

Source: Trump’s chaotic style is starting to make sense

From its start, the Trump administration has been plagued by charges of “chaos.” From the revolving door of senior staffers — including two secretaries of state, three national security advisers and two chiefs of staff — to the president’s brash and sometimes boorish personal style, to his politically incorrect taunt-tweeting, Donald Trump has refused to conform to his political opponents’ conventional notions of what constitutes an effective White House operation.

And yet, the economy is humming, hosts of regulations have been rolled back, the unemployment rate is down, job openings are soaring, taxes have been cut and black joblessness is at an all-time low. Prototypes for the wall along the Mexican border are being tested, raids by ICE are rounding up dangerous illegal aliens and the “travel ban” against several Muslim nations was argued last month before the Supreme Court, where the president’s authority over immigration will be upheld.

In foreign affairs, the two Koreas are talking to each other, with a summit between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un slated for June in Singapore, the ISIS “caliphate” has been effectively destroyed and just last week Trump yanked the carpets out from under the Iranian mullahs and canceled the nuclear deal negotiated — but never submitted to the Senate for ratification — by the Obama administration.

In short, this has been the most effective administration since FDR’s first term. And it’s being accomplished in the teeth of the so-called “resistance,” which includes the overt hostility of nearly all the mainstream media, the embedded civil service, the Democrats, the never-Trump Republicans, rogue elements of the intelligence and investigative agencies and Robert Mueller’s investigation into charges of “collusion” with the Russians.

Some “chaos.”

The truth is, as much as they hate Trump’s policies, the president’s enemies hate the man even more. Donald Trump offends the establishment on a personal, visceral level. His opponents are the same folks who idolized Adlai Stevenson and thought Ike was just a dolt who somehow won World War II. Who worshipped John F. Kennedy (but were repelled by LBJ), hated Nixon, thought Reagan was an amiable dunce and erected shrines to Obama. They are the Ivy Leaguers, the credentialists, the Georgetown establishment for whom there is only one right way to conduct a presidency, and that is the Harvard-Democratic-groupthink way.

What Trump understands, however, is what many great leaders have understood: that “chaos,” not consensus, is the way ideas are tried and tested. That if someone or something isn’t working, scrap it and try something else. Results are what count, not consistency: Trump’s ability to morph from saber-rattling lunatic to charming glad-hander infuriates them because they see it as phony.

Trump’s very unpredictability doesn’t just frighten the Beltway bonzes and chin-pullers, it also terrifies his opponents

So what? That doesn’t mean it isn’t also effective. Just ask Emmanuel Macron of France, who couldn’t be less like Trump and yet has developed a curious personal rapport with the brash American boss, akin to that of a puppy around its master. Watch for France to start edging away from the Iran deal as well.

Further, a fleet of yes-men and sycophants isolates and insulates a chief executive from unforeseen consequences. JFK’s best and brightest drove the nation into the sloughs of Vietnam. Nixon’s henchmen concealed from him the political gravity of Watergate until it was too late. Obama was so cocksure of his own moral rectitude, he hardly bothered with constitutional niceties.

Finally, Trump’s very unpredictability doesn’t just frighten the Beltway bonzes and chin-pullers, it also terrifies his opponents. While North Korea’s Kim remains hard to read, he’s also no longer firing missiles over Japan. The Saudis, following the strong American horse, have made their antipathy for the Iranian regime clear and are threatening to acquire their own nukes should Tehran overtly resume its nuke development. Having survived domestic uprisings in 2009 and 2017 by the restive Iranian young people, the graybeard mullahs won’t be so lucky a third time.

True, the fall elections are shaping up as a big test, but Trump has already eliminated some of the thorns in his side, including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate gadflies Bob Corker and Jeff Flake, who have announced their retirements. Should the GOP hang on to the House, a Trump-friendly speaker will move the legislative agenda forward.

The big geopolitical test will be a resurgent China, whose new strongman-for-life Xi Jinping will prove a far more formidable adversary than a fading Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Look for Trump to resume his carrot-and-stick handling of Xi: flowers and chocolates one minute, gunboats in the South China Sea the next. The trick is to keep the Chinese guessing and thus proceeding with caution in order to keep the peace.

If that’s chaos, then let us have more if it.

Michael Walsh is an author and contributor to PJ Media and American Greatness. His latest book,“The Fiery Angel,” will be published on May 29.