Saturday, December 19, 2020

From China, With Love - Debra J. Saunders


​ by Debra J. Saunders

Sanctimony is proving to be a bad look for Rep. Eric Swalwell.


Sanctimony is proving to be a bad look for Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., since Axios reported on his ties with a suspected Chinese spy. Fang Fang, also known as Christine Fang, insinuated herself with a number of up-and-coming U.S. politicians between 2011 and 2015. Swalwell was the biggest fish.

The Chinese national's efforts, Axios reported, included raising money for Swalwell's 2014 reelection campaign. Fang also helped place at least one intern in Swalwell's House office.

According to Axios, Swalwell did nothing wrong and was unaware Fang may have been working for Beijing until U.S. intelligence officials alerted him in 2015. Swalwell cut off all ties with Fang, who left the United States.

Problem: If you judge Swalwell by the standard he applied to President Donald Trump, he shouldn't hold public office. Swalwell frequently met with an operative of a foreign government who was helping his campaign. When Trump campaign dons had one meeting with a Russian national with ties to the Kremlin, Swalwell called that collusion.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report concluded Trump's campaign did not collude with Russia's "sweeping and systematic" interference in the 2016 election. Didn't matter. Swalwell still saw "strong evidence of collusion."

Of course, House Republicans have started to demand that Swalwell surrender his seat on the House Intelligence Committee. As I write this, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no such concerns.

I wonder why a national security apparatus that did not warn Trump about Russian mischief in 2016, even after he won office, nonetheless did warn Intelligence Committee member Swalwell and other elected officials in Fang's orbit in 2015. And unlike the Russian probe, there were no press leaks at the time.

Swalwell's reaction to the Axios story has been telling. On CNN, the California Democrat argued the story initially was leaked as he was working to impeach Trump. (It took a year to report the story out.)

Swalwell is peddling a dangerous conceit — that others seek to discredit him because he is so upright.

After railing against Russian mischief, Swalwell apparently believes China's meddling doesn't count as news.

Axios' Jonathan Swan scoffed at the suggestion the Trump team was behind the leak. "Does anybody remotely familiar with Trumpworld actually believe they would dump oppo & then spend *more than a year* waiting for the reporter — a widely-respected China correspondent — to report out a nuanced story?" Swan tweeted. "Give me a break. They would wait a week then launder it w a friendly."

Swalwell's office isn't talking, but sent me the statement sent to Axios: "Rep. Swalwell, long ago, provided information about this person — whom he met more than eight years ago, and whom he hasn't seen in nearly six years — to the FBI. To protect information that might be classified, he will not participate in your story."

Swalwell used to be my congressman. I met him in 2012, apparently shortly after Fang, who was on the lookout for politicians with a future, befriended him.

In a daring move, the then-city councilman for Dublin, California, challenged entrenched but out-of-touch incumbent Rep. Pete Stark, a fellow Democrat whom Esquire rated among the 10 worst lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Swalwell won that David versus Goliath contest.

Within a decade, Swalwell ran for president — briefly, as he got out of the Democratic primary in July 2019 — even as he had to know this story would come out and he'd have to have better answers.

Now Swalwell is the politician who seems out of touch. He runs onto cable TV at the drop of the hat to condemn Trump for colluding with Russia, and it turns out he was an unwitting tool for China. So he ought to have a little humility.


Debra J. Saunders  


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Radical on the Rise - Discover the Networks


​ by Discover the Networks

A close look at Stacey Abrams and her pernicious agenda.


Stacey Abrams is a 47-year-old attorney who launched her political career as a Democrat in 2006 when she was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, where she held a seat until August 2017. Since losing a 2018 gubernatorial bid in Georgia, she has emerged as a leading promoter of fellow Democrats Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who seek to win the upcoming Georgia runoff elections that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate. On Monday, Abrams boasted to CBS This Morning that 1.2 million Georgians – including 85,000 who did not vote in the November elections six weeks ago -- have already requested absentee ballots for the runoffs. Added Abrams: “They are disproportionately voters between the ages of 18 and 29 and disproportionately people of color,” demographics that tend to heavily favor Democrats.

In recent weeks, Abrams also collaborated with a group of Hollywood entertainers to organize “Rock the Runoff,” a “get-out-the-vote” online concert/fundraiser in support of Warnock and Ossoff. Among the performers who participated in this December 3rd concert were John Legend, Common,  Earthgang, and the Indigo Girls. During the concert, Abrams told viewers that her goal was to use the runoff elections to “change America.”

Let us take a closer look at exactly who Stacey Abrams is.

Voter-Registration Corruption

In 2013, Abrams co-founded the New Georgia Project (NGP), a partisan voter-registration organization designed to register hundreds of thousands of new Democrat voters across the state. From 2017 through February 21, 2020, Raphael Warnock served as NGP's Chief Executive Officer. According to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, NGP illegally “sent voter registration applications to New York City” in 2020. “Voting in Georgia when you are not a resident of Georgia is a felony,” said Raffensperger.

Describing Illegal Aliens as Key Participants in a “Blue Wave”

In 2018, Abrams ran against Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp in Georgia’s gubernatorial race. In October of that year, she predicted that the upcoming midterm elections would see a “blue wave” of Democrat victories sweep across the country, and that “undocumented” aliens would be key contributors to it. “The thing of it is,” said Abrams, “the blue wave is African American. It’s white, it’s Latino, it’s Asian-Pacific Islander, it is disabled, it is differently-abled, it is LGBTQ, it is law enforcement, it is veterans. It is made up of those who’ve been told that they are not worthy of being here. It is comprised of those who are documented and undocumented.”

Opposing Safeguards for Election Integrity

Also in October 2018, Abrams derided Brian Kemp’s use of an “exact match” system that had placed more than 50,000 Georgia voter registrations on hold because of discrepancies between different sets of government records, or because they were flagged as registrations of potential non-citizens. She charged that “the exact match system has a disproportionate effect on people of color and women,” causing many of them to be “disenfranchised.” In short, Abrams believes that efforts to accurately verify the identity of voters, are racist measures designed to prevent African Americans from participating in political elections.

Disparaging Free-Market Capitalism

At an October 2018 town hall, Abrams said she was “sick and tired of hearing about the free market being the solution” to problems in the health care system, adding: “I’ve never seen the free market write a prescription in rural Georgia. I’ve never seen the free market show up to give someone Metformin, so they can have a little control over their diabetes before it turns into an amputation of their foot. I’ve never seen the free market say 'I’m going to replace that stent in your heart next door and not make you go 200 miles to get it done.' The problem with the free market is the free market needs to make a profit, and there is no profit in doing the right thing.”

Opposing the Second Amendment

A key focus of Abrams' 2018 campaign was the Second Amendment and gun-ownership rights.

  • Two years earlier, Abrams had sponsored HB 731, legislation that designated certain commonly owned semiautomatic firearms – such as AR-15s, AK-47s, Ruger Mini 14s, and .50 caliber rifles – as contraband. The bill required the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to seize those weapons from their owners, and sought to bar the sale or use of “high capacity” magazines.
  • In October 2018 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Abrams, who has described AR-15 rifles as “weapons of mass destruction,” was calling for “universal background checks for private sales of firearms, a ban of high-powered assault rifles, and a repeal of campus gun legislation” that allowed concealed-permit holders to be armed on college campuses.
  • Abrams' 2018 campaign webpage said that she also planned to enact gun-confiscation orders, commonly referred to as “red flag laws,” which allow judges to authorize police to enter a gun owner’s home and take his or her firearms.
  • During a November 4, 2018 appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Abrams called for more restrictions on “semiautomatic weapons” in general, acknowledging that one possible result of her gun-control policies could be that “people would turn their guns in.” She also spoke about the possibility of the government enacting mandatory “buybacks” of certain firearms.

Refusing to Admit Defeat in Her Failed 2018 Gubernatorial Campaign

Abrams lost the November 2018 gubernatorial election by approximately 50,000 votes, but she disputed the result. In her speech announcing the end of her campaign, she also announced the creation of Fair Fight Georgia, a voting-rights nonprofit organization that sued the Georgia Secretary of State and the Georgia State Election Board in federal court for “the gross mismanagement of this election.”

On November 18, 2018 on CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper asked Abrams if she believed that Brian Kemp was the “legitimate” Governor-elect of Georgia. She replied evasively: “The law, as it stands, says that he received an adequate number of votes to become the governor of Georgia, and I acknowledge the law as it stands. I am a lawyer by training and I have taken the Constitutional oath to uphold the law.” When Tapper reiterated his question, Abrams answered: “He is the person who won the adequate number of votes to become the governor.”

Support for Permitting Non-Citizens to Vote

In a January 2019 interview on PBS’s Firing Line, host Margaret Hoover asked Abrams: “What is your view about some municipalities, like San Francisco, who have decided that it’s okay for some non-citizens to vote in local elections?” Abrams replied: “I think … the granularity of what cities decide is so specific, as to, I think, allow for people to be participants in the process without it somehow undermining our larger democratic ethic that says that you should be a citizen to be a part of the conversation.” Hoover then asked: “So, in some cases, you would be supportive of non-citizens voting?” Abrams answered: “I wouldn’t be — I wouldn’t oppose it.”

Supporting Reparations for Blacks & Native Americans

In April 2019, Abrams said that she saw a “credible [political] path” to the implementation of reparations for African Americans and Native Americans, “the groups that by law had been stripped of their autonomy and their participation in our society.” “I think that reparations make sense,” she added. “[W]e have to acknowledge that in the United States of America it wasn’t simply that we didn’t like a certain group, we’ve built — no. Not we, they. The government built systems designed to exclude and to diminish the capacity of communities to participate in their own economic survival.”

Praising "Identity Politics"

During a May 2019 Ideas Conference at the Center for American Progress, Abrams criticized Democrat presidential hopeful and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, for having cited identity politics as a chief cause of social conflict. Said Abrams: “The notion of identity politics has been peddled for the past 10 years and it’s been used as a dog whistle to say we shouldn’t pay too much attention to the voices coming into progress. I would argue that identity politics is exactly who we are and exactly how we won. When I hear Democratic candidates, progressive candidates, American candidates decrying the identity of their voters, I’m deeply worried for our democracy.”

Position on Lowering the Legal Voting Age to 16

In May 2019, Abrams told Scholastic News that the legal voting age should be lowered to 16 for school board elections, and perhaps for federal elections as well: “I think we should test it out for local elections. I do believe we need to investigate lowering the voting age for federal elections, but I’m not convinced yet. I remember being 16. I remember how involved and engaged I was. While there certainly is a difference between being 16 and 18, I don’t know that the difference is wide enough to say that you should not be able to participate in federal elections, so I’m willing to be convinced.”

Advocating the Abolition of the Electoral College

In August 2019, MSNBC host Chris Hayes asked Abrams if she was in favor of doing away with the Electoral College. She responded, “Absolutely. The Electoral College was not designed to make certain that people in small states weren’t subject to the tyranny of urban areas. That wasn’t the conversation at the time. It was because those in power did not believe that working people had the intellectual capacity to directly elect the leader of the free world. We have long passed that time, and it’s time for direct election and popular vote.”

Supporting Vote-by-Mail and Ballot Harvesting

During an April 1, 2020 appearance on MSNBC Live, Abrams said that in light of the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic, all voters should be permitted and encouraged to vote by mail in the 2020 presidential election: “Vote by mail is the safest way to vote. And right now, I would say almost every state has the capacity to vote by mail. The challenge is that in a lot of states you have to have an excuse.” In an April 21 interview, Abrams told MSNBC’s Morning Joe that President Donald Trump’s concern about possible fraud connected to mail-in voting was unfounded: “Voter fraud is, by and large, a myth.” In a podcast interview two days later with CNN analyst David Axelrod,” Abrams, asserting that President Trump was “illegitimate” and “should not hold office,” accused Mr. Trump of being “afraid” of vote-by-mail “despite the fact that there is no evidence of fraud” associated with it. In yet another interview, Abrams said that “voter fraud is nearly mythological,” adding that “you are more likely to be struck by lightning than for there to be an incident of voting fraud.”

Abrams also advocates the use of ballot harvesting, a process that involves the gathering and submitting of completed absentee or mail-in voter ballots by third-party individuals, as opposed to requiring voters themselves to submit their ballots directly to official collection sites.

Accusing a White Atlanta Police Officer of "Murder"

In June 2020, Abrams was deeply angered by a police shooting in Atlanta that killed Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man who had a long history of criminal violence dating back 13 years. Shortly after 10:40 PM on June 12, Atlanta officers Garrett Rolfe and Devin Brosnan responded to a complaint stating that Brooks was asleep in a car which was blocking a Wendy’s restaurant drive-through lane. They administered a sobriety test to Brooks and found him to have an alcohol level higher than the legal limit. When the officers tried to arrest him, Brooks instigated a violent fight during which he wrestled Brosnan’s taser away from him, fought his way free, punched Rolfe, and then began to flee on foot. Officer Rolfe at that moment fired his taser at Brooks, but it failed to bring him down. Rolfe then proceeded to chase Brooks, who at one point turned and fired the stolen taser in the officer’s general direction. Rolfe drew his handgun and shot Brooks twice in the back as the suspect turned to run. Brooks was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died after undergoing surgery.

After the incident, Abrams said:

  • “This is a man who had been frisked, so they knew he did not possess a deadly weapon,” They knew that he was impaired because he had parked in that [Wendy's] driveway, and they knew when he ran away that he did not pose a danger that was a deadly force incentive.”
  • “The decision to shoot him in the back was one made out of maybe impatience or frustration or panic, but it was not one that justifies deadly force. It was murder.”
  • “A murder because a man made a mistake, not a mistake that would have cost the police officer his life but a mistake that was caused out of some form of dehumanization of Rayshard Brooks.”

Denouncing Senator Tom Cotton's Claim That Slavery Was a "Necessary Evil"

In June 2020 as well, Abrams denounced Republican Senator Tom Cotton's recent assertion that slavery was, “the Founding Fathers said,… the necessary evil upon which the union was built.” Cotton's point was that the Southern states would never have agreed to join the Union if the institution of slavery were to have been abolished outright. But Abrams, in an elaborate display of virtue-signaling and feigned outrage, said: “There is no such thing as a necessary evil. Evil is evil, and slavery is one of the ultimate evils. If Tom Cotton is sincere in his desire to understand history then he should be celebrating the 1619 Project. He should be celebrating The Voting Rights Act renewal. He should be celebrating Black Lives Matter because the continuity of evil in our country has led us to this moment. We can only extinguish evil by acknowledging that it exists and doing everything in our power to defeat it, not to celebrate it, not to excuse it, and certainly not to use it as a polemic way to justify the racism that runs through the party that is lifting up Tom Cotton.”

So, let us review: Stacey Abrams opposes measures designed to ensure the integrity of our political elections. She views free-market capitalism as an inherently oppressive and unjust economic system. She opposes the Second Amendment. She believes that U.S. residents should be permitted to vote regardless of their citizenship status or legal status. She believes that we should consider allowing 16-year-olds to vote. She favors the abolition of the Electoral College. She supports widespread vote-by-mail and ballot-harvesting schemes, which are notorious for facilitating election fraud. And, detecting racism wherever she casts her gaze, she endorses the spirit of racial grievance and “identity politics” that underlies the movement for reparations.

In short, Stacey Abrams is a Democrat.


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China: The Conquest of Hollywood - Judith Bergman


​ by Judith Bergman


[It]has got to the point where we either need to stop it now and fight back, or we are just going to lose...." -- Chris Fenton, Hollywood executive

  • One Hollywood producer told PEN America that suggestions for projects critical of China aroused the fear that "you or your company will actively be blacklisted, and they will interfere with your current or future project. So not only will you bear the brunt [of your decision], but also your company, and future companies that you work for. And that's absolutely in the back of our minds."

  • "It's not just the Hollywood issue, it's not just the tech issue, it's not just the basketball or the sports issue, or various other industries. ... It's all across the board. To get products and services into that market, there are certain rules you have to play... so they allow you access to the consumers. But those processes... have gotten worse and worse... and more amplified over time.... [It]has got to the point where we either need to stop it now and fight back, or we are just going to lose...." -- Chris Fenton, Hollywood executive and author of Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business., October 16, 2020.

  • The problem is much larger than just the movie business.

In October, for the first time, China overtook North America as the world's largest film market. Pictured: Wang Jianlin (second from left), chairman of China's Wanda Group, attends the opening ceremony of the Wanda Qingdao Movie Metropolis, billed as "China's answer to Hollywood," in Qingdao on April 28, 2018. (Photo by Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images)

In October, for the first time, China overtook North America as the world's largest film market. "Movie ticket sales in China for 2020 climbed to $1.988 billion on Sunday, surpassing North America's total of $1.937 billion, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The gap is expected to widen considerably by year's end," wrote The Hollywood Reporter on October 18. "Analysts have long predicted that the world's most populous country would one day top the global charts. But the results still represent a historic sea change".

"The day has finally arrived when China is the world's No.1 film market, surpassing the box office total of North America for 2020," said the authorized government portal site to China, published under the auspices of China's State Council Information Office, also known as the CCP's Foreign Propaganda Office,, in a self-congratulatory article, "China officially the world's biggest film market." The article, published on October 20, went on to mention the Chinese blockbuster, The Eight Hundred, a WWII movie about a group of Chinese soldiers under siege by the Japanese army, which was the highest grossing film in the world in 2020, as well as a handful of other Chinese-made films scheduled for release in the final quarter of 2020.

That is what the CCP has been working towards for at least a decade; a communiqué it released back in October 2011, spoke of "the urgency" of enhancing China's "soft power and the international influence of its own culture" and the wish to "build our country into a socialist cultural superpower".

The development is bad news for Hollywood, which for years has sought more access to China's enormous and lucrative market. China no longer relies on American blockbusters to fill its cinemas. Hollywood, however, needs the Chinese market to make its movies a financial success.

Since 2012, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has permitted a quota of just 34 foreign films -- before 2012, the numbers were even lower. Only films that meet the strict demands of the censors of the Central Propaganda Department of the CCP are even eligible for consideration to the enormous and lucrative Chinese market. The Central Propaganda Department is responsible for "supervising national film production, distribution, and screening, organizing the review of film content...the import and export of all films, media, publications and other content...including any cooperation with overseas organizations". The Central Propaganda Department works to "implement the party's propaganda guidelines".

"China's regulations and processes for approving foreign films reflect the Chinese Communist Party's position that art, including film, is a method of social control," according to a 2015 staff research paper for the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, "Directed by Hollywood, Edited by China: How China's Censorship and Influence Affect Films Worldwide."

"As a result of these regulations, Hollywood filmmakers are required to cut out any scenes, dialogue, and themes that may be perceived as a slight to the Chinese government. With an eye toward distribution in China, American filmmakers increasingly edit films in anticipation of Chinese censors' many potential sensitivities".

"Hollywood's decision makers," noted an August report, Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing, published by American PEN "are increasingly envisioning the desires of the CCP censor when deciding what film projects to greenlight..."

"The Chinese Communist Party...holds major sway over whether a Hollywood movie will be profitable or not—and studio executives know it. The result is a system in which Beijing bureaucrats can demand changes to Hollywood movies—or expect Hollywood insiders to anticipate and make these changes, unprompted—without any significant hue or cry over such censorship."

"Beijing uses the substantial leverage it has over Hollywood to political effect", according to American PEN.

"Pushing Hollywood decision-makers to present a sanitized and positive image of China and its ruling party, and encouraging Hollywood films to promote messages that align with its political interests. Beijing's goal is not merely to prevent its own population from receiving messages that it deems hostile to its interests, although that is a major element of its censorship structure. Instead, the CCP wants to proactively influence Hollywood toward telling stories that flatter it and play to its political interests".

The censorship takes different forms. There are films that Hollywood no longer makes, because they would upset the CCP and instantly end all business with China. These might include films with political themes, such as Kundun and Seven Years in Tibet, about China's invasion and occupation of Tibet, or Red Corner, about the human rights abuses in China's legal system. After those movies were made in 1997, China ordered a halt to business with the three Hollywood studios distributing the films, and apologies were distributed instead. "We made a stupid mistake. The bad news is that the film was made; the good news is that nobody watched it," Disney Chief Executive Officer Michael Eisner told Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji about Kundun in 1998. "Here I want to apologize, and in the future we should prevent this sort of thing, which insults our friends, from happening."

It is not just the most sensitive political issues that are a no-go. Even fictional depictions of Chinese villains are removed from Hollywood films, before they are viewed by a single Chinese censor. Red Dawn, a remake of an older movie about a Soviet invasion of America, was digitally altered, changing the Chinese invading soldiers to North Korean ones, in order not to make the Chinese look bad. At the time, a producer and distributor of films in China, Dan Mintz, of DMG Entertainment, said that if the movie had been released without altering the Chinese invaders, "there would have been a real backlash. It's like being invited to a dinner party and insulting the host all night long. There's no way to look good.... The film itself was not a smart move."

Sometimes facts are also manipulated to fit a narrative that will please China. In the 2013 film, Gravity, in which Sandra Bullock played an American astronaut, Russian satellite debris damaged her space shuttle and Bullock only saved herself by getting to a Chinese space station. In reality, however, "the Russians have never sent a missile into one of their own satellites, as the movie depicts. But the Chinese did exactly that in 2007", wrote Michael Pillsbury in The Hundred Year Marathon.

"US Intelligence Officials were given no warning by the Chinese about their missile launch and in fact had been repeatedly assured that the Chinese government did not have an antisatellite program. The Chinese recklessly created by far the largest, most dangerous space debris field in history, but the Russians get the blame in the movie. The effect of these misrepresentations is that the Chinese look like heroes in Gravity... the writers went out of their way to distort the history of what has happened in space...."

One Hollywood producer said that suggestions for projects critical of China aroused the fear that "you or your company will actively be blacklisted, and they will interfere with your current or future project. So not only will you bear the brunt [of your decision], but also your company, and future companies that you work for. And that's absolutely in the back of our minds."

Another Hollywood producer said, "It is tough to figure out how to self-censor... You just don't know what is right and what is wrong." China deliberately makes the issue of what will pass the censors and what will not opaque. Such ambiguity ensures that Hollywood producers will prefer to self-censor more, rather than risk being rejected by the censors.

One way for Hollywood studios to bypass the quota of 34 foreign films per year is to co-produce films with Chinese production companies, thereby effectively giving the CCP creative control of the project. Such partnerships also, unsurprisingly, often appear to pander to China. In the highest-grossing U.S.-Chinese co-production, The Megdubbed by some "a mediocre Jaws update -- for example, Chinese moviegoers saw through the pandering. "In this movie, Westerners were either swallowed whole or ripped apart. But all of the Eastern characters all died a graceful death, with their faces unscathed..." one viewer commented. Another said: "This megalodon, which eats only foreigners and leaves a beach-full of Chinese people unscathed, is so thoughtful."

China has "amazing influence over Hollywood" according to Chris Fenton, a long-time Hollywood executive and author of Feeding the Dragon: Inside the Trillion Dollar Dilemma Facing Hollywood, the NBA, and American Business.

"Even if a particular movie or TV series isn't expected to be monetized in China. Maybe they go and say: 'The budget for this film doesn't need the China market to create revenues for it. We are going to work on it, be free with the content and make it for America and other democratic countries.' Well in that case, China does find out about those movies and knows about them, even if that particular film does not get into China, China will penalize the studio or filmmakers involved with that particular movie, so that they can't get other movies in".

Most moviegoers are probably not aware that the CCP had a say over the movie they are watching: censored Hollywood movies do not come with a label stating that fact. Nor is CCP censorship a topic that Hollywood is willing to discuss openly. "One of the most striking things about PEN America's research was how reticent Hollywood professionals were to speak either specifically or publicly on this issue," Made in Hollywood, Censored by Beijing found.

"The reasons given for such reticence were several, but they all revolved around fear of a negative reaction—from Beijing, from their employer, or from Hollywood at large. As one Hollywood producer said to PEN America, 'All of us are fearful of being named in an article even generally discussing China in Hollywood.'"

It is incongruous, to put it kindly, for Hollywood to submit to censorship and pandering to the CCP for the sake of financial gain, while simultaneously selling itself as a progressive industry that claims to speak truth to power, and stand for social justice and the equal opportunity for everyone, regardless of gender, skin color, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. Such pretense does not sit well with the fact that Tibetans and Uighur Muslims, to mention just two groups, do not exist in the Hollywood universe anymore, only because the CCP said so. Surely, that is something that ought to be frequently questioned and loudly debated -- unless there is now a general consensus that the CCP should forever decide what movies are made in the US, Europe and beyond. If this is what happens without so much as a struggle in the large studios, what hope is there for smaller studios, independent filmmakers and others?

The problem is much larger than just the movie business.

"It's not just the Hollywood issue, it's not just the tech issue, it's not just the basketball or the sports issue, or various other industries...." Chris Fenton said.

"It's all across the board. To get products and services into that market, there are certain rules you have to play... so they allow you access to the consumers. But those processes... have gotten worse and worse... and more amplified over time....[It] has got to the point where we either need to stop it now and fight back, or we are just going to lose...."


Judith Bergman, a columnist, lawyer and political analyst, is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.


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Devin Nunes Channels Thomas Paine as Patriots Fight the Deep State - Elise Cooper


​ by Elise Cooper


Congressman Nunes is warning Americans that something needs to be done before this country loses its morals and values.


Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA) has always stood up for justice.  He has written a pamphlet book, Countdown to Socialism in the style of what Thomas Paine had distributed preceding the Revolutionary War. In the late eighteenth century, pamphlets electrified the colonies and helped to forge American democracy, ringing the alarm for what was wrong and what needed to be done. Now, Congressman Nunes is warning Americans that something needs to be done before this country loses its morals and values.  American Thinker had the privilege of interviewing him.

In Chapter One, he wrote, “the Left has wholly rejected the fundamental principles that bound Americans together and allowed us to work out our differences democratically and peacefully. They now reject free speech, a fair voting system, private property, and the rule of law. They don’t dare yet admit it publicly, but as you’ll see in this book, their policies and rhetoric are incompatible with any of these principles as we understand them today.”

He explained in the book, "Socialist regimes tend to excel at propaganda. By necessity socialism is a resentful ideology that exploits and widens class conflict, racial strife, and other social cleavages, pitting countrymen against one another. Their proposals have one thing in common: they will increase the Democrats’ vote count. At both the state and national levels, they are working hard to fundamentally change the voting system by abolishing the Electoral College, greatly expanding mail-in voting, enfranchising felons, legalizing vote harvesting, lowering the voting age, and allowing current non-citizens to vote through mass amnesties and other means,” not to mention packing the Supreme Court by expanding it.

Chapter Two "Collusion Delusion" outlines how the investigation into Russian collusion attempts to influence the election. It really is Chinese collusion done by the Bidens.  The news media and social media used cancel culture to make sure nothing was reported.  It is only now, one month after the election that some Americans are hearing for the first time about an email from 2017 that reveals how Hunter Biden referred to both his father, Joe Biden and his Chinese business partner, as well as his stepmother and uncle as "office mates" at his former office building in Washington D.C. and asked keys to be made for them. In addition, there is a probe into Hunter Biden's overseas business dealings, including with CEFC. The company is out of business now, but at the time, it was China's fourth-largest energy company.

Nunes noted, “The investigation should have been going on for years.  What is really scary is that the FBI had the information and did nothing; it was a cover-up.  At the time President Trump was being impeached for collusion, it was actually something Joe Biden actually did. The FBI were sitting on smoking gun after smoking gun after smoking gun.  The Democratic machine has been infiltrated by Chinese spies.  How deep does this go?” 

He has a good point.  Remember that in 2018 it was reported how Senator Feinstein’s driver for twenty years was a Chinese spy. Recently, information has come out how Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) was having an affair with a Chinese spy.  He was appointed by Nancy Pelosi to the prestigious Intelligence Committee even though he did not have much seniority.  Swalwell is the same person who accused both Congressman Nunes and President Trump of colluding with Russia. 

The false charges and accusations against Nunes are brought to light in Chapter Three, titled "The Fake News Complex.” Just last week it was reported that he had coronavirus.  “I took this antibody test a few weeks ago and tested positive for the antibodies.  Since the doctor said I had a good blood level I decided to raise awareness in my district.  Politico reported falsely that I tested positive for Covid and it went viral.  There were really vicious comments on social media.  Here I was trying to do some good because there is a shortage of blood and blood plasma right now.  The rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.”

Chapter Four examines "The Disinformation Funnel" where social media, specifically Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram, function as the Left's message distribution centers. “I am hoping that Republicans realize how hard it is to reach constituents.  I wish other Republicans followed my lead back in June and had move to Parler, an unbiased social media. Americans should recognize that Twitter and Facebook have a high level of censorship and this is really dangerous.  We are really in unchartered territory because there is a media that is 95% controlled by the Left, including traditional independent sites that are center left at best.  This is really scary stuff. All Republicans have is Parler, Rumble, Newsmax, and OAN as well as a handful of decent investigative reporters,” such as Sharyl Attkisson who recently wrote the book Slanted.

Furthermore, he wants to make sure, “people know, the three big companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter are manipulating what you see, and cutting off access to what you see. They’re censoring conservatives and promoting left-wing content. They’re blatant about it. They do this by blocking out or putting so far down the search results you never find what you really need to know. On Facebook and YouTube, they can outright ban you, make you unsearchable, or take away your advertising revenue just to name a few.”

He used his own podcast as an example. He said when it first published on YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, he was getting thousands of views. Now, he said, “the views for most of the recent episodes are in the hundreds despite his nearly 8,000 subscribers. The podcast is also buried deep in search results on Google or YouTube, yet a search on Rumble, a competitor to YouTube, comes up with his podcast right away.”

The last chapter uses California as an example of "Information Desert,” where the left took power and is destroying the state. “Here in California the combination of brainwashed people educated by the universities along with those who don’t pay attention are in an information desert.  Just look at what Kamala Harris and Gavin Newsom said about the fires here.  They claimed they were due to climate change.  But the fires were actually caused by something President Clinton did twenty years ago. At the time, forestry experts, sawmill owners, and residents said, ‘if the land is not harvested it will all burn down.’  Anyone with a little common sense should realize plants grow, dry out, and with the hot weather becomes fuel-like.  If it is not harvested or grazed it burns. The people going around wearing masks are protection from ash, not Covid, because everyone in my district was breathing in ash. In California there is one party rule that is basically gaining the system.” Because of that, people might want to support the recall against California Gov. Newsom. (

He concluded by telling American Thinker, “When the Democrats say they’re going to transform America, we should take them at their word. That’s how high the stakes are. We’re fighting for our home, our country. I think Republicans need to avoid most news outlets.  Instead, we need to develop a media infrastructure and build up a communication system.  Why talk to the media and given them credibility when it is 95% biased towards the Democrats? The only reason to be on Facebook or Twitter is to point out their corruption and then tell supporters to follow on Parler or Rumble.” He should have included FOX News, which appears to no longer be fair and balanced.

People should read this and think how they are no longer getting both sides of a story.  Censorship and cancel culture only happen to Republicans.  Congressman Nunes shows how the mainstream media, social media, and the Democratic Party conspire to limit conservative points of view.


Elise Cooper writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles. 


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Laughable: Joe Biden plans to lecture Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro about the virtues of free and fair elections - Monica Showalter


​ by Monica Showalter


Joe Biden preaching to Maduro about the importance of holding free and fair elections is a bad joke.


After rolling in to the U.S. presidency on a wave of election fraud, which is a view held by more than half the voters, what's Joe Biden's big plan for U.S.-Venezuela relations?

According to Bloomberg:

President-elect Joe Biden's advisers are preparing for potential negotiations with Nicolas Maduro's regime in Venezuela in an effort to end the Western Hemisphere's worst economic and humanitarian crisis, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Biden administration intends to push for free and fair elections, offering sanctions relief in return, said the people, who requested anonymity because the new team is forming. In a departure from the Trump administration, which insisted it would only negotiate the terms of Maduro's surrender, Biden's advisers aren't setting that as a precondition.

Free and fair elections?  From a guy whose presidential "victory" was sealed with Venezuelan Smartmatic technology?  Oh, this is going to be a good one, hearing Maduro's response.

Maduro, like Biden, insists that all was free and fair with the elections in his country.  He's in there despite the shambles he's made of his country, yet somehow Venezuelans can't get enough of him, electing him and his party for six consecutive terms.

That's garbage.  Venezuela's elections since 2004 have all been plagued by allegations of and considerable proof of fraud.  The fraud is forensicit's statistical, it's in total ballots cast, and it's in the declarations of disinterested international observers.  It's also visible in the behavior of Venezuela's voters, huge numbers of whom don't bother to vote anymore.

Now Joe Biden's going to fix things in Venezuela by offering Maduro a deal — an end to U.S. sanctions in exchange for free and fair elections? 

Maduro is going to be laughing up his sleeve.

We all know what Biden thinks of free and fair elections, yelling about "threats to democracy" with every successive challenge to his "presidency" and making his first big post–Electoral College vote speech arguing that he somehow legitimately "won."

Can you imagine Biden, whose coming "presidency" is going to be asterisked forever with allegations of election fraud, telling a guy like Maduro that he's got to hold "free and fair" elections?

Maduro would laugh in his face.

Biden is the last guy who ought to be preaching to Maduro about free and fair elections.

Biden himself was anomalously "elected" after cheating his primary opponent Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination and then moving on to bigger and better President Trump, an enormously popular president, with the aid of four corrupt blue cities.  Biden's a guy who "won" more ballots than the very popular Barack Obama, and won despite not having 90% of the black vote.  He won without Florida or Ohio, and Florida, remember, is where a large number of Venezuelan-American voters vote — he certainly didn't get their votes.  Biden had a charismatic opponent, showed zero political coattails, made few campaign appearances and drew nearly no attendees, had both the press and social media in his back pocket, and has since seen a massive bank of witnesses who testified to multiple instances of stunning election fraud in just four solid-blue cities, along with voting technology representatives with big conflicts of interest.

Biden somehow "won"?

Maduro is going to advise Biden that he, too, has used Smartmatic technology, same as Biden just did, so right there, he's even-Steven with the Americans and their standards?  He will also show massive voter turnout, at least in past elections, "proving" his voters' enthusiasm, because socialism always "won."  He'll tell Biden he's actually the model for Biden's own "victory," alongside Mexico's old PRI. 

(Smartmatic, by the way, in 2018, pulled out of Venezuela's elections, saying there really was evidence of machine fraud, but that was quite late in the game, well after the 2004–2018 damage had already been done.  Its declaration a likely bid to preserve its foothold in bigger international markets, such as the U.S.).

Now Biden's going to lecture Maduro about making Venezuelan elections all free and fair?  That's his plan?  Give us a break.

Besides the laughability of the whole idea, unless Biden's plan is to declare Venezuela's elections free and fair, same as he's doing for himself, which might be another problem, Biden's also late to the party.

Free and fair elections have been a U.S. foreign policy focus since at least 2004, with the U.S., including the Obama-Biden administration supporting those brave Venezuelans who have stood up for such elections in the face of massive Chavista thugcraft and massive electoral fraud.  Remember this famous photo from 2005?

It was in May 2005 that President Bush was standing up for free and fair elections in Venezuela and supporting its brave advocates.  The lady in the picture is Maria Corina Machado, a trained Venezuelan engineer who ran an organization called Sumate, a civil society group dedicated to clean elections, following the disastrous 2004 vote-flipping recall referendum on Hugo Chávez, courtesy of Smartmatic.  In that fiasco, Chávez was reaffirmed by a 59% to 41% margin, which just happened to be the same numbers, flipped the other way, from a poll from respected pollster Penn-Schoen.  Machado's Sumate had accepted a grant from the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy, which made Chávez scream.  But the work went on, with U.S. help, and by November 2005, it emerged that not only were the votes flipped, but the ballots cast were not secret, prompting an opposition boycott I witnessed firsthand in Caracas in December 2005.  And yes, I met with Machado on that trip, too, and found her an honest, sincere, steely advocate of clean, fair elections.  She later won a seat in Venezuela's National Assembly, and Chavista socialist thugs beat her up in 2018.

My point on that is that a lot of water has passed under this bridge.  Successive U.S. presidents from three administrations have sought to encourage Nicolás Maduro and his mentor, the late, unlamented Hugo Chávez, to do free and fair elections.  There's been talk and negotiations about it for decades, including the Obama-Biden administration, where apparently old Joe was asleep at the wheel.  Biden's magic plan for free and fair elections as the cornerstone of his big new Venezuela policy is just plagiarism from administrations past.  In each and every case, none has been successful because Maduro, like Chávez, doesn't do free and fair elections. 

Unless the Biden plan is to claim the Venezuelan elections were all free and fair same as his own, two peas in a socialist pod, and then drop sanctions in exchange for nothing, this policy is going to be a joke.  No wonder Maduro is likely to start laughing. 

Image credit: Bush White House Archives, public domain.


Monica Showalter  


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US Election 2020: Most American Jews Don’t Care About Israel - Lev Stesin


​ by Lev Stesin

Many American Jews have simply stopped caring about both Israel and Judaism, a point that has not escaped the notice of the American elites.


US and Israeli flags, image by Ted Eytan via CC

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,851, December 18, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: President Trump is exceptionally unpopular among secular American Jews, despite his groundbreaking approach to Middle East peace and active efforts on Israel’s behalf. Many American Jews have simply stopped caring about both Israel and Judaism, a point that has not escaped the notice of the American elites. If Jews stop caring about themselves, nobody else will.

Post-US election number-crunching has revealed that somewhere between 70% and 75% of American Jews voted for Joe Biden despite President Donald Trump’s accomplishments on Israel’s behalf. This is not surprising, as all the major polls taken of American Jews show that they put Israel at the bottom of their list of political concerns. According to a 2020 study by the Ruderman Foundation, only 4% of American Jewish voters identify Israel as their first or second most important election issue. Some 43% prioritize health care, 28% prioritize the problem of gun violence, and 21% prioritize Social Security and Medicare.

US Jews’ strong tilt toward the Democratic candidate in 2020 is consistent with their voting history. US Jews have been ardent supporters of the Democratic Party ever since the early 20th century, no matter who was leading it or who was representing the Republican Party. For most American Jews, the US is essentially a one-party system. This is ironic, as many of their parents and grandparents came to the US to escape the authoritarian or totalitarian regimes of Europe.

Generally speaking, the Democratic Party has been friendly over the years toward Jewish causes and concerns, at least in terms of its public statements. But President Trump upped the ante.

Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. His administration stopped considering Israeli neighborhoods in the West Bank illegal. He facilitated the Abraham Accords, which led to the public opening of diplomatic relations between Israel and the Gulf States of UAE and Bahrain. He issued an executive order against antisemitism. Arguably, no American president other than Harry Truman, who recognized the newborn State of Israel, or Richard Nixon, who supplied the critical airlift during the Yom Kippur War, has done more for the Jews and the Jewish State.

Many of these accomplishments were promised on the campaign trail for decades by other US presidential candidates, but none was fulfilled until Donald Trump took office—yet his apparent love for the Jews is not reciprocated by American Jews. Why not?

Trump is not an easy person to like. He is a complicated man, to say the least. Some of his personality traits are not what many would desire in a personal friend. Most people recognize that electing a president is different from befriending someone, but many American Jews—perhaps many people in general—want leaders for whom they can feel affection and who possess a character they respect.

Dubious character is a valid reason not to vote for a candidate, but it is not sufficient to explain the exceptionally low level of Trump’s popularity among US Jews.

As I have lived in and around San Francisco and have many American Jewish friends and acquaintances, I can offer some anecdotal data on the behavior of this group. These Jews represent a particular swath of American Jewry: secular, superficially religious, fiscally liberal, socially intolerant, and schooled to value education over knowledge.

This population can be subdivided into two categories: a minority that is willing to grant that Trump achieved major accomplishments for Jews and Israel, and a majority that is actively hostile toward Israel and places no value on those accomplishments.

While the first group is inclined to minimize the significance of Trump’s achievements on behalf of Jews and Israel, they agree that he put the “peace process” on a positive trajectory—but this is not enough to overcome their personal revulsion toward Trump as a person, so they would never vote for him.

The second and larger group displays a trend unprecedented among American Jews since the end of WWII. They might initially respond like the smaller group in terms of priorities, but when pressed, they offer a more truthful answer that is striking in its brutality and honesty. They admit that they don’t care for the entire subject. They couldn’t care less about what President Trump has done or not done for Israel or American Jews. Those issues are irrelevant to them—including the issue of antisemitism, which, as far as they are concerned, comes under the general rubric of anti-racism and equality. Their lack of interest would apply even if it were Joe Biden or even Barack Obama who had made Trump’s decisions on Israel’s behalf.

Significantly, this group also believes that anyone who benefited from Trump’s presidency is forever stained as an enemy of the people. In the view of this group, everything touched by President Trump bears the mark of Cain, rendering all subjects of his interest and affection irredeemable. This includes Israel. Prior benign indifference has morphed into active dislike and even hatred of the Jewish State among many American Jews.

This development has an echo in the more distant past. The German Jews who were the first to settle in the US in the 19th century wanted to separate themselves from the rest of Jewry, including traditionalists and especially Zionists. The huge influx of Eastern European Jews and the events of the first half of the 20th century put a temporary halt to that tendency, but it did not stop it completely.

Why did President Trump go to the trouble of achieving his results for Israel in the first place? He knows the American Jewish community well—after all, his daughter and son-in-law are religious Jews. He has to have known that he couldn’t expect any gratitude from the self-righteous, reality-denying secular Jewish majority. He has not benefited one iota from his efforts on Israel’s behalf, all of which were politically risky.

The only possible answer is that he did these things because he thought they were right regardless of the consequences for himself, which is the behavior of a true friend. Most American Jews refused to credit him for his accomplishments because they no longer care about either Israel or their religion. The American elites have taken note of this apathy. If Jews stop caring about themselves, nobody else will.

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Lev Stesin is a computer scientist. 


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Hungary: "Europe's Borders Must be Protected" - Soeren Kern


​ by Soeren Kern

"Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact."

  • "Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore, not only our thousand-year-old statehood but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders." — Judit Varga, Hungarian Justice Minister, December 17, 2020.

  • "While the Action Plan would give immigrants more rights and entitlements, it does not seem to take into consideration the security risks associated with mass migration." — Zoltán Kovács, spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, December 17, 2020.

  • "If you are thinking that all of this sounds familiar, you're not alone. The Action Plan looks similar to George Soros' plan to have Europe admit 'at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.'.... Those migrants that Europe should be admitting, according to the Soros plan, their distribution should be permanent and mandatory. He also made it clear that his plan aims to protect immigrants and that national borders are an obstacle to this." — Zoltán Kovács, December 17, 2020.

  • "The Union, according to the plan, would give more support to immigrants than to its own citizens by supporting businesses established and run by the former. Moreover, the plan, by supporting the employment of migrants, would put unemployed EU citizens in an even more difficult position." — Zoltán Kovács, December 17, 2020.

  • "But the Commission's Action Plan goes even further, seeking to bring in some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens (nearly 8 percent of the current EU population). That is, 34 million migrants would be granted citizenship and the right to vote.... Who says this is what Europe wants or needs? When have the citizens of Europe voted for this?" — Zoltán Kovács, December 17, 2020.

According to Zoltán Kovács, spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the European Commission's Action Plan seeks "to bring in some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens (nearly 8 percent of the current EU population). That is, 34 million migrants would be granted citizenship and the right to vote...." Pictured: The Hungarian border fence with Serbia, outside Szeged, Hungary. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

The Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU's top court, has ruled that Hungary violated EU law when it prevented illegal immigrants from seeking asylum. The ruling paves the way for the European Commission, the EU's powerful administrative arm, to impose financial penalties over Hungary's restrictive immigration policies. The Hungarian government has vowed that it will not bow to pressure to jump aboard the EU's multicultural bandwagon.

In its December 17 ruling, the court, informally known as European Court of Justice (ECJ) accused the Hungarian government of corralling migrants into so-called transit zones and of limiting their ability to apply for asylum. The court also found that Hungary did not allow asylum seekers to leave detention while their cases were being considered and offered no special protection to children and the vulnerable.

The case stems from a lawsuit filed by the European Commission over a 2015 decision by Hungary to establish two transit zones on its southern border with Serbia to stop a mass influx of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The action prevented migrants from entering Hungary or transiting the country to reach other parts of the EU.

In May 2020, the ECJ ruled that the transit zones were illegal under EU law. In order to comply with the ruling, Hungary has since closed the transit zones. Asylum seekers wanting to enter Hungary now have to apply for asylum at Hungarian embassies or consulates in neighboring non-EU countries. "External border protection is an issue that Hungary cannot, does not want to, and will not concede," said Gergely Gulyás, from the Prime Minister's Office.

The ECJ, in its latest ruling, acknowledged that Hungary had closed the transit zones but that it was still guilty of breaking EU law. The ruling states:

  • "In the first place, the Court holds that Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligation to ensure effective access to the procedure for granting international protection, in so far as third-country nationals wishing to access, from the Serbian-Hungarian border, that procedure were in practice confronted with the virtual impossibility of making their application."
  • "The Court recalls that the making of an application for international protection, prior to its registration, lodging and examination, is an essential step in the procedure for granting that protection and that Member States cannot delay it unjustifiably. On the contrary, Member States must ensure that the persons concerned are able to make an application, including at the borders, as soon as they declare their wish of doing so."
  • "The Court confirms...that the obligation on applicants for international protection to remain in one of the transit zones for the duration of the procedure for examination of their application constitutes detention."
  • "The Court emphasizes that the Procedures and Reception Directives require, inter alia, that detention be ordered in writing with reasons, that the specific needs of applicants identified as vulnerable and in need of special procedural guarantees be taken into account, in order that they receive 'adequate support', and that minors be placed in detention only as a last resort. Owing, in particular, to its systematic and automatic nature, however, the detention regime provided for under the Hungarian legislation in the transit zones, which concerns all applicants other than unaccompanied minors under 14 years of age, does not allow applicants to enjoy those guarantees."
  • "Moreover, the Court rejects Hungary's argument that the migration crisis justified derogating from certain rules in the Procedures and Reception Directives, with a view to maintaining public order and preserving internal security."
  • "The Court holds that Hungary has failed to fulfil its obligations under the Return Directive, in so far as the Hungarian legislation allows for the removal of third-country nationals who are staying illegally in the territory without prior compliance with the procedures and safeguards provided for in that directive."
  • "The Court recalls that an illegally staying third-country national falling within the scope of the Return Directive must be the subject of a return procedure, in compliance with the substantive and procedural safeguards established by that directive, before his or her removal, where appropriate, is carried out, it being understood that forced removal is to take place only as a last resort."
  • "The Court considers that Hungary has not respected the right, conferred, in principle, by the Procedures Directive on any applicant for international protection, to remain in the territory of the Member State concerned after the rejection of his or her application, until the time limit within which to bring an appeal against that rejection or, if an appeal has been brought, until a decision has been taken on it."
  • "The Court notes that, when a 'crisis situation caused by mass immigration' has been declared, the Hungarian legislation makes the exercise of that right subject to detailed rules not in conformity with EU law, in particular the obligation to remain in the transit zones, which resembles detention contrary to the Procedures and Reception Directives. On the other hand, when such a situation has not been declared, the exercise of that right is made subject to conditions which, while not necessarily contrary to EU law, are not defined in a sufficiently clear and precise manner to enable the persons concerned to ascertain the exact extent of their right."

In a "note" at the end of the ruling, the ECJ revealed the apparent purpose of its ruling against Hungary:

  • "An action for failure to fulfil obligations directed against a Member State which has failed to comply with its obligations under European Union law may be brought by the Commission or by another Member State. If the Court of Justice finds that there has been a failure to fulfil obligations, the Member State concerned must comply with the Court's judgment without delay."
  • "Where the Commission considers that the Member State has not complied with the judgment, it may bring a further action seeking financial penalties. However, if measures transposing a directive have not been notified to the Commission, the Court of Justice can, on a proposal from the Commission, impose penalties at the stage of the initial judgment."

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga vowed to continue to protect Hungarian sovereignty. In a December 17 Facebook post, she wrote:

"Today's decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union has become devoid of purpose, as the circumstances at issue in the present proceedings no longer exist. Transit zones have been closed but strict border control is maintained.

"We will continue to protect the borders of Hungary and Europe and will do everything we can to prevent the formation of international migrant corridors.

"Hungary will only be a Hungarian country as long as its borders remain intact. Therefore, not only our thousand-year-old statehood but also the future of our children obliges us to protect our borders."

The ECJ's ruling comes less than a month after the European Commission unveiled a controversial "Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion" which aims to streamline the migration and asylum process with faster screening and to have EU member states contribute their "fair share" based on their GDP and population.

The EU's bid to reform its migration policy has been met with mixed reactions from a number of EU countries. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic have been vocal in their opposition to it.

Zoltán Kovács, the spokesman for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, wrote on Twitter that Hungary's stance on migration remains unchanged:

"1/5 Since 2015, the stance of the HU Gov't on migration has been clear and unchanged. We have presented this stance and our proposals on several occasions. We believe that the EU and its member states must cooperate in keeping the looming migration pressure outside our borders.

"2/5 To this end, we should form alliances with countries of origin, so that they are able to provide proper living standards and ensure that their people do not have to leave their homelands. Instead of importing the trouble to Europe, we must bring help to where it is needed.

"3/5 We believe that Europe's borders must be protected: External hotspots will have to be established to process asylum claims; we must ensure that the external borders of the EU and the Schengen Area remain perfectly sealed along all sections.

"4/5 Our goal is to see EU member states support each other in achieving the tasks above. While HU does not support obligatory distribution, it does defend joint borders, and we expect to receive the same amount of support as other Schengen states protecting those external borders.

"5/5 We would like to remind everyone that since the 2015 migration crisis, the Hungarian Government has spent more than 1 billion euros on protecting the borders of Hungary and the European Union, without a single cent of contribution from Brussels."

After the ECJ delivered its ruling, Kovács repeated Hungary's opposition to the EU's migration action plan. In a December 17 statement posted to Orbán's official blog, he wrote:

"On November 24, 2020, the European Commission presented its migration Action Plan on the social integration and inclusion of migrants. The Commission believes that barriers to the participation and inclusion of immigrants in European societies need to be removed. At the press conference presenting the document, it was clear from the words of the EU Commissioners responsible that the Commission would continue to encourage the reception of migrants, as they believe that this will be necessary in the future for economic reasons.

"While the Action Plan would give immigrants more rights and entitlements, it does not seem to take into consideration the security risks associated with mass migration.

"According to the main points of the action plan, Brussels would provide migrants housing and give them a greater say in public affairs at all levels of government. With this, more migrants and EU citizens with a migrant background would be involved in consultations and decision-making processes at the local, regional, national and European level.

"The Union, according to the plan, would give more support to immigrants than to its own citizens by supporting businesses established and run by the former. Moreover, the plan, by supporting the employment of migrants, would put unemployed EU citizens in an even more difficult position.

"As if this is not enough, Brussels would also force us to adopt the mindset of the eurocrats on the issue, clearly setting forth in the Action Plan that it seeks to change the way Europeans think about migration and migrants: 'Inclusion is also about addressing unconscious bias and achieving a change in mentality and the way people perceive one another and approach the unknown.' Good to know.

"If you are thinking that all of this sounds familiar, you're not alone. The Action Plan looks similar to George Soros' plan to have Europe admit 'at least a million asylum-seekers annually for the foreseeable future.' The financial speculator has been for years promoting his ideas of an 'open society' to change Europe and European society. Those migrants that Europe should be admitting, according to the Soros plan, their distribution should be permanent and mandatory. He also made it clear that his plan aims to protect immigrants and that national borders are an obstacle to this.

"But the Commission's Action Plan goes even further, seeking to bring in some 34 million migrants to become EU citizens (nearly 8 percent of the current EU population). That is, 34 million migrants would be granted citizenship and the right to vote.

"Who says this is what Europe wants or needs? When have the citizens of Europe voted for this? As Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in Parliament earlier this week, Hungary will oppose this plan with all its might and will not compromise."


Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.


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