Displaying posts published in

May 2017

Message on the Observance of Memorial Day May 26, 1983 President Ronald Reagan

Memorial Day is a time to take stock of the present, reflect on the past, and renew our commitment to the future of America.

Today, as in the past, there are problems that must be solved and challenges that must be met. We can tackle them with our full strength and creativity only because we are free to work them out in our own way. We owe this freedom of choice and action to those men and women in uniform who have served this nation and its interests in time of need. In particular, we are forever indebted to those who have given their lives that we might be free.

I don’t have to tell you how fragile this precious gift of freedom is. Every time we hear, watch, or read the news, we are reminded that liberty is a rare commodity in this world.

This Memorial Day of 1983, we honor those brave Americans who died in the service of their country. I think an ancient scholar put it well when he wrote: “Let us now praise famous men . . . All these were honored in their generation, and were the glory of their times. Their bodies are buried in peace; but their name liveth for evermore.” As a tribute to their sacrifice, let us renew our resolve to remain strong enough to deter aggression, wise enough to preserve and protect our freedom, and thoughtful enough to promote lasting peace throughout the world.

Ronald Reagan

The Strange Hypocrisy of the Notre Dame Protests

One would think that a graduation ceremony, where family and friends assemble to celebrate the grand passage from the youthful dependency of college to the presumed self-sufficiency of adulthood, would be marked by joy, rather than expressions of infantile behavior that should have been harnessed and unlearned some 20 years earlier.

Sadly, such was not the case at the Notre Dame commencement last Saturday where a small group of graduates (along with some of their parents) walked out of the proceedings in protest of Vice President Mike Pence.

Consider: they were not protesting anything the vice president said. They didn’t bother to stay to hear what he had to say. Preemptive non-listening is a favorite tactic of the radical left. Had they stayed, they would have heard Pence say: “Notre Dame is a campus where deliberation is welcomed, where opposing views are debated, and where every speaker, no matter how unpopular or unfashionable, is afforded the right to air their views in the open for all to hear.”

Why did they leave? According to their press release, the protestors said they were expressing solidarity with “marginalized people,” adding that “Mike Pence’s policies target the most vulnerable groups in our society.” The organizers also cited Pope Francis’ “call upon the world… to support Syrian refugees, to acknowledge and respect the humanity of sexual minorities and to bring down all walls that separate us…”

Perhaps these students missed the Catholic doctrinal teachings on the most vulnerable group in our society: unborn children. According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The right to life is the first and most fundamental principle of human rights….”

So, one must wonder how it is that among the protest’s organizers were leaders of Planned Parenthood and the Indiana Reproduction Justice Coalition, who attacked Vice President Pence for his longstanding views on the sanctity of life, a fundamental Catholic doctrine.

The protestors selective citing of the pope also extended to Catholic teachings on marriage and those “sexual minorities” the students were invoking. Recall that Pope Francis disappointed the LGBT community in his issuance last year of a report in which he affirmed the longstanding Catholic doctrine on the subject of homosexuality and marriage: “…only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life…(w)e need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions, for example, may not simply be equated with marriage.”

The pope cited the 2015 report of the synod of Catholic bishops saying, “There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”

And while the pope called on the church to provide “respectful pastoral guidance” to those experiencing “same sex attraction”, he stated clearly that from the church’s viewpoint, “God’s will” means people should not act on such attractions.

Oops. Protestors must have missed that class? In other words, these graduates justified their objections to Pence’s presence as the commencement speaker at a major Catholic university for mirroring Catholic doctrine.

Extraordinary Delusions and the Madness of Hillary Clinton By Michael Walsh

In case you haven’t noticed, the Thing That Wouldn’t Leave is back yet again, and still refusing to accept the results of the 2016 presidential election.

Hillary Clinton says that she “beat” Donald Trump—and Bernie Sanders—in a lengthy feature article by New York Magazine. “I beat both of them,” she said, evidently referencing her popular vote win over Trump.

While Clinton did defeat Sanders, who is not a Democrat, in the Democratic primary, she did not defeat Trump, who was inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States in January.

In the story, Clinton discussed her post-election status as a member of the “Resistance” to Trump, but she also reflected on the 2016 campaign, which included a harder-than-expected fight against Sanders for the nomination.

Let’s start with the most salient point: it is utterly shameful for the defeated candidate to join a “resistance” against the lawfully elected winner, for no other reason than she lost. Americans despise a sore loser, and both Clinton and her entire graceless party have been wailing since last November about the cosmic unfairness of it all — all the more because they fully expected that the fix was in, and she would cake-waddle into the White House. As Johnny Caspar complains in Miller’s Crossing: “if you can’t trust a fixed fight, what can you trust?”

From the Newsweek article:

Talking about Comey, even the day after his firing, is a risky thing for Clinton to do. The last time she did it was in a conversation a week earlier with CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour at a Manhattan lunchtime gala for Women for Women International. Amanpour had asked Clinton about why she thought she had lost the election. “I take absolute personal responsibility,” Clinton replied. “I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had.” But she had also talked about other factors she believes contributed, citing FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver’s research on the impact of Comey’s October 28 letter. “If the election had been on October 27,” she said, “I’d be your president.”

But even the Left can’t stand her constant bellyaching:

After the exchange, Clinton and her aides had appeared upbeat. The crowd had been enthusiastic, and there was a sense that Clinton had done something that she has long found difficult in public: She had been herself — brassy, frank, funny, and pissed. But on cable news and social media, another reaction was taking shape. The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush, who has reported on Clinton for years, tweeted “mea culpa-not so much,” suggesting that the former candidate “blames everyone but self.” Obama-campaign strategist turned pundit David Axelrod gave an interview claiming that while Clinton “said the words ‘I’m responsible’ … everything else suggested that she really doesn’t feel that way.” Joe Scarborough called her comments “pathetic”; David Gregory suggested she was not “taking real responsibility for the fact that she was not what the country wanted.” And in the Daily News , Gersh Kuntzman delivered a column that began, “Hey, Hillary Clinton, shut the f— up and go away already.”

Coming from her friends, that’s good advice. Of course, she won’t take it. Her life has no purpose except to claw her way to power, even though she has absolutely no aptitude for it in any lawful way. First she married it, then she coasted into a Senate seat against a hapless opponent in a one-party state, then she was appointed to it. She is, in effect, the anti-Bubba: mean, classless, talentless and very, very angry. No wonder everybody hates her.

Waiting for North Korea’s Next Nuclear Test By Claudia Rosett

Just last month, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told the United Nations Security Council that the era of letting North Korea call the shots was over. Commenting on a record in which North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests since 2006, two of them just last year, Tillerson said: “For too long the international community has been reactive in addressing North Korea.” He added, “Those days must come to an end. Failing to act now on the most pressing security issue in the world may bring catastrophic consequences.”

Yet here we are, with Reuters reporting, based on a news conference held Friday in Beijing by senior State Department official Susan Thornton, that the U.S. is “looking at discussing with China a new Security Council resolution on pre-negotiated measures to reduce delays in any response to further nuclear tests or other provocations from the North.”

In other words, the U.S. is waiting to react to North Korea’s next nuclear test, which North Korean officials have already threatened to carry out, and for which preparations have been visibly underway.

With the variation that the diplomatic response (providing China agrees) would be “pre-negotiated,” this sounds disturbingly similar to the ritual that President Obama’s administration dolled up under the fatuous label of “strategic patience.” The result, on Obama’s watch, was that North Korea carried out four of its five nuclear tests to date, and accelerated its missile program to include over the past three years — as The Wall Street Journal reported recently — the launches of “more major missiles than in the three previous decades combined.”

The Obama ritual went like this: North Korea would carry out a forbidden nuclear test (in 2009, 2013, and two in 2016). The U.S. would turn to the UN Security Council, which after a period of closed-door wrangling would respond by approving yet another sanctions resolution, which would then be advertised by the U.S. as tough… tougher… toughest. Whatever.

Recall America’s former ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, declaring after the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2270 in March 2016 (in response to North Korea’s fourth nuclear test) that “this resolution is so comprehensive, there are many provisions that leave no gap, no window.” That resolution was followed last September by North Korea’s fifth nuclear test, to which the UN responded by adding to the gapless, windowless sanctions resolution #2270 the even more gapless and windowless resolution #2321.

One might reasonably ask: Why reserve all those ever tougher sanctions for North Korea’s next nuclear test, or the one after that? If gapless, windowless sanctions have yet more holes that need plugging, why not do it all now?

If I might hazard a guess, the obstacle is not solely that veto-wielding permanent Security Council members China and Russia have no serious interest in trying to throttle North Korea’s Kim regime. Even when they vote for those ever tougher UN sanctions, they have been, to put it generously, highly casual about enforcing them. On the evidence, China — despite its public expressions of disapproval and disappointment over each North Korean nuclear test — has nonetheless, for decades now, allowed North Korea to proceed. It is past time to ask quite seriously whether Beijing (never mind its public posturing) reached a quiet decision quite some years ago that China can live comfortably enough with a nuclear-armed North Korea that dedicates itself to bedeviling such leading democracies as South Korea, America and Japan.

Some future commencement topics for Hillary Clinton By Jack Hellner

Hillary gave the commencement speech at Wellesley College, where she said how important the truth is and that people shouldn’t make up their own facts. The liberal media are wildly cheering that she is back.

She will follow that up with several other topics like:

How important it is for government officials to use only secure computers to send and receive classified documents in order to comply with the law.

The need to keep all emails and other document records and to turn them over when you resign to comply with the law and so you can promptly comply with the law on FOIA requests.

The importance of cooperating with inspectors general because government officials must comply with all laws, not just ones they like.

Making sure your staff doesn’t get paid by up to three organizations to prevent conflicts of interest.

How to block Russia from getting control of U.S.-produced uranium, especially if your family and related entities have been getting huge paychecks from the companies and countries involved.

How to ensure that the ambassadors and staff you are responsible for are safe but if they should get killed, then the importance of putting political priorities first – even if that means scuppering the truth making up things. Can we hear her tell us how very important it is to tell the truth to the families of those who died instead of: “At this point, what difference does it make?”

On the importance of fair elections, she should point out how important it is to have fair primaries. Can she say that it would never be fair to stack the primary tally with superdelegates before the primaries are held to give one handpicked candidate preference?

She could tell a future graduating class how to make $100,000 on cattle futures from a $1,000 investment. She might tell them that technically you shouldn’t be able to trade with only $1,000, but if you marry right, that someone that can trade political favors to ensure that it works. Cattle futures looks so much better than having to admit a kickback. It is obviously OK to do this if you believe you need more money.

Hillary could describe how easy it is to get money for campaigns if you live in the White House. You can have breakfasts and rent out rooms for big money. The Lincoln Bedroom is the most valuable room. When you leave office, you can take stuff with you. And describe yourself as “dead broke.”

Another speech could teach students how to prepare for a debate or any test. She would tell them that if they are as smart as she is, and that if anyone ever slips them the questions or answers prior to the test, they should turn him down, because only cheaters and truly dishonest people would ever accept an unfair advantage like that.

She could do a special speech to young ladies about women’s health care and reproductive rights, saying how Planned Parenthood is very careful when it crushes and crunches babies to save the valuable body parts.

Another speech to women’s groups would involve telling them how to have a happy home life to prevent their husbands from straying. She could tell them that if their husbands do stray with one to a hundred women, they should always treat the other women with respect. There should never be any attempt to call them liars or to destroy their lives. If a woman accuses your husband of rape, she is obviously telling the truth. Whatever you do, never set up a war room.

Hillary likes to focus on women and children because it takes a village to raise a child. She would tell the audience how important it is to raise children who are grounded like Chelsea. Chelsea has said she was never interested in money as she got corporate board seats, a $600,000 network job despite no experience, $75,000 speeches, private jets, and modest living in her $10-million apartment. We have always taught Chelsea to care as little about money as Bill and she herself did.

She should go before environmental groups and tell them that when you are flying in private jets and living in mansions, you should always plant a tree or two to hold down your carbon footprint. If you are talking to fossil fuel companies, make sure you tell them how great it is that they were so instrumental in improving the quality and length of life throughout the world. If someone mistakenly slips a comment in saying you want to bankrupt coal companies, make sure you say that was a misinterpretation.

Israel: The Inconvenient Truth of Occupation By Maggie Villines

It is an inconvenient truth that under international law, it’s not illegal to win a territorial fight. Media rhetoric pummels hearts and minds and rallies a false cause, and the United Nations depicts the people of Israel to be a pariah, a hated “occupier,” and routinely takes steps to sanction the occupier. The Middle East, an area of 8,804.395 square miles – equivalent to about ninety percent of the contiguous United States – considers Israel undeserving of the right to exist on the original, tiny 10,875 square miles unanimously granted by the League of Nations and upheld by the U.N.

International laws of war, declared or undeclared, are ignored. Ignorance prevails around the globe. Pertinent laws are eye-opening – not a seductive read, but easy to understand and necessary for discovering truth, whatever your moral imperative, which fails to replace law.

Is Israel an “occupier,” and if the answer is yes, is the “occupation” legal according to international law? Consider the following:

1) Egypt has never held or claimed sovereignty (ownership) over the Gaza Strip.

2) Egypt has occupied (established authority over) the Gaza Strip.

3) Jordan has never been sovereign over the West Bank.

4) Jordan has occupied the West Bank.

5) Jordan claimed sovereignty over the West Bank but abandoned the quest after failing to convince Arab neighbors or any nations, other than Pakistan and Britain, of a legitimate claim.

6) Syria is sovereign over the Golan Heights, although Israel gained a portion of the territory in the 1967 war. That portion of the Golan remains under Israeli control. Syria accuses Israel of “illegal occupation” as Syria’s own Iranian-funded military occupies Lebanon. Israel shares a border with Lebanon, from which Hezb’allah, an internationally recognized terrorist organization, attacks Israel, forcing Israel to respond to protect its citizenry.

The definition of a territorial “occupier” has existed, unchanged, since the early 1900s. “Customary” warfare law is settled law.

1. The purpose of the 1907 Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land:

Hague Article 42, in part: The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.

Hague Article 43, in part: The authority of the legitmate power having in fact passed into the hands of the occupant, the latter shall take all the measures in his power to restore and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.

2. The Fourth Geneva Convention, August 1949: “After WWII this body examined “occupation” through a more focused lens and added to the Hague. The definition of occupation did not change. Hague remained and continues to be customary law. The Geneva purpose shifted from protecting the sovereign to protecting civilian populations.”

Turkey: Erdogan’s Goon Squad Comes to Washington by Burak Bekdil

The savagery of Erdogan’s Turkish enforcers in Washington, whom many observers viewed as thugs, reflects a new dimension in carrying his message to any potential leader who may host him in the future: We treat peaceful dissent abroad as we treat it in Turkey.

Turkey probably was protesting the United States for not giving President Erdogan’s men a license to kill.

According to the official narrative, U.S. President Donald Trump was hosting in Washington the leader of a long-friendly country and historic ally. In typical diplomatic niceties, Trump mentioned Turkey’s role as a pillar in the Cold War against Soviet expansion, and Turkey’s legendary courage in fighting alongside American soldiers in the Korean War in the 1950s. Trump also said, speaking of the present, that he looks forward to “working together with President Erdogan on achieving peace and security in the Middle East, on confronting the shared threats, and on working toward a future of dignity and safety for all of our people.” Facts on the ground, however, are frequently less pleasant than Kodak-moment niceties.

The fundamental incompatibility between Trump and Erdogan was too apparent from the beginning of what looks like a largely transactional, pragmatic but problematic relationship. Erdogan’s political ideology is deep-rooted in an often-aggressive blend of Sunni Islamist supremacy and neo-Ottoman, Turkish nationalism. Erdogan, disregarding Saudi Arabia and other possible contenders for the title, claims to be the protector of Sunni Muslims across the Middle East, and does not hide his ideological kinship with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, of which Trump is not a great admirer. In contrast, Trump hit out at Muslims during his campaign and proposed both a “Muslim travel ban” and a “Muslim registry”. It was only too predictable: in response, Erdogan, in June 2016, called for Trump’s name to be stripped from the Trump Towers in Istanbul.

Erdogan’s Washington, DC visit, apart from Trump and Erdogan agreeing to disagree on more essential issues, will be remembered as a Turkish excess, with scenes of the bloodied faces of peaceful protestors beaten up by Erdogan’s bodyguards in front of the Turkish ambassador’s residence. Although these unpleasant incidents caused an uproar in America, such brutality should have come as no surprise.

Slightly over a year ago, Erdogan and his team were in America on another visit, with the Turkish president scheduled to speak at the Brookings Institution. His security guards harassed and physically assaulted journalists trying to cover the event; they also forcibly attempted to remove several journalists, although they were on the guest list. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Brookings staff prevented them from ejecting the reporters. One Turkish journalist was removed from the building while checking in. But that was not the entire show. An American reporter attempting to film the harassment was kicked in the chest. The National Press Club was outraged. “We have increasingly seen disrespect for basic human rights and press freedom in Turkey,” said the president of the Club, Thomas Burr. “Erdogan doesn’t get to export such abuse”.

Europe Fights Back with Candles and Teddy Bears by Giulio Meotti

Europe still has not realized that the terror which struck its metropolis was a war, and not the mistake of a few disturbed people who misunderstood the Islamic religion.

We are apparently not ready to abandon our masochistic rules of engagement, which privilege the enemy’s people over our own.

It appears that for Europe, Islamic terrorism is not real, but only a momentary disruption of its routine. We fight against global warming, malaria and hunger in Africa. But are we not ready to fight for our civilization? Have we already given up?

This long and sad list is the human harvest of Islamic terrorism on Europe’s soil:

Madrid: 191. London: 58. Amsterdam: 1. Paris: 148. Brussels: 36. Copenhagen: 2. Nice: 86. Stockholm: 4. Berlin: 12. Manchester: 22. And it does not take into account the hundreds of Europeans butchered abroad, in Bali, in Sousse, in Dakka, in Jerusalem, in Sharm el Sheikh, in Istanbul.

But after 567 victims of terror, Europe still does not understand. Just the first half of 2017 has seen terror attacks attempted in Europe every nine days on average. Yet, despite this Islamist offensive, Europe is fighting back with teddy bears, candles, flowers, vigils, Twitter hashtags and cartoons.

Candles and flowers left behind following an evening vigil on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England, held after a suicide bombing by an Islamic terrorist who murdered 22 concert-goers the night before. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

After 9/11 and 2,996 victims, the U.S. under George W. Bush rose to the fight. The United States and a few brave European allies, such as the UK, Italy and Spain, proved themselves “the stronger horse”. Islamic warriors were thrown on the defensive; Jihadist recruits dropped off and dozens of terror plots were disrupted. But that response did not last. Europe quickly retreated into its own homefront, while the Islamists carried the war onto Europe’s soil: Madrid, London, Theo van Gogh…

Since then, the situation has only become worse: a simple calculation shows that we went from one attack every two years to one attack every nine days. Take just the last six months: Berlin, London, Stockholm, Paris and now Manchester.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller signed the first-ever trade agreement between the Lone Star State and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Supporters of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have seen two encouraging developments this week in the US.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, a strong supporter of an Israeli presence in the region, signed the first-ever trade agreement between the US and the Samaria Regional Council, the Jerusalem Post reported Thursday.

The same day, David Friedman, known as a strong supporter of these communities, was confirmed as US ambassador to Israel – a move vehemently opposed by J Street, a left-wing NGO.
“I’m here in the Shomron [Samaria] — Israel — to create a revived Texas-Israel exchange,” Miller declared, according to the Post.

Miller, a Republican, has been a staunch supporter of US President Donald Trump since the 2016 presidential race. He is in Israel this week on a visit organized by Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.
Texas ‘Open for Business’ with Israel

“I am going to deliver the message to our trade partners in Israel that Texas is open for business and that we are looking forward to strengthening the bond between Texas and Israel,” Miller said in a statement posted on the Texas Depeartment of Agriculture’s website back in January. “Whether working on agricultural technology such as livestock genetics, finding solutions to our future water needs, increasing Texas exports or creating new jobs for both Texas and Israel, we have only scratched the surface of the ways we can work together.”

“I look forward to working closely with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Miller and his team to strengthen the already strong ties that exist between Israel and Texas,” Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel, a Member of Knesset in the Jewish Home party, said. “I also look forward to increasing the trade and marketing opportunities between Texas and Israel and am anxious to build upon this new opportunity.”
A Statement Against BDS

Israel Ranked as Best Country for Women in Middle East World Economic Forum poll puts Israel way ahead of its Muslim neighbors in terms of women’s basic rights and freedoms.

Israel is the best country in the Middle East for women’s rights and freedoms, the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap survey concluded this week.

The survey, which has been conducted since 2006, ranks 110 countries in terms of gender equality and inequality, using a variety of factors including demographic data, socioeconomic figures, and a close look at women in the legal system.

In 2013, Israel ranked #53 for women’s rights worldwide – up two places since 2012 – but top for the Middle East overall. Middle Eastern and Muslim countries ranked lower on the list, possibly due to their lower human rights records overall.

Thomson-Reuters noted recently that several Middle Eastern countries – Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others – have a poor track record for violence against women, reproductive rights, as well as the treatment and role of women. Egypt bottomed out the list.

The report noted that the Comoros Islands have the best track record for treatment of women in the Arab world; while the tiny nation did not appear on the WEF list, Oman – which ranked second for the Arab world in the Reuters poll – ranked 122nd in this week’s survey. Kuwait, which ranked third on the Reuters list, stands at just 118.

The survey’s results were published in honor of International Women’s Day, which was on March 8, and surfaces within days of reports that the Saudi Arabian royal family has been holding princesses captive against their will for several years.

Israel received the Reducing the Gender Gap prize in 2013 from the European Parliament for its efforts in championing women’s rights.