The Edge of Space
|Howard Bloom||January 5th 2017|
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Donald Trump will take power any minute now, and we need to take advantage of the change in the White House to change NASA's focus.
Why? NASA needs to get out of the rocket business and shift its attention to a permanent space transport infrastructure, an Eisenhower-style highway in the sky. An infrastructure with:
- Gas stations (propellant depots),
- Rest stops and permanent housing—roomy human habitats with windows and vegetable gardens,
- Truck stops and freight yards—logistics bases with cargo-handling equipment,
- Trucks, SUVs, and dune buggies—Moon-and-Mars ground vehicles; plus tugs to haul loads around in space,
- Fuel production equipment—units to turn the water of the Moon and Mars into rocket fuel, breathable oxygen, and drinkable water,
- Units to turn the carbon dioxide in Mars' atmosphere into plastics, graphene, and carbon fiber with which 3-d printers can build more habitats, tools, and rovers—more trucks, SUVs and dune buggies.
- Units to turn the rusty rocks lying around on the Martian surface into high strength steel for habitats.
Why move NASA into space highway construction? Because no one else will do it. And our future in space depends on it. Our future share in a space economy that United Launch Alliance (a joint venture rocket company from Boeing and Lockheed Martin) estimates will be worth $2.7 trillion in thirty years.
Obama and Israel
|Orde F. Kittrie||January 3rd 2017|
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Notwithstanding the distractions of the holiday season, a considerable debate has erupted over the significance of U.N. Security Council resolution 2334, which the Security Council adopted last Friday with the United States abstaining. In the resolution, the Security Council “reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.” The council also “reiterates its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”
Obama and Israel
|Yoram Ettinger||December 30th 2016|
The term “suspension of disbelief” refers to well-intentioned subordination of documented-facts and common sense to one’s zeal and wishful-thinking: sacrificing long-term realism on the altar of oversimplification and short-term gratification and convenience.
Secretary Kerry’s December 28, 2016 speech was replete with suspension of disbelief, totally inconsistent with Middle East reality, but consistent with the Secretary’s 31-year foreign policy track record.
Secretary John Kerry’s Middle East track record:
Kerry was the top frequent-flying Senator to Damascus, allowing his own idyllic vision of the globe and his hosts’ duplicitous rhetoric to cloud reality. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Cliff May||December 28th 2016|
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is, as its name suggests, an organization committed to jihad — against Israel most urgently, though not exclusively. So when the U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israel, PIJ spokesman Dawood Shihab was pleased. He called it a “victory.” He wasn’t wrong.
Nor was Fawzy Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, another organization openly committed to Israel’s extermination, as well as to “a jihadi revolution” that will be a “prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic caliphate.” He called the resolution an “important evolution in international positions.” He expressed Hamas‘ “appreciation.” Read more ..
The Battle for Syria
|Jonathan Spyer||December 22nd 2016|
The battle for Aleppo is over. The Assad regime and its Russian, Iranian and Shia paramilitary allies have achieved victory.
The process of evacuation of civilians and rebels is yet to be completed. Syrian oppositionists are alleging that pro-regime militias are committing atrocities in the conquered areas. The UN accused pro-regime forces of summarily executing 82 civilians. But while important, these details cannot obscure the main point. Rebel-controlled eastern Aleppo, which held for four years, has now ceased to exist.
What does this mean for Syria and the further direction of the Syrian war?
First and most obviously, there is no longer any prospect of the Assad regime being removed by force. In effect, any such possibility ended on September 30, 2015, with the entry of Russian airpower into the war. The rebellion had and has nothing in its arsenal capable of challenging the might of a world class air force. From the moment of the Russian entry, Assad’s survival was assured. With the destruction of rebel eastern Aleppo, the regime’s ascendancy is sealed. Read more ..
Inside the Arab World
|Tarek Fatah||December 21st 2016|
The Toronto Sun
This month is the sixth anniversary of the "Arab Spring," when Tarek el-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, set himself on fire to protest police harassment.
But, like many good things, the Arab Spring came to an end too soon.
Islamists took over in Tunisia and Egypt, with civil war in Syria and chaos across the Mideast.
The long, dark Arab Winter that had enveloped the Arab world like an ice age since the 13th century returned.
However, all is not lost. A new Arab Spring is emerging, not one organized by NGOs funded by Europe and America, but by Arab intellectuals and dissidents in the Arabian Peninsula.a movement embedded in Arab culture and style, not the street demos that work so well in the West and in emerging countries like India and South Africa that have a tradition of electoral politics and extra-parliamentary opposition. Read more ..
The Trump Era
|By Joseph D'Souza ||December 8th 2016|
Charges of anti-Semitism continue to be thrown around as a tool of political rhetoric in America. We saw it all again in recent days when Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of Breitbart, was appointed chief strategist for the coming administration.
Ignited by a headline from the conservative news site Bannon led and by accusations of him making anti-Semitic remarks, "anti-Semitism" once again permeated headlines.
Never mind that the article in question was written by a Jew and was a criticism of the attempts of another Jew to establish a third-party run which would have split the vote in the election.
Never mind Breitbart has about a dozen staff stationed in Israel; or that Anderson Cooper, on live TV, challenged Elizabeth Warren's claims of Bannon being a white supremacist. Read more ..
American Jewry on Edge
|Isi Leibler||December 7th 2016|
Throughout the 2000 years of Jews living in the Diaspora, there has been no precedent comparable to the behavior of major liberal mainstream sectors of the American Jewish community. They are undermining themselves and provoking massive waves of resentment from Americans, many of whom were favorably disposed towards them.
The United States has been the home of the largest Jewish community in the Diaspora for nearly a century and was regarded by many Jews as the “goldene medina.” Traditional anti-Semitism is at an all-time low with the exception of the current anti-Israel agitation initiated on college campuses by Muslims and far-left radicals. Many Jews have become affluent, powerful and are highly respected by most Americans.
Until recently, all mainstream Jewish organizations sought to maintain Democrat and Republican bipartisanship with regard to Israel and major issues of Jewish concern. This, despite the fact that for complex historical reasons, the vast majority of American Jews were inclined toward liberalism and voted Democrat.
Even after eight years of President Barack Obama’s efforts to create daylight between Israel and the United States in order to appease Iran and the Arab countries and despite the extraordinary support for Israel expressed by all sections of the Republican Party, Jews still tended to vote Democrat. This contrasted sharply with Anglo-Jewry, whose members defected in droves from the British Labour Party when it became anti-Israel/anti-Semitic under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.
Regrettably, a number of mainstream U.S. liberal Jewish organizations broke with all tradition and displayed unprecedented and extreme partisanship in the recent US election and its aftermath. This may have disastrous long-term repercussions on the standing and influence of the American Jewish community. Read more ..
The Edge of Health
|Dr. Carlton E. Turner||November 25th 2016|
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As the former Drug Czar under President Ronald Reagan, with an extensive background in marijuana research, I thought I should share some of my thoughts about 'medical' marijuana.
From 1970 to 1981, I held various positions at the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi. During this time, I published over 100 original papers, chapters in books, patents, and two large Marijuana Bibliographies covering marijuana research starting in the 1880s. I also served as the Director of the federal government's Marijuana Project.
Obama and Israel
|Gregg Roman||November 23rd 2016|
After their first meeting, with cameras broadcasting their every word across the globe, President Obama turned to Donald Trump and pledged "to do everything we can to help you succeed." Media outlets across the spectrum fawned over his magnanimity.
Guess again. Washington DC insiders widely expect the president to launch a bold effort to constrain the president-elect's options in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by supporting unilateral international recognition of Palestinian statehood, possibly in the UN Security Council.
U.S. policy has long maintained that a Palestinian state should be established in conjunction with a comprehensive peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). Read more ..
The Trump Era
|Rabbi Shmuley Boteach||November 17th 2016|
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes an open letter to Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, to defend former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon against accusations of anti-Semitism — which erupted after president-elect Donald Trump announced that Bannon would serve as White House Chief Strategist.
You know I’m a fan and I consider you a warm friend. One of the highlights of my public life over the last year was delivering the keynote speech to the renowned Iranian-Jewish community of Great Neck, New York, where your wife, Marjan Keypour Greenblatt, was honored for her outstanding work in founding and serving as director of the Alliance for Rights of All Minorities (ARAM), which promotes human rights and especially protects women and LGBT persons in Iran, one of the world’s most oppressive and brutal regimes. Read more ..
The Trump Era
|Armstrong Williams||November 10th 2016|
Now that all the media, the pollsters and the prognosticators have been proven woefully wrong, and as the reality sets in that the United States actually elected Donald Trump as its 45th President, we need to come together and begin to heal the deep wounds that emerged during this epic battle for the heart and soul of America. Contrary to mainstream media belief Clinton was not a shoe-in against Trump, and a silent majority does exist among the American electorate. But it was silent, not because it wasn’t clamoring to be heard – as the massive crowds and impassioned voters who appeared at dozens of Trump rallies attests to. It was silent because we in the media, even in the conservative media, refused to hear them. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Martin Barillas||November 2nd 2016|
Throughout his entire presidential term of nearly eight years, U.S. President Barak Obama has insisted that he “has Israel’s back.”
The reality is that Obama’s appalling foreign policy has been geared toward the creation of “daylight” between the U.S. and Israel. To this end, Obama reneged on the long-standing bipartisan policy that the U.S. would never be a party to forcing Israel into reverting to the 1949 armistice lines. That policy was reflected in the carefully drafted U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, unanimously adopted on November 22, 1967, which intimated that Israel would never be expected to revert to indefensible borders. Read more ..
The Edge of Health
|Laurie Powell||November 1st 2016|
Focus for Health
Just when we thought we had it all figured out… what was the good fat: olive oil… what was the bad fat: lard & butter. Just when we got used to fat free milk and yogurt, those low-cal store-bought cookies over homemade cookies, and the slimming breakfast shakes, BAM! We get the smack down. Turns out all those diet drinks and low fat foods we were consuming were low in fat but full of sugar. And, surprise, surprise. Fat isn’t the culprit for making America obese and diabetic. It’s been the sugar all along. SMH! Last month, The New York Times exposed the sugar industry’s false “scientific” health data showing the increase in heart disease caused by a diet that includes fat. They covered their own sweet buns about the unsubstantiated risk of a high fat diet and the very real dangers of sugar. Read more ..
|By Michael Finch||October 27th 2016|
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Donald Trump is going to win on November 8th and the moment when this election turned from seeming defeat to certain victory will be the least expected and one of the most derisively attacked moments of his campaign. During the third debate when Trump said on being asked if he would accept the election results, "I will look at it at the time" the election was his. The uproar on both sides of the political spectrum has been an avalanche of criticism; this was Trump at his worst, the dooming moment of a quixotic and egomaniacal campaign. Or was it?
Decisiveness and boldness don’t always result in a victory on the field of battle but indecisiveness and hesitation, in the moment of crisis, most assuredly will result in inglorious defeat. Trump has been called a lot of things, probably the most flattering among, even his allies, is that he is a good “entertainer.” For political acumen, he might be given a 2, and that would be the score given by his friends. But too many have all missed something that Trump as seen since the beginning.
|Armstrong Williams||October 13th 2016|
This election cycle, the media’s influence has extended far beyond their tradition roles as reporters and provocateurs to actually framing the public debate. By selectively releasing a decade-old ‘hot mic’ moment in which Donald Trump spoke in demeaning, graphic sexual terms about women, the media sought to circumvent the focus on the issues that was originally intended to be focus of the town-hall style debate between the candidates Sunday night.
The reason why the media has been so intent on dragging extraneous, personally damaging information into the national debate is because they are now afraid of their own creation; Donald Trump. Let’s not forget that up until this point, Trump’s campaign has been largely fueled by headline-grabbing sound-bites that the media were lapped up with the frenzied gusto of starving curs. They in fact have now become so expectant of feeding off controversial statements generated by the candidates, that they have completely abandoned their roles as watchdogs guarding the nation’s storehouse of facts, integrity, truth and transparency.
The print media in particular have all but abandoned investigative reporting and profiling the lives and public records of the candidates; gone is the long form journalism of the past. And the television media no longer even make the pretense of doing in-depth interviews, relying solely on sound-bites and ‘gotcha’ moments featuring a rapidly loudening cacophony of pundits with a bewildering set of agendas and vested interests. Nixon administration vice-president Spiro Agnew’s words describing the media as ‘nattering nabobs’ would be even more applicable to today’s media than at the time he said them. In fact, if he were a fixture on today’s political scene, he probably wouldn’t be in the running for VP, but in fact the CEO of a media start-up called “Natter ” which enabled pundits to instantly publish short, pithy attacks on political candidates. Oh wait, I forgot; we already have that and it’s called Twitter. But you get the point – Agnew’s ‘natter’ is today’s ‘tweet.’ Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Morton A. Klein||October 10th 2016|
Wikileaks recently exposed an email written by former White House official Stuart Eisenstadt that discussed the Obama administration’s deteriorating relationship with Israel and warned that: “There is a distinct possibility that the Administration may seek a new UN Security Council Resolution embodying the two-state, with [pre-] 1967 lines and agreed land swaps, and some vague statements about Jerusalem.”
Is President Barack Obama intending to abandon the decades of bipartisan U.S. policy of vetoing anti-Israel U.N. Security Council resolutions? Specifically, is Obama preparing to permit the UN Security Council to pass a resolution supporting or recognizing a Palestinian Arab state, and declaring Jewish communities built within it to be illegal? Read more ..
The Edge of Race
|Armstrong Williams||October 3rd 2016|
It seems as though the nation's cities and major metropolitan areas are sitting in anxious anticipation for the next police shooting; the next "senseless" loss of someone who didn't have to die.
That's unfortunate. There are too many questions surrounding these shootings, and while the answers do eventually come, rarely are they complete, and certainly the pain does not subside because some plausible explanation is given.
I predict these shootings will continue. I hope I'm wrong.
They won't be regular, and each one needs to be examined in the eyes of the public, the communities, the courts and all institutions of government for their individual merits of what went wrong and who's to blame. It's a fool's errand to assign this to naked, blind racism.
Black cops shooting black suspects; white cops shooting black males; black murderers shooting black, white and Hispanic cops...the permutations are numerous. Many of these instances -- as in the case of the shooting recently in El Cajon, California -- involve veteran officers with decades on the force.
So how about examining these instances through another lens. Sure, let race play a role. And let those in the communities concerned about human life such as Black Lives Matter and the church, ask important questions. It's their right as citizens. Read more ..
After the Holocaust
|Edwin Black||September 23rd 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
Of the many local and regional Holocaust memorials and museums scattered across America, one stands out among the best: The Holocaust Memorial Center in suburban Detroit. For me, the legacy and future of the institution is personal.
Correctly billed as America’s “first Holocaust museum,” the Detroit enterprise was conceived fourteen years before the dominant United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. was even commissioned by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The Detroit museum opened its original doors at its first location in suburban West Bloomfield, Michigan in 1984. Subsequently, the Washington D.C. museum opened its doors in 1993. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Dan Pollack and Josh London||September 22nd 2016|
The recent signing of the new 10 year memorandum of understanding (MOU) on security assistance between the US and Israel is less of an accomplishment than the fanfare around it might indicate. In the MOU, signed September 14th in Washington, the US pledged $38 Billion in military aid to Israel over the next ten years (2019-2028); Israel promised to no longer seek additional funds from Congress, and for the next two years has promised to reject any additional funding. Finally, the ability of Israel to spend one quarter of the aid in its own domestic defense industry, rather than having to spend all of it in the US, will be phased out. This MOU represents modest monetary gains to Israel, but sadly reflects a subtle diminution in the US-Israel relationship. Read more ..
|Benjamin Weinthal, Asaf Romirowsky and Sheryl Saperia||September 21st 2016|
Huffington Post CA
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While Iran's regime continues to expand its nuclear facilities and Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's war has caused a half million deaths, the Green parties in North America are bizarrely preoccupied with boycotting the Jewish state. The parties' counterpart in Germany is, however, a vehement opponent of the anti-Semitic boycott movement. The German Greens should serve as a model for Canadian and U.S. Greens to revise their anti-Israel positions.
Last month, the Green Party of Canada became the country's first party to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement (BDS) targeting Israel. BDS claims to seek concessions from Israel to advance the cause of Palestinian statehood. The movement is actually against peace because it seeks to dismantle Israel and to impose a one-state solution, rather than two states for two peoples.
Jewry on Edge
|Isi Leibler||September 15th 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
Irrespective of one’s personal opinion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s videotaped remarks on Palestinian “ethnic cleansing” of Jews from any future Palestinian state, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt’s scornful public condemnation is simply beyond the pale.
On numerous occasions over the past few months, I have expressed incredulity and anger at the statements of Greenblatt for determinedly tilting the ADL policy away from its primary mandate of combating anti-Semitism and steering it toward partisan social action issues.
The latest example of this was his kumbaya remarks to a J Street audience when he effectively endorsed moral equivalence between Israelis and Palestinians, complained of our failure to recognize the legitimacy of the Palestinian narrative, questioned Israel’s democratic structure, engaged in partisan electoral politics and condemned the Republican platform as “anti-Zionist for omitting a two-state structure, and insisted that groups supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, which he admittedly condemns, are “animated by a desire for justice.”
Greenblatt also continues to align the ADL with the Black Lives Matter movement, despite that the movement has accused Israel of ethnic cleansing and genocide and called on black institutions to support BDS. He refuses to disassociate from them and continues to promote Black Lives Matter in the ADL’s educational and family discussion guides in schools and elsewhere. He considers that this organization, despite its anti-Semitism, is promoting “critical civil rights issues that merit attention” and that only “a small minority of the leaders” are responsible for the anti-Semitic campaigns. Read more ..
The Race for Ethnol
|Marc J. Rauch||September 12th 2016|
THE AUTO CHANNEL
About a century ago, the tobacco industry responded to growing health concerns by using medical doctors in their advertising to promote smoking. Executives at tobacco companies duped the public by relying on the near universal trust in physicians to keep the world addicted to their poison. The outcome was three decades of pseudo medical research and MD endorsements to pretend that cigarettes were not harmful.
Tobacco advertising that promoted doctor-endorsements appeared in all consumer media as well as leading medical publications like "The New England Journal of Medicine" and "The Journal of the American Medical Association."
According to Robert K. Jackler, MD, Sewall Professor and Chair, otolaryngology - head and neck surgery at Stanford University Medical Center, "Cigarette companies also wanted doctors to smoke their brands."* To this end, tobacco companies participated in medical conventions by sponsoring doctors' lounges and giving away free cigarettes. At least one cigarette manufacturer created an internal Medical Relations Division to find medical personnel that could substantiate their illogical advertising claims. In the case of RJ Reynolds, their Medical Relations Division was housed in the offices of their advertising agency.
The petroleum oil industry, the other nefarious harbinger of death, has taken many pages from tobacco's advertising playbook, especially the use of doctors to support their invented claims and pseudo scientific research. The big difference is Big Oil's misuse of the "other" kind of doctors to advance their misinformation. Big Oil likes those with a PhD or a JD after their name. When they find an individual with both a PhD and JD after their name it is better than striking gold. Read more ..
The Battle for Syria
|Jonathan Spyer||September 5th 2016|
After its incursion into Syria, Turkey will have to decide whether to declare "Euphrates Shield" a success or to continue seeking to destroy the Kurdish-led SDF in the face of US opposition. The Turkish incursion into the north Syrian town of Jarabulus and its environs, which began on August 24, is the latest dramatic re-shuffling of the deck in a long and agonizing conflict.
But what is its deeper significance? Does it represent a decisive Turkish entry into the broader effort to destroy the self-proclaimed Islamic State? Or is it, rather, the opening shot in a broader effort by Ankara to destroy the extensive gains made by Syria's Kurds and the putative federal entity they have established in the country's northeast? And what will it mean for US relations with both the Turks and the Syrian Kurds? Read more ..
India on Edge
|Samuel Smith||September 4th 2016|
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the potential to become the Indian version of Abraham Lincoln, says one human rights activist after the country's leader declared his devotion to help the poorest and most deprived social class, and labeled the unjust caste system as "poison" in an interview on Friday.
As the caste system makes it nearly impossible for those considered to be "Dalits" or "untouchables" and their children to rise from the lowest rung of Indian society and earn their way to a comfortable life, millions of Dalits have rioted in recent weeks to protest and proclaim that the injustice they face must end. Read more ..
Turkey on Edge
|A.J. Caschetta||September 2nd 2016|
The Daily Caller
Observers of academic trends might expect the smearing of an American scholar with unfounded charges and wild conspiracy theories to provoke an impassioned defense from all of academia. But that has not been the case with Henri J. Barkey, a scholar at the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson Center who has become a target of Recep Tayyip Erdogan's widespread persecution of "intellectuals."
Upon regaining control on July 16, Erdogan struck back, initiating what many are calling a purge. First he targeted members of the Turkish military, then the judiciary and then journalists. But his most outlandish attack is the bizarre accusation that the coup was orchestrated by a group of academics attending a conference in Turkey, all fomented by Barkey. Read more ..
The Race for Ethanol
|Marc J. Rauch||August 29th 2016|
THE AUTO CHANNEL
I can't say for sure, since I haven't done a count and compared it to a calendar, but it seems to me that the American oil industry has been ramping up its attacks on ethanol and trying to gain ground by adding in more high-powered lapdogs to press their fallacious arguments. These minions come from universities and think-tanks (what I like to call stink-tanks).
Of course, it could just be my impression based upon my own current amped up attention to the attacks. And the reason my attention may be at a peak level is because of the events I've participated in over the past four months. I've just returned to the U.S. from a very exciting and informative trip to Australia. The purpose of my visit was to speak at the Australian National Biofuels Symposium, at which I'm very honored to say that I was one of the keynote speakers within a program that featured a many extremely knowledgeable professionals. Read more ..
India on Edge
|Bishop Joseph D'Souza ||August 23rd 2016|
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For more than a month now the swell of the Dalit (sometimes called "untouchables") uprising has grown across India. Riots stir main streets and town centers, protesters clash with police, and a war of words has begun. India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, is locked in everyone's bull's eye.
"What right do these gau rakshaks [cow protectors] have to treat the Dalits and poor in this manner? If they want they can shoot me, but please don't target my Dalit brothers," said Modi on August 8, referring to an incident in July where four Dalits were publicly beaten for skinning a cow.
Following his remarks, several Hindu right-wing groups, who represent the so-called 'cow vigilantes', threatened Modi, saying he would pay a price for his remarks in the next general election. This threat comes as a personal blow to the Prime Minister, whose political roots reach all the way into these groups.
Jewry on Edge
|Chloe Valdary||August 9th 2016|
On Aug. 1, the Black Lives Matter coalition (BLM) of groups and partners published a platform of objectives and demands ostensibly constructed to correct heavy-handed policing, educational negligence, and economic inadequacy in black communities.
That platform did no such thing.
Instead, organizers offered up a hodgepodge of half-baked ideas in the service of creating a new world order, one in which defunding police, releasing all political prisoners from jail, and redistributing of land are imperative.
Moreover, apparently believing that societal reforms in America’s inner cities are somehow related to the Arab-Israeli conflict, BLM included a section on Israel in its list of demands. With trite talking points, the group called for a divestment from the Jewish state as it is allegedly “complicit in the genocide against the Palestinian people.” Read more ..
|Armstrong Willaims||August 4th 2016|
All the pomp and circumstance has passed. The balloons have fallen, and the conventions are over and through. Expect to see a bounce for Secretary Clinton that essentially wipes away the bump Donald Trump received in the hours and days following his Cleveland closeout.
Yes, now is the time in the presidential election cycle for the proverbial pivot - the shift to full campaign mode in which each side hunkers down and prepares for the onslaught of war. The team that makes the fewest mistakes in this episode wins.
I love these times. They test the political mettle of a candidate. 18-hour days turn into 7-day weeks, and everything smacks of a two dollar tequila binge — a blur. Daily — even hourly — shifts back and forth from public rallies to private fundraising calls to rapid responses; all in an effort to get the slightest advantage.
I believe how Donald Trump enters these next 30 days will largely shape his campaign heading into the final two months, and especially those crucial weeks following Labor Day, when both sides enter the home stretch. Success for the Trump campaign in these next four weeks will depend on whether he does the following four things right:
Continue raising money Read more ..
And lots of it. After an abysmal May fundraising month, the Trump campaign posted some nice June numbers, but he's still so far behind his opponent. Trump needs to make personal appeals to his million- and billion-dollar friends and allies. He needs to reach out to the economic drivers and entrepreneurs of this country who, frankly, aren't very partisan and might be willing to listen to one of their own.
The Edge of Terrorism
|Jonathan Spyer||August 2nd 2016|
The terror attacks in Nice, Wurzburg and Normandy are the latest manifestations of what should now be seen as a still fairly low-level Islamist insurgency taking place in a number of west European countries. The fact that this insurgency has been allowed to kindle itself and slowly emerge before now bursting forth represents a profound failure of Western European political culture and of the continent’s elites.
This is not merely a matter of poor police or intelligence work. Rather, it is the culmination of a long process of enfeeblement. The Islamist insurgency is a disease attacking an already weakened body which lacks the means to defend itself. Read more ..
|Tammi Rossman-Benjamin ||July 30th 2016|
In 2012, the Electronic Intifada, an online anti-Zionist media outlet that aggressively promotes the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, ran a lengthy article suggesting that “allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ create a real climate of fear” that is “silencing” pro-Palestinian student activists on U.S. campuses. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the article, not because of the absurd nature of the charges — that Jewish students were somehow intimidating and silencing pro-Palestinian student activists just by virtue of speaking up about the intimidation, and silencing they themselves were experiencing at the hands of those same activists — I laughed because of the accompanying photograph set beneath the headline. In one concise image, it revealed the utter disingenuousness of the thousand words that followed. Read more ..
Turkey on Edge
|Burak Bekdil||July 28th 2016|
The Gatestone Institute
In 1853, John Russell quoted Tsar Nicholas I of Russia as saying that the Ottoman Empire was "a sick man -- a very sick man," in reference to the ailing empire's fall into a state of decrepitude. Some 163 years after that, the modern Turkish state follows in the Ottoman steps.
Turkey, under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's rule, was staggering between a hybrid democracy and bitter authoritarianism. After the failed putsch of July 15, it is being dragged into worse darkness. The silly attempt gives Erdogan what he wanted: a pretext to go after every dissident Turk. A witch-hunt is badly shattering the democratic foundations of the country. Read more ..
Israel on Edge
|Barbara Opall-Rome||July 14th 2016|
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu professes to know America.
“I spent a significant part of my life in the United States. I studied there, I worked there, my beloved father taught there, and my English ain’t too bad either,” he told celebrants at a recent U.S. Independence Day event in Herzliya.
But in the context of the U.S. aid package that awaits his signature, he’s missing the point. While the English language hasn’t changed all that much, America has. So has Israel.
And that’s the problem.
The America he knew so well as a teenager in the mid-60s and from his college days in the mid-70s no longer views Israel as a fledgling and besieged state in existential need of support. Read more ..
The Battle for Afghanistan
|Shoshana Bryen||July 11th 2016|
The Obama administration has announced that it will not cut the U.S. troop deployment in Afghanistan to 5,000 as planned, but will leave 8,400 soldiers to support the Afghan government in its fight against the Taliban. President Obama said, "Compared to the 100,000 troops we once had there, today, fewer than 10,000 remain."
That is true, but why 8,400? Why not 50,000? Why not zero?
In making his announcement, President Obama said, "Even as we remain relentless against those who threaten us, we are no longer engaged in a major ground war in Afghanistan." That's interesting, but exactly who in Afghanistan threatens the United States? And how relentless can we be with 8,400 soldiers? Read more ..
Mideast Migrants on Edge
|Daniel Pipes||May 18th 2016|
As European governments slam the gates shut on illegal Middle Eastern immigrants, where can Syrians and others go, not far from their homelands, for safety and employment? The answer is obvious but surprisingly neglected: to Saudi Arabia and the other rich Arab sheikhdoms.
The more than 1 million migrants who boated, trained, bussed and walked to northern Europe in the past year overwhelmed the continent's capabilities and good will. Those large numbers were then exacerbated by crime and disease, an unwillingness to assimilate, a drive to impose Islamic laws, and such outrages as the Cologne taharrush (mass sexual assault) and the attacks in Paris and Brussels.
In reaction, populist and fascist parties (such as, respectively, the National Front in France and Jobbik in Hungary) gained strength. The European mood has so deeply shifted — as shown by the March elections in Germany — that much reduced numbers of illegals are likely to get in, no matter what new routes they try, such as via Italy.
This leaves huge numbers of would-be migrants wanting to enter Europe. A European Union (EU) commissioner, Johannes Hahn, counts "20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe. Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus." Yes, but that's just a start; I also add vast numbers of Libyans, Egyptians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans and Pakistanis — and not just political refugees but also economic migrants. In all, the numbers of Muslim peoples ready to emigrate could potentially match the 510 million EU residents. Read more ..
Brazil on Edge
|Luis Fleischman ||April 24th 2016|
Center for Security Policy
On April 17, the Brazilian lower house of Congress voted by more than a two-thirds majority to impeach the current president, Dilma Rousseff. The Senate will vote on the impeachment but contrary to the lower house, a simple majority would be enough to approve such impeachment. If the Senate approves impeachment proceedings, Rousseff will have to step down transferring powers to her vice-president Michel Temer. If she were absolved, she would remain in her position.
The rationale for her prosecution is that she violated fiscal rules by hiding the budget deficit and by illegally using money from state-owned banks at the time she was running for re-election. The request to impeach her was signed by three judges, one of whom is a founder of the ruling Workers Party (PT), the party of President Rousseff. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Dr. Harold Brackman||April 20th 2016|
LA Jewish Journal
Vice President Biden, speaking at J Street a few days ago, voiced the Obama Administration’s “overwhelming frustration” — at Israel for the lack of Mideast peace.
Well, “frustration” seems to be the Middle East’s middle name these days. Has the Administration or the Media bothered to inquire about the “overwhelming frustration” of millions of displaced Syrians, ethnically cleansed Iraqi Christians, disappearing Yazidis, and dare we say it: the citizens of Israel.
Many Israelis are “overwhelmingly frustrated” by the world’s stony silence, as their fellow citizens were literally being stabbed in the back by (primarily) young Palestinian terrorists.
They are "overwhelmingly" angered by a suicide bomber who failed to kill himself but who succeeded blowing up a Jerusalem bus and injuring 21 innocents at the height of rush hour. Read more ..
|Armstrong Williams||March 3rd 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
When it's all said and done, and the 2016 political season has come to an end – two things will have assuredly happened. First, we will have elected a new President of the United States. Second, the tone of electoral politics will have changed forever in the United States. Dr. Ben Carson, who announced yesterday that he would be suspending his campaign, has forever changed electoral politics in the United States for the better. He will be remembered as having run one of the most unique and – especially by contrast – dignified campaigns in presidential election history.
To be completely fair to Carson, he did not actively seek the role of presidential candidate; he was drafted into it. After his appearance at the National Prayer breakfast in 2013 (his second, making him and evangelist Billy Graham the only persons to be invited twice speak at the breakfast), in which he criticized so-called progressive policies and called them essentially un-Christian, many people took notice of Carson. The closer they looked, the more they like what they saw. A slow, gentle, but unmistakable mantra began to gather steam among Americans urging Carson to "Run Ben Run." This phrase echoed throughout Carson’s travels through America in the early months of 2014, as he visited cities and towns, speaking at churches, high schools and book signings. It began to take on real significance when a political action committee with the same name was formed.
Carson was initially surprised but appreciative of all of the accolades and encouragement he was receiving from all around the country. He was already transitioning into a retirement after an illustrious medical career, and looking forward to devoting time to personal pursuits. But the clamor from those around the country who saw Carson as a 'Breath of Fresh Air' continued to encourage him and make him consider the fact that God had a plan for him beyond just retiring to a life of comfort and ease. Ever eager to obey and appear willing in the sight of God, Carson seriously considered the options. He ultimately let both his faith and his intellect guide his decision to take the risk and enter the presidential contest. Read more ..
The Race for Nuclear
|David J. Stuckenberg and Hershel C. Campbell||January 19th 2016|
A year-long study found that the present legal and regulatory approach to EMP/Space weather threat to America's nuclear power plants are inadequate and dangerous. This sorry state is anchored in the industry efforts to maintain safety regulations dating back to the 1980s, and a national security mentality relevant at the end of the Cold War. This has been successful, in part, due to a campaign to brand nuclear power as a clean, safe source of energy. To their credit, the NRC and industry have demonstrated a commitment to safety where design basis events are concerned. However, EMP and GMD are beyond design basis events. Once these occur, there are no guarantees and few strategies with which to cope. Read more ..
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