Friday, May 1, 2020

Comrade de Blasio starts blaming Jews for New York's huge coronavirus death toll - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

This from the guy whose state foisted COVID-19 patients onto unwilling nursing homes.

For Comrade Bill de Blasio, mayor of New York City, blaming Jews for plagues, same as Medieval Europe in the past, is back.

According to the New York Post:
"Something absolutely unacceptable happened in Williamsburg tonite: a large funeral gathering in the middle of this pandemic," de Blasio wrote on Twitter.
"When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus," he said.
He then threatened to arrest them all:
"My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed," the mayor wrote.
"This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period."
This, given the size of New York's Jewish population, has the odor of Jew-hatred.

De Blasio was referring to a onetime funeral event in New York's Williamsburg neighborhood where grieving members of a tight-knit Jewish congregation came out on the streets to mourn the death of their rabbi, and yes, they stood too close together in numbers too great, even as they were all wearing masks. We've seen similar with some Christian congregations, and as with this Jewish congregation, there were social distancing efforts that weren't entirely successful.

But de Blasio decided that Jews were to be singled out for New York's huge coronavirus problem. 

Part of the problem was that de Blasio was lumping all Jewish people all into a monolithic, undifferentiated group. What happened in Williamsburg hardly reflected what is going on at all Jewish congregations. Three days ago in Poway, Calif., for instance, at a memorial for a victim of a murderous mass shooting at the synagogue a year ago, the event was held entirely online

But instead of complaining about street gatherings in general, as if that's a big ongoing problem, he complained about the Jewish community in particular, painting it as a monolith, singling them out as problematic. There are a lot of Jewish people in New York, and they come in every size, shape, style, level of observance, and ideological tinge. As with Christians (think of how many varieties there are there), Jews span the spectrum. And yes, there was one community that didn't seem to sufficiently socially distance at a onetime outdoor event for a funeral, same as we have seen with some Christian congregations elsewhere, as if that were the real problem. 

All it is is a smokescreen for some far bigger issues.

We didn't hear anything from de Blasio about the huge crowds that gathered in Central Park when the sun came out in recent days — no threats of arrests — nor did we hear anything from him regarding the city's packed subway cars, which spread COVID-19 pretty significantly without anyone doing anything about it. It may even be something de Blasio can't do anything about, even if he were a creative man instead of a comrade. Worse still, he didn't say anything as the mayor of a city when his state was forcing New York's nursing homes to accept COVID-19 patients in the name of "fairness." That's the biggest reason for New York's high coronavirus death toll: the man-made government-caused disaster at the nursing homes.

Much easier just to blame Jews and that one odd congregation that effectively held a temporary masked gathering on the streets in New York? Much easier than confronting government failures. 

It comes against a bad background of anti-Semitic attack surging in the city based on Democrat policies.

And what the hell was he doing traveling there himself, spreading his own germs into the area, just to see something for himself? As he points the finger at Jews, he then goes and does his part to violate social distancing himself.

That's because the name of his game is not safety; it's blaming Jews.

Image credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

UPDATE FROM ANDREA WIDBURG: John Cardillo reminds everyone that de Blasio has a very different approach for Islam:

Monica Showalter


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Netanyahu calls for Hezbollah to be banned worldwide - Lahav Harkov

by Lahav Harkov

Germany outlaws Hezbollah, raids mosques and local leaders’ homes

SUPPORTERS OF Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah wave flags and pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a rally marking al-Quds Day in Maroun Al-Ras, near the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, on June 8, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS)
SUPPORTERS OF Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah wave flags and pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a rally marking al-Quds Day in Maroun Al-Ras, near the Israeli border in southern Lebanon, on June 8, 2018.  (photo credit: REUTERS)

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer ordered that Hezbollah’s activities be banned due to violations of criminal law, he announced on Thursday.
Police in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bremen and Berlin began searches in mosques and residences tied to Hezbollah, “due to their financial support and propaganda for the terrorist organization,” after the ban was announced at 6 a.m.

Israel and the United States have long pushed for Germany to ban the Shi’ite terrorist group. Germany previously drew a distinction between Hezbollah's political arm and its military units, which fought alongside President Bashar Assad's army in Syria.
Hezbollah symbols may not be used publicly in any assembly, or in print, audio and visual material in Germany, and its assets will be confiscated “to the benefit of the Federal Republic of Germany,” the Interior Ministry’s press release read.
The ban is because Hezbollah is a terrorist group, and also because it “calls for the violent elimination of the State of Israel and questions the right of the State of Israel to exist.
“The organization is therefore fundamentally against the concept of international understanding, regardless of whether it presents itself as a political, social or military structure,” the ministry said.
“Its violent denial of the right to exist of the State of Israel also fundamentally opposes Germany’s national ethos,” another Interior Ministry document states.
The order allows German authorities to “use all available instruments of the rule of law to crack down” on Hezbollah and its German sub-organization, the statement reads.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz praised the decision, saying it is “very important and values-based.”
Banning Hezbollah is “significant in the world battle against terror,” Katz added. “I want to express my appreciation to the German government for this step and am certain many governments in the Middle East and victims of Hezbollah’s terrorism share my gratitude.”
Katz called on additional European states and the EU to follow Germany’s lead and say that “Hezbollah, its military and political arms, is a terrorist organization and must be treated that way.”
“This is a welcome, much-anticipated and significant German decision,” said American Jewish Committee head David Harris. "We now hope other European nations will take a close look at Germany’s decision and reach the same conclusion about the true nature of Hezbollah.”
Yesh Atid-Telem leader Yair Lapid, who has long advocated for European countries to ban Hezbollah, praised Germany on Twitter.
"This is an important step in the fight against terror, and the time has come for all of Europe to follow Germany, the Netherlands and the UK," Lapid wrote. "The money Hezbollah raises abroad turns into weapons against Israel. This requires an international effort and it is good that Germany is committed to it."
Security officials believe that up to 1,050 people in Germany are associated with Hezbollah.
The German Interior Ministry explained that there is no "Hezbollah Germany," but its followers in the country meet at local mosques and try to keep their association secret to avoid detection by the authorities. However, supporters – especially the younger ones – declare themselves as such on social media and online forums, using the terrorist group's symbols.
In addition, Hezbollah has used Germany as a base for recruitment and fundraising.
Ministry documents quote Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others at length in demonstrating the Shi’ite terrorist group's aim of destroying Israel.
The ban includes images of Hezbollah symbols that may not be displayed. First is its yellow flag with a green logo and a stylized text of the word "Hezbollah" with a hand grasping a gun. Another is the Imam al-Mahdi Scouts, the Hezbollah youth movement, which looks similar to the international scouts' fleur-de-lis logo, but with a hand and a Lebanese cedar on it.

“Germany’s long-awaited action today is significant for many reasons. It underscores that even while the world is seeking to address health threats posed by Covid-19, it is not ignoring national security threats. Germany’s decision accentuates the need for all of Europe to counter the malign activities of Iran-backed proxies wherever they may act, “ said Toby Dershowitz, Senior Vice President for Government Relations and Strategy at the non-partisan Foundation for Defense of Democracies, who has written about Hezbollah’s illicit activities. 
She notes that “Many parts of the US government have worked with their counterparts in Europe to take this action.” 
In 2019, Congress once again urged Germany to designate the entire organization as a terrorist entity, not only its military. Representatives Ted Deutch, Grace Meng, Gus Bilirakus and Lee Zeldin wrote a letter to Chancellor Merkel in June 2019  saying in part: “The alliance between our two countries, whether for combating terrorism or supporting democracy, has been a cornerstone of the transatlantic relationship and NATO alliance, and our coordinated efforts have been critical to our collective national security. That is why we hope that Germany will consider this decision to, once and for all, fully designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.” The letter came after the Bundestag failed to pass a resolution that would refer to the entire organization as a terrorist group.

On a trip to Berlin last year, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hoped Germany would follow Britain in banning Hezbollah. The UK introduced legislation in February of last year that classified Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.Pompeo commended Germany's "strong action against Hezbollah" and called on other "EU member states to follow suite in holding Hezbollah accountable."
Reuters contributed to this report.
Lahav Harkov


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White Coats, Brown Shirts - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Psychiatric bigots shrink-wrap hatred for the people.

Doctors Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx have become familiar features on television, and behind the scenes the CDC’s Dr. Nancy Messonnier refers reporters to the World Health Organization for information on China. Long before the coronavirus arrived from Wuhan, the American whitecoats were deploying on another front.

“Trump’s manifest grandiosity and disregard for facts, beginning with failure to accept clear evidence about the size of the crowd attending his inauguration, has put mental health professionals in the spotlight from Day One of his presidency,” charges Psychology Today.

“Psychologists and commentators from all ideological camps early converged on a label of narcissistic personality disorder as the condition that ‘explains’ Trump’s behavior.”

Among those making this assertion are “more than 70,000 mental health professionals who signed a petition warning of Trump's potential dangerousness, despite longstanding professional injunctions against ‘diagnosing’ public figures whom experts have not personally examined.” In December 2019, the whitecoats were mounting a surge.

“A group of 350 psychiatrists and other mental-health professionals are set to submit a petition to Congress on Thursday claiming that President Donald Trump’s mental health is rapidly deteriorating amid the impeachment inquiry,” reported Tom Porter in Business Insider, citing psychiatrists Brandy Lee of Yale, former “CIA profiler” Jerrold Post, and psychiatrist John Zinner of George Washington University. The trio was speaking out because “as the time of possible impeachment approaches, Donald Trump has the real potential to become ever more dangerous, a threat to the safety of our nation.”

Back in 2017, Zinner told Jane Mayer of the New Yorker, “Trump has a narcissistic personality disorder,” was “deluded and compulsive,” and this was an “existential issue.” Jerrold Post cited “serious questions” about Trump’s “temperament and suitability,” and Dr. Brandy Lee took it to another level.

“I think we can now accept how deadly his symptoms are, and that mental pathology is different from health,” Lee told Salon. “We are facing a democide of genocidal proportions, because we have handed power to someone who is anti-human in psychology.” Yale students should know that Dr. Lee is hardly the first to deploy psychiatry against people she doesn’t like.

“The activities my dad engaged in could land a Soviet citizen in the gulag or a psychiatric hospital for decades,” writes Jamie Glazov, in a tribute to his father, Yuri Glazov. He was a scholar at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and a professor at Moscow State University, specializing in Oriental languages and cultures. When Yuri Glazov began attending human rights demonstrations, the Communist regime targeted him.

“In Soviet society, it was a given that you’d have to be mentally ill to oppose socialism,” Stella Morabito noted last year in the Federalist. So psychiatry, “quite easily became molded into total subjugation to the needs of the existing political order.” The regime locked up Vladimir Bukovsky on grounds of “sluggish schizophrenia,” a bogus diagnosis applied to all dissidents.

Under threat of expulsion for such abuses, the Soviet Union resigned from the World Psychiatric Association in 1983. For further reference, see Abuse of Psychiatry in the Soviet Union, congressional hearings from the same year.

The largest-scale offender these days, Morabito explains, is the Communist regime in Beijing. The political abuse of psychiatry in China has “deep roots in the Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong, with the official view that politically deviant thoughts cause mental illness.” Doctors Lee, Post, Zinner et al may lack the power to imprison, but they quite easily turn on President Trump and those who support him.

“The leader is the creation of his followers,” explains Jerrold Post. Trump’s followers suffer from the “mirror-hungry personality,” which “comes from a wounded self.” They all “feel incomplete without a great inspirational leader to attach themselves to, someone to venerate.” And so on, a veritable basket of deplorables with all their various “phobias.” Dr. Post thus validates the hatred typical of the drunk at the end of the bar. As it happens, this brand of white coat supremacy is not a new development in America.

Shortly before the 1964 election, Fact magazine asked psychiatrists if Barry Goldwater was psychologically unfit for the presidency. More than 2,000 psychiatrists responded, even though they had not examined the candidate. Goldwater sued the magazine for libel and won. As the 2020 election approaches, the whitecoats ramp up a virulent hatred for President Trump and the people who support him.

This surge is a belch from Soviet psychiatry and an echo of what the Chinese Communists are doing now. If American shrinks are so skewed on politics, the deplorables might wonder, why listen to them on anything else? The profession does owe a great deal to a Viennese coke head, but there’s more to it.

“Sadly, psychiatry has a capacity for abuse that’s basically built in,” Stella Morabito explains. “According to the late psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, the whole field is so susceptible to being used as a means of social control that it does people far more harm than good.”

Lloyd Billingsley


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Albania signs deal with Turkey to bring 30,000 Muslim migrants to area where 120,000 Greeks live - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

“Albania plans to replace Greeks in Northern Epirus with jihadists and Turkish intelligence officers”

Demographic jihad: the refugees and jihadists “will be used by Rama for demographic alteration of the Greek population of the region […] as has happened historically, it is very likely that gangs will be organized independently or led by agents who will ravage Greek homes and villages. In this way, they will force the Greek population to leave so that they can permanently change the demographic composition in Northern Epirus.”

“Albania plans to replace Greeks in Northern Epirus with jihadists and Turkish intelligence officers,” by Paul Antonopoulos, Greek City Times, April 14, 2020:
Albanian media has exposed Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama’s deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to relocate illegal immigrants and refugees in Turkey to Albania.
Recently, Tirana and Ankara signed a defence co-operation plan, with many in Albania and Greece believing that the issue of relocating migrants and refugees from Turkey to Albania is also included. Details of the plan have not been made public, but a part of the deal includes “activities that the two countries’ defence ministries are committed to completing by 2020 in order to strengthen and intensify security and defence interaction.”
According to Albanian media, there is an agreement between Rama and Erdoğan to relocate 30,000 refugees and illegal immigrants from Turkey to Albania in the region of Northern Epirus where up to 120,000 Greeks live. Although Greece liberated Northern Epirus during the First Balkan War (1912-13), the Great Powers gifted the region to the new Albanian state. Greece would once again liberate the region in World War Two, but it was once again gifted to Albania by the Great Powers.
The Greeks in Northern Epirus have always lived in persecution by the Albanian state with their schools constantly closed, properties confiscated and religious ceremonies harassed by Albanian police. Now it appears that Albania wants to continue weakening the Greek identity in the region by collaborating with Turkey to relocate refugees and illegal immigrants, changing the demographics of the area from being majority Greek.
One of the main Greek towns in Northern Epirus, Himara, is also the namesake of the main Greek news portal about the region, and its editor Thodoris Goumas spoke with Protothema. The editor of said:
“The Albanian prime minister’s actions can only be described as suspicious. Without any transparency or public statement, we learn from leaks that there is an agreement with Turkey to host 30,000 migrants. It is known that Albania not only does not have hosting infrastructure, but after the earthquake that hit the country, it is also facing an economic problem.”…
There is little doubt that Albania and Turkey are collaborating to not only change the demographics of the Greek-majority region, but to also open another front for illegal immigrants to enter the European Union (Greece) illegally….
In writing for SLPress, Lieutenant Colonel of the Greek military, Christos Pougialis said “Officially, of course, the 30,000 will be immigrants and refugees, some of whom will have their families with them. But beyond that, Turkey is sure to send its own agents among them to guide and control the situation. Turkey will send some ‘retired’ jihadists from those fighting alongside them in Syria, who will be with weapons.”
Just as Turkish intelligence agents played a key role in inciting violence on the Greek-Turkey border, they will now be able to create tensions on the Greek-Albanian border.
The Lieutenant Colonel in his article on SLPRESS also said that the refugees and jihadists “will be used by Rama for demographic alteration of the Greek population of the region […] as has happened historically, it is very likely that gangs will be organized independently or led by agents who will ravage Greek homes and villages. In this way, they will force the Greek population to leave so that they can permanently change the demographic composition in Northern Epirus.”

Robert Spencer


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Judicial Watch Sues to Force Pennsylvania to Clean Its Voter Rolls, Alleges Pennsylvania Has over 800,000 Inactive Voters on Rolls - Judicial Watch

by Judicial Watch

Judicial Watch is the national leader in enforcing the NVRA.

(Washington, DC) Judicial Watch announced today that it filed a lawsuit against Pennsylvania and three of its counties for failing to make reasonable efforts to remove ineligible voters from their rolls as required by the federal National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). According to Judicial Watch’s analysis of voter registration data, these counties removed almost no names under NVRA procedures for identifying and updating the registrations of those who have moved (Judicial Watch v. Pennsylvania, et al (No. 1:02-at-06000)). The lawsuit also points out that the Commonwealth has over 800,000 “inactive” registrations on its voter rolls. One Pennsylvania county almost immediately removed 69,000 inactive names earlier this year in response to a Judicial Watch letter.

In its complaint, Judicial Watch points out that the State’s abnormally low number of removals under NVRA procedures designed to identify voters who have changed residence indicates that it is not removing inactive registrations as the law requires. According to data the State certified to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), in the most recent two-year reporting period:
  • Bucks County, with about 457,000 registrations, removed a total of eight names under the relevant NVRA procedures;
  • Chester County, with about 357,000 registrations, removed five names under those procedures; and
  • Delaware County, with about 403,000 registrations, removed four names under those procedures.
Judicial Watch also argues that an abnormally high percentage of registrations compared to the population over 18 years of age is an indicator “that the jurisdiction is not taking steps required by law to cancel the registrations of ineligible registrants.” It alleges that “[t]he registration rates for Bucks, Chester, and Delaware Counties are high in comparison to other counties in Pennsylvania, and high in comparison to other counties throughout the U.S.”  As of April 2020, Pennsylvania’s own data shows it has over 800,000 inactive registrations.

Other Pennsylvania counties have acted to avoid being sued by Judicial Watch. On January 14, 2020, CBS Pittsburgh reported that because of the threat of a lawsuit from Judicial Watch, Allegheny County removed 69,000 inactive voters. David Voye, Elections Manager for the county told CBS, “I would concede that we are behind on culling our rolls,” and that this had “been put on the backburner.”  

“Dirty voting rolls can mean dirty elections – that’s one reason why we’re going to court to force Pennsylvania to follow federal law to clean up its voting rolls,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Pennsylvania has to take the simple steps necessary to clean from its rolls the names of voters, which number over 800,000, who probably have moved away or died.”

Judicial Watch is the national leader in enforcing the NVRA.

Recently, a federal court ordered the State of Maryland to produce complete voter registration records for Montgomery County that include the registered voters’ dates of birth. The judge found that Judicial Watch made “reasonable justifications for requiring birth date information, including using birth dates to find duplicate registrations and searching for voters who remain on the rolls despite ‘improbable’ age.”

Judicial Watch recently filed a lawsuit against North Carolina to force the state to clean its voter rolls that included over one million inactive voters. In December 2019, Judicial Watch provided notice to 19 large counties in five states that it intended to sue unless they took steps to comply with the NVRA by removing ineligible registrations from their rolls. In addition to North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Judicial Watch sent letters to counties inCalifornia, Virginia, and Colorado.

In 2018, the Supreme Court upheld a voter-roll cleanup program that resulted from a Judicial Watch settlement of a federal lawsuit with Ohio. California settled an NVRA lawsuit with Judicial Watch and last year began the process of removing up to 1.6 million inactive names from Los Angeles County’s voter rolls. Kentucky also began a cleanup of hundreds of thousands of old registrations last year after it entered into a consent decree to end another Judicial Watch lawsuit.

Despite successful litigation by Judicial Watch to bring counties and states into compliance with the NVRA, voter registration lists across the country remain significantly out of date. Judicial Watch’s 2019 study found 378 counties nationwide that had more voter registrations than citizens old enough to vote, i.e., counties where registration rates exceed 100%. These 378 counties combined had about 2.5 million registrations over the 100%-registered mark. This is a drop of about one million from Judicial Watch’s previous analysis of voter registration data in 2017.

Judicial Watch Attorney Robert Popper is the director of Judicial Watch’s Election Integrity initiative. Judicial Watch is being assisted by H. Christopher Coates of the Law Office of H. Christopher Coates, and by Jonathan S. Goldstein of Goldstein Law Partners, LLC in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.

Judicial Watch


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The Origin of the Coronavirus: From Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory to Plausible - Larry Elder

by Larry Elder

The virus-might-have-escaped theory suddenly became less crackpot when The Washington Post recently published an opinion piece called "State Department Cables Warned of Safety Issues at Wuhan Lab Studying Bat Coronaviruses."

In February the Daily Kos, an influential left-wing website, denounced "a whole parade of right-wing hand-waving that includes not just Republican Rep. Tom Cotton claiming that COVID-19 was cooked up in a Chinese bio lab." Likewise, The Guardian reported that Dr. Peter Daszak, the president of EcoHealth Alliance in the United States, an organization that researches emerging diseases, said: "Conspiracy theories circulating on social media claim the coronavirus was artificially manufactured in a lab conducting bioweapons research. They are 'crackpot theories that need to be addressed, but in the age of social media it is just impossible.'"

The Chinese government claimed that the COVID-19 originated at a Wuhan food marketplace where live animals are sold. But Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., thought otherwise. Cotton said: "We don't know where it originated, but we do know that we have to get to the bottom of that. We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China's only biosafety level-four superlaboratory that researches human infectious diseases. Now, we don't have evidence that this disease originated there, but because of China's duplicity and dishonesty from the beginning, we need to at least ask the question to see what the evidence says."

Rutgers University chemical biology professor Richard Ebright dismisses the idea that the virus was a product of a laboratory. Ebright said, "There's absolutely nothing in the genome sequence of this virus that indicates the virus was engineered." But Ebright, according to the Asia Times, also said he "could not rule out the possibility that the unfolding pandemic could be the result of a 'lab incident.'" Bear in mind, Cotton did not claim the virus was manufactured in a Wuhan lab, let alone that the virus is a product of biological warfare. He speculated that the virus might have accidentally escaped from the lab.

The virus-might-have-escaped theory suddenly became less crackpot when The Washington Post recently published an opinion piece called "State Department Cables Warned of Safety Issues at Wuhan Lab Studying Bat Coronaviruses." American experts who visited two virology labs in Wuhan in 2018 were shocked at the lack of security and appropriate protocols to prevent a virus from escaping. The piece said: "What the U.S. officials learned during their visits concerned them so much that they dispatched two diplomatic cables categorized as Sensitive But Unclassified back to Washington. The cables warned about safety and management weaknesses at the WIV (Wuhan Institute of Virology) lab and proposed more attention and help. The first cable ... also warns that the lab's work on bat coronaviruses and their potential human transmission represented a risk of a new SARS-like pandemic."

As to China's official story that the virus started at a so-called wet market that sold bats, The Washington Post wrote: "As many have pointed out, there is no evidence that the virus now plaguing the world was engineered; scientists largely agree it came from animals. But that is not the same as saying it didn't come from the lab, which spent years testing bat coronaviruses in animals, said Xiao Qiang, a research scientist at the School of Information at the University of California at Berkeley. ...

"The Chinese government's original story — that the virus emerged from a seafood market in Wuhan — is shaky. Research by Chinese experts published in the (British medical journal) Lancet in January showed the first known patient, identified on Dec. 1, had no connection to the market, nor did more than one-third of the cases in the first large cluster. Also, the market didn't sell bats."

It is maddening that there is so much about this virus that we do not know. We are uncertain of its origin. We are uncertain about its lethality. We don't know whether one develops an immunity after infection and survival. We don't know how many have or have had the virus and have recovered. We don't know how many have the virus and are asymptomatic. There are still questions about whether after one can get the virus, survive and get it again.

We do know that the disease does not discriminate against Republicans or Democrats. Nor does the disease care whether theories about its origin came from the right-wing "crackpots" or left-wing Trump haters. This is a political year. And President Donald Trump and his supporters are so despised by Democrats and their media enablers that many reflexively wrote off conservative skepticism about the official Chinese government story on the origin of the coronavirus. But suddenly, the skepticism is no longer "crackpot."

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.


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Shocker: FBI Lied, Hid Evidence, Covered Up State of Disorder - Judicial Watch

by Judicial Watch

[A] bipartisan group of U.S. Senators -- want the beleaguered law enforcement agency investigated for “major abnormalities” involving evidence in a terrorism case. 

Notorious for failing in its duty to thwart terrorist attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is under fire again, this time from a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who want the beleaguered law enforcement agency investigated for “major abnormalities” involving evidence in a terrorism case. Known for its corrupt method of operating, the FBI appears to be hiding evidence critical to a pending Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) lawsuit brought by family members of 9/11 victims. Two years ago, the FBI received a civil subpoena in the case and the lawmakers believe the agency has committed numerous violations and may be trying to conceal that its “investigative files are in a state of disorder.”

In a letter to the FBI watchdog, the Department of Justice Inspector General (DOJ IG), the senators write about “troubling reports concerning the FBI’s irregular treatment of a civil subpoena issued by the September 11 families.” The lawmakers, New York Democrat Charles Schumer, Iowa Republican Charles Grassley and Connecticut Democrat Richard Blumenthal mention half a dozen concerns that merit a probe by the IG, including the FBI’s refusal to conduct methodological searches of its electronic databases, “instead empowering FBI officials with inherent conflicts of interest to hand-select the materials to be considered for possible production, and to control the information that is produced.” Judicial Watch has regularly encountered similar obstacles over the years in efforts to obtain public records from the FBI, most recently involving the shady anti-Trump “dossier” masterminded by corrupt FBI officials plotting against the president. Last month the FBI used coronavirus as an excuse to shut down its electronic public records operations.

In the 9/11 lawsuit families are seeking information about the FBI’s investigation of two Saudi Arabian government employees—Omar al Bayoumi and Fahad al Thumairy—who provided 9/11 hijackers Nawaf al Hazmiand and Khalid al Mihdhar and their accomplices “substantial assistance.” Thumairy was a Saudi consular official in Los Angeles and his ties to the hijackers are detailed in a once-classified portion of the 9/11 Commission Report that was declassified in 2016. In the spring of 2018 attorneys representing the 9/11 families served a civil subpoena on the FBI for the information critical to their case, but there may have been major abnormalities in the FBI’s handling of that subpoena that deserve the inspector general’s attention, the lawmakers write.

Here is what the veteran legislators allege that merits a probe; departures from established processes for responding to civil discovery demands, which would violate the FBI’s legal obligation and are designed to guard against conflicts of interest within the agency; misstatements to the federal court presiding over the litigation about the actual status of investigations; misstatements to the federal court regarding the sensitivity of the evidence being sought, including efforts to conceal original classification designations; efforts to conceal that the FBI’s investigative files are in a state of disorder; efforts to conceal the fact that key investigative materials collected after the attacks were never properly analyzed; refusal to conduct methodological searches of FBI’s electronic databases, instead empowering FBI officials with inherent conflicts of interest to hand-select the materials to be considered for possible production and to control the information that is produced.

“These allegations by the families raise questions as to whether FBI personnel may be acting in improper ways to withhold evidence the 9/11 families are entitled to receive, and that this obstruction may be driven by an effort to shield the Bureau and individual FBI officials from embarrassment,” the senators write. “Obviously, any irregularities, abuse, fraud, or improprieties in the handling of the 9/11 families’ subpoena for evidence are entirely unacceptable.” The lashing continues: “The September 11 attacks represent a singular and defining tragedy in the history of our Nation. Nearly twenty years later, the 9/11 families and American public still have not received the full and transparent accounting of the potential sources of support for those attacks to which they are entitled. Circumstances that leave the impression that our government is hiding facts about 9/11 from the families and public tear at the very fabric of our democracy and erode trust in our government.”

Judicial Watch


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Coronavirus ushers in a subterranean dystopia - Carol Brown

by Carol Brown

The subway has become a filthy, deadly homeless shelter on rails, according to disgusted transit workers who have taken to recording and photographing the horrid conditions.

Leave it to New York City to have coronavirus fallout like no other.

Not only does the state have the highest infection and mortality rate, thanks to Cuomo's and de Blasio's lousy "leadership," but the New York City subways have become a place where the homeless, down and out, drugged out, passed out, and released-early-from-jail can collapse among garbage, human waste, and unbearable stench.

Transit authority workers are filming these dystopian scenes of subways eerily moving through the underground network of tracks carrying a new group of passengers who occupy otherwise near empty cars. Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) workers suspect that many are sick with coronavirus. The New York Post reports:
The subway has become a filthy, deadly homeless shelter on rails, according to disgusted transit workers who have taken to recording and photographing the horrid conditions.

YouTube screen grabs.

Videos and photographs show people in various stages of consciousness, some relieving bodily functions, some dragging garbage cans full of decaying food from the subway platform onto the train, with all posing a serious health risk to MTA employees and the small percentage of riders who must take the subway to get to work.

One train operator expressed frustration that the trains are being used to house infected homeless people so the city doesn't have to deal with the problem. A conductor said, "the MTA is basically a mobile hotel for homeless people right now."

Everyone seems to agree that Mayor de Blasio is out of touch and doesn't care. Requests to Governor Cuomo to shut down the subway system during the pandemic have gone unheeded.

Welcome to our brave new world.

Carol Brown


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IRGC Aerospace Force Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh: 'We are a superpower now' - Mordechai Sones

by Mordechai Sones

General Hajizadeh: Iran had plan to strike 400 targets in event US retaliated immediately after Ayn Al-Asad attack.

IRGC Aerospace Force Commander General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said in a Channel 2 (Iran) 
interview that he would like to thank the start-up companies, the universities, and the people from Iran’s Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industries Organization for their help in the construction of the first-stage engine of the missile that launched the Noor satellite into orbit on April 22, 2020, reports the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Saying that Iran is now a superpower, he said that the Noor satellite’s orbit passes over the U.S. and other countries that Iran can’t fly planes over, and he went on to explain that the first-stage engine used liquid fuel that is also used in surface-to-surface missiles because it was a cheaper option.

He elaborated that the first-stage engine had belonged to an old missile that had been in storage, and that in the future, Iran will develop a solid-fuel first-stage engine. Furthermore, he said that since Iran used a portable launch pad, it has no need for a stationary command center.

Amirali Hajizadeh, head of the aerospace division of the Revolutionary Guards         Reuters

He also promised to advance Iran’s space technologies, to strengthen Iran every day, and to secure Iran such that nobody would dare threaten it.

Later in the interview, General Hajizadeh said that the Americans have a false sense of security, that they only threatened to attack Iran and its cultural sites after hearing the Iranian people’s chants of revenge following the assassination of Qasem Soleimani, and that Iran had a plan to strike 400 targets in the event that the U.S. retaliated immediately after the Ayn Al-Asad attack.

Mordechai Sones


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Coronavirus: The unexpected opportunity for victory over Hamas - Matan Peleg

by Matan Peleg

Contrary to the usual state of affairs between the parties, Israel now holds the cards.

Hamas has long exploited its sense of Israel’s “great weakness”: our love of and value for human life.They have used human shields, and embedded weaponry in schools, hospitals and homes, all the while knowing that Israel is loath to hurt civilians, even enemy civilians.

Another tried and true tactic has been the use the prisoner deals. The most famous was the 2011 exchange of Gilad Schalit for 1,027 Palestinians in Israeli jails, hundreds of whom were sentenced to life in prison for planning and perpetrating various terrorist attacks that cost the lives of over 500 Israelis. Of course, many of those released went on to commit additional acts of murderous terrorism.Hamas is currently holding Israeli citizens Avera Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed hostage. They also hold the bodies of slain IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, who were killed during fighting in the summer of 2014.Although negotiations for the return of these Israelis have been ongoing for many years, suddenly the issue has taken on a new immediacy: Hamas leaders have declared that they want assistance in battling the effects of the coronavirus as part of any prisoner exchange.“We have four prisoners and we are ready for indirect talks,” Ismail Haniyeh said in a television interview with the Gaza-based al-Araby TV network. “I’m optimistic about the possibility of reaching an agreement with the occupation in order to complete a prisoner exchange deal and achieve our goals.”A senior Israeli source told Israeli TV that “an exceptional and rare opportunity has been created to reach a prisoner deal with Hamas.”

These statements require us to read between the lines. While Hamas is understandably concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, its interest is not at all focused on the welfare of its people, but rather on itself. 

This “the people be damned” attitude is completely consistent with the tactics mentioned above, in which Gaza residents become the collateral damage for Hamas’s war and public-relations goals. A sudden concern for the general welfare, while obviously necessary and welcome, is completely out of character for the Hamas leadership.What is not surprising, though, is that the leadership cares about their own. And therein lies Israel’s great opportunity right now.ISRAEL’S LEADERS need to understand that Hamas is coming to them from a position of weakness, not strength; of true fear for the welfare and future of its leadership. This is not the stuff of humanitarian gestures, as Hamas has no interest in protecting its people, only its leadership. Contrary to the usual state of affairs between the parties, Israel now holds the cards. Israel has the negotiating advantage and must employ it for its maximum benefit.Israel should think about victory now, to think strategically how to exploit this unlikely time and opportunity to defeat Hamas’s war aims once and for all. It should demand that Hamas end its belligerent war against the Jewish state as the price for protecting the Hamas leadership. Yes, a balanced prisoner exchange could and should be part of Israeli demands, but certainly nothing approaching the self-destructive Schalit deal.
 Israelis involved in these backroom negotiations should be the ones to dictate terms, and not be the oh-so-grateful accommodating power eager for any scraps which Hamas might offer.Victory is about imposing one’s will on the enemy. Allowing Hamas to dictate the terms of another prisoner release would be another victory for the terrorist organization and another defeat for Israel, which, like previous ones, would cost Israelis dearly.The great irony is that the coronavirus appears to have done what the IDF’s superior military power has not been able to achieve: bring Hamas in haste to the negotiating table.We must end the craven stance of doing “whatever is necessary” to bring our people home. Yes, this is humane and deeply rooted in Jewish values. However, Hamas has used this against us time and again, causing death and destruction in the name of our trying to preserve human life.When Israel truly internalizes the reality, well known to Hamas, that the goal of war for any protagonist is to defeat and not be defeated, and that prisoner exchanges are part of war itself, we will be able to negotiate a truly humane prisoner exchange.Israel must not lose this opportunity and must press its advantage. Now is time for Israel to seize the moment and inflict defeat on Hamas at the negotiating table. 

Matan Peleg is the CEO of Im Tirtzu, Israel's largest grassroots Zionist movement.


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Thursday, April 30, 2020

China in diplomatic hole over COVID-19 responsibility, keeps digging - Thomas Lifson

by Thomas Lifson

There is no model in Chinese history for relations among nation-states of equal standing as sovereign actors.

China is badly bungling its diplomatic response to its responsibility for unleashing COVID-19 on the world, and the consequences for its ambition to become the world's hegemon will be profound. As you may have seen, when Australia announced that it would investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, China threatened a boycott. The leftist Guardian summarizes the contretemps:
Australia has been described as "gum stuck to the bottom of China's shoe," by a Chinese state media editor as Beijing criticised calls for an inquiry into the coronavirus origin as "political manoeuvring," further straining ties.
Australia has emerged as one of the most vocal critics of Beijing as it calls for an investigation into the origins and spread of the virus, which emerged in China late last year and has now killed more than 200,000 people around the world.
Late on Monday, Hu Xijin, the editor of the state-run Global Times wrote on Weibo that ties between Australia and its largest trading partner, China, were likely to deteriorate as much as relations between Beijing and Washington had.
Criticising Australia for joining the US in its attacks on China, Hu wrote: "After the epidemic, we need to have more risk awareness when doing business with Australia and also when we send our children to study there."
"Australia is always there, making trouble. It is a bit like chewing gum stuck on the sole of China's shoes. Sometimes you have to find a stone to rub it off," Hu said.
Hu's comments echo that of China's ambassador to Australia, Jingye Cheng, who told Australian media at the weekend that pushing for an inquiry could result in a boycott of the country's goods. "Maybe the ordinary people will say 'Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?'," Cheng told the Australian Financial Review.
Even ostensible friends of China in Australia were appalled, as the U.K. Daily Mail reported:
The head of the Australia-China relations committee has stood down amid growing political strain between the two nations.
Warwick Smith has resigned as chairman of the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, which replaced the Australia-China Council, as government officials clash over China's response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The former MP resigned from his role in March where his advisory board was tasked with strengthening ties between the two countries through education, governments, business and cultural and community groups.
Australia's prime minister was not cowed, either:
The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, has defied China and defended the "entirely reasonable and sensible" call for an investigation into the origins of coronavirus, as the international political fallout over the pandemic deepened.
The entire world has suffered grievous injury at the hands of China's evident negligence in allowing the virus to proliferate and its utter venality in buying up protective gear all over the world, reselling some at enormous profit when the rest of the world had caught up to the realization of the severity of the outbreak. The only foreign actors who would defend China are its bought and paid for toadies in NGOs and foreign lands. And as the World Health Organization is discovering, there may be a steep price to toadyism when the dust settles.

While the autocratic characteristics of a ruling communist party are to blame mostly for this pig-headedness, China is also handicapped by its own history. There is no model in Chinese history for relations among nation-states of equal standing as sovereign actors. For millennia, China's foreign relations were built on the ideology of tribute, in which China was supreme and other nations were allowed to trade with it by offering tribute to the Chinese emperor, who graciously would reciprocate by offering goods back to those who understood their place in the hierarchy below China. The approach to the emperor by foreign envoys required a ke-tou (kowtow), kneeling and touching the forehead to the ground.

Kyrgyz deliver a white horse as a tribute to the Qianlong Emperor of China (1757), soon after the Qing conquest of Xinjiang. Soon, intensive trade started in Kulja and Chuguchak, Kyrgyz horses, sheep, and goats being traded for Chinese silk and cotton fabrics. (Public domain via Wikipedia.)

When this model started to crumble with the two Opium Wars and the onerous conditions imposed on China, it was not replaced by anything resembling relations among comparably sovereign nations. Western nations demanded and got extraterritoriality, making their citizens not subject to Chinese law and courts, in effect teaching the Chinese that they were as high-handed as China had been in its glory days but less civilized about it. They also extracted penalties from China that impoverished its government and contributed to a devolution into poverty and chaos.

While China is skillful in cultivating stooges and infiltrating its agents into foreign countries in critical spots, when it comes to state-to-state relations, it has no clue how to treat other nations in ways that will lead to accomplishment of its goals. It knows only how to bully. "Political power grows out the barrel of a gun" was one of Chairman Mao's favorite aphorisms, after all.

China has already alienated all of its Asian neighbors, with the possible exception of North Korea, which is fully dependent on it. Mutually suspicious, if not antagonistic, nations from Indonesia to Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, and Japan are all aghast at China's dredging of artificial islands and subsequent construction of military bases and lodging of sovereignty claims. They are united in opposition.

Now China is in the process of expanding its isolation to a global scale. Its trillion-dollar Belt and Road Initiative is being understood as a method of gaining control over nations foolish enough to enter into contracts with it.

The leadership of the Chinese Communist Party may believe that its huge population and undeniable scientific and technological progress entitle it to world dominance. But they will find that without real allies, they will not be able to operate as a successful hegemon. China still needs critical resources, starting with oil and gas. China's population will begin declining in about a decade, the fruit of its foolish one-child policy, and its age structure will skew toward the elderly, not the ideal war-fighting demographic.

Thomas Lifson


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