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April 2017

Lois Lerner Demands Secrecy for IRS Targeting Lawsuit Deposition By Rick Moran

Lois Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax exempt division, is asking a federal judge to keep her deposition in a class action lawsuit related to the targeting scandal secret.

Lerner and another IRS manager, Holly Paz, claim they were harassed and received death threats for their role in the scandal and believe that releasing their depositions will lead to further threats.

Washington Times:

The two women submitted secret evidence to the judge that they said backed up the death threat claim. They said the threats they’ve already gotten contained “graphic, profane and disturbing language” that they said has caused them embarrassment.

The groups suing the IRS in the class action lawsuit have objected to the secrecy order, leaving the matter to Judge Barrett to decide.

So Lerner feels “embarrassment”? She is afraid of “threats”? Imagine what went through the minds of ordinary citizens who felt the heavy hand of the IRS tearing apart their lives, asking for the most personal information, and violating the most sacred principles of individual and political freedom.

Suck it up, Lerner, and come clean.

Both Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz are among the IRS figures who’ve been ordered to be deposed in the class action lawsuit. Ms. Paz already gave one deposition in the case in 2015.

The women want that past deposition and their future testimony to remain hidden from the public and only available to the lawyers involved in the case. They asked that the seal be permanent.

Ms. Lerner has refused to talk in public about her role in the targeting, famously engaging in a showdown with the House Oversight Committee after she appeared, delivered a statement of innocence and then balked at answering any questions.

The House eventually voted to hold her in contempt, but an Obama administration prosecutor — acting just hours before his resignation became effective — announced the Justice Department wouldn’t pursue the case.

The Justice Department also cleared Ms. Lerner in a criminal investigation, saying she was one of the first in the IRS to realize they were acting wrongly, and took steps to clean up the mess.

House Republicans asked Wednesday that the Trump administration reopen the case. They say Ms. Lerner obstructed official investigations and pointed to evidence from emails in which Ms. Lerner mocked conservatives and Republicans as evidence of malice, which the GOP said helped foster the environment that led to tea party groups being targeted by the IRS.

The IRS still faces several legal cases stemming from the targeting.

The class action lawsuit involves 428 groups who were snared by the IRS targeting procedures. That case, which is being heard in a federal court in Ohio, is in the discovery phase, and Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz are supposed to give testimony.

IRS officials also agreed to turn over the system reports it generated for each of the 428 groups targeted. CONTINUE AT SITE

Elizabeth Warren answers a question no one has really asked by Andrew Malcolm

An extremely large percentage of America’s 326.5 million citizens did not run for president last year. Only one of us non-candidates, however, decided to write a new book to explain why.

If you’re one of the many Americans who hadn’t thought to wonder why Elizabeth Warren did not run for president — or don’t really care — join the crowd. Warren’s new book about her non-candidacy comes out next week and would-be buyers are not yet lining up.

The book is heavily biographical, which means Warren is definitely running for the presidential nomination of what’s left of the Democrat Party in 2020. First, of course, she needs to win reelection next year in Massachusetts.

Warren is the darling of far-left Democrats, who are running the show way out there nowadays. The book and attendant publicity appearances will provide a bully pulpit to explain her progressive views publicly and more private opportunities to fundraise and meet and chat up donors in those same cities.

And the book will give MSNBC and CNN easy excuses to have her on many times to talk about it and to fret about the country’s endangered middle class. Warren may not have enough time, you understand, to go into how badly the middle class suffered with stagnant wages and lost jobs during the long eight years of the most recent Democrat president and how as a result last fall so many millions of those voters opted instead for the uncertainty of an outlandish Republican.

Warren will lay blame for hard times on Donald Trump, who’s rolling back the regulations she fought so hard to impose as a government bureaucrat. Warren probably will not explain either what an awful candidate Hillary Clinton was. Nor how the 2016 Democratic nomination was a rigged gimme for Clinton.

But Warren will have nice things to say about fellow New Englander Bernie Sanders, who shares her views on evil banks, Wall Street and big business rigging everything for the wealthy.

If all works out as planned, every single media interviewer will ask about the 2020 presidential race. And Warren can smile and say, Oh, no, she hasn’t thought that far ahead. She just wants to serve the good people of Massachusetts.

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Britain: March 2017 by Soeren Kern

“Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative?” — Riz Ahmed, actor.

Britain’s foreign aid budget is reportedly funding at least two dozen Palestinian schools, some of which are named after terrorists and murderers and which openly promote terrorism and encourage pupils to see child killers as role models.

An estimated 400 home-grown jihadis have returned to the United Kingdom after fighting in Syria, but only 54 of those have been prosecuted, according to a Mail on Sunday investigation, which also discovered that some returned jihadis are roaming free on the streets of Britain.

March 1. A new Channel 4 documentary series called “Extremely British Muslims” showed the inner workings of a sharia court inside Birmingham’s Central Mosque. In the first episode, viewers witnessed the case of mother-of-four Fatima, 33, as she sought permission to divorce her drug dealer husband she says has abused her throughout their 14-year marriage. According to sharia law, Muslim women must plead their divorce cases in court, while Muslim men need only to say the words “I divorce you” three times to obtain a divorce. Birmingham Central Mosque said it allowed the sharia proceedings to be filmed in an effort to “break down misconceptions about Islam.” Some 100 sharia courts in Britain are now dispensing Islamic justice outside the remit of the British legal system.

March 2. English actor Riz Ahmed warned that the lack of Muslim faces on British television was alienating young people, driving them towards extremism and into the arms of the Islamic State. Delivering Channel 4’s annual diversity lecture in Parliament, Ahmed said that television had a pivotal role to play in ensuring that Muslims felt heard, and valued, in British society:

“If we fail to represent, we are in danger of losing people to extremism. In the mind of the ISIS recruit, he’s the next James Bond right? Have you seen some of those ISIS propaganda videos, they are cut like action movies. Where is the counter narrative? Where are we telling these kids they can be heroes in our stories — that they are valued? If we don’t step up and tell a representative story we are going to start losing British teenagers to the story that the next chapter in their lives is written with ISIS in Syria.”

March 3. The Amateur Swimming Association changed its swimsuit regulations to allow Muslim women to wear full body outfits, after a request from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation. The rule was changed to encourage more Muslim women to take part in the sport. Rimla Akhtar, from the Muslim Women’s Sport Foundation, said:

“Participation in sport amongst Muslim women is increasing at a rapid pace. It is imperative that governing bodies adapt and tailor their offerings to suit the changing landscape of sport, including those who access their sport.”

March 4. Ryan Counsell, 28, a jihadist from Nottingham who left his wife and two small children to fight with the Abu Sayyaf Islamist group in the Philippines, blamed his behavior on the Brexit vote. He told the Woolwich Crown Court that increased tension within the local Muslim community after Brexit sparked his decision to leave. He said that he wanted to escape Britain’s political climate and seek an “idyllic life” under sharia law. He was arrested at Stansted airport in July 2016 and was later sentenced to eight years in prison.

March 5. Homegrown terrorism inspired by the Islamic State poses the dominant threat to the national security of the United Kingdom, according to a comprehensive new report on violent Islamism in Britain. The 1,000-page report — “Islamist Terrorism: Analysis of Offenses and Attacks in the UK (1998–2015)” — was published by the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think tank based in London.

The report found that number of Islamism-related offenses (IROs) in Britain doubled between 2011 and 2015 from 12 to 23 a year. More than half (52%) of IROs were committed by individuals of South Asian ancestry: British-Pakistanis (25%) and British-Bangladeshis (8%). Other offenders had family ties to countries in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Forty-seven percent of IROs were committed by individuals born in the UK.

The also report showed a clear link between terrorism and growing up in Muslim-dominated neighborhoods. London was the place of residence of 43% of IROs, followed by West Midlands, with 18%. Of the latter, 80% of IROs were in Birmingham. The third most common region was North West England, with 10% of IROs. Together, these three regions contained the residences in almost three-quarters (72%) of cases. East London was home to half (50%) the London-based offenders, while the three most common boroughs — Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest — contained the residence of offenders’ in 38% of all London IROs (and 16% overall).

March 6. British security services have prevented 13 potential terror attacks since June 2013, according to Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley, the UK’s most senior counter-terrorism police officer. He also said that there were 500 live counter-terror investigations at any given time, and that investigators have been arresting terror suspects at a rate of close to one a day since 2014. The official threat level for international terrorism in the UK has stood at severe — meaning an attack is “highly likely” — for more than two years.

March 7. The National Health Service (NHS) revealed that there were 2,332 new cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) in Britain between October and December 2016. That brought the total of new cases in 2016 to nearly 5,500.

March 7. The managers of the cash-strapped Sandwell General Hospital near Birmingham are considering the construction of a special kitchen for preparing halal meals for Muslim patients and staff. The move follows complaints about the quality of halal meals that the hospital has outsourced to local vendors. A spokesman said: “We are still reviewing options around creating a separate halal kitchen and the best ways to provide a range of healthy halal options to patients and staff who want them.”

March 10. The BBC announced that it would begin outsourcing production of Songs of Praise, a Sunday worship program that has been produced in-house for 55 years. Critics of the move said they feared that Songs of Praise will lose its Christian focus in favor of Islam. Anglican priest Lynda Rose said a recent Songs of Praise episode featuring a segment about the Muslim faith, including Church of England children visiting a mosque, exemplified the “Islamization of the BBC.” More than 6,000 people have signed an online petition calling for MPs to investigate the BBC after it appointed Fatima Salaria as the BBC’s head of religious programming — the second Muslim in a row to hold the post.

“Spit on the Cross or Die” Muslim Persecution of Christians, January 2017 by Raymond Ibrahim

According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, 900 Christian churches have been destroyed in 12 northern states that adopted Islamic law, in the early 2000s.

A blasphemy case was registered against Shaan Taseer — son of Salman Taseer, a human rights activist and defender of persecuted Christians who was assassinated by Muslims — for saying “Merry Christmas.” — Pakistan.

Thanks to dishonest Muslim translators, immigration officials are rejecting asylum applications from Muslim converts to Christianity from Iran and Afghanistan during what one pastor characterized as “kangaroo court” hearings. Rev. Gottfried Martens accused the “almost exclusively Muslim translators” of deliberately mistranslating their responses to disqualify their applications. — Germany.

Tragic stories of Christian experiences under the Islamic State continued to emerge throughout the month of January. A Christian doctor who forfeited the chance to escape his Syrian village after ISIS had captured it because he wanted to stay and help the sick and needy, both Christian and Muslim, was kidnapped by the Muslim terrorists and ordered to renounce Christ for Muhammad. When he refused, they publicly slaughtered him. Similarly, after ISIS ordered another Christian youth in Syria to embrace Islam, he too refused and was slaughtered for it. His mother — who was prevented from burying her martyred son’s body — recalled that when ISIS first invaded their village, he reminded her of Jesus’ assertion in the New Testament: “If you deny me before men I will deny you before the Father.”

After members of ISIS raided the home of Zarefa, an elderly Christian woman in Iraq, they discovered crucifixes and Christian icons. “They forced me to spit on the Cross,” she recalled.

“I told them that it was not appropriate, that it was a sin. He said that I must spit. ‘Don’t you see that I have a gun?’ he asked me. I said to myself, ‘Oh, the Cross! I am weak, I will spit on you. But Lord, I ask you to take revenge for me. I cannot escape from this.'”

According to the report, “The shame is still visible on Zarefa’s face when she recounts the memory; her town, Qaraqosh, is liberated now, but she is still recovering from the traumatic two years that are only just behind her.”

A Christian widow and her teenage son from the Nineveh plains of Iraq recounted their treatment after ISIS took their village. The boy described how the militants once marched him “by men in orange suits, held at gunpoint by a group of Daesh [ISIS] children.”

“The children executed them with pleasure… Another time I ran into a big crowd on the street. There was a woman; her hands and feet were tied. The Daesh terrorists drew a circle around her. If she got out of the circle, she would live, but that was impossible because she was tied. While her relatives were crying and begging for a pardon, the Jihadists threw stones at her until she died.”

After being made to watch several such execution, the militants told him: “If you do not convert to Islam, we will shoot you as well.” The boy, who was 14 at the time, added: “That is when I converted to Islam. From that time on, we concealed that we were Christians.” Later, when the jihadis discovered he was wearing a crucifix around his neck, they beat him and sent him to an Islamic “correctional camp” where he was indoctrinated in the Koran for a month.

“I was hit whenever I could not answer their questions [about Muslim doctrine] the way they wanted me to, and my mother was stung with long needles because she had not studied anything from the Koran.”

After two years under ISIS, they managed to escape. “Yes, I am embarrassed for having had to profess Islam,” the boy said.

The rest of the accounts of Muslim persecution of Christians to surface in January 2017 include, but are not limited to, the following:

Muslim Violence against and Slaughter of Christians

Egypt: Over the course of just 10 days in January, four Christians were slaughtered on three separate occasions. On January 3, a Muslim man crept up behind a Christian man, 45, and slit his throat, because he owned a shop that sold alcohol, which the Muslim deemed “contrary to the Sharia [Islamic law] and the religion [Islam].” On January 6, a married Christian couple (husband 62, wife 55) were found slaughtered in their home in Monufia, north Egypt. Their throats were slit and their bodies had multiple stab wounds. Nothing was stolen from their apartments; relatives say it was a hate crime based on their religion. On Friday, January 13, another Christian man, a young surgeon — well-liked by poor Muslim and Christian locals for providing them with free treatment — was found slaughtered in his apartment in Asyut, southern Egypt. He too had stab wounds to his neck, chest, and back.

Philippines: According to a January 12, 2017 report, a former Muslim convert to Christianity was found slaughtered in his home by local Muslims for apostatizing from Islam. During his time as a Muslim, Datu was hostile to Christianity; when he found that a Christian youth was courting his daughter and the couple wanted to marry, he began to hurl stones at the boy’s father, a pastor. Later, when even death threats failed to separate the couple — and after securing a large dowry from the Christian family — Datu agreed to the marriage. During the church ceremony, which was conducted by the bridegroom’s father, whom Datu used to stone, the Muslim man was struck by what he heard to the point that he converted to Christianity. He then fled to another town to avoid persecution and study the Bible. When he returned home to visit his family, he was found dead, killed by local Muslims for apostatizing from Islam.

Germany: A court heard how a 27-year-old Muslim intruder named Abubaker broke into the Heilbronn home of a 70-year-old Christian woman described as a “devout Catholic” and “regular churchgoer.” He tied her up, abused her, placed a cross in her hands, and strangled her to death. Then he wrote “a series of Arabic and religious messages around the house” — including “It’s payback time” in English — before stealing some items and fleeing the scene. The defendant — described as a “strict Muslim” — is of Pakistani descent and grew up in Saudi Arabia. Although his DNA was found on the scene of the murder as well as an imprint of the sole of his red shoes and fibers from his jacket, Abubaker insisted the charges against him were a “lie” and that he was being “framed by a religious conspiracy.”

Extracting water from air, Israeli firm looks to quench global thirst By Shoshana Solomon

Water-Gen, controlled by Russian-Israeli billionaire Michael Mirilashvili, eyes mass assembly of water-producing units by year end.

Water-Gen Ltd., an Israeli company whose technology captures humidity in order to make drinking water out of air, is not likely to experience the cash-flow squeeze many fast-growing companies are afflicted by.

That’s because Russian-Israeli entrepreneur and billionaire Michael Mirilashvili, who is also the vice president of the World Jewish Congress, bought control of the company last summer, and because it has high-profile advocates: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned it in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” about Israel’s high-tech prowess. At the AIPAC conference last month, Harvard Law professor and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz took the stage to showcase its technology. In September, the company presented its solution at the United Nations.

Not bad for a firm that employs some 30 people, mainly engineers, in the central Israeli city of Rishon Lezion. It was set up in 2010 by Israeli entrepreneur Arye Kohavi, a former combat reconnaissance company commander in the Israeli Army who previously set up a firm that developed e-learning software.

“Whatever it needs, we will finance,” said Maxim Pasik, the executive chairman of Water-Gen in an interview at the Herzliya offices of Beer Itzhak Energy Ltd, when asked about financing options for the firm’s growth. “Water-Gen’s potential is endless. Water from air is the next source of water for the world.” Beer Itzhak Energy is the unit of Mirilashvili’s business that bought a 70 percent stake in Water-Gen.

Water covers 70 percent of Earth, but only three percent of the world’s water is fresh, and two-thirds of that is unavailable for use, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. As a result, “some 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year,” the WWF says. At the current consumption rate, by 2025, two-thirds of the world’s population may face water shortages, the WWF estimates. Roughly 1.2 billion people — almost one-fifth of the world’s population — live in areas of water scarcity, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Water from air, not from a stone

After the biblical exodus from Egypt, Moses made water for the people of Israel in the desert by striking a stone. Now Water-Gen is striking water from air.

The technology, developed by Kohavi with the help of engineers, uses a series of filters to purify the air. After the air is sucked in and chilled to extract its humidity, the water that forms is treated and transformed into clean drinking water. The technology uses a plastic heat exchanger rather than an aluminum one, which helps reduce costs; it also includes a proprietary software that operates the devices.

The atmospheric water generators developed by Water-Gen allow the production of 4 liters of drinking water (one gallon) using 1 Kilowatt of energy, Pasik said.

Other atmospheric water generating devices, by comparison, consume three to four times more energy, or effectively three to four times less water per energy unit, he said. This makes Water-Gen cheaper than similar solutions offered by other companies. The price of the water depends on the price of electricity.

Speed, agility seen as Israel’s edge in cyber-war 65 new cyber startups were set up in Israel in 2016, and nation maintains spot as a global player in cybersecurity, report says

Israel’s proven agility to come up with solutions quickly is one the key factors that puts the nation in a leading position in the battle against cyberattacks, said Erez Kreiner, a former director of information security at Israel’s Shin Bet security service.

“We act as a speedboat as opposed to a naval carrier, and that is our advantage,” he said in an interview with The Times of Israel. “In the war against cybercrime you need immediate reactions.” Some countries are good at coming up with robust and thorough solutions over a period of time — the naval carriers. Israel’s advantage is its quick ingenuity in the face of new challenges, he said.

Cyber-challenges are moving very fast and becoming more and more intense, he said, and they are sponsored both by individual hacker groups and by nation states.

Kreiner, who was also a director at Israel’s National Cyber Security Authority, today heads his own cybersecurity consulting company.

As the world moves toward greater digitalization, it becomes more vulnerable to cyberattacks. At the end of 2015 hackers shut down power in Ukraine. In February 2016 more than $80 million was stolen from Bangladesh’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and US intelligence services have blamed Russia for hacking attacks during the 2016 presidential election campaign.

Erez Kreiner, a former director of information security at Israel’s Shin Bet security service now heads his own cyber-security consultancy (Courtesy

“Definitions about what is considered a cyberattack and how many there are a day or a month vary,” he said. “What is important to note, however, is the intensity and sophistication of the attacks,” which have been growing over the years.

State-sponsored attacks are more intense than those perpetuated by individual hackers, he said: nations have more resources and less fear of being discovered. In addition, as opposed to conventional weapons, for cyberwarfare requires less investment and development times are faster.

Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service has been in charge of protecting the nation’s critical infrastructures since 2002, and today, some 25 percent of its workforce is dedicated to fighting cybercrime, Kreiner said. When the unit was set up in 2002, “cyber” was a word not many had heard, he said. Today things are very different.

“If there were no defenses in place already, the world would be witnessing chaotic events,” he said. “Cybersecurity is becoming a central part of our daily lives.”
Record amounts raised in 2016

Georgetown’s Jonathan Brown Kicks Out Critic, Again By Andrew Harrod

Jonathan Brown, director of Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), brooks no disagreement. Having expelled this writer from a February 7 apologist lecture on Islamic slavery that provoked nationwide outrage, Brown ejected me from another Georgetown event on March 16.

I achieved infamy as a “Jihad Watch correspondent who had written sensationalist pieces about Georgetown events” according to Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian of the über-establishmentarian Foreign Policy in her March 16 online article, “Islamophobia Inc.” Jihad Watch publisher Robert Spencer comprehensively rebutted this “lurid fantasy.” (For the record, I also report regularly for Campus Watch.)

Brown was visibly surprised when I entered Georgetown’s Alumni House for the opening dinner of the Peace Requires Encounter Summit. The summit ostensibly sought to “build relationships” — apparently only with those approved by Islamic supremacists — co-sponsors included the Muslim Brotherhood-derived Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Franciscan Action Network (FAN), and Unity Productions Foundation (UPF), a producer of pro-Islam films.

UPF’s Daniel Tutt, of Marymount University, invited me via email to the Friday-Sunday summit after I registered for the screening of UPF’s latest production, The Sultan and the Saint. Upon spotting me at Friday evening’s kick-off, an agitated Brown demanded that I leave the invitation-only event before summoning Tutt, who obsequiously acknowledged his mistake in having invited a “noted Islamophobe” who had “slandered” Brown. Tutt apologized to me before I left, but at Saturday’s screening he asked if I would disrupt the showing, a paranoid inquiry I denied.

Tutt’s previous writings demonstrate why he holds such a sinister perception of Islamic supremacism’s critics or as he puts it, a “growing right-wing populist reactionary neo-Fascist network.” He maintains that the current “intensification of Islamophobia must be understood and diagnosed primarily, but not exclusively, as the outcome of capitalist exploitation.” This false view excuses Islamic supremacist behavior and blames “the system.”

Alas, the feature film presented an equally whitewashed view of Islamic history with an examination of the 1219 meeting between St. Francis of Assisi and the Egyptian sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Egypt during the Fifth Crusade. The film — as narrated by actor Jeremy Irons — falsely contrasts St. Francis “preaching about the Lord of love” while the “medieval Church still holds to the vision of a ferocious, vengeful God who summons believers to war.” Various scenes show al-Kamil as a boy reciting Quran 2:256, a verse often misunderstood by non-Muslims as documenting Islamic tolerance, and Muslims praying the Fatiha (Quran 1:1-7) with the key omission of its last verse. According to numerous authoritative Islamic interpretations, its terms condemn Jews and Christians. Irons avoids any such disquieting analysis as he concludes the film, stating that “angry, dehumanizing words sparked violence today as before. Transcending differences, the road to peace runs through the common humanity that we all share.”

The Profound Connection Between Easter and Passover: By R.R. Reno (Excerpts )

Mr. Reno is the editor of the religious journal First Things. He was formerly a professor of theology and ethics at Creighton University.

Easter stalks Passover. They arrive together every spring, like the daffodils and magnolia blossoms. This year, Easter Sunday falls as the eight-day Jewish festival nears its end. Over the years, I have come to see that Christianity’s most important day recapitulates Passover. Both holidays face head-on the daunting power of death—and both announce God’s greater power of life.

In March, my wife, who is Jewish, was on the phone, herding her parents, uncles, brothers and cousins. “No, it’s not Tuesday. The first night of Passover is on Monday this year.” She made arrangements for the Seder, the festive meal with a traditional liturgy that retells the familiar story of the Exodus. Emails and texts were exchanged to sort out who would bring what, and this past Monday night we sang and recited the age-old prayers and set out a cup for Elijah, the harbinger of the messianic era. We ended, as always, with the declaration: “Next year in Jerusalem!”

Now, just a few days later, the holiest days of the year for Christians are under way. As the solitary Catholic in my Jewish household, I’m planning to head to church on Saturday night for the Easter Vigil—where I’ll be celebrating Passover once again……

Put in Christian terms: The Passover Seder recalls and celebrates the resurrection of the people of Israel.

Today we tend to think of slavery strictly as an injustice, which of course it is, and some modern Seders treat the Passover as the triumph of justice over oppression. But this is not the traditional view. In the ancient world, slavery was not just a hardship for individuals but a kind of communal death. An enslaved nation can survive for a time, perhaps, but they have no future. A people in bondage is slowly crushed and extinguished.

The notion of slavery as a form of death is accentuated in the story told in the Passover Seder. The small clan descended from Abraham settles in Egypt. They are fruitful and multiply, becoming numerous and mighty. The glow of life in the people of Israel arouses Egyptian resentment. Set upon and subjugated, they are ground down by hard labor and harsh oppression. But the descendants of Abraham call out to God—and he raises them up out of slavery, parts the Red Sea, and delivers them from Pharaoh’s murderous anger.

Judaism is realistic. Passover does not promote a dreamy optimism or cheery confidence that God will keep everything neat and nice. Even the chosen people are vulnerable to oppression and murderous hatred. There’s room in Passover for Auschwitz.

In the story of Exodus, the Israelites make it through the split waters of the Red Sea to dry land. But they are not simply safe. God releases the waters, and Pharaoh’s army is destroyed.
So it is at the Easter Vigil. A chant known as the Exultet announces that the darkness shall not triumph. “Be glad, let earth be glad, as glory floods her.” With a haunting refrain, the ancient song links Passover to Easter: “This is the night,” we are told, “when once you led our forbearers, Israel’s children, from slavery in Egypt and made them pass dry-shod through the Red Sea.” And “this is the night when Christ broke the prison-bars of death and rose victorious from the underworld.”
We were not made for death. The Almighty delivers his people. He unlocks the prison of darkness and shatters the power of death. This is the meaning of Easter, the Christian Passover.

Hollywood Hijrah : Edward Cline

A correspondent sent me the links to two commentaries on the fate of “Homeland,” a TV series, described by Wikipedia as “an American spy thriller television series developed by Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa based on the Israeli series Prisoners of War….”

I have not watched the series, because, for one thing, I don’t subscribe to Showtime. I very much stopped watching “broadcast” TV. Years ago, after broadcasting changed from analog to digital, I could not find a reliable, problem-free device that converted the media to my computer or TV, so I gave up “regular” TV, and haven’t missed it. Combine those reasons with the fact that most TV today is a hoochie-coochie belly-dancer of the MSM, charged with the task of keeping the public pacified, distracted, and dumbed-down. With very few exceptions, I could see where it was going and how Politically Correctness was dulling its future. It was no loss to me.

Because Showtime has an international subscriber-viewer list, this column does not address American readers solely.

Two insightful articles appeared about “Homeland,” one by Patricia McCarthy on American Thinker, “Uh-oh, Homeland: Hillary Lost! Now what?“ from April 11th, and by M.G. Oprea on the Federalist site on April 7th, “’Homeland’ Actor: The Real ‘Guilty Ones’ this Season are White Men, Not Islamic Terrorists.”

Both writers detail how a hit show has succumbed to political correctness in its story to become drearily boring and predictable. Political correctness, subtly or blatantly, has been damning up its own mosquito-infested, “drainable” Swamp for decades, since before WWII.

McCarthy begins with an ominous warning:

“The writers of Homeland, Season 6, obviously were so confident that Hillary Clinton was going to be the next president that their new narrative had a female Democratic Party candidate win the election. Elizabeth Marvel is a wonderful actress and a pretty fair doppelganger for Hillary Clinton. But the writers got it all wrong.”

Did the writers “get it wrong”? Or were they given their marching orders from on high, after the 2015 election, to rewrite the denouement in Season 6? Just as you can’t abruptly change a car’s speed from first to third while going at sixty mph, but not expect the gears to grind and strip and create nasty results.

In an interview, show creator Alex Gansa revealed that their scripts were by design following real events, but “five or six episodes had been completed when the election happened.” Hillary lost, and they were stuck with the wrong real-life president-elect….

Suddenly, the people who have been running the CIA for years, the good guys who were trying to protect the country, set out to murder the president-elect! Did they construct the new direction after Donald Trump won? The latter must be true, because the first female president-elect, a Democrat, is by the finale somehow a female Donald Trump, to be dealt with exactly in the manner the real left have been behaving since their loss to Trump in November. Total derangement….

The writers have inadvertently demonstrated exactly how the left functions, not the right. Now that we know that the Obama administration functioned like a crime syndicate, it is easy to surmise how easily the writers projected these tactics onto their own characters. They even created a character (presumably based on radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones) who operates a massive bot organization to propagandize by social media.

“Inadvertently”? “Unconsciously”? Or “accidentally on purpose”? If an Antifa thug tosses a rock at a Berkeley auditorium window to protest the appearance of a scheduled speaker he has been told not to approve of, is that an inadvertent, unconscious, or incidental action? To toe the politically correct line is to dilute one’s volition, to rob it of any power or consequence, to reduce oneself to the level of a kneejerk village idiot who believes anything anyone tells him. The only realm of volition an Antifa thug can exercise is initiating physical force. Yes, that is how the left functions.



Huge boost for stroke diagnosis system. (TY Hazel) I reported previously (July 3) on Israel’s MedyMatch Artificial Intelligence platform for diagnosing strokes from CT-scans. MedyMatch has just signed separate 5-year agreements to integrate the groundbreaking technology with IBM and Samsung equipment.

Early diagnosis of Autism can save lives. (TY Jacques) Dr Hanna Alonim founded Israeli non-profit Mifne Center – the world’s first organization to diagnose and treat toddlers on the autism spectrum, and use a family therapy approach to treatment. Alonim’s ESPASI Screening Scale is used in Israel, the USA and across Europe.

Releasing Glaucoma treatment automatically. I reported previously (Mar 5) about Israel’s Eximore which is developing a tiny device that is implanted into the tear duct to treat eye diseases such as Glaucoma, without the patient’s knowledge. Eximore’s Chairperson, Dr Daphne Haim-Langford went on ILTV to explain.

Manage your diabetes efficiently. Israel’s GlucoMe has developed a “Digital Diabetes Clinic” that monitors diabetics and recommends treatment programs. The platform uses a smart glucose monitor, an insulin pen monitor, a mobile app and a cloud-based management system. It has completed trials and is Europe approved.
http://www.glucome.com/ https://www.youtube.com/embed/l750q5YgG2M?rel=0

The next generation in cancer diagnostics. I reported previously (July 31) on Israeli-founded Cleveland Diagnostics and its improved early prostate cancer test kit. Cleveland’s CEO Dr Arnon Chait went on ILTV to explain more and to announce the company’s new Israeli operations.

A robot to traverse the small intestine. Scientists at Ben-Gurion University are re-designing their Single Actuator Wave-like (SAW) robotic snake to carry a camera and squeeze through the human small intestine. It could extend and improve the effectiveness of colonoscopy tests.

UK lawyer has MS treatment in Jerusalem. Top UK Lawyer Mark Lewis (Director of UK Lawyers for Israel) suffers from Multiple Sclerosis, walks with a limp and cannot write with his right hand. He travels to Israel every six weeks to participate in the MS trial at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center.

Bone marrow tests from Czech Republic in one day. Israel’s Ezer Mizion found a likely DNA match on their database for a bone marrow transplant patient. However, the donor was in the Czech Republic. Using their “Linked to Life” WhatsApp group, volunteers rushed the sample kit from Tel Aviv to Vienna to Prague to Brno and back again in less than 24 hours. http://www.ezermizion.org/blog/czechoslovakia-no-problem/

Emergency app can save lives on the beach. A volunteer with Israel Emergency Medical Service United Hatzalah has developed a smartphone app to quickly locate swimmers in trouble off Haifa’s beaches, and navigate paramedics to that location.

Paramedic’s first patient was his nephew. Ben Shetiat’s first call, after completing his 6-months Emergency Medical training course, was an infant having seizures – at Ben’s sister’s house! He arrived in two minutes. After treatment, Ben’s nephew was taken to hospital and was well enough to be discharged later that night.