|Rachel Ehrenfeld||August 29th 2016|
These days, George Soros' connections are getting quite a bit more attention than they did in the 1990s. But by the end of Bill Clinton's reign Soros had already obtained a very influential position with the Clintons, especially with Hillary.
In her excellent profile of Soros in The New Yorker, on January 23, 1995, Connie Bruck relates how Strobe Talbott, Bill Clinton's friend, who served as Ambassador-at-Large and Special Adviser on the New Independent States to Secretary of State Warren Christopher, saw Soros. According to Talbott, Soros was "a national resource - indeed, a national treasure." He described the billionaire as a sort of shadow arm of the State Department. "I would say that it [Soros' foreign policy] is not identical to the foreign policy of the U.S. government, but it's compatible with it, "he told The New Yorker. "It's like working with a friendly, allied, independent entity, if not a government. We try to synchronize our approach to the former Communist countries with Germany, France, Great Britain, and with George Soros." Read more ..
Israel on Edge
|Mort Klein||August 18th 2016|
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) pointed out today that the hatred of Israel displayed by the Black Lives Matter movement stems in large part from the dishonest propaganda of the heavily foreign-founded, Arab Israeli NGO Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, which has been blackening Israel’s name for years.
Last week, The Movement for Black Lives, an offshoot of Black Lives Matter, announced that it would be engaging in Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel because, it said, “Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.” The Movement for Black Lives credits Adalah as one of its “organizations currently working on policy.”
Adalah entered Israel’s national debate in 2006-7 over an Israeli Constitution with their own proposals. Adalah proposed a ‘Democratic Constitution‘. In fact, both proposals called, not for democracy, which Israel has enjoyed since its inception, but for a binational state that would couple an unlimited ‘right of return’ for Palestinian Arab refugees of the 1948-9 war and their millions of descendants with abolishing the Jewish Law of Return.
“…The laws in question are deemed discriminatory by Adalah whenever they merely declare Israel to be the nation state of the Jewish people.”
In April 2008, five Adalah board members joined an Israeli Arab delegation to South Africa in a visit the group itself portrayed as commiserating with fellow victims of apartheid. Adalah takes the position that the Israeli government is a “junta which proves each day that it is the most fascist and racist in history.” Adalah is not as it purports to be, simply an Arab civil rights group, but an organization working to harm Israel’s international reputation. Read more ..
Israel on Edge
|Isi Leibler||August 3rd 2016|
The American presidential elections have created an unprecedented climate of political chaos. Both candidates are reviled by the bulk of the electorate, many of whom intimate that they intend to abstain from voting.
The polls originally predicted that Hillary Clinton would win by a landslide, but the odds have now dramatically narrowed and in this explosive environment, Donald Trump may well be elected.
American Jews are caught in this maelstrom. Regrettably, many of their leaders have seemingly hibernated and failed to speak out even when President Barack Obama maligned Israel. They justified their silence on the grounds that criticism of the president would shatter whatever still remains of bipartisanship. But these same constraints do not seem to apply when attacking the Republican candidate, Donald Trump. Nor were there any concerns of bipartisanship when liberal Jews correctly attacked the George H. W. Bush administration for open hostility to the conservative Shamir government. Read more ..
The Edge of Terrorism
|Sol Sanders||July 31st 2016|
The almost total absence of public mourning for an 85-year-old Christian priest whose throat was slit by Islamist terrorists while he led prayer in a small church in Normandy, France, is a scandal.
Even the French have demonstrated less feeling for this horrendous deed than one would expect from an event which took place in the village which once hosted the trial of Joan of Arc, France's national heroine and a saint of French Christianity.
There was no moment of silence in the U.S. Democratic Convention, not unexpected given its total avoidance of the worldwide terrorist threat. One could have expected that Pres. Barack Obama, too, would have made a special effort to acknowledge this incident, so gratuitously evil as to be virtually indescribable. But that might be charged to his continuing effort to obscure the terrorist threat by refusing to name its origin in Islam and his elaborate courting of the terrorist mullahs in Tehran. Read more ..
|Barry Segal||July 29th 2016|
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In September of 2013, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Michigan) issued a joint statement calling for comprehensive reform of the U.S. tax code which they described as “broken.” It is not broken. In fact, it is perhaps the most effective legislation ever passed by Congress.
Baucus and Camp’s bipartisan mischaracterization stems from either not acknowledging or not understanding what tax law in our country is designed to do: perpetuate the magnification of wealth for those who already have it at the expense of those who will never get it. We absolutely do need to reform the U.S. tax code — not because it is broken, but because it works.
|Richard Baehr||July 25th 2016|
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The Democrats are out selling Tim Kaine as a solid citizen, experienced politician, and a great choice for vice president on the Hillary Clinton ticket -- someone who could step in quickly as president if needed. The traditional pro-Israel community, led by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, are undoubtedly preparing to signal their comfort with him as a Clinton running mate, much as they did with the supposedly pro-Israel Barack Obama, twice. Kaine has voted in favor of foreign aid; he has traveled to Israel; he voted in favor of funding some weapons systems for Israel; he has raised a lot of money from liberal Jews (running for governor, senator, and head of the Democratic National Committee).
Turkey on Edge
|Daniel Pipes||July 20th 2016|
National Review Online
Every major government condemned the coup attempt in Turkey, as did all four of the parties with representatives in the Turkish parliament. So did even Fethullah Gülen, the religious figure accused of being behind the would-be take over.
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All of which leaves me feeling a little lonely, having tweeted out on Friday, just after the revolt began, "#Erdoğan stole the most recent election in #Turkey and rules despotically. He deserves to be ousted by a military coup. I hope it succeeds."
Having this nearly-minority-of-one stance suggests that an explanation longer than 140 characters is in order. Three reasons account for my supporting the ouster of the apparently democratically elected and democratically ruling president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, by what are apparently the forces of reaction:
Erdoğan stole the election. Erdoğan is an Islamist who initially made his mark, both as mayor of Istanbul and as prime minister of Turkey, by playing within the rules. As time wore on, however, he grew disdainful of those rules, specifically the electoral ones. He monopolized state media, tacitly encouraged physical attacks on opposition-party members, and stole votes. In particular, the most recent national election, on November 1, showed many signs of manipulation.
Erdoğan rules despotically. Erdoğan has taken control of one institution after another, even in the two years since he became president, a constitutionally and historically non-political position. The result?
|Alan M. Dershowitz||July 14th 2016|
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In response to the tragic deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling at the hands of police officers in Minnesota and Louisiana, the New York University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) posted the following on its Facebook page:
"In the past 48 hours another two black men have been lynched by the police.... We must remember that many US police departments train with #IsraeliDefenceForces. The same forces behind the genocide of black people in America are behind the genocide of Palestinians. What this means is that Palestinians must stand with our black comrades. We must struggle for their liberation. It is as important as our own. #AltonSterling is as important as #AliDawabsheh. Palestinian liberation and black liberation go together. We must recognize this and commit to building for it."
Even in moments of national mourning such as these, SJP bigots cannot help but exploit the deaths of innocent Americans to further their own anti-Semitic political agenda, namely to delegitimize and demonize the nation state of the Jewish people.
By implicating Israel in these killings, SJP is engaging in the old trope of blaming Jews for systemic and far-reaching societal problems. This practice was anti-Semitic when some Christian communities used it to blame Jews for plagues, poisonings, and murders; it was anti-Semitic when the Nazis used it to blame Jews for the failing German economy; and it is still anti-Semitic today. There is no more evidence that any of the police who killed Mr. Castile and Mr. Sterling were in fact trained in Israel than there was that Jews were responsible for any of the other crimes that formed the basis for traditional blood libels.
|Tammi Rossman-Benjamin||July 12th 2016|
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Combating discrimination means clamping down on free speech. Upholding the First Amendment means anything goes on campus. Encouraging civil discourse and condemning when debate becomes hate is bubble-wrapping students.
With college and high school commencement time upon us, stories emerge daily that student safety measures come at the expense of free speech and critical thinking. Preventing discrimination and protecting the First Amendment, however, should never be at odds. They are not competing issues. Both are paramount responsibilities of a university. Schools must do both and they can.
A close look at the evolution of a recently adopted intolerance policy at the University of California (UC) is a case in point.
A few years ago, UC students, parents, faculty and community members began sharing troubling accounts. Jewish property was vandalized with swastikas after students spoke in favor of Israel, Jewish students on multiple campuses were questioned about their eligibility to hold office and vote on Israel-boycott measures simply because of their religion, and Israel and Jews were blamed for 9/11. “Hitler did nothing wrong,” “Zionists to the gas chamber” and “grout out the Jews” were found on multiple California campuses in the wake of heated anti-Zionist BDS campaigns.
Islam on Edge
A widely-publicised Iftar dinner, intended to show that Malcolm Turnbull gets what it means to be inclusive, ended badly after he was advised that one of his guests, Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, had taught that Islam prescribes death for adulterers, and homosexuals spread diseases. No rogue maverick, Australian-born Alsuleiman is the elected national president of the Australian National Imams Council.
Although insisting that "mutual respect is absolutely critical," Turnbull subjected this prominent Muslim leader to public humiliation. He regretted inviting him to dinner and counselled the sheikh "to reflect on what he has said and recant." In the middle of an election, wanting to limit fallout from the dinner-gone-wrong, held only days after the Orlando massacre, Turnbull stated that his no-longer-welcome guest's views are "wrong, unacceptable, and I condemn them." Read more ..
|Igal Ram and Eliana Rudee ||April 20th 2016|
LA Jewish Journal
What truly puzzles the Israeli public is "Israel Apartheid Week," being staged on several U.S. college campuses these last few weeks. A spin-off of the anti-Israel BDS movement, its “commercial” success can best be explained as a “Disneyland of Hate.” Activists are not fighting a real struggle for their own rights or anyone else’s. Rather, this is a pretend civil rights struggle for a mediated image of a subjugated victim of an evil oppressor in faraway Occupied Land.
The story is so rife with metaphors that it has become a radical paradise: Indigenous people lived in the beautiful land of Jesus, herding sheep and growing olive trees. All of a sudden enter a bunch of crooked-nosed, conniving, colonialist Jews, armed to the teeth and backed by vast financial resources, who cheat and kill the poor victims, rob them of their land, raze their villages, and drive them away to camps. Then they build a huge wall to keep them in perpetual captivity. The colonialists use their sinister, cutting-edge technologies to ravage their victims, extending their tentacles globally to influence politicians, the media and the public. Read more ..
The Edge of Terrorism
|Zalmi Unsdorfer||March 26th 2016|
Cutting Edge contributor
I don’t know where the next terrorist attack on Europe will take place.
But I do know who will be carrying it out.
Apart from the obvious – it being an incited Islamist – it will almost certainly be someone who the police know about and was on their ‘watch list’.
This has been a common theme all the way back to 9-11.
In almost every Islamist terror outrage since then it’s always been someone already ‘on the radar’ of the security services.
How many more innocent civilians have to lose their lives and how many more parents and spouses need to see their lives destroyed before this lunacy stops?
I speak not of the lunacy of Islamist terrorism. But the lunacy of our ascribing human rights to inhuman terrorists. Read more ..
The Iranian Threat
|Ariel Ben Solomon||January 14th 2016|
Iran’s capture and release of 10 US sailors demonstrated that “moderates” such as President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have no real weight, while the real power continues to be wielded by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his hardline allies, such as the Revolutionary Guard, several commentators said Wednesday. Propaganda videos of the soldiers blindfolded and kneeling released by Iranian media humiliated the world’s superpower and shows that Iran can continue its aggressive behavior with no consequences.
The Obama administration will not allow anything to get in the way of the nuclear deal’s implementation and the lifting of sanctions on Iran, they said. Read more ..
The Edge of Justice
|Mark Hyman||January 8th 2016|
The Justice Department is shutting down
the "equitable sharing program" of asset forfeiture. There are two types of asset forfeiture: criminal and civil. In criminal asset forfeiture, the government may seize money and assets it's shown to be the spoils of criminal activity after there's been a conviction. Civil asset forfeiture is the Wild West. It's used before someone's been convicted, charged or even accused of a crime.
Federal rules for asset forfeiture are lax. Under the equitable sharing arrangement, the D.O.J. allowed state and local governments to use these lax, federal rules. Too often, state and local police forces confiscated money and assets without charging anyone with a crime. Or even questioning them. Agencies then auction the assets
. They're usually free to spend all the money they've accumulated with few or no restrictions. This is why critics call it "policing for profit." It's been reported
Washington, D.C. police make stops and seize whatever cash they find in people's pockets -- even as little as twenty dollars -- claiming it could be drug proceeds. Read more ..
Financing the Flames
|George Birnbaum, Hank Sheinkopf, and
Ronn Torossian||December 25th 2015|
The adage about two Jews and three opinions is one which is likely to remain a perpetual reality for our people. There is room for views on the Left and the Right, whether we agree or not, as long as those ideals are rooted in loyalty and fairness. There are certain opinions, however, that we cannot accept: those rooted in deception, intended to cause harm, yet presented under the guise of legitimate concern. Views that lead to actions which undermine the safety and security of Israel and the Jewish people cannot be welcomed, nor given credence, much less financial support, by those who believe in Israel as a Jewish nation.
Actions that seek to undermine the men and women who serve in the IDF; ones that would have Israeli citizens arrested in foreign countries and charged with war crimes; ones that would see Israel brought before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, are unacceptable. Additionally, those who would encourage and support a boycott of Israel, painting the country and its people as an apartheid nation and people, cannot be seen as beneficial in any way, as they only help to make Israel appear illegitimate to world bodies and the court of public opinion. Read more ..
Media on Edge
|Ynet staff||December 24th 2015|
American news network CNN and The New York Times were both met with criticism for their slanted reporting of the terror attack at the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Instead of reporting on two victims and two terrorists who were killed, a newscaster at CNN simply reported: "In Jerusalem, four people are dead in the wake of a stabbing attack in a very popular tourist area. It happened at the Jaffa Gate to the Old City." CNN has yet to comment on the matter. The New York Times, meanwhile, reported on the attack with the headline "2 Palestinian Attackers Killed, 2 Israelis Die in Jerusalem."
An organization called SSI (Students Supporting Israel) posted the headline on its Facebook page, adding "Terrorists are killed, but innocent Israelis DIE?" Read more ..
Jewry on Edge
|Carol Greenwald||December 15th 2015|
On December 2, a letter signed by one thousand rabbis was delivered to Congress calling on "our elected officials to uphold the great legacy of a country that welcomes refugees." The leadership of virtually all of the Jewish defense organizations, from the AntiDefamation League (ADL) to the American Jewish Committee (AJC), have echoed these demands to admit thousands of Syrian refugees.
These Jewish leaders have betrayed the Jews of America. They prefer burnishing their liberal credentials and parroting the views of a Democratic president to their duty to sound the alarm about the harm to American Jews from bringing to the US Syrian Muslims, who have been raised in a culture of virulent antiSemitism. Seeing the destruction of Jewish life in Europe with the influx of Muslim immigrants from Arab countries, it would not take much imagination for these socalled Jewish leaders to see what mass immigration of Arab Muslims will mean for the safety of Americans and for American Jews in particular. Read more ..
Turkey and Russia
|Daniel Pipes||December 12th 2015|
The editors of AydÄ±nlÄ±k, a Turkish newspaper, asked me a number of questions about the shoot-down of the Russian plane on Nov. 24. I replied to the questions and sent in my replies on Nov. 27 but did not hear back. So, over two weeks later, I am providing them here, as I wrote them, in English.
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As relations between the Turkish and American governments have worsened in recent years, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought improved relationsgwith Russia and (to a lesser extent) China. With the shoot-down of the Russian SU-24 warplane, Erdogan has seemingly thrown away this option. Why?
|Armstrong Williams||September 24th 2015|
Despite her assertions to the contrary, the controversy over Hillary Clintonâ€™s email address is not just an issue for the reporters she wishes would stop peppering her with questions on the topic. It is an issue that gets right to the heart of a vital questionâ€”shouldnâ€™t the American people trust the person they elect to sit in the Oval Office as president?
Abraham Lincoln once said, â€œThe people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust.â€ If only the inverse were true. However, the track record of obfuscations and lack of forthrightness by Mrs. Clinton make it increasingly hard for her to be trusted.
That certainly seems to be the opinion of the people. But donâ€™t just take my word for it, look at the numbers in recent surveys.
A national Quinnipiac University poll released last month indicated that â€œtrustworthyâ€ and â€œhonestâ€ are not words that a majority of Americans would use to describe her. In fact, nearly six in 10 of those who participated in the study said that she did not possess those traits. The respondents included people from all across the political spectrum. Read more ..
|Daniel Greenfield||August 30th 2015|
Senator Markey has announced his support for the Iran deal that will let the terrorist regime inspect its own Parchin nuclear weapons research site, conduct uranium enrichment, build advanced centrifuges, buy ballistic missiles, fund terrorism and have a near zero breakout time to a nuclear bomb. There was no surprise there.
Markey had topped the list of candidates supported by the Iran Lobby. And the Iranian American Political Action Committee (IAPAC) had maxed out its contributions to his campaign.
After more fake suspense, Al Franken, another IAPAC backed politician who also benefited from Iran Lobby money, came out for the nuke sellout. Read more ..
The Nuclear Edge
|George Friedman||August 11th 2015|
Each year at this time â€” the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima â€” the world pauses. The pause is less to mourn the dead than to debate a moral question: whether the bombing was justified and, by extension, whether the United States unnecessarily slaughtered tens of thousands of people on Aug. 6, 1945. The debate rarely focuses on a careful analysis of war and morality and is more frequently framed by existing views of the United States. The debate is rarely about Hiroshima or about World War II. It is a debate about the moral character of the United States. This is not an illegitimate subject, and Hiroshima might be a useful point with which to begin the debate. But that isn't possible until after we consider the origins of Hiroshima, which can be found in the evolution of modern warfare.
Warfare became industrial for a simple reason. The introduction of firearms brought to the battlefield a weapon with tremendous strength and an overwhelming weakness. The strength was the ability to kill or disable an enemy at distances far beyond the range of previous weapons. The weakness was that without extraordinary training and talent on the part of the soldier, firearms are quite inaccurate. For a soldier under the pressure of combat, loading and effectively aiming his weapon â€” particularly with muzzle-loaded firearms â€” was not an easy task. Read more ..
|Marty Peretz||July 29th 2015|
Two of the most powerful members of the Democratic Party, former and current senators from New York, now hold the fate of the putative deal with Iran in their hands. Because they alone can overturn it, this means that presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and presumptive Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer carry a heavy burden that will deeply affect their personal reputations and, most probably, the trustworthiness of the Democrats in foreign policy for at least a generation.
Their former senatorial colleagues Barack Obama, Joe Biden and John Kerry already own their decision, though their logic still remains unclear to both the most diligent and the most casual observer. The president asserts that his piece of paper will prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons, presuming both the honesty of a regime that has displayed mendacity and hostility for 35 years as well as the existence of a wide-ranging verification capability that his own agreement has fatally compromised. And then, of course, there is the sunset provision that enables Iran to acquire nuclear weapons anyway. As they congratulate themselves on the hard work that produced this bizarre documentâ€”Bloomberg News related that â€œ[a]ll present were in a kind of aweâ€â€”have these former Solons stopped to wonder why Iran negotiated in the first place when their leaders still insist on claiming they donâ€™t want nuclear weapons? The entire process is built on lies. If the Iranians didnâ€™t want nukes, then why would they want a time limit? Read more ..
The Digital Edge
|Gene H. McCall||July 28th 2015|
The Global Positioning System (GPS) is the most important technology and capability ever developed and fielded by the military forces of the United States. Originally, conceived as an aid to weapon delivery and navigation for the military, the system is no longer considered only a military system. Its uses and importance have exceeded the wildest dreams of its developers. While it is still maintained and operated by the U.S. Air Force, it has become a critical instrument for supporting and enhancing the lives of all Americans. Indeed, it also performs this function for many societies throughout the entire world.
GPS navigation systems appear in many automobiles, and most are familiar with their use in driving from place to place. GPS is also the primary enabler of aircraft instrument approaches during bad weather. But less known is that GPS position measurements now determine property boundaries and its receiver has replaced the standard surveying tools, such as transit and measuring tape. Read more ..
The Media on Edge
|Steven Emerson||July 23rd 2015|
The Washington Post published a brief letter to the editor from me Friday, addressing some false and misleading statements Georgetown University law professor David Cole made in a recent book review. See my letter here.
The Post limits such letters to 350 words, far too few to fully respond to the mischaracterizations Cole made in reviewing David K. Shipler's book, Freedom of Speech. In one chapter, Shipler devotes considerable effort to trying to debunk a key document outlining the Muslim Brotherhood's long-range ambitions in America.
The Brotherhood should engage in "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within," the 1991 memorandum said.
In his review, Cole accuses me and others of using documents like this to make "a business of issuing impassioned, McCarthy-like warnings about Islamist conspiracies to take over the United States" and minimizes the memo as "nothing more than a thought piece drafted by a single individual in the early 1990s." Read more ..
|Trent Franks||July 14th 2015|
House of Representatives
For years we have watched in utter disbelief at the great lengths to which this Administration has gone in order to secure a deal at any price with Iran on their nuclear weapons program. As predicted, Barack Obama has capitulated to the lunatic leaders of Iran in a â€œpeace in our timeâ€ deal with that will strengthen Iranâ€™s ability to foment terrorism throughout the world as it has for the last 40 years.
Mr. Obama has now successfully negotiated away every nonnegotiable and struck a faulty deal that legitimizes Iran on the world stage. Most dangerous of all, Iran will now have a protected protocol to enrich uranium and produce plutonium on its own soil. This is an issue impossible to overstate.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, the worldâ€™s largest state sponsor of terrorism, whose leadership envisions "a world without America," has threatened to "wipe out Israel in a sea of fire." It is to this nation that this administration has now bowed at the negotiating table. Today the Prime Minister of Israel, our most trusted ally in the region said "obviously we are going to have to continue to prepare to defend ourselves by ourselves." It is an absolute disgrace that this President has sacrificed the security and stability of this important ally and our greatest friend in the world, along with the entire human family on the altar of perceived international civility. This is a betrayal that history will never forget. Read more ..
Today's announcement of this nuclear agreement with Iran is a realization of the deepest fears and the most dire predictions of skeptics who have, for two years, been warning against exactly this outcome -- a bad deal that both enriches this tyrannical regime and fails to strip Iran of nuclear weapons capability. The deal will give Iran billions in cash and sanctions relief to fuel its terror and war machines, shred the hard-won sanctions regime beyond repair, and enable the Iranians to get away with hiding the full extent of their nuclear work, infrastructure, and know-how. It will not have an enforceable inspections regime or a workable way to re-impose pressure on Iran when it cheats. And then, after just over a decade, most of this deal will expire, and Iran will be allowed to have a full-blown nuclear program-- a screw's turn away from a nuclear weapon.
It is important to ask: if a 3-month nuclear breakout by Iran is a problem today, why are we giving the Mullahâ€™s in Tehran hundreds of billions of dollars, all so Iran will have a zero break out time, according to President Obama himself, in just over a decade? Read more ..
|Wendell Potter||June 9th 2015|
Center for Public Integrity
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One of the reasons Americans tolerate paying so much more for health care than citizens of any other country â€” and getting less to show for it â€” is our gullibility. Weâ€™ve been far too willing to believe the self-serving propaganda weâ€™ve been fed for decades by health insurers and pharmaceutical companies and every other part of the medical-industrial complex, a term New England Journal of Medicine editor Arnold Relman coined 35 years ago to describe the uniquely American health care system.
One of the other reasons we tolerate unreasonably high health care costs is gullibilityâ€™s close and symbiotic relative: blind adherence to ideology. By this I mean the belief that the free market â€” the invisible hand Adam Smith wrote about more than two centuries ago and that many Americans hold as a nonnegotiable tenet of faith â€” can work as well in health care as it can in other sectors of the economy.
The World on Edge
|George Friedman||May 19th 2015|
A pretentious title requires a modest beginning. The world has increasingly destabilized and it is necessary to try to state, as clearly as possible, what has happened and why. This is not because the world is uniquely disorderly; it is that disorder takes a different form each time, though it is always complex.
To put it simply, a vast swath of the Eurasian landmass (understood to be Europe and Asia together) is in political, military and economic disarray. Europe and China are struggling with the consequences of the 2008 crisis, which left not only economic but institutional challenges. Russia is undergoing a geopolitical crisis in Ukraine and an economic problem at home. The Arab world, from the Levant to Iran, from the Turkish border through the Arabian Peninsula, is embroiled in politically destabilizing warfare. The Western Hemisphere is relatively stable, as is the Asian Archipelago. But Eurasia is destabilizing in multiple dimensions. Read more ..
America on Edge
|Armstrong Williams||May 14th 2015|
When African-Americans marched on Washington to hear the historic â€˜I have a dreamâ€™ speech by Martin Luther King, they were pressing for a society that looked very much like that in which they already lived â€“ a society built on freedom; a society that protected life, liberty and the pursuits of happiness among its citizens. Many of those freedoms and protections had not been extended to African Americans of course. And so they came to Washington to â€˜cash a checkâ€™ (to paraphrase King) that would cover the remainder of their birthright as American citizens.
What blacks got when they cashed that check was not their birthright. Of course the right to vote was formally recognized and began to be slowly enforced. But Washingtonâ€™s main thrust was to try and paper over the decades of pain and oppression suffered by blacks with a shiny new toy â€“ the Great Society program. The program offered to cure all the ills of black America with government entitlements â€“ Food Aid, housing assistance, Medicare, a variety of educational enrichment programs, and the like â€“ it promised a glorious path for Americans (black Americans especially) out of poverty and into the middle class. Those were the glory days of America. With a large industrial base and a growing economy, it seemed as if authorizing major new spending programs designed to deal with intractable social problems just might be the key to maintaining racial harmony and achieving the goals of social justice set forth by King and others. Read more ..
Regardless of how Dr. Ben Carson chooses to try to convince Republican voters that he should be their candidate for president, Carson's personal story is particularly worthy of the attention of all Americans during these troubled times.
His story defies much of the conventional wisdom we get from both the left and the right to "explain" the grave social problems in our poor minority communities and the seemingly insurmountable obstacles to success facing poor black children.
From the left, we hear that black life in America would have no hope but for government programs to ease the burdens of an unfair hand dealt by the past and an unwelcoming and racist present.
But Carson is a poster child for the American dream. Born poor in a black ghetto in Detroit and raised by a divorced, uneducated mother, he rose to the pinnacle of the medical profession, becoming director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The fuel for his success was not government programs, but a stern and caring mother who refused to accept excuses for failure, Christian values of right and wrong and personal responsibility, and an ethic for work, learning and achievement.
From the right, we hear that the rampant problems with young black men today stem from the collapse of the black family and the absence of fathers.
But Carson was raised without a father at home.
So what can we learn from Carson's experience that could point to what is wrong in America today?
One thing wrong is that it has become politically incorrect to talk about the importance of religion.
It is impossible to explain Carson's remarkable life and achievements without the Christian faith and values that guided his mother and have served him throughout his life. Read more ..
Islam on Edge
|Raymond Ibrahim||May 3rd 2015|
Middle East Forum
Last year, Russia decalred it would ban key Islamic scripturesâ€”including Sahih Bukhariâ€”on the charge that they promote "exclusivity [supremacism] of one of the world's religions," namely Islam; or, in the words of a senior assistant to the prosecutor of Tatarstan Ruslan Galliev, "a militant Islam" which "arouses ethnic, religious enmity."
If Sahih Bukhari, a nine-volume hadith collection compiled in the 9th century and seen by Sunni Muslims as second in importance only to the Koran itself is being banned for inciting hostility, where does that leave the Koran?
After all, if Sahih Bukhari contains pro-terrorism statements attributed to the prophet of Islam and calls to kill Muslims who leave Islam, the Koran, Islam's number one holy book itself is full of intolerance and calls for violence against non-believers. A tiny sampling of proclamations from Allah follows: Read more ..
The Iranian Threat
|Isi Leibler||April 15th 2015|
The announcement of the Lausanne joint statement concerning the framework of the U.S. deal with Iran highlighted the extent of President Barack Obamaâ€™s subterfuge and deception. We also witnessed the blatant contempt of Iranâ€™s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who rejected key components of the â€œagreementsâ€ and referred to Americaâ€™s â€œdevilishâ€ objectives while his audience chanted â€œDeath to America.â€ Yet Obama continued insisting that a genuine framework for a deal had been achieved and dismissed Khameneiâ€™s remarks as merely for â€œdomestic consumption.â€ He reiterated that Iran would not become a nuclear power â€œunder his watch.â€
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now no longer a voice in the wilderness. There has been a surge of condemnations from wide sections of the media, including many liberal and even Obama stalwarts who, ironically, effectively vindicated Netanyahuâ€™s congressional critique of the deal â€” which they had previously mocked. Read more ..
|Armstrong Williams||April 13th 2015|
As if the Islamic Republic of Iran's determined pursuit of nuclear weapons, track record of bloody terrorism, aggressive geopolitical power grabs, abhorrent human rights violations and history of lies were not enough â€“ President Obamaâ€™s recent interview should prove to everyone just how dangerous the framework agreement announced in Lausanne really is.
In an interview with Tom Friedman, President Obama said, "Iâ€™ve been very clear that Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch."
That last bit bears repeating: "Iran will not get a nuclear weapon on my watch." This confirms what many of us have suspected all along: the framework agreement will enable Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon; the mullahs in Tehran will just have to wait a little while. Read more ..
The Iranian Threat
|Ari Morgenstern||April 12th 2015|
Pastor Saeed Abedini, Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian, and former Marine Corps Sgt. Amir Hekmati represent the essence of what makes America American â€” yet today all three are unjustly imprisoned in Iran.
That these individuals languish in jail while their captors repeatedly dine with America's secretary of state is of course repugnant. But such commentary would be rejected as shortsighted by the defenders of the Obama administration's negotiations with Tehran. They would no doubt tell us to look at the bigger picture and approach international diplomacy with the detached realism that necessitates sacrificing a few for the many.
But given the values they represent, might the unjust incarceration of these three American citizens â€” a pastor, a journalist and a Marine â€” inform our larger understanding of striking a deal with the Islamic Republic? Read more ..
|Mark Hyman||April 10th 2015|
Behind the Headlines
You can find papers on just about every side of a topic. Think tanks, advocacy groups, and activists churn out reports arguing their side of a contested issue. Some are authoritative. Others should be read with skepticism. Case in point. A British medical association recently published this report that claimed to have reviewed fracking â€œthrough a comprehensive public health lens.â€ The report prompted several prominent British doctors to publicly oppose fracking on health grounds.
Then it was reported several of the paperâ€™s claims were not accurate. Some of the report was written by an anti-fracking activist who had no medical training, whatsoever. Some papers are indeed sketchy. On the other hand, much credibility is given to peer-reviewed studies. There are considered near-pure science. Read more ..
Behind The Headlines
In 2013, an internal audit found irregularities totaling $200,000 in the expense reports of Polycom CEO Andrew Miller. He immediately resigned from the company.
Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Miller with fraud. And Polycom agreed to pay a $750,000 fine.
This is an example of accountability. Accountability to the company, to the shareholders, and compliance with government regulations.
Hereâ€™s a contrast.
My computer map program says itâ€™s about 150 miles between the Veterans Administration headquarters in Washington, DC and the V.A. regional office in Philadelphia. About a three-hour drive. A whistleblower reported the Veterans Administration doled out nearly $300,000 to V.A. executive Diana Rubens to cover her transfer expenses from the DC office to Philadelphia. Two-hundred and eighty-eight thousand and change to be more precise. Read more ..
Obama and Israel
|Hana Levi Julian||April 7th 2015|
Jewish leaders in the United States are starting to rethink the instinctive ties the community has had with the Democratic Party from time immemorial.
The change of heart comes in the wake of the deal signed last week with Tehran allowing it to pursue nuclear technology development and research.
Last week, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough met with a group of Jewish Democratic Congress members to discuss the issue. According to a source who was present at the meeting, McDonough was told that to help â€œsell a very unpopular deal to our constituentsâ€¦â€ President Barack Obama would have to â€œincrease his popularity with our constituents,â€ Fox News reported.
He was also advised to suggest the president tone down his war with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu â€“ or at least avoid â€œgetting into a daily argumentâ€ with him, as one person at the meeting reportedly put it. Read more ..
Christianity on Edge
|Star Parker||April 4th 2015|
Columnist George Will points out that Appleâ€™s openly gay CEO, Tim Cook, â€œ...thinks Indiana is a terrible place. (But) He opened marketing and retail operations in Saudi Arabia two months before a man was sentenced to 450 lashes for being gay.â€
Will was commenting on Cookâ€™s recent Washington Post op-ed protesting Indianaâ€™s new, now amended, Religious Freedom Restoration Act and similar initiatives around the country.
World Magazine reports that Cook has recently been in the United Arab Emirates negotiating on behalf of Apple, where homosexuality is against the law and the penalty is death.
Cookâ€™s duplicity is not just in deeds, but also in words.
The Indiana law was passed to protect religious freedom, mirroring existing federal law and law in 31 states around the nation. Our Declaration of Independence notes our inalienable rights to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." But for Cook, who purports in his op-ed to care about freedom, protection of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" for a Christian is an act of aggression against gays. Read more ..
|Edwin Black||April 3rd 2015|
At the moment, the world remains profoundly unsure about the deal now emerging from recent negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program. Iran's R-265 spheroidal three-stage warheads are almost ready to load into Teheranâ€™s Shahab-3 missile nosecones. The Shabab-3 missiles, remonikered from their North Korean origin, are designed to airburst at a height of approximately 650 meters over Tel Aviv replicating the atomic explosion over Hiroshima. To complete the circuit, Iran is only missing the 25 to 27 kg of Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) â€” the so-called "significant quantity" â€” each bomb needs to detonate into a mushroom cloud. That â€œsignificant quantityâ€ is, at this moment, being distilled from uranium, gram by gram, in Iranâ€™s long rows of ever-whirring centrifuges. The incremental process relies on intermediate levels of 5 percent and 20 percent, which respectively achieves some 75 percent and 90 percent of the target enrichment, according to nuclear experts.
While the worldâ€™s diplomats are focused on the two key fuels, uranium and plutonium, one ancient fuel drives this entire process. That ancient fuel is oil.
Petrodollars have been financing Iranâ€™s nuclear program for almost two decades. So, while the International Atomic Energy Agency is struggling to embed its monitors deep inside Iranâ€™s infrastructure, the average person can help slow the centrifuges simply by reducing their householdâ€™s demand for oil.
Even though Iranian oil has been proscribed by international sanctions, all oil is fungible. When oil consumption is measurably reduced in America and elsewhere, it very quickly lowers the value of the global supply. That cheapens the value of Iranâ€™s oil, the financial furnace of its nuclear program. Read more ..
The Edge of Terrorism
|Ilya Feoktistov & Charles Jacobs||March 31st 2015|
The Boston Marathon bombersâ€™ mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB), employs an intensive radicalizing program aimed at Bostonâ€™s historically moderate Muslim community, especially at its youth. Itâ€™s called â€œTarbiya,â€ which is Arabic for â€œgrowth and refinement.â€ It is not something that is practiced as part of classical mainstream Islam.
APT has obtained several curriculum documents created by ISB-affiliated groups, which describe exactly what is taught and when, with assignments detailed down to book and page number. We are making the most detailed and traceable of these documents available here and here. We will focus in this article on a particular Tarbiya program called â€œYoung Muslims,â€ which was explicitly endorsed by Suhaib Webb, the Imam of the ISBâ€™s mega-mosque in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston. It lists books that all participants must read, and even includes page numbers for specific assignments (the document was formerly available at the programâ€™s website, and can still be accessed through an archived version of the site). Read more ..
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