Friday, January 26, 2018

State Department could cut PA aid even further - Elad Benari

by Elad Benari

Ambassador Haley reportedly pushing for further cuts to U.S. aid to PA, following the cut in funding to UNRWA.

Nikki Haley

The State Department is considering making further cuts to the American aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), according to a Hadashot (formerly Channel 2 News) report on Wednesday.

The report said that the cutting of funding to the PA is being pushed by Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, who was also the driving force behind the U.S. decision last week to cut a significant portion of its funding to UNRWA, the UN agency for “Palestinian refugees”.

Haley was quoted in the report as saying that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas needs to pay a price for disrespecting U.S. President Donald Trump in his recent speech to the PLO Central Council.

During that speech, Abbas blasted Trump over his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and cursed him in Arabic, saying, “May your house be destroyed.”

The White House was said earlier this month to have been actively looking at cutting aid to the PA.

That move, as well as the cut to UNRWA, followed Trump's tweets in which he expressed doubt over the usefulness of American aid to the Palestinians, given their refusal to resume peace talks with Israel.

According to Wednesday's Hadashot report, some American and Israeli officials are opposed to making further cuts to the PA, warning such a move might "suffocate" the Palestinians financially and cause the situation in the region to deteriorate.

Abbas, fuming over Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, announced last month he would not accept any U.S. peace plan.

"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it," Abbas said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Later, Abbas recalled the PA envoy to Washington, Husam Zomlot, for “consultations” over Trump’s Jerusalem move. However, Zomlot returned to Washington just one day later.

Elad Benari


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Full text of Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the UN - Times of Israel Staff

by Times of Israel Staff

Israel has made this 'a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people,' PA president tells UN GA

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, on September 26, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Timothy A. Clary)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 69th Session of the UN General 
Assembly in New York, on September 26, 2014. (photo credit: AFP/Timothy A. Clary)

The full text of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s address to the UN General Assembly in New York, as presented for delivery, September 26, 2014:
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, 

In this year, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, Israel has chosen to make it a year of a new war of genocide perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

In this year, in which this Assembly, on behalf of the countries and peoples of the world, conveyed the world’s yearning and determination to realize a just peace that achieves freedom and independence for the Palestinian people in their State of Palestine alongside Israel in order to rectify the historic injustice inflicted on the Palestinian people in Al-Nakba of 1948, the occupying Power has chosen to defy the entire world by launching its war on Gaza, by which its jets and tanks brutally assassinated lives and devastated the homes, schools and dreams of thousands of Palestinian children, women and men and in reality destroying the remaining hopes for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have addressed you in this hall during similar days in 2012 and cautioned that the colonial occupying Power was preparing for a new Nakba against the Palestinian people, and I appealed to you: Prevent a new Nakba. Support the establishment of a free and independent State of Palestine now.

I returned to this same hall two months later as Palestine was healing her wounds and her people were burying beloved martyred children, women and men after yet another war waged then against the Gaza Strip, and that day I stated: certainly there was not a single person in the world needing the loss of the lives of tens of Palestinian children in order to confirm that Israel insists on occupation; and there was also no need for thousands of deadly raids and tons of explosives to remind the world that there is an occupation that must end and that there is a people that must be freed.

I also said at that time: there was no need for a new devastating war in order to realize the absence of peace.

And, here we are again today.

Here we find ourselves, full of grief, regret and bitterness, raising the same long-standing conclusions and questions after a new war, the third war waged by the racist occupying State in five years against Gaza, this small, densely-populated and precious part of our country.

The difference today is that the scale of this genocidal crime is larger, and that the list of martyrs, especially children, is longer, as well as lists of the wounded and disabled, and that dozens of families have been completely decimated.

The difference today is that approximately half a million people were displaced from their homes, and that the number of homes, schools, hospitals, public buildings, residential buildings, mosques, factories and even cemeteries destroyed is unprecedented. And, the difference today is that the devastation caused by this recent aggression is unmatched in modern times, as confirmed by a witness, the honorable Commissioner-General of UNRWA.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This last war against Gaza was a series of absolute war crimes carried out before the eyes and ears of the entire world, moment by moment, in a manner that makes it inconceivable that anyone today can claim that they did not realize the magnitude and horror of the crime. And, it is inconceivable that some are unable to characterize this situation in real terms and that they suffice with simply declaring their support for Israel’s right to self-defense without regard for the fate of the thousands of victims of our people, ignoring a simple fact that we remind them of today: that the life of a Palestinian is as precious as the life of any other human being.

We must also assume that no one will wonder anymore why extremism is rising and why the culture of peace is losing ground and why the efforts to achieve it are collapsing.

Yet, we believe – and hope – that no one is trying to aid the occupation this time in its impunity or its attempts to evade accountability for its crimes.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the name of Palestine and its people, I affirm here today: we will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment.

I affirm in front of you that the Palestinian people hold steadfast to their legitimate right to defend themselves against the Israeli war machine and to their legitimate right to resist this colonial, racist Israeli occupation.

At the same time, I affirm that our grief, trauma and anger will not for one moment make us abandon our humanity, our values ​​and our ethics; we will always maintain our respect and commitment to international law, international humanitarian law and the international consensus, and we will maintain the traditions of our national struggle established by the Palestinian fedayeen and to which we committed ourselves since the onset of the Palestinian revolution in early 1965.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Amidst a torrent of massacres and storms of massive destruction, we witnessed the peoples of the world gathering in huge demonstrations on the streets of many cities declaring their condemnation of the aggression and occupation and their support of freedom for Palestine. And we witnessed the overwhelming majority of countries on the various continents declaring the same noble position and rushing to provide all kinds of support and assistance to our people. And we witnessed the qualitative and quantitative broadening of activities of the international grassroots boycott campaign against Israel’s policies of occupation, apartheid and colonial settlement, especially among academia, cultural, student and youth groups.

Thus, in the name of Palestine, we pay tribute to everyone who chose to stand with human values ​​and demanded freedom, justice and peace. All of these manifestations of true solidarity constituted an important message to those who were facing genocide in Gaza, helping them to feel they felt that they were not alone.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The recent Israeli war confirmed on the ground the crux of what the Israeli government had been declaring in the closed rooms of negotiation. This war came after long, difficult negotiations for more than eight months under the auspices of the United States and the efforts of President Barack Obama and tenacious efforts of his Secretary of State John Kerry. We engaged in this endeavor with open minds, in good faith and with a positive spirit and engaged with the efforts of the American administration in the most constructive manner, and we put forth our firm positions based on the resolutions of international legitimacy, which receive the overwhelming support of the nations of the world. And, we genuinely respected all of our commitments and understandings. Even as we watched the ongoing and escalating Israeli violations, we exercised unimaginable self-restraint, silencing our cries and tending to our own wounds in order to give the American efforts the best possible chance for success.

However, and as usual, the Israeli government did not miss the opportunity to undermine the chance for peace.

Throughout the months of negotiations, settlement construction, land confiscations, home demolitions, killing and arrest campaigns, and forced displacement in the West Bank continued unabated and the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip was tightened. The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity and character of the Holy City, focusing on Al-Aqsa Mosque, threatening grave consequences. At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted with their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, churches, properties and olive trees.

As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace.

It breached an agreement with the American administration regarding the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s jails — and we continue to insist on releasing all of them. And, when confronted with simple questions in the direct negotiations or through the American mediator, it did not hesitate to reveal its true positions:

Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine since 1967, but rather seeks its continuation and entrenchment, and rejects the Palestinian state and refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees.

The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestinian people is at best isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands, without borders and without sovereignty over its airspace, water and natural resources, which will be under the subjugation of the racist settlers and army of occupation, and at worst will be a most abhorrent form of Apartheid.

Israel has confirmed during the negotiations that it rejects making peace with its victims, the Palestinian people.

This has all been done concurrent with an attempt to give a religious nature to the conflict and with the rising and rampant racism in the Israeli political and media discourse and its entrenchment in the school curriculum and in a series of laws and practices of the occupation and its settlers. This culture of racism, incitement and hatred was glaringly manifested in the despicable, appalling crime committed months ago by fascist settlers, who abducted the young Jerusalemite boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, burnt him alive and killed him.

Over the past years, the occupying Power has also pursued a policy aimed at deliberately weakening the Palestinian National Authority to undermine it and, in essence, to fully negate its role. The occupation targeted the work we have been relentlessly undertaking to establish the foundations of the State of Palestine that we want: a sovereign and independent State living in peace and building bridges of mutual cooperation with its neighbors; that respects commitments, obligations and agreements; that strengthens the values of citizenship, equality, non-discrimination, the rule of law, human rights and pluralism; that deepens the Palestinian enlightened traditions of tolerance, coexistence and non-exclusion; that strengthens the culture of peace; that promotes the role of women; that establishes effective administration committed to the standards of good governance; and that cares for the needs and interests of its people. The occupation has, and continues to, to strike at this effort because it is the antithesis of its settlement policies and because it wants to destroy the chance for the realization of the Palestinian existence in an independent State within the framework of the two-State solution.

When our efforts to end the internal division through national dialogue succeeded a few months ago and we prepared to restore the unity of our land, nation and institutions and formed the national consensus government and began the process to lead to the holding of presidential and legislative elections, all countries of the world welcomed this achievement, with the exception of Israel, which has constantly sought to fragment our land and our national unity.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

And now, where do we go from here?

The idea that it is possible to simply return to the past patterns of work, which repeatedly failed, is naive at best and, in any case, is wrong, as it ignores the fact that it is no longer acceptable, nor possible, to repeat methods that have proven futile or to continue with approaches that have repeatedly failed and require comprehensive review and radical correction.

It is impossible, and I repeat – it is impossible – to return to the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental question. There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel predetermines the results via its settlement activities and the occupation’s brutality. There is no meaning or value in negotiations for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian Territory occupied in the 1967 war. And, there is no value in negotiations which are not linked to a firm timetable for the implementation of this goal.

The time has come to end this settlement occupation.

Palestine refuses to have the right to freedom of her people, who are subjected to the terrorism by the racist occupying Power and its settlers, remain hostage to Israel’s security conditions.

The people of Palestine are actually the ones who need immediate international protection, which we are seeking through international organizations, and who are in need of the security and peace that they are missing more than any other people, and the children of Palestine are worthy of the world’s efforts to ensure that their childhood, dreams and lives will not be devastated once again.

It is time for the chapters of this prolonged, ongoing tragedy to be closed.

Those who were uprooted from their warm homes, good land and beautiful country in Al-Nakba 66 years ago, pushed into the misery of exile and life as refugees and now being forced into new waves of expulsion or onto the ships of death in the world’s seas, are in need of assurances that they will not be displaced from their homes again, that their homes will not be destroyed again, and that they will not spend their lives waiting for the explosion of a new war.

It is time for this long tragedy to end.

We will not accept to forever be the ones being demanded to prove their good intentions by making concessions at the expense of their rights and to remain silent as they are killed and their land is stolen, and to understand the conditions of the other party and the importance of preserving its coalition government, while it entrenches its occupation. We are exhausted of the additional tests we must undergo to prove our efficiency, competence and eligibility to earn our natural, simple right to live a normal life and our inherent right to expect a stable and ordinary tomorrow, to dream about more beautiful days, and for our youth to be able to plan their coming days and years safely in peace and freedom over our land, like other peoples of the world.

The time has come for a real, just peace to prevail in the land of peace.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

We, and all the Arab countries, have constantly cautioned about the disastrous consequences of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the denial of freedom and independence for the people of Palestine. We have repeatedly draw attention to the fact that allowing Israel to act as a state above the law with impunity and absolving it of any accountability or punishment for its policies, aggression and defiance of the international will and legitimacy has absolutely provided fertile ground and an environment conducive for the growth of extremism, hatred and terrorism in our region.

Confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by groups – such as “ISIL” and others that have no basis whatsoever in the tolerant Islamic religion or with humanity and are committing brutal and heinous atrocities – requires much more than military confrontation. It is an urgent matter that requires much more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which are of course necessary. What is primarily needed is a comprehensive, credible strategy to dry out the sources of terrorism and eradicate its roots in all political, intellectual, economic and social spheres in our region. It requires the creation of solid foundations for a reasonable consensus that makes the fight against all forms of terrorism in any place everywhere a collective task that is undertaken by the alliance of nations, peoples and civilizations. It requires, in this context and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practices and perpetuation, an abhorrent form of state terrorism and a breeding ground for incitement, tension and hatred.

Mr. President,

At this moment in which we are still suffering from the horrors of war, we face a formidable challenge to reconstruct what has been destroyed by the occupation.

At the invitation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Kingdom of Norway, which we deeply appreciate, the city of Cairo will host next month an international conference for the relief and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Our government will present comprehensive reports to the conference on the losses inflicted by the aggression on the different sectors of life, and it will provide details of the plans and programs that will be rapidly implemented and supervised in the Gaza Strip to meet immediate relief needs and the requirements of reconstruction, in full coordination with United Nations agencies and bodies.

While we reiterate our appreciation and gratitude to all countries and organizations that rushed to provide assistance to the Palestinian people during and after the war, we are confident that brotherly and friendly countries will not waver in supporting support the plans and programs we will present and that the conference will achieve practical results that fulfill the expectations and needs of the victims of this aggression.

We reaffirm here that the primary prerequisite for the success of all these plans and efforts is an end to the ongoing Israeli blockade that has for years suffocated the Gaza Strip and turned it into the largest prison in the world for nearly two million Palestinian citizens. At the same time, we affirm our commitment and the necessity to consolidate the cease-fire through negotiations under the auspices of Egypt. However, in order to avert repeating the cycle of war and cycle reconstruction every two or three years, it is imperative to focus on the fundamental issue and starting point, which is that the suffering of Gaza will not be completely alleviated except by ending the occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine.

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab Group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups in the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the United Nations Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace.

This endeavor reaffirms our commitment to achieve a just peace through a negotiated solution and our adoption of a diplomatic and political effort through United Nations bodies. This endeavor is inspired by and based fully on the spirit and provisions of the many resolutions you have approved in the General Assembly and those adopted by the Security Council, which have set the foundations for a lasting solution and a just peace.

This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-State solution, of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed upon solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of resolution 194, with a specific time frame for the implementation of these objectives as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative. This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement and draft a peace treaty between them.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We are confident that this endeavor will receive broad and full support by those who are committed to ensuring that our country will not witness new wars and atrocities, by those who wish to support a campaign to combat terrorism, by those who believe that it is necessary to act expediently to rectify the historical injustice inflicted by Al-Nakba on the Palestinian people, and by those who wish to see peace prevail in the land of the monotheistic religions.

The adoption of this resolution will affirm what you strived to realize in this year is the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, who will continue their struggle and steadfastness and will rise brave and strong from the rubble and destruction.

We, as our poet Mahmoud Darwish said: “are infected with an incurable disease, that is hope, and we love life if we are given the chance for it”.

Mr. President Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is an occupation that must end now.

There is a people that must be freed immediately.

The hour of independence of the State of Palestine has arrived.

Times of Israel Staff


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Facebook-Google-Twitter 1984 - Oleg Atbashian

by Oleg Atbashian

How to fight for freedom in the Left’s social media gulag.

Just last week I read a story by John Hawkins, How Conservatives Are Being Destroyed by Facebook, Twitter and Google Without Even Realizing It, where the author announced that he'd been forced to shut down his Right Wing News website and explained that in today's social media environment, a conservative's chances to get a political website off the ground are infinitesimal. 

Then I read a story on The Daily Caller about Google having an actual secret speech police that blocks, demonetizes, and otherwise censors conservative content.

Then I received a screenshot from one of my readers, who is a U.S. Army officer, showing that my People's Cube has been blocked by the DoD Enterprise-Level Protection System - not because of our silly anti-Left humor, but because of "hate and racism" - a blatantly false label, probably transferred from one of the blacklists shared by social media and the government (or at least the Deep State part of it). I've recently written about it in FrontPage Mag.

And just this morning, I received dozens of messages from my readers that Facebook wasn't allowing them to post or share any People's Cube links.

Different people, posting different links throughout the day, received this standard response: "We removed this post because it looks like spam and doesn't follow our Community Standards." The user has an option to contest this assumption. Not everyone has the time or patience for it, but a few readers persisted and sent me the screenshots.

At some point in the past Facebook had also started to limit the number of shares on our posts, explaining it by a new proportional algorithm. As a result, our traffic had dropped significantly. Many people have told me that, even though they "follow" our Facebook page, they never receive updates (but some still do). And now this.

One could say, "Forget FacebookGoogleTwitter, we shouldn't have to rely on them anyway." In an ideal world, maybe. But in this world, it's the same as saying "We don't need Amtrak to take a train to another city" when we know that Amtrak has replaced all other intercity train operators.

Back in 2005, when I started the People's Cube, there existed a wide variety of online communities and forums where people shared links and gave us traffic, and we responded in kind. Now that variety has been almost entirely replaced by FacebookGoogleTwitter.

Why we must stop them

Visualize a field with blooming wild flowers; it seems to be endless. This is a national preserve, which means it's public property and everyone is allowed to go there for a walk, pick flowers, or house a beehive and make honey. There is a great diversity of native plants of all colors, with bees and other small creatures flying from flower to flower, feeding on the nectar and transporting the pollen.

Now imagine that a young scientist makes an accidental discovery and creates a genetically modified blue flower that is stronger, healthier, and yields more nectar, allowing bees to make tastier honey. The seeds get thrown into the field and since the new plant has superior qualities, it soon outcompetes and replaces all other plants. Slowly but surely, the previous natural diversity is supplanted with a genetically modified monoculture. Some people sound an alarm, but they are told not to worry because it's all for the common good. The bees are still thriving and the field is still blooming, except that now it's all blue.

A few years go by. Suddenly people begin to notice that the blue flowers prefer some bees over others. They investigate and discover that the young scientist, who now runs a big company, has colluded with a honey-making conglomerate (identified by the letter "D") and added another genetic modification to his blue flowers so they would only feed the D-bees and repel the competitors' bees. The field is now surrounded with sleek billboards that promote the D-conglomerate as the only worthy maker of honey, and disparage the competition as the makers of poison. Independent beekeepers suffer losses and many go out of business.

People realize they've been duped. They miss the variety of choices that came with competition and freedom. They'd like to bring the original scents and colors back, but the blue monoculture won't allow anything else to grow in its midst. Uprooting the entire new species would destroy the field and disrupt the wildlife that now lives in a symbiotic relationship with the blue flowers. And most of the previously thriving plants are extinct anyway, with the rest having mutated to survive on the preserves' edges.

People petition the scientist-turned-businessman to stop colluding with the D-conglomerate and to re-engineer the blue flower so it can coexist with other plants and bees. He responds through his lawyers that his private company has a right to make its own rules, he can associate with whomever he wants, and everyone is absolutely free not to use his services.

He is correct on all counts, except that he doesn't own the field. He has every right to compete and win, but not the right to use underhanded trickery in order to limit people's equal access and choices.

If a contractor moved into a village and built superior houses for every family, people would be very grateful. But if they were to find out that at some point he started injecting chemicals into the walls so as to modify people's behavior to his liking, that contractor would've been tarred and feathered. The FacebookGoogleTwitter situation is similar, minus the pitchforks and torches.

The idea that "we don't need FacebookGoogleTwitter to drive traffic" is silly because FacebookGoogleTwitter has already replaced most pre-existing sources of Internet traffic, just like the blue monoculture has replaced all other flowers, and the new tainted housing has replaced the old one. There's very little left on the Internet that is not in some way connected to these media giants. Unless something even more superior comes along very soon, which seems unlikely, we are stuck with FacebookGoogleTwitter.

Forcing them to change their manipulative ways may be difficult, but not impossible. We just need to make them an offer they can't refuse. I'm not a fan of regulating businesses, but if something was bent by force, it requires force to unbend it, so please hear me out.

How we can fight and win

We use the internet to obtain and share information. But what is information? Is it a tool, a commodity, a weapon, a toy, a luxury item, or a basic necessity? It is all of the above and more.

Essential human needs result in the existence of products of dual nature and value. For example, a house can be a commercial product bought and sold on the market, but its other value is that of a family dwelling where children grow up and create their first impressions about the world - a home that becomes an inseparable part of their lives. That's why "primary residence" has a different status from other houses you may own; the latter are valued only as financial assets. This also explains why taking away a family house or kicking out a tenant for nonpayment is legally more complicated than repossessing a car, a boat, or any other nonessential commercial product.

A similar duality exists in healthcare, which can be a commercial service provided to a customer at market prices, but it can also be a matter of life and death, essential to our wellbeing and quality of life. This is why healthcare is regulated more than any other commercial service and often must be provided regardless of the patient's ability to pay for it in the emergency room.

Other examples of such duality include food, pharmaceuticals, and education - all having simultaneously a commercial and an existential value. But we somehow rarely think the same way about information, and that is to our detriment.

Throughout history, the human mind has been our main tool of survival. To live, we depend on accurate information about our surroundings. This makes the objective truth a basic human need. Truthful information is as essential to our existence as food, shelter, and clothing. In societies where information is distorted and suppressed by totalitarian governments, people usually die in large numbers.

But information can also be a commercial product, bought and sold at market prices by specialized organizations that have amassed great fortunes in doing so. Good for them. However, as the historian Robert Conquest pointed out, "Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing." And the Left by default is prone to manipulate information in a way that suits its agenda at the expense of the general population.

Leftists in the government are obsessed with regulating all products and services, essential or not. They'd like to regulate information as well - see the Fairness Doctrine and Net Neutrality. Conservatives have always instinctively opposed that trend, guided by the principle, "Whatever the Left does, we must do the opposite." This kneejerk impulse to take the "diametrically opposite position" has often allowed the Left to toy with conservatives and lure them into absurd situations where they fought phantom causes. In part, due to such "diametrical" thinking, the anti-regulation conservatives withdrew themselves from the regulatory process, effectively giving the Left free reign in shaping government regulations.

Enter Donald J. Trump. Right off the bat he introduces what I call "perpendicular thinking," meaning that instead of jumping to the opposite, he goes vaguely perpendicular. This disorients the Left (as well as some anti-Trump "diametrical" conservatives), forcing them to take unpopular and ridiculous positions on the opposite side of his choosing. And while Trump is beating the Left at their own game, keeping them confused and unable to deal with their new role of the "diametrical opposition," we should move in and do some "perpendicular" regulation.

Let's agree for the sake of argument that information, having the dual commercial and existential value, must be regulated the same way we regulate other dual-value products like food, housing, or healthcare.

Emergency rooms are required to accept all patients regardless of their income. Housing regulations require landlords, realtors, and mortgage bankers to serve all customers equally, even if it goes against their subjective judgment. Food companies are required to label their products with precise quantities and daily values of ingredients.

At the same time, the product called "information" is regulated in the exactly opposite fashion. It is being filtered, altered, rejected, or exaggerated according to arbitrary and subjective markers and biases, creating a distorted and fraudulent picture of reality. If a food manufacturer tried to label his products the same way, he would be sued out of existence. Imagine buying fruit juice labeled with 0% sugar instead of the actual 100% and 100% of vitamin C instead of the actual 0%.

This clearly falls into the jurisdiction of the newly reformed Bureau of Consumer Protection, whose stated goal is to stop unfair, deceptive and fraudulent business practices by:
  • collecting complaints and conducting investigations
  • suing companies and people that break the law
  • developing rules to maintain a fair marketplace
  • educating consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities.
Some have proposed to regulate the Internet through the FCC, but that is fraught with equating the web with a public utility, which is subject to government rationing of free speech - a pitfall avoided by the recent repeal of Net Neutrality.

In contrast, the Bureau of Consumer Protection would treat the Internet as a marketplace for commercial products, one of which is information. Instead of regulating free speech, it would protect consumers against fraud.

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court rendered unconstitutional any restriction of speech based on the so-called "hate speech" allegations, unanimously reaffirming that there is no "hate speech" exception to the First Amendment. Justice Anthony Kennedy explains this decision as follows:

A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government's benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.

And yet, the unconstitutional and deceptively named "hate speech" gimmick is being excessively used to suppress conservative and libertarian speech by social media moderators and by algorithms embedded in FacebookGoogleTwitter code. The same gimmick is also being widely used today by speech police in many organizations, including educational and government entities, in clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Media giants may beg to differ and remind us of their status as private companies that can make their own internal rules. But if their main product is information, which has an existential value to our society, they can no more hide behind their private status than the landlords or mortgage bankers can.

That means that FacebookGoogleTwitter and other media giants can be forced by law to discard their manipulative "hate speech" and other ideological filters and to allow a free flow of information lest they be sued by the Bureau of Consumer Protection for violating consumer rights. Wikipedia can be sued for its grotesquely biased suppression and misrepresentation of political reality, which creates a very skewed image of the world. For added entertainment value, CNN with its "Facts First" brand campaign can probably also be sued for false advertisement.

Unhinged hateful rhetoric coming from the Left never gets to be branded "hate speech," nor is it ever blocked on social media. This alone makes the "hate speech" label meaningless and exposes the one-sided ideological agenda behind it. Of course, no logical argument will ever convince the leftist agenda-driven "hate speech police" to give up their dominance over the national debate voluntarily. Instead, this unethical practice must be outlawed legislatively, as an unconstitutional impediment to free exchange of information.

If we outlaw the corrupt system of "hate speech" policing, it will do a lot more than just free up the Internet and the rest of the media. It will pull the rug from under various demagogues who profit from the harassment of conservatives. It will clear many honest people of libelous allegations. It will demolish the sordid cottage industry of "hate speech watchers," like the Southern Poverty Law Center, whose fundraising is directly proportional to how many honorable people they can defame as "haters" and who compile dubious blacklists, which are then used as guidance by FacebookGoogleTwitter and the mainstream media to silence or disparage conservative figures.

Social media should certainly continue to block real spam and clickbait sites with fake news (they do exist). The trick is that online reprobates aren't likely to file a complaint and seek government protection from being blocked - unlike legitimate content providers who can and should request an investigation if they are being suppressed. Terrorist messaging can be dealt with by working with law enforcement professionals, not with SPLC and similar amateurs who have a shady agenda.                                                  

Before conservatives are erased from the Internet, legal minds in the conservative movement had better select an appropriate case of content suppression and stage an exemplary class action lawsuit that would create a seminal precedent for all future cases. If no legal ground for such a lawsuit exists, we must work with our legislators to create it.

The Left has been using such legal tactics and winning the culture wars ever since the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial - an orchestrated court drama which was later mythologized by Hollywood in Inherit The Wind.

Conservatives who are philosophically opposed to regulation may not like this method, but realistically and objectively, this seems to be the least worst solution to get out of the memory hole designated for us by the leftist media giants.

People on our side should stop pretending that we are not in the middle of an all-out war waged by the Left against conservative media. We won't survive if we continue to react to leftist attacks by lying down and taking positions whose only value is in being diametrically opposite to those of the attackers. It's time we went perpendicular.

Oleg Atbashian


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Sessions Threatens Sanctuary Cities With Subpoenas - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

The Justice Department warns it may subpoena documents explaining illegal alien-shielding policies.

The Department of Justice threatened to subpoena 23 jurisdictions across the country if they fail to answer questions about their lawless "sanctuary" policies that shield illegal aliens, a move that prompted left-wing big city mayors to boycott a White House meeting.

“I continue to urge all jurisdictions under review to reconsider policies that place the safety of their communities and their residents at risk,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.

“Protecting criminal aliens from federal immigration authorities defies common sense and undermines the rule of law. We have seen too many examples of the threat to public safety represented by jurisdictions that actively thwart the federal government’s immigration enforcement—enough is enough.”

The subpoena threat comes as federal prosecutors consider filing criminal charges against elected officials harboring illegal aliens in sanctuary cities.

"The Department of Justice is reviewing what avenues might be available,” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told a Senate panel Jan. 16. “The context of this is of course not only putting my ICE officers at risk but also finding an efficient and effective way to enforce our immigration laws,” Nielsen said.

The sanctuary movement gave illegal aliens permission to rob, rape, and murder Americans by, among other things, stigmatizing immigration enforcement. Some left-wingers use the dreadful euphemism "civil liberties safe zones" to describe sanctuary jurisdictions. The phrase blurs the distinction between citizens and non-citizens by implying illegal aliens somehow possess a civil right to be present in the U.S.

These sanctuary cities really ought to be called traitor cities because they are in open rebellion against the United States. They may as well be flying the Confederate battle flag at city hall in their modern-day campaign of massive resistance against federal immigration authorities.

"Cities do not have the right to pick and choose which federal laws they will obey or defy,” Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, told FrontPage by email.

“The Attorney General is right to hold them accountable for their actions. The precedent set by sanctuary cities is one this country should not and does not want to follow."—

Democrat politicians across America are defending sanctuary jurisdictions because they want the illegal aliens living there to become citizens and loyal Democrats.

One of those Democrats, New York City’s hotheaded small-c communist mayor Bill de Blasio, melted down in a temper tantrum on Twitter.

“I will NOT be attending today’s meeting at the White House after @realDonaldTrump’s Department of Justice decided to renew their racist assault on our immigrant communities. It doesn’t make us safer and it violates America’s core values.”

U.S. Conference of Mayors president Mitch Landrieu (D), who is mayor of New Orleans, La., also bowed out using overblown political rhetoric.

"Unfortunately, the Trump administration’s decision to threaten mayors and demonize immigrants yet again – and use cities as political props in the process – has made this meeting untenable," he huffed.

The threat itself was contained in letters sent to Chicago, New York City, three states, and other jurisdictions that have accepted law enforcement funding from the Justice Department, demanding records related to whether those governments are "unlawfully restricting information sharing by law enforcement officers with federal immigration authorities." New York City, for example, in fiscal 2016 accepted $4.3 million in federal funds under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (JAG).

The letters seek documents “reflecting any orders, directives, instructions, or guidance to your law enforcement employees” about how to “communicate with the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

Federal money usually comes with strings attached, so if the states, cities, and counties that took DoJ grants are violating other laws by interfering with federal immigration enforcement, they may have to give the money back and could be barred from receiving future grants.

“We’ve given them federal dollars – your taxpayer dollars – to cooperate with federal law enforcement,” DoJ spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores told Fox News Channel.

“They didn’t have to take that money, but they did. And when they took it, they said they would comply with federal law. So what we’re saying is if we find out you’re not complying with federal law, we’re taking the tax dollars back.”

Three states – California, Illinois, and Oregon – received the subpoena-related letters yesterday, according to the DoJ. The other jurisdictions were: Chicago; Cook County, Ill; New York City; Albany, N.Y.; Berkeley, Calif.; Bernalillo County, N.M.; Burlington, Vt.; the city and county of Denver, Colo.;  Fremont, Calif.; Jackson, Miss.; King County, Wash.; Lawrence, Mass.; City of Los Angeles, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Monterey County, Calif.; Sacramento County, Calif.; the city and county of San Francisco; Sonoma County, Calif.; Watsonville, Calif.; and West Palm Beach, Fla.

California has been especially brazen in its obstruction of federal immigration laws.

The state is becoming ground zero in the battle over enforcement of the nation’s long-neglected immigration laws. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed “sanctuary state” legislation Oct. 5, dramatically curtailing the power of state and local law enforcement to hold, question, and transfer detainees at the request of federal immigration authorities. The law took effect New Year’s Day in the state that is home to more than 2 million illegal aliens. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) has been threatening to prosecute residents of his state who cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Left-wing federal judges have been sabotaging President Trump’s immigration policies since the beginning of his term of office.

For example, on Nov. 20 U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Judge William Orrick III, a leftist appointed by President Obama, issued a nationwide injunction against Executive Order 13768, signed by President Trump on Jan. 25, 2017, which withheld federal monies from sanctuary jurisdictions.

Meanwhile, illegal-alien activists are becoming increasingly aggressive in their tactics.

Activists with the George Soros-funded group, United We Dream, staged a mock funeral in the rotunda of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, claiming the failure of Congress and President Trump to amnesty them is “killing our dreams,” Breitbart reports.

One illegal whined that the GOP and Trump were “scaring” her fellow illegals in Long Island, N.Y. Activists have also been invading congressional offices and causing trouble there.

On Tuesday, illegal aliens stormed the residence of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) in Brooklyn, N.Y., after he abandoned his party’s disastrous government shutdown strategy on Monday, allowing the government to reopen after being closed a mere 69 hours.

“If Chuck won’t let us dream, we won’t let him sleep!” illegals shouted outside Schumer’s home.

There are around 700,000 individuals benefitting from President Obama’s constitutionally suspect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that he created with the stroke of a pen. Democrats shut down the government Saturday at 12:01 a.m. by denying it operating funds in hopes of extorting an amnesty package for DACA-eligible persons from the Republican-controlled Congress.

In two weeks when the government runs out of money again, Democrats are likely to press the point again. But they don’t just want amnesty for DACA individuals – they want it for all the 4 million or so so-called DREAMers, many of whom failed to apply for relief under DACA but could conceivably qualify under the kind of amnesty Democrats want. Contrary to what the word implies, DREAMers tend to be less educated and less established than typical Americans.

Come to think of it, Democrats want virtually all illegal aliens amnestied. If Americans won’t vote for them, they make up for the shortfall by importing voters.

This must stop.

Matthew Vadum, senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."


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Man-Made Climate Change-Settled Science or Dogma? - Wayne McLaughlin

by Wayne McLaughlin

Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is just a "my way or the highway" attempt by vested interests to close discussion on their terms.

Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is settled science, proclaim the predictors of weather doomsday. Settled Science? Science evolves continuously and can never be settled, unless, of course, the ‘settled’ subject is dogma, not science. Is it just a ‘my way or the highway’ attempt by vested interests to close discussion on their terms?

Consider the term “peer reviewed”. Science evolves through the contribution of new ideas which are published so that their peers (other scientists) can review, validate, contribute, or argue with them. If we had accepted Niels Bohr’s version of the atom as settled science, there would have been no subatomic particles discovered and nuclear fission might not have ever been attempted, which would be perfectly okay with the modern day flat-earthers.

In 1990, we find the United Nations’ formation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chartered to remedy carbon dioxide induced global warming without ever pausing to examine the plausibility of the theory.

A key feature of this plan is a carbon tax to be levied on developed economies with proceeds going to less developed countries (read members of the UN general assembly). The goal is to provide incentives to restrict fossil fuel development and invest (read sink money) in wind farms and solar panels with much higher costs per energy unit produced.

It also incentivizes participating governments to create grant funds for environmental lobby groups who make political contributions to the politicians responsible for creating those funds.

The ‘Science’

Combustion of fossil fuels, oil, gas and coal contributes to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is defined as ‘greenhouse’ gas meaning that it traps heat in the atmosphere leading to an increase in ambient air temperature.

A temperature increase for the planet will cause melting polar ice caps with flooding of coastal areas, polar bear extinction, increased severe weather and drought.

Solutions include solar panels and wind farms, the so-called renewable energies.

The Real Science

Earth temperatures have been fluctuating, up and down, in response to sun activity forever. Polar ice cap fluctuations have been observed to coincide between Earth, Mars and other planets in our solar system. A striking example of the effect of sun activity is illustrated by the Maunder Minimum, a 200 year pause in sun activity which coincided with the Little Ice Age following the Medieval Warm Period.

In 1990, the IPCC said this is the likely historic temperature history of the planet for the last 1000 years:
A comparison with sunspot activity discloses the real driver behind temperature variations.

The Little Ice Age was deemed to have ended in 1849 and sunspot activity, until recently, has generally risen since then, accounting for gradually rising temperatures.

CO2 Myth

Graphical representation of a 2500 molecule air sample.
A 2500-molecule air sample will contain 1952 molecules of nitrogen, 524 molecules of oxygen, 23 molecules of argon and one molecule of carbon dioxide (in red).

This is the mathematical equivalent of 400 parts per million of carbon dioxide which MMCC advocates say approaches the level of irreversible change, killing polar bears and inundating our coastal areas. Since carbon dioxide has a specific heat only about twice the other air constituents, it is difficult to see how it could impart a measurable temperature increase to the other 2499 air molecules. That would be like powering the lights of a major sports stadium through a single household extension cord.

The pie-shaped red area in the figure above represents the 11 percent portion of the infrared wave length which can react with CO2.

Climate Deception
AGW fanatics have relied on four key deceptions to keep their story alive:

  • Ice core samples reveal higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 during warm periods in the planet’s history.
  • Hockey Stick Curve
  • Sea Levels Rising
  • It is settled science.
Ice Core Samples
Closer inspection of the ice core samples disclosed that higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 occurred at the end of the warm cycles. Oceans are a huge sink for carbon dioxide and, like the open root beer loses its fizz when left sitting out at room temperature, they can hold less gas when the climate warms. When solar activity heats up the oceans, CO2 is given up to the atmosphere. It is an effect of global warming, not a cause.

Hockey Stick Curve
When the IPCC’s declaration that the 20th century was the hottest in history didn’t square with the Medieval warm period, it was necessary to make it disappear. Michael Mann, two years removed from his PhD in physics, fabricated a temperature curve that supported their assertions with a relatively flat shape until it made an abrupt upturn at the 20th century, hence the term ‘hockey stick’ was applied to it. It was used to justify the warmists’ theory of everything. Referring to the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR), author Christopher Booker in his book The Real Global Warming Disaster quotes an unnamed observer, “without it, the TAR would have been a very different document, it would not have been able to conclude what it did, nor could the IPCC have convinced world leaders to take the actions they subsequently took.”

“Hockey Stick” Global Temperature Curve
The unusual hockey stick shape intrigued some people who were not associated with climate science, but experts in graphical representations. Stephen McIntyre, a financial consultant and statistical analyst, joined by Guelph University economics professor Ross McKitrick, analyzed the hockey stick. They were familiar with hockey stick algorithms used by people to sell a business prospect. In short, they showed the curve to be without merit based upon dubious assumptions.

Glaciers Melting, Sea Levels Rising
There is a wide disagreement on the question of sea level elevation. Who can forget the scene in Al Gore’s movie, an “Inconvenient Truth” when he rides a man-lift up 17 feet to dramatize the global warming effect on sea levels?

Whenever AGW is questioned, the answer is always, “it’s settled science”. They go on to say that 97% or even 99% of scientists agree. They ignore the caliber of those who disagree, who include Freeman Dyson (who supported Obama), Nobel Prize-Winning Scientist Dr. Ivar Giaever, and Green guru James Lovelock, who said, ‘I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy.’

According to Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree and on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.”

Wayne McLaughlin


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Report: Kerry urged Palestinians to 'not give in to Trump' and eyes 2020 presidential run - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

No end to the perfidy.

Maariv, a major newspaper in Israel and no friend to Benjamin Netanyahu, has reported (link in Hebrew) that former Secretary of State John Kerry met with a top aide to the Palestinian Authority and made some remarkable comments. The English Language Jerusalem Post summarizes:
While the White House has confirmed that since the Jerusalem Declaration there has been a complete disconnect between the Palestinian Authority and the Trump administration, it turns out that the previous administration has maintained contact with PA officials.

Maariv reported that former US secretary of state John Kerry met in London with a close associate of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Hussein Agha, for a long and open conversation about a variety of topics. Agha apparently reported details of the conversation to senior PA officials in Ramallah. A senior PA official confirmed to Maariv that the meeting took place. (snip)
During the conversation, according to the report, Kerry asked Agha to convey a message to Abbas and ask him to “hold on and be strong.” Tell him, he told Agha, “that he should stay strong in his spirit and play for time, that he will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.”

According to Kerry, Trump will not remain in office for a long time. It was reported that Kerry said that within a year there was a good chance that Trump would not be in the White House.
Kerry offered his help to the Palestinians in an effort to advance the peace process and recommended that Abbas present his own peace plan. “Maybe it is time for the Palestinians to define their peace principles and present a positive plan,” Kerry suggested.

He promised to use all his contacts and all his abilities to get support for such a plan.

He asked Abbas, through Agha, not to attack the US or the Trump administration, but to concentrate on personal attacks on Trump himself, whom Kerry says is solely and directly responsible for the situation.
Then-SecState Kerry met with Abbas in September 2016
According to the report, Kerry indicated he may run for president again in 2020:
He surprised his interlocutor by saying he was seriously considering running for president in 2020. When asked about his advanced age, he said he was not much older than Trump and would not have an age problem.
Readers may recall that the Logan Act forbidding private diplomacy – centuries old and never enforced -- reportedly was invoked by Robert Mueller in order to threaten Michael Flynn with “a Logan Act violation after the election, when Mike Flynn asked the Russians to veto a U.N.

The Logan Act is never enforced for good reason, and ought to be repealed, but since the Get Trump forces reportedly were willing to mention it in their quest to get something – anything – on members of the Trump team, it would be fair play to raise it in regard to Kerry, assuming this report is true. But such a use would be purely rhetorical.

Much worse is the notion that Kerry – yet another ancient Democrat putting himself in the presidential nomination game – is seeking to undermine the foreign policy of President Trump. 

Kerry is reverting to form in subverting the foreign policy of the US Government. He first gained prominence and elective office by opposing the Vietnam War and pretending to throw his medals over the White House fence (it was later revealed he kept his medals and threw someone else’s medal).

Thomas Lifson


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