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Archive for February 2018


Egypt and Israel

How Egypt Gains from Gas Deal with Israel

February 28th 2018

LNG Tanker

It was during the evening of an autumn night in 2013, in a hotel in the Egyptian capital Cairo, when I met Sherif Ismail, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum at the time and the current Prime Minister, only four months after Egypt had toppled the Muslim Brotherhood. The country was experiencing a real energy crisis and it was the responsibility of Ismail to find a solution. 
We discussed the possibility of solving a large part of the problem through the reverse use of the Egyptian gas pipeline that had been established about eight years earlier and caused a lot of controversy, resulting in the prosecution of a large number of officials in the wake of Hosni Mubarak’s 2011 ouster, including former Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmi, who was charged with exporting gas to Israel at lower than market rates. Read more ..

Israel Thwarts 20-30 Terrorist Attacks Weekly

February 28th 2018

soldiers pray at wailing wall

The IDF's Central Command has been carrying out massive operations to thwart planned terrorist attacks, particularly in and around Hebron, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced Tuesday.

"We are thwarting 20 to 30 terrorist attacks each week, facing ever-increasing terrorist efforts," Lieberman said. He attributed the successful anti-terror operations to "quality intelligence and a combination of smart deployment of forces and advanced technology," and emphasized that the IDF had prevented "the vast majority of terrorist activity."

Lieberman spoke during a tour of the Jewish quarter of Hebron, where he was accompanied by IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen.  Roni Numa, and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

Read more ..

Vote 2018

Supreme Court Hears Tea Party Free Speech T-shirt Case

February 28th 2018

Voting Booth

The Supreme Court heard on Tuesday a high-profile First Amendment case involving a Minnesota voter who was expelled from a polling site for wearing a T-shirt displaying the words “Don’t Tread on Me” and pin with the words “Please I.D. Me.” 

The Pacific Legal Foundation, a nonprofit law firm that assists clients in defending their rights before government intrusion, claims that the Minnesota state law that prohibits voters from wearing “political” apparel at polling places is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment. The law applies to any t-shirt, button, or other item that identifies any political issue and even any organization that is known to take positions on political issues. According to the PLF website, “Voters who wear AFL-CIO or NRA caps are told they must remove them before they can enter the polling place and vote. If they refuse, election officials take their names for possible prosecution and penalties up to $5,000. Lower courts upheld this law on the theory that government can ban all expression, besides voting, at a polling place.”

Read more ..

Financing the Flames

The Racism Associated with ‘Human Rights’ Organizations

February 28th 2018

Pro-Palestine Gaza protesters

The numerous foreign-funded “human rights” organizations who operate in Israel do not actually care about human rights. In fact, recent events have shown that they do not seem to care about human beings as such, either. Instead, they are what most Israelis have always suspected them of being—namely, political actors who have organized themselves cleverly in benign-sounding “rights” organizations in order to better pursue their nefarious agendas of destroying the state of Israel through “Lawfare.”

The Jerusalem District Court determined in the summer of 2017 that the Palestinian Authority was responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of dozens of suspected Arab “collaborators” within Israel, several of them with Israeli citizenship, between 1995 and 2002. The court proceedings unveiled grueling testimonies of Arabs who had been subjected to the most heinous torture in the cellars of detention centers run by the Palestinian Authority. Read more ..


The Race for Natural Gas

Will the Eastern Mediterranean Become a World Center for the Natural Gas?

February 28th 2018

Med Natural Gas

The deal just concluded between Nobel Energy from Texas and Israeli Delek group on the one hand, and Egyptian private company Dolphinus on the other, to provide Egypt with 64 billion cubic meters of gas for a total of $15 billion over a period of 10 years may well turn out to be the first sign that the Mediterranean is about to become a world hub of gas trade.

According to United States Geological Survey estimates, huge reserves of gas can be found in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: some 325 trillion cubic feet or 9.2 trillion cubic meters—more than all known U.S. reserves. Regional disputes, however, are likely to hinder exploration and exploitation. Read more ..


Election 2018

Claim: Newly Discovered Illegal Voters Will Swing Pennsylvania's Elections

February 27th 2018

Vote Buttons

According to a lawsuit filed in Pennsylvania, more than 100,000 noncitizens are registered to vote in Pennsylvania alone. The Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), a nonpartisan advocacy group which has identified similar noncitizen voting in New Jersey and Virginia, submitted testimony that officials in Pennsylvania have admitted that non-U.S. citizens have been registering and voting in the state “for decades.” The lawsuit was filed in Harrisburg on Monday.

Pennsylvania state officials have shut down requests from PILF for information that could shed further light on the problem and offer means to a solution. “For months, Pennsylvania bureaucrats have concealed facts about noncitizens registering and voting — that ends today,” PILF President and General Counsel J. Christian Adams said.

Adams claims that the state has admitted to a “glitch” that dates to the 1990s that had allowed non-Americans to have an opportunity to register to vote when applying to renew their driver’s licenses, PILF is seeking to know what is the magnitude of the problem. Pennsylvania officials have not yet responded to the lawsuit, nor to the claim of 100,000 non-citizen voters.

Read more ..

Olympics on Edge

North Korean Athletes at Winter Olympics Desperate to Avoid ‘Hellish Gulag

February 24th 2018

Kim Jong-Un

For North Korean athletes, the prospect of failure on the big stage carries a punishment far worse than a damaged ego.

Having failed to land a single medal in South Korea so far, its Winter Olympic team could suffer the same fate as previous underperforming athletes - imprisonment in one of the country's sick gulags.

The most infamous case is that of the North Korean football team which made history for reaching the second round of the 1966 World Cup.

Former leader Kim Il-Sung is widely believed to have ordered them to be arrested after they lost to 5-3 Portugal days after they were seen drinking with local women in public.

Instead of going home to a proud welcome, the are reported to have been sent to one of the reclusive nation's most notorious gulags. North Korean defector Kang Chol-Hwan claims he met some of the team while they were being held in Yodok prison, or Camp 15, usually reserved for political prisoners.

In his tell-all book The Aquariums of Pyongyang, he asserts that footballer Pak Seung-Zin became infamous for his ability to endure torture. Another inmate, dubbed "The Cockroach" after gobbling any insects he could find to fight off hunger pains, would often be thrown into a solitary chamber known as the "Sweatbox". Read more ..


Iran on Edge

Iran May Withdraw from Nuclear Deal if Banks Continue to Stay Away

February 23rd 2018

Iranian Rial Close-Up

Iran will withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal if there is no economic benefit and major banks continue to shun the Islamic Republic, its deputy foreign minister said on Thursday.

Under the deal with Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States, Iran agreed to restrict its nuclear program in return for the removal of sanctions that have crippled its economy.

Despite that, big banks have continued to stay away for fear of falling foul of remaining U.S. sanctions - something that has hampered Iran’s efforts to rebuild foreign trade and lure investment.

Adding to those concerns, U.S. President Donald Trump told the Europeans on Jan. 12 they must agree to “fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal” or he would re-impose the sanctions Washington lifted as part of that pact. Read more ..


Palestinians on Edge

Palestinians Charge Trump Offering ‘Fake Jerusalem’ as Capital

February 22nd 2018

Abbas UN

With its sky-lit lantern dome, tiered floors and speaker’s well, the long-abandoned parliament building on the edge of East Jerusalem needs only a few finishing touches to make it an ideal setting for the birth of a Palestinian state.

All that’s missing to resurrect the majestic structure in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, once a symbol of efforts to resolve competing Israeli and Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, are some lighting fixtures, a few truckloads of furniture -- and the “ultimate deal” President Donald Trump has promised to unveil. 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, having already rejected that deal sight unseen, told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that the U.S. can no longer lead peace efforts. Read more ..


The Edge of History

Byzantine Church Discovered in Tunisia

February 22nd 2018

Sfax, Tunisia

A church dating from the late Byzantine period (5th - 7th century AD) was discovered at an archaeological site dubbed "Castilia," located between the cities of Tozeur and Degache in the Tozeur region of Tunisia. The archaeological excavations were carried out at the site by the National Heritage Institute (INP) of Tunisia and began in January and continued until the first week of February.

According to the first results of this discovery presented by the research team led by Mourad Chtioui of INP, and urban archeologist Bassem Ben Saad, the architecture of the church consists essentially of a main entrance or narthex, two secondary entrances, two annexes, and a circular monument. The area of ​​the church covers more than 465 square feet and measures about 10 feet high.

Read more ..

The Fight of Our Lives is About Defeating the Ideological War Against the West

February 21st 2018

I am inviting all to join ZOA West Coast for two screenings of the hard-hitting documentary film, The Fight of Our Lives is About Defeating the Ideological War Against the West. It will be followed by a Q&A with director/producer Gloria Z. Greenfield. In this penetrating film, a cast of world-renowned scholars and analysts traces the emergence of internal and external forces which threaten the core values of Western civilization through their penetration into Western academia, politics and society. 


Book Essay

The Immorality of Arguing That There's a Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

February 21st 2018

Oil Barrels 400px

In 2014, a young man named Alex Epstein - who's described as a "philosopher, energy theorist, and industrial policy pundit" - wrote a book titled "The Moral Case For Fossil Fuels."

Alex used this book to springboard to a career arguing the merits of his case on a website, magazine articles, YouTube videos and live debates. His website states that Alex will "accept a debate any time, any place." (I'll get back to this challenge later on).

Also, in 2014, Kathleen Hartnett White wrote a short book titled "Fossil Fuels: The Moral Case." Kathleen has held a number of very senior positions with government agencies and industry groups as an environment and energy expert. Read more ..


UNRWA

The Palestinian Refugees: Facts, Figures, and Significance

February 20th 2018

UNRWA Protest

The Palestinian refugee issue has been seen for some seventy years as a principal obstacle to a resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. However, the expanding numbers of refugees from the Middle East and Africa today challenge the uniqueness of the Palestinian situation. In fact, the issue of Palestinian refugees is perceived more as the reflection of an ongoing lapse by Arab countries, Israel, and the international community, which have been unable to separate the solution to this problem from the greater political arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians.

Despite the ongoing distress of the refugees, the subject is still seen as the Palestinians’ main bargaining chip in peace negotiations with Israel. However, the value of this historical card appears to be ebbing with the growing numbers of refugees worldwide and the absence of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. After seven decades and many changes in the Middle East, perhaps this complex issue should be disconnected from the greater political settlement.

Read more ..

The Race for Natural Gas

$15 Billion of Israeli Natural Gas to be Sold to Egypt in Landmark Deal

February 20th 2018

Tamar-gas-drill-ocean

The operators of Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan offshore natural gas fields have announced a landmark $15 billion, 10-year deal to sell the gas to Egypt.

Israeli-based Delek Drilling and U.S.-based Noble Energy announced that it has signed two agreements with Egypt’s Dolphin Energy worth an estimated $15 billion.

According to the terms of the deal, Delek and Noble will supply Egypt with about 7 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with half coming from the already operating Tamar field and the other half from the Leviathan field, which plans to begin operations next year. The companies are looking at various options to transfer the gas, including an eastern Mediterranean pipeline or a Pan-Arabian pipeline via Jordan. Commenting on the agreement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deal as “historic.” Read more ..


Islam's War Against Christianity

Islamic Terror kills Five Christians in Boston bomber's Homeland

February 20th 2018

Iraqi Christians praying

Warning: Readers are advised that this report includes graphic photographs and video.

The Islamic State took credit for a deadly attack on Christians worshiping in an Orthodox church in Dagestan, a predominantly Muslim region located between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea. While the authenticity of the statement posted on a website associated with ISIS cannot be ascertained, it is frequently utilized by the Muslim terrorist group to post its statements. The notice on the website claimed that an ISIS operative had carried out an attack on a “Christian temple.”

On Monday, Russian authorities said that they are looking into all leads in order to determine the motivations of the attack that took the lives of five women. According to a TASS news report, Russian Investigative Committee spokesperson Svetlana Petrenko said, "Investigators are looking at various theories of the incident, trying to find out the attacker’s motives."

Read more ..

America on Edge

The Russians Are Not Coming! But...

February 20th 2018

Russian soldiers Red Square

Much too much is being made of the naming of Russian agents operating in the U.S. and their ostensible efforts to thwart our electoral process. There is a suspicion that part of the hullabaloo is an attempt to draw attention away from more important scandalous matters, including the lagging effort of the U.S. to rearm as the overwhelming force dedicated t peace and stability in the world.

Looking at Washington's description of these Russian operatives indicates we are a long way from the expertise of the Soviet KGB and its predecessors tracing back to Vladimir Lenin and his theories of dictatorship of the proletariat. It was in effect an increasingly bureaucratic Russian regime that reached its apotheosis with Josef Stalin's totalitarian dictatorship. For one thing, and the most obvious, Moscow no longer commands the loyalty and services of either ideological cynics or well-meaning idealists abroad in national Communist parties forming a vast espionage network run out of the Comintern. Read more ..


UNRWA on Edge

UN Relief and Works Agency: Savior or Demon?

February 20th 2018

Palestinian Rock Attackers

The news is abuzz with the decision of the United States to withhold 65 million dollars from the United Nations Relief Agency (“UNRWA”) that was created supposedly to help Palestinian Arab refugees. Like many United Nations activities, this so-called “relief agency” was set up for the wrong reasons and has become a tool of third world terrorists.

Palestine was the name given to the region occupied by modern Jordan and Israel by the Romans when they crushed the Jewish nation. They wanted to wipe out the Jewish presence from the Holy Land forever. Fortunately for the world, this did not occur and the presence of Jews in Israel, including Judea and Samaria, continued unabated.
UNRWA has been used repeatedly as a disguise for terrorist indoctrination. UNRWA schools teach a revisionist history that claims the Holocaust against the Jews never happened and to deprecate Western values at every level. Read more ..


MEF Asks for Public's Help Collecting Examples of Tech Censorship

February 20th 2018
The Middle East Forum (MEF) is extremely concerned by the growing level of censorship by tech companies against those whom Silicon Valley finds politically unpalatable. Examples we have recently come across even include the suppression of anti-Islamist information published by moderate Muslim activists. We have previously written about Google's work with the NYT, Guardian and Wikipedia to automate censorship of "offensive" content. YouTube and Google are now following Twitter's practice of "shadow-banning" – hiding or down-ranking content that tech companies find politically unpalatable. And many of you will have come across examples of Facebook deleting posts or suspending accounts. Has this issue affected you or someone you know? MEF is looking for your help. We are collecting instances of censorship by tech companies – especially when it relates to anti-Islamist content. Any examples and information you can send us are extremely useful. If you have screenshots or other evidence, that is best; but we are also happy to hear anecdotal evidence. Please note: if the information that was censored actually incited violence, then we are not interested. Instead, we want to see examples of unreasonable censorship. Also please note that we may make public any examples as part of an eventual report. Help us document this disturbing trend.

Iran on Edge

History Lessons from Years Under Islamism

February 18th 2018

Women's Rights Activists

My father's generation in Iran lived in an environment in which the Islamist party of the country's clergy cunningly depicted themselves as intending no harm, supportive of the people, and not interested in power. So, before the revolution, many Iranians did not think that Khomeini's party would be committing the atrocities that they are committing now or that they would have such an unrelenting hunger for power. Instead, during this time, the country thought it was on a smooth path towards democracy, with no expectation of ever returning to a barbaric era. Even the then-US President Jimmy Carter viewed Khomeini as a good religious holy man.

Read more ..

Borken Borders

ICE Raid Yields over 100 Illegal Aliens with Felonies

February 17th 2018

US Border guard

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation officers and special agents arrested 212 individuals for violating federal immigration laws and served 122 notices of inspection (NOIs) to businesses in the Los Angeles area of responsibility (AOR) during a five-day targeted operation that ended on Thursday. Eighty-eight percent of those arrested were convicted criminals.

“Because sanctuary jurisdictions like Los Angeles prevent ICE from arresting criminal aliens in the secure confines of a jail, our officers are forced to conduct at-large arrests in the community, putting officers, the general public and the aliens at greater risk and increasing the incidents of collateral arrests,” said ICE Deputy Director Thomas D. Homan, according to a release. “Fewer jail arrests mean more arrests on the street, and that also requires more resources, which is why we are forced to send additional resources to those areas to meet operational needs and officer safety. Consistent with our public safety mission, 88 percent of those arrested during this operation were convicted criminals.”

Read more ..

Financing the Flames

Senate Version of Taylor Force Act Leaves PA No Room to Maneuver on Terrorist Payments

February 16th 2018

Hamas head

The US Senate is preparing to vote on the Taylor Force Act that links US financial assistance to the Palestinians with a verifiable end to the Palestinian Authority’s policy of “martyr payments” to convicted terrorists and their families – and the final version of the bill leaves the PA with little room to maneuver if it wants to continue receiving US aid.

Named in memory of the former American army officer stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in March 2016, the Taylor Force Act passed the House of Representatives by unanimous consent in December 2017. At the time, some supporters of the legislation expressed concern about exemptions that were introduced for certain infrastructure projects in the PA, as well as a “sunset clause” that would require the Act to be renewed six years from now. Read more ..


Significant Lives

Sam Bloch, Champion of Holocaust Survivors, Is Dead at 93

February 16th 2018

Holocaust cattle cars

Sam Bloch, who fled the Nazi occupation of his Polish hometown with his mother and brother, joined the Jewish resistance that fought Germans in Belarus, and later helped organize large public assemblages of Jewish Holocaust survivors, died on Feb. 4 at his home in the Rego Park section of Queens. He was 93.

His son-in-law Menachem Rosensaft said the cause was heart failure.

To Mr. Bloch, an executive at the World Zionist Organization in Manhattan for 50 years, the gatherings offered mass witness to the horrors of Nazism and evidence that survivors had reclaimed their lives out of what he called “the kingdom of death.” When nearly 6,000 survivors from two dozen countries met in Jerusalem in 1981 — the first major gathering Mr. Bloch was involved in — he told the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, that those who died in crematories, were buried in mass graves and fought in ghettos would not be forgotten.

Read more ..

Mideast on Edge

Analyzing The Latest Round Of Big Military Moves In The Middle East

February 16th 2018

Israeli tank Operation Protective Edge

There are lessons to be learned from Iran firing a drone into Israeli air space and Israel’s destruction of about half of Syria’s air defense capabilities in response:

  • Iran is testing not only its capabilities abroad, but the reactions of its enemies and its security on the home front
  • Israel is testing as well
  • Russia’s appears unwilling to take on any more military activity than absolutely necessary and is unwilling to confront Iran.
  • The US will stand by Israel, but may not be willing to push Iran out of Syria.

Iran

Iran’s goal is to operate militarily across Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon – north of its adversaries Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel. To this end, Iran “helped” move not only ISIS fighters, but tens of thousands of Sunni Arabs, from its westward path. Iran controls militias of more than 80,000 fighters in Syria. Israeli sources say there are 3,000 members of Iran’s IRGC commanding 9,000 Hizb’allah, and 10,000 “violent Shia militias recruited from across the Mideast, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The rest are Syrian.

Read more ..

Destination America

Brand USA's New Doc Uses Music To Attract Inbound Travel

February 15th 2018

Stature of Liberty Sunset

Read more ..

America on Edge

The Origins of Mass Murder

February 15th 2018

Ammo

Author and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson, who has frequently locked horns with government authorities and leftists in his native Canada over issues related to free speech and crime, has frequently offered analyses of criminal acts. In a lecture at the University of Toronto, Peterson sought to analyze the minds of several notable mass murderers. 

Describing one of the two killers held responsible for the mass murder at the high school in Columbine, Colorado, in 1999, Peterson said that killer Dylan Klebold had brooded on his “isolation, his segregation from mankind. He’s out there in a chaotic domain, and because he is tortured by that, his thoughts take an unbelievably dark turn.” Peterson also described Carl Panzram, a child of German immigrants who had his beginnings as a juvenile delinquent and went on to become one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history. Panzram claimed to have raped more than 1,000 men and committed at least 21 murders, one of which was of a child.

Read more ..

America on Edge

Inside the Florida Mass Murder

February 15th 2018

Police Running

Near the close of the school day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, north of Miami, Florida, at least 14 people were wounded in a mass shooting on Wednesday. Authorities did not confirm immediately how many persons were killed by the lone gunman who opened fire at approximately 3:00 p.m. local time. However, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed during an evening press conference that 17 people perished in the attack. Twelve died within the school, two just outside the building, one victim was killed on a street near the school, while two more died in hospital. An AR-15 style rifle was recovered at the scene, as well as several magazines.

At least one school official suggested that mental issues may be at the root of such mass murders.

The gunman, who managed to evade capture at first, was eventually arrested without incident and is now in custody.  Read more ..


The Race for EVs

Is EU planning to Promote Batteries for EVs?

February 15th 2018

EU flag

The EU is pushing the pace of developing powerful batteries for electric cars. The EU Commission intends to present a concrete strategy shortly.

We in Europe want to be competitive not only on our own market, but also worldwide, "said EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic earlier this week after a "Battery Summit" in Brussels, attended by representatives of other EU countries, including Germany's Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Matthias Machnig. At the end of next week, the Commission intends to present a strategy, Sefcovic said according to media reports.

Machnig said in Brussels that the automotive industry has undergone the deepest changes since its beginnings. In the past, the economy of the EU has been competitive because it leads the way in combustion engines. However, battery cells and modules are central to e-mobility. Those who think they can just buy these batteries are blind or even naïve, Sefcovic said. For this reason, European companies must work together across national borders.

Read more ..

The Edge of Space

Something Violent Happened to Our Solar System's First Interstellar Visitor

February 14th 2018

Solar System Birth

An interstellar object called 'Oumuamua has confounded astronomers ever since it passed through our solar system in October of last year.

Scientists initially thought that the object — the first-ever visitor from another solar system spotted by Earth-based telescopes — was a comet. Later, they considered it an asteroid and even later described it as a possibly comet-like icy body with a rocky crust.

Now, scientists have found that in addition to its confusing appearance, 'Oumuamua — an up to 1,300-foot-long (400 meters), cucumber-shaped object — likely has a rather dramatic history.

When astronomers from Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland observed the changes in the object's brightness, they found that it is not spinning regularly, like the majority of known asteroids and small bodies in the solar system do. Rather, it is chaotically tumbling. Read more ..


Israel on Edge

Netanyahu Says Recommendation 'Full of Holes,'

February 14th 2018

Bibi Netanyahu with Glasses

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the police recommendations to indict him in an address to the Union of Local Authorities at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds on Wednesday.
Netanyahu called the recommendation ugly, extremist and full of holes, like Swiss cheese. He said the recommendations failed to take into account his 20 years of friendship with Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan which included gifts going both ways over the years, and exaggerated the value of the gifts from Milchan.

“The police ignored the facts I gave them on how I actually acted against the interests of Milchan,” Netanyahu said. “I broke his monopoly on importing auto parts, which was worth a huge amount. I worked to close Channel 10, which would make his stock in the channel worth nothing. I work for the Israeli economy and society. I am working against Milchan, not for him.” Read more ..


HillaryGate

Comey's Court Declaration May Lead to Obama

February 11th 2018

Obama-Limo

The House Intelligence Committee’s “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses (FISA)” outlines explicit prima facie criminal behavior that starts with former FBI Director James Comey, and seems to end with President Obama.  It may be the greatest subversion of the US Constitution ever, one that will expose the United States to necessary additional independent prosecution to unravel and uncover a far-reaching Obama Administration criminal enterprise.

To be specific, for starters, FBI Director and AG Loretta Lynch, and President Obama may even have engaged in a conspiracy connected to “18 U.S.C. Section 1001 Statements or entries generally,” and “18 U.S.C. Section 1623 – False declarations before grand jury or court.”  Both of these federal criminal statutes are felonies.Let’s break down the factual components we know about as of today: Read more ..


The Battle for Syria

The Complicity of German Chemical Companies in Syria

February 10th 2018

Angela Merkel seeking inspiration

Chemical weapons have been outlawed since the Hague Declaration in 1899 because the world had generally agreed that they are uniquely hideous and terrifying. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles and the 1925 Geneva Protocol were reiterations of what had been one of the world’s few consensus points. German use of chemicals in the Nazi Holocaust was so profoundly loathsome that to this day Nazis are prosecuted and punished. In 2016, Reinhold Hanning, A 94-year-old former Auschwitz death camp guard was convicted as an accessory to the murder of 170,000 people. In 2017, 96-year-old Oskar Groening, a former Nazi guard and SS officer, was deemed fit to serve jail time for his crimes.

On January 22 and February 1, 2018, the Syrian government with at least the tacit support of its allies Russia and Iran, subjected the rebel controlled Syrian city of Douma to chemical attacks – it wasn’t the first time, but this time there are side stories from Germany and Iran.

Read more ..

The Battle for Syria

Assad Is Still Using Chemical Weapons in Syria

February 10th 2018

Syria fighting injured baby

UN investigators are looking into reports the Syrian regime used chemical weapons on at least two rebel-held towns in recent days. The reports mark at least the sixth time the regime of President Bashar Assad has used such weapons against civilian population centers.

The UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria said Tuesday it had received multiple reports “that bombs allegedly containing weaponized chlorine have been used in the town of Saraqeb in Idlib and Douma in eastern Ghouta.” The allegation is likely to further increase tensions between the U.S. and Russia at the UN Security Council, where both countries are permanent, veto-wielding members. The U.S. complains that Russia, which backs the Assad regime, blocks any meaningful action against the Syrian leader’s use of internationally prohibited weapons.

Read more ..

The Obama Era

Republican Report Suggests Obama Direct Involvement in Clinton Email Probe

February 10th 2018

Obama and bright lights

A new report released on Wednesday by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin alleges that texts between FBI Agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page show that then-President Barack Obama was being informed about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton email controversy. The senator’s report puts a focus on the scandal, and includes Strzok, who was one of the top FBI agents assigned to the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of supposed ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, and Page. Johnson serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Sen. Johnson alleges that texts between Page and Strzok show that they were preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey because Obama may have wanted to be apprised of the case. Page wrote on Sept. 2, 2016, that she was preparing the talking points because "potus wants to know everything we’re doing." POTUS is an abbreviation for President of the United States. Read more ..


The Trump Era

Newt Gingrich says 'Grizzly Bear' Trump Seriously Cleaning out the 'Swamp'

February 10th 2018

Washington K Street NW

On Thursday, Newt Gingrich claimed that establishment media outlets are concealing texts between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, while he argues that the anti-Trump messages in them are getting worse. In 2016 and into the first months of the Trump administration, Page and Strzok -- who were reportedly engaged in an extramarital affair -- exchanged in excess of 50,000 texts that revealed their abhorrence of Trump and his presidency. 

On Election Day 2016, for instance, Page wrote to Strzok, "OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING." In reply, Strzok wrote: "Omg, I am so depressed." A week later, Page wrote, "I bought All the President's Men. Figure I need to brush up on Watergate." On November 14, 2016, she wrote,  “God, being here makes me angry. Lots of high fallutin’ national security talk. Meanwhile we have OUR task ahead of us.”

Read more ..

The Edge of Autism

Autism Shares Brain Signature with Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder

February 10th 2018

child glasses

Gene expression patterns in the brains of people with autism are similar to those of people who have schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, according to a large study of postmortem brain tissue. The findings appear today in Science.

All three conditions show an activation of genes in star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes, and suppression of genes that function at synapses, the junctions between neurons. The autism brains also show a unique increase in the expression of genes specific to immune cells called microglia.

“This study demonstrates for the first time that [gene expression] can be used to robustly define cross-disorder phenotypes that are shared and distinct,” says lead investigator Daniel Geschwind, professor of neurology, psychiatry and human genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles. “And these phenotypes are related to the molecular and cellular pathways that likely have gone awry.” Read more ..


The Edge of Nature

Stronger Than Steel, Super Wood Can Cheaply Transform

February 10th 2018

Wildfire

Some varieties of wood, such as oak and maple, are renowned for their strength. But scientists say a simple and inexpensive new process can transform any type of wood into a material stronger than steel, and even some high-tech titanium alloys. Besides taking a star turn in buildings and vehicles, the substance could even be used to make bullet-resistant armor plates.

Wood is abundant and relatively low-cost—it literally grows on trees. And although it has been used for millennia to build everything from furniture to homes and larger structures, untreated wood is rarely as strong as metals used in construction. Researchers have long tried to enhance its strength, especially by compressing and “densifying” it, says Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park. But densified wood tends to weaken and spring back toward its original size and shape, especially in humid conditions. Read more ..


The Trump Era

A Friendship Strengthened Between America and Israel

February 10th 2018

Armstrong_Williams

The White House recently released a transcript of remarks made by Vice President Mike Pence. According to the release, he spoke in “The Knesset, Jerusalem, Israel.” This may not seem groundbreaking at first glance, but the simple act of defining Jerusalem as a part of Israel is evidence of a long-awaited and much-needed shift in how America deals with this key ally. If there is one main thing to take away from Vice President Pence’s visit to Israel, it is that the U.S.-Israel relationship is finally back on firm footing where it belongs. Since the Trump administration replaced the Obama administration, dedicated supporters of the Jewish state have been put at ease. President Trump is a clear friend upon whom Israel can rely, and the strong backing of our most important ally in the Middle East extends throughout the President’s cabinet and reaches across his entire administration. 
 
This is a welcome change from the days when Obama mistreated our ally and needlessly created personal animosity between himself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Rather than working out any policy disagreements behind closed doors in private, members of Obama’s cabinet leaked insults about the Israeli Prime Minister to the press and attempted to use pressure to force Israel to make concessions to a Palestinian Authority which refused to recognize Israel’s legitimacy and repeatedly denied the Jewish people’s undeniable connection to the land.  
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The Obama Era

Department of Justice Settles Lawsuit with Pro-Israel Group Targeted by IRS

February 3rd 2018

IRS Bldg DC

The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it has settled its final lawsuit with a pro-Israel group that was targeted by the Internal Revenue Service during the Obama administration.

The settlement on Thursday was with a pro-Israel nonprofit called Z Street, founded by Lori Lowenthal Marcus in 2009. In its lawsuit, Z Street contended that it had been unfairly targeted by the IRS due to its support for Israel, and in particular its alleged support for Jewish activity over the pre-1967 “Green Line.”

“Tax exemption eligibility should be based on whether an organization’s activities fulfill requirements of the law, not a group’s policy positions or the name chosen to reflect those views,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman said in a statement. Read more ..


The Edge of Cyber

Source Code Sharing is a Terrible Idea

February 3rd 2018

I-phone

Many heads of state use insecure iPhones​

Source codes are the instructions written by a computer programmer that powers its software. It contains all the secret instructions in a program that, if discovered, would enable the software source to be stolen. Any software, from your games to America’s military systems. For decades, therefore, the U.S. government export control system refused to allow software source code to be shared.

Those days are over. Some of America’s top tech companies – including McAfee, Symantec and Hewlett Packard – anxious to make money in foreign markets, have been sharing source code with rival powers including Russia and China. McAfee and Symantec shared anti-virus software, making our armed forces, our strategic systems, our critical infrastructure, and our government even more vulnerable to foreign hacking and penetration. The Pentagon said in a letter to Capitol Hill that source code reviews by Russia and China “may aid such countries in discovering vulnerabilities in those products.” Read more ..


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