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Archive for July 2018

NATO on Edge

Wrecking NATO

July 12th 2018

NATO meeting

The Washington Post headline blared, "Trump is bent on wrecking NATO. Prepare for catastrophe." The Post fears that President Trump's diplomacy will benefit Vladimir Putin to the detriment of American and European interests.  European Council president Donald Tusk sniped, "Dear America, appreciate your allies.  After all, you don't have that many."

The NATO countries are, indeed, among America's closest allies, but some of them appear more interested in oil, natural gas, and trade with Iran than in the Fulda Gap.  Some of our "closest allies" have been working overtime to undermine America.  If Mr. Trump is irritated with them, there is a reason.


The Edge of Autism

Not Born with It

July 11th 2018

Black infant

Recently, the newest U.S. autism prevalence numbers were released by the CDC.  It was not good news.  Among children born in 2004 and 2006, the prevalence of autism had increased from 1 in 68 to 1 in 59, respectively.  Leading the nation in terms of autism prevalence was New Jersey with a rate of 1 in 35 children and 1 in 22 boys.  In other words, nearly 5% of boys in New Jersey have autism spectrum disorder as defined by the new DSM V criteria. Of the children with autism in the U.S., 56% had an evaluated IQ of 85 or less, meaning they possessed intellectual disability, with the majority of those children having an IQ of less than 70.

Many in the scientific community have posited that autism is genetically determined, and researchers have searched the genome looking for the cause of this disorder.  However, the over 400 genes that have been attributed to autism risk were found to contribute to only a fraction of autism cases.  Climbing down this flimsy branch of genetics, researchers and lauding media contrived the phrase “individuals born with autism.” Read more ..

The Trump Era

Trump Picks Conservative Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Nominee:

July 10th 2018

law books regulations green

President Donald Trump has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to join the US Supreme Court, setting the stage for a dramatic confirmation battle over a stalwart conservative who could shape the direction of the court for decades to come.

If confirmed, Kavanaugh would replace a frequent swing vote on the bench, retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often sided with his liberal colleagues on issues such as abortion, affirmative action and LGBT rights.
Kavanaugh, 53, is a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and Yale Law School graduate who previously served in both Bush administrations. He also worked on independent counsel Ken Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton.
"What matters is not a judge's political views, but whether they can set aside those views to do what the law and the Constitution require. I am pleased to say I have found without doubt such a person," Trump said as he announced Kavanaugh's nomination at the White House Monday evening.

Book Review

Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel Engraves a Comprehensive and Well-documented History

July 10th 2018

Judaism Zionism and the Land of Israel

Judaism, Zionism and the Land of Israel by Rabbi Yotav Eliach engraves a comprehensive and well documented history of Eretz Yisrael, that is, in my opinion, required reading for all
those who want to truly understand andappreciate what Zionism and the Land of Israel mean to the Jewish Nation. Rabbi Eliach skillfully presents the continuing drama of Israel’s struggle|
with its neighbors in such a gripping manner, it is hard to put the book down until you finish the last page.
Not only does this book trace the religious relationships of the three major faiths to the Land of Israel, it also serves as a scholarly primer on International Law. Thus, any conscientious law student may appreciate the intricate and delicate problems at hand. Spiritually uplifting and vastly informative, this book is simply what books should be-- a great read. Be forewarned--it is a heavy volume, weighing in at over 800 pages. But that took is what makes this volume a staple for any library, personal or academic. 
Constitutional attorney Alan Dershowitz wrote of this book: "The case for Israel  must  be  made anew in every generation and to every audience. Rabbi Eliach has been making the  case  to generations  of  high  school  students. Now he brings his insights and experience to a general public that is desperately in need of history and current realities." Historian Edwin Black, wrote, "A dramatic and incisive journey into Jewish and  Zionist history that will uplift any reader -  academic or religious -  into a new understanding of Israel and its place in our history--and our future."  And commentator Martin Barillas summed up the accomplishment as "the fruit of a lifetime of study and teaching." I found none of those were exaggerations.
Martin E. Ritholtz is a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

The Edge of Terrorism

The Connections Between Oil and Terrorism

July 8th 2018

Saudi Oil


Our over-reliance on oil has dangerous consequences. When you pay at the pump, your hard-earned cash isn’t just going to oil companies — it also fills the pockets of terrorists and hostile regimes that harbor dangerous ideologies.

We’ve gathered a few prominent examples of oil revenues funding some of the most dangerous and violent groups in the world (there are more links between oil and terrorism, but consider this list a good place to start):


Arguably one of the greatest terrorism threats in the modern world, ISIS is a jihadist group whose crimes range from genocide, to sexual slavery, to carrying out terrorist attacks around the globe. And like many terrorist groups, ISIS funds a good portion of their activities with oil money. However, what makes ISIS unique is that they receive their oil money in multiple ways.


After the Election

Justice Department stonewalls evidence of Loretta Lynch deal with Clinton

July 8th 2018

Hilary Clinton

The Department of Justice refuses to release material that alleges that while serving as Attorney General during the Obama administration, Loretta Lynch conspired with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to prejudice the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email practices at the Department of State. The material is classified, thus requiring Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz to keep it out of his recent report on the FBI’s handling of its probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server for classified information during her tenure as America’s top diplomat. 

A suggestion that Lynch gave assurances to the Clinton campaign about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton was included in Horowitz’s final draft of his 500-page+ report, but was eventually blanked out. The report criticized Lynch for the "ambiguous" and incomplete recusal from the Clinton email "matter" despite her secret 30-minute "tarmac" meeting with former President Bill Clinton at the Phoenix airport one week before the FBI exonerated Hillary Clinton.

In a report by Paul Sperry of Real Clear Investigations, Horowitz withheld the information from Congress. Even members of Congress holding top secret security clearance have been barred from seeing intercepts from supposed Russian sources that implicate Lynch and the Clinton campaign, on the basis of information from the erstwhile head of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. For their part, Clinton, Lynch, and Wasserman Schultz all deny the allegations.Horowitz told Congress last week in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, “The information was classified at such a high level by the intelligence community that it limited even the members [of Congress] who can see it, as well as the staffs.” Read more ..

The Digital Age

Facebook Censors Patriotic Country Song

July 5th 2018

Computer keyboard

Nashville-based Wes Cook Band on Monday wrote that the social media giant had prevented them from promoting their song, “I Stand for the Flag,” using the platform’s paid ads tool due to its political message, InfoWars reports.

“Our paid FB ads were denied and our reach thereby censored because this video contains ‘political content’. We believe Patriotism is not Political!” the band said in a Facebook post.

The song’s lyrics rally people of all walks of life to unite behind Old Glory, stating, “Don’t care if you’re black or white or who you love, I stand for the Flag, and the Flag stands for all of us.” Read more ..

Fractured Nation

Illegal Immigrants, Palestinian Refugees, and Their Liberal Cheerleaders: The Startling Similarities

July 5th 2018

Stop the Raids immigration protest

The Democrat, left-wing media, and progressive activists’ current freak-out over what is at least a decade-long crisis on our southern border is not just hypocritical.  Yes, these same individuals taking to the streets in ugly mobs and threatening Trump administration officials and their families were silent when children entering the country illegally were detained under Obama.  In fact, in 2014, after visiting a detention center housing migrant children, Nancy Pelosi asserted that the issue should not be politicized, clearly fearing the poor optics.

But the progressive reaction to the migrant issue reflects much more than liberal hypocrisy.  It mirrors the liberal response to, and furthering of, inflammatory and intentionally misleading narratives regarding Palestinian refugees.  Both crises represent the politicization of cultural and ethnic tragedies that seek to blame a strong horse for the wrongs of the true perpetrators of crimes against humanity. And both crises serve as winning strategies for leftist political operatives seeking absolute power.


Morocco Repoliticizes Jerusalem Issue at UNESCO World Heritage Committee

July 5th 2018

As the 42nd UNESCO World Heritage Committee concludes its ten days of proceedings, the Director-General’s policy of depoliticization - pointedly regarding the Arab-Israel issue - seemed to have faded into the Bahrain desert sunset of consensus and harmony. The Jerusalem debate was not resolved, but postponed, but for two blips: The Wiesenthal Centre had drawn attention to the interview granted to the Gulf Times by the Palestinian delegate, performing a litany of anti-Israel recriminations before the ink on the consensus resolution had began to dry [see picture below]. More disturbing, however, was the missive sent by Morocco to all UNESCO delegations: the speech of King Mohammed VI, as Chair of the Council of Al-Quds (viz. no mention of its universal name, Jerusalem) meeting in Rabat. The King’s speech is a critique of the American Embassy’s move, a mild rebuke of Palestinian immobilism, offset by a litany of critiques against Israel [see in attachment original document in Arabic, Spanish, English and French]. One may speculate the intent of Morocco in repoliticizing and, thereby, undermining the policy of a Director-General with family ties to the Moroccan monarchy. Was it a bid for recognition as a player in Arab “Jersualem politics,” in the rivalry between the kings of Jordan and Morocco, or the ill-considered decision of an official in the Moroccan delegation to UNESCO in Paris? In sum, these steps indicate the challenges confronting Madam Azoulay and how laudable her efforts are to contain depoliticization across the board. 

The Iranian Threat

Official Claims Obama Admin Granted Citizenship to 2,500 Iranians During Nuclear Deal

July 4th 2018

Obama downcast

A senior cleric and member of parliament claimed the Obama administration granted citizenship to 2,500 Iranians while negotiating the Iran nuclear deal, Fox News reports.

Hojjat al-Islam Mojtaba Zolnour, chairman of Iran’s parliamentary nuclear committee and a member of its national security and foreign affairs committee, made the allegations during an interview with the country’s Etemad newspaper, cited by the country’s Fars News agency.

He claimed the move was a favor to senior Iranian officials linked to President Hassan Rouhani, and he alleged the move created competition among Iranian officials over whose children would benefit from the scheme, according to Fox News.


Iran's Nukes

The Almighty Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy

July 3rd 2018

Iranian Rial Close-Up

Foreign banks that kept Iran trading oil through previous sanctions are pulling out under pressure from the latest round of U.S. restrictions, hitting a lifeline for the Iranian economy.

Even banks with no direct U.S. exposure are refusing to deal with Tehran, fearing that they will be cut out of the dollar-based global financial system.

With no international banks to fund trade and handle payments, Iranian businesses will struggle to buy and sell with the outside world, even as China, the European Union and India say they want that to continue.

In May, President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and vowed to reimpose economy-crippling sanctions on Tehran. Read more ..

The Edge of Computing

Why Cold Computing Matters for Next Generation of Computing

July 3rd 2018

Oak Ridge Super Computer

Running computers at 77K and even 4K gives huge advantages in power efficiency and access to quantum computers. Nick Flaherty talks to Craig Hampel, Chief Scientist at Rambus (above), on the cold computing research projects the company is working on that will be commercialised in the next three to five years.

Power consumption is the major limiting factor for next generation computing systems, says Craig Hampel. Rambus has made its name in the development of memory sub-systems and is working with Microsoft on new low temperature memory technologies, says its chief scientist. This can lead to higher performance, lower power and extend Moore’s Law for up to a decade.


The Race for Solar

Siemens Works for African Solar Microgrid Projects

July 3rd 2018

Sunrise or Sunset

Siemens has teamed up with Berlin-based systems developer Solarkiosk to boost connectivity across Africa.

The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to use the Solarkiosk’s solar energy technology in non-electrified parts of rural Africa for connection gateways.

Solarkiosk has deployed more than 250 projects in twelve countries serving around 5 million people. It’s solar powered E-HUBB is the business centrepiece for a rural "off-grid" village providing retail and energy related services such as charging (mobile phones, batteries, lights), internet connectivity, cooling of products and medication, water purification, copy, print or scan, financial inclusion services as well as news and entertainment to local communities.


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