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November 2017

MY SAY: Fake History and Sustainable Anti-Israel Bias In the Academies : Ruth King

You know the old saw “ignorance is bliss.” When it comes to the history of the Middle East I prefer the blissfully ignorant to the “scholars” who teach fake history parroting the biased fiction that passes for Middle East studies to gullible students.

Take the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) that feeds faculty to the departments of Middle East history in most American Universities.

“The Middle East Studies Association (MESA) is a private, non-profit learned society that brings together scholars, educators and those interested in the study of the region from all over the world.” This is their claim, which sounds innocent enough.

In fact, students will “learn” that Jews usurped ancient Arab lands, colonized them, instituted harsh repression and liquidated basic rights in their illegal occupation. They will be taught that Arab wars and terrorism were a reaction to Jewish invasion of Arab lands. They will unlearn, if they ever knew, anything about the Jews’ historic ties to Palestine, the Balfour Declaration or the deception that deeded 80% of Palestine to the Hashemites who had absolutely no historic ties to the area.

The current president of MESA, Beth Baron, a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the Graduate Center of City University (CUNY), is an outspoken supporter of the morally lopsided Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. She has published dozens of letters to the Israeli government condemning its actions and defending terrorists. She refers to the Israel Defense Forces as the “Israeli Occupation Authorities.” In August 2017 CUNY gave her a thirty thousand dollar raise and named her a “Distinguished Scholar.” Imagine what she teaches her students.

Judith Tucker, a professor of History at Georgetown University, is the President-elect of MESA, and (no surprise) a leader in the BDS movement. Back in 2014 she co-authored a resolution that defended scholarly associations’ right to endorse and participate in BDS. In January of 2016, Tucker sponsored a resolution titled “Protecting the Right to Education in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” that was presented at the annual American Historical Association (AHA) convention. While that fortunately failed to pass, at the convention Tucker chaired a “Roundtable on Violations of Academic Freedom in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Lisa Hajjar, a professor of “Law and Society” at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is a member of the board of MESA whose term expires this month. As the late and greatly lamented Professor Steven Plaut wrote in Frontpage in June 2005: “Lisa Hajjar has made an entire academic career out of bashing the United States and Israel for their supposed use of ‘torture’ against Arabs. She spouts off these baseless accusations from her academic home at the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB), where she teaches in its ‘Law and Society’ program. In fact she has no credentials at all in law. (She also teaches “Middle East Studies” at UCSB, with even fewer qualifications in that field.) Instead she holds a PhD in sociology from American University. The one in Washington, not Cairo.“

At Columbia University, past president of MESA Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Arab Studies. He is fiercely anti-Israel and in his latest screed bemoaned: “Israel advocates will ‘infest’ the Trump administration and impose a new ‘vision’ of the Middle East disproportionately favoring the Israeli government….. they have a vision whereby the occupied territories aren’t occupied, they have a vision whereby there is no such thing as the Palestinians, they have a vision whereby international law doesn’t exist, they have a vision whereby the United States can unilaterally cancel a decision in the United Nations.” His entire department of fake history shares his views.

‘The Exterminating Angel’ at the Met The British composer Thomas Adès, the son of Syrian-Jewish immigrants to the United Kingdom, leads an operatic adaption of Luis Buñuel’s surrealist film into a biblical trap By David P. Goldman

Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a “play in which nothing happens, twice,” in Vivian Mercier’s bon mot. Less known to English-speaking audiences is another work in which nothing happens twice, namely Luis Buñuel’s 1962 film, The Exterminating Angel. The great Spanish auteur attacked the subject as surrealist social farce rather than as Existentialist absurdity, as with Beckett. Buñuel’s nihilism makes no pretense at portraying the human condition in general. It is as distinctively Spanish as Gilbert and Sullivan are distinctively British, which explains why Spanish theater troupes do not perform HMS Pinafore and American audiences largely ignored The Exterminating Angel. As a narrative of cultural suicide, though, it has no peer in postwar art.

Buñuel was a lifelong Communist and concluded his film with a revolutionary statement. But he brought to the screen a profoundly biblical sensibility, most of all in the matter of retribution. The film’s title may be a reference to the 19th-century Spanish Society of the Exterminating Angel, a death squad that hunted Spanish liberals. But it is more immediately a citation of I Chronicles 21:15, “And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it” after King David ordered a census in contravention of biblical law. The subject of the film is divine vengeance against a corrupt elite that is incapable of extricating itself from its torpor.

The British composer Thomas Adès, the son of Syrian-Jewish immigrants to the United Kingdom, debuted an operatic adaption of Buñuel’s Angel at the Salzburg Festival last year. The Metropolitan Opera features it prominently in its fall season. With a few telling exceptions, Adès and his librettist, Tom Cairns, stick close to Buñuel’s screenplay. Their endeavor raises a question: How do you write music about nothing? The question is not as silly as it sounds. Adès solves it by injecting extraneous material into the comedy, which supports the music but disturbs the joke.

Adès has no limitations as a composer, by which I mean that he has a sure grip on the whole battery of compositional styles and musical devices. He can do with a score whatever he thinks best, and his use of tonal devices, as well as atonal gestures and sound effects, is canny and deliberate. The question is whether he has provided Buñuel’s comedy with the music it requires. The film has no score at all; the only music is performed by one of the characters in the course of the action.

In the film, guests arrive for dinner at a Mexico City mansion (on “Providence Street”), and find that they cannot leave the living room. The servants have had a strange compulsion to flee. There is no explanation for their paralysis of will. They do not understand it themselves. Days go by, and the aristocratic company begins to stink and starve. They obtain water by breaking open a pipe in the wall and food by butchering a pet lamb. A crowd gathers outside but cannot enter, either. The entrapped guests descend by turns into madness and violence, until one of them observes that they have returned by random motion to the precise positions they occupied just before the spell descended on them. They repeat verbatim the party banter that preceded their imprisonment, and the survivors stumble out of their hell.

The host promises to sponsor a solemn mass if the group escapes, but the partygoers’ Christianity cracks and peels under stress. One lady in the party, who carries chicken feet in her purse, applies practical Kabbalah without success; it is not clear whether she is meant to be a covert Jew or just dotty. Chicken feet pertain to voodoo, not Kabbalah. A Freemason in the group shouts “Adonai!” a masonic call for help, but no one appears.

Repetition, it turns out, is not the counter-spell, but a nasty divine joke. Buñuel warns us that something is awry by repeating the entrance of the guests into the mansion. The master of the house offers a toast to the prima donna of the opera they have just heard. He starts to repeat the scene, but this time the partygoers ignore him, as Buñuel winks to the audience.

After stumbling out of the house, the partygoers appear shortly afterward for a Mass of thanks-giving, but this time no one is able to leave the church. The priests halt at the exit and the parishioners mill about unable to pass the threshold. In case we were unclear about what Buñuel had in mind, the last scene shows machine guns firing at an uprising outside the church, and a herd of sheep entering the church. The relevant repetition was not the reenactment of the banal events that preceded the guests’ entrapment, but rather the repetition of the entrapment itself, this time in the church. Nothing has happened twice. These are people who are doomed to repeat themselves. That is why they are trapped.

The Lost Opportunity For Regime Change In Iran: An Admiral’s Lament Adm. (Ret.) James “Ace” Lyons recalls the military plan that could have changed the course of history — and who sabotaged it.


The debate on the future of the Iran nuclear deal has had two overriding views, that of President Trump who is inclined to scrap it, and that of his close advisors who caution against it. Admiral James “Ace” Lyons, Jr. has an altogether different approach: “a regime change in Iran.”

Admiral James “Ace” Lyons Jr. was the keynote speaker at a memorial service held at the Bergen County Court House in Hackensack, NJ, for the 241 U.S. Marine peacekeepers, killed in Beirut, Lebanon on October 23, 1983 by terrorists, on orders from the Ayatollahs regime in Tehran. Beirut native Joseph Hakim, President of the International Christian Union, is the founder of the annual memorial service.

Adm. (Ret.) Lyons, the 90-year old naval hero, though frail in body, used his booming voice to enumerate the opportunities and failures of various U.S. administrations to depose the radical Islamist regime that was responsible for the death of numerous U.S. Marines and other U.S. servicemen in Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere throughout the world. He also reminded the audience of 200, mostly U.S. Marine veterans, of his personal plans of action to eliminate the oppressive Iranian regime.

As an officer of the U.S. Navy for thirty-six years, most recently as Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the largest single military command in the world, his initiatives contributed directly to the economic stability and humanitarian understanding in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, and brought the U.S. Navy Fleet back to China. He also served as Senior U.S. Military Representative to the United Nations. As deputy Chief of Naval Operations from 1983-1985, he was principal advisor on all Joint Chiefs of Staff matters, and was the father of the Navy Red Cell, an anti-terrorism group comprised of Navy Seals. He established this in response to the Marine Barracks bombing in Beirut.

Admiral Lyons was also Commander of the U.S. Second Fleet and Commander of the NATO Striking Fleet, which were the principle fleets for implementing of the U.S. Maritime Strategy. Admiral Lyons has represented U.S. interests with the military and civilian leadership worldwide – including China, Japan and other Pacific Rim countries, the European continent and Russia. As Fleet Commander, he managed a budget of over $5 billion and controlled a force of 250,000 personnel. Key assignments preceding Flag rank included Chief of Staff, Commander Carrier Group Four, Commanding Officer, USS Richmond K, Turner (CG-20), and Commanding Officer, USS Charles S. Sperry (DD697).

Admiral Lyons has been recognized for his distinguished service by the United States, and several foreign governments. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and has received post graduate degrees from the U.S. Naval War College, and U.S. National Defense University. Currently Admiral Lyons is President/CEO of LION Associates LLC, a premier global consultancy providing technical expertise in the areas of international marketing and trade, enterprise risk including anti-terrorism, site and port security, foreign policy and security affairs along with defense and commercial procurement.

This reporter used the occasion to interview Admiral Lyons, nicknamed “Ace”.

Joseph Puder (JP): You had a plan of action in 1979 that would have done away with the Ayatollahs regime in Tehran. Please describe how it was derailed and by whom?

Admiral James Lyons, Jr. (JLJ): When the Ayatollah goons took over our Tehran embassy in November, 1979, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) called me up (I was the Director of political Military Affairs for the JCS at the time) and asked me what options do we have. I said our only good option was to take Kharg Island, Iran’s main exporting oil depot up in the Persian Gulf. I was probably the only senior officer that had been there and I knew what we could do. My plan involved taking control of the main control facilities building with a detachment of U.S. Navy Seals. I was going to give the Iranians 24 hours to get out of our embassy and release our diplomats or they were going to have the biggest ashtray in the Middle East. President Carter rejected the plan when I was told National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski brought it up to him. I attributed this to the influence of the powerful Washington Iran lobby group.

One of the members of the Iran lobby group, Gary Sick, was the Iranian desk officer at the National Security Council (NSC). According to reports, Sick leaked a story to the Boston Globe that there would be no military response to the atrocious action taken against our U.S. Embassy in Tehran, which is sovereign U.S. territory. Unbelievable!

JP: What was the role of Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in thwarting your plan of retaliation against the Iranian directed Shiite Amal terrorist bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut?

JLJ: We had proof positive the orders for the bombing came from Tehran based on a National Security Agency intercept of the Iranian Ambassador in Damascus reporting back to the Foreign Ministry in Tehran. The orders he gave to the terrorists’ leadership (which he previously received from Tehran) were to concentrate the attack on the Multi-National Force, and specifically to take “spectacular action” against the U.S. Marines. That intercept was dated September 27, 1983, almost 4 weeks before the bombing. At the time, I was the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, and did not see that message until two days after the bombing, on October 25, 1983. I had the GAO do an investigation on where was that message. I never got a satisfactory answer. I personally talked to Colonel Gerrity, the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Marines Peacekeeping Force, and he said he never saw it either, nor did the Carrier Task Group Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet.

Trump Administration Takes Firm Stance Against Anti-Semitism New appointments show what the White House’s priorities are. Ari Lieberman

Since assuming office, the Trump administration has been dogged by allegations of either harboring or promoting anti-Semitism. This false narrative has primarily been spearheaded by Trump’s detractors whose motives are at best questionable.

The sudden interest in the subject of anti-Semitism by the Left is puzzling to say the least. During Obama’s tenure, there were over 7,000 recorded acts of Jew-hatred in the United States, many of which occurred at America’s institutions of higher learning. Campus hate groups like Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) have been the driving force behind Judeophobic activities on college campuses. Yet the New York Times, Washington Post and other establishment media outlets have been largely silent on the issue of Islamist inspired anti-Semitism.

Few among the Left took the Obama administration to task for failing to recognize the seriousness of the situation. Obama exhibited little interest in addressing this scourge and seemed content with limiting his anti-Jewish bias initiatives to hosting yearly Passover Seders with his obsequious friends and wishing Jews a Happy New Year on Rosh Hashanah. Obama’s allies, including those within the establishment media, seemed content with this do-nothing approach.

Contrary to what the establishment media and many within the Left would have us believe, it is in fact the Obama administration that allowed the malevolent cancer of antisemitism to fester and expand. By contrast, the Trump administration has adopted a robust, proactive approach toward combatting antisemitism both nationally and internationally.

Last week, Trump appointed Kenneth L. Marcus assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education. Marcus has been an outspoken critic of the Office for Civil Rights under Obama’s term for what he characterized as its failure to address anti-Semitic incidents masquerading as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. In 2010 he wrote, “On college campuses — and especially in protests brought by the anti-Israel boycotts, divestment and sanctions movement — it is now widely understood that attacking ‘Jews’ by name is impolitic, but one can smear ‘Zionists’ with impunity.”

Marcus advocates the use of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to combat anti-Jewish and anti-Israel activity on college campuses. Under Title VI, “If a recipient of federal assistance is found to have discriminated and voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the federal agency providing the assistance should either initiate fund termination proceedings or refer the matter to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal action.” The statute has teeth, and universities falling into non-compliance risk losing taxpayer funding.

The appointment, which barely registered a blip on the mainstream media’s radar, was highly significant for those monitoring incidents of Jew-hate on college campuses and comes of the heels of a revealing report issued by the campus watchdog group AMCHA, documenting how pro-BDS faculty pose a direct threat to Jewish students.

Past reports submitted by AMCHA documented the direct link between Muslim Brotherhood front groups like the SJP, and anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses. For example, According to AMCHA, anti-Semitic incidents are eight times more likely to occur at the universities that host groups like the SJP and its alter ego, the Muslim Student Association (MSA). The new study however, provides troubling proof of the existence of a direct link between pro-BDS faculty and anti-Semitic activity.

“The studies found that schools with one or more faculty boycotters were between four and seven times more likely to play host to incidents of anti-Jewish hostility, and the more faculty boycotters on a campus, the greater the likelihood of such anti-Semitic acts.”

Finally, Tax Reform The GOP’s new plan could unleash an unstoppable wave of powerful economic growth. Matthew Vadum

President Trump and congressional Republicans unveiled their huge tax reform bill focused on the middle class yesterday, promising the proposed “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” will stimulate strong economic growth as it makes the mammoth, out-of-control tax code simpler and fairer.

The proposal is “a great bill,” and “another important step toward providing massive tax relief for the American people,” the president said, adding he hoped the measure will become law before Christmas.

“Today is a great day for the American worker,” Trump said. “Over the past 10 months, we’ve witnessed something remarkable happening to our country, a lot of change, a lot of difference. We’ve hit close to 60 records in the stock market since November 8, that very big day,” Trump said, a reference to the day he was elected president.

“Ninety-five percent of people will be able to fill out a tax form the size of a postcard,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) said.

“It’s going to make life very simple,” Trump said. “The only people that aren’t going to like this is H&R Block, they’re not going to be very happy.”

The promise of tax reform has already gotten the Singapore-based high-tech business Broadcom Limited to commit to returning to the United States where it was founded, Trump said. “With this commitment, more than $20 billion in annual revenue will come back to our cities, towns, and the American workers.”

At the White House, the head of Broadcom, Hock Tan, explained that he is an American, “as are nearly all my direct managers, my board members, and over 90 percent of my shareholders. So today, we are announcing that we are making America home again.”

“Our commitment to re-domicile into the United States is a huge reaffirmation to our shareholders, to the 7,500 employees we have across 24 states in America today, that America is once again the best place to lead a business with a global footprint.”

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) yesterday unveiled the “chairman’s mark,” an early version of the legislation. Undoubtedly changes will be made when Brady’s committee takes up the measure, a process expected to begin next week. The Senate and its committees of jurisdiction will also weigh in. There is a chance the legislation will be substantially rewritten over the weekend before the markup in the Ways and Means Committee.

The reform plan would collapse the current seven individual income tax brackets – 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35, and 39.6 percent into just four – 12, 25, 35, and 39.6 percent – according to a summary of major details of the legislation provided by Jared Walczak and Amir El-Sibaie of the Tax Foundation.

The retention of the top marginal rate of 39.6 percent is an example of a pointless appeasement effort aimed at social justice warriors. The gambit has already failed. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) is already portraying the tax plan as a giveaway to “the wealthiest one percent” of Americans “at the expense of the great middle class.” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) decried the plan as “everything America doesn’t want,” adding, “like a fish, if it stays out in the sunlight too long, it stinks.”

The proposed tax cuts aren’t enough for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky). “If you don’t cut the top 1 percent, you don’t really have a significant tax cut,” Paul said. “What they’ve done is, they’ve bought into the class warfare on the individual side.” Those at “the top part of the spectrum” need tax relief “because the top part of the spectrum pays most of the taxes.”

“We have to understand that the owners of our businesses — the people we work for — are richer than us. They pay more taxes,” he said. “But if you lower their taxes, they will either buy stuff or hire more people. If you raise their taxes, it goes into the nonproductive economy, which is Washington, D.C., and it will be squandered.”

“So at the top, there’s not going to be much of a tax cut. There will be some. And in the middle, there’s going to be a little bit — there’s mostly going to be eliminating deductions. And at the bottom, the bottom already don’t pay much income tax and will continue not to pay much income tax,” Paul said.

Lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, as proposed, however, would “be huge” for the country, he said.

The best news out of this is, lowering the corporate rate will help the country. And I think we will see growth. Already we’re seeing about 3 percent growth in the country because of the enthusiasm for President Trump and his policies. I think we’re going to get 4 or 5 percent growth if we get this thing through, within a year or two.

The standard deduction for single personal income tax filers will rise from the current $6,350 to $12,000, according to the Tax Foundation. For heads of household, it will jump from $9,350 to $18,000. For married couples, it will climb from $12,700 to $24,000. The additional standard deduction and the personal exemption will be eliminated. The alternative minimum tax (AMT) on both individuals and corporations will be abolished.

Charitable deductions will remain but the property tax deduction will be capped at $10,000. The remaining state and local tax deductions and other itemized deductions will be eliminated. The proposal on state and local taxes is already running into opposition from lawmakers representing high-tax states. Chairman Brady has acknowledged the concerns of blue-state Republicans and is trying to come up with a compromise.

The mortgage interest deduction will be retained but will be capped at $500,000 of principal for new home purchases. The construction industry seems certain to fight the change. There will also be changes to the exclusion of capital gains on home sales. The moving deduction, educator expense deduction, and exclusions for employer-dependent care programs, among others, will be eliminated.

The plan would not eliminate the tax penalty established under Obamacare for failure to have health insurance, as some had hoped.

On Wednesday President Trump had seemed to hint repeal of the provision was in the works. “Wouldn’t it be great,” he tweeted, “to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts[.]”

The health care expense deduction, first instituted during World War II, would be scrapped, according to Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News. Only taxpayers whose medical expenses exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income may take advantage of it.

Because of that threshold, and because it is available only to people who itemize their deductions, the medical expense deduction is not used by many people — an estimated 8.8 million claimed it on their 2015 taxes, according to the IRS.

But those 8.8 million tax filers claimed an estimated $87 billion in deductions; meaning that those who do qualify for the deduction have very high out-of-pocket health costs.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, ranking Democrat on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, said getting rid of the deduction was “anti-senior.”

The Ways and Means Committee denies that gutting the deduction would “be a financial burden.”

Our bill lowers the tax rates and increases the standard deduction so people can immediately keep more of their paychecks — instead of having to rely on a myriad of provisions that many will never use and others may use only once in their lifetime.

Changes will be made to the regime of family tax credits.

The personal exemption for dependents will be replaced with a child tax credit that will rise from the current $1,000 to $1,600. The phaseout threshold will go from $115,000 to $230,000 for those filing as married. “The first $1,000 would be refundable, increasing with inflation up to the $1,600 base amount,” according to the Tax Foundation. There will also be “a new $300 nonrefundable personal credit and a $300 nonchild dependent nonrefundable credit, subject to phaseout. The $300 credit expires after 5 years.”

Grave-robbing will be phased out. The widely hated tax on dying after a lifetime of paying taxes will be abolished after six years. In the meantime, the estate tax exemption will go up to $10 million, which will be indexed for inflation.

The corporate income tax rate would fall to 20 percent from the current 35 percent. Trump had pushed a 15 percent rate during the election campaign. There would be a new 25 percent maximum tax rate on pass-through business income, which would be subject to anti-abuse rules.

Slashing the corporate income tax rate “is an extremely important move,” according to Veronique de Rugy, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center. “We still need to see how they will treat revenue earned overseas to assess the corporate plan fully.”

The reform proposal would do away with the Section 199 manufacturing deduction and the New Market Tax Credit along with “like-kind exchanges for personal property (retained for real property), and deductions for entertainment.” It also cancels “credits for orphan drugs, private activity bonds, energy, rehabilitation, and contributions for capital, among others,” according to the Tax Foundation.

The plan also appears to drive a stake through the heart of the extraterritorial enforcement of U.S. tax laws, moving to “a territorial tax system, in which foreign-source dividends and profits of U.S. companies are not subject to U.S. tax upon repatriation.” The move will lead to the repatriation of trillions of dollars from outside the country, the Trump administration says. Extraterritoriality in tax law is destructive, eliminating the possibility of countries competing to be tax havens, and used to be considered fundamentally unfair in this nation of ours that was founded on limited government principles.

As the Supreme Court articulated in 1991 in EEOC v. Aramco, it is widely accepted nowadays that “Congress has the authority to enforce its laws beyond the territorial boundaries of the United States,” but it hasn’t always been that way. Taxing Americans overseas had long been considered an abuse of the government’s powers until the modern era.

In the 1909 Supreme Court case, American Banana Co. v. United Fruit Co., Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes introduced what is now called the “presumption against extraterritoriality,” expressing his disgust that the U.S. could apply its laws to other sovereign countries. In Holmes’ time, “U.S. law was based almost exclusively on the territorial principle – the idea that the power of American law ends at the country’s boundaries,” according to law professor William S. Dodge.

Story Laundering: Fusion GPS, Fake News, Russians and Reporters The media’s real business is ‘story laundering’. November 3, 2017 Daniel Greenfield

“The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns,” Ben Rhodes gloated. “That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Rhodes, the White House’s “Obama whisperer”, was explaining how he had pulled the wool over the media’s eyes on the Iran Deal to a journalist. The media responded to the story by attacking the journalist who reported it, not Rhodes for viewing them as easily manipulated useful idiots.

The media knew that it knew nothing. And it didn’t care. It just didn’t want outsiders to know it.

What ties together the debate about Russian collusion, fake news and Fusion GPS is the implosion of the media. What were the professional reporters doing while Rhodes was manipulating the 27-year-olds? They were working at places like Fusion GPS and ‘story laundering’ narratives to the kiddies.

The media markets its investigative journalism chops even as investigative journalism no longer fits into its business model. Companies like Fusion GPS and political manipulators like Ben Rhodes step into the vacuum by covertly providing them with the core product. Much of the media is really in the business of ‘story laundering’ by rewriting talking points, smears and hit pieces from organizations like Fusion GPS.

The readers get talking points served to them without ever knowing who actually produced them. The forensic examination of the Trump dossier answered some of these questions. Hillary Clinton hired Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS hired a British former intelligence officer. And he got his material from, among other sources, a Russian intelligence officer. And they passed the material to the media and the FBI.

It took a great deal of effort, including a congressional subpoena, a national scandal and the threat of impeachment, to peel back the workings of the media and expose how the dossier sausage got made. Most packaged media stories never receive this level of scrutiny. And the media is quick to indignantly defend its lack of transparency and reliance on anonymous sources in its Trump hit pieces.

But what the current controversy really reveals is the decline and fall of the media.

The media has outsourced story generation to the shadowy underworld that produced the Trump dossier. Much as NPR outsourced its coverage of the Iran Deal to Ploughshares and the Iran Lobby in exchange for $100K. This isn’t bias in the conventional sense. It’s native advertising all the way. The media ‘rents’ space to outside interests. It rewrites their stories in the house style and runs them.

Sometimes, like NPR, there’s a financial arrangement. Other times the media gets stories that it lacks the resources and the time to generate on its own. Or access. And sometimes it’s just a political alliance.

College Employs ‘Safe Space Marshals’ to Patrol Speeches for Offensive Content This has got to be one of the most insane things that I’ve ever heard. By Katherine Timpf —

King’s College in London is paying people £12 per hour to police speaking events on campus and take “immediate action” if they hear anything that might offend the audience.

The marshals also put up posters and hand out leaflets reminding all attendees that “this is a Safe Space.” Examples of speech that might violate the policy “could include derogatory comments about someone’s age, disability, marital or maternity or paternity status, race, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, trans status, socio-economic status, or ideology or culture,” according to an article in the Telegraph.

In addition to their pay, the marshals also receive benefits such as free spin classes and free fruit.

The Telegraph reports that not one, not two, but three of these marshals were present when Jacob Rees-Mogg, a conservative member of Parliament, spoke there earlier this month. He was no fan of the policy.

“It’s absolutely weird to send marshals to check the content of the speech by an elected member of Parliament,” he said.

The school’s Libertarian Society has also launched a campaign against the marshals — and the group’s president, Georgia Leigha, claims that it has been “surprisingly” popular. But Momin Saqib, president of the university’s students’ union, still insists that the safe-space policy was simply “protecting” students and speakers.

Listen: I’m all for being sensitive, but this has got to be one of the most insane things that I’ve ever heard. For one thing, the list of things that apparently can qualify as “offensive” or “discriminatory” in our politically correct culture seems to be growing by the day — hoop-earring-wearing white girls, trying to make people like the Beatles, and the size of classroom chairs have all been added to the list within the last eight months alone.

It seems like it could potentially be quite difficult to get through a speech at King’s College without saying or doing something that the marshals might deem offensive. After all, just think about what kind of person would actually sign up to be “safe space marshal” in the first place. Most likely, these are people who have an obsession with safe spaces and microaggressions, and at least enough sanctimonious arrogance to actually feel that they have the authority to police other people’s speech — in other words, the kind of people who are generally the most ridiculous when it comes to declaring the innocuous unacceptable.

Ferguson: A Dramatist Corrects Journalists Playwright Phelim McAleer has done a public service in depicting how all the destruction that the town rained down on itself sprang from one man’s errant decision. By Kyle Smith —

Missouri declared itself under a state of emergency on two occasions, months apart, after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on August 9, 2014, and there were many other outbursts of violence and property destruction. All of this unrest was based on a lie started by Brown’s unreliable friend Dorian Johnson and amplified by an eager, credulous media: That Brown was unresisting, had his hands in the air and was begging not to be shot when he was killed by police officer Darren Wilson.

Sometimes it falls to a dramatist to correct journalists, and the journalist-turned-filmmaker-turned playwright Phelim McAleer has done a public service in sifting out the truth in Ferguson, a breathless 90-minute courtroom drama in which all dialogue is taken verbatim from the 25-day grand-jury proceedings that resulted in a decision not to charge Wilson. (The current production closes November 4 at the 30th Street Theatre in Manhattan but the play, which is being funded via crowdsourcing, will be restaged later in a different venue if interest is sufficient.)

Thirteen actors, some performing multiple roles, play the witnesses and the prosecutors who question them in a case everyone is aware the world is watching. Brown, routinely described in the media as an “unarmed teen,” as if the fists of an enraged 289-pound man do not constitute a threat, was under the influence of a large dose of marijuana when he and his friend Johnson were stopped by Wilson because they were walking down the double yellow line in the middle of the street. In Brown’s right hand, the officer noticed, was a box of cigarillos, which was of interest because he had just heard over the radio that a man matching Brown’s description had just robbed a small convenience store of a box of cigarillos and angrily shoved a clerk who tried to stop him.

McAleer and director Jerry Dixon begin the play, which takes place on a single set representing the grand-jury room, in an unassuming manner. Secondary witnesses describe unimportant encounters with Brown in the hours before he lost his life at noon. One laborer remarks that Brown was mentally “slow.” A cop who trained Wilson describes him as eager to work with the mostly black community and says he enjoyed buying meals for young people. The testimony of one sketchy witness, a white woman, falls apart when she says she walked through a passage that was physically blocked, and denies having read newspaper accounts of the shooting. In fact, she has posted Facebook comments beneath one such story, comments expressing such sentiments as “They need to kill the f*****g n*****s.” Another witness, a black man, has told the FBI he saw Wilson standing over the prone body of Brown pumping many bullets into his back. A prosecutor drily informs him that as he has a) given a statement inconsistent with the autopsy report and b) changed his story, he stands no chance of being invited to testify at any trial in the matter.

Palestinians: Meet Abbas’s New Partners by Bassam Tawil

Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are strongly opposed to Mahmoud Abbas’s political agenda and even see him as a collaborator with Israel.

Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced at a rally on November 2 that they are determined to stick to their weapons “until the liberation of all of Palestine” — or, in other words, until the total destruction of Israel and the elimination of Jews.

When Zahar says that only a “crazy person” thinks he can disarm Hamas and other armed groups in the Gaza Strip, he is clearly referring to Abbas. Zahar’s statement should be seen as a direct threat to Abbas.

Abbas continues to tell the world that he is working to achieve a peaceful settlement with Israel. But will he be able to continue saying such things after he joins forces with his new partners in Hamas and Islamic Jihad? The answer is simple and clear: No.

As Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas are moving forward towards implementing their “reconciliation” agreement, we are already getting an idea of what this new partnership is going to look like.

Abbas is trying to sell the agreement to the world as a deal that enables him and his Palestinian Authority (PA) to return to the Gaza Strip and assume full control there. He and his PA officials and spokesmen have also been working hard to convince the international community that only good will come out of the “reconciliation” agreement and that Hamas is even headed toward moderation and pragmatism.

However, Abbas and the PA seem to be engaged in yet another bid to deceive and lie to the international community.

Just last week, Israel foiled another plan by Hamas to dig a terror tunnel deep into Israeli territory.

The tunnel was supposed to be used by Hamas to dispatch terrorists into Israel to kill or kidnap as many Jews as possible. The tunnel was a joint Hamas-Islamic Jihad project. The terrorists have been working on the tunnel for some time — before and after the “reconciliation” accord that was reached in Cairo last month.

This means that for Hamas and Islamic Jihad it is business as usual — “reconciliation” or not, they are determined to continue their jihad to destroy Israel. The two terror groups may allow Abbas and his Palestinian Authority to return to the Gaza Strip, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad will continue to control what goes on under the earth. They will also continue to stick to their weapons in preparation for war against Israel.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the rest of the terror groups operating in the Gaza Strip continue to make it clear as day that they have no intention to disarm as a result of the “reconciliation” agreement. Abbas and the PA are welcome to assume civilian control of the Gaza Strip, but when it comes to security and weapons, Abbas is not entitled to raise this issue at all.

On November 2, Abbas received yet another indication of what awaits him and his Palestinian Authority as a result of the “reconciliation” agreement. Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad announced that they are determined to stick to their weapons “until the liberation of all of Palestine” — or, in other words, until the total destruction of Israel and the elimination of Jews.

The announcement was made during a rally held by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the town of Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip to commemorate two Hamas terrorists who were killed when Israel blew up the tunnel two days earlier.

Mahmoud Zahar, a senior Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, told the thousands of Palestinians attending the rally: “We will continue to resist the occupier until the liberation of all of Palestine.” He also cautioned “any crazy person against trying to take one rifle from the hands of the resistance.” Zahar sent his “blessings” to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists who are preparing around the clock to wage war against Israel. “We are training our sons to dig under the temporary borders so that they can reach the occupied territories [Israel].”

Colleges turn to coloring books to de-stress students

In the age of safe spaces and trigger warnings comes another new trend to the college repertoire: coloring books. This fall, campuses nationwide are offering coloring books to students to help them de-stress.

At American University on Monday, its counseling center provided coloring sheets in honor of Healthy Campus Week, noting on its Facebook page that adult coloring books “can help with a number of emotional and mental health issues.” Conditions cited include obsessive-compulsive, eating, anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as anger management and substance abuse issues.

“The time and focus that adult coloring takes helps the individual remove the focus from the negative issues and habits, and focus them in a safe and productive way,” the AU center stated.

Likewise, the University of Wyoming offers an “Art-Well” program, designed to “color your stress away,” its website states, adding “Coloring pages and colors are provided. We offer scheduled Art-Well times, but if you can’t make those, come to the Wellness Center Zen Den any time on your own.”

On tap at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is “StressLess Days.” Held monthly on Wednesdays, the university will provide coloring in addition to other “crafts and games” to help students unwind.