Saturday, October 27, 2018

10 killed in Pennsylvania synagogue shooting - Tzvi Lev

by Tzvi Lev

Gunman opens fire at Synagogue, kills at least 10 . Shooter is in custody.

At least 10 people were killed after a gunman opened fire at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. According to the report, the gunman yelled "All these Jews need to die".

The gunman has been preliminarily identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers. The shooting reportedly happened during a circumcision ceremony and over 12 people were shot. 80 people were in the Synagogue during the shooting. Bauer also shot three police officers.

The attack was condemned by President Trump, who tweeted that he is "Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in the Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!"

"I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today," said Prime Minister Netanyahu.

"The entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the dead. We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous antisemitic brutality and we all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded."

Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett condemned Saturday's grisly shooting, tweeting that "The State of Israel and the Israeli government received with shock and pain the reports of the terrible attack on the Jewish community in Pittsburgh. We anxiously follow the reports and pray that the event will end soon."

"At the same time, I have now instructed the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to prepare to assist the community in every possible way. Our hearts are with the families of those killed and injured. May the memory of the murdered be blessed. "

Israeli officials say that Prime Minister Netanyahu is closely following the situation in Pittsburgh. The shooting was also condemned by Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog.

"A terrible massacre during the Shabbat service at the Etz Hayyim Synagogue in Pittsburgh," said Herzog. "We at the Jewish Agency are sore and distressed by the disaster of the warm Jewish community of Pittsburgh. The Jewish Agency is ready to assist in any way to the Jewish community in Pittsburgh and expresses its deep sorrow over the loss of life and the injury to the wounded."

Tzvi Lev


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Sayoc Accusation Doesn't Pass the Smell Test - Daniel John Sobieski

by Daniel John Sobieski

It could just be that like James T. Hodgkinson, the anti-Trump Bernie fan who tried to massacre Republican congressmen at a baseball practice, apparent Trump fan Cesar Sayoc is mentally challenged.

Something still doesn’t pass the smell test. In a moment of time where merely wearing a “MAGA” hat can get you fired, beat up, or merely harangued out of your favorite eatery, we are asked to believe that Cesar Altieri Sayoc was allowed to drive around safely in a van abundantly and meticulously adorned with pro-Trump stickers and a few depicting his personal animus toward the usual anti-Trump suspects, all of their colors vibrant, un-faded in the semitropical Florida sun. 

The van was never overturned or torched wherever he parked or drove it. No tires were ever slashed, no windows were ever smashed in with a baseball bat. It was never even keyed. And there it was in pristine condition, undamaged and ready for its close-up before a media avid to blame President Trump for Sayoc's actions.

Why would an ardent or, as the media will say, “unhinged” Trump supporter, watching, as the rest of us have, the so-called “blue wave” break up before it reaches shore amidst a roaring economy and widespread outrage over the treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and the oncoming illegal alien caravan invasion, do something so idiotic, something that could only slow the Trump train and help Democrats blame “both sides” and Trump’s allegedly “toxic rhetoric”

One observer asked the obvious question:
Why does Cesar Sayoc, the alleged “MAGABomber”, follow mainly liberals on Twitter and have a van covered in brand new pro-President Donald Trump stickers? It's as if he isn’t a supporter and wants it pinned on the president.
Another asked
A noted pundit made another observation that is curious:
Cesar Sayoc -- the alleged mail bomber -- had Trump stickers all over his vehicle. But on Twitter, he only follows 32 people -- many of whom are left-wingers like Lina Dunham, Barack Obama and Jimmy Kimmel. What gives?
Indeed, what gives? Before we haul down the false flag, it might be worth trying to answer that question. It just doesn’t make sense, but maybe Sayoc is a few fries short of a happy meal and logic does not apply. Logic will certainly not apply to Trump critics who are already blaming for Sayoc’s actions a resident of the White House one celebrity has thought of blowing up, whose severed head replica has been held up by another celebrity, whom a top Hollywood actor would like to punch in the face as another notes that it has been a long time since an actor assassinated a President. Toxic atmosphere and toxic rhetoric indeed. 

It could just be that, like James T. Hodgkinson, the anti-Trump Bernie fan who tried to massacre Republican congressmen at a baseball practice, apparent Trump fan Cesar Sayoc is mentally challenged. Though one is doubtful that liberals will excuse Sayoc and Trump like they excused Hodgkinson and Sanders.

No one blamed Sanders for inspiring Hodgkinson with what Illinois Republican congressman Rodney Davis called “political rhetorical terrorism”, and who, unlike Sayoc, actually harmed his targets with real bullets and did not use devices inspired by Wile E. Coyote. No one blamed Sanders for his “toxic” rhetoric:
Following the passage of the American Health Care Act, which still needs Senate approval to become law, Democrats and Sanders took to Twitter and the airwaves to condemn it in the gravest terms.
“If, which is not going to happen, the bill passed today in the House became law, thousands of Americans would die, because they would no longer have access to health care,” the independent from Vermont told CNN.
Bernie Sanders rightly and correctly disavowed the crimes of a volunteer whose actions he could not envision or control. Yet he and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi have spent the time since President Trump’s reelection yelling fire in the political theatre we call democracy, warning endlessly that people will die because of the Trump agenda, painting apocalyptic visions of planetary doom. With them claiming the Republican agenda is dooming the sick, the elderly, and the planet itself, was it so surprising that another liberal infused with the left’s messianic complex would try to save us all by killing Republicans trying to implement Trump’s America First agenda?

Pelosi especially should remember her own words as reported by the Washington Examiner:
With less than one week until Obamacare enrollment concludes, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi used congressional Democrats' inaugural weekly address to warn of the catastrophic effects repealing the law would have on the public. Tragically, repeal of the Affordable Care Act will lead to death, disability and suffering.
Quite a call to arms for Hodgkinson to assassinate the congressional leaders who would impose “death, disability, and suffering” on the American people. As I have noted, complaining about “fake news”, or chants of “CNN sucks” at campaign rallies, or pointing out the deep-state coup to overthrow a duly elected president by Democrats, the intelligence community, the FBI and the DOJ, is a call for fairness and justice and not violence.

By the grace of God and the presence of a security detail assigned to Steve Scalise, dozens of congressmen and their staff are alive today.

Let us consider who are the real inspirers of violence and where the real threat to civility and life rests. And let us answer the curious questions surrounding Cesar Altieri Sayoc 

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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Defense officials: Hezbollah will hide its activities in Syrian Golan - Yoav Limor and Israel Hayom Staff

by Yoav Limor and Israel Hayom Staff

Terror group commander Mustafa Mughniyeh, son and brother of assassinated Hezbollah leaders, may be forced underground now that his bid to resurrect Hezbollah military infrastructure in Syrian Golan has been exposed

Mustafa Mughniyeh (right) may be forced to go underground 

Israeli defense officials believe Iranian proxy Hezbollah will try to conceal its activities to resurrect its military infrastructure and capabilities in the Syrian Golan Heights, which were exposed by Israel Hayom Thursday.

Mustafa Mughniyeh, the commander of Hezbollah activities in the Druze village of Khader, 3.5 kilometers (2 miles) from the Israeli border, could be forced to go underground in fear for his life, the officials say.

Mughniyeh is the eldest son of Imad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah's former military chief who was assassinated in February 2008 in Damascus in an operation attributed to Israel and the CIA.
Mustafa Mughniyeh's younger brother, Jihad Mughniyeh, was assassinated in 2015 in the Golan Heights after trying to establish terrorist infrastructure there. Reports at the time said Jihad Mughniyeh had been building up the organization's military and terrorist infrastructure in Khader. That assassination was also attributed to Israel.

Hezbollah's current efforts in the Golan Heights consist primarily of manning lookout posts and providing equipment to local residents who report back to the organization.

According to information gathered by Israel, Mustafa Mughniyeh held a key position in Hezbollah's arms smuggling apparatus until recently.

Since the battles between Syrian rebels and government forces in the Syrian Golan Heights ended last July, the border area has been calm. The rebels surrendered or fled, and the Syrian army now controls the area.

Yoav Limor and Israel Hayom Staff


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Islamic Jihad agrees to Egyptian-brokered truce - Lior Levy, Yoav Zitun, Matan Tzuri and Itay Blumenthal

by Lior Levy, Yoav Zitun, Matan Tzuri and Itay Blumenthal

After flare-up on Friday, which included a barrage of rockets at Israel and wide-scale IDF attacks in the strip in response, Cairo is able to reach understandings to halt hostilities

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad group said Saturday it had agreed to stop rocket fire at Israel following Egyptian intervention.

After firing the heaviest rocket barrage across the border since August, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad, one of the armed groups that operates in Gaza, said understandings had been reached for a ceasefire with Israel with the help of Egyptian mediation. 

"After contacts between the Islamic Jihad leadership and the brothers in Egypt, it was agreed that a comprehensive ceasefire will begin immediately," spokesman Daoud Shehab said. "Islamic Jihad will abide by the ceasefire if the occupation (Israel) does the same."

IDF strikes in Gaza
IDF strikes in Gaza

An IDF spokesman, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, told reporters that Islamic Jihad was behind the rocket fire, after receiving orders from Iran's Quds Force based in Syria.

"We have seen and established a clear link between Gaza and Damascus. Orders and incentives were given from Damascus with a clear involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force," he said, adding that Israel's response will not be "limited geographically."

Conricus also emphasized that Israel still holds Hamas responsible for all fire out of Gaza, and has seen no signs of Hamas trying to stop the fire.

 (Photo: AFP)

Following the escalation in the south, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman held security consultations with IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and senior IDF and defense officials at the Kirya base in Tel Aviv.

Assessment attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF chief of staff  (Photo: Ariel Harmoni/Ministry of Defense)
Assessment attended by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF chief of staff (Photo: Ariel Harmoni/Ministry of Defense)

In addition, Ben-Gurion Airport changed the planes' landing routes following the security situation.

The IAF struck dozens of terror sites across the Gaza Strip in response to nearly 40 rockets launched into Israel from Gaza. One of the targets destroyed was a building that served as Hamas' general security headquarters in Gaza's al-Daraj neighborhood.

On Saturday morning, IAF aircraft bombed eight Islamic Jihad targets in response to early morning rockets. The targets included three military sites, including sites for the manufacture of weapons in the northern Gaza Strip and a tunnel-manufacturing facility in the southern Gaza Strip.

Out of the 39 rockets launched into Israel, the Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted 17. Two rockets landed inside the Gaza Strip and the rest landed in open areas in Israel. This was the heaviest barrage of rockets since early August, when 150 rockets were fired in two days.

 (Photo: Reuters)
(Photo: Reuters)
The military wing of Islamic Jihad threatened Saturday morning to escalate the rocket fire. "We are considering increasing the scope and quality of the response if Israel continues its violence and aggression," Islamic Jihad said. 
According to the terror group, it fired the rockets in retaliation for Israel's killing of four Palestinian protesters on Friday near the border
"The enemy must understand that the resistance will not accept the equations it imposes, based on killing from their side and silence on our side. We decided to respond to the aggression and acted with will-power and determination. We will maintain the resistance and its stance—bombing will be answered with bombing and blood with blood. We will be committed to a cease-fire deal if Israel commits to it. The Palestinian resistance will respond to any Israeli attack," the organization's statement read.
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is an Iranian-backed military group that sometimes operates independently of Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Lior Levy, Yoav Zitun, Matan Tzuri and Itay Blumenthal


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Europe's Crisis of Survival - Giulio Meotti

by Giulio Meotti

In Western Germany, 42% of children under the age of six now come from a migrant background, according to Germany's Federal Statistical Office, as reported by Die Welt.

  • In facing this existential challenge, a downward spiral in which Europeans seem to be slowly dying out by failing to reproduce, it seems that Europe has also lost all confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values, such as personal freedoms, reason and science replacing superstition, and the separation of church and state. These are critical if Europe truly wishes to survive.
  • In Western Germany, 42% of children under the age of six now come from a migrant background, according to Germany's Federal Statistical Office, as reported by Die Welt.
  • "[I]f you look through history, where the Church slept, got diverted away from the Gospel, Islam took the advantage and came in. This is what we are seeing in Europe, that the Church is sleeping, and Islam is creeping in... Europe is being Islamized, and it will affect Africa." — Catholic Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Cameroon.

In facing this existential challenge, a downward spiral in which Europeans seem to be slowly dying out by failing to reproduce, it seems that Europe has also lost all confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values, such as personal freedoms, reason and science replacing superstition, and the separation of church and state. These are critical if Europe truly wishes to survive. (Image source: Pixabay)

"The possibility that Europe will become a museum or a cultural amusement park for the nouveau riche of globalization is not completely out of the question." This thought of Europe as a vast cultural theme park was presented by the late historian Walter Laqueur, who, for his far-sighted prognosis about Europe's crisis, has been called "the indispensable pessimist." Laqueur was one of the first to understand that the current deadlock in which the continent finds itself goes far beyond economics. The point is that the days of European strength are over. Because of low birth rates, Europe is dramatically shrinking. If current trends continue, Laqueur said, a hundred years from now Europe's population "will be only a fraction of what it is today, and in two hundred, some countries may have disappeared."

Sadly, the "death of Europe" is drawing nearer, is becoming more visible and is more frequently discussed by popular writers.

"At a time when literature is increasingly marginalized in public life, Michel Houellebecq offers a striking reminder that novelists can provide insights about society that pundits and experts miss," the New York Times wrote about arguably the most important French author. Houellebecq "speaks" through his best-selling novels, such as Submission, as well as his public lectures. The last conference that Houellebecq attended in Brussels -- on the occasion of the Oswald Spengler Prize, commemorating the author of The Decline of the West -- was dedicated to that topic. "To sum up," Houellebecq said, "the Western world as a whole is committing suicide."

Why Europe has become so obsessed about its own declining demography and a surging fertile immigration from Africa?

According to Ross Douthat, writing in The New York Times, "Western-supported population control efforts in the developing world" are "creeping back into the discussion" for three reasons:
"Because African birthrates haven't slowed as fast as Western experts once expected, because European demographics are following Macron's Law toward the grave, and because European leaders are no longer nearly so optimistic about assimilating immigrants as even a few short years ago."
Douthat is referring to two speeches by the French president, Emmanuel Macron. In 2017, Macron called Africa's problems "civilizational" and lamented that they "have seven or eight children per woman." In a second speech at the Gates Foundation last week, Macron said: "Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children." The question Macron implicitly raised is: How can Europe manage its own educated people with their low birth rates while confronting massive African and Middle Eastern fertility and immigration? It seems that Europe is in a demographic struggle with the rest of the world, and can only lose.

In facing this existential challenge, a downward spiral in which Europeans seem to be slowly dying out by failing to reproduce, it seems that Europe has also lost all confidence in its hard-won Enlightenment values, such as personal freedoms, reason and science replacing superstition, and the separation of church and state.

These are critical, if Europe truly wishes to survive. The distinguished historian Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote:
"Judged by the great historical determinants of civilizational power — fuel, energy, education, demography, political stability, and military power — Europe is waning. It is spending a mere 1.4% of its collective GDP on defense... And with a fertility rate of less than 1.6%, Europe is slowly shrinking and aging — hence the short-sighted immigration policy of Angela Merkel who apparently sees immigration also as a solution to the demography crisis and a shortcut to low-cost labor."
However, as Walter Laqueur wrote, "even if Europe's decline is irreversible, there is no reason that it should become a collapse."

How does one avoid that collapse?

At a recent European meeting, Italy's interior minister, Matteo Salvini, who heads the anti-immigration League party, said:
"I've heard colleagues say that we need immigration because the population of Europe is getting older, but I have a completely different viewpoint... I believe that I'm in government in order to see that our young people have the number of children that they used to a few years ago and not to transplant the best of Africa's youth to Europe. Maybe in Luxembourg they need to do this, but in Italy we need to help people have more children, rather than bring in modern-day slaves (from Africa) to replace the children we're not having."
Then, directly addressing an interruption from Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, Salvini added:
"I calmly answer your point of view which is different from mine... If in Luxembourg you need a new immigration, I prefer to keep Italy for the Italians and start to make children again."
Salvini evidently sees what to expect from Italy's future. Under unchanged conditions, Italy's population could collapse, reaching just over 16 million inhabitants compared to 59 million today. This disturbing projection emerged this year at Italy's annual "Festival of Statistics and Demography," where University of Rome professor Matteo Rizzolli said:
"Because this happens in a hundred years, even if we will be 8 million fewer in 20 years, if we keep on acting as we do, it will do nothing to promote the birth rate."
Europe's establishment is therefore perfectly divided between the so-called "Europeists," who believe that new migrants are necessary to stop the EU's demographic collapse, and the "Euroskeptics" who want to overcome it on their own. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, for instance, has called on Europeans to stop the "demographic decline" by investing more in traditional families. Meanwhile, Italian Catholic Archbishop Gian Carlo Perego has said:
"The challenge for Italy is to reconcile a country that is dying with young people who come from elsewhere, in order to begin a new history. If we close our door to migrants, we will disappear."
Salvini proposed yet another idea in an interview with The Times:
"A country which does not create children is destined to die...We have created a ministry of the family to work on fertility, nurseries, on a fiscal system which takes large families into account. At the end of this mandate, the government will be measured on the number of newborns more than on its public debt."
At stake, Salvini said, is Italy's "tradition, our story, our identity" -- the left is using the fertility crisis as an "excuse" to "import immigrants."

Another Catholic bishop, Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe, Cameroon, recently said about low birth rates in Europe:
"It's a very big thing. And I will dare to say that, especially with the backdrop of the Islamic invasion, if you look through history, where the Church slept, got diverted away from the Gospel, Islam took the advantage and came in. This is what we are seeing in Europe, that the Church is sleeping, and Islam is creeping in... Europe is being Islamized, and it will affect Africa."
Europe's decline and transformation can also be seen in France. According to new statistics released by the French National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, Mohammed and several other traditional Muslim names now top the list of most popular baby names in the French department of Seine-Saint-Denis (1.5 million residents). It is noteworthy that two journalists with the mainstream newspaper Le Monde, Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, have just published a book entitled Inch'allah : l'islamisation à visage découvert ("If Allah Wills: The Exposed Face of Islamization"), an investigation of the "Islamization" of the Seine-Saint-Denis area.

Meanwhile, an investigation published in July by the weekly L'Express showed that in France, "between 2000 and 2016, the number of children with at least one foreign parent increased from 15 to 24 percent." Die Welt reported that, according to the Federal Statistical Office, in Western Germany, 42% of children under the age of six now come from a migrant background.

Mass unvetted immigration to Europe seems to have done it more harm than good. Walter Laqueur wrote:
"...uncontrolled immigration was not the only reason for the decline of Europe. But taken together with the continent's other misfortunes, it led to a profound crisis; a miracle might be needed to extract Europe from these predicaments."
Both Matteo Salvini and Michel Houellebecq have pointed out that the drama of an aging and tired Europe is not a partisan or electoral issue; it is a civilizational one. This issue will also decide the future of the European Union, which the open-borders policy might wipe out.

Time is running out. As Houellebecq said in a speech at the Frank Schirrmacher Prize:
"[T]he advance of Islam is just beginning, because demography is on its side and because Europe, which has stopped having children, has entered a process of suicide. And it is not really a slow suicide. Once you have arrived at a birth rate of 1.3 or 1.4, then in reality things go very fast."

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.


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Non-Functioning Bombs and Double Standards - Matthew Vadum

by Matthew Vadum

Endorsers of Antifa terror are suddenly outraged about non-exploding packages.

Political terrorism is almost exclusively the province of the Left in America, so naturally, conservatives find the timing of the delivery of non-functioning, vaguely scary-looking replicas of letter bombs this week to opponents of President Trump suspicious to say the least.

Remember that the Democratic National Committee has officially endorsed the violent Black Lives Matter movement and that more than a few Democrats support the Antifa terrorist movement. Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 running-mate, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), whose son Woody is an Antifa terrorist, said recently that Democrats need to “fight in the streets” against Republicans.

Intended recipients of the packages include former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Trump critic and actor Robert DeNiro, and leftist billionaire George Soros, CBS News reports.

Some of those targeted are the worst purveyors of violent rhetoric targeting Republicans.

Hillary Clinton embraced violence against Republicans when she said Oct. 9, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate that's when civility can start again.”

So did Maxine Waters when she said June 23, “And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they're not welcome anymore anywhere”

Eric Holder said Oct. 10 that Democrats need to get physical with Republicans. “Michelle [Obama] always says ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. No. When they go low, we kick them,” he said to a cheering crowd at a political rally.

Both Joe Biden and Robert DeNiro have said they want to beat Trump up physically.

The bomber, if that’s what the perpetrator can be called, may be a disgruntled Sanders supporter for all we know.

As of Wednesday, all the packages listed a return address of “Debbie Wasserman Schultz,” a Democrat congresswoman from Florida who chaired the Democratic National Committee when it cheated Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) out of the party’s 2016 presidential nomination on Clinton’s orders. The FBI says the packages are connected and that more could be on their way.

President Trump hasn’t been urging his supporters to take action against his political opponents. On the contrary, Wednesday he denounced the low-budget terror campaign being waged by persons unknown as "an attack on democracy itself."

Trump has been campaigning for Republican candidates in the Nov. 6 congressional elections based on his winning conservative record. Two conservative Supreme Court justices confirmed, tax cuts enacted, a booming economy, immigration reform in progress, a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, and many other accomplishments make the case with the American people.

Besides, the violent rhetoric and real-life violence in America today emanates from the Left, not from conservatives or Republicans. It was a Bernie Sanders-supporting left-winger, James Hodgkinson, who tried and very nearly succeeded in assassinating House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) during a baseball practice. Evidence suggests Hodgkinson wanted to kill more GOP lawmakers had he not been shot and killed during a shootout with police.

The media delights in threats of violence against Trump and those who support him.

In 2017 in New York City a production of Julius Caesar featured the lead character played by an actor who resembled President Trump being stabbed on stage. Alleged comedian Kathy Griffin appeared in a video with a fake severed head made to look like Trump.

“I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” entertainer Madonna said Jan. 21, 2017.

“When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” actor Johnny Depp said June 22, 2017. “It has been a while and maybe it is time.”

And don’t forget that every single time in history an American president has been felled by an assassin’s bullet it has been at the hands of Democrats or leftists.

Since Trump announced he was seeking the presidency, there have been at least 600 violent incidents or incidents of harassment aimed at Trump and those associated with him, according to a running tally compiled by Breitbart News. “And amid this climate of hate, corporate media are purposely fanning the flames and rationalizing violence,” the media outlet observes.

None of the devices destined for the Trump adversaries have exploded. It appears at this point that they were never intended to explode. They were intended as leftist propaganda, calculated to inflame public opinion, end the surge of positive Trump news, and halt Republicans’ new advances in the polls.

Of course, for all we know at this point, the perpetrators could be Trump supporters, but that seems unlikely. With very few historical exceptions, conservatives and Republicans don’t bomb people. Bombing is what leftists like Bill Ayers and other communist terrorists do.

So at first glance this fake-bomb campaign looks like what some might call a “false flag” operation.

David Horowitz was quick to express skepticism.

“Obama, the Clintons, Soros and the Fake News channels get suspicious packages all on the same day[,]” tweeted the David Horowitz Freedom Center founder on Oct. 24. “Jeez, do you wonder who sent them? The DNC perhaps?” (The David Horowitz Freedom Center is the publisher of FrontPage.)

Just days ago all the mainstream media could generate was a mournful lament of how Republicans were on track for an electoral rebound. Before that it had seemed Republicans could lose control of Congress, which would have imperiled Trump’s presidency by green-lighting potentially scores of new investigations into the Trump administration and preventing judicial and other confirmations, in addition to the shameful probes already in progress related to the insane Trump-Russia electoral collusion conspiracy theory. But widespread voter revulsion at the Left’s character assassination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh enraged the GOP grassroots and won new supporters for that party’s cause.

Victory was within grasp for Republicans, so something had to be done to change the pro-Trump news cycle.

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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Harvard’s Racist Diversity Problem - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

Racial quotas help you when you fail. They punish you when you succeed.

“Diversity and excellence go hand in hand," Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana had declared two years ago. “Diversity is at the heart of the mission of the College."

Now, at the trial over Harvard’s racially discriminatory admissions policy, Khurana was asked about a different type of diversity by a lawyer representing Students for Fair Admissions. The group representing 20,000 students, parents and others was challenging Harvard’s discrimination against Asian students.

“Don’t you actually think that Harvard’s class should have a socioeconomic makeup that looks a lot more like America?"

Khurana demurred.

“We’re not trying to mirror the socioeconomic or income distribution of the United States,” he insisted.

Why is racial diversity at the “heart” of Harvard’s mission, but not socioeconomic diversity?
The lawsuit against Harvard by Students for Fair Admissions has successfully raised that question.

"The admissions process is designed to identify those students who manifest the qualities, academic and otherwise, that suggest they will become engaged participants and leaders in an increasingly diverse, complex society," Harvard's lawyers argued.

But the complex diversity of this society is defined in an extremely simplistic way. Harvard would like to map the United States, but not by income, only by race. And only by certain races.

Asian students had the lowest Harvard admission rate of any group at 8.1%. White students were admitted at a rate of 11.1% and black students at a rate of 13.2%. In the early oughts, black student admission rates actually approached an unprecedented 20%.

Harvard’s 2019 class boasted a makeup of 11.6% black students, 21.1% Asian students, and 13% Hispanic students. The 2022 admissions numbers have hit 15.2% black students, and 22.9% Asian students: though these don’t reflect the final enrollment numbers which are likely to be lower.

Black and Hispanic students get recruitment letters if they score only 1100 on their SATs. For Asian students, it’s 1350. According to the Princeton Review, the current average SAT score is 1060.

Asian students applying to Harvard had average SAT scores of 726.2 across the sections of the exam. White students had average scores of 712.7. Asian students admitted to Harvard had average scores of 766.6 and white students had average scores of 744.7.

Meanwhile black students admitted to Harvard had average scores of only 703.7.

Black students admitted to Harvard were the only group with SAT scores lower than those of the average white student applying. Asian applicants had higher SAT average scores than every admitted student group, except white students.

“Given racial bias in standardized testing and endemic racial inequities in educational opportunities in primary and secondary school, Harvard must consider race if it is to assemble a diverse student body," a filing by NAACP lawyers on behalf of Harvard student and alumni groups claimed.

The groups being represented by the NAACP include the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard, Fuerza Latina of Harvard, and the Harvard Islamic Society.

But why does this alleged “racial bias in standardized testing”, not to mention the endemic, epidemic and pandemic “racial inequities in educational opportunities” somehow pass Asian students by?

And if America is suffering from a pandemic of racial inequities in education, how is it that black students are able to get into America’s most elite institution with SAT scores that would get a middle- class white student from Brooklyn or Boston, who isn’t a legacy, laughed all the way out the door?

Harvard’s policy of racial quotas invalidates its own arguments in favor of those quotas.

The only racial minority suffering from “racial inequities in educational opportunities” is the one suing Harvard over it. If there were racial inequities at Harvard toward black students, the NAACP lawyers would be suing Harvard, instead of filing briefs in defense of the racial inequities that benefit them.

And if Harvard privileges black students, are we supposed to believe that the institution that asserts that it produces the nation’s leaders is an outlier in discriminating in favor of black students, rather than that it sets the tone for educational policy across the country?

The success of Asian students exposes the racist lie on which all the claims of white privilege are built. If America is a racist society that excludes non-whites, why do Asians succeed and thrive in it?

America is not a white supremacist society. It’s a fair and just society whose meritocracy has only been compromised by affirmative action. The lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions reveals what racism in America really looks like. If you want to see institutional racism, skip the trailer parks where the last of the KKK wizards collect their food stamps, and look at Harvard’s affirmative action quotas.

Asian success represents a unique threat to the cult of diversity. Affirmative action is essentially a collectivist scheme for redistributing college admissions, jobs and business opportunities by race. To be in favor of it, and of any socialist scheme, you have to believe in your inability to succeed on your own.

The Harvard racial quota debate has divided Asian students between those fighting for their rights and those embarrassing themselves by supporting a system of racial discrimination against themselves.

At a Harvard rally in support of racial quotas that discriminate against students like her, an Asian student can be seen holding up a sign reading, "Yellow Peril Supports Black Power."

The Left builds its systems around ideas that seemed radical and relevant generations ago. After the rising middle class made Marxism seem like a quaint joke, the system of racial privileges that replaced it was born in an era when America’s racial conflicts were black and white. It was never meant for a world in which Asian students outperform white students.

Intersectionality has struggled to patch the holes in the bipolar origins of diversity, throwing in a goulash of identities, and privileging some at the expense of others. But that provides little satisfaction for the successful groups in the intersectional gulag, Asians, white women, gay men, who increasingly don’t need the quotas, and are being berated about their privilege by the beneficiaries of their discrimination.

The Harvard lawsuit asks Asians and every other identity group in America whether, as individuals and a community, they benefit or lose from opting out of meritocracy in exchange for group privileges.

That’s the essential question of the old debate between capitalism and socialism through the lens of identity politics. Some groups are willing to suppress individual merit for collective privileges even though accepting them sharply caps their individual ability to succeed. Others want off the plantation.

Socialism offered to cap individual potential in exchange for collective security. Affirmative action offers racial groups the same poisoned gift. It claims to do this in the name of fighting white privilege and institutional white supremacy. But what better tool of white supremacy could there be than seducing racial minorities into abandoning their best and brightest by offering them racial quotas and caps.

As the data out of Harvard shows, racial quotas work both ways. They reward a minority group as long as it performs poorly. But once it succeeds, they start punishing it for its success.

The fundamental flaw of affirmative action is the same flaw as that of welfare state socialism. It punishes hard work and rewards a refusal to work. No white supremacist plot could have done more damage to the minority communities that foolishly accepted the poisoned gift of affirmative action.

The Harvard lawsuit is waking up Asian-Americans to the real cost of affirmative action. That’s the true lesson being taught at Harvard and at countless educational institutions across the country.

Racial quotas help you when you fail. They punish you when you succeed.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.


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Foreign Policy as Moral Preening - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

Why we must take the world as it is, not as we dream it to be.

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi regime insider and columnist, in Istanbul continues to dominate the news cycle as the president and Congress consider their response. Despite the dog-bites-man nature of the story–– autocrats and tyrants across the globe regularly eliminate political enemies without such intense outrage from the West–– our media and politicians have conducted an orgy of moral preening, thunderous denunciations, and various proposed punishments of Saudi heir to the throne Mohammed bin Salman.

Once again, the cheap idealism and hypocrisy of the self-righteous West illustrates the dangers that come from a foreign policy based on illusion rather than on the tragic reality of human nature and action.

Much of this outrage results from the fact that Khashoggi worked as a columnist for the Washington Post and possessed a green card. Ignoring the distinction between journalists who supposedly report facts, and an editorial page columnist who gives opinions, both progressive and conservative media have turned Khashoggi into a martyr of the Fourth Estate, an intrepid seeker of facts and watchdog of the public weal.

Only a few commentators have reported on the real nature of Khashoggi’s “analyses.” Khashoggi was an Islamist press agent for Osama bin Laden and the Muslim Brotherhood, the mother-ship of modern jihadism, and a critic of the Saudi regime not for its human rights offenses, but for bin Salman’s war against the Iranian supported jihadists in Yemen, his hostility to the Muslim Brotherhood, his break with Qatar for supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, and his desire for closer ties with the U.S. Khashoggi was a “dissident” alright, but one who opposed the reformist policies of the regime that align with the interests of the U.S., and who wooed gullible Westerners with sweet-talk of Islamists “reform.”

The media’s elevation of Khashoggi, of course, also serves their anti-Trump agenda, ever on the watch for anything that can be turned against the president. Having created the caricature of Trump as an “autocrat” in the making who has a soft spot for fellow autocrats, the media have elevated the killing of Khashoggi, and the ongoing investigation of its circumstances, into 24/7 flogging the president and parsing his every word for signs of indulgence of bin Salman’s actions, or asserting dark conspiracies about “hit lists” coming from the White House.

The other goal of the media, as well as democracy promoters of both parties, is to freshen up the old “moderate Muslim” and “religion of peace” canards, the anti-empirical idea that jihadists are “heretics” and madmen who have “hijacked” Islam for their own nefarious ends. Khashoggi was considered one of those “reformers” necessary for eliminating the Middle Eastern despots and thugs whose corrupt regimes were driving ordinary Muslims into the arms of jihadists. That’s why the Post went after FrontPage and other conservative sites for publicizing the inconvenient truth that the Post was giving a pulpit for an Islamist to pursue his aims no matter how contrary to this country’s interests and those of one of its critical regional allies.

Yet even Republican politicians have waxed hysterical about punishing Saudi Arabia no matter how injurious such actions would be to our foreign policy. Congressman Peter King has claimed that Saudi Arabia is “the most immoral government that we’ve ever had to deal with,” a bit of hyperbole easy to explode with a catalogue of much worse tyrants and oppressors, staring with Joseph Stalin and Mao, the two worst mass murderers in history, whom “we had to deal with.” So too with other Congressmen who are demanding sanctions and cancelling arms sales. Either they are terminal idealists, foreign policy ignoramuses, or moral exhibitionists.

What’s more troubling, however, is how the reaction to Khashoggi’s murder reflects the received wisdom and fossilized dogmas of moralizing internationalism, the old Wilsonian idea that American power must be used for asserting our “values” and transforming the rest of the world into Western clones. We’ve been indulging that pipe dream for a century now, and its track record is dismal. It is based on a fundamental failure of imagination, the inability to see clearly the profound differences that define the world’s peoples and motivate their actions. As a result, we assume that because all human beings are capable of embracing liberal democracy and its cargo of human rights, equality, and political freedom, it follows that all peoples want those goods and prize them above all others.

These differences, moreover, have been stubborn and bloody in the Muslim Middle East. From the first Gulf War through the Arab Spring and our continuing interventions in the region, we have failed to figure out that Western liberal democracy and its cargo of natural rights, political freedom, equality of women, and tolerance for religious practice are alien to traditional Islam. Worse, they are seen by millions of faithful Muslims to be offensive weapons against the umma, the world-wide community of Muslims, and the stalking horses of disbelief and hedonism––“Westoxification,” as the Iranians put it, the corruption of the faith by its oldest enemy and rival.

No surprise, then, that over the last two decades we have spent about two trillion dollars and thousands of lives attempting to impose liberal democracy on the Muslim Middle East, and we have failed. ISIS and the carnage in Syria are a consequence of those efforts, as are the presence of Iran and Russia in a region we once dominated. But despite that failure, we continue to preach our ideals to the rest of the world, using diplomatic bromides to compensate for the futility of our efforts. The current spate of sermonizing about Mohammed bin Salman reflects our habit of lecturing the rest of the world about behavior considered normal or unexceptional in other nations, no matter how much it offends our beliefs.

It is obvious, for example, outside the rich West that violence is a time-honored tool of political power. That’s why the murder of Khashoggi is typical apart from its remarkable clumsiness. And it took place in Turkey, ruled by an illiberal Islamist regime that regularly imprisons journalists and murders dissidents. Yet Erdogan has received a fraction of the outrage currently inundating bin Salman. Could it be that those unfortunate Turkish journalists didn’t possess a green card and weren’t employed by the Post, and so don’t show up on our moral radar? Given the extent of violence inflicted on dissidents and journalists around the world, not to mention the murder and mayhem inflicted on Christians, one wonders what makes this particular death so worthy of condemnation.

Such selective outrage is unseemly and hypocritical, and does not go unnoticed by the world. Many wonder, for example, why Saddam Hussein deserved to be driven from power and his country occupied, when we did nothing about the genocide in Sudan or Rwanda, and continue to do very little about the Christian Nigerians and Syrians being murdered and enslaved even as we caterwaul about an Islamist apologist for terror. Or why Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by a NATO operation based on some rhetorical bluster, while Syria’s Assad has slaughtered half-a-million and suffered a few airstrikes. Or why Iran, for forty years a declared bloodstained enemy of the United States, as well as being a brutal theocracy and the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, did not summon the same levels as outrage as those against bin Salman back when Barack Obama was facilitating the regime’s acquisition of nuclear weapons even as the blood hadn’t dried on the mullahs’ hands.

We know the answer. For all our democracy promotion and moralizing internationalism, we have no choice but to guide our foreign policy by our perceived interests and national security. That means we have to choose where we use our power, no matter how grisly the toll of the slaughter that we must pass by. Nor, as some claim, is it in our interests to rebuild and transform a fourteen-century-old traditional religious culture proud of its storied history of conquest and occupation. It’s one thing to consider rebuilding and democratizing Europe after World War II, when it lay in ruins. Europe still had the civilizational infrastructure from Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem to work with.

But it indulges a dangerous illusion to intervene in Muslim countries whose faith is inimical to the West, and who brook no accommodation with infidels other than submission to Allah; and to try and build democracy at the same time that one is battling a vicious jihadist enemy that scorns our rules of engagement and conventions defending non-combatants. As the Khashoggi incident shows, perhaps we have become cynical about our professed “values” given how we have failed to recreate them abroad. Perhaps that’s why we substitute moral bluster, and indulge blatant hypocrisy about who deserves our outrage and who can be ignored.

But foreign policy depends on a sober and rational calculation of our interests. Right now, Saudi Arabia is serving those interests against Iran and its jihadist proxy, and in support of our critical ally Israel. Those interests are more important than empty, self-righteous proclamations of our “values,” or punishment of an ally because, like most of the allies in our history, he rules by the traditions of his own culture no matter how distasteful or contrary to our principles and beliefs. Until we can conquer and remake the world in our own image, we have no other choice but to take the world as it is, not as we dream it to be.

Photo: April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy

Bruce Thornton is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, a Research Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, and a Professor of Classics and Humanities at the California State University. He is the author of nine books and numerous essays on classical culture and its influence on Western Civilization. His most recent book, Democracy's Dangers and Discontents (Hoover Institution Press), is now available for purchase.


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