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Ruth King

The Politics of Meaningless Words By Sarah Hoyt

Sometimes talking to leftists could better be accomplished with interpretive dance routines, or perhaps by miming our meaning.

For weeks now, I’ve been stewing over a yard sign in one of the more virtue-signally parts of Denver Colorado. The sign was bi-colored and two-part, and the top said “We Believe in Science” while the bottom said, “No human being is illegal.”

Understand, I didn’t oppose the meaning of those words on that sign, because those words were nonsensical. Or, to quote from one of my favorite books, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein, “null program.”

I mean, let’s take “we believe in science.” Uh. Does that mean that they believe in the scientific method? Or that they believe that in general science arrives at the right conclusion? And do they mean all science or a particular science? Is this an expression of support for the more abstruse and “artistic” of sciences, mathematics? My husband thanks you. Does it reveal their enthusiasm for quantum mechanics? Do the member of this family gather every Sunday morning for a ritual recitation of chemical formulas and physics equations?

Expressing (or engaging in) any of those would be at best silly, even if incredibly funny.

But of course, we know, given the times we hear people proclaim they believe in science, that what they are actually trying to say is that they believe the Earth is warming and that the cause of the warming is human. The first is questionable (we seem to be at best in a pause) and the second is… non-scientific, since the effect of humans on the climate is at best unproven, and the only “proof” of the very silly anthropogenic warming theory is computer modeling. That is it to say, the only proof is no proof at all, and has always caused computer professionals to laugh and mumble GIGO (Garbage in, Garbage out.)

Frankly, even if anthropogenic global warming were true and proven (two different things, by the way) there would be a whole range of solutions which those who loudly proclaim their belief in “science” a priori exclude. Gregory Benford did a series of articles in Reason, sometime in the late nineties or early two thousands, in which he advocated a series of “remediation for global warming” that included stuff like dumping iron filings in the North Sea. The fact that these believers in “science” see as the only solution the establishment of socialism and strict government control over the lifestyle of the masses means they don’t believe in science, they believe in socialism. Which, granted, at one time was also called “scientific” with even less justification than computer models.

Christopher Wray’s FBI Stonewall The new director hides behind a phony excuse for refusing to answer Congress’s questions.

Christopher Wray was supposed to bring a new candor and credibility to the FBI after the James Comey debacle, but the country is still waiting. The director’s testimony Thursday to the House Judiciary Committee suggests he has joined the Justice Department effort to stop the public from learning about the bureau’s role in the 2016 election.

Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte invited Mr. Wray to answer the multiplying questions about the bureau’s 2016 political interference. This includes the role that the Steele dossier—opposition research financed by the Clinton campaign—played in the FBI’s decision to investigate the Trump presidential campaign. The committee also wants answers about reports that special counsel Robert Mueller demoted Peter Strzok, a lead FBI investigator in both the Trump and Hillary Clinton email investigations, after Mr. Strzok exchanged anti-Trump texts with his mistress, who also works at the FBI.

Mr. Wray spent five hours stonewalling. The director ducked every question about the FBI’s behavior by noting that the Justice Department Inspector General is investigating last year’s events.

Is Mr. Wray concerned that Mr. Strzok edited the FBI’s judgment of Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her emails to “extremely careless” from “grossly negligent” in a previous draft? The grossly negligent phrase might have put Mrs. Clinton in legal jeopardy, but Mr. Wray said he couldn’t answer because that is subject to the “outside, independent investigation.”

Is Mr. Wray taking steps to ensure his top ranks are free of political “taint”? He couldn’t say because of the “outside, independent” investigation.

Ohio Republican Jim Jordan noted that the only way for Congress to know if the FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign is for the FBI to provide its application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. “Is there anything prohibiting you from showing this committee [that application]?” Mr. Jordan asked.

GOOD NEWS FROM AMAZING ISRAEL: MICHAEL ORDMAN

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS

Diagnosing autism in newborns. I reported previously (16th Apr) how Israel saves lives with early diagnosis of autism in toddlers. Now an Israeli, Raffi Rembrand, father of an autistic son, has invented the SensPD which detects a newborn suffering from sensory overload – a key factor in autism.
https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-dad-shows-how-newborns-can-be-screened-for-autism/
http://www.senspd.com/

US approval for medicated stent. The US FDA has approved the EluNIR medicated stent developed by Israel’s Medinol for the treatment of blocked or narrow coronary arteries. The stent system has a novel metallic spring tip and the narrowest strut width of any stent on the US market, for use in complex anatomy and disease.
https://www.globes.co.il/en/article-fda-approves-medinols-drug-coated-stent-1001214233

GE to use Israeli tech in ultrasound scanning. In my last newsletter (26th Nov) I reported that GE Medical are integrating the stroke diagnosis systems of Israel’s MedyMatch into its CT-scanners. This week, GE announced they will integrate the imaging analysis software from Israel’s DiA into its ultrasound devices.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israels-dia-hopes-imaging-software-will-shake-up-ultrasound-use/

Heart-winning devices. Two Israeli startups were among the three finalists in the Cardiovascular Research Foundation’s Shark Tank Innovation competition held at the 2017 TCT Conference in Denver, Colorado. Enopace won, with its left ventricular neurostimulator (see here). Paragate’s fluid removal device came third.
https://www.israel21c.org/israeli-cardiac-devices-dominate-shark-tank-contest-wins/

Success for no-needle glucose meter. I reported previously (Sep 2013) about the non-invasive diabetes finger monitor TensorTip from Israel’s Cnoga. The device uses skin color via LEDs to measure glucose levels and has received approval in Europe (CE certification), China and Brazil. It anticipates US FDA approval in 2018.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-device-banishes-finger-pricking-for-sugar-levels-in-diabetes-patients/

Saving patients with smart breathing tubes. Israeli-founded startup ART Medical has developed sensor-based smart tubes to monitor ICU patients on intubation, intravenous feeding and catheters. They can detect and alert nurses and physicians of pneumonia or any abnormalities with gastric reflux, saliva, urine output etc.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-startup-creates-sensor-based-tubes-for-better-patient-monitoring/
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-art-medical-seeks-to-make-hospitals-safer-1001191870

Personalized cancer treatment. I reported previously (many times) on Israeli companies developing cancer treatments targeting individuals rather than specific areas of the body. Now, Israeli biotech Ayala is partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop treatments for cancer patients known to have a gene mutation.
http://www.globes.co.il/en/article-nacht-harel-insurance-invest-in-personalized-cancer-treatment-1001214864

Newly trained EMT saves her own life. Sarah – a new Emergency Medical Technician with United Hatzalah – saved her own life when she managed to convince medics at her local hospital that she was suffering from a pulmonary embolism. When cynical hospital staff finally agreed to do a CT-scan, they found a clot in her lung.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238315

Always Believe the Women––Really? By Joan Swirsky

It’s become de rigeur for public figures and media personalities to repeat the tired mantra: Always believe the women. This refers, of course, to any accusation of sexual harassment, no matter how far in the past it took place and even if it was interpreted at the time as innocent flirting.

Leftists seized on the harassment lawsuits that took place at the Fox News Network last year, when Andrea Tantaros, Gretchen Carlson, and other broadcasters walked away with multimillion-dollar settlements after accusing the late chairman, Roger Ailes, and the host with through-the-roof ratings, Bill O’Reilly, of sexual harassment.

Seeing that their Russian-collusion fairy tale was going in the wrong direction––indeed pointing every day to massive collusion between Democrats and Russia––the by-now hysterical anti-Trumpers figured that the sexual-harassment gig was a sure-fire way to bring down their nemesis and rake in some big bucks at the same time.

In true Keystone Kop form, however, it was overwhelmingly Democrats who started falling like flies––movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, editor Leon Wieseltier, Today Show host Matt Lauer, comedian Louis C.K., Congressman John Conyers, Senator Al Franken, on and on.

But Republicans did not go unscathed. Judge Roy Moore, candidate for a senate seat in Alabama, whose accusers waited 40 years to come out of their victim closets, managed to spend those 40 years in public life, including running for office, without a single accusation being hurled in his direction.

What’s wrong with this picture?

For one thing––and it’s a big thing––all the people who say “always believe the women” are operating on the presumption of guilt! What happened to the constitutional right to the presumption of innocence, to innocent until proven guilty in a court of law?

Uh uh…not for the leftists who have spent the past fifty or more years crying “separation of church and state” to defend their loathing of Christianity, and “a woman’s right to choose” to defend their fetish for pre-birth infanticide. To them, ironically, the sanctity of the law stops, both figuratively and literally, when lawyer Gloria Allred enters the scene.

A Guide to Pants-Dropping for the New Man by Mark Steyn

Unlike the Republicans, the Democrats swing together. Eighteen years ago, Senate Dems stood lockstep in support of keeping Bill Clinton in office. Yesterday they stood lockstep in support of forcing Al Franken from office – even though Franken’s sins (unwanted tongues and touching) are of a considerably lower order than Clinton’s (assault and rape). A shift is underway in the Democrat Party, even if – as Caitlin Flanagan notes in The Atlantic – it’s not quite there yet:

Let’s not fool ourselves. “I believe Juanita” doesn’t just mean that you’re generally in favor of believing women when they report sex crimes. It means you believe that for eight years our country was in the hands of a violent rapist.

It was – which was why some of us said we believed Juanita at the time.

Democrats are heavily invested in identity politics. Unfortunately, almost by definition, most of the available identities are minorities (blacks, gays) and some of them are barely statistically detectable (trans). The obvious exception is women. In 2016, a majority of white women voted for Donald Trump. In that sense, Hillary not only failed to shatter the soi-disant glass ceiling, but, remarkably, managed to lower it. That’s what sticking with the Clintons did for the Dems.

So they’ve belatedly realized that their over-investment in the violent rapist and his enabler proved near-fatal last year. To win in 2020, the party has to get back some of those white females. Hence the decision to go full-scale war-on-women. Which means Franken and John Conyers are expendable. The Democrats are preparing to weaponize sex as they’ve weaponized race since the civil-rights era.

With hindsight, they were on their way to doing this a quarter-century back, before they got detoured into licensing Bill Clinton’s pathologies. Here’s what I wrote almost twenty years ago in the Speccie – April 1998 – when Gloria Steinem was arguing in The New York Times that dropping your pants and inviting a woman to “kiss it” was “not harassment” but an example of “the commonsense guideline to sexual behavior that came out of the women’s movement” – and only uptight GOP squares felt otherwise. Tell it to Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, John Conyers and all the other Clinton karaoke acts of the last month.

Newsflash: Jerusalem Not on Fire! by Bassam Tawil

“Newsflash for the journalists: There’s nothing new on the Palestinian street. Palestinian threats of violence and walking out of any “peace process” is old, old news. Jerusalem is not on fire. Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.”

“More journalists than protesters…” — Björn Stritzel, German journalist.

Protests against Israel and the US are not uncommon on the streets of Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. But for the “war correspondents,” there is nothing more exciting than standing behind burning tires and stone throwers and reporting from the heart of the “clashes.” Such scenes make the journalists look as if they are in the middle of a battlefield and are risking their lives to bring the story home to their viewers. They might even receive an award for their “courageous” reporting from danger zones!

Jerusalem is tense, and has long been so, because the Palestinians have not yet managed to come to terms with Israel’s right to exist. That is the real story. The Palestinians rage and rage for only one reason: because Israel exists. Put that in a story and publish it.

The Palestinians declared a three-day-long “rage” spree over US President Donald Trump’s announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Thus far, however, it seems that the real anger is showing up in the international media, not on the Palestinian street.

Question: How many foreign journalists does it take to cover the Palestinian reaction to Trump’s announcement? Answer: As many as the Israel-Palestinian-conflict-obsessed-West can manage to send.

The massive presence of the international media in Jerusalem and the West Bank has taken even the Palestinians by surprise. Since Trump’s announcement on December 6, dozens of additional journalists and camera crews have converged on Israel to cover “the big story.”

The American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem, once a favorite haunt of international reporters, is once again packed with journalists from around the world.

Some of these reporters, including those working for American networks, have been flown in from their working posts in London, Paris, Cairo and New York to cover what many of them are already calling the “New Palestinian Intifada.” But is it really a new intifada, or is it simply wishful thinking on the part of the swarm of Palestinian and foreign reporters?

In the past few days, we have seen wild exaggeration in the media as to what is really happening in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. What is evident, however, is that the number of journalists and photographers covering the protests in the city has thus far exceeded the number of Palestinian protesters.

Let us start with Friday, December 8, the final day of the announced Palestinian “rage.” The Palestinian Authority, Hamas and other Palestinian groups told us to expect mass rallies and protests after Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound. So did the reporters.

By early morning, at least six television production trucks were stationed in the small parking lot outside the Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. The trucks belonged to various television stations were presumably brought there to film live broadcasts of the anticipated mass protests. Another 70-80 journalists and photographers were waiting, some impatiently, for the Muslim worshippers to finish their prayers and start their protests against President Trump’s announcement.

What we got in the end was a small and peaceful protest of some 40 Palestinians, who chanted slogans against Israel, the US and Arab leaders — including Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, who was dubbed a “traitor” and “Israeli spy.”

Björn Stritzel, an honest and brave German journalist, tweeted from the scene: “More journalists than protesters after Friday prayers.”

The media frenzy was echoed by several other reporters. “Three days of ‘rage’ have passed since Trump’s Jerusalem declaration and Armageddon hasn’t arrived,” remarked journalist Oren Kessler. “One is loath to make predictions of continued calm in the region, but thus far the doomsday prophecies have not materialized.”

French journalist Piotr Smolar, who also waited for the “big” protest, wrote: “Dozens and dozens of journalists at Damascus gate, where nothing has happened until now.”

Joe Dyke, a reporter with Agence France Press (AFP), tweeted this photo showing more journalists than protesters at Damascus Gate. He wrote: “Small Palestinian protest at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem broken up by the Israeli police. They seemed to object to a picture of Trump as a toilet.”

Dyke later reported that he had “just walked through Jerusalem’s Old City and the situation is very calm. More police on streets but no issues as yet. Tourists milling about.”

Why Did Islamic State Kill So Many Sufis in Sinai? by Denis MacEoin

A 2007 report by the Rand Corporation advised Western governments to “harness” Sufism, saying its adherents were “natural allies of the West.”

In the end, the Sufi parties are outnumbered by those of their Salafi opponents, meaning that the brotherhoods and the wider Sufi-oriented public must look to the state for protection. In that context, it is important to stress that the massacre in Sinai was not simply another Islamic State attack on people it considered heretics (effectively, in their interpretation of Shari’a law, non-believers), but an assault on everyday mainstream Islam in Egypt, a declaration of apostasy for the vast majority of Egyptian Muslims.

The massive November 24 terrorist attack by Islamic State on a Sufi mosque in a town of little importance, Bir al-Abd, in northern Sinai, resounded across the world. Despite the presence of members of the security services, the al-Rawda mosque also serves as the local headquarters of a prominent Sufi Brotherhood founded by the local al-Jarir clan, a branch of the powerful Al-Sawarkah tribe. The number of dead, somewhat over 300, were shockingly high, yet not higher than the tolls in two earlier Islamic State massacres. In 2014, IS fighters killed 700 men of the Shu’aytat tribe in Dayr al-Zur. “Over a three-day period, vengeful fighters shelled, beheaded, crucified and shot hundreds of members of the Shaitat tribe after they dared to rise up against the extremists.” In 2016, a series of bombings in Karrada, a Shi’i district of Baghdad, took some 347 lives.

Islamic State — though defeated in Syria and Iraq — remains a major threat in many parts of the world. Its fighters returning to Europe have carried out attacks in Brussels and Paris, and yet others have been welcomed back by naïve government agencies who hope to make them into innocent citizens again by rewarding them with benefits and housing.

In a stunning list of attacks, CNN has identified Islamic State as a global threat: Since declaring itself a caliphate in June 2014, the self-proclaimed “State” has conducted or inspired over 140 terrorist attacks in 29 countries in addition to Iraq and Syria, where its carnage has taken a much deadlier toll. Those attacks have killed at least 2000,43 people and injured thousands more.

The massacre at Bir al-Abed is not the first time Islamic State has attacked a Sufi shrine or mosque, nor is it the first time Sufi Muslims have been attacked by Salafi hardliners. Everything and everyone deemed by IS leaders to be “unIslamic” or “insufficiently Islamic” are eligible to be killed or demolished. Ancient sites in Syria; Shi’i Muslims, their mosques and shrines in Iraq; and Yazidis in northern Syria and Iraq have all been the objects of major attacks, in many ways echoing similar massacres by the Wahhabis of Arabia in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

Feeding the Swamp: the Democrat Strategy for 2018 by Linda Goudsmit

National Geographic teaches us that the growth and decay of swamp roots increase the accumulation of soil. The animals living in the swamp feed on fallen leaves and other material. The droppings of wildlife including animals, fish, and birds help fertilize the swamp. So it is in Washington – political animals, fish, birds, and plants living in a well-calibrated ecosystem dangerous to outsiders. President Trump has threatened the delicate balance of the established Washington swamp ecosystem and the swamp creatures are uniting to destroy him.

Swamp life and career politicians adapt to fluctuating water levels and weather conditions. Elections that destabilize the equilibrium are managed with absorption of the excess water and a return to the balance of nature that swamp life requires. President Trump has disrupted the status quo of political life in Washington and the establishment Democrat/Republican ecosystem is in total disarray and struggling to survive – they cannot resorb the water – they are desperate and determined to destroy the disruptor.

The current Mueller investigation is a joint effort of the Washington establishment to remove President Trump from office. Mueller’s “EPA” – Effort to Prove Anything – seeks to restore equilibrium to the corrupt political establishment. Political analyst Cliff Kincaid has written a superb article chronicling the troubling ascendance of Mueller.

Mueller, lauded as a non-partisan man of integrity by both Democrats and Republicans, has exposed himself as a primary swamp creature determined to destroy President Trump. So far Mueller’s “EPA investigation” into Russian meddling in the 2016 election has exonerated candidate Trump of any collusion and instead exposed secretary of state Hillary Clinton for actually colluding with the Russians to sell 20% of American uranium assets. No problem for swampster Mueller – in a move of stunning investigative overreach he simply expanded the scope of his witch hunt with a suspicious lack of opposition from Republicans. Currently the Mueller “EPA” is conducting an unauthorized, unrestricted, unlimited investigation into President Trump personally. Why?

It is always about the delicate balance of the ecosystem. President Trump promised America that he would grow the economy and drain the swamp to make America great again. Voters could finally see that career politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi, Obama, Bernie Sanders (the pretend socialist), Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell all came into office with very little and left as millionaires with full benefit packages guaranteed for life. Voters recognized that lawmakers were making laws that benefitted themselves at taxpayer expense. They could see the lives of the politicians improving but their own lives deteriorating. Voters were no longer satisfied with the established political ecosystem – they voted for change. They voted to drain the swamp.

Peter Smith The Joy of Righteous Madness

Had I been born with the gullible gene found so often on the Left, life would be gloriously simple. I would believe, for example, that climate can be regulated by decree and punishing productive people promotes growth. Alas, a blissful immunity to history’s lessons is not my happy lot.

Saw a mad chap on Fox News who heads a group of people who want no national borders and one world government elected by, well, everyone. There will be fewer have-nots apparently. Without catching breath, he blamed the California bushfires on climate change.

There are, and have always been, I guess, eccentric people around with eccentric (unconventional and sightly strange) views. They usually do no harm and are best put up with. But what happens when large mobs take possession of eccentric views or, more correctly, when eccentric views take possession of large mobs. Nothing good is the answer. Effectively the inmates take over the asylum.

This is where we are now. Hordes of people in every land believe that we can control the climate. Hordes, particularly among those under thirty-five, believe that we can share the fruits of production much more equally. There is a large overlap.

I find it unnerving to be sane amid so many inmates. How do I know that I am sane? It’s simple really. I don’t have fanciful ideas about what mankind can control. It used to be called having one’s feet on the ground. So back to the asylum and, first, to economic equality

We know what happens when governments try to impose economic equality. People die in large numbers. Yet old ‘gurus’ devoid of sense — Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, for instance — are heroes among many young people for proposing at best immiseration and at worst gulags. Of course, it is dressed up as fairer shares but we know where it leads.

Washington Post: Where Conservatism Dies in Bitterness By Julie Kelly

The Washington Post might want to roll out a new motto in 2018. Instead of “Democracy Dies in Darkness” perhaps the paper should try, “Conservatism Dies in Bitterness.”https://amgreatness.com/2017/12/08/washington-post-where-conservatism-dies-in-bitterness/

Since Donald Trump’s election, the Post has become an asylum—er, home—for conservative sore-losers who cannot get over the fact that Trump won the presidency over their erudite objections. One-time conservative heroes such as George Will and Kathleen Parker serve up red-meat rants against Trump to curry favor with the Post’s liberal readership. It’s a shrewd, if not cynical, tactic by columnists with waning influence to stay relevant in the age of Trump, and a calculated move by the paper to refute charges of bias by featuring allegedly conservative columnists.

But in its zeal to add another drummer to the paper’s anti-Trump conservative garage band, the Post has dug up some interesting characters. On Wednesday, the Post published a column by Jay Kaganoff, who urged his “fellow conservatives” to call on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to resign. Kaganoff wrote a solemn plea—complete with a scummy reference to Thomas’s alleged appetite for pornography—for “conservatives [to] seriously reconsider our continued support for Thomas in light of his past.”

Taking a cue from liberals who are now conveniently condemning Bill Clinton 20 years later, Kaganoff said this:

I believe Anita Hill. I believe that Clarence Thomas abused his authority to sexually harass a woman who worked for him. And lied about it. And smeared his accuser. As painful as it is to repudiate a man I respected, I believe Thomas should never have been confirmed and should resign.

So, who is this conservative crusader whose call to remove a sitting Supreme Court justice we real conservatives should heed? Kaganoff’s byline claims he has “written for National Review Online and Commentary Magazine, among others.” As a National Review Online contributor, I have never heard his name, nor read anything he has written. On Facebook, National Review publisher emeritus Jack Fowler wrote: “The guy who penned it claims an NR pedigree. Fact: He wrote for NR twice under a pseudonym. Maybe he thinks he’s Mark Twain.” Naturally, Commentary’s archive came up empty and a Google search of his name doesn’t produce much of anything. But despite his thin, questionable résumé, the Post gave Kaganoff 1,100-words worth of prime real estate on its op-ed pages to demand Thomas’s ouster. Why? To crib a famous line from “The Brady Bunch,” because he fit the suit.