Friday, August 16, 2019

Report: Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar banned from entering Israel - David Rosenberg

by David Rosenberg

Interior Ministry reaches final decision, barring controversial Democratic lawmakers from entering Israel, report claims.

Ilhan Omar (r), Rashida Tlaib (l)
Ilhan Omar (r), Rashida Tlaib (l)

Israel will not permit two controversial Democratic lawmakers to enter the country, Channel 12 reported Thursday afternoon.

According to the report, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) decided Thursday to bar Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from entering Israel.

The two will be prevented from entering Israel based on law passed by the Knesset in 2017 which permits the Interior Ministry to bar supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) from visiting the Jewish state.

Earlier on Thursday, Channel 12 reported that Israel was reconsidering its initial decision not to invoke the anti-BDS law and permit Tlaib and Omar to enter the country.

Two weeks ago, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer announced that Israel would allow the two to enter, in light of the strong messages he received on the subject from senior officials in the Democratic party, of which the two congresswomen are members.

David Rosenberg


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How Trump Started a Civil War Between Hamas and a UN Agency - Daniel Greenfield

by Daniel Greenfield

A civil war in UNRWA.

Even within the United Nations, a sprawling multinational bureaucracy linked by luxury dining, corruption and complicity in terrorism, the UNRWA stands out for waste, corruption and terror.

The UNRWA’s abbreviation leaves out its full title, United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, and its heavy focus on Gaza. The UNRWA classifies 1.4 million or 73% of the people living in Gaza as “refugees” even though it’s an independent territory run by Hamas.

There are really two UNRWA agencies. One is a UN agency run by a small number of international staffers. Another is an arm of Hamas which employs thousands of “Palestinians”. Many if not most of these are members of Hamas. Some, like Suhail al-Hindi, the former head of the UNRWA union, who was also a member of Hamas’ leadership, serve in the upper echelons of the terror group.

While a handful of European UN employees act as the public face of UNRWA, the actual agency is run by Hamas operatives who control its schools, using them to recruit and to store weapons. The union representing UNRWA employees is controlled by Hamas and its employees implement Hamas policies.

Hamas had announced as much when its newspaper responded to a call to fire UNRWA Hamas members by writing, "Laying off the agency employees because of their political affiliation means laying off all the employees of the aid agency, because…they are all members of the ‘resistance.’”

The power struggle between the UN employees and Hamas was tested before during clashes over the teaching of the Holocaust in UNRWA schools and the use of UNRWA schools to launch attacks on Israel.

The real crackup came when the Trump administration cut off all funding to UNRWA.

On a Rosh Hashana call, President Trump told Jewish leaders that the free ride for terrorists was over.

“I stopped massive amounts of money that we were paying to the Palestinians," he announced. "The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money.”

UNRWA leaders had reacted to the cuts by announcing that 250 employees in Gaza would be let go. Hamas UNRWA employees then seized control of UNRWA facilities and banished the international staff.

Mahmoud Zahar, the co-founder of Hamas, who had once declared that the Jews had "legitimized the murder of their own children" and that, "removing the Jews from the land they occupied in 1948 is an immutable principle because it appears in the Book of Allah", visited UNRWA’s Hamas members engaged in what they described as a "peaceful and safe sit-in".

“I am the captain of the ship which has 13,000 sailors on it and they have basically thrown me off the bridge and consigned me to my captain’s quarters,” Matthias Schmale, UNRWA’s director of field operations in Gaza, whined.

Schmale had never actually been the captain. Zahar and other Hamas leaders had been running things.

The UNRWA was forced to evacuate most of its 19 international staffers from Gaza, including its ten senior leaders, leaving behind only 6 international staffers. This made no practical difference as the UNRWA operation on the ground was actually being run by the 13,000 Hamas UN employees.

But the UN isn’t moved by protests or violence. It runs on reports. And soon a report arrived.

Al Jazeera debuted an internal UN report alleging corruption and misconduct by UNRWA leaders. Al Jazeera is an arm of Qatar. The Islamic terror state is currently the biggest backer of the Muslim Brotherhood, supports Hamas, and is extensively involved in Gaza. Al Jazeera’s barrage of stories on the UNRWA report was a clear signal that Qatar was targeting the UN agency on behalf of Hamas.

Al Jazeera claimed that it had obtained a copy of the report from agency employees “concerned” that action wasn’t being taken against an “inner circle” running UNRWA. The inner circle consists of the international leadership that Hamas is angry at for trying to fire hundreds of its people.

The report, aired by Al Jazeera, claimed that UNRWA boss Pierre Krahenbuhl had carried on an affair with his senior adviser, Maria Mohammedi, which “embarrassed” their colleagues and donors.

Krahenbuhl, a Swiss NGO vet, is officially married to Taiba Rahim, the head of an Afghan non-profit, and Maria Mohammedi, is an Algerian who was, at least in the past, married to Rashid Abdelhamid, a "Palestinian filmmaker", who is really an Algerian educated in France, and living in Gaza, and while this is all very multinational, it's also the sort of "international diplomacy" that the UN frowns upon.

But if the allegations are true, the Swiss humanitarian had just gone native by adopting polygamy.

The report is filled with allegations of bullying, nepotism, abusing travel vouchers, and, the worst possible sin in a bureaucracy, bypassing official channels. And it might be more serious if the behavior being described weren’t slightly eclipsed by the fact that the rest of the UNRWA, which likely includes the employees behind the report, is an Islamic terror group dedicated to murdering children.

But in the UN, using schools as munition dumps isn’t a serious issue, going outside official channels is.

UNRWA Chief of Staff Hakam Shahwan stepped down over some unstated allegations. Deputy Head of Human Resources Nadine Khaddoura, accused of colluding in nepotism, “had to be escorted from her office under vociferous protest”, according to a report in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, an anti-Israel, pro-terror outlet, founded by the former US Ambassador to Qatar.

The Swiss and the Dutch have announced that they’re cutting off funds to UNRWA until it’s determined just who had an affair with whom, and who got whose husband a top job at a UN human rights agency used as a pass-through to an Islamic terrorist group dedicated to killing Jews.

This will mean even less money going to UNRWA and fewer Hamas employees in Gaza.

But Hamas has deep-pocketed backers in Qatar. The power struggle is about establishing once and for all that the Muslim Brotherhood terror group is the dog and the 17 international staffers are the tail.

Suicide bombing a bunch of European and North African lefties who got into this to eat at 5-star restaurants would be counterproductive. Taking away their jobs with a smear campaign is far more effective. And that’s what Qatar and the Brotherhood, which excel at influence operations, are doing.

The power struggle will likely end with Hamas fully in charge of UNRWA while its international staff will learn to run all their decisions past the Hamas employees who are actually running the agency.

When I wrote, “Defund the UNRWA” in 2014, it was attacked as counterproductive by establishment figures. I was urged to withdraw it and stop proposing unrealistic and destructive policies. Then, four years later, President Trump went ahead and cut payments to UNRWA from $360 million to nothing.

The cuts have revealed what we knew all along, that UNRWA is really a Hamas front.

Hamas responded to the cutoff in US aid by trying to cannibalize the UN agency. As the money gets tighter, the Islamic terror group wants to make sure that more of it goes to it, and not to the Europeans who pretend to run UNRWA while discussing the evils of Israel over expensed lunches at steakhouses.

As the wall of separation between UNRWA and Hamas comes down, international donors will have to face the fact that they’re not funding a “modern, secular” humanitarian agency, as one laughable report by the Brookings Institute, a Democrat think-tank dominated by Qatar, claimed, but Hamas.

By cutting off UNRWA, Trump set off a clash between Hamas and the UN that is revealing the truth.

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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For Progressives, Trump is the 'Jew' Among American Politicians - Bruce Thornton

by Bruce Thornton

Why the “enlightened” Left so ferociously hates both Trump and Israel.

Golda Meir is credited with saying, “Israel is the Jew among nations.” In the speeches of global leaders and the pronouncements of the UN–– the so-called global “community” that strains out the besieged, liberal-democratic Israel gnat while swallowing whole herds of murderous tyrannical camels–– this international form of anti-Semitism is blatantly obvious behind the thread-bare veil of “anti-Zionism.”

The frenzy of progressive commentary blaming Donald Trump for the recent mass shootings is just the latest hysterical outburst of hatred, one suggesting that for the left the president has become the “Jew” among politicians: The object of a unique, fetishistic hatred and paranoia, Trump is the sinister agent of the Democrat Party’s festering, bitter disappointment over the sudden halt he brought to their utopian fantasies of “fundamentally transforming America.”

It’s another sign of the left’s terminal hypocrisy that such flamboyant irrationalism and habits of thought, more typical of premodern societies and the feeble-minded, would flourish among political partisans who call themselves “brights” and brag that their opinions and beliefs are “science-driven.” But Trump-hatred derives from the same atavistic impulses as anti-Semitism: The ancient need to scapegoat a victim upon which to offload the community’s own guilt and misdeeds; and the vulnerability of evangelical ideologues to conspiracy narratives as a way to explain and rationalize their own failure.

In one of history’s sad ironies, the most scapegoated people in history first documented the practice we use today to describe blaming others for our own failures and shortcomings. In ancient Israel, on Yom Kippur the priest would confess the people’s sins over the head of a goat, which was then driven into the wilderness, taking their sins with it. A corollary to scapegoating is the impulse to fabricate preposterous, paranoid conspiracies to explain the malign powers of a persecuted, marginalized minority responsible for the majority’s troubles.

Medieval false charges against Jews like the “blood libel,” the killing of Christian children to use their blood for making Passover matzos; or the desecration of the “host,” the bread used in the Christian communion ritual; or the poisoning of wells all bespeak an irrational paranoia about secret conspiratorial powers possessed by Jews. In modern times, the Russian hoax called The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, first published in 1903, detailed a global conspiracy of Jews to take over the world by corrupting Christian morals, taking control of newspapers, and dominating global economies, a canard Nazism freshened up with eugenics pseudo-science, and took to horrific lengths.

In both medieval and modern times, these lies are compensatory explanations for social disruption or catastrophe: crop failures, plagues, or enemy raids during the Middle Ages; the disorder, social dislocation, strife arising from industrial capitalism, political revolutions, and wars during the modern age. Those, who like the Jews are culturally, religiously, and ethnically distinct from the majority, are easy targets precisely because of those differences.

We see the same malign impulses at work in anti-Trumpism. Among the political caste, Trump is a frightening anomaly. In his manners, appearance, earthy rhetoric, blunt speech, garish style, déclassé businesses (Manhattan real estate, casinos, reality television, beauty pageants) and lack of the credentials (military service, law degrees, experience in federal or state government) that at least since World War I have been requirements for high political office, he stands out as the political “other” who threatens the bipartisan “managerial elite” and its power.

At first, as a political novelty act during the primaries, Trump was treated like a mash-up of a third-party oddity like Ross Perot, and the comedian Pat Paulsen, who in six presidential elections pretended to run for president as a gag. But when Trump succeeded in besting 16 other Republican primary candidates, all from the political high caste, and then, horribile dictu, defeated the consummate political mandarin, Hillary Clinton, the world was turned upside down for the bipartisan elite.

At that point, Trump’s outlandish differences in rhetorical style and background from the elite made him the perfect scapegoat for both parties’ obvious failures over the last decade. Just as Israel’s miraculous defeat of numerous enemies in three defensive wars intensified Arab hatred, Trump’s success in becoming president enraged the Democrats and the never-Trump elites.  Now they had to drive Trump from the White House into the political desert, taking with him the responsibility for both parties’ political sins. The Democrats had failed to select a more viable candidate, and the Republicans had failed to stand up and fight against both the increasingly radical Democrats, and the Republican Party establishment that preemptively cringed before the Democrats’ aggressive rancor, technocratic hubris, and identity-politics shibboleths.

Then came the next intellectual and moral dysfunction that explains anti-Semitism and the hatred of Trump: Russia! Lacking the capacity for self-reflection and acknowledgement of their own hubris and extremism, the Democrats and some Republican NeverTrumpers began the whole Russian “collusion” conspiracy to explain their failures. Casting Vladimir Putin’s as Trump’s Rasputin, the Dems constructed a narrative in which Russian hackers, Julian Assange, Trump campaign officials, FOX News, voter suppression, and endemic “deplorable” racism and sexism conspired to deny Hillary the presidency and put in office the more malleable and likely blackmailable Trump

Then, after their handpicked Javert and his Democrat crew couldn’t find grounds to indict or impeach the president, the conspiracy expanded to include a shadowy cabal of “white nationalists” and “white supremacists” –– for the left, the phrases are interchangeable––with whom the president communicated via “dog whistles” and other secret signals. And, of course, the idea that endemic, subconscious, institutionalized “racism” continued to exist provided the bonding agent of this nefarious band. From Charlottesville to El Paso, the violent shock-troops of this racist movement perpetrated the terrorist  “propaganda of the deed” by killing innocents. Even the suspicious death of pedophilic purveyor Jeffrey Epstein is being linked to the president and his AG by the conspiracy theorists at MSNBC.

So instead of “Russia! Russia! Russia!” 24/7, we now have “Racism! Racism! Racism” as the analogue to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the conspiracy of “deplorables” to bring “white supremacism” to power and “roll back the clock” to the days when women and minorities knew their degraded place. So too in the Middle East, the enemies of Israel endlessly concoct wild conspiracies about the Jews’ aims of restoring the ancient Solomonic Israeli state, violently cleansing the region of Arabs, and demolishing the Dome of the Rock mosque on the Temple Mount in order to build the Third Temple.

The Democrats’ narratives, promulgated night and day across the media, are no more credible than the notion that Jews are plotting to hijack the world’s economy––still a favorite trope of the lefty protestors at Davos or meetings of the World Bank. As for the Trump “collusion” and “white nationalism” tales, empirical evidence easily available on the internet can quickly debunk them. Before Mueller even began his investigation, enough facts about the Russia-sourced “Steele dossier” were publicly available to discredit the premises of the collusion narrative. More ironic is that ample evidence of a “conspiracy” first to keep Trump out of the White House, then to terminally damage his presidency, has also been made public, and studiously ignored by the legacy media.

The conspiracy about racism and “white nationalism” is even easier to discredit. People who self-identify as “white nationalists” or “supremacists” are less than marginal in our culture, unlike the fascist Antifa, which openly perpetrates its violence and enjoys cover from the Democrats, media, and some blue-state mayors and police commissioners. Nor are the ravings of a psychopath like the mass shooter in El Paso evidence of an organization powerful enough to elect a Congressman or even influence policy. There are no “white nationalist” PACs or lobbyists or think-tanks, no “National Association for the Advancement of White People,” no university programs akin to Black Studies. In popular culture “white supremacists” are like the cliché Russians or other Slavs in action movies and political thrillers: safe cartoon villains that will not expose the moviemaker to boycotts and “woke” shaming. “White supremacists” are just a fringe that the media and progressives have magnified and weaponized against conservatives and Republicans.

So too with “racism,” an empty smear and the camouflage for bad ideas. Mark Bauerlein’s recent essay in American Greatness reminds us that actual “white supremacy” did not need subtle cues or secret codes. After providing brutal examples of real racist and white supremacist comments from Congressmen and governors in the early 20th Century, Bauerlein writes,

Such statements are painful to read, to be sure. (I quote all of them and many more in Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta, 1906.) But if we don’t keep them in mind when tossing around the charge of white supremacy, the term loses its meaning. It becomes a sloppy usage liable to abuse—exactly what we see in corporate leftist media and Democratic politicking, which casts Trump supporters as closet racists.
But there is nothing subtle, canny, dog-whistling, or unconscious about the practice of actual white supremacy. It’s too virulent to be hidden for very long. A white supremacist can’t sit down with African Americans and fake it. The recoil would show. Can we really think that an uncompromising man like NFL hero Jim Brown could meet with president-elect Trump in 2016 and walk away ready to support him if Trump really was a racist ass?
Like the “Zionism is racism” or “apartheid” slurs against Israel, occult “racism” is necessary as the precondition for the existence of “white supremacism” and its nefarious power. And no amount of empirical evidence can dislodge this moral and intellectual dysfunction from the progressive world view. It’s a mish-mash of logical fallacies: red herring, straw man, ad hominem, category error, and probably a few others. Yet it’s too politically useful as a scapegoating device that absolves the Democrats for decades of policy failures at home and abroad. Anyone who takes these charges seriously, as unfortunately too many Republicans and supposed conservatives do, should be ashamed of himself.

Finally, pointing out the eternal flaws of human nature that produce the unprecedented demonization of Donald Trump and Israel is not to claim a moral equivalence. It means that in both cases, the party of “science” is all too irrational in its moral and intellectual shortcomings. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the effects of this human flaw are equivalent, either morally or practically, to the long, still continuing record of anti-Semitic murder, or the daily existential threat Israel must live with. There is nothing “like” the Holocaust, and Trump will not have to live, as Israel does, with the constant violence of enemies eager for its destruction. But the comparison does suggest a perennial state of mind that explains why the “enlightened” left so vehemently and irrationally hates both Trump and Israel.

But we’re still left with a question:  Why do the radical Democrats, and increasingly the moderate ones, indulge and legitimize both hatreds?

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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Myths and Facts: Palestine is a geographical area, not a nationality - Eli E. Hertz

by Eli E. Hertz

Historically, before the Arabs fabricated the concept of Palestinian peoplehood as an exclusively Arab phenomenon, no such group existed. They were known as Arabs of Palestine, a geographical area.

Palestine is a name coined by the Romans around 135 CE from the name of a seagoing Aegean people who settled on the coast of Canaan in antiquity – the Philistines. The name was chosen to replace Judea, as a sign that Jewish sovereignty had been eradicated following the Jewish Revolts against Rome. 

In the course of time, the Latin name Philistia was further bastardized into Palistina or Palestine. During the next 2,000 years Palestine was never an independent state belonging to any people, nor did a Palestinian people distinct from other Arabs appear during 1,300 years of Muslim hegemony in Palestine under Arab and Ottoman rule. During that rule, local Arabs were actually considered part of, and subject to, the authority of Greater Syria (Suriyya al-Kubra).

Historically, before the Arabs fabricated the concept of Palestinian peoplehood as an exclusively Arab phenomenon, no such group existed. This is substantiated in countless official British Mandate-vintage documents that speak of the Jews and the Arabs of Palestine – not Jews and Palestinians.

In fact, before local Jews began calling themselves Israelis in 1948 (when the name “Israel” was chosen for the newly-established Jewish State), the term “Palestine” applied almost exclusively to Jews and the institutions founded by new Jewish immigrants in the first half of the 20th century, before the state’s independence. 

Some examples include:
  • The Jerusalem Post, founded in 1932, was called The Palestine Post until 1948.
  • Bank Leumi L’Israel, incorporated in 1902, was called the Anglo-Palestine Company until 1948.
  • The Jewish Agency, an arm of the Zionist movement engaged in Jewish settlement since 1929, was initially called the Jewish Agency for Palestine.
  • Today’s Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1936 by German Jewish refugees who fled Nazi Germany, was originally called the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, composed of some 70 Palestinian Jews.
  • The United Jewish Appeal (UJA) was established in 1939 as a merger of the United Palestine Appeal and the fund-raising arm of the Joint Distribution Committee.
​Arabs are not satisfied with one Palestinian political entity (Jordan) where they are the uncontested majority and have the political machinery and the territory for self-determination. Instead, they want an additional state because twenty-one Arab states are not enough (and one Jewish state is one too many).

Eli E. Hertz is the president of Myths and Facts, an organization devoted to research and publication of information regarding US interests in the world and particularly in the Middle East. Mr. Hertz served as Chairman of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting.


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Fitzgerald Video: When Schools Promote Terror - Sean Fitzgerald

by Sean Fitzgerald

A subversive curriculum for children encourages empathy with Palestinian suicide bombers.

Frontpagemag Editor's note: Below is Sean Fitzgerald's new video, "Schools Promote Terrorism," which exposes a subversive PBS curriculum which encourages students to empathize with terrorists. The video was created in conjunction with the Freedom Center's Stop K-12 Indoctrination campaign. To read our new pamphlet on this issue, "Leftist Indoctrination in Our K-12 Public Schools," click here or order your own copy here.

Sean Fitzgerald is a graduate of John Jay College with a Degree in Criminal Justice and Film. He is the owner and content creator for


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China joins MSM and Federal Reserve in trying to tank the stock market - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

President Trump has already stated the obvious: China wants him to lose his re-election bid so that a “stiff” from the Democrats will replace him and be a pushover

In the hours before American equity markets open for trading, China sent a huge sell signal to the traders on Wall Street. Bloomberg reports:
China called planned U.S. tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese goods a violation of accords reached by Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, signaling an American move earlier this week to delay some of those levies was not enough to stave off retaliation.
Photo courtesy US State Department
The effects already are manifest:
European stocks declined and U.S. equity futures fell. The Stoxx Europe 600 index moved lower while the three main American equity contracts dropped.
President Trump has already stated the obvious: China wants him to lose his re-election bid so that a “stiff” from the Democrats will replace him and be a pushover, letting China return to the good old days of rigging trade, deindustrializing the USA, and preparing to replace us a the global hegemon. Frontrunner, Joe Biden, whose son has prospered thanks to Chinese investment in his hedge fund, has already signaled his passivity:
“China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man...they can’t even figure out how to deal with the fact that they have this great division between the China Sea and the mountains in the east, I mean in the west.”
Biden continued "they can’t figure out how they’re going to deal with the corruption that exists within the system. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what, they’re not, they’re not competition for us.”
China made this announcement after viewing yesterday’s steep decline in the American equity markets, sort of a one-two punch aimed at searing into investors and the voting public the notion that a recession is coming, which can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

No matter that our economy is still strong, even as Europe and Japan falter. Jack Hellner points out that the yield curve inversion yesterday was a very weak excuse to drive down the market, yet the media pretended and hammered home the theme that it is a sign of impending doom. Jack asks:
Why is the media lying to the public about the last time interest rates inverted?
The media has been trying to scare the public about the dangers to the economy since before Trump was elected. And the gloomy forecasts are going to get worse the closer we get to the 2020 election because facts haven't mattered for a long time, only power for Democrats. The media and other Democrats are essentially trying to talk the country into a recession. They would rather have people dependent on government and they need their votes. Facts are irrelevant.
The media along with other Democrats say that Trump is running on fear but every day they try to scare the public, especially the young, with fears of a recession or we are going to die in a short time because of climate change.
Today the doom predictions are very loud because of the stock market declining. We are being told that interest rates have inverted for the first time since 2007 and that signals a recession. Why hasn't the media done a few minutes of research since the yield curve inverted so recently and the doom predictions were the same then as today?
Why has the media chosen to ignore that interest rates inverted on March 22nd of this year and the stock market has hit all-time highs since then, and the U.S economy and especially the job market have done very well since then.
Most journalists are not really journalists investigating and reporting. They are campaigning for Democrats with talking points. The media is more dangerous to our freedom and prosperity every day.
When will they tell the truth?
The truth is that the yield curve is inverted for one reason only. The fed funds rate is over 2% for overnight money, so why the heck would institutional investors buy three month money at below the ten year bond yield of 1.59% when they can get over 2% for overnight money? It is time that Fed chairman Jerome Powell aligned its overnight rate with the market. Then the yield curve will not be inverted.
The Federal Reserve forgot that their job was to protect against inflation -- which is low. It is not to slow down the economy because statistically it looks great. As long as inflation is low, they should let the market soar. Efficiency, productivity, low taxes and fewer regulations explain why our economy is doing much better than most of the World. Thank goodness we have a president who is much smarter and has more common sense than the so-called experts. And he is certainly 100% smarter than the journalists and other Democrats that trash him on a daily basis.

Thomas Lifson


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Does Sovereign Debt Matter? - Jon H. Hall

by Jon H. Hall

Idiotic spending by Congress does a lot more than waste money; it distorts the economy and hurts folks.

If America ever does have a full-blown “debt crisis,” whereby the weight of the accumulated deficits that Congress has run since 1960 finally come crashing down on us, it might be enough to make more Americans adopt the tragic view of life. That’s because such a dreadful event would have happened despite decades of warnings. Even members of Congress from time to time trot out their dire predictions about debt. Even so, they go right ahead and keep on spending money they must borrow.

However, some say deficits and debt don’t matter if a nation has its own currency. Some who cleave to this position are proponents of Modern Monetary Theory. MMTers think the central government can just create whatever money it needs.

On July 29, in the wake of President Trump’s tweet about Baltimore’s rat infestation, FNC’s The Ingraham Angle featured a talk with Donté Hickman, pastor of Baltimore’s Southern Baptist Church (video, go to the 14:30 point). At the end of the segment Laura asked if the good reverend wanted to throw out the whole free market, to which he replied: “What we need to take a look at, Laura, is Modern Monetary Theory, and reform. We have to get public money over private money.” A quick search of the church’s website revealed no MMT proselytizing, so we’re left to wonder whether the Deity approves of MMT or not.

Although MMT has been getting a lot of press lately (perhaps even from a Baltimore pulpit), the theory has plenty of critics. One critic is David Stockman, Pres. Reagan’s head of OMB. At Contra Corner, Stockman’s website, we read:
MMT's underground popularity derives from its seeming mathematical rigor, its disagreement with the obviously flawed doctrines of standard neo-Keynesian orthodoxy, and its underlying message of hope that the perceived constraints on government deficit spending are an illusion. The MMT proponents tell us that fiat monetary systems have removed the shackles associated with the gold standard, and that our economic recovery is limited only by our failure to understand how modern money and banking work.
Before We the People give leave to the feds to start creating money at the rate the MMTers would like them to, there’s a fundamental issue that more folks need to be clear about -- the methods by which we create electronic money.

One method familiar to a lot of Americans is QE, or quantitative easing, which involves the Federal Reserve creating money. It entails the Fed buying up assets, like Treasury securities. The Fed buys such assets with money it creates “out of thin air.” But QE is what the Fed continually does, only on a much bigger scale. QE is the tool the Fed used during the Great Recession when it created several trillion dollars.

When the feds (not to be confused with “the Fed”) pump money into the economy by sending checks to people and businesses, they’re indirectly creating money when a multiplier effect kicks in. The feds’ checks are deposited in banks, and then a fraction of the deposits are loaned out. Private-sector banks effectively create money when they make loans, which is due to fractional reserve banking. Even if Congress were running a balanced budget, spending by the feds would still result in money creation by commercial/consumer banks. So, the Fed creates money directly through typing, and Congress creates money indirectly through spending.

One star of MMT is one Stephanie Kelton, who was formerly an economic advisor to presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Debuting in June of 2020 is Kelton’s new book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People's Economy. Before preordering, check out a lecture Kelton delivered at Stony Brook University in October: “But How Will We Pay for It? Making Public Money Work for Us.” For Kelton, “How will we pay for it?” is a silly question because the federal government can create whatever money it sees fit to.

On February 27 at MarketWatch, Steve Goldstein quoted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in a Senate hearing: “The idea that deficits don’t matter for countries that can borrow in their own currency is just wrong.” On March 7, Goldstein quoted Kelton’s response:
“What Chairman Powell is saying when he says, ‘I don’t believe that it’s true that deficits don’t matter,’ well neither do I, deficits do matter. But they don’t matter in the ways we’ve conventionally been thinking about them,” she said.
“The way we usually think about a deficit is that it is evidence of excessive spending. And that’s just wrong, evidence of excessive spending is inflation. So I would argue you don’t have a deficit problem or debt problem unless you have an inflation problem.” …
When asked what country has used MMT, Kelton replied, “the United States.”
Right, because except for Rand Paul and a few others, “we’re all MMTers now.” Congress has been spending borrowed money like Imelda Marcos in a high-end shoe store. But Kelton seems to argue that the Congress should be spending even more than it already is.

One of the snags of MMT is trusting Congress to spend prudently, that members won’t squander pristine new money on crap. But Congress wastes trillions on its idiotic programs. Since the mid-1960s, Congress has spent trillions on the War on Poverty, with little to show for it. Trillions have been spent on higher education and healthcare, and price inflation in those areas outpaces inflation in the rest of the economy. That Congress will spend wisely may be the weakest leg of MMTers grand theory. Of course, if Congress wastes money, well, there’s always more where that came from, because the Fed can still type, right?

Idiotic spending by Congress does a lot more than waste money; it distorts the economy and hurts folks.

Kelton’s “debt problem,” I would venture, comes about when it gets tough to service debt, that is, when interest rates are rising. The U.S. has had low interest rates for the last decade because the demand for our sovereign debt is high, as U.S. treasuries are regarded as safe. So, skittish investors put up with our abysmal interest rates. Contra Kelton, the real problem of sovereign debt may be because the feds rarely pay it off. Instead, they do rollovers. And when a Treasury security is rolled over, it gets a new interest rate. That new rate will be a function of demand. So with rollovers, we’re at the mercy of the market.

A stat or two before you go: The gross federal debt first topped $1 trillion in 1982 and the debt held by the public (the real debt) topped $1T a year later. (To verify, see Table 7.1.) The gross debt is now in excess of $22.3T and the public debt is more than $16.4T. Yet, the MMTers think we’re not spending enough.

Regardless of whether Keynesian, Neo-Keynesian, Austrian, MMTer, or what, economists of all persuasions need to press into their bosoms a bit more modesty about what they “know.” Shortly after the financial crisis of 2008, I wrote about this need in a little article with the auspicious headline “The Limitations of Economics.” It’s not totally idiotic and might even have some relevancy for today.

I cited 1960 in the lead sentence because that was the last year that an all-Democrat Congress ran an “on-budget” surplus. Voters were warned about giving the House majority back to Democrats, and now with Pelosi at the helm, the deficit is headed back up to a trillion again. So regardless of whether we ever have a debt crisis or not, I think I’ll hang on to my tragic view of life, thank you very much.

Jon N. Hall of ULTRACON OPINION is a programmer from Kansas City.


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Google blacklists American Thinker - Taylor Day

by Taylor Day

And they're doing it to influence elections...

In a video and article published on Wednesday, ex-Google employee Zach Vorhies speaks with the antitrust investigators at Project Veritas about the thousands of internal Google documents he recently released to the public. Among the cache of information is a list of sites that Google has blacklisted with an algorithm developed to alter users' search results. American Thinker is one of them.

The highlighted photo below is from frequent contributor Steve McCann

It wasn’t easy for Vorhies to break away from his lucrative Google salary and come forward with the trove of information that shows a huge political bias by his former employer. Google even had police called to do a “wellness check” and had him hauled away in handcuffs as an intimidation strategy that shook up Vorhies enough that he actually feared for his own life.

Still, he prevailed, and the whistleblower tells Project Veritas that he feels that a burden has been lifted.

Statements made by President Trump and other conservative leaders about the censorship and bias on sites like Google have been written off as “right-wing conspiracy theories.” Google enjoys comfortable legal protections under what is referred to as “Section 230,” which means that Internet publishers aren’t held responsible for user-generated content - as long as they remain a neutral platform.

But Google’s actions outline more than just a strong bias, they show active involvement in an Orwellian effort to change of outcome of future elections and the political climate in the U.S. Google’s internal documents have initiatives with dystopian titles such as “Project Purple Rain: Crisis Response & Escalation,” which refers to keeping an around-the-clock staff dedicated to controlling news narratives as soon as a story hits the headlines. Other documents show “fringe rankings” and “feed blacklists” as a way to discredit and demote sites which share information without a liberal lens.

If this was honestly about what the users wanted to see, Google wouldn’t have to implement procedures to manually change the rankings as the organic clicks would scale themselves. Now employees of the tech conglomerate, who once prided themselves as scientists, now treat their own technology like a religion. It doesn’t matter that machine learning and user trends support what they label nefariously as “alt-right.” Instead, they will tinker with their own algorithms until they support their faith-based ideals of what “ought to be.”

One researcher, Dr. Robert Epstein, who spent years studying Google and their influence, concluded and testified to Congress that the sequence of Google’s top search results have a measurable sway on undecided voters and in the 2016 election cycle and led to 2.6 million votes in Hillary Clinton’s favor. Dr. Epstein warns that those numbers could increase to as much as 15 million influenced voters in 2020.

Modern leftists truly believe that conservatives are evil, so the idea that they have to cheat and manipulate in order to win elections is seen as justifiable and often called “resistance.” However, thanks to work by these researchers and brave whistleblowers there is and will be pushback.

Antitrust investigators are flooding to examine these newly released Google documents and pursue their own inquiries into possible violations of law and rights. President Trump’s administration is now circulating drafts of executive orders to create some sort of policy that will prevent tech giants’ biases and censorship of conservatives.

Legal remedies may be on the horizon as well, such as the revocation of Google’s charters, a seemingly simple solution if Google is found to be breaking real laws here. Court-ordered dissolutions of companies is a pretty common thing in America and for significantly more trivial reasons, like failures to pay registration fees or late filings of annual reports.

While we just spent years focusing on Russian memes, the real meddling in our elections took place in Silicon Valley. Sites such as American Thinker are being punished for no more than wrongthink by a small hive of liberal geeks with unrestrained control over our future American leadership. 

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Taylor Day


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Saudi Arabia’s $200 million a day fails to conquer Yemen - Chriss Street

by Chriss Street

The mighty Saudis are brought low.

Saudi Arabia has essentially been booted from Yemen after four years of bankrolling mercenaries at the cost of $200 million a day to crush impoverished desert tribesmen.

As of mid-June, the Yemen Civil War that began in 2015 had seemingly settled into a stalemate after about 39,700 battles and the loss of about 91,600 lives, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). But even with much less military movement, there were 4,900 armed incidents and 11,900 dead in 2019.

Located in the southwest and comprising about 12 percent of the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has a population of 28.7 million people and gross domestic product (GDP) of $31.3 billion, or about $2,500 per capita.

That compares to Saudi Arabia with 33.1 million residents and a GDP of $686.7 billion, or about $54,500 per capita, according to the CIA Factbook. Saudis are not known for their work ethic, with half getting substantial monthly welfare checks. The number of employed Saudis peaked in 2016 at 11.6 million, but shrank to 10.9 million last year. 

The Zaidi Shia-Muslim Houthi insurgency began in 2004 when the Sunni-Muslim Yemeni government tried to arrest Houthi religious leader and parliamentarian Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi by putting a $55,000 reward on his head. But Houthis took the capital and President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi fled to the Saudi Arabian capital in 2015.

Yemen has very little natural resources or industry, but it controls the 31 miles long by 16 miles at its narrowest Bab el-Mandeb, known as the “Gate of Tears” that serves as the only southern Red Sea exit for Saudi Arabia’s oil tankers headed to Asia.

Armed with Western military equipment, Saudi air bases carried out saturation bombing against the Houthis’ North Yemen homeland with American F-15s, British EF-2000 Typhoons, and Panavia Tornado fighters; plus American Apache and Black Hawk helicopters.

The Saudis lined the Yemeni border with American Abrams and French AMX 30 tanks, reinforced by at least five types of Western-made artillery guns to bombarded Houthi rebels, as U.S., French, and German model attack ships enforced a naval blockade.

To reinstate deposed Yemen President Hadi, while avoiding casualties among its its citizens, Saudi Arabia bankrolled ground troops from Yemeni tribes, mercenaries, the United Arab Emirates, Senegal, Sudan, Morocco, and Qatar. Thousands of U.S. Green Berets and French Parachutiste D'Infanterie de Marine special forces covertly also pitched in.

With about 200,000 poorly armed rebels, aided by some Iranian smuggled weapons and missiles, the Houthis continued to hold on to their homeland, capital city of Saana and key ports along the Red Sea narrows. More importantly, the Houthis successfully shot a few missiles at Saudi Arabian cities and a couple of Red Sea oil tankers.

But after the botched October 2018 murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi Arabia embassy the American public became suspicious of Saudi Arabia's behavior in the Yemen Civil War. President Trump vetoed several attempts by both Houses of the U.S. Congress to slash Saudi military support, but the public dissension is not going away, according to Geopolitical Partners.

There had been occasional strategy disagreements between the Saudi Arabian and UAE partners, but winnability of the civil war became a bigger issue to the UAE after the Khashoggi affair. When the United Nations organized a Yemen Civil War ceasefire in May, the UAE said it was repositioning its forces away from the front lines.

The UAE met with Iranian officials in July to supposedly negotiate cooperative fishing rights between the two Persian Gulf-facing nations. But ten days later the Southern Transitional Council tribes, UEA’s allies in Yemen, overthrew the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and took the capital city of Aden.

Saudi Arabia now faces hundreds of thousands Houthi rebels armed with Iranian-supplied missiles on its southern doorstep. With no major partners willing to supply ground forces for what appears to be an unwinnable civil war, there has not been a patriotic rush by Saudis to volunteer for infantry combat duty in Yemen. 

Chriss Street


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IDF Settles Account With Murderers of Israeli Teen - Ari Lieberman

by Ari Lieberman

Thwarts major terrorist infiltration in the south.

Within 48 hours of the brutal slaying of 18-year-old Dvir Sorek, Israeli security forces swooped in on his killers in the dead of night, while they were asleep. Sorek’s lifeless body was found last Thursday in the early morning hours near the community of Migdal Oz, located in the Judea District just south of Jerusalem. He had just returned from Jerusalem where he purchased gifts for his teachers at the Migdal Oz religious seminary. But Sorek, a talented musician who would have turned 19 in a week, never made it. He was ambushed by two Palestinian Authority Arabs and stabbed repeatedly. Sorek’s grandfather, Rabbi Binyamin Herling, a Holocaust survivor, met a similar grisly fate when he was murdered in a terrorist attack perpetrated by PA Arabs nearly two decades prior.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad praised the attack though they were careful not to claim responsibility. Hamas is the terrorist entity that governs the Gaza Strip and is considered the PA’s main internal political rival. Islamic Jihad is also based in Gaza and maintains the same ideologically extremist positions as its larger Hamas cousin. Both groups are heavily influenced and financed by Iran.

Security forces of various branches instantly began a manhunt for Sorek’s assailants. Army trackers were brought in to determine the attackers’ escape route.  CCTV footage collected from roadside cameras was thoroughly examined for further clues. By Friday evening, the identity of the attackers was known. Israel Defense Force units, aided by Shin Bet agents (Israel’s FBI equivalent) and elements of the border patrol zeroed in on the Arab settlement of Beit Kahil, located southwest of Migdal Oz.

On Saturday at 3 a.m., IDF troops nabbed Nasir and Qasseem Asafra, ages 24 and 30 respectively, in their home. The duo were cousins and were shocked by the breathtaking speed it took to crack the case. Nasir was a member of Hamas. Nasir’s brother Akrama and Qassem’s wife, Ines, were also arrested on suspicion of aiding the terrorists after the attack. The vehicle used by the terrorists was hauled off for further forensic examination. Precise measurements of Asafra house have already been taken in anticipation of its demolition.

At about the same time that the Asfara cousins were apprehended, A group of four heavily armed Hamas terrorists tried to infiltrate into southern Israel from Gaza. Alert soldiers from the Golani Brigade’s 12th battalion immediately engaged the terrorists and liquidated them. There were no IDF casualties. The terrorists’ bodies are currently being held by Israel.

After the battle, the soldiers recovered AK-47 assault rifles, rocket propelled grenades, hand grenades, pipe bombs, wire cutters, energy bars, dried dates and a first aid kit. Judging by the quantity of weapons recovered, it is clear that the infiltrators were looking to perpetrate a mega attack. IDF soldiers killed another armed infiltrator the following day for a total of six terrorists killed in the last two weeks while trying to breach the border.

The murder of Dvir Sorek in Judea and the attempted armed infiltrations in the south are products of a malevolent anti-Semitic ideology that champions the murder of Jews. Sorek’s murder was a direct result of continuous PA incitement. Indeed, following the murder, PA West Bank leaders took to social media to advise Arab shop owners to destroy any CCTV footage in their possession to hinder the investigation. And while mourners were attending Sorek’s funeral at the regional cemetery in Ofra, PA residents of a nearby Arab settlement were launching fireworks to celebrate the slaying.

The Palestinian Authority attempts to present itself to the West as a responsible and moderate political entity, but it is in reality no different than Hamas. Differences, to the extent that any exist, have more to do with style than substance. Hamas and its smaller affiliate Islamic Jihad openly call for the destruction of Israel whereas the PA approach is more tactful and nuanced, at least when addressing Western audiences. It’s an entirely different affair however, when PA leaders speak in Arabic to Arabic audiences. In those circumstances, they do little to hide their anti-Semitic attitudes and hate-filled agenda.

PA leaders routinely refer to Jews as the descendants of monkeys and pigs, habitually regurgitate ancient anti-Semitic blood libels and regularly engage in Holocaust denial. Chief among the offenders is PA president Mahmoud Abbas who wrote a thesis centered on Holocaust denial and whose official term of office expired ten years ago. Abbas is now in celebrating his 14th anniversary as PA president of what was to have been a four-year term of office.

Years of venomous Palestinian rhetoric and rejectionist attitudes coupled with systemic Palestinian corruption have rendered the Palestinians politically irrelevant. In the meantime, Israel is under no illusions when it comes to its dealings with its malign neighbors and their genocidal goals.

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.


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Thursday, August 15, 2019

PA official: Iran helping Hamas rebuild West Bank terror network - Daniel Siryoti

by Daniel Siryoti

In the wake of his meetings in Tehran, Arouri was promised a hefty aid package from the Iranians, in the form of money transfers and shipments of weapons and rockets.

PA official: Iran helping Hamas rebuild West Bank terror network
Hamas deputy leader Saleh Arouri meets with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, Iran, July 22, 2019 | Photo: AP

Behind the appalling terrorist attack in Gush Etzion last week that claimed the life of Dvir Sorek, the riots on the Temple Mount during the Tisha B'Av day of fasting, and the infiltration attempts from Gaza that could have ended tragically had they not been foiled at the last moment, is a guiding hand originating in Tehran – senior Palestinian Authority security officials told Israel Hayom.

According to the PA officials, the Iranian regime wants to support Hamas' efforts to rehabilitate the organization's terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, to carry out additional attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets in the territory and even across the Green Line.

Hamas officials know, of course, that nothing comes free – certainly not from the Iranians, who are currently straining under economic sanctions imposed by the Trump administration and are on a collision course with the United States and Great Britain amid heightened tensions in the Persian Gulf. According to one senior PA security official, while Hamas' leadership is cautious not to disrespect Egyptian mediators working to preserve understandings with Israel, and is insistent that the attempted infiltrations at the Gaza border were perpetrated by independent cells – the directive to escalate recent events on the Temple Mount came directly from Tehran.

Exploiting Palestinian isolation

Additionally, according to the PA officials, there is a direct link between last week's terrorist attack in Gush Etzion, which was carried out by two cousins with Hamas affiliations, and Hamas deputy leader Saleh Arouri's persistent efforts to rebuild the organization's terrorist networks in Judea and Samaria, which were decimated by Israel during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002. As a reminder, Arouri headed Hamas' "West Bank" command from Gaza, together with Mazen Fuqha, who was assassinated several years ago near his home in Gaza City. The assassination was attributed to Israeli special forces.

Speaking to Israel Hayom, another senior PA security official said, "Arouri gets military aid and economic support from the regime in Tehran, and is rigorously working to rehabilitate Hamas' terrorist cells in the West Bank while exploiting the [PA's] diplomatic standstill [with Israel] and the fact that the leadership in Ramallah has reduced to a minimum its security cooperation with Israel."

Generous promises from Teheran

Relations between the ayatollah regime and Hamas have warmed in recent months. Hamas' diplomatic isolation, the cold shoulder it has received from Arab countries, and the economic crisis in the Gaza Strip and Hamas' own dire financial situation have led the organization to welcome the Iranian bear hug.

Around one month ago, Israel Hayom reported that the Egyptians were preventing Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh from leaving Gaza to visit Tehran for the purpose of raising funds. In a report by Hamas mouthpiece Al-Risalah, it was claimed that "Egypt is cooperating with the Zionist enemy and preventing [Haniyeh] from exiting Gaza through the Rafah border crossing."

Despite the restrictions imposed by Cairo, however, Hamas hasn't given up, and Arouri was ultimately able to visit Tehran together with other senior Hamas officials based in Lebanon.

In the wake of his meetings in Tehran, Arouri was promised a hefty aid package from the Iranians, in the form of money transfers and shipments of weapons and rockets. This, in addition to the military and financial aid Iran already provides its terrorist proxy in Gaza, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Daniel Siryoti


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