It’s Time to Attack Putin’s Soft Underbelly By John Fund

The assets his cronies have piled up in the West demand more scrutiny.

Vladimir Putin was reelected president of Russia today in an event as predictable as the sun’s rising. But his biggest asset hasn’t been his iron grip on Russian politics, it’s been the fecklessness and passivity of his Western counterparts in the face of his outrageous actions. Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion who has lived in exile in the West since 2013, wrote on Facebook that Putin, like most dictators, prefers playing poker to chess. “You can win at poker with a weak hand if your opponents play foolishly and keep folding their cards.”

It was to plan a better series of future moves against Putin that Kasparov and Thor Halvorssen, the leaders of the Human Rights Foundation, assembled a collection of 30 anti-Putin experts in New York last Friday. Called PutinCon, the event featured everyone from former intelligence officials to a former Red Army veteran to former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara to Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption crusader who was blocked from the presidential ballot in Sunday’s presidential election in Russia.

All of them agreed that the West should confront Putin and take serious measures to counter his increasingly brazen behavior. According to British foreign secretary Boris Johnson, this behavior now includes the stockpiling of the deadly nerve agent Novichok, recently used against Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy granted asylum in Britain, and his daughter Yulia.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, an opponent of Putin’s who is exiled and now lives in Switzerland, says that Russia has become a gangster-run state. Speaking of the attack on the Skripals, he told the BBC, “Either Putin has given his consent to this operation, or he doesn’t control the secret service to such an extent they can do it without his approval.” The FSB, the successor to the Soviet Union’s old KGB secret police, has seized complete control over Russia’s security apparatus. The FSB is now more powerful than the KGB was at the time of Stalin — and much more independent from the Kremlin.

The People’s Republic of Canada By David Solway

Despite a partially rigged popular vote and thanks to the Electoral College, America backed off a Hillary administration. Canada would have given her a heftier majority than it awarded the androgynous Justin Trudeau. We are heading pell-mell in the direction that would have sunk the United States. Business investment and industrial productivity are down, while taxes and real unemployment are up.

We live in a Trumpless country. Canadian supporters of Trump have been taken to task for it innumerable times by people who know nothing of Trump except what the media tell them. Academics, especially, whose salaries are guaranteed and have nothing to worry about, despise the American president as a boor. The intellectual class in general considers Trump the manifest inferior of Barack Obama, whose silver tongue – or golden teleprompter – masked his hatred of his own country and whose policies brought foreign debacles and economic ruin in their train. Under Trump’s administration, trade, industry, and employment numbers are flourishing in the U.S. Canadians, however, consider these gains an aberration that detracts from the social justice agenda that dominates the national temper.

Case in point: Canada’s ongoing NAFTA trade negotiations with the U.S. tell an “it was a dark and stormy night” story that puts Canada’s economic adventure under the Trudeau administration into dismal perspective. Trudeau has assigned his minister of foreign affairs, the ineffable Chrystia Freeland (of “100 years ago pretty much all women were beaten by their husbands” fame), to represent the country vis-à-vis Donald Trump. NAFTA is crucial to Canada’s economic prosperity, given that Canada enjoys a massive trade surplus with the U.S. Yet, as John Mueller of the Society for Academic Freedom and Scholarship (SAFS) remarks regarding Freeland, “I thought the first time I saw her that she would singlehandedly sink the NAFTA discussions” (personal communication).

Student Assaulted for Pro-Second Amendment Views, Then Suspended for Defending Himself By Matt Margolis

PJ Media previously reported on the story of a 17-year-old high school student from Farmington, Conn., who was originally blocked from participating in a school assembly on March 14 where she had planned to present her conservative and pro-Second Amendment views. Thanks to the attention her story received, the student, Ashley Dummit, was eventually able to participate, and gave a speech at the assembly in defense of Second Amendment rights. In fact, she ended up being the only speaker at the assembly.

Unfortunately, not all incidents involving pro-Second Amendment students have ended so well.

Another high school student, 17-year-old Christian Breault, a senior at Middleburgh Junior/Senior High School, in Middleburgh, N.Y., found himself physically attacked for standing up for the Second Amendment when his school participated in the nationwide walkout on March 14. After the school participated in the walkout, an assembly was held in the school, featuring local law enforcement and community leaders to talk to the students about school safety. Instead of safety, the assembly turned political, tensions rose, and Christian found himself targeted for defending the Second Amendment. His father, Brian Breault, spoke out about the incident on Facebook:

Today the school my son, Christian, attends participated in the National School Walkout for Gun Control and School Safety. The school held an assembly after the walkout bringing in community leaders and law enforcement to speak. Toward the end of the assembly they showed an Anti-NRA video vilifying the gun organization and its members (American citizens).

Following the dismissal of the assembly Christian engaged in a conversation with other students who felt the assembly was not handled well. Christian expressed he felt the Anti-NRA video was over the top and he found it offensive. Another student not involved in the conversation threatened him for his view on the video going as far as telling the school nurse that he would punch Christian in the face if he didn’t stop defending the NRA. The nurse told the student he could not say that and no further action was taken. CONTINUE AT SITE

Tom Perez’s Fiduciary Flop An appeals court rules that another Obama regulation is illegal.

The Labor Department under Tom Perez usurped the SEC and wrote a rule that ignored that prohibition. Mr. Perez essentially rewrote the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Erisa), which regulates employer- and union-sponsored plans differently from individual retirement accounts. For instance, individuals are allowed to sue fiduciaries of employer and union plans for charging a commission. Labor applied the more rigorous protections for employer and union plans to IRAs.

Mr. Perez also extended Erisa’s definition of “investment advice fiduciaries,” who provide advice “on a regular basis,” to broker-dealers and financial-insurance agents who merely sell a product. “Transforming sales pitches into the recommendations of a trusted adviser mixes apples and oranges,” Judge Edith Jones wrote for the 2-1 majority.

This created a Catch-22. “Thousands of brokers and insurance agents who deal with IRA investors must either forgo commission based transactions and move to fees for account management or accept the burdensome regulations and heightened lawsuit exposure required by the [best interest contract exemption] contract provisions,” Judge Jones explained.

The effect is to raise costs for small savers, many of whom will have to turn to robo-advice. Several firms including MetLife , AIG and Merrill Lynch have already withdrawn from segments of the brokerage and retirement market.

The Trump Labor Department has said it won’t enforce the rule and is working with the SEC on a new one that applies to all brokerage firms and investment advisers. The Fifth Circuit ruling will make this task easier. This is good news for retirement investors and the rule of law.

The Penn Law School Mob Scores a Victory Now Black Lives Matter wants Amy Wax fired for arguing that preferences harm their ‘beneficiaries.’ By Heather Mac Donald

The campus mob at the University of Pennsylvania Law School has scored a hit. Prof. Amy Wax will no longer be allowed to teach required first-year courses, the school’s dean announced last week. Now the leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania wants Ms. Wax’s scalp. According to a weekend newspaper report, if she isn’t fired within a week, “he plans to make things on the West Philadelphia campus very uncomfortable.”

Ms. Wax’s sin this time was to discuss publicly the negative consequences of affirmative action. Her punishment underscores again the dangers of speaking uncomfortable truths in a university setting.

The academic left has been gunning for Ms. Wax since last August, when she co-wrote a Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed calling for a return to the “bourgeois culture” of the 1950s. She was branded a white supremacist for advocating personal responsibility, even though the op-ed criticized “the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites.”

Half the Penn law faculty signed an open letter denouncing the op-ed. The dean, Ted Ruger, asked her to take a leave of absence and stop teaching her first-year course, Ms. Wax wrote last month in this newspaper. She declined his request. (The law school denied her account and said the discussion was merely “about the timing of a regularly-accrued sabbatical.”)

The McCabe March Madness Trump can never let the facts speak for themselves.

For a microcosm of the current madness of American politics, look no further than the weekend meltdown after Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe late Friday.

Mr. Sessions acted on a recommendation by the FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility, but Democrats and the media ignored that and called the firing part of Donald Trump’s plot to undermine the FBI and steal American democracy. Mr. Trump then seemingly tried to confirm the accusations with a Twitter fusillade hailing Mr. McCabe’s firing and escalating without cause to attack special counsel Robert Mueller. Which triggered another round of claims that Mr. Trump’s days in office are numbered, or should be.

As Mr. Trump and his antagonists drive each other insane, it’s hard to keep your eye on what matters. Start with the obligation of FBI agents to tell the truth. Mr. Sessions’s statement was a straightforward explanation that he fired Mr. McCabe for a serious violation of duty.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General has been examining the department’s handling of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server—a probe demanded by Democrats on grounds that former FBI Director James Comey’s 2016 intervention cost her the election. The IG uncovered “allegations of misconduct” by Mr. McCabe, Mr. Sessions’s statement said, which it forwarded to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) that is composed of career officials.

Mr. Sessions added that both the IG and OPR reports “concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple conclusions. The FBI expects every employee to adhere to the highest standards of honesty, integrity, and accountability. As the OPR proposal stated, ‘all FBI employees know that lacking candor under oath results in dismissal and that our integrity is our brand.’”

McCabe just made life tough for Comey and the special counsel Jonathan Turley

Following his termination late Friday night, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe declared that he was “singled out” after “unrelenting” attacks by President Trump and critics. McCabe’s objections are less than credible, given the virtually unprecedented recommendation of career officials to fire the one-time acting FBI director.

However, McCabe may have rectified his “singled out” status with his long statement criticizing his termination: In the middle of it is a line that could be viewed as incriminating fired FBI director James Comey, not just in leaking sensitive information but also in lying to Congress.

McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey.
“I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor,” McCabe stated. “As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.”

Seven Days in Entebbe: A Review By Marilyn Penn

This version of the famous Israeli rescue of hostages from the hijacked Air France plane should be known for its hard-left slant and its glaring omissions. Written by Gregory Burke and directed by Jose Padilha, its main purpose is to humanize the hijackers and to trace all of Israel’s current problems to ITS failure to negotiate with peace-loving, occupied Palestinians. Here are some of the facts this movie does not contain.

Palestinians began the practice of hijacking planes in 1968 and were the leading perpetrators of this particular form of torture, managing one a month in 1972. The Entebbe event of 1976 was organized by a founding member of the German Revolutionary Cells (RZ) and his female accomplice together with two Palestinian drop-outs from Habash’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Though they appear in the film, we are not given any background into the virulence of these movements. Rather, the German Bose (played by Daniel Bruhl) is seen as a humanitarian who stands up for women and children. His accomplice (Rosamund Pike) is a garden-variety nut bag compelled to save Palestinians who are described by one of the hijackers as the people who were treated just like the Jews in the holocaust once those Nazi-like Jewish survivors came to Palestine to steal land and occupy it Of course many Jews had already emigrated in the 19th century fleeing European pogroms and some had drifted back after much earlier expulsions of Jews from several European countries. Many “Palestinians” were actually Arabs from Syria and other parts of the middle-east who migrated after the Jews began draining the malaria-infested swamps and creating jobs and better living conditions for unskilled labor.

Nigeria’s Christians Today, Europe’s Christians Tomorrow by Giulio Meotti

It is in Nigeria that the balance between Islam and Christianity in Africa will be decided, according to Philip Jenkins, a leading expert of Christianity. That is why the Islamists have been killing the Christians en masse.

“If the Islamists should overrun Nigeria, it will be a steppingstone [sic] to conquering smaller countries. If Nigeria falls to Islamic extremists, all of Africa will be at risk”. — Catholic Bishop Hyacinth Egbebo, Nigeria.

Wole Soyinka’s “horde” will not be confined to the Nigerian borders, but will try to strike Western Europe as well. We are lucky to have survived as many attacks as we have in Madrid, London, Paris and Berlin, to recall just a few. But how many more? And for how long?

Usually, Africa only breaks through to the West when Western targets are attacked by terrorists. First, two US Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in Somalia in 1993. Then Al Qaeda attacked US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. Then, only a few days ago, Islamic State published a video purporting to show an ambush in Niger in which four US soldiers were killed last October. The West was silent. The West does not seem to care about the ongoing Islamic terrorist genocide on Africa’s biggest Christian population in Nigeria.

A few days ago, the Coliseum in Rome was lit up red to protest the persecution of Christians. Italy’s most famous landmark was illuminated at the behest of “Aid to the Church in Need” to draw attention to the intense and enormous massacres Christians are suffering.

Writing for The Spectator, Douglas Murray rightly asked: “Who will protect Nigeria’s northern Christians?”. In the last attack, 15 Christian villages were ethnically and religious “cleansed”. First, extremist Muslims ransacked Christian towns and cleared them of Christian religious symbols, and then murdered 19 Christians . In just one month, more than 80 Christians have been murdered, often hacked to death with machetes.

Erdogan’s Unrequited Arab Love by Burak Bekdil

Apparently for Turkey’s extremist Muslims, this is a war between “us good Muslims” and “those infidels.”

First, Turkey is running a military show in Arab Syria: targeting Muslim Kurds who it claims are terrorists. Erdogan has vowed that after Syria, the military campaign will target northern Iraq.

In the meantime, Erdogan’s “Arab friends” are showing signs of hostility, one after the other.

The events in the last couple of weeks seem to confirm that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions for a Turkey-led ummah (Muslim community) are not welcome in the Arab world. This emerging divide among Sunni Islamists — Turkey, Saudi Arabia et al — is important for the West.

In Turkey, a hysteria has set in. It appears a national competition of patriotism that has captured the Turkish imagination. Screams of martyrdom and jihad can be heard echoing across the country. Even children are not spared from the ugly “death talk.”

There is a story behind this jihadist euphoria. In 2016, Turkey’s Religious Affairs General Directorate (Diyanet), the ultimate religious authority in the country, issued comic books to the nation’s children telling them how glorious it is to become an Islamic martyr. One cartoon was a dialogue between a father and his son. “How marvelous it is to become a martyr,” the father says. Unconvinced, the son asks: “Would anyone want to become a martyr?” “Yes” the father replies, “one would. Who doesn’t want to win heaven?”

Students, including kindergarteners, have been asked to conduct military marches and recite ultranationalist poems at schools . Some state schools have replaced their recess bells with Ottoman military marches.