Friday, August 7, 2020

Peaceful Riots and the Left’s Reality-Avoidance - Don Feder

by Don Feder

Lessons unlearned after a century of genocide, gulags and mass starvation.

People ask how Democrats can look at what’s going on in Portland and other urban combat zones and call it “peaceful protest” when on the nightly news they can see fires raging, hear mobs howling, and watch police being assaulted. Are they nuts?

In a way, they are.

It’s not just the anarchy in the streets. The entire progressive worldview is based on a far-reaching denial of reality.

Since at least the Enlightenment, those who embraced objective truth believed it was their responsibility to use empirical evidence and reason to understand the world, so that they didn’t end up getting eaten by tigers they mistook for tangerines.

Leftists work overtime to reshape the public perception of the world around them to conform with their ideology – even when it means denying the obvious. The novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand called it “whim-worship.” In other words, this is the way it is because this is the way I want it to be. Because I hate America, I want it to be an inherently racist country, based on oppression and exploitation – and thus it is.

Here are a few examples of reality-avoidance ripped from the headlines: 
Guns cause crime. My city is a shooting gallery because of guns brought here from places with loose controls. 

On CNN, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightweight insisted her fair metropolis was being “inundated with guns from states that have virtually no gun control.”

It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the incompetence of big city machines. Chicago hasn’t had a Republican mayor in 90 years. It’s not states, but the federal government that regulates gun sales. Buying a gun in Missouri entails the same federal background check as buying one in Illinois.

Most of the slaughter on Michigan Avenue is gang-related. Will the gangs that massacre each other in turf wars, and kill innocent bystanders in the process, be stopped by any conceivable type of gun control? Going Beto O’Rourke is a diversionary tactic, to keep people from thinking about what Democrats have done to inner-city families, schools and streets.

Defunding the police, or slashing police budgets, will make cities safer. 

On August 2, New York City officially had more shootings this year than in all of 2019 (777 versus 776), and there are still five months left in 2020. De Blasio’s answer: reduce the NYPD budget by $1 billion. Why isn’t there a social worker around when you really need one?
In the face of soaring crime rates, urban politicians are telling constituents that less policing will make you safer – that you’re more likely to have a rogue cop kneel on your neck for eight minutes than to be robbed, raped or murdered by residents of your community.

Trump is sending federal officers to cities like Portland as an election gimmick. 

As president, Trump has a duty to protect federal property (like a courthouse). After creating the conditions for chaos – by pandering to Antifa and ordering the police to stand down (Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan allowed the mob to control part of her city for almost a month) -- Democrats then blame the president for acting to put out fires they set. Instead of sending in Homeland Security, perhaps Trump should have asked ex-President Bill Clinton to organize Midnight Basketball.

Measures taken to prevent Muslim-majority countries from exporting terrorism are Islamophobia -- or “Islamicphobia,” as Joe Biden would say.

Speaking to the Million Muslim Votes Summit, Vice President Biden railed against what he called “Trump’s Muslim travel ban,” which included such non-Muslim countries as North Korea and Venezuela and excluded about 85% of the world's Muslim-majority countries.

We’re asked to believe that an immigrant from Norway (where holy war is not preached in Lutheran churches) is as much of a threat as someone coming here from Iran, where the mullahs damn infidels on a regular basis.

The Boston Marathon bombers weren’t Canadian. The 9/11 terrorists weren’t from Tierra del Fuego, and the Orlando night club shooter wasn’t a person of Eskimo extraction.

Preventing election-fraud is racist and an attack on democracy.

Speaking at the funeral of John Lewis, ex-President Barack Obama called a Supreme Court decision which allowed certain southern states to enact ballot-security laws part of a conspiracy to suppress the black vote. The filibuster is a vestige of Jim Crow, the most embarrassing president in history insisted.

Democrats want to get rid of the filibuster so they can circumvent the Supreme Court and override state election laws that require photo IDs to vote. You need a photo ID to board a plane, drive a car or cash a check. But requiring one to vote is the equivalent of Simon Legree using a whip to drive Uncle Tom from the polling place.

The crisis at our southern border is a myth.

Like the pictures of rioters rampaging through the streets of Portland, what appears to be footage of illegal immigrants from Central America streaming across the U.S./Mexican border is actually CGI. There aren’t at least 13.4 million illegals living in the United States and they don’t cost taxpayers roughly $132 billion annually. Which are you going to believe, CNN's Jim Acosta or your lying eyes?

Communism is cute.

California Congresswoman and potential Biden running mate Karen Bass was doing damage control after her gushing praise of Fidel Castro on his death in 2016 came to light. Bass got a firsthand look at Castro’s island paradise in 1973, as one of the fellow travelers in the Venceremos Brigade. She said the departure of El Comandante was a “great loss for the Cuban people” – especially the masochists among them.

After a century of genocide, gulags and mass starvation, the left still insists that communism is basically well-meaning but misunderstood. Turning rioters into peaceful protestors is one thing, but claiming 100 million murders is just a misunderstanding is something else entirely.

Progressives are the heirs to The Party (Ingsoc) in George Orwell’s 1984.

Like that fictional totalitarian state, Democrats believe reality is infinitely malleable. In Orwell’s novel, the regime had the power to force its perception on the masses. Democrats aren’t quite there yet, but they do have CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post, celebrity nitwits, Big Tech, and Nancy Pelosi’s mouth.

The left insists that we see the world through its eyes. Schizophrenia loves company.

Don Feder


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UN Security Council readies to vote on extending Iran arms embargo - Reuters and ILH Staff

by Reuters and ILH Staff

The arms embargo on Iran is currently set to end on Oct. 18 under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal. Diplomats say Washington would face a tough, messy battle if it tries to trigger a return to sanctions.

Pompeo: Russia, China have 'blood on their hands' after veto on Syria aid

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo | File photo: AP/Alex Brandon

The United Nations Security Council will vote next week on a US bid to extend an international arms embargo on Iran, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, despite the warnings of some diplomats that the measure lacks support.

The arms embargo on Iran is currently set to end on Oct. 18 under Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which US President Donald Trump's administration quit in 2018.

The US-drafted resolution needs at least nine votes in favor to force Russia and China to use their vetoes, which Moscow and Beijing have signaled they will do. Some diplomats question whether Washington can even secure those nine, however.

"The United States will put forward a resolution in the Security Council to extend the arms embargo on Iran," Pompeo told reporters. "The proposal we put forward is eminently reasonable. One way or another we will do the right thing. We will ensure that the arms embargo is extended."

If the United States is unsuccessful in extending the embargo, it has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions on Iran under a process agreed in the 2015 deal.

Such a move would kill the deal, touted as a way to suspend Tehran's suspected drive to develop nuclear weapons. Washington argues it can trigger the sanctions because a Security Council resolution still names it as a participant.

Iran has breached parts of the nuclear deal in response to the US withdrawal and Washington's reimposition of sanctions.

"For as long as Iran is allowed to enrich, we're going to be having this discussion - how close is Iran to a nuclear breakout? ... We need to restore the UN Security Council standard of no enrichment," US Iran envoy Brian Hook told the Aspen Security Forum, held virtually, earlier on Wednesday.

Iran denies it is seeking to build a nuclear bomb.

Diplomats say Washington would face a tough, messy battle if it tries to trigger a return to sanctions.

The United States would have to submit a complaint to the council, which would then have to vote within 30 days on a resolution to continue Iran's sanctions relief. If such a resolution is not put forward by the deadline, sanctions would be reimposed - what is known as a snapback.

Some diplomats have suggested the United States will submit its complaint by the end of August to ensure the 30 days ends in September, before Russia takes the monthly rotating council presidency in October.

Reuters and ILH Staff


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Do Voter ID Laws Actually Result in Disenfranchisement? - P.F. Whalen

by P.F. Whalen

The resistance to voter ID laws is not about protecting the rights of citizens, it is about enabling those who seek power to attain it and protecting those who are in power from losing it.

Last Thursday, President Trump whipped up another firestorm by suggesting that November’s general election should be delayed, citing potential voter fraud due to extensive mail-in balloting as his rationale. With this latest controversy, we should expect to see not only pushback on Trump’s idea, but a revitalization of the promotion of new -- and the criticism of existing -- various voter ID laws around the country. According to our friends on the Left, such laws are unfair, unconstitutional, and even racist. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asserted that voter ID laws are “silencing the voices of American voters.” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has declared that voter ID laws are “un-American,” and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a frontrunner in the Democratic vice-presidential sweepstakes, states that such laws are “intentionally designed to disenfranchise Black Americans, Latinx Americans, [and] Native Americans.” If we are to believe the Left, voter ID laws are an existential threat to our democracy, but a closer look at the issue reveals a much different reality.

To understand the Left’s assertion, we must first understand what that perceived disenfranchisement looks like. In an article published in Political Science Quarterly in March, 2019, the authors (Ben Pryor, Rebekah Herrick, and James A. Davis) examined the theory that “voter ID laws are expected to depress voter turnout because the ‘costs’ of voting increase when an individual has to possess, remember, and produce an acceptable form of ID when voting,” likening the inconvenience of acquiring and presenting a valid ID to an expense. The authors’ focus is specifically on the impact these laws have on minority voters, since it is often claimed such voters are more likely to be impacted by the requirements. Expanding on the idea, they suggest “even voters with acceptable types of ID may have their costs increased if they forget their ID when they go to the polls or if their ID is expired.” Herein lies the objection. The inconvenience of attaining a valid ID is unreasonable, and if a voter forgets their ID on Election Day, that voter will have been disenfranchised if they do not follow up on the state’s requirements to make the vote valid. Therefore, it is not the would-be-voter’s fault that they forgot their ID, it is the fault of the racist law that the government is enforcing. Claiming disenfranchisement because someone forgot their ID on election day is the electoral equivalent of a student telling the teacher that the dog ate their homework. Only in this situation, the teacher (aka the Democrat Party) not only buys the story, they launch a campaign to have cocker spaniels outlawed. The method of measurement used by the authors in determining the effect of such laws was to compare voter turnout expectations to actual votes. Less votes equals disenfranchisement. That logic itself is flawed, since there are several factors that can impact voter turnout, but despite setting such a low bar to prove the theory, the authors’ findings were inconclusive. They could not establish a correlation between the laws and actual voter turnout.

A state frequently targeted by the Left for its unfair voter ID laws is Texas. Digging into the details of that state’s policies and processes on the matter, it is difficult to see a legitimate reason for the criticism. There are a total of seven different types of ID that are acceptable at polling places in Texas, including one’s driver’s license and a Texas Personal Identification Card issued by the state, and an ID can be expired for as many as four years and still be acceptable at the polls. When registering to vote, the voter receives a registration certificate. If a voter shows up at the polls without an acceptable ID, and is unable to reasonably attain one, they can still vote by simply showing that certificate and providing other types of supporting documentation such as a birth certificate or bank statement. Furthermore, voters can apply for either a permanent or temporary exemption from the law by following the state’s Reasonable Impediment Declaration procedure, which accepts various hindrances as impediments including religious objections, lack of transportation, and disabilities. Additionally, Texas allows for early voting for those who do not want to deal with the hassle on Election Day, and for those who do show up at the polls without any of the above requirements, they can still submit a provisional ballot which can be validated when they return with the proper documentation within six calendar days. So, this is what all of the fuss is about? This is racist disenfranchisement?

For a democracy to work, there has to be a high level of confidence by the citizens in its elections. If anything, confidence in the integrity of U.S. elections seems to be waning, driven by skeptics on both side of the aisle. Then-candidate Donald Trump famously declined to commit to accepting the results of the 2016 election during a debate, and he has named voter fraud as a major concern in the past. Hillary Clinton has apparently still not accepted the results of that election, hollering about the impact of Russian interference to anyone who will listen, and Stacey Abrams -- who lost the 2018 Georgia gubernatorial race by a whopping 54,723 votes -- still claims to be the rightful winner of that election. Quips such as “vote early and vote often” have been around for years, but they reflect a longstanding wariness by Americans of how elections are conducted. Yet in spite of this lack of confidence, we still have resistance to safeguarding the validity of our elections. Why?

Texas has clearly made a strong effort to accommodate its voters, and opposition to such laws has ulterior motives. The resistance to voter ID laws is not about protecting the rights of citizens, it is about enabling those who seek power to attain it and protecting those who are in power from losing it. Any requirement that poses the slightest inconvenience for a potential vote for the Left is a problem in their mind. No one enjoys wading through any bureaucratic red tape, but the inconveniences in Texas and elsewhere are applied equally to all citizens, not just minorities. Pointing to such laws as bigoted disenfranchisement is wrong and unjustified. Every state in the union should be equally committed to the goal of eliminating voter fraud, but that commitment is unlikely to happen with our friends on the Left. If possible, the Left would likely allow the electorate to submit votes via text message on their phones. Or better still, empower Democrats themselves to ask voters to whisper their choices in the Democrat’s ear so the votes can be added to the total. Opposition to voter ID laws is an example of the absurd lengths to which the Left is willing to go in order to win elections, and the rest of us need to call them out for what they are.

For more from PF Whalen, visit the blog
Twitter: @pf_whalen

P.F. Whalen


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Malik Obama Still '110 Percent' with Trump, Who Is 'Not a Fake' - Lloyd Billingsley

by Lloyd Billingsley

Obama "Big Bad Brother weighs in on "cold and ruthless" former president who "needs to be worshipped."

“What I saw was he was the kind of person that wants people to worship him. He needs to be worshiped and I don’t do that.”

That was Malik Obama in an August 1 interview with the New York Post. Obama, 62, was promoting his new book, Big Bad Brother from Kenya, and his interview proved enlightening on several fronts.

Malik managed a foundation named after his father, the Kenyan Barak H. Obama. In a telephone call shortly before the 2009 inauguration, the American president-elect “insisted I shut down the website and not continue with the foundation.” If Malik continued with the idea, the president threatened “to cut me off.”

In 2015, Malik Obama made an appeal on behalf of Aunt Hawa, living in poverty and working as a charcoal seller. The president told Malik he was “broke.” Aunt Zeituni Onyango died penniless in 2014 and Malik Obama appealed for $20,000 to transport her remains back to Kenya. The president said that was “too much” and ponied up only $5,000.

As Malik Obama explains,  “I don’t understand how somebody who claimed to be a relative or a brother can behave the way that he’s behaving, be so cold and ruthless, and just turn his back on the people he said were his family.”

Malik Obama also charged that Dreams from My Father, was inaccurate and freighted with “embellishments.” For example, Malik’s grandfather was not detained and beaten by British troops in 1949, and that is hardly the book’s only problem.

The author cites a “useful fiction,” in which the Kenyan Barack Obama is “an image I could alter on a whim or ignore when convenient.” In the Dreams account, the Kenyan “bequeaths” his name and by the end the Kenyan is a nameless “Old Man.” In the 2017 Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama, David Garrow expanded the revelations.

Dreams from My Father was not a memoir or an autobiography,” Garrow wrote. “it was instead, in multitudinous ways, without any question a work of historical fiction. It featured many true-to-life figures and a bevy of accurately described events that indeed had occurred, but it employed the techniques and literary license of a novel, and its most important composite character was the narrator himself.”

In his New York Post interview, Malik Obama did not address Rising Star, nor the archive housed at the Harlem-based Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.  In all his documents dating from 1958 to 1964 the Kenyan Barack H. Obama makes not a single mention of an American wife and Hawaiian-born son. This material was first made available in 2013 but the president declined several invitations to review the archive.

In 2015, filmmaker Joel Gilbert asked Malik Obama if he saw any resemblance between the president and the Communist Frank Marshall Davis, named only as “Frank” in the Dreams account.  “There’s a great resemblance,” said Malik, who was willing to take a DNA test.  Malik also [said] he didn’t know what he would do if the president turned out to be “a fraud and a con.”

In October of 2016, Sean Hannity of Fox News asked Malik Obama who he was voting for in November. “Donald Trump,” said Obama, without the slightest hesitation. Four years later, as he told the New York Post, he’s “110 percent still with Trump. He’s not fake. He tells us the way he sees it. He’s bold and fearless and he’s tough.” As for Democrat opponent Joe Biden, “I don’t think he’s going to make it,” Malik Obama said. “His teeth are falling off. He looks like he’s going to drop dead.”

According to the Post, Malik Obama’s Big Bad Brother from Kenya isn’t generating much of a buzz. On the other hand, a forthcoming book by POTUS 44 is already grabbing attention.

“The former president has been writing the book himself, handwriting a first draft on legal pads, the same technique he used for numerous White House speeches and his first best-seller, Dreams From My Father,” USA Today reported in May of 2019. The book is part of a $65 million deal with Random House and release has reportedly been postponed until after the 2020 election.

As David Garrow noted, the president had “strong” disagreements with Rising Star, most likely over the pronouncement that the book was a novel and the author a composite character. So no surprise that the former president should put out the narrative he wants. Former First Lady Michelle had a ghost writer, he says, but POTUS 44 claims to be writing his own account by hand just as he did for Dreams from My Father.

Before that book emerged in 1995, a ballpark figure for the author’s number of publications was zero. Even so, the former Barry Soetoro got a book deal and in 2008 gained election as president of the United States. In 2020, he acts like he’s still president, hailing the “peaceful protesters” attacking police and torching buildings nationwide. 

He “wants people to worship him,” Malik Obama says, but there’s more to it. With no apology to John Goodman in The Big Lebowski, this is what happens when a composite character in a fictional narrative becomes president and sets out to fundamentally transform the United States of America.

* * *
Photo credit: YouTube

Lloyd Billingsley


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Federal Court Cheats Boston Marathon Jihadi Out of His 72 Virgins - Robert Spencer

by Robert Spencer

This is more about the state of American society today than it is about Boston Marathon jihad murderer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

Federal Court Cheats Boston Marathon Jihadi Out of His 72 Virgins
His death sentence has been overturned; his victims, however, have no chance to appeal. My latest in FrontPage:
This is more about the state of American society today than it is about Boston Marathon jihad murderer Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The Boston Globe reported Friday that “in a 182-page ruling that infuriated some victims [no kidding], the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled that George A. O’Toole Jr., the judge in Tsarnaev’s 2015 trial, ‘did not meet the standard’ of fairness while presiding over jury selection.” The appeals court accordingly overturned Tsarnaev’s death sentence. Aside from cheating Tsarnaev out of his 72 virgins, this appeal denies justice to his victims.

Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson wrote in her ruling that “a core promise of our criminal justice system is that even the very worst among us deserves to be fairly tried and lawfully punished.” That is undeniably true, as is Thompson’s observation that the bombings were “one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities.”

But how unfair was the trial in fact, and how unfair could it have been? There is no question that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty. His actions were captured on video and abundantly documented. What’s more, he remained defiantly unrepentant for a considerable period after the attack. As prosecutors argued in April 2015 that he deserved the death penalty, they released a video of Tsarnaev three months after his attack, looking into the security camera in his cell, primping his hair in the reflection, and then flashing the V sign and then giving his middle finger to his jailers.

And why not? He believed he had done a righteous deed. The motivations of Dzhokhar and his brother and fellow jihad murderer Tamerlan Tsarnaev became clear very quickly after Dzhokhar was apprehended. CNN reported a week after the bombings that “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, wounded and held in a Boston hospital, has said his brother—who was killed early Friday—wanted to defend Islam from attack.”

And just before he was captured, when he was hiding out inside a pleasure boat, Dzhokhar wrote a long self-justification on the inside of the boat, including the line: “When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims.”

It came to light soon after the bombings that on a Russian-language social media page Dzhokhar had featured a drawing of a bomb under the heading “send a gift,” and just above links to sites about Islam. Tamerlan’s YouTube page contained two videos by Sheikh Feiz Mohammed. According to a report published in The Australian in January 2007, in a video that came to the attention of authorities at the time, Feiz Mohammed “urges Muslims to kill the enemies of Islam and praises martyrs with a violent interpretation of jihad.”

Tamerlan also said, “I’m very religious.” His friend Donald Larking affirmed this. “Tamerlan Tsarnaev was my friend and we talked about everything from politics to religion,” according to Larking. “He was very, very religious. He believed that the Qur’an was the one true word and he loved it.” Tamerlan did not drink alcohol because Allah forbade it—“God said no alcohol”—and his Italian girlfriend had converted to Islam, as his American wife did later.

The Boston Marathon bombs were similar to IEDs that jihadis used in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a jihad car bomb in Times Square in the summer of 2010, also used a similar bomb. The instructions for making such a bomb had even been published in al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine.

Not only were the motivations of the Tsarnaev brothers abundantly clear; it is likely that they were actually tied in somehow to the international jihad network—as was indicated by how they fought off Boston police early on the Friday after the Marathon bombings with military-grade explosives. The question of where they got those explosives has never been answered. Nor has it ever been explained where the brothers got the military training that they reportedly displayed during the fight against police before Tamerlan was killed and Dzhokhar was captured.

“I ask Allah to have mercy on me, my brother, and my family,” Tsarnaev said in 2015. But what about mercy for those he murdered and maimed? His victims have no chance to appeal the death penalty that he gave to them. But American society does not have the will anymore to take a strong stand against criminals of this kind, and that means there will be more of them.

Robert Spencer


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Palestinians: We Support China's Muslim Concentration Camps - Khaled Abu Toameh

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Why have Palestinian leaders chosen to side with China?

  • Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas... is saying that he fully supports China's right to hold more than one million Muslims in re-education camps and crack down on human rights activists and journalists in Hong Kong. Yet Abbas, a Muslim, sees no reason why he or anyone else should ask the ICC to launch an investigation into China's "war crimes" against Muslims.
  • Why have Palestinian leaders chosen to side with China? Money and political support. The Palestinians are hoping that China will replace the US as an "honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women. They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper." — Nick Cohen, The Guardian, July 4, 2020.
  • The Palestinians' hate for Israel and the US has blinded them to the point where they are prepared to support the penning up of more than a million Muslims in re-education camps in China. Such a show of support ought to serve as a re-education for the international community about the warped Palestinian perspective of justice.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is indicating that he supports China's right to hold more than one million Muslims in re-education camps and crack down on human rights activists and journalists in Hong Kong. Abbas, a Muslim, sees no reason why he or anyone else should ask the International Criminal Court to launch an investigation into China's "war crimes" against Muslims. Pictured: Abbas meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on July 18, 2017. (Photo by Mark Schiefelbein/AFP via Getty Images)

The Palestinian Authority (PA) says it is determined to proceed with its request that the International Criminal Court (ICC) launch an investigation against Israel for "committing war crimes" against the Palestinians. The PA is hoping that such a move by the ICC would pave the way for filing "war crimes" charges against several Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While it is seeking to indict Israeli officials for their ostensible "war crimes" against Palestinians, the PA leadership is working to strengthen its relations with China, where more than one million Muslims are being held in detention in re-education camps.

Palestinian leaders have a long record of supporting dictators and autocratic states, including Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the North Korean leader Kim Jon Un. The Palestinian leadership's current support for China's repressive regime is part of a larger pattern. They have proven that they are always ready to support any dictator who openly challenges Israel or the US.

In keeping with that pattern, the PA leaders have also chosen to support China in its repressive measures against the residents of Hong Kong, who have been protesting plans to allow extradition to mainland China. If China has its way, residents of Hong Kong will be exposed to unfair trials and violent treatment in China. There is also fear that China's move will give the mainland greater influence over Hong Kong and allow it to target political and human rights activists and journalists.

At the same time, hardly a day passes without Palestinian officials accusing Israel of committing human rights violations against Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

These officials, however, are deliberately ignoring the plight of Muslims in China, most of whom are Uighur, a predominately Turkic-speaking ethnic group primarily from China's northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The detained Muslims have never been charged with crimes and have no legal avenues to challenge their detentions. Often, their only crime is being Muslim.

Last month, PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke over the telephone about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Abbas reportedly "appreciated China's efforts to uphold justice on the Palestinian issue and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people, saying that facts have proved time and again that China is the most reliable friend of the Palestinian people."

Instead of raising the issue of his fellow Muslims persecuted in China, Abbas has backed China's supposedly "legitimate position" on persecuting his co-religionists.

Abbas, in other words, is saying that he fully supports China's right to hold more than one million Muslims in re-education camps and crack down on human rights activists and journalists in Hong Kong. Yet Abbas, a Muslim, sees no reason why he or anyone else should ask the ICC to launch an investigation into China's "war crimes" against Muslims.

Instead of following other world leaders in demanding justice for the residents of Hong Kong, Abbas emphasized during the telephone conversation that the "Palestinian side will continue to stand firmly with China and resolutely support China's just position on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and other issues concerning China's core interests."

It was the second time in recent months that Abbas publicly supported China in the Hong Kong crisis. In May, Abbas issued a statement in which he said:
"We reiterate our support to the friendly People's Republic of China's right to maintain its sovereignty against any foreign intervention into its internal affairs and the attempts to destabilize it."
This is the same Abbas who in recent months has been expressing strong opposition to Israel's intention to apply its sovereignty to portions of the West Bank.

On one side, Abbas is voicing support for China's right to impose full sovereignty over all its territories, including Hong Kong, and maintain its territorial integrity. On the other side, Abbas is demanding that the international community impose sanctions on Israel if and when it applies sovereignty over some parts of the West Bank. He is also demanding that, because of Israel's plan to extend Israeli law over parts of the West Bank, the ICC should launch a "war crimes" investigation against Israel.

This double-standard stinks of hypocrisy, as well as a sickening disregard for the people of Hong Kong and the oppressed Muslims in China. Abbas has long been accusing Israel of "oppressing" the Palestinians, but now he is supporting the Chinese regime in its atrocities oppressing his Muslim brothers and repressing the residents of Hong Kong.

Why have Palestinian leaders chosen to side with China? Money and political support. The Palestinians are hoping that China will replace the US as an "honest broker" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas's support for the Chinese atrocities against Muslims, and the oppression of Hong Kong residents is already paying off. The Chinese are now rewarding Abbas by rejecting US President Donald Trump's "Peace to Prosperity" plan for Middle East peace. China has announced that it stands behind the "just cause of the Palestinians," Chinese UN envoy Zhang Jun told the UN Security Council last month. He also pledged that China would back Abbas's call for an international peace conference rather than a peace process headed by the US. "China is a sincere friend of the Palestinian people," Zhang said. "The Palestinian people can always count on China's support for their just cause and legitimate rights."

Ironically, the Chinese envoy, whose country is seeking support for imposing full sovereignty over Hong Kong -- and attempting hostile actions against its neighbors in the South China Sea, India and Taiwan -- spoke out against any pending Israeli plans to apply sovereignty to portions of the West Bank. "It's unsettling that the planned annexation may provoke a new round of tensions," Zhang argued, warning that such a move would constitute a "most serious violation of international law." China is lecturing the rest of the world about conforming to international law?

In addition to the political support, the Palestinians are also expecting China to reward them with millions of dollars in economic aid, as it has already been doing for the past few years.

Last year, PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh praised China's "unwavering support" of the rights of the Palestinians, as well as its support to the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including providing generous aid to poor students, infrastructure and the solar energy sector.

By siding with China, the Palestinians have thrown their Muslim brothers and the residents of Hong Kong under the bus in return for money and political backing. The Palestinians are ready to do anything to stick a finger in the eye of the US.

The Palestinians, however, are not the only Muslims to turn a blind eye to the suffering of Muslims in China and Hong King residents.

"[T]he main reasons why Muslims suffer in silence is that the Muslim-majority countries that raged against Rushdie, Jyllands-Posten and Charlie Hebdo have decided to stay silent," noted Observer columnist Nick Cohen.
"They use the idea of Muslim solidarity only when it suits them.
"In July 2019, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria and other Muslim-majority states that pose as defenders of the faith helped to block a western motion at the United Nations calling for China to allow "independent international observers" into the Xinjiang region. Iran issues occasional criticisms but wants Chinese support in its struggle against the Trump administration and so keeps its complaints coded. Their hypocrisy is almost funny, if you take your humour black. Iran, Egypt, Syria and dozens of other countries that could not tolerate a magical realist novel can live with the mass sterilisation of Muslim women. They will give concentration camps a conniving wink of approval, but draw the line at cartoons in a Danish newspaper....
"To bring down numbers of the largely Muslim Uighurs of Xinjiang, the China scholar Adrian Zenz reports, the Communists are forcing women to be sterilised or fitted with contraceptive devices."
The Palestinians have chosen not only to remain silent, but to come out in full support of China's concentration camps and its totalitarian regime. Their hate for Israel and the US has blinded them to the point where they are prepared to support the penning up of more than a million Muslims in re-education camps in China. Such a show of support ought to serve as a re-education for the international community about the warped Palestinian perspective of justice.
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Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Most of Europe bans mail-in ballots over high risk of fraud -study - Monica Showalter

by Monica Showalter

Tell that to the Democrats, who can't stop slobbering about the importance of imitating Europe.

Is there anything Democrats like to scold more on than the need to "be like Europe"?

That's certainly the case in terms of public employee unions, socialized medicine, open immigration, and command and control directed economies. Europe knows more. Europe does it better.

Lately, that's fraying.

After all, Europe opened its schools, and moved on from COVID. Very few, if any, seeded their nursing homes with COVID patients by government fiat.

And while we're on Europe, there's something else Europe knows:
Mail-in ballots are a disaster.

According to John Lott's respected Crime Prevention Research Center:
In the European Union, 63% have put a ban on mailing in ballots except for citizens living overseas. Another 22% have imposed a ban even for those overseas. And most of those that allow mail-in ballots require some form of photo ID to get one, according to the report from the Crime Prevention Research Center shared with Secrets.
“These countries have learned the hard way about what happens when mail-in ballots aren’t secured. They have also discovered how hard it is to detect vote buying when both those buying and selling the votes have an incentive to hide the exchange,” said author John R. Lott, the center’s president.
While politicians in the United States have been debating the pros and cons of mail-in voting due to concerns of spreading COVID-19 at the polls and new reports of postal service and vote counting issues, Lott, whose center is known for its gun research, built a voting database of the European Union and the larger Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.
Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner has a very good report here.

Based on this report, apparently quite a few of them have seen what mail-in balloting can do to the integrity of an election and want no part of it. Maybe they experienced it firsthand, maybe they saw it in others. Whatever it was, they passed laws to make sure it wasn't their country that got enmired in it. The potential for ballot-box stuffing, vote-harvesting, and lost and 'found' ballots was incredible, as was the possibility of elections extending on and on and on and on as officials tried to get all votes gathered and counted. The post office was duly noted as a potential political vehicle for determining whose vote got counted and whose didn't, and several other potential problems were noted. Democrats and their media allies are continuously screeching that there's no risk to wide-scale mail-in ballots but numerous cases on the books now tell a different story.

Why does Europe understand this and Democrats don't? Well, the easy reason is that Democrats plan to cheat. But as for Europe, well, lefties still can win elections honestly which may have made all sides want a fair process. Also, most European states are ex-monarchies turned democracy at some point and still value the importance of the integrity in elections. With many Democrats embracing the cynical Chavista socialist dictatorship-in-democracy's-clothing model, there's nothing they can recognize in why Europe prioritizes keeping democracy alive and believable for them. They just want to win at any cost and shut the gate to any other party taking power afterward.

The GOP would do well to wave this in their dishonest faces.

Monica Showalter


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Russia's Troubles with Its "String of Pearls" - Emil Avdaliani

by Emil Avdaliani

Moscow is having a difficult time managing geographically diverse separatist regions all at the same time.

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,678, August 6, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: For geopolitical reasons, Russia has been building a chain of separatist states near its borders since the 1990s. However, as Russia’s economy worsens, competition with the West is increasing. As the “breakaways” grow ever more predatory, Moscow is having a difficult time managing geographically diverse separatist regions all at the same time.

An important part of Russia’s grand strategy in terms of foreign policy is its purposeful creation and management of conflict zones across the post-Soviet space. This has to do with the battle Russia is fighting with the West over the borderlands—i.e., the regions that adjoin Russia from the west and south.

Maintaining the 11 buffer states around Russia (excluding the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) is a cornerstone of the Kremlin’s foreign policy against Western military and economic encroachment. The Russians knew that because of their country’s low economic attractiveness, the South Caucasus states would inevitably turn to Europe. The same was likely to occur with Moldova and Ukraine on Russia’s western frontier, as their geographical proximity to and historical interconnections with Europe render them particularly susceptible to the West’s economic and military potential.

To prevent Western economic and military penetration, the Kremlin has deliberately fomented various separatist conflicts. This policy has been successful so far, as the EU and NATO have refrained from extending membership to Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.

However, Russia now faces a different problem: its long-term vision for the separatist regions is becoming increasingly unrealistic. While in the first years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia had to manage breakaway conflicts only in small and poor Georgia and Moldova, Moscow’s responsibilities had increased significantly by the late 2010s.

Following the Ukraine crisis, Donetsk and Luhansk became part of Russia’s “separatist empire.” One could also add Syria to the list. The latter’s inclusion might be surprising, but considering the level of Russian influence there and the stripping away of many of Damascus’s international contacts, the war-torn country is essentially now fully dependent on Russia.

With Syria and Donbas on the roster, the Kremlin now has to manage a range of territories that rely almost entirely, in both the military and the economic senses, on Russia—but that are also geographically dispersed, economically disadvantageous, and geopolitically vulnerable. Even the conflict around Nagorno Karabakh, in which Russia is not militarily involved, is under the geopolitical influence of the Kremlin.

This means that at a time when economic problems resulting from the pandemic, Western sanctions, and the lack of reforms are looming large on the Russian home front, Moscow has to pour yet more money into multiple separatist actors spread across the former Soviet space, as well as Syria. 

Moscow’s broader strategy of managing separatist conflicts is therefore under increasing stress.

It is more and more difficult for the Kremlin to maneuver across so many diverse conflicts simultaneously. At times, participants have tried to play their own game independently from Moscow. Kyiv and Chisinau, for example, have considered constraining the breakaway territory of Transnistria, and Moscow—which has no direct land or air route (Kyiv would likely block the latter)—can do little about it. In Georgia’s Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russian forces stand by and watch as NATO exercises take place on Georgian soil—an indication that despite Russia’s military presence, the West is continuing to expand its military support for Georgia.

Geopolitical trends indicate that Russia’s long-term “separatist” strategy to stop Western expansion in the former Soviet space is losing its effectiveness. While it is true that Moscow stopped its neighbors from joining the EU and NATO, its gamble that those breakaway regions would undermine the pro-Western resolve of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine has largely failed. Although Russia remains militarily predominant, Western expansion via the powerful weapon of economic influence is proving to be more efficient.

Nor can the Russian leadership solve the problem of its failure to entice states around the world to recognize the independence of breakaway states. For instance, in the case of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, only Syria, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Nauru have extended them recognition—not a prominent set of states from a geopolitical point of view. This trend is not likely to change anytime soon. Moscow simply does not have sufficient resources—and in any case, US laws withholding financial aid from states that recognize the independence of separatist territories throughout the former Soviet space remain a major disincentive.

Nor does Russia have any long-term economic vision for the breakaway states. Dire economic straits have inevitably caused populations to flee toward abundant medical, trade, and educational possibilities. Usually these are territories from which the separatists initially tried to break away. The Kremlin has failed to transform those entities into secure and economically stable lands. Crime levels have been on an upward trajectory, too, as high-level corruption and active black markets have undermined the effectiveness of Moscow’s spending.

Over the past several years, there have been hints in the media about rising discontent within the Russian political elite on how the breakaway territories (plus Syria) are being run. Questions have been raised about how Russian money is being spent and about the increasingly predatory nature of the separatist (plus Syrian) political elites, which are focused on extracting as much economic benefit as they can from Moscow.

This situation is similar to the state of affairs in the late 1980s, just prior to the Soviet collapse. At that time, members of the Soviet elite started to realize that Moscow had become little more than a supplier to Soviet republics that had grown more and more predatory as corruption skyrocketed and production levels sank. The result was the Soviet dissolution.

The Soviet level of endowment to the republics was far higher than it is now, but a similar pattern is emerging. Moscow has to cope with domestic economic troubles, “disobedience” from separatist leaders, and problematic relations with the West. These challenges make it increasingly difficult for Moscow to pull the strings in multiple separatist regions at once. Even in Syria, the Kremlin’s spending is occasionally questioned by Russian analysts and politicians. The Russian elite has grown less willing to provide direct economic benefit to the separatists, as the return is too marginal to warrant the expense.

Emil Avdaliani teaches history and international relations at Tbilisi State University and Ilia State University. He has worked for various international consulting companies and currently publishes articles on military and political developments across the former Soviet space.


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Critics say Netflix series ‘The Umbrella Academy’ promotes anti-Semitic stereotype - Marcy Oster, JTA

by Marcy Oster, JTA

Show includes society of lizard people who secretly control the world, and their handler speaks Yiddish in at least one scene.

The Netflix superhero series “The Umbrella Academy” is being called out by critics who say it promotes anti-Semitic stereotypes.

The show, based on a comic book series of the same name, includes an underground society of lizard people who secretly control the world and their handler — who speaks Yiddish in at least one scene.

The Board of Deputies of British Jews published an open letter criticizing the show.

“The use of a Yiddish saying by the evil boss of an organization which controls the world’s timeline is clearly an antisemitic trope,” the group’s vice president Amanda Bowman told the Sun, a British tabloid, after the open letter was published. “Whether intentional or not, this makes for very uncomfortable viewing. Netflix should take action to remove the racism from this scene.”

Jewish writer Katherine Locke told the Sun that she also believes the show, which co-stars Ellen Page promotes the “antisemitic conspiracy theory that there’s a secret cabal of Jews controlling or manipulating the world.”

“This scene played right into that. And I think the important part here is: some people will brush this scene off. A lot of people didn’t even see it … But there are two groups of people who will see it, and whom I believe are meant to see it: Jewish viewers, and antisemites. It felt like a dog whistle and a warning all in one,” she said.

The real-life modern conspiracy theory involving lizards who control the world is often associated with British writer David Icke, who draws from the anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Marcy Oster, JTA


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Thursday, August 6, 2020

Biden's Lies for Black (and White-Privilege Guilt) Votes - Larry Elder

by Larry Elder

How does Joe Biden REALLY see black people?

"Take a look at my record, man. ... I have a record that is second to none. The NAACP has endorsed me every time I've run." — Joe Biden, May 22, 2020, on "The Breakfast Club," hosted by Charlamagne tha God.

No, the NAACP has not "endorsed" Joe Biden for any of his races, let alone all of them. Following Biden's claim, the NAACP stated: "We want to clarify that the NAACP is a non-partisan organization and does not endorse candidates for political office at any level."

There's the Nelson Mandela lie Biden told in February at a campaign rally in Columbia, South Carolina, a claim Biden repeated days later at the Nevada Black Legislative Caucus:
"This day 30 years ago, Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and entered into discussions about apartheid. I had the great honor of meeting him. I had the great honor of being arrested with our U.N. ambassador on the streets of Soweto, trying to get to see him on Robbens Island. When he came to the United States, when he came to the White House — to the Senate, I was chairman of the committee. ... He walked across in that private room with the big table we have in the executive room, and he walked over. And I said, 'Mr. President,' and he leaned out and he said, 'Thank you, thank you for trying to come and see me.'"

But Snopes, a left-leaning fact-checker website, said:

"Firstly, the former vice president claimed in South Carolina to have been arrested along with the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a reference to (Andrew)Young, a Georgia congressman who traveled to Lesotho with Biden in December 1976 before he became U.N. ambassador (and who later served as mayor of Atlanta during the 1980s).

"In February 2020, Young told both The New York Times and The Washington Post that he himself had never been arrested in South Africa, and he said he did not think Biden was either.

"Secondly, in the same South Carolina speech, Biden said he was arrested with Young 'on the streets of Soweto' while trying to visit Mandela on Robben Island (Biden repeatedly and mistakenly referred to the place where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years as 'Robbens Island').

"On its face, this claim appears utterly implausible since Soweto, a township of South Africa's largest city Johannesburg, is located nearly 900 miles northeast of Robben Island, which is off the coast of Cape Town — the two locations are effectively on opposite ends of the country."

Then there's Biden's alleged civil rights record:
"When I was 17, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses. And my stomach turned upon hearing the voices of (Arkansas Democratic Gov. Orval) Faubus and (Alabama Democratic Gov. George) Wallace. My soul raged on seeing (Birmingham, Alabama Commissioner of Public Safety) Bull Connor and his dogs." — Biden, 1983, at the New Jersey State Democratic Convention.

"As a young man, he took part in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants along U.S. 40 in Delaware," reported the Baltimore Sun following an interview with Biden in 1986. A Morning News article in September 1975 said that Biden "joined in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants along U.S. 40 before he joined the Senate."

"When I was 17 years old, I participated in sit-ins to desegregate restaurants and movie houses of Wilmington, Delaware." —Biden, 1987, California Democratic Convention.

"Well, I got my education ... in the Black church. Not a joke — because when we used to get organized on Sundays to go out and desegregate movie theaters and things like that, we'd do it through the Black church. I got to admit to you I'd go to my Catholic mass at 7:30 first, and then I'd show up in the Black church." —Joe Biden, Dec. 6, 2019, Iowa campaign stop.

But last year, The New York Times wrote: "In ... 1987 ... more than once, advisers had gently reminded Mr. Biden of the problem with this formulation: He had not actually marched during the civil rights movement. And more than once, Mr. Biden assured them he understood — and kept telling the story anyway."

Biden and the race card have had a long, cozy relationship.

Recall that Biden, during the Obama-Biden 2012 reelection campaign, said to a racially mixed crowd: "Romney wants to let the — he said in the first 100 days, he's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, 'unchain Wall Street.' They're going to put y'all back in chains." And this year, in the interview with Charlemagne Tha God, Biden said, "You got more questions but I tell ya, if you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black."

What do these repeated lies illustrate? Biden sees Black people as pawns to whom condescending lies can be told with no fear of retribution, no matter how blatant the falsehood.

* * *

Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. His latest book, The New Trump Standard, is available in paperback from and for Nook, Kindle, iBooks and GooglePlay. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit Follow Larry on Twitter @LarryElder.


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