Archive for the ‘Hypocrisy’ category

Endless Accusations Cloud the Truth

November 10, 2017

Endless Accusations Cloud the Truth, PJ MediaAndrew Klavan, November 10, 2017

(Righteously demanding that Judge Moore step down, based on three decade old claims never previously ventilated, pursued or even now substantiated, seems to be an acceptable species of virtue signaling. I dissent. — DM)

Roy Moore

I can only see one rational moral response to this: If it’s true, he should step down; if it’s a political frame-up, he should fight it.

What bothers me about the story is I have absolutely no idea which is the case. No clue. Even before the allegations were made, I had been thinking about how easy it would be to set someone up in the current climate. Get a few women together. Say something happened too long ago to check. No one reads past the headline, and everyone’s done something at some point they shouldn’t have, so it’s a slam dunk smear.

In this particular case, too, everyone in establishment politics hates Moore. (I mean, he is kind of a loony-tune, but if that disqualified you to work in the capitol, the place would be empty.) So no one will come running to his defense.

Or… maybe he’s just guilty. I really don’t know.

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I have to write this quickly because any minute now, Senate candidate Roy Moore might quit or be cleared or might simply be blown out of the headlines by some fresh violent atrocity that the media will either attempt to exploit in an effort to destroy our second amendment or attempt to distort so we don’t notice that every killer involved happened to be named Mohammed. At my back, I always hear the news cycle’s winged chariot drawing near.

I’m in a hotel in New York, and this morning over my covfefe in the lounge, I looked up at a television and saw a Chyron announcing that someone I’d never heard of was finally going to “break her silence.” And I thought, “Oh, please don’t.” Silence has become a precious commodity and we need as much of it as we can get. Otherwise, it’s all noise and outrage and outrage at the noise and noise about the outrage. As far as I’m concerned, you should only break your silence in case of emergency.

But so far, my words have gone unheeded. And now controversial and kind-of-hilarious Senate candidate Roy Moore has been accused of sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl back in 1979 when he was 32. He’s said to have carried on with a couple of other young-but-legal girls as well. The contact with the child wasn’t forced but, of course, she was too young to consent to it and he was old enough to be responsible, so it’s bad.

I can only see one rational moral response to this: If it’s true, he should step down; if it’s a political frame-up, he should fight it.

What bothers me about the story is I have absolutely no idea which is the case. No clue. Even before the allegations were made, I had been thinking about how easy it would be to set someone up in the current climate. Get a few women together. Say something happened too long ago to check. No one reads past the headline, and everyone’s done something at some point they shouldn’t have, so it’s a slam dunk smear.

In this particular case, too, everyone in establishment politics hates Moore. (I mean, he is kind of a loony-tune, but if that disqualified you to work in the capitol, the place would be empty.) So no one will come running to his defense.

Or… maybe he’s just guilty. I really don’t know.

I blame feminists and the media for this cloud of confusion, mostly because I hate feminists and the media, but also because they do bear some of the blame. For instance, the New York Times, a former newspaper, now has a tip line where you can complain about something sexual someone famous did to you back in the day. How is that not going to lead to abuse? Liars will flock to it. And if someone calls up and complains about Barack Obama, and someone else calls up and complains about Rush Limbaugh — which one do you think the Times will follow up on? Me too.

And then hideous feminists (a redundancy, I know) with their snarling hatred of men and masculinity start shrieking about how it’s an outrage that any male should be considered innocent until proven guilty or that any one event should be judged less egregious than any other. With that kind of attitude, things can get very Salem-y very fast.

USA Today has a running list of Hollywood sexual offenders and I was reading through it and came upon the charges against Dustin Hoffman. The now 80-year-old Hoffman is accused of talking dirty to one woman and inviting another woman on a date some 30-odd years ago. And you know what? I don’t care. Not even a little. I think Harvey Weinstein, assuming he’s guilty, should go to prison for what he did and I think what Hoffman allegedly did shouldn’t even be mentioned in the papers. When they’re both on the same list, the whole list becomes a moral blur.

Human life is complicated. Sexuality is one of the most complicated parts of human life. Some people make errors, other people corner you in the basement and bang off in front of you, and still other people tell lies. If any voice can be raised against any man and illicit the same level of outrage, all voices will eventually blend into a silence of obscurity and indifference — and that’s a kind of silence that’s very difficult to break.

 

Kushner Added to Russian Conspiracy Theory

May 30, 2017

Kushner Added to Russian Conspiracy Theory, Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, May 30, 2017

News consumers are now suffering through the practiced, hyperbolic, omnipresent outrage that follows revelations that presidential adviser Jared Kushner allegedly tried to create what the New York Times is calling “a secret channel between his father-in-law’s transition team and Moscow to discuss the war in Syria and other issues.”

According to the leaders of the ongoing witch hunt against the Trump administration, Kushner even had the temerity during the presidential transition process to exchange words with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States.

This supposedly important news about Kushner put the White House in panic mode, we are told by our betters in the media, forcing Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus to return prematurely from a presidential trip overseas to control the public relations damage.

The fateful conversation took place on Trump’s home turf, according to the Old Gray Lady:

The discussion took place at Trump Tower at a meeting that also included Michael T. Flynn, who served briefly as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser until being forced out when it was revealed that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence and others about a separate telephone conversation he had with Mr. Kislyak. It was unclear who first proposed the secret communications channel, but the idea was for Mr. Flynn to speak directly with a Russian military official. The channel was never set up.

And that’s all of it. There was a meeting. No deals came out of this Russian round table. No evidence exists of nefarious activities. No quid pro quo. Nothing. It is yet another nothing burger in a long series of nothing burgers.

A late-breaking Fox News story Monday night absolves Kushner of responsibility for the back channel proposal, indicating the idea came from the Russians.

The December meeting between Kushner and Kislyak “focused on Syria,” an unidentified source said.

During the meeting the Russians broached the idea of using a secure line between the Trump administration and Russia, not Kushner, a source familiar with the matter told Fox News. […] The idea of a permanent back channel was never discussed, according to the source. Instead, only a one-off for a call about Syria was raised in the conversation. In addition, the source told Fox News the December meeting focused on Russia’s contention that the Obama administration’s policy on Syria was deeply flawed.

NBC reports that Kushner, who is married to Trump’s daughter and fellow presidential adviser Ivanka, is reportedly being investigated by the FBI as part of the fanciful, politicized probe into supposed collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

The Fox account continues:

Kushner suggested the use of Russian diplomatic facilities as a way to shield pre-inauguration discussions with Kislyak from monitoring, according to The [Washington] Post.

Kislyak allegedly then relayed the suggestion to his superiors in Moscow. That was based on intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials, although neither the meeting nor the communications of the Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, officials told the Post.

The source has told Fox News that Kushner is eager to tell Congress about the meeting and any others of interest.

While the investigation moves forward and the manufactured mass hysteria continues to build in Congress and the media, Americans need to be reminded that merely communicating with an unfriendly foreign power in peacetime is not an inherently seditious or even suspicious behavior. It’s the content of the discussions that matters, not the mere fact that Americans and foreign officials broke bread.

Russian envoys and other pro-Russia special pleaders routinely meet with American officials, including lawmakers on Capitol Hill and administration officials regardless of which party controls the White House.

Never mind that the virtue-signaling Barack Obama routinely reached out to hostile foreign governments –swapping five Taliban generals for a single American traitor, to provide just one notorious example of the fruit of Obama’s plotting– when he was president. Obama even wore such illicit cloak-and-dagger communications with head-cutting barbarians as a badge of honor. Democrats and their Deep State allies didn’t give a farthing’s cuss at the time.

But that was when Democrats controlled the apparatus of the American state. Now that a Republican is president the rules have been changed.

Sunday on “Meet the Press,” the Wall Street Journal‘s Kimberley Strassel tried to inject some sanity into the debate, saying the current discussion is “astonishing” and “absolutely divorced from reality.”

“Let me set the scene for you,” she explained.

It’s 2008, we are having an election and candidate Obama, he’s not even president elect, sends William Miller over to Iran to establish a back channel, and let the Iranians know should he win the election they will have friendlier terms. Okay? So this is a private citizen going to foreign soil, obviously in order to evade U.S. intelligence monitoring and establishing a back channel with a sworn enemy of the United States who was actively disrupting our efforts in the military in the Middle East.

So, is that bad judgment? Is that a bad thing that happened? Back channels are completely normal, they happen all the time. Reagan did them. Obama did them. Everyone did. So, I am not quite sure why, supposedly having at least the president [who] is now elected setting up a back channel with the Russians, it is somehow out of bounds.

National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster had previously said much the same thing.

We have back channel communications with any number of countries, so, generally speaking, about back channel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner. It doesn’t predispose you to any kind of content in that conversation.

Strassel and McMaster are right, of course.

And it was President Obama himself who openly encouraged keeping in touch with governments not aligned with the United States.

Recall the answer then-Sen. Obama gave to a question during a July 23, 2007, debate. He was asked if he would be “willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?”

Obama famously replied in the affirmative. “I would, and the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.”

He added that “Ronald Reagan and Democratic presidents like JFK constantly spoke to Soviet Union at a time when Ronald Reagan called them an evil empire.”

And no one colluded with Russia more than Obama when he became president.

Obama worked “behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine,” Bloomberg News reported in 2014.

Obama advanced Russia’s interests in so many ways.

In 2009 Obama killed President Bush’s missile defense program for the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Then he renegotiated the New START nuclear arms agreement, which curbed the U.S. missile defense arsenal while letting the Russians add to theirs. In March 2012 Obama was caught on an open microphone telling then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to wait until after the upcoming election when he would be able to make even more concessions on missile defense. As Russia engaged in what one expert called the largest military buildup since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Obama flipped off Mitt Romney during a presidential debate. After Romney on the campaign trail referred to Russia as “without question, our No. 1 geopolitical foe,” Obama mocked him, saying “the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” And Obama did virtually nothing but talk when Putin invaded Ukraine.

Obama was the most pro-Russian U.S. president of all time, which makes the Left’s conspiracy theory about Trump’s collusion with Russia seem especially far-fetched.

The claim that “Russia ‘hacked’ the American election –to the extent that it changed the outcome– never made any sense,” observes Michael Walsh, who previously described the outlandish theory as the driving force behind a “rolling coup attempt” by the Left.

This “fever dream” was “cooked up by Sore Loser Hillary and her malignant consigliere, John Podesta … [and] began its demonic life as a way to explain Mrs. [Hillary] Clinton’s astonishment and anger at losing an election all her media buddies told her was in the bag, and for which she felt sure the fix was in.”

Those of us who habitually smell rats knew right off that there was nothing to it. But from that night forward, the Clintons, the Leftist media and the Democrats have been pounding the notion that, somehow, the Russians affected the election and that Trump is corrupt, morally unfit, an imbecile and an embarrassment to America. Take a good look at their reaction, ladies and gentlemen, for not since Linda Blair rotated 360 and spewed puke on a priest have we seen such deracinated contempt.

Democrats have much to fear from the congressional investigation into the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory, he adds.

Before last November Democrats “never met a communist they didn’t like or a Russian they didn’t want to embrace.” They have “overplayed their hand” and in so doing have placed themselves in jeopardy.

“They’re so fully invested in this fairy tale that when it blows up in their faces, and another underlying reason for its concoction becomes clear, years of lamentation and wandering in the electoral wilderness should follow.”

This, of course, assumes Republicans will stand up for President Trump.

It is a risky assumption.

Justice with Judge Jeanine | Fox News | May 13, 2017 – President Trump Full Interview

May 14, 2017

Justice with Judge Jeanine | Fox News | May 13, 2017 – President Trump Full Interview, Fox News via YouTube

(The wide-ranging interview of President Trump and others touches on such topics as the firing of James Comey, his replacement, the media and press conferences and President Trump’s accomplishments which the “mainstream” media have failed to cover. — DM)

 

Obama Denounces “Special Interests” At The University of Chicago . . . And Then Quietly Accepts $400,000 For First Speech From Wall Street Special Interests

April 25, 2017

Obama Denounces “Special Interests” At The University of Chicago . . . And Then Quietly Accepts $400,000 For First Speech From Wall Street Special Interests, Jonatan Turley’s Blog, Jonathan Turley, April 25, 2017

(Obama learned much from Bill and Hillary. — DM)

President Barack Obama was at my alma mater yesterday and used his first public statements to decry how  “special interests dominate the debates in Washington.” Then will now be setting off for his first speech . . . to Wall Street special interests at Cantor Fitzgerald, which will pay him $400,000.  This is the same politician who called such banks “fat cats” who exercise undue influence over our leaders.

Cantor Fitzgerald, a bank, has been touting how it is making a killing on health care investments.  Now, the man who created the health care program will be receiving almost half a million dollars for a single brief speech.  It raises visions of Hillary Clinton who cashed in on Wall Street  speeches while denouncing the influence of Wall Street (and later refused to disclose the content of those speeches to the public).

One distinction is that Hillary pulled in only half of what Obama is demanding from Wall Street and powerful interests.

Of course, Obama was criticized for the level of influence of both Wall Street investors and powerful lobbies like the pharmaceutical industry on his policies. He was accused of packing his administration with lobbyists and breaking his promises on limiting the power of lobbies.

What is hilarious about our current system is that we have all of these bribery and influence peddling laws in place.  However, if Wall Street or lobbyists give a former president half a million dollars for less than one hour of speaking soon after leaving office, it is entirely acceptable from a legal standpoint. So long as there is no quid pro quo, there is nothing legal wrong with absurd amounts of money going to a president as soon as he leaves office.  At this rate, just 100 hours of work will put Obama near the $100 million goal surpassed by the Clintons, who virtually walked around with credit card swipers on their belt to facilitate payments from special interests.

In his speech, Obama encouraged people to work on the community level to influence change.  He appears to be starting with the small Wall Street community of influence peddlers in his own quest for social justice.

The New Pecking Order: Muslims Over Gays

April 6, 2017

The New Pecking Order: Muslims Over Gays, PJ MediaBruce Bawer, April 5, 2017

(Much the same article could be written substituting the “feminist” movement and females for gays. — DM)

Image via Shutterstock, a man holds up a sign reading “Islam is not terrorism.”

They’ve bought into the idea that they and Muslims are fellow members of the oppression brigade. Either they’re unaware that sharia law prescribes execution for gays and that a large majority of Western Muslims are totally okay with that, or they’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that Muslims today don’t care any more about Islamic law than most Christians or Jews do about Leviticus. Or, even more worrisome, they’ve worked out some Orwellian way of knowing the truth while at the same time not knowing it. So it is that we end up seeing grotesquely absurd pictures of gay people waving banners that decry Islamophobia or that declare gay solidarity with Palestine.

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Last month, when Marine Le Pen refused to put on a headscarf for a meeting with Lebanon’s “Grand Mufti,” a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Dave, commended her for it on Facebook. Dave, as it happens, is a Manhattan liberal who voted for Hillary Clinton, despises Donald Trump, and thinks Le Pen is a fascist. But he’s also a gay man who’s very clear-eyed about the danger of Islam, especially to gay people, and who is angry at the left, both in the U.S. and Europe, for appeasing the Religion of Peace. And so he gave Le Pen a thumbs-up for her gutsy action.

Since Dave’s own friends list consists almost exclusively of other big-city liberal types, he was immediately savaged for his post on Le Pen. One of them wrote that just because Muslim women decide to cover their hair or body doesn’t mean they’re oppressed, and added that Le Pen, by refusing to wear a headscarf, wasn’t standing up for women but simply “trying to spread hate” towards Islam. Another of Dave’s friends agreed: Le Pen “didn’t behave properly.” So did another: “This woman is not a feminist, she is a fa[s]cist.” Several more comments were along the same lines. Many of Dave’s friends were livid at him for even daring to compliment Le Pen and criticize Islam.

In response to his friends’ complaints, Dave tried to play the gay-rights card, explaining to them that if they accepted the Muslim rule that women need to don a veil to meet a mufti or enter a mosque, they also had to accept the Muslim requirement that gay people – people such as himself – be stoned to death. Plainly, Dave expected that this argument would win the day with his oh-so-liberal, oh-so-gay-friendly friends. But it didn’t. On the contrary, their responses made it clear that they’d fully accepted the current progressive pecking order among officially recognized oppressed groups: gays (especially affluent gay American males such as Dave) are at the bottom of the ladder; Muslims are at the very top. Which means that when gays criticize Islam, a decent progressive is supposed to scream “Islamophobe”; but when Muslims drop gays to their deaths off the roofs of buildings, one is expected to look away and change the topic.

Of course, plenty of gays don’t share Dave’s critical attitude toward Islam. They’ve bought into the idea that they and Muslims are fellow members of the oppression brigade. Either they’re unaware that sharia law prescribes execution for gays and that a large majority of Western Muslims are totally okay with that, or they’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that Muslims today don’t care any more about Islamic law than most Christians or Jews do about Leviticus. Or, even more worrisome, they’ve worked out some Orwellian way of knowing the truth while at the same time not knowing it. So it is that we end up seeing grotesquely absurd pictures of gay people waving banners that decry Islamophobia or that declare gay solidarity with Palestine.

Meanwhile news stories mount up that challenge this widespread, fatuous self-delusion. Recently, during a course in “Middle Eastern Humanities” at Florida’s Rollins College, a Muslim student stated a truth about Islam out loud: according to sharia, he explained, gays and adulterers should be punished by beheading, and as a good Muslim he apparently had no problem with that. After the class was over, another student in the class, a Christian named Marshall Polston, expressed his concerns to the course professor, Areej Zufair, about the Muslim student’s statement. The result? Polston was summoned to the office of the dean of safety and informed that he’d been suspended. Perhaps because his case drew nationwide attention, his suspension was later revoked – but of course it should never have happened in the first place.

The other day, Michael Hurd, a Delaware psychologist and author, reported on yet another incident in which ISIS threw “a young man to his death from a rooftop and pelted him with rocks after discovering he was gay.” This happened in Mosul, in front of an enthusiastic crowd that eagerly took part in the stoning. Hurd expressed his continuing astonishment at the failure of such events to move those in America who claim to support gay rights (the same people who, I might add, are capable of getting apoplectic over the failure of Christian bakers to supply a cake for a same-sex wedding). Hurd wrote:

Crimes committed by Muslims against gays are largely (if not totally) ignored by the political left and the gay rights movement. Neither Madonna nor Meryl Streep will stand before mass audiences and sob over the brutal execution of gays by Muslims in Mosul, because this assaults their ideological narrative of political correctness. And that ideological narrative is what matters most to them, not the gays or others they claim to love. In fact, you’re labeled a hater and extremist if you even call attention to these events…

Indeed. The point, wrote Hurd, is clear: according to contemporary progressive ideology, Muslims are higher on the victim scale than gays. Period. Actual events don’t enter into this calculus. Gay rights only matter when the offenders against those rights are people even lower on the totem pole than gays – for example, the aforementioned Christian bakers. When gays are butchered by Muslims, the only proper progressive response is silence.

Consider this: in March, pop singer Katy Perry accepted an award from the Human Rights Campaign, a self-identified gay-rights group that is probably better described as an arm of the Democratic Party establishment. In her acceptance speech, Perry recounted her struggle to shake off her childhood indoctrination in Christian hostility toward gays. “When I was growing up,” she said, “homosexuality was synonymous with the word abomination.” Now, Perry affirmed, she was long past that primitive mentality, and was a strong opponent of discrimination, “whether it be [against] the LGBTQ community, or [our] Latino brothers and sisters, or the millions of Muslims in this country.” Should one laugh or cry?

Muslim countries to press at UN for “legal options” against “blasphemy” on social media

March 27, 2017

Muslim countries to press at UN for “legal options” against “blasphemy” on social media, Jihad Watch

“He said that sections of the Western world must get out of double standards about Islam and the Muslims. On the one hand, they have laws against any kind of distortion or disrespect towards any religion…”

They do?

“The meeting decided that after response is received from the governments of Islamic countries, the matter would be taken up at the level of United Nations besides looking into legal options available to follow up the matter legally in the courts of the respective countries from where such content was being generated.”

This is just cleanup at this point. Social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter are already moving energetically against speech that violate Sharia blasphemy laws. The establishment media in the West is cowed and compromised, eager to appease and not interested in defending the freedom of speech. Their efforts at the UN will meet with little, if any, pushback.

“Muslim countries to raise online sacrilege at UN,” by Tariq Butt, Gulf Today, March 26, 2017:

ISLAMABAD: A meeting of ambassadors of the Islamic countries with Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the chair has decided to raise the issue of blasphemous content on social media in the United Nations.

The meeting was convened by the interior minister on one-point agenda i.e. to discuss the blasphemous content on the social media and how to effectively raise voice of the entire Muslim world against the madness unleashed against Islam and holy personalities in the name of freedom of expression.

There was unanimity among the participants that the entire Muslim Ummah is united to protect the sanctity and dignity of the religion and Holy Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).

It was decided that a comprehensive strategy paper encompassing all legal and technical aspects would be circulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs among the ambassadors of the Muslim countries which they would be sharing with their governments to evolve the future plan of action.

FORMAL REFERENCE

It was also decided that a formal reference would be sent to Secretary General of the Arab League (AL) and Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), raising the issue of blasphemous content on social media and how such a tendency had been hurting the sentiments of the Muslims across the world.

The meeting decided that after response is received from the governments of Islamic countries, the matter would be taken up at the level of United Nations besides looking into legal options available to follow up the matter legally in the courts of the respective countries from where such content was being generated.

The interior minister pointed out that distortion of religious beliefs and sacrilege of holy personalities of any religion is intolerable. He said that no law permits showing disrespect or distortion of any religion.

BIGGEST VICTIMS

He said it was unfortunate that the Muslims, being the biggest victims of terrorism, were being portrayed as the perpetrators. He said the Islamic Ummah must strive together to impress upon the international community to shed off Islamophobia. The minister said that distortion of any religion is also another form of terrorism that the international community must acknowledge.

He said that sections of the Western world must get out of double standards about Islam and the Muslims. On the one hand, they have laws against any kind of distortion or disrespect towards any religion and, on the other hand, the most revered personalities of Islam are being ridiculed….

The ambassadors and envoys present the meeting represented UAE, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Qatar, Somalia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Palestine, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Maldives and Brunei Darus Salam.

UN Human Rights head: Trump Policies Might Breach International Law

March 13, 2017

UN Human Rights head: Trump Policies Might Breach International Law, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, March 13, 2017

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, a Jordanian, assumed his functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 1, 2014. He has recently been obsessed with criticizing the Trump administration for a variety of alleged human rights sins. Considering the sorry human rights record in his home country of Jordan, Zeid Hussein’s obsession smacks of utter hypocrisy. His charges are also baseless.

In a speech that Zeid Al Hussein delivered in Geneva on March 8th, he had this to say about the Trump administration:

In the United States of America, I am concerned by the new Administration’s handling of a number of human rights issues. Greater and more consistent leadership is needed to address the recent surge in discrimination, anti-Semitism, and violence against ethnic and religious minorities. Vilification of entire groups such as Mexicans and Muslims, and false claims that migrants commit more crimes than US citizens, are harmful and fuel xenophobic abuses. I am dismayed at attempts by the President to intimidate or undermine journalists and judges. I am also concerned about new immigration policies that ban admission of people from six predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, as well as policies which greatly expand the number of migrants at immediate risk of deportation – without regard for years spent in the US or family roots. These threaten to vastly increase use of detention, including of children. Expedited deportations could amount to collective expulsions and refoulement, in breach of international law, if undertaken without due process guarantees, including individual assessment. I am especially disturbed by the potential impact of these changes on children, who face being detained, or may see their families torn apart.

The charges are baseless. There is no surge in discrimination, anti-Semitism, or violence against ethnic and religious minorities in the United States attributable to President Trump. For example, between 2009 and 2015, the period for which there is comprehensive data while Barack Obama was president, the overall number of anti-Semitic attacks exceeded 7,000. As columnist and features writer for The Jerusalem Post, Seth Frantzman, wrote earlier this month in the Algemeiner, “there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines.” Where was Zeid Al Hussein while those threats and attacks were happening? Has he suddenly woken up from a slumber to discover a sudden surge of anti-Semitism for the first time since President Trump took office?

Every country, including the United States, has the inherent sovereign right to control entry through its borders. President Trump is simply enforcing the existing immigration laws, which it is his constitutional duty to faithfully execute. Illegal immigrants make up approximately 3.5 percent of the U.S.’s total population. Contrary to Zeid Al Hussein’s unsubstantiated opinion, illegal aliens living in the United States have committed a significant number of serious crimes while residing in the United States unlawfully in the first place. According to data compiled from the U.S. Sentencing Commission for fiscal year 2015, illegal immigrants were responsible for 30.2 percent of convictions for kidnapping/hostage taking, 17.8 percent of convictions for drug trafficking, 11.6 percent of convictions for fraud, 10.4 percent of convictions for money laundering, 6.1 percent of convictions for assault, and 5.5 percent of convictions for murder.

Deterring illegal immigration to provide better security for the American people does not prevent immigrants from seeking admission to the United States through legal channels.

Similarly, Zeid Al Hussein falsely characterized as anti-Muslim President Trump’s temporary suspension of entry to the United States of refugees world-wide, and entry of visitors from six terrorist-prone countries who do not have green cards or previously issued visas. The president of the United States, acting under explicit federal statutory authority, temporarily suspended entry of such visitors – Muslim and non-Muslim – from only six Muslim-majority countries out of 56 member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, because he determined that step as necessary to protect the American people. Apparently, the UN Human Rights Commissioner and other opponents of President Trump’s executive order believe that foreigners from any country seeking to enter the United States for any reason, no matter what the circumstances in their home country affecting U.S. national security, should have an absolute right favoring their entry that overrides national security considerations. Sorry, but countries still get to decide how best to protect their citizens, not an unelected UN bureaucrat.

Moreover, Zeid Al Hussein’s attacks on the Trump administration’s human rights record displayed his sheer hypocrisy. He did not mention Sudan once in his March 8th speech. Cuba also got a pass. Russia got off with a slap on the wrist. Zeid Al Hussein devoted only a few words criticizing North Korea, which he balanced out with praise for its “accession to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.” North Korean citizens are literally starving to death, while the regime continues to pursue its nuclear arms program in violation of UN Security council resolutions, and this is all that this pretender for the position of High Commissioner for Human Rights can say about the most repressive regime in the world today?

When it came to Zeid Al Hussein’s own country of Jordan, he mentioned it only once in his speech. Jordan was one of a list of countries he said were retreating from their commitments to impose a moratorium on use of the death penalty.

Let’s fill in a few details that Zeid Al Hussein neglected to mention about his home country while he was so busy trashing the Trump administration. In the World Value Survey of social attitudes in different countries taken several years ago, Jordan was listed as one of the five most racially intolerant countries in the world.

As for dealing with anti-Semitism, some Jordanian officials have fanned the flames. For example, two Jordanian MPs went on national television to praise perpetrators of a Jerusalem synagogue attack, whom had killed four Jewish worshippers, shortly after the massacre occurred in November 2014. One of the Jordanian MPs said, “Hating the Jews is a great honor for me and it makes me walk with my head high because they are worthy of hatred.” Jordanian Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour sent a letter of support to the families of the two Palestinian terrorists involved in the synagogue massacre.

Zeid Al Hussein assumed his office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 1, 2014.  Where were his public statements from his UN global platform denouncing his fellow Jordanians’ vile expressions of anti-Semitism?

In its October 2016 Freedom of the Press edition, Freedom House concluded that Jordan’s press freedom status was “not free.”  It noted the arrest of journalists during 2015 “in connection with their reporting on foreign affairs and their impact on Jordan.” Journalists were also subject to imprisonment for defamation charges. It is unlawful for online outlets to “insult the royal family,” or “harm ‘Arab-Islamic values.’” Yet Zeid Al Hussein could only muster dismay “at attempts by the President [Trump] to intimidate or undermine journalists”?

Jordan has taken in many refugees from Syria, to be sure, but there is a lack of legal protection for refugees in Jordan. Only 1% of Syrian refugees are said to have work permits. Refugee women and girls from Syria have been trafficked for sexual exploitation.

According to a 2015 report by the International Labor Organization, “Jordanian law makes limited references to asylum seekers and refugees.  Despite having the highest ratio of refugees to citizens in the world, Jordan has not signed the Refugee Convention of 1951 or its subsequent 1967 Protocol.  Several concerns are usually cited over Jordan’s non-signatory status, including…popular sentiment against refugee integration, lack of resources and capacity to provide for refugees, and misinformation about the perceived social and economic burden of refugees and related questions of national security.”

Jordan is reported to have sent some Syrian refugees back to Syria, violating the principle of non-refoulement that Zeid Al Hussein has accused the Trump administration of potentially violating.

Amnesty International has listed other serious human rights abuses it found in Jordan, including torture in detention centers which have led to the deaths of some detainees while in custody.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who comes to the UN from his glass house of Jordan, should not be throwing stones at the United States. And, considering the U.S.’s outsized contributions to his budget,  Zeid Al Hussein should not be biting the hand that has been feeding his bloated bureaucracy for too long.

Extremist Muslims’ One-Way Street

February 24, 2017

Extremist Muslims’ One-Way Street, Gatestone InstituteBurak Bekdil, February 24, 2017

Extremist Muslims’ understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are “good” and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims — often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims — often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.

Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Deportation and a lifetime ban is the minimum penalty for non-Muslims trying to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Given the state of non-Muslim religious and human rights, and the sheer lack of religious pluralism in most Muslim countries, why do Muslim nations suddenly become human rights champions in the face of a ban on travel to the U.S.?

Meanwhile, Muslims will keep on loving the “infidels” who support Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands, while keeping up intimidation of the same “infidels” in their own lands.

President Donald Trump’s executive order of January 27, 2017, temporarily limiting entry from seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — for 90 days, until vetting procedures can be put in place — has caused international controversy, sparking protests both in the Western and Islamic worlds, including in increasingly Islamist Turkey.

This article does not intend to discuss whether Trump’s ban is a racist, illegal order, or a perfectly justified action in light of threatened American interests. The ban, right or wrong, has once again unveiled the hypocrisy of extremist Muslims on civil liberties and on what is and what is NOT racist. Extremist Muslims’ understanding of freedom is a one-way street: Freedoms, such as religious rights, are “good” and must be defended if they are intended for Muslims — often where Muslims are in minority. But they can simply be ignored if they are intended for non-Muslims — often in lands where Muslims make up the majority.

Muslims have been in a rage across the world. Iran’s swift and sharp answer came in a Tweet from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who said that the ban was “a great gift to extremists.” A government statement in Tehran said that the U.S. travel restrictions were an insult to the Muslim world, and threatened U.S. citizens with “reciprocal measures.” Many Muslim countries, apparently, already have travel bans against other Muslims, in addition to banning Israelis.

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Sudan, host and supporter of various extremist Muslim terror groups including al-Qaeda, said the ban was “very unfortunate.” In Iraq, a coalition of paramilitary groups called on the government to ban U.S. nationals from entering the country and to expel those currently on Iraqi soil.

In Turkey where the extremist Islamic government is unusually soft on Trump’s ban — in order not to antagonize the new president — a senior government official called the order “a discriminative decision.” Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said:

“Unfortunately, I am of the opinion that rising Islamophobia, xenophobia and anti-immigrant feelings have a great weight on this decision. Taking such a decision in a country such as America, where different ethnic and religious groups are able to co-exist, is very offensive.”

The ruling party’s deputy chairman, Yasin Aktay, called the ban “racist,” and said: “This is totally against human rights, a big violation of human rights.” Aktay also said that he had started to “worry about the future of the U.S.”

Turkey’s top Muslim cleric, Mehmet Gormez, praised the Americans who rushed to the airports to protest the ban. “[This] is very important. It gives us hope,” he said — presumably meaning that non-Muslim protestors will continue to advocate for Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands.

Turkish government bigwigs and the top Islamic authority seem not to have heard of their own country’s dismal human rights record when it comes to non-Muslim minorities. Most recently, Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches noted in a report that hate speech against the country’s Christians increased in both the traditional media and social media. It said that hate speech against Protestants persisted throughout 2016, in addition to physical attacks on Protestant individuals and their churches.

Nevertheless, the Islamist’s one-way sympathy for human rights (for Muslims) and his one-way affection for discrimination (against non-Muslims) is not just Turkish, but global. What is the treatment of non-Muslim (or sometimes even non-extremist Muslim) visitors to some of the Muslim cities and sites in the countries that decry Trump’s “racist,” and “discriminative” ban that “violates human rights?”

In a 2016 visit to the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the Muslim custodians of the site did not allow entry to this author, despite the Turkish passport submitted to them, saying “you do not look Muslim enough.” And Muslims now complain of “discrimination?” Incidentally, Al Aqsa Mosque is, theoretically at least, open to visits from non-Muslims, except on Fridays.

Look at Saudi Arabia. Deportation and a lifetime ban is the minimum penalty for non-Muslims trying to enter the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In 2013, the Saudi Minister of Justice, Mohamed el-Eissi, insisted that “the cradle of the Muslim sanctities will not allow the establishment of any other places of worship.”

The Saudi ban on other religious houses of worship comes from a Salafi tradition that prohibits the existence of two religions in the Arabian Peninsula. In the Saudi kingdom, the law requires that all citizens must be Muslims; the government does not provide legal protection for freedom of religion; and the public practice of non-Muslim religions is prohibited.

In Iran, where even non-Muslim female visitors must wear the Islamic headscarf, the government continues to imprison, harass, intimidate and discriminate against people based on religious beliefs. A 2014 U.S. State Department annual report noted that non-Muslims faced “substantial societal discrimination, aided by official support.” At the release of the report, then Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Sadly, the pages of this report that are being released today are filled with accounts of minorities being denied rights in countries like Burma, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, many others”.

In Iran, marriages between Muslim women and non-Muslim men are not recognized unless the husband produces proof that he has converted to Islam. The mullahs’ government does not ensure the right of citizens to change or renounce their religious faith. Apostasy, specifically conversion from Islam, can be punishable by death. In 2013, 79 people from religious minorities were sentenced to a total of 3,620 months in prison, 200 months of probation, 75 lashes and 41 billion rials in fines [approximately $1.3 million].

That being the state of non-Muslim religious and human rights, and the sheer lack of religious pluralism in most Muslim countries, why do Muslim nations suddenly become human rights champions in the face of a ban on travel to the U.S.? Why, for instance, does Turkey never criticizes the extreme shortcomings of freedoms in the Muslim world but calls the U.S. ban “racist?”

Why does the Iranian government think that Trump’s ban is a “gift to the [Muslim] extremists?” In claiming that travel bans would supposedly fuel extremism, how come Iran does not think that its own persecution of religious minorities is a “gift” to non-Muslims?

Such questions will probably remain unanswered in the Muslim world. Meanwhile, Muslims will keep on loving the “infidels” who support Muslim rights in non-Muslim lands, while keeping up intimidation of the same “infidels” in their own lands.

An Émigré Explains Why The U.S. Should Want Russia As An Ally

February 22, 2017

An Émigré Explains Why The U.S. Should Want Russia As An Ally, TheFederalist, February 22, 2017

(Please see also, Is a Trump-Putin Detente Dead? — DM

I am a Russian-born U.S. citizen. Since my old country is all in the news now, unsurprisingly, several people have asked me about the latest spat between the two countries. I have rounded up a few frequently asked questions (FAQ) in no particular order, and here they are.

Question: Is Russia our foe or ally?

Answer: Neither. Lord Palmerston famously quipped, “Great Britain has no friends, only interests,” and the same applies to other countries. The United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) were geopolitical adversaries during the Cold War. Prior to that, they were allies in World War II when both faced an existential threat from Nazi Germany and Japan. Now both Russia and the United States are facing a threat of radical Islam, which may bring the two countries together again.

Q: But can we cooperate with the Russians after they captured large chunks of Ukraine and Georgia?

A: Well, the Soviet Union captured Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 1939, yet Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill cooperated with Joseph Stalin and actively supported his war efforts. The West never recognized the annexation of the Baltic republics; it just put that matter on the back burner for the sake of a more urgent goal. Henry Kissinger calls this realpolitik.

Q: Donald Trump has picked Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobile, as his secretary of State. Tillerson has warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. How do we know which side Tillerson is on?

A: Let me cite a historical precedent. Another famous American oil executive was friendly with Soviet leaders. His name was Armand Hammer. He had numerous personal and business ties with the USSR, starting in the 1920s. In 1957, Hammer became president and CEO of Occidental Petroleum. He used his connections to end the Cold War between the two countries. According to his biographer, Hammer was “a go-between for five Soviet General Secretaries and seven U.S. Presidents.” Paradoxically, Hammer’s efforts on behalf of the USSR made him a darling of the American Left, even though he supported the Republican Party.

Q: Has Putin ordered the murder of Russian journalists and other political opponents?

A: That has not been proven conclusively, but is plausible. Regardless of whether that is the case, it should not determine American foreign policy. That was clear to FDR and Churchill, who were well aware of Stalin’s atrocities.

Q: Did Russia side with Trump in the 2016 U.S. presidential race?

A: Of course, it did. Nations do take sides and interfere in other nations’ internal affairs all the time. For example, the United States actively encouraged the Arab Spring in several countries and even supported Syrian and Libyan “moderate” rebels. It was the job of the sitting U.S. president to prevent any Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Q: Is Russian spying on U.S. institutions a new phenomenon?

A: Absolutely not! However, things change. Between the 1940s and the 1960s, it was the conservative Right that was alarmed by Russian spying and Communist infiltration of the federal government. The Left dismissed that concern, mocking it as looking for “reds under the beds.” Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of spying for Russia and executed, became martyrs of the Left. Even in the 1970s when I arrived in the United States, the Left’s favorite motto was “it’s better be red than dead.” Things really changed in the 1980s.

Q: What happened in the 1980s?

A: When Ronald Reagan became president, he faced fierce opposition from the Left. The media elite ridiculed him as an unsophisticated cowboy and right-wing warmonger for calling the USSR an evil empire. The opposition became violent when Reagan proposed an anti-missile defense system, which the media dismissed as a “star wars” program. However, when an opportunity came up, Reagan held productive summits with former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev. These summits eventually led to the end of the Cold War.

Q: Is Putin a reincarnation of Stalin?

A: The two leaders represent two different generations separated by a period of 70 years. During those 70 years, the world has changed, and so has Russia. Stalin ruled Russia with an iron fist, while today’s Russians enjoy a degree of freedom. Putin is more pragmatic than Stalin. Yet contemporary Russian society is still quite different from its Western European counterparts, which is perhaps just fine, given that the latter are in a deep crisis now.

Q: Can the United States rely on Russia in the war on radical Islamic terrorism?

A: If it were a matter of life or death, I would always choose to have Russia on my side, rather than a Western ally, such as France. When Russians wage a war, they do it to win, not to satisfy lawyers by following every rule specifying acceptable ways of killing the enemy.

Here is an example. Somalian pirates threatened international shipping in the Indian Ocean between 2005 and 2013 by taking hostages. The American, French, Italian, and other navies rescued many hostages, caught pirates, and sent them to their countries. The arrests, trials, appeals, and imprisonment cost hundreds of millions of dollars. According to a Guardian report, there was a fear that “trials in European courts would encourage, rather than deter, pirates from committing crimes of piracy.”

In contrast, when a Russian destroyer rescued a Russian tanker with its crew from pirates in 2010, they did not arrest the pirates. They disarmed the pirates and set them adrift in an inflatable boat. The released pirates did not reach the coast. Rumor has it that the rescuers made a hole in the boat before releasing it.

Where was McCain when Obama attacked the free press?

February 19, 2017

Where was McCain when Obama attacked the free press? American ThinkerMonica Showalter, February 19, 2017

Senator John McCain poured it on for the press at a Munich defense conference Saturday, warning in a veiled attack on President Trump that attacks on the press are a leading danger for democracy. “That’s how dictators are made!” he shrieked. It was rich stuff, given that most of his European listeners do not have the same wide press freedoms found in the states. But more to the point, it was McCain up to his old tricks: Ingratiating himself to the anti-Trump press by playing its champion, in a bid to be the media’s darling.

What stands out here is the hypocrisy of his claims. He’s suddenly concerned about press freedoms and dictators?

Where was McCain when President Obama was systematically violating press freedoms every which way to Tuesday?

Seven examples of Obama’s attacks on a free press spring to mind and not one of them drew any significant criticism from McCain.

Where was McCain when Fox News correspondent James Rosen was illegally followed around by Obama’s Department of Justice in 2013 over a story he published on North Korean activities? It was a clear-cut example of reporters just doing their jobs, even as someone in government was leaking the story, but Team Obama went after Rosen with the Espionage Act.

Where was McCain when CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s computer was being taken over and hacked in late 2012 by what were almost certainly Obama agents over her Benghazi scandal reporting? She described the still-unresolved incident in her book Stonewalled (which ought to give another clue about the Obama record on press freedoms) but her story about the computer hacking, which included planting classified documents and keystroke changings, certainly was disturbing. We didn’t hear much from McCain.

Where was McCain when New York Times reporter James Risen was threatened with prosecution if he did not reveal his sources? Risen certainly thought Obama was acting like a dictator in a recent interview. McCain, not so much.

Where was McCain when Obama illegally wiretapped the communications systems of the Associated Press in 2013 bid to find out its sources? Nowhere to be found.

Where was McCain when radio show host Rush Limbaugh was attacked by Obama – in 2009 and 2012 for unfavorable commentary?

Where was McCain when Fox News was singled out for criticism by President Obama? This event was not only a blast at the outfit but highly inappropriate collaboration with Media Matters, which made Fox News its bugbear.

And where was McCain when Obama’s spokesman John Kirby attacked a RT News correspondent at a 2016 White House press conference who asked an uncomfortable question on Syria, questioning its legitimacy as a press outfit? If the Russian state-funded press agency was that illegitimate, explain to us why it had a press pass issued by the White House at all? We heard nothing about it from McCain.

The Obama list is quite long, and that is not surprising. Obama was a socialist and socialists of all stripes have a long record of suppressing freedom of the press, subordinating its expression to the interests of an all-powerful state and its dictator. McCain found nothing wrong with that when Obama was playing that game and undercutting the press in what seemed to be pretty oppressive and downright illegal behavior. Breitbart News has another list of problems here. But when Trump, three or four weeks into his presidency, calls out some fake news on Twitter, suddenly we have a dictator descending.