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Archive for September 2017

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Broken Borders

Immigration Raids Yield Arrest Results

September 30th 2017

Border Patrol

In multiple raids in several cities, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested nearly 500 persons wanted for immigration violations during a four-day operation that ended on Wednesday. Operation ‘Safe City’ allowed ICE to arrest 498 persons in cities and regions where officers are denied access to jails and prisons by local authorities to interview suspected immigration violators or jurisdictions where ICE detainers are not honored. 

In the so-called “sanctuary” cities and other jurisdictions, ICE targeted foreigners from some 42 different countries who have criminal convictions, pending criminal charges, gang affiliations, immigration fugitives, fugitives who illegally re-entered America after deportation. However, persons who currently benefit from the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA) were not targeted. Read more ..


The Trump Era

How Trump Can Be Adored and Embraced by the Left

September 28th 2017

Trump1

Sometimes, a President has to do what a President has to do, in order to appeal to a wider swath of the electorate.  President Trump’s patriotism, support for our troops, respect for the flag, defense of gun rights and rolling back of job-killing regulations have endeared him to the right and to blue collar workers who appreciate being able to support their families.  But support from the Left has eluded him. 

Here’s a simple plan for how he can win over that half of America:
• President Trump announces he is transgender and appears on the Today Show, in a pantsuit, alongside Caitlyn Jenner and Chaz Bono. He speaks about being forced by society to cater only to his false masculinity in the past, which explains any of his ill-advised comments about women, as well as his wrong-minded marriages to beautiful, well-spoken, intelligent women and his reprehensible siring (in the mundane and usual way) of four accomplished children who (wrongly) adore him. Read more ..


Broken Borders

Americans Pay More than $8k Yearly for Illegal Immigrants

September 28th 2017

Stop the Raids immigration protest

Illegal immigrants and their children cost taxpayers $135 billion per year. This is the highest level of expenditure for illegal immigrants ever made by the United States, which includes free medical care, education, law enforcement. The Federation for American Immigration Reform released a report that despite claims from immigration advocates that illegal aliens pay substantially into federal, state, and local governments, FAIR estimates that the amount comes to just $19 billion, making the final toll on taxpayers to be about $116 billion.

FAIR estimated that local and state governments are being hit with more than $88 billion. The federal government, by comparison, is getting off easy at $45 billion in costs for illegal aliens.

Titled "The Fiscal Burden Of Illegal Immigration on U.S. Taxpayers," the comprehensive report noted that costs have climbed about $3 billion since 2013. FAIR Executive Director Dan Stein praised President Donald Trump’s efforts to control illegal immigration and to control costs to government. By mandating E-Verify, building the border wall, and improving immigration enforcement, Stein said that the costs to taxpayers should diminish.

Read more ..

NFL on Edge

NFL Boycott Declared For Veterans Day Weekend, Tens Of Thousands Vow Support

September 28th 2017

lonely football in stadium

Thousands upset over NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem are planning a boycott of the NFL.

Hundreds of NFL players, owners and coaches decided to link arms, take a knee or sit out the anthem completely in Sunday’s games after President Trump repeatedly tweeted about the issue over the weekend. At a rally in Alabama, the president also called a player who kneels during the national anthem a “son of a bitch.” The tweets and comments ignited a firestorm of debate in the media and in the NFL.

Are NFL players' kneeling protests hurting TV ratings and even, perhaps, driving down TV stocks?

The answer is likely to be as hotly contested as an NFL line of scrimmage. NFL ratings are down for the just-started season, just as they were last season, and the stocks of the major networks that have broadcast NFL games are falling, too. President Trump has linked the NFL's ratings, which he called "massively, massively" down, and players kneeling during the anthem, suggesting they were turning fans away. Read more ..


Kurdistan Rising

Trump Betrays Kurdistan

September 28th 2017

Kurdistan Map

It is difficult to look at the scandalous international response to the Kurdish independence referendum and not think, at the same time, of the betrayals endured by the Zionist movement in the decades after World War I.

In 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, promising a Jewish national homeland in Palestine. What people forget is that in 1939, Britain then issued a White Paper limiting Jewish immigration to Palestine — on the eve of the Holocaust — to a paltry 75,000 souls over five years. People forget, too, that as late as 1947, British troops at Haifa dock were locking Holocaust survivors who had escaped to Palestine in barbed wire cages, and then shipping them back to displaced persons camps in Germany.

A similar, sorry state prevails today with the Kurds — a predominantly Muslim nation of 25-35 million people currently divided between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, whose denizens in Iraq this week voted by a majority of 93 percent for independence.

Read more ..

Kurdistan Rising

After ISIS, 'Kurds Aren't Afraid of Anything'

September 27th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

High-rise buildings surrounded by parks and villas pierce the skyline. Hotels and luxury cars dot the landscape. It would be easy to mistake this place for a neighborhood in uber-rich Dubai, but in fact it is downtown Irbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Ahmad, a taxi driver, motions proudly to signs of his city's rapid development. He points out newly-built bridges and luxury housing projects and gestures to the tarmacked roads and wide pavements.
 
"Look at all this," says Ahmad, his eyes aglow in the rearview mirror. "People wonder why we want independence from Iraq, but all you need to do is look around you. We are light years ahead of Baghdad." For now, the Kurdish-governed northern Iraqi region remains an island of stability in war-weary Iraq. People in Irbil say this has come about despite the central government in Baghdad, not because of it.
Read more ..

The Race for EVs

As Petroleum Tanks, Will Britons Buy an EV?

September 27th 2017

Toyota Prius PHEV

The cards are stacked against petrol and diesel. 

The Government wants to ban the sale of new internal combustion engined cars in 2040. The London T-charge will be introduced next month - the first of a raft of toxin taxes due on diesel models. And, according to Confused.com's new weekly fuel price index, pump costs are at a six-month high.

Yet almost four in five drivers are still reluctant to consider buying an electric vehicle as their next car, the price comparison site said.

Fuel prices at a 6-month high: Confused.com said the cost of petrol and diesel is 7% and 6% higher respectively than it was a year ago.

Confused.com said petrol and diesel pump prices are at a six-month high, with the average cost per litre coming to 119.6p and 120.5p respectively. Read more ..


Healthcare on Edge

Irresponsible Susan Collins Blocks Serious Health Care Reform

September 27th 2017

Emergency Medical

With Maine Senator Susan Collins announcing her opposition to the Graham-Cassidy bill to reform Obamacare, she has slammed the door on this latest Republican effort to address our health care crisis. I'm just able to muster up one word to capture my sense of Senator Collins: Irresponsible. Collins expressed her concern that the bill would "open the door for states to weaken protection for people with pre-existing conditions..."

What insight does Collins thinks she has that the 48 Republican Senators who support the bill don't grasp? Graham-Cassidy does give flexibility to states to seek a waiver on the federal requirement to cover pre-existing conditions. However, to achieve the waiver, states must demonstrate they have another approach for dealing with the problem. The current situation simply causes damage to everyone. By forcing insurance companies to provide products that don't work economically, the companies have to either raise rates — which is what is happening — or withdraw from markets — which is also happening. Read more ..


The Iranian Threat

Iran's Supposed Missile Launch was Fake, say US Officials

September 26th 2017

Iran Missiles

Iranian state television released video footage Friday claiming to show the launch of a new type of medium-range ballistic missile, a few hours after it was displayed during a military parade in Tehran.

But it turns out Iran never fired a ballistic missile, sources say.

The video released by the Iranians was more than seven months old – dating back to a failed launch in late January, which resulted in the missile exploding shortly after liftoff, according to two U.S. officials.

President Trump had originally responded to the reported launch in a late-Saturday tweet, saying, “Iran just test-fired a Ballistic Missile capable of reaching Israel. They are also working with North Korea. Not much of an agreement we have!” This was after Trump, speaking before world leaders at the United Nations, called the Iran nuclear deal an “embarrassment” to the United States.   Read more ..


Deeply Concerned About the Non-renewal of Longtime UM Professor Melissa Landa

September 26th 2017

Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME) is deeply concerned about the non-renewal of longtime University of Maryland (UM) professor and SPME member Melissa Landa. Currently, her contract is being investigated by the school's Office of Civil Rights and Sexual Misconduct as an incident of retaliation and "religious, political, or national origin discrimination."

The contract non-renewal came after Landa filed a complaint in February with the grievance board challenging Francine Hultgren and John O'Flahavan's decision to remove her from the language arts instruction team in May 2016, according to a recent report by UM's the Diamondback.

Landa has been on the faculty for a decade, most recently as an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership (TLPL) and received her PhD from the University of Maryland as an advisee of John O’Flahavan.

The tables started to turn on Landa when she began to actively fight BDS and anti-Semitism in early 2016. She increased her pro-Israel activism in the U.S., heading the Oberlin Chapter of Alums for Campus Fairness , which protested anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks by a professor, Joy Karega.

It was during that same time that Landa began feeling an increase of antagonism from her superiors. Landa said O’Flahavan pulled out of their joint conference presentation they had been working together for months. Also, days after she informed O’Flahavan of her partnership with Levinsky College of Education in Tel Aviv, he removed Landa from the TLPL Language Arts team.

Landa has been praised for her academic work as recently as May 2017, one month before her firing when she won the College of Education Exceptional Scholarship Award. Moreover, she has created a respectable teaching environment causing her former students to protest her firing.  

SPME calls on the administration of the University of Maryland to stand by the pledge it made after the murder of second Lt. Richard Collins III on campus last May to, "come together as a campus community to reaffirm our core values of diversity, inclusion, respect and civil discourse." We demand that the university honor this pledge and that a full and complete investigation, personally overseen by UMD President Wallace Loh, be undertaken by the university, in order to determine the extent to which anti-Semitism and/or anti-Israel bias played a role in Professor Landa's termination.


Inside Judaism

Is the Western Wall Judaism's Holiest Site?

September 26th 2017

Western Wall

Few beliefs have resonated more widely, or among a more diverse set of Israelis and Jews, than the perception of the Western Wall as Judaism's holiest site, the place where they feel the greatest sense of sacredness, "the holy of holies of Jewish national unity" to use the words of the Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinowitz. Chief rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar has similarly asserted that "no one can annul the holiness of the Western Wall, not the government, not the courts."[2]

But when did the Western Wall become the holiest Jewish site? Historical evidence suggests that the Temple Mount was actually Judaism's "holy of holies," and that the Western Wall's venerated position is a relatively late development with a more prosaic and even non-Jewish origin. Would these facts change the tenor of the debate about the Western Wall's future status? And can they help ameliorate the widening schism between Israel's Orthodox religious establishment and the Diaspora Conservative and Reform movements over this holy site? Read more ..


Broken Borders

Crossing the Border at the Rio Grande Valley

September 26th 2017

US/Mex Border fence

In the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, the air is eerily still. Scrub and sand stretch starkly into the distance. Occasionally, border patrol helicopters swoop low, cutting through the calm.

The mighty Rio Grande is not quite an oasis, but it's a brief respite from the sand—and a marker of the border between the desert of the United States and the desert of Mexico. Between Laredo, Texas, and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, the river is straddled by a concrete bridge that tethers the sister cities.

Even though it spans two countries, the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo area is one massive metropolitan singularity from a demographic perspective, with roughly 8,000 people crossing back-and-forth on foot and by car each day. Some Nuevo Laredo residents walk across to buy groceries at Texas supermarkets. People who work in Laredo live across the border for the cheaper rent. Like the river, the bridge has a natural flow. Read more ..


The Edge of Terrorism

Bin Laden Heir Breathes New Destructive Energy Into Al Qaeda

September 26th 2017

Osama bin-Laden preaching

Since the start of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has sworn to destroy ISIS, threatening to be "nasty" and to "annihilate" the terrorist group and its leaders by "bombing the s*** out of them."

But is he missing the larger threat?

"We need to start preparing for a big comeback by al-Qaeda" former FBI terrorism expert Ali Soufan told PRI earlier this month. The author of Anatomy of Terror: From The Death of Bin Laden To the Rise of the Islamic State, Soufan is one of many who warn of an Al-Qaeda resurgence, likely to take place under Osama bin Laden's charismatic 28-year-old son, Hamza.

Canadian counterterrorism expert Mubin Shaikh agrees. "The thing that everyone keeps getting wrong about Al Qaeda is because of what AQ's Al Suri said long ago," he wrote in a recent e-mail. "Al Qaeda is a system, a methodology, not a group per se." Indeed, as ISIS loses territory in Syria and Iraq, Al Qaeda's influence and power is growing. Some experts have speculated about a potential ISIS-Al Qaeda merger. Others point to the demise of ISIS as a motivation for Al Qaeda operatives to strengthen their recruiting efforts, and as reason for newly-inspired would-be jihadists to turn to Al Qaeda in its place. Read more ..


Jewry on Edge

Center for Jewish History Also Has Israel-Hating Academic Leader

September 25th 2017

Boycott Divest Israel demo

The New York-based Center for Jewish History has recently appointed UCLA Professor David N. Myers as its CEO despite his approval for a boycott of Israel and membership in extremist anti-Israel organizations. Despite communal protests and voices of outrage including from Knesset leaders and the Zionist Organization of America, the organization's leadership has supported Myers.

Perhaps the reason for that is that there are actually even more extreme leaders than Myers in place on the Academic Advisory Council of CJH, including NYU Professor Hasia Diner as the CJH website reveals.

Ms. Diner authored an op-ed which states she refused to sign a document that she "believed in 'the centrality of the State of Israel and Jerusalem as capital' for the Jewish people. It encouraged 'Aliyah to Israel,' that is, the classic negation of the diaspora and as such the ending of Jewish life outside a homeland in Israel.” Read more ..


Kurdistan Rising

Iraqi Kurdistan Holds Historic Independence Referendum

September 25th 2017

PKK (Kurdish Worker's Party) Fighter

America's most reliable ally in the fight against ISIS wants its own country.

This long-held ambition moved one step closer to reality Monday as millions of Iraqi Kurds began lining up to vote in an independence referendum.

Despite huge pressure from other countries to cancel the vote, the streets were festooned with Kurdish flags and voters showed off their ink-stained fingers.

Experts say the result will almost certainly be a resounding "yes" — but what that will actually mean in reality is still unclear.

Read more ..

Air Turbulence

Irish Passengers Stranded In France By Ryanair Cancellation

September 25th 2017

airport crowd

A group of 80 Irish people was stranded in France on Saturday night, when a flight back to Dublin was unexpectedly cancelled by Ryanair.

They had been on a mission to Lourdes with Oblate Youth Service when the 3.15pm return flight was cancelled, although it was not included on the airline's list of cancellations.

Fidelma Roe, whose son was on the trip, said the group was "pretty much abandoned". According to Oblate Youth Service's Facebook page, the group was told to make its own travel arrangements.

"After a very challenging yet rewarding week caring for the sick and elderly in Lourdes, we were making our way home when our flight was cancelled by Ryanair," it said.

"They have been extremely unhelpful and have only offered us 30 seats on a flight from Carcassonne on Tuesday and told us to make our own travel arrangements, which is next to impossible with 79 people which includes 45 17 and 18-year-olds." Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

Israel Strikes Weapons Depot by Damascus Airport

September 25th 2017

Jets vapor trail

Israeli strikes hit a weapons depot by Damascus airport overnight, targeting a warehouse belonging to Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, which is allied with the Syrian government, a monitor said Friday.

"Israeli warplanes targeted with rocket fire a weapons depot belonging to Hezbollah near the airport," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

There was no immediate official confirmation from either Damascus or Israel, but the Jewish state has been accused of carrying out multiple strikes in Syria, including earlier this month.

On September 7, the Syrian army said Israeli warplanes hit one of its positions near the central town of Masyaf. The site was reportedly used by Hezbollah forces and those of Iran, another Syrian government ally. In April, the government accused Israel of firing several missiles at a military position near Damascus airport, triggering a huge explosion. Read more ..


America on Edge

Kneeling Football Players Dominate News instead of Puerto Rico's Devastation

September 25th 2017

Hurricane Isabel

Over the September 23-24 weekend, news coverage and commentary was dominated by discussions over football players kneeling instead of standing for the National Anthem at NFL games across the country rather than the devastation of Puerto Rico. On September 20, Hurricane Maria struck the island commonwealth with fury, swelling rivers with record rainfall, knocking out electric power for 3.5 million people, and causing what by some accounts is “apocalyptic” destruction. The plight of Puerto Rico, which was already experiencing significant distress over debt incurred by wasteful government, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, did not merit much discussion on the principal Sunday political talk shows. 

When contacted by Spero News, Fr. Peter DiLeo-Vulic asked pleaded for help for his congregation of St. Spiridon, a  Byzantine Catholic-rite parish located just outside of San Juan, the island's capital.

Read more ..

The Race for Batteries

New Storage Technologies Promise Better Batteries

September 25th 2017

Battery-single-use

Researchers at the University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL) have developed two energy storage technologies to extend the life of lithium ion and zinc air batteries.

"We try to convert solar energy either to electricity or chemical fuels. We also try to convert chemical fuels to electricity. So, we do different things, but all of them are related to energy," said assistant Professor Yang Yang in the NanoScience Technology Center and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Yang's group developed a battery cathode for lithium ion batteries using a thin-film alloy of nickel sulfide and iron sulfide. They were able to boost conductivity even more by making the cathode from a thin film of nickel sulfide-iron sulfide, then etching it to create a porous surface of microscopic nanostructures. These nanopores, or holey structures, greatly expand the surface area available for chemical reaction.

Tests show a battery with the nickel sulfide-iron sulfide cathode could be depleted and recharged more than 5,000 times before degrading, compared to 300 to 500 cycles for existing lithium ion cells.

Read more ..

Amazon on Edge

Amazon Developing Alexa-enabled Smart Glasses

September 25th 2017

Amazon box

Amazon reportedly working on its first wearable device - a pair of smart glasses.

According to the Financial Times , the glasses will allow Amazon's Alexa digital assistant to be summoned at any time. The only requirement,say reports, is that a smartphone needs to be nearby - similar to how the original Apple Watch operated.

The smart glasses are said to be designed to appear as a normal pair of glasses and will not include a display or camera. Instead of using a microphone and headphones for users to interact with Alexa, the glasses will use a behind-the-ear bone conduction audio system built into the frames.

Amazon has thus far not commented on the report. But the FT notes that Amazon hired Google Glass founder Babak Parviz in 2014, suggesting that a glasses project may have been in the works.

Read more ..

Iran's Nukes

Trump Has Created Leverage Against Iran. Now He Needs a Closer.

September 25th 2017

Iran Missiles

Supporters of the Iran nuclear deal are in panic mode.

Obama administration alumni are warning that President Donald Trump's threats to not certify Iranian compliance next month will unravel a bargain that makes the world safer. European leaders and Iranian envoys say the deal cannot be renegotiated. Quietly, many career State Department officials, according to administration sources, are trying to figure out a way to at least delay Trump's plan to throw the deal into turmoil.

The alarm is understandable. If Trump decertifies Iranian compliance with what is known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, then it will be up to Congress to vote to impose the crippling sanctions on Iran's banks and oil exports that President Barack Obama waived as part of the nuclear deal. If Congress does that, it really would blow up the nuclear deal. Read more ..


Facism in America

NYPD’s PBA Responds to Anti-Cop Criminal Justice Professor: Fire Him!

September 24th 2017

NYPD and flag

Michael Isaacson harbors total disdain for the active and future police officers that he teaches at John Jay College, according to the New York City Police Benevolent Association (PBA) which represents the majority of law enforcement officers in the city.  The PBA’s President Pat Lynch is calling for Isaacson’s immediate dismissal from John Jay College of Criminal Justice which is part of the City University of New York.

Recent media reports have revealed the adjunct professor Mr. Isaacson’s disgusting anti-police attitudes and his gleeful embrace of political violence, including violence against police officers, as expressed in his own social media postings.

One of the most vicious and objectionable of these posts, which appeared recently on his Twitter account read: “Some of y’all might think it sucks being an anti-fascist teaching at John Jay College but I think it’s a privilege to teach future dead cops.” (See video following this news story) Read more ..


Significant Lives

Towering Iraqi Jewish Historian Passes

September 24th 2017

Israeli flag and clouds

Iraqi Jews in Israel and abroad are mourning the death, on the second day of the Jewish New Year, of Professor Shmuel Moreh, 85, emeritus professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

Born Sami Muallem in 1932 in Baghdad’s upmarket district of Bataween, Professor Moreh was a well-respected academic (as chairman of the Association of Academics from Iraq in Israel, he presided over the publication of countless books), who excelled in his command of the Arabic language.

Immigrating, together with most of Iraq’s Jews, to Israel with his family in 1951, he received his B.A. and M.A. from the Hebrew University in Arabic literature and Islamic Studies and his Ph.D. in modern Arabic poetry (SOAS, London University) in 1965. He was a poet and a prolific author of over 20 publications in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

His memoirs were serialised in the online Arabic medium Elaph in 2009 -10 and awakened huge interest among Iraqis in their lost Jewish community. The series was later published in Arabic as Baghdad Mon Amour. Read more ..


Digital Control

Deane Gross Confronts GoFundMe Over Glazov Gang Ban

September 23rd 2017

Money Money Money

As we have recently reported, crowd-funding online company GoFundMe has banned The Glazov Gang, a web-tv show that tells the truth about the threat from the Left and Islam, from accepting online donations.

GoFundMe suspended The Glazov Gang campaign without any notice or explanation, nor have they responded to any queries. Read about what happened and what you can do HERE.

We are very touched that our fans are fighting on our behalf to have our campaign restored. Below is an example of one of our loyal supporters, Deane Gross, writing in to GoFundMe to confront the company on its surrender to leftist fascism.

We deeply appreciate Deane’s effort and the effort of all others who have done the same — and we encourage everyone to also take this action on our behalf and against leftist fascism. Read more ..


Constituion on Edge

Article VI Trampled

September 22nd 2017

Capitol Hill

The law requires every federal employee take an oath of office to support the Constitution. Days ago, a three Senators blatantly violated their oath and committed an unconstitutional act.  It received virtually no news coverage.

Notre Dame law professor Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the 7th Appeals Court.  At her confirmation hearing, California’s Dianne Feinstein and Hawaii’s Mazie Hirono discussed Barrett’s Catholic faith.  So did Illinois’ Dick Durbin.

Stop!

That’s a direct violation of the Constitution’s Article VI.  It states “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Read more ..


Arab Slave Trading

Egyptian Muslims Paid for Every Christian Girl taken Into Slavery in Salafist Network

September 22nd 2017

Coptic Girl

Known only by a pseudonym, “G” is an Egyptian former Muslim who has admitted to abducting Coptic Christian girls and women to be sold as sex slaves to Muslim masters. He said that before leaving Islam behind, he participated in a Salafist Muslim network that has actively targeted Christian girls since the 1970s. G said that the network’s activities are at their peak currently under the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

“They keep a close eye on Christians’ houses and monitor everything that’s going on. On that basis, they weave a spider’s web around [the girls],” he said. G added that the network uses subtle techniques to entrap unwitting girls. He explained, “A Muslim boy tells a Christian girl he loves her and wants to convert to Christianity for her,” then after beginning a romantic relationship with the target and deciding to run away together, he said that what the victims don’t know is that they are being kidnapped. “Most of the time they will not marry their kidnapper, but someone else.”

Read more ..

The Trump Era

Obama Official Admits Trump Wiretaps 'Possible'

September 22nd 2017

Trump1

In an exchange Wednesday night on CNN with show host Don Lemon, Obama’s director of intelligence admitted that it is possible that Donald Trump’s conversations with political operative Paul Manafort may have been recorded by the Obama administration. Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked whether Trump, who was in frequent communication with Manafort in 2016 during the presidential campaign, was “picked up” by FBI wiretaps ordered for an investigation into Manafort’s activities. 

Clapper answered, “It's certainly conceivable.” Lemon responded, “Is it likely?” To which Clapper responded, “I can't say. I wouldn't want to go there, but I will say it's possible.”

Back in March, Clapper told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” that while he was national intelligence director, that his office did not undertake wiretaps of Trump the candidate. However, he said he could not speak for the other three federal intelligence agencies that are authorized to conduct wiretaps. Read more ..


Digital Control

GoFundMe Bans Glazov Gang from Accepting Donations

September 22nd 2017

Money Money Money

Crowdfunding online company GoFundMe has banned The Glazov Gang, a web-tv show that tells the truth about the threat from the Left and Islam, from accepting online donations.

GoFundMe suspended The Glazov Gang campaign without any notice or explanation, nor have they responded to any queries.

This conduct by GoFundMe is part of its larger effort to shut down the efforts of Anni Cyrus, the producer of The Glazov Gang. Recently, also with no notice or explanation, GoFundMe deleted Anni’s entire account while she was raising funds for her anti-Sharia tour — wiping out all of her donor history and four open campaigns,  one of which was The Glazov Gang campaign.

This development is part of a current onslaught by companies who are closing their platforms to those who dissent from the Left’s totalitarian worldview. Freedom of speech and conscience are being annihilated each passing day right before our eyes. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Rising scandal 'bigger than Russia'

September 21st 2017

NSA

Author and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said in an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News that the surveillance conducted by the Obama administration on Trump campaign director Paul Manafort was an “egregious” abuse of power that endangers the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution and dwarfs the allegations made about alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 general election. 

There is speculation that the FBI, through the Obama administration’s FISA requests, taped Manafort’s conversations with Donald Trump into 2017. According to CNN, Manafort had been under FBI surveillance since 2014 and into this year. Manafort served briefly as Trump’s campaign director in 2016, and the two remained in contact this year. Gingrich said of the development, “this may be the most egregious abuse of the criminal justice process in American history.”  He said that he fears that “the country that you and I know is under siege by a deep state which illegally wants to create a very different America and is willing to break the law and abuse the law.”

Read more ..

Israelis and Palestinians

Egypt's Sisi Urges Palestinians to Unite, Co-Exist With Israelis

September 20th 2017

General Al-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Palestinians to overcome their differences and be ready to co-exist with each other and with Israelis in safety and security.

"I tell the Palestinian people it's extremely important ... to overcome the differences and not to lose opportunities and to be ready to accept co-existence with the other, with Israelis in safety and security," Sisi told the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of world leaders in New York.

Following Egyptian-mediated reconciliation talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Western-backed Fatah faction, Islamist Hamas said on Sunday it would dissolve its "administrative committee" to enable Abbas' administration to retake control in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas urged Abbas on Tuesday to respond by ending his sanctions on the impoverished enclave.

Read more ..

The Digital Age

Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me

September 20th 2017

Google HQ

The story in the New York Times this week was unsettling: The New America Foundation, a major think tank, was getting rid of one of its teams of scholars, the Open Markets group. New America had warned its leader Barry Lynn that he was “imperiling the institution,” the Times reported, after he and his group had repeatedly criticized Google, a major funder of the think tank, for its market dominance.

The criticism of Google had culminated in Lynn posting a statement to the think tank’s website “applauding” the European Commission’s decision to slap the company with a record-breaking $2.7 billion fine for privileging its price-comparison service over others in search results. That post was briefly taken down, then republished. Soon afterward, Anne-Marie Slaughter, the head of New America, told Lynn that his group had to leave the foundation for failing to abide by “institutional norms of transparency and collegiality.” Read more ..


Gaza on Edge

Gaza Strip’s Crisis Leaves Qatar Vulnerable

September 19th 2017

Emir Qatar Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani & Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh

The head of Qatar’s Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza, Mohammed al-Emadi, recently visited the Gaza Strip to reaffirm Qatar’s commitment to its people and government. Al-Emadi’s trip, which began June 6, brought with it a $3 million commitment to rebuilding the homes for 600 Palestinian families in the Gaza Strip.

The families chosen to benefit from the rebuilding were deemed some of the poorest in Gaza. The project, however, is just a small fraction of the $1.4 billion Qatar has pledged to give to Gaza over five years.

Naji Sarhan, the Palestinian undersecretary of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, praised al-Emadi’s visit, which has come amidst a humanitarian crisis for Palestinian Arabs in Gaza. Just recently, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has cut Hamas leaders’ paychecks and refused to continue paying Israel for electricity supplied to Gaza. Shortly after the PA’s announcements, Israel acquiesced to PA officials requests and reduced its electricity supply to Gaza. Both actions have put Hamas (the Islamic Resistance Movement, rival to the PA’s key party, Fatah) under great pressure. Read more ..


Media on Edge

Who’s Afraid of RT?

September 19th 2017

Television Array

The company that manages the Russian news outlet R.T. (Russia Today) announced last week that it had received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice requiring it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).  The Russian news outlet Sputnik International may be next.

FARA was passed in 1938 to require entities or individuals who represent foreign governments to disclose their relationships, activities, and finances. 

Registration would not stop R.T. from broadcasting in the U.S. or censor its programs – it is a paperwork requirement – but it would formally label R.T. an arm of the Russian government rather than an independent media source.  This, in essence, would tell Americans that news from R.T. should be considered suspect.

As a practical matter, all news – particularly from government-sponsored sources – should be considered skeptically.

Read more ..

The Race for Autonomous Vehicles

Ford Explores Communication Between Autonomous Vehicles And Humans

September 19th 2017

Automated driving Mercedes Benz

Together with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, Ford Motor Company is testing a system that enables autonomous vehicles and human drivers to communicate with each other. Ford uses a car that appears to be driving autonomously.

In everyday traffic, human road users communicate intuitively by small gestures: a short wave or nod is often enough to indicate that the other person is allowed to pass through. This element of communication is missing in autonomous cars. Ford is now testing how such a simple "gesture language" between robocar and human road users could look like.

When Daimler sent an autonomous Mercedes through the traffic in 2013, a fundamental weakness of the electronic chauffeurs became obvious: An elderly couple was waiting at a pedestrian crossing. The automatic Mercedes stopped allow the pedestrian to cross.

However, the two pedestrians made a gesture to make it clear that they would prefer the car to drive first. The computer on board the Mercedes didn't understand the hint and insisted on not continuing until after the pedestrians. The deadlock situation could only be resolved after the human safety driver intervened.

Read more ..

The Trump Era

US Government Wiretapped Former Trump Campaign Chairman

September 19th 2017

Smart phone

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.
 
Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.
 
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.
    A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine's former ruling party, the sources told CNN.
    Read more ..

    Jewry on Edge

    Myers Writings/Involvements Indicate a Hostile-to-Israel Propagandist – He Shouldn't Lead Center for Jewish History

    September 19th 2017

    Stacks of old books

    After investigating David Myers’ anti-Israel agenda-driven “history scholarship,” other writings, affiliations and involvements with anti-Israel organizations, and his anti-Israel activities at UCLA, the ZOA is convinced that David Myers should not head the Center for Jewish History (“CJH”), and should be removed from this post, for the following reasons:

    First, Myers’ “history scholarship” and writings focus on locating, elevating and promoting false and/or outright fictional accounts libeling Israeli Jews and Israel – while ignoring or disparaging truthful pro-Israel history as “myths.”  This is extraordinarily harmful and dangerous at a time when Jews and Israel are being defamed throughout the world, causing increased anti-Jewish violence.  Read more ..


    The Airline Protectionists Protest Too Much, Methinks

    September 18th 2017

    For nearly three years, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines (Big Three) have mounted a historically expensive political campaign urging the US Government to abandon longstanding bipartisan Open Skies policy. They claim they have an ironclad legal case supported by uncontestable and overwhelming facts that irrefutably show Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways (Gulf Carriers) and their governments have breached the US-United Arab Emirates and US-Qatar Open Skies agreements. Accordingly, they argue, the US Government should take the unprecedented step of tearing-up those Open Skies agreements, abandoning its 25-year-old one-size-fits-all international aviation policy and replacing those agreements with competition-limiting ones tailored solely to the UAE and Qatar that pander to the profit-maximizing whims of the Big Three.

    Increasingly, Trump Administration officials and industry observers have quite appropriately noted the gaping disconnect between the confident claims of the Big Three and their cowardice to stand behind them. Specifically, if the Big Three are as confident in their alleged unfair competition case as they tout, why are they so afraid to put it to the test by filing an International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act (IATFCPA) complaint? For over 40 years, the Big Three and their corporate predecessor airlines confidently relied on this Congressionally approved process for evaluating and addressing international aviation-related competitive concerns. Yet that proven statutory process is suddenly no longer sufficient or appropriate.
     
    What is IATFCPA and why does it fit the Big Three’s Gulf Carrier allegations hand-in-glove? The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has an excellent summary on its website – http://btcnews.co/2fp5uFO. According to DOT, in enacting IATFCPA, Congress authorized it to “take action in response to anti-competitive, discriminatory, predatory or unjustifiable activities by a foreign government or foreign airlines against a U.S. airline.” Congress intended that any action deemed warranted after a thorough fact-based evaluation be expeditiously undertaken. According to DOT, “the Department has up to 180 days from the date that the complaint is filed to take action to resolve the issues raised, dismiss the complaint, or resolve it through diplomatic.”
     
    So, why have the Big Three wasted nearly three years – nearly 30 months more than an IATFCPA complaint would have taken from start to finish – and tens of millions of shareholder dollars on a hugely unsuccessful political campaign when the well-established IATFCPA complaint process was available to them?
     
    There is a tipping point where one objects so much it cries out that there is a mortal weakness in their position and they lose any semblance of credibility to argue the point. That is the precise position the Big Three find themselves in today. The clumsy, totally unconvincing and embarrassingly false explanations by the Big Three for their failure to file an IATFCPA complaint would have prompted Hamlet to observe, “the protectionists protest too much, methinks!”
     
    How has the Big Three tried to explain away its failure to file an IATFCPA complaint?
     
    First, in an impertinent slap at both Congress and DOT they dismissively branded the four-decade-old, Congressionally-approved IATFCPA process as nothing more than a “ridiculous acronym.”  A statutory process Congress enacted in 1974 to protect US airlines from unfair international competitive practices, and one that has consistently delivered as Congress intended due to the expertise and professionalism of DOT, is nothing more than a “ridiculous acronym?”  Up to now, the Big Three and their corporate predecessor airlines never seemed to think so as they consistently relied on IATFCPA.   
     
    Second, according to the Big Three in an anti-IATFCPA propaganda paper, an IATFCPA case would be “quite possibly lengthy.” There are two explanations: either Fair Skies - the Big Three’s public relations arm on this issue - does not have internet access and therefore has not read the DOT IATFCPA complaint overview page noted above which makes clear there is a 6-month statutory clock or it is a knowingly false argument. Perhaps it is a case of new math but, I think, 6 months is shorter than the nearly 36 months the Big Three’s failed political campaign has taken thus far. The argument IATFCPA would take too long is embarrassing and takes disingenuousness to soaring heights.
     
    Finally, the Big Three makes the tortured and false argument that Open Skies and IATFCPA are completely separate. In other words, since 1992 when our first Open Skies agreement was signed, IATFCPA became a legal nullity. The Big Three clearly didn’t think so as recently as 2013 when they relied on IATFCPA to address discriminatory user charges at Italian airports. The US signed an Open Skies agreement with Italy in 1998, and that Open Skies relationship continues under the US-EU agreement signed in 2007. Enforcing Open Skies rights and the IATFCPA process are not mutually exclusive as the Big Three feebly claim, and the pathway those airlines chose to take in the recent Italian airport discriminatory fee matter convincingly shows that is so.
     
    So what is the explanation? As I have written before, the answer is that the Big Three have IATFCPA-phobia – an acute fear of having the experts at DOT undertake a rigorous, apolitical and fact-based evaluation of the legal merits of their allegations. DOT’s professional staff would not be fooled by political sound bites and hollow advocacy. Delta’s headquarters knows and fears that. That is why it has unleashed Fair Skies to falsely attack and disparage the IATFCPA process to attempt to explain away the reality that Delta and its oligopoly partners American and United have long known they do not have a legal case so they have mounted a political campaign instead of filing an IATFCPA complaint.
     
    It is time for the Trump Administration to tell the Big Three to either have the confidence and courage to file an IATFCPA complaint or to stop beating their protectionist war drum and instead focus on investing their record-setting profits in improving their product so they can compete more effectively.

    Brian Mitchell is founder of the Business Travel Coalition and OpenSkies.travel.


    Campus Hate

    Evergreen Settles with Weinstein, Professor at The Center Of Campus Protests

    September 18th 2017

    Blackboard classroom

    The Evergreen State College professor at the center of campus protests this spring will receive $500,000 in a settlement that was announced Friday.

    Bret Weinstein and his wife, Heather Heying, resigned from their faculty positions effective Friday. The couple filed a $3.85 million tort claim in July alleging the college failed to “protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence,” according to the claim.

    Weinstein had criticized changes to the school’s annual Day of Absence after white students who chose to participate were asked to go off campus to talk about race issues. He called the event “an act of oppression,” according to emails obtained by The Olympian. Weinstein later appeared on Fox News and wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Read more ..


    Film News

    ‘Narcos’ Location Scout Shot and Killed in Mexico

    September 18th 2017

    mexican police on parade

    Mexican location scout Carlos Muñoz Portal was shot to death in a violent region in central Mexico Monday while scouting for season four of Netflix’s hit show “Narcos.” The seasoned scout, who worked for Stacy Perskie’s Mexico City-based production company Redrum, has a slew of high profile credits to his name, including, “Sicario,” “Spectre,” “Fast & Furious” and “Apocalypto.”

    Netflix issued the following statement: “We are aware of the passing of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family. The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate.

    Muñoz’s bullet-riddled body and car were found in a remote area near San Bartolo Actopan in the state of Mexico near the borders of Hidalgo state, which is said to have one of the highest murder rates in Mexico. In July, 182 cases of homicide were reported in the densely populated state, a ratio of 12.2 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Read more ..


    Screen Music

    Jóhann Jóhannsson No Longer Involved With Blade Runner 2049

    September 17th 2017

    Piano Keys

    Jóhann Jóhannsson is no longer involved with Blade Runner 2049, according to Icelandic newspaper Fréttablaðið (via the Iceland Review).

    It had first been revealed in summer 2016 that Jóhannsson would be the film’s sole composer. In July 2017, it was reported that Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch were brought on to assist Jóhannsson.

    All of Jóhannsson’s contributions have now been reportedly removed from 2049.

    When reached for comment, Jóhannsson’s representatives replied, “Unfortunately due to a legal Non Disclosure Agreement Jóhann signed we’re not able to speak about this film at all.”



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