For the New Year 1

On this New Year’s Eve, we recycle a message from a past year because we like it:

“New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

– Mark Twain

 

A Happy New Year to all who see this page!

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 31, 2016

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Should auld offenses be forgot? 3

Although it would be good never again to see or hear anything of the Clintons, we hope that Mrs. Clinton will yet be brought to justice.

Here is the list of 15 felonies for which she ought to be indicted drawn up by Rudy Giuliani in November 2015:

  • 18USC§201   Bribery
  • 18USC§208   Acts Effecting A Personal Financial Interest (Includes Recommendations)
  • 18USC§371   Conspiracy
  • 18USC§1001  False Statements
  • 18USC§1341  Frauds And Swindles (Mail Fraud)
  • 18USC§1343  Fraud By Wire
  • 18USC§1349  Attempt And Conspiracy (To Commit Fraud)
  • 18USC§1505  Obstruction Of Justice
  • 18USC§1519  Destruction (Alteration Or Falsification) Of Records In Federal Investigation
  • 18USC§1621  Perjury (Including Documents Signed Under Penalties Of Perjury)
  • 18USC§1905 Disclosure Of Confidential Information
  • 18USC§1924  Unauthorized Removal And Retention Of Classified Documents Or Material
  • 18USC§2071  Concealment (Removal Or Mutilation) Of Government Records
  • 18USC§7201  Attempt To Evade Or Defeat A Tax (Use Of Clinton Foundation Funds For Personal Or Political Purposes)
  • 18USC§7212  Attempts To Interfere With Administration Of Internal Revenue Laws (Call To IRS On Behalf Of UBS Not Turning Over Accounts To IRS)

The first charge in the list, Bribery, presumably refers to the scam she and her husband ran under the name of a charitable foundation, when they took large sums of money from governments and individuals in exchange for favors from the United States government that were not in the interests of the United States. These immense bribes were given on the mistaken understanding by the “donors” that Mrs. Clinton would soon be president of the country she was willing to betray in exchange for money. Of course such donations stopped when she lost the presidential election on November 8, 2016. But the offenders will not be punished by poverty. There’s plenty in the kitty to pay their “executive expenses” to the end of their lives and for generations to come.

The magnanimous President-elect, Donald Trump, has said that he “does not want to hurt” the Clintons. But as President he should have nothing directly to do with it. The FBI, under a new head appointed by him, needs to recommend the prosecution of Mrs. Clinton – the family member who actually sold the favors which as Secretary of State she was in a position to sell – to the Department of Justice which will also be under a new head appointed by him.

Among our many political wishes for the New Year, most of them looking forward to the implementation of new policies by the new government, is this wish left over from the past: in the case of Mrs. Clinton, may these auld offenses be brought to mind, prosecuted, and never forgot.

Posted under corruption, Crime, Ethics, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 31, 2016

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The first labor of Trump 3

… undoing Obama’s “deal” with Iran?

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On July 14, 2015, the P5+1 countries finalized a nuclear agreement with Iran. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced: “Today major world powers recognized Iran’s nuclear program. Our dreams have come true.”

Of all the bad that Obama has wrought upon the world, the worst may be his empowering of the Islamic regime of Iran.

Secretary of State John Kerry, under the orders of Islam-loving President Obama, concluded a “deal” with the Iranian regime.

This is what they brought the United States to agree to.

The quotations and information come from Discover the Networks:

The key elements of the deal were the following:

Iran will be permitted to keep more than 5,000 centrifuges, one-third of which will continue to spin in perpetuity. (Note: Pakistan created a nuclear bomb with just 3,000 centrifuges.)

Iran will receive $150 billion in sanctions relief. (In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice conceded the following: “Yes, it is real, it is possible, and, in fact, we should expect that some portion of that money would go to the Iranian military and could potentially be used for the kinds of bad behavior that we have seen in the region up until now.”)

Russia and China will be permitted to supply Iran with weapons. Indeed, Russia has agreed to sell Iran S-300 anti-missile rocket systems in exchange for 500,000 barrels of oil. As the InternationalBusiness Times reports, “Russia and China will continue to make weapons deals with Iran under U.N. procedures.” According to political analyst Charles Krauthammer, “the net effect of this capitulation will be not only to endanger our Middle East allies now under threat from Iran and its proxies, but to endanger our own naval forces in the Persian Gulf.” “Imagine,” he added, “how Iran’s acquisition of the most advanced anti-ship missiles would threaten our control over the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, waterways we have kept open for international commerce for a half century.”

Iran will have the discretion to block international inspectors from military installations and will be given 14 days’ notice for any request to visit any site. If Iran in fact denies access to any suspected site, that denial is then adjudicated by a committee on which Iran sits as a member. Next, the matter goes through several other bodies, on all of which Iran likewise sits. All told, the entire process may take up to 24 days.

Only inspectors from countries that have diplomatic relations with Iran will be given access to Iranian nuclear sites. Thus there will be no American inspectors. The embargo on the sale of weapons to Iran will be officially lifted in 5 years, though in reality it has not been enforced at all in recent years under Obama.

Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) program will remain intact and unaffected; indeed it was never even discussed as an issue in the negotiations.

The heavy water reactor in Arak and the underground nuclear facility in Fordo will remain open, violating the “red lines” that Obama has repeatedly cited.

Iran will not be required to disclose information about its past nuclear research and development.

The U.S. will provide technical assistance to help Iran develop its nuclear program, supposedly for peaceful domestic purposes.

Sanctions will lifted on critical parts of Iran’s military, including a previously existing travel ban against Qasem Suleimani, leader of the terrorist Quds force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Suleimani was personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Americans in the Iraq War.

Iran will not be required to release American prisoners like Iranian-American Christian missionary Saeed Abedini, Iranian-American Washington Post journalist Jason Rezaian, or U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. The P5+1 nations “and possibly other states, as appropriate, are prepared to cooperate with Iran on the implementation of nuclear security guidelines and best practices”. This would include “co-operation through training and workshops to strengthen Iran’s ability to protect against, and respond to nuclear security threats, including sabotage, as well as to enable effective and sustainable nuclear security and physical protection systems“.

Last and worst – we must add – the “deal” allows Iran to make nuclear weapons freely ten years from the date of the “deal”.

What, you may ask, does the US get out of the “deal”?

Answer: Nothing but enmity, hatred, and threats.

The ruler of Iran, [the Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, is quoted as saying that Iran needs to plan to fight the US regardless of whether there is an agreement. The president of Iran, Rouhani, stands at the head of the march of hatred in the streets of Tehran, in which US and Israeli flags were burned, and in which many chanted “Death to America” and “Death to Israel”.

Concessions [were made by the US] even on issues that had been marked as red lines … which is a bad deal in its own right.

It [the deal] paves Iran’s way to many nuclear bombs and gives it hundreds of billions of dollars for its terrorism and conquest machine, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world.

(The full text of the “deal” may be found here.)

Thus spake Thomas Sowell 1

Thomas Sowell is one of the (rare) great thinkers of our time.

The Daily Caller reports:

Economist and conservative public intellectual Thomas Sowell announced his retirement in his final column Tuesday.

“Even the best things come to an end. After enjoying a quarter of a century of writing this column for Creators Syndicate, I have decided to stop. Age 86 is well past the usual retirement age, so the question is not why I am quitting, but why I kept at it so long,” Sowell wrote.

Fifty quotations follow. We relish them all – and emphasize our favorites:

“If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”

It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

“The biggest and most deadly ‘tax’ rate on the poor comes from a loss of various welfare state benefits — food stamps, housing subsidies and the like — if their income goes up.”

The real minimum wage is zero.”

“Elections should be held on April 16th — the day after we pay our income taxes. That is one of the few things that might discourage politicians from being big spenders.”

“The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state.”

“Helping those who have been struck by unforeseeable misfortunes is fundamentally different from making dependency a way of life.”

“The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive.”

The next time some academics tell you how important diversity is, ask how many Republicans there are in their sociology department.”

“The more people who are dependent on government handouts, the more votes the left can depend on for an ever-expanding welfare state.”

I have never understood why it is ‘greed’ to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.”

“When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.”

“It’s amazing how much panic one honest man can spread among a multitude of hypocrites. ”

“People who pride themselves on their ‘complexity’ and deride others for being ‘simplistic’ should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.”

“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

“Some of the biggest cases of mistaken identity are among intellectuals who have trouble remembering that they are not God.”

“Racism does not have a good track record. It’s been tried out for a long time and you’d think by now we’d want to put an end to it instead of putting it under new management.”

Despite a voluminous and often fervent literature on ‘income distribution’, the cold fact is that most income is not distributed: It is earned.”

The fact that the market is not doing what we wish it would do is no reason to automatically assume that the government would do better.”

The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.”

Socialism is a wonderful idea. It is only as a reality that it has been disastrous. Among people of every race, color, and creed, all around the world, socialism has led to hunger in countries that used to have surplus food to export. … Nevertheless, for many of those who deal primarily in ideas, socialism remains an attractive idea — in fact, seductive. Its every failure is explained away as due to the inadequacies of particular leaders. ”

“Intellect is not wisdom.”

“The old are not really smarter than the young, in terms of sheer brainpower. It is just that we have already made the kinds of mistakes that the young are about to make, and we have already suffered the consequences that the young are going to suffer if they disregard the record of the past.”

“Bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense than bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos.”

“Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric.”

“There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously.”

Socialism in general has a record of failure so blatant that only an intellectual could ignore or evade it.”

“Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of ‘diversity’ that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen — written in blood — from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word.”

Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”

“Unfortunately, the real minimum wage is always zero, regardless of the laws, and that is the wage that many workers receive in the wake of the creation or escalation of a government-mandated minimum wage, because they lose their jobs or fail to find jobs when they enter the labor force. Making it illegal to pay less than a given amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount—and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.”

“Competition does a much more effective job than government at protecting consumers.”

“The most basic question is not what is best, but who shall decide what is best.”

“What sense would it make to classify a man as handicapped because he is in a wheelchair today, if he is expected to be walking again in a month, and competing in track meets before the year is out? Yet Americans are generally given ‘class’ labels on the basis of their transient location in the income stream. If most Americans do not stay in the same broad income bracket for even a decade, their repeatedly changing ‘class’ makes class itself a nebulous concept. Yet the intelligentsia are habituated, if not addicted, to seeing the world in class terms.”

“Rhetoric is no substitute for reality.”

Virtually no idea is too ridiculous to be accepted, even by very intelligent and highly educated people, if it provides a way for them to feel special and important. Some confuse that feeling with idealism.”

“What is history but the story of how politicians have squandered the blood and treasure of the human race?”

“If politicians stopped meddling with things they don’t understand, there would be a more drastic reduction in the size of government than anyone in either party advocates.”

“One of the consequences of such notions as ‘entitlements’ is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.”

“Economics is a study of cause-and-effect relationships in an economy. It’s purpose is to discern the consequences of various ways of allocating resources which have alternative uses. It has nothing to say about philosophy or values, anymore than it has to say about music or literature.”

“Whenever someone refers to me as someone ‘who happens to be black’, I wonder if they realize that both my parents are black. If I had turned out to be Scandinavian or Chinese, people would have wondered what was going on.”

“Don’t you get tired of seeing so many ‘non-conformists’ with the same non-conformist look?”

“If you have been voting for politicians who promise to give you goodies at someone else’s expense, then you have no right to complain when they take your money and give it to someone else, including themselves.”

“Life does not ask what we want. It presents us with options.”

‘It doesn’t matter how smart you are unless you stop and think.”

“Everyone may be called ‘comrade’, but some comrades have the power of life and death over other comrades.”

If you are not prepared to use force to defend civilization, then be prepared to accept barbarism.”

“People who have time on their hands will inevitably waste the time of people who have work to do.”

“In an age of artificial intelligence, too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity.”

“Many on the political left are so entranced by the beauty of their vision that they cannot see the ugly reality they are creating in the real world.”

These sayings are a small part of a rich gift to the world. There is much more of his wisdom to be found in his books

 

Here Thomas Sowell talks about “global warming”:

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 29, 2016

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A narcissistic fool and his terrible legacy 3

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Barack Obama thinks that his presidency has been a great success. That if he could have stood for a third term, he would certainly have been elected again.

And yet he is not entirely comfortable in his mind that he has accomplished everything he intended to while he had all that power.

We can reproduce the list if his top four aims with a fair chance of accuracy:

The empowerment of Iran. Okay, done that. Tick it off.

Compulsory health insurance as a step towards a national health service (“Obamacare”). Tick.

The emptying of Guantanamo prison for prisoners of war and terrorists (“Gitmo”) and its closure. Gosh! Not achieved. Try again. Not many prisoners left. Can I do it before January 19? Let them go, let them go, let them go!

The final settlement of the Israel-Palestine problem, to be accomplished to the advantage of the Palestinians, and to the severe disadvantage of Israel, possibly facilitating its ultimate extinction. TICK.

The  deal with Iran may be torn up by Trump? My State Department will stop that happening.

Obamacare will be repealed? I doubt it.

Gitmo still open. Damn!

Israel f***ed. Yay!

Now carve my head on Mount Rushmore.

Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall:

President Barack Obama likes to see himself as a moral leader. “The arc of the moral universe is long”, Obama likes to say, quoting Martin Luther King Jr, “but it bends toward justice”. According to Obama, Obama is a genteel representative of decency and good grace, a man pointing America toward a broader vision, a fellow questing for social justice and contextual consideration.

In reality, he’s a narcissistic fool. And like Burgess Meredith’s character in The Twilight Zone, he will be left standing in the ruins, bewailing the fates that abandoned him, leaving no worshipful admirers upon whom to lean.

Obama’s legacy is one of failure all around the world. He leaves office with a genocide in Syria on his record – a genocide he pledged to prevent, then tolerated and finally lamented, mourning the fates while blithely ignoring his own cowardice. Libya, meanwhile, remains a full-scale disaster area, with tens of thousands of refugees from that failed campaign swamping Europe, along with those fleeing Syria, and his leftist European allies paying the political price.

Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, stands on the brink of a nuclear dawn, its pockets filled with billions of dollars, its minions ascendant from Tehran to Aleppo to Beirut. Obama made that happen with nearly a decade of appeasement and a willingness to abandon freedom-minded Iranians to the tender mercies of the mullahs.

Meanwhile, Russia has only expanded its reach and influence, invading the sovereign nation of Ukraine and seizing Crimea to the deafening silence of the Obama administration. Russia has flexed its muscle in Kaliningrad, where it has stocked missiles, and in Syria, where it has assured Syrian President Bashar Assad’s continued dominance.

China has grown its sphere of influence across the South China Sea, putting American allies from Taiwan and Japan to the Philippines directly under its thumb. Thanks to Obama’s military cuts, China believes that it can bully American allies into embracing Chinese supremacy in international waters – and it may be right. Simultaneously, Obama continues to drive America into debt, and the Chinese are large buyers of that outstanding debt.

The communist Cubans have been re-enshrined; so have the socialist Venezuelan authorities. The Islamic State group remains an international threat, and western capitals have been struck by Islamic terror time and again, to Obama’s teeth-gnashing and general inaction.

Not so sure about that teeth-gnashing. Does Obama give a damn about Islamic terrorism?

But at least Obama is truly putting his focus where it’s necessary: on declaring that our only ally in the Middle East, Israel, has no historic claim to its own existence and threatening Jews with sanctions for building bathrooms in East Jerusalem.

Right. The sarcasm is necessary. Exasperation is hard to express adequately.

Obama came into office amidst grand promises to restore America’s place in the world.

Did he? If so, he saw its place as lower, not higher. We seem to remember that he desired – perhaps not saying so in exactly these words – to bring America down a peg or two.

Unless our place is the outhouse, he’s failed. But at least he feels good about his accomplishments, even if thousands have died – and thousands more will die – in order to ensure his moral stature in his own mind.

Posted under China, Commentary, Cuba, Europe, Iran, Israel, Japan, Libya, Palestinians, Russia, Syria, United States, Venezuela by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, December 28, 2016

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The ruinous presidency of Barack Obama 4

… ends with a diabolical act of treachery.

Bret Stephens writes at the Wall Street Journal:

Barack Obama’s decision to abstain from, and therefore allow, last week’s vote to censure Israel at the U.N. Security Council is a fitting capstone for what’s left of his foreign policy. Strategic half-measures, underhanded tactics and moralizing gestures have been the president’s style from the beginning. Israelis aren’t the only people to feel betrayed by the results.

Also betrayed: Iranians, whose 2009 Green Revolution in heroic protest of a stolen election Mr. Obama conspicuously failed to endorse for fear of offending the ruling theocracy.

Iraqis, who were assured of a diplomatic surge to consolidate the gains of the military surge, but who ceased to be of any interest to Mr. Obama the moment U.S. troops were withdrawn, and only concerned him again when ISIS neared the gates of Baghdad.

Syrians, whose initially peaceful uprising against anti-American dictator Bashar Assad Mr. Obama refused to embrace, and whose initially moderate-led uprising Mr. Obama failed to support, and whose sarin- and chlorine-gassed children Mr. Obama refused to rescue, his own red lines notwithstanding.

Ukrainians, who gave up their nuclear weapons in 1994 with formal U.S. assurances that their “existing borders” would be guaranteed, only to see Mr. Obama refuse to supply them with defensive weapons when Vladimir Putin invaded their territory 20 years later.

Pro-American Arab leaders, who expected better than to be given ultimatums from Washington to step down, and who didn’t anticipate the administration’s tilt toward the Muslim Brotherhood as a legitimate political opposition, and toward Tehran as a responsible negotiating partner.

Most betrayed: Americans.

Mr. Obama promised a responsible end to the war in Iraq. We are again fighting in Iraq. He promised victory in Afghanistan. The Taliban are winning. He promised a reset with Russia. We are enemies again. He promised the containment of Iran. We are witnessing its ascendancy in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. He promised a world free of nuclear weapons. We are stumbling into another age of nuclear proliferation. He promised al Qaeda on a path to defeat. Jihad has never been so rampant and deadly.

These are the results. They would be easier to forgive if they hadn’t so often been reached by disingenuous and dishonorable means.

The administration was deceptive about the motives for the 2012 Benghazi attack. It was deceptive about Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s service record, and the considerations that led it to exchange five Taliban leaders for his freedom. It was deceptive about when it began nuclear negotiations with Iran. It was deceptive about the terms of the deal. It continues to be deceptive about the fundamental aim of the agreement, which has less to do with curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions than with aligning Washington’s interests with Tehran’s.

Now the administration is likely being deceptive about last week’s U.N. vote, claiming it did not promote, craft or orchestrate a resolution that treats the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City as a settlement in illegally occupied territory. Yet in November, John Kerry had a long talk on the subject with the foreign minister of New Zealand, one of the resolution’s sponsors.

“One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestine conflict,” the New Zealand Herald reported last month. “‘It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we’ve spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the U.S. might go on this,’” the paper added, quoting Foreign Minister Murray McCully.

The Israelis claim to have more evidence along these lines. If so, it means the administration no longer bothers to lie convincingly.

Even this might be excusable, if Mr. Obama at least had the courage of his mistaken convictions, or if his deception were in the service of a worthier end. Instead, we have the spectacle of the U.S. government hiding behind the skirts of the foreign minister of New Zealand — along with eminent co-sponsors, Venezuela, Malaysia and Senegal — in order to embarrass and endanger a democratic ally in a forum where that ally is already isolated and bullied. In the catalog of low points in American diplomacy, this one ranks high.

After the Carter administration pulled a similar stunt against Israel at the Security Council in December 1980, the Washington Post published an editorial that does the paper honor today.

“It cannot be denied,” the editors wrote, “that there is a pack and that it hounds Israel shamelessly and that this makes it very serious when the United States joins it.” The editorial was titled Joining the Jackals.

Unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama hasn’t joined the jackals. He has merely opened the door wide to them, whether at the U.N. or in the skies over Syria or in the killing fields in Ukraine.

The United States abstains: What a fitting finish to this ruinous presidency.

Yes. For America, if not for himself, Obama’s presidency has been a colossal foreign policy failure.

If his domestic policy failures – a long list, headed by his failure to achieve even 3% GDP growth in any year of his two terms and his worsening of race relations  – are added to the record, he surpasses Jimmy Carter to win the title of America’s worst president.

The UN must be destroyed 1

“Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendum” – “Apart from all this, Carthage must be destroyed“.

That was the statement Cato the Elder (234-149 BCE) made at the end of every one of his speeches in the Roman Senate during the Punic Wars (Rome against Carthage), no matter what the rest of the speech had been about.

The statement became a slogan, often shortened to “Carthago delenda est”.

For years we have copied Cato the Elder by writing “The UN must be destroyed” at the end of every post that mentions that evil institution.

Now the need for it to be wiped off the face of the earth, or at the very least expelled from American soil and denied American tax-payers’ money, has been made urgent by the iniquitous action of its “Security Council”, initiated by the perfidious outgoing Obama administration of the US government, against the state of Israel. (See our post Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness, December 23, 2016. For the harm the resolution will do see here.)

Daniel Greenfield writes at Front Page:

The United States pays 22% of the total UN budget. What we get for our $3 billion a year is a corrupt organization whose dysfunctional and hostile agencies are united in opposing us around the world.

The United Nations does only two things consistently and effectively: waste money and bash Israel. Sometimes it manages to do both at the same time.

After an extended, and no doubt costly, visit to the region, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women blamed Muslim men beating their wives on Israeli settlements.

No wonder the UN Security Council just condemned them. Who wouldn’t rightfully be upset that Jews living in Jerusalem somehow causes poor Mohammed to batter his wife?

The Jewish State is the UN’s scapegoat for anything and everything. The Palestinian Authority blamed Israel at the UN for Global Warming. WHO [the World Health Organization, a UN agency] denounced Israel for violating “health rights”.

Israel is one of the foremost inventors and manufacturers of advanced life-saving medical technology in the world. Extremely effective Israeli teams rush to places where disasters occur to provide medical assistance, always free of charge. Israel even cures its enemies free of charge, and returns them to enemy territory to continue plotting its destruction.

And even when Muslim terrorists stab Israelis, it’s still Israel’s fault.

The latest anti-Israel vote at the UN has led to calls to defund the corrupt organization which, even when it isn’t actively trying to hurt us or our allies, is making the world worse every which way it can.

Just this summer the UN admitted that it had spread cholera that killed tens of thousands in Haiti. Sexual abuse allegations against its staffers were up 25% last year. In the spring, the UN admitted that peacekeepers from three countries had raped over 100 girls in only one African country. …

Here’s what we get for our $3 billion.

UNRWA schools are turning out students who want to fight for ISIS.  The UN’s email system has been used to distribute child pornography. UN staff members have smuggled drugs, attacked each other with knives and pool cues, not to mention a tractor. This month the UN marked Anti-Corruption Day despite refusing to fight its own corruption. The former President of the UN General Assembly was arrested on bribery charges last year. He had also headed UNICEF’s executive board. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is battling accusations of bribery.

Some of this might be defensible if the UN did anything useful. It doesn’t. It’s just a slush fund for redistributing our money to a vast UN bureaucracy and anyone willing to bribe it for benefits.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the UN vote by beginning the process of defunding the UN. And there’s every reason in the world for us to also stop tossing money at the United Nations.

It’s something that we and every sane country should have done decades ago. If you give money to the UN, it will end up anywhere and everywhere except where it’s supposed to go. But defunding the UN isn’t enough. There is no reason for us to remain there at all.

The United Nations has never met any of its lofty goals. During the Cold War it became a playground for the Communist powers. The USSR, the second signatory to the UN charter, helped force out the first signatory, Taiwan. Even while the treaty was being signed, it was taking over Poland, the 51st signatory.

These days, the United Nations is a forum for Islamist powers and the rotting remains of the Communist front to continue its war against the free world while seducing weak-minded nations into going along.

We are not making the world a better place by being members of this anti-American organization which vacillates between being evil and useless.

You can always count on UN peacekeeping troops to run away whenever they might be called on to use force. The head of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan was fired by the UN for refusing to protect aid workers, including Americans, who were being raped and assaulted. …

The UN was brought into being in the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Instead of ending “the scourge of war”, the UN has a solid track record of uselessness and complicity in the face of genocide.

Israel was the first to alert the UN to Pol Pot’s genocide in Cambodia. But Moscow and its Syrian ally conspired to protect the Communist dictatorship. The UN did not condemn the killing. And only a generation later did it convene the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which has been running for almost twenty years. It took ten years to arrest Brother Number Three, the Foreign Minister of the Communist terror state, whose lies the United Nations chose to believe when the butchery was taking place.

He died six years later while still on trial.

The UN has been apologizing for its non-response to the Rwandan genocide for decades. But apologizing for not doing anything is what the United Nations does best. That and condemn Israel.

Earlier this month, the UN Security Council couldn’t even manage to pass a ceasefire resolution on Syria.

Venezuela, which championed the anti-Israel resolution, took time out from starving its own people to protect Assad. Why in the world would anyone take this vote, or any UN vote, seriously?

The UN’s Human Rights Council members include China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia and, of course, Venezuela. UN Women, the body dedicated to empowering women, includes China, which forces women to have abortions; Pakistan, where women can be murdered by their male relatives for marrying on their own; and Iran, where it’s practically illegal for a woman to leave the house.

The United Nations does not promote its own ideals. Or ours. Instead, it sanctimoniously violates them. Providing every brutal dictatorship with equal representation hasn’t ushered in an age of human rights. Allowing Islamic terrorists and the radical left to denounce their enemies hasn’t made the world better. And throwing $3 billion a year at the towering UN swamp on Turtle Bay only wastes our time and money. …

The UN doesn’t share our ideals. It’s time to build our closest alliances with the countries that do.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the 2030 agenda a “Declaration of Interdependence.” We must declare our independence from the UN’s interdependency of corruption and tyranny.

We should defund and withdraw. Where quarreling diplomats once preened in the tower above Turtle Bay, seagulls will soar and young couples will walk with their children. The billions we waste on the UN will go toward taking care of our people. And once we are free of the UN, we will actually be able to promote real human rights instead of pandering to the dictators and Islamists of the United Nations.

Like the League of Nations, the United Nations is a failed experiment. The only difference is that, despite decades of wars, genocides and terror, we still haven’t pulled the plug.

President Obama has betrayed his own country – the country he has led for eight years – by colluding with the UN against Israel. 

President Trump will have the opportunity to pull out of the UN and drain the swamp in Turtle Bay.

UN delenda est.

The birthday of the invincible sun 6

Dies natalis solis invicti  – the birthday of the invincible sun – was celebrated by the Romans on December 25, a few days after the winter solstice. In 336 C.E., five months before the death of Constantine the first Christian emperor of Rome, the “birth of Christ” was declared by the governing elite to have occurred on that date. It was an arbitrary choice, probably made in order to attach a Christian significance to the mid-winter celebrations.

Unlike many killjoy atheists on the Left, we enjoy Christmas, the jolliest annual festival of the West.

What’s not to like about feasting, carousing, being in good company on a day off from the daily round?

Happiness is in the air. More so than ever for us this year because our side won the 2016 elections.

Associations with Christianity and the birth of its Christ are ineluctable, but need be no more of an annoyance to atheists than that Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday are named after pagan gods. This  year Christmas Day falls on the day of the week named for the Sun.

And so, on this Christmas Eve, we wish all our readers, commenters, visitors, and critics

A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Posted under Miscellaneous by Jillian Becker on Saturday, December 24, 2016

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Obama’s parting act of extreme vindictiveness 5

Egypt was somehow (how?) cajoled into bringing a resolution before the UN Security Council condemning the building of Jewish settlements on the so-called “West Bank” – ie. Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Netanyahu and President-elect Trump opposed the move, and Egypt withdrew it – or, in UN-speak, Egypt “postponed” it, sine die.

Obama’s spite against Israel was not to be so easily frustrated. It is patently obvious that he feels his mighty will has been defied by Israel. Many times he ordered the Israeli government to stop building Jewish settlements on the “West Bank”, and he was not obeyed. So in the last days of his deeply regrettable presidency, he has paused between rounds of golf to find a way to squeeze in a vindictive act that he was looking forward to, to gratify his intensely anti-Israel, pro-Muslim sentiments. He has worked surreptitiously to bring a re-drafted resolution, serving the same ends, to the vote. And he has succeeded in doing so.

It is a heavy anti-Israel blow.

The traditional role of the US in the Security Council, when anti-Israel resolutions are voted on, has been to veto them. Not this time. The word in the ether is that he’ll have the US abstain – which means the resolution will be passed.

Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:

The Obama administration secretly worked with the Palestinian Authority to craft a “shameful” United Nations resolution behind Israel’s back, an Israeli official told reporters on Friday.

The official told Breitbart Jerusalem by email:

President Obama and Secretary Kerry are behind this shameful move against Israel at the UN. The US administration secretly cooked up with the Palestinians an extreme anti Israeli resolution behind Israel’s back which would be a tailwind for terror and boycotts and effectively make the Western Wall occupied Palestinian territory.

President Obama could declare his willingness to veto this resolution in an instant but instead is pushing it. This is an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN and undermines the prospects of working with the next administration of advancing peace.

Not so sure about that. Trump is not likely to let his hands be tied.

The official sent the same quotes to major news agencies, including Reuters and the Associated Press. He spoke as four UN Security Council members met on Friday to discuss how to advance the anti-Israel resolution despite Egypt’s decision to delay the vote on the draft that it introduced. The draft was originally scheduled for vote yesterday, but was delayed following criticism from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President-elect Donald Trump.

After the meeting, diplomats said the UN will move forward with the vote, which is expected to take place Friday at about 3 p.m. Eastern (10 p.m. in Jerusalem).

The text of the resolution repeatedly and wrongly refers to the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem as “Palestinian territory occupied since 1967″. In In actuality, the Palestinians never had a state in either the West Bank or eastern Jerusalem and they are not legally recognized as the undisputed authority in those areas.

Jordan occupied and annexed the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem from 1948 until Israel captured the lands in a defensive war in 1967 after Arab countries used the territories to launch attacks against the Jewish state.  In 1988 Jordan officially renounced its claims to the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

The text of the resolution declares that the Israeli settlement enterprise has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace”.

That “two-state solution” is the longest-standing geopolitical joke in history.

When the Ottoman empire was broken up, the victorious allies of WWI created a bunch of new Arab states – there are 21 Arab states altogether –  and allowed Britain a mandate over the Palestine region  in order to implement the Balfour Declaration, which stated that Jews were to be “settled closely on the land”. Britain then illegally gave about two-thirds of the territory to the Emir Abdullah to rule over a new state called “Transjordan” – which was to be perpetually judenrein. The remainder was to be occupied by Jews and Arabs.

Then, after WWII, the UN divided the small remainder yet again, offering one part to the Jews to establish a state, and the other part to the Arabs to do the same. The Jews accepted; the Arabs refused, went to war against the Jews, and lost the war.

The offer of territory for a Palestinian state was made again, and again, and again. The Palestinian Arabs consistently refused all the offers. How can they do otherwise? To accept a Palestinian state with defined borders is to define the borders of the Jewish state, and so recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel. They want all the territory or none. To get all the territory they are perpetually at war with Israel.

Yet it is Israel that is forever being pressed by the Western powers to make concessions. The only concession the Arabs will accept is the abolition of the State of Israel and the handing over of its territory to them. Some Arabs – the Saudi Arabians for instance – have indicated that they might allow some Jews to go on living there. They are called the “moderates”.

The “West Bank” territory on which the Palestinians have refused to establish a state is called by its enemies “occupied Palestinian territory“.

[The resolution] calls for Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem”.

As the Committee for Accuracy for Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) pointed out in an email blast, international law does not make Israeli settlements illegal.

CAMERA notes:

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Conventions, which is relied upon by those who claim the settlements are illegal, does not apply in the case of the West Bank. This is because the West Bank was never under self-rule by a nation that was a party to the Convention, and therefore there is no “partial or total occupation of the territory of a High Contracting Party”, as Article 2 of the Convention specifies. Moreover, even if it did apply, by its plain terms, it applies only to forcible transfers and not to voluntary movement. Therefore, it can’t prohibit Jews from choosing to move to areas of great historical and religious significance to them.

…. The UN draft resolution text states that “cessation of all Israeli settlement activities is essential for salvaging the two-State solution”, and it “calls for affirmative steps to be taken immediately to reverse the negative trends on the ground that are imperiling the two-State solution”.

The UN must be destroyed!

*

Update 

Virtual Jerusalem reports:

The UN Security Council on Friday [December 23, 2016] approved the resolution demanding that Israel halt its construction in Judea, Samaria, and eastern Jerusalem.

14 member states voted in favor of the resolution, which was resubmitted by New Zealand, Malaysia, Senegal and Venezuela a day after Egypt, which originally submitted it, withdrew it.

New Zealand!

Venezuela! A country where people are killing each other in food riots!

The United States abstained from the vote and did not use its veto power to stop the resolution.

Soon after it was announced that the resolution would be voted upon, senior Israeli officials attacked U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Obama and Kerry are behind this shameful move in the United Nations,” the officials said, according to Haaretz.

“Obama could announce at any time that he intends casting a veto on the resolution, but instead he’s pushing it. He is abandoning Israel and breaking a policy of decades to defend Israel in the UN,” they added.

One senior official added that Obama and Kerry were carrying out the move in the UN “in cahoots with the Palestinians” in an attempt to impose a policy on President-elect Donald Trump.

“Obama is attempting to get a decision passed by the UN, despite knowing that it does not represent the policy of the next president,” the official said, according to Haaretz.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, responded harshly to the American decision not to veto the UN Security Council resolution.

“Neither the Security Council nor UNESCO can sever the tie between the people of Israel and the land of Israel,” said Danon. “It was to be expected that Israel’s greatest ally would act in accordance with the values that we share and that they would have vetoed this disgraceful resolution. I have no doubt that the new U.S. administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” he added.

The new US administration will certainly act in support of Israel. The incoming UN Secretary General, however, is likely to be at least as hostile to Israel as all his recent predecessors have been. 

Going down 3

The Democrats with their Leftist agenda have just been massively defeated in the 2016 elections.

Their remedy? Move further left. Or in their words, “be more progressive”.

Way to go, Democrats!

To look in on the Democratic Party in its death throes, watch this short video in which Cenk Uyger of “The Young Turks” pushes hard for the “real progressive”, Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, to be the new DNC leader.

To read about Ellison’s incendiary opinions and present connections to terrorist-sponsoring organizations, go here.

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