The pursuit of happiness 57

Gentlefolk in the 18th. century thought that to try to live happily was a reasonable aim, to judge by the statement of the great authors of the US Declaration of Independence. To them it appeared “self-evident” that every person had a “right” (“endowed by their Creator”, or, in other words, a natural right) to his life and his choice how to live it, which surely meant that he would live it as nearly to his heart’s desire as he could.

Horny handed sons of toil, even if as free under the law, were not expected, either by themselves or their betters, to achieve the same forms of happiness. Enough for them if they could earn their daily bread. For that they lived and strove. Their life was the striving. It occupied their hours, their days, their years, their bodies and their thoughts. Success was survival. Survival was for most of them the only reasonable attainable happiness. If some strove for more – excess, property, leisure – and attained it, then happiness abounded. (Happiness, that is to say, as contentment. Other forms of gratification – thrills, excitement, delights of the senses, scoring triumphs – are not our subject. They are experienced episodically and enjoyed to the degree the individual is capable of.)

The welfare state relieved the workers of the need to strive for survival. Now all could be philosophers. The joy of exploring the limitless sphere of the mind was open to all. Universal happiness would reign.

But doesn’t.

The reasons why people commit suicide are many and various, but what they all have in common is that they find life unbearable. So suicide rates might be taken as a gauge of happiness and the lack of it in a population.

The figures for those rates from the last few years (according to Wikipedia – and perhaps not entirely trustworthy) provide some surprises. (Worth noticing in passing – far more males kill themselves than do females everywhere.)

Highest suicide rate in the world: Greenland. Average 82.8 per 100,000 per annum. It is a welfare state.

Google reveals:

As part of Denmark, Greenlanders have access to one of the most extensive social welfare systems in Europe, including universal, nationalized medical care and free state education, including college.

(President Trump has asked Denmark if it would sell Greenland to the USA. Rhetorical question: Would life in Greenland be better, more bearable, happier if it became the 51st. state of the USA, which provides much less welfare? USA suicide average per 100,000 per annum, 14.5.)

Big drop to the next highest. Guyana 30.2, Lithuania 28.27, South Korea 26.6

The average for most European countries is between 12.57 (Germany) and 17 (Belgium).

Britain? Only 7.23!

China? 9.8

Iran 4.8   The state does most of the killing there.

Venezuela 3.2  Nature does it there, because the people are starving and have no medicines. Venezuela is – way beyond a welfare state – a socialist state.

Syria 0.1  Constant civil war rages there.

Pakistan 1.1   People are happy in Pakistan?

Haiti  – a truly miserable place of hunger and disease. Average suicide?  0.0

But back to the pursuit of happiness in the civilized West.

What went wrong? Is it possible that the strivers enjoyed the striving and its meager rewards?

Or did philosophizing bring the newly leisured to ask, “What is it all for anyway?“. And find no answer?

There are thousands of counselors – even millions, we would guess – telling unhappy people how to be happy. There are hundreds of thousands of books giving readers rules for living –  from obedience to which, happiness might be expected.

And there is religion. Religion is supposed to “give meaning to life”.

Does it answer the question “what is it all for anyway?”

Let’s look at an individual case of unhappiness. In America.

At the American Conservative, we found this letter, reproduced by Rod Dreher, to whom it was sent as if to an agony aunt:

Mr. Dreher,

The things you have been writing lately about alienated young men and mass shootings prompt me to reach out to you. I am not a young man anymore, but I am dealing with things that I did not imagine I would be when I was young and newly married. Back then, everything made sense. I feel like I need to tell my story.

My background is that I am a successful businessman (a kind of consultant) living in a well-to-do suburb of a Southern city. My wife and I married relatively early, and had two kids. The boys are in good colleges in other states. They are getting ready to head back to school next week. It has been a real pleasure having them here this summer. Our house becomes a tomb when they are not around.

Four years ago, my wife told me that she didn’t want to be married to me anymore. After almost 30 years, she had had enough. I did not see that coming. We almost never fought. We used to go to dinner together, take family vacations, do things together, etc etc. She just said that she thought she had hitched herself to a man too young, and now that the boys were older and out of the house, she was reconsidering her life. I asked her if there was another man. She said no, and eventually I believed her. I asked her if she wanted a divorce. She said probably so, but she wanted to wait until the boys got out of school. She is a reasonable person with a finance background, and knows that a divorce would cost us a lot at a time when we are supporting two kids in college.

She has a job she loves. I work from a home office. I was so glad when my company gave me the chance to do this. I miss the friendships in the office, but when you talk on your blog about wokeness in the workplace, I always find myself nodding along. A few years back, my company started getting engaged with “diversity and inclusivity” in the workplace. I noticed that every time they would run us all through one of those seminars, we would all come out of it more suspicious of each other. It was crazy. It was as if our bosses were trying to poison the office environment. I got to the point where as a white male, I saw my co-workers as potentially the people who would try to get me fired if I said one wrong thing by mistake. They might have seen me that way too. It was crazy. The more management pushed “diversity and inclusivity”, the more anxious things felt in the office. When the company was restructuring and offered people in my division the chance to work at home, I jumped at it, just to get out of that tense environment.

It was a blessing at first, but nowadays I wonder if that was the right thing to do. The idea of working from home seems great, until you realize that you don’t see people at all. I have a nice home office where I put in my 9 to 5, which is really more like 8 to 7, but everybody does that. If I’m being truthful, I stay in my office longer than I have to on most days, because there is nothing for me outside of it. My wife used to be my best friend. Now we just share a house and a bed. She has friends from her office, and goes out with them a lot. When all this started, I honestly thought she was seeing some guy. I’m not going into the details, but I’m truly convinced that she’s not. She’s just hanging out with other middle-aged women who are sick of their husbands too.

I used to think only men behaved like that. Mother and Daddy have both passed away, but they had a good marriage. Some of their friends got divorced when I was a kid, and it was always the man leaving his wife for a younger woman. They were very judgmental of them, but in a way I still think was right. They were Southern people (I think you know what I mean, Mr. Dreher), and that meant that they thought it was dishonorable for a man to do his wife like that. I internalized that honor code, and have always lived by it, and my Catholic faith. If my wife demands a divorce, I will give it to her, but I won’t marry again. How could I go through an annulment? I can’t say truthfully that this was not really a marriage. I meant it when I said my vows, and I believe my wife did too. I am not going to make bastards of my sons because my wife abandoned me and I want to be married again. Besides, there would be no marrying again for me anyway. I look at myself in the mirror — mid to late 50s, half-bald, pot belly, etc etc. What woman would want me even if I was free to marry her?

I was an only child, so I have no close family to speak of. We are Catholics. My faith is just about the only thing that keeps me going through all this, but it’s thin. My wife refuses to see a marriage counselor. I made the first steps to getting an appointment to talk to our priest, but I gave up because that was hopeless. I feel bad for our priest. He’s managing a big suburban parish all on his own. It would have taken forever to get an appointment, and there was no way he was going to be able to give us the time it would take to save our marriage, especially given that my wife doesn’t want to save it. Besides, there is nothing I’ve ever heard our priest say that tells me he is a man who could help us. He talks like one of those life coaches our company used to bring in for team building exercises, a guy who gets all his ideas from Hallmark cards.

She still goes to mass with me, but just out of habit. When I stand there listening to Fr give his cheerful but empty homilies, I think about what’s keeping me from going home and blowing my brains out. I’m not going to do this because I’m scared of pain and I’m scared of going to Hell. Also, I don’t want to hurt the boys, and make them feel like they did something to cause it or give them something to be ashamed of. However, I think a lot about how little I have to live for anymore. I am not even sure that the boys think of me much, except as “Good Old Dad”…

Nobody can see it. I stand there in church, wearing my coat and tie, and people probably think I have it all together. We drive nice cars, we live in a nice house in a good neighborhood, etc, etc. I am grateful to have a good job that has allowed me to provide for my family. By all the world’s standards, I’m doing well. I have “white privilege”. 

What a joke. When I first started working in my home office, I would dress up in a coat, no tie, and dress pants to go to “work.” It felt right to hang on to that habit. Since my marriage fell apart, I notice that some days I don’t even get out of my pajamas. I sit there at my nice desk doing all my work on my laptop, and go right back to bed at the end of the day without even taking a shower. I know this is pathetic, and if the boys were still at home, I would know to keep up appearances. This is my life.

When the boys graduate and don’t have to depend on us, I guess that will mean Decision Time. I will probably move out, though to all rights we ought to sell the house. I remember the day we bought it, and talking with my wife about that big dining room, and how we looked forward to the kids coming home with their wives and children for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Oh, we sure had big plans for that dining room. We bought a house with a fireplace because we dreamed about sitting around it with the grandchildren. All that is over now, and not because I wanted it to be. I feel so powerless. Maybe I would stay here if either one of the boys moved back, but given the fields they have chosen, I don’t look for that to happen, and even if it did, we would just be keeping up appearances for their sake. Southern people are real good at that, as you know.

What prompted me to write to you is your writings about the loneliness crisis. I am not some white trash 22 y.o. living in a trailer somewhere, playing video games, and living off his Mama, but I am completely isolated in my life. My “video game” is Excel spreadsheets. The friends I had back in the happier days were all “couples friends” through my wife. When she said she didn’t want to be married to me, we stopped having people over, and stopped accepting invitations to other people’s houses. After a few years, those invitations stopped coming. I tried to keep up these friendships with the husbands, but it was awkward. I told a couple of the guys I was closest to about the mess in my marriage, and they seemed sympathetic, but there wasn’t a lot they could do. They all had kids, and their couples friends. Two or three times I went to their dinner parties by myself, but you talk about awkward! I was embarrassed by it all, and just quit going. I miss those guys, and I even miss their wives. We used to be happy all together.

If this is “white privilege”, screw it. I stopped by the shoe repair shop a couple of weeks ago, and there were some black guys my age sitting around talking and laughing with each other. I envied them. I probably make 10 or 15 times more than them, but they are probably rich in ways that I used to be before I went “bankrupt”. I would trade all this so-called “white privilege” for a happy marriage, a strong family, and good friends. Mother and Daddy didn’t have a lot of money, but at least they had that. They also had a small-town church where they felt at home. How can anybody feel at home in a big parish like mine? I was taught to be charitable, especially to the clergy, and I do feel bad for our priest, who is carrying a heavy load. But this ain’t church. I’ve gotten to the point where I sit there during mass and I wonder how many of those men in the pews are just like me: barely holding it together, wondering what the hell we’re living for, ignored by our wives, and starving for friendship. God feels so far away. I have never doubted His existence, but these days, He feels like the Pope — a nice man who lives far away and who doesn’t see us.

I know I sound like I’m feeling sorry for myself. I guess I am. But damn it, I didn’t think things were going to work out like this. I did everything I was supposed to do, and it all fell to pieces anyway. I’m racking my brains trying to figure out how I can fix this, but my wife doesn’t want it to be fixed. She just wants out. I recognize that I am privileged economically and socially, but I’m here to tell you that if you were a working man who drove by my house, and saw me out front mowing our big lawn, you would think I had it made. In fact, you would be looking at a dead man, at a man who secretly hopes he falls over from a heart attack so he doesn’t have to keep carrying this weight of loneliness. At this point, my only purpose in life is to do what I have to do so my sons can have a good life or think they have a good life, until they get to my age and it falls to shit, and they end up doing just what their Good Old Dad is doing.

The thought just occurred to me as I’m writing this that the only real reason we will have to keep our household together after our sons graduate is if one of them can’t find a job, and has to live with us. That’s a sorry state to be in, knowing that the only thing that would keep you and your wife together is an unemployed grown-up child.

I appreciate the opportunity to get this off of my chest. I like reading your blog because even though it’s depressing sometimes, I feel like you talk about the real world, which is more than I get from my priest. I would just ask your readers to keep in mind that when they see people at church, in the store, and at other places, that those people might be suffering in ways that are not obvious. You think folks have it made, but they don’t. You see me getting out of my [luxury car brand] at church, with my wife, and we’re all dressed up and smiling, but from my very jaded perspective, we’re dead people who have no future. At least my wife has the girls from the office.

I’ve thought about asking my manager if I can come back to the office, but I know that’s not a solution. I’m the Great White Male, the source of all evil in the world. Given my run of luck, it would be about right for somebody to falsely accuse me of something, and end up taking away the last I have left from what started out as an American dream. I’d end up jobless and poor, and then the gun to the head might not seem so scary after all.

Sorry. Thanks for listening.

One thing we find particularly interesting about this “confession” is how little the man’s faith does for him. Fear of hell keeps him from suicide. That’s about all.

If he were not a believing Catholic, he might have developed some curiosity about the world he lives in. It has not occurred to him to go exploring in the infinite realm of the mind.

He was happier when his children lived with him. If he had grandchildren living near by he might be happy again. For a while, anyway. Until they grew up. But young men are not quick to marry now and raise a family.

Readers, your comments are needed.

The man who got it right – has gone 24

Being strong supporters of President Trump, we are not happy making moan about his dismissal of John Bolton as his national security adviser. But make moan we do.

For one very important thing, John Bolton has always been right about how to deal with terrorist organizations like the Taliban, and terrorist regimes like Iran’s: they should never be negotiated with because to do so is to legitimize them. Now it seems that it is over this issue (inter alia, presumably) that the President and Bolton have parted company. (If proof were needed that in this matter Bolton is right, the Iranian government cheered the news of Bolton’s departure.)

Mark Steyn appreciates John Bolton as much as we do.

He writes  (in part … read it all for the wit, the sheer fun):

I first met the new National Security Advisor a decade and a half or so back, in a roomful of European prime ministers and foreign ministers. He delivered a line that stunned the joint:

‘International law does not trump the US Constitution.’

I was standing next to the Finnish Prime Minister, Paavo Lipponen, who had a genuinely puzzled looked on his face and eventually inquired of me: “He is making a joke, no?”

No. Since then, I’ve interviewed him at Fox a couple of times and passed him in the green room on many others. …

I first wrote about him fourteen years ago, after Bush nominated him as UN Ambassador. This is from The Spectator of March 19th 2005 – and my remarks about “the code-speak consensus of the global elite” are relevant, I think, to what drove Trump’s rise – as Mr Bolton was surely aware:

If you’re going to play the oldest established permanent floating transnational crap game for laughs, you might as well pick an act with plenty of material. What I love about John Bolton, America’s new ambassador to the UN, is the sheer volume of ‘damaging’ material. Usually, the Democrats and media have to riffle through decades of dreary platitudes to come up with one potentially exploitable infelicitous soundbite. But with Bolton the damaging quotes are hanging off the trees and dropping straight into your bucket. Five minutes’ casual trawling through the back catalogue and your cup runneth over:

The UN building?

If you lost ten storeys, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.’

Reform of the Security Council?

If I were redoing the Security Council, I’d have one permanent member … the United States.’

The International Criminal Court?

Fuzzy-minded romanticism … not just naive but dangerous.’

International law in general?

It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law.’

Offering incentives to rogue states?

I don’t do carrots.’

But he does do shtick. I happen to agree with all the above statements, but I can see why the international community might be minded to throw its hands up and shriek, ‘Quelle horreur!’ It’s not just the rest of the world. Most of the American media are equally stunned. …

In a roomful of Euro-grandees, [Bolton] was perfectly relaxed … [He] thwacked every ball they served back down their gullets with amazing precision. …He seemed to relish their hostility. At one event, a startled British cabinet minister said to me afterwards, ‘He doesn’t mean all that, does he?’

But he does. And that’s why the Bolton flap is very revealing about conventional wisdom on transnationalism. Diplomats are supposed to be ‘diplomatic’. Why is that? Well, as the late Canadian prime minister Lester B. Pearson used to say, diplomacy is the art of letting the other fellow have your way. In other words, you were polite, discreet, circumspect, etc., as a means to an end. Not any more.

None of John Bolton’s detractors is worried that his bluntness will jeopardise the administration’s policy goals. Quite the contrary. They’re concerned that the administration has policy goals — that it isn’t yet willing to subordinate its national interest to the polite transnational pieties. In that sense, our understanding of ‘diplomacy’ has become corrupted: it’s no longer the language through which nation states treat with one another so much as the code-speak consensus of a global elite.

For much of the civilised world the transnational pabulum has become an end in itself, and one largely unmoored from anything so tiresome as reality. It doesn’t matter whether there is any global warming or, if there is, whether Kyoto will do anything about it or, if you ratify Kyoto, whether you bother to comply with it: all that matters is that you sign on to the transnational articles of faith. The same thinking applies to the ICC, and Darfur, and the Oil-for-Fraud programme, and anything else involving the UN. …

The normal Western deference to the [UN] has grossly over-inflated its ‘legitimacy’ and ‘moral authority’. That’s what John Bolton had in mind with his observations about international law:

It is a big mistake for us to grant any validity to international law even when it may seem in our short-term interest to do so — because, over the long term, the goal of those who think that international law really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.’

Just so. When George Bush Sr. went through the UN to assemble his coalition for the first Gulf war, it might have been a ‘diplomatic triumph’ but it was also the biggest single contributing factor to the received wisdom in the decade and a half since that only the UN has the international legitimacy to sanction war — to the point where, on the eve of Iraq’s liberation, the Church of England decided that a ‘just war’ could only be one approved by the Security Council. That in turn amplifies the UN’s claim to sole global legitimacy in a thousand other areas, big and small — the environment, guns, smoking, taxation.

Yet the assumption behind much of the criticism of Bolton … is that, regardless of his government’s foreign policy, a UN ambassador has to be at some level a UN booster. Twenty years ago, the then Secretary of State George Schultz used to welcome the Reagan administration’s ambassadorial appointments to his office and invite each chap to identify his country on the map. The guy who’d just landed the embassy in Chad would invariably point to Chad. ‘No,’ Schultz would say, ‘this is your country’ — and point to the United States. Nobody would expect a US ambassador to the Soviet Union to be a big booster for the Soviets. …

A slyer argument is that yes, the UN’s in a terrible state, what with the Oil-for-Fraud and the Congolese moppets and the flop response to Darfur and the tsunami, but that’s all the more reason why America needs an ambassador able to build consensus for much-needed reforms. The problem with that seductive line is that most of the proposed reforms are likely to make things worse. Again, Bolton is right to be dismissive about restructuring the [UN] Security Council. Even as the Second World War victory parade preserved in aspic, it makes little sense.

I can find only one example of a senior UN figure having the guts to call a member state a ‘totalitarian regime’. It was former secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali … and he was talking about America.

A Secretary-General of the United Nations dared to name a member country as a totalitarian regime, and the country he named was the United States!

John Bolton’s sin isn’t that he’s ‘undiplomatic’, but that he’s correct.

This ship of state has lost a great navigator.

A political resurrection 3

So old Joe Biden re-arises as a presidential candidate.

He again offers to lead the nation. He did it twice before, in 1984 and 1988, and his offer was not taken up.

Now he is 76 years old. Is the nation keener on him now than it was all those years ago? Will he be the nominee of the Democratic (Socialist) Party?

Does he qualify? Which is to say, to how many of these questions can he answer “Yes”? Only a score of 100% is sufficient: 

Is he black? No.

Is he a woman? No.

Has he tried to be a woman? No.

Is he homosexual? No.

Is he a socialist? N-ye-maybe.

Does he believe in manmade global warming? Yes.

Is he for late-term abortion? Yes.

Is he for open borders? Yes.

Plainly, on the question of qualification, he fails.

Breitbart reports:

The “women of color” who hosted this week’s presidential forum expressed frustration that the leading Democrat candidates are old, white men. It is an example, they say, of “racist” and “sexist” polling.

In particular, a member of the organizing committee for the event insisted that polls showing Joe Biden in the lead were absurd, especially because he had not yet even officially joined the race as the polls were being conducted, according to Politico.

“With all due respect to the vice president, he hasn’t even announced yet, but he’s the frontrunner?” said Leah Daughtry, organizer of the “She the People” event. “Racism and sexism are part of the fabric and the fiber and the founding of our country,” she added, “and the way that the [Democratic] candidates are being treated, it just reminds you of that. We’re not past it.”

Another minority Democrat activist, LaTosha Brown, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, also slammed the media for pushing white men as the Democrat frontrunners.

“When you got a media that’s constantly saying Biden and Beto and Bernie and literally elevating the male candidates, I think that’s going to be reflected in the polls,” Brown said.

(“She the people”? This solecism is a New American Fact. Grammar is outdated. It was a White masculine racist idea.)

Thing is, Joe, almost every country in the First World is now a gynocracy. Women rule, okay?

You scored quite highly on the old qualifications for Democratic leadership. They must have been just the ticket when you were picked for vice president.

What were those old-time qualifications?

Are you corrupt?  Yes.

[Joe Biden’s] family, particularly his son, cashed in while he was vice president of the United States. … Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point-person on policy towards Ukraine. He steered $1.8 billion in aid to that government and while he was doing so, his son got a sweetheart deal with this energy company  … [which] paid $3.1 million into an account where Hunter Biden was getting paid.”

So says author Peter Schweizer, president of the Government Accountability Institute, who also revealed this:

“In December of 2013, Vice President Joe Biden flies to Asia for a trip, and the centerpiece for that trip is a visit to Beijing, China,” said Schweizer. “To put this into context, in 2013, the Chinese have just exerted air rights over the South Pacific, the South China Sea. They basically have said, ‘If you want to fly in this area, you have to get Chinese approval. We are claiming sovereignty over this territory.’ Highly controversial in Japan, in the Philippines, and in other countries. Joe Biden is supposed to be going there to confront the Chinese. Well, he gets widely criticized on that trip for going soft on China. So basically, no challenging them, and Japan and other countries are quite upset about this.”

Elaborating, Schweizer said, “Well, I think the reason he goes soft on China is because with him on that trip, flying on Air Force Two, is his son Hunter Biden, and ten days after they return from China, Hunter Biden — who has this small firm, he has no background in private equity, he has no background in Chinese finance — gets a whopping $1.5 billion deal from the Chinese government. This is the Chinese government giving Joe Biden and a [John] Kerry confidant the management over this money, and they made huge fees off of this money, and it’s an example of this kind of corruption. That’s the first of three major deals that the Chinese government does with people who are either the children — that is the sons — or close aides to Vice President Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry.

Schweizer discussed national security implications related to modern corruption, highlighting the acquisition of Henniges Automotive —  a formerly America-based company developing “dual-use” technologies with military applications — by Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC), a Chinese state-run military contractor. AVIC acquired Henniges in 2017 with a 51 percent stake purchase. The remaining 49 percent was purchased by the Biden- and-Kerry-linked BHR.

“So [Hunter Biden and Devon Archer] get this $1.5 billion to invest, and what they are supposed to do is basically invest in companies that benefit the Chinese government,” stated Schweizer. “So just think about this for a second. This is the vice president of the United States whose father is supposed to be commanding American presence and power in the Pacific to deal with the rising challenge from China, and his son is investing $1.5 billion of Chinese government money. So what do they do? They invest in an American high-precision tools company called Henniges, which used to be owned by Rocket Company, but they produce anti-vibration technologies which have a dual-use application, so this transaction actually requires the approval of the federal government, as it has national security implications. So again, the vice president’s son is helping the Chinese government take over a dual-use military technology-related company called Henniges.”

BHR also invested in a Chinese state-run atomic energy company indicted by the Department of Justice in crimes related to stealing nuclear secrets, Schweizer said.

“But it gets even worse because another investment that they make is in something called CGN — China General Nuclear — which is an atomic power company,” recalled Schweizer. “They invest in this company in 2014. A year later, what happens? The FBI arrests and charges senior officials in this company with stealing nuclear secrets in the United States. Specifically, they’re trying to get access to something called the AP-1000 nuclear reactor that is very similar to the ones that we put on U.S. submarines. So again, you have the son of the vice president, a close aide to the secretary of state who are investing in a company that is trying to steal nuclear secrets in the United States. It’s a stunning story, and here’s the thing: none of this is required to be disclosed because they’ve figured out a way to get around these disclosure laws.”

Have you colluded with a foreign power? Yes.

“There is far more evidence of collusion involving Joe Biden — or even involving the Clintons — of collusion with these foreign powers than there was with Donald Trump, because you actually have the transaction of money, you have very favorable policies that were carried out. I think ‘collusion’ is not too strong a word. I think it’s a pretty accurate word.”

Schweizer added, “There’s no question. The Bidens got a lot of money — millions of dollars — from these foreign powers. Hunter Biden had no legitimate reasons to get the deal. He simply wasn’t qualified.”

Schweizer warned of politicians and officials monetizing their political influence.

“So what [Joe Biden] is doing is using U.S. taxpayer government resources for the personal benefit of his family, and by the way, all of this absolutely rings true,” remarked Schweizer. “Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s person on Ukraine, he traveled to that country something like 17 times during his tenure as vice president, which is pretty amazing.”

Schweizer went on, “What’s remarkable is when, a couple of days before Donald Trump was inaugurated in Washington, D.C., Joe Biden was actually in Ukraine. It’s pretty remarkable for a vice president of the United States to be overseas that late in the game, but he was in Ukraine. [Joe Biden’s] sway and influence there was enormous, and it raises all kinds of questions about the way that he used or abused government power, and of course it raises questions about what potentially did Ukrainians have on Hunter Biden.”

“What kind of evidence and information do we have?” asked Schweizer of corruption concerns regarding Joe Biden. “We know that millions of dollars flowed into Hunter Biden’s accounts. We know that he was not qualified for the job, and the question is, what did he get for Ukrainians in return? I think that’s all the sort of thing that needs to be investigated and looked into by a grand jury.”

Do you have traitorous impulses? Yes.

From Discover the Networks:

Shortly after 9/11, Biden told his staff that America should respond to the worst act of terrorism in its history by showing the Arab world that the U.S. was not seeking to destroy it. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” he said.

Do you have poor political judgment? Yes.

In 1979 Senator Biden shared President Jimmy Carter‘s belief that the fall of the Shah in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini’s rule represented progress for human rights in that country. Throughout the ensuing 444-day hostage crisis, during which Khomeini’s extremist acolytes routinely paraded the blindfolded American captives in front of television cameras and threatened them with execution, Biden opposed strong action against the mullahs and called for dialogue.

Do you have a favorable opinion of Communism and advocate for good relations with Communist states? Yes.

Throughout the 1980s, Biden opposed President Ronald Reagan’s proactive means of dealing with the Soviet Union. Biden instead favored détente — which, in practice, meant Western subsidies that would have enabled the moribund USSR to remain solvent much longer than it ultimately did. He also opposed Reagan’s effort to fund the Contras, an anti-Communist rebel group in Nicaragua.

Biden was a leading critic of the Reagan defense buildup, specifically vis a vis the MX missile, the B-l bomber, and the Trident submarine. He criticized Reagan for his “continued adherence” to the goal of developing a missile defense system known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, calling the President’s insistence on the measure “one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft”.

Do you lie about your own record? Yes.

Biden first ran for U.S. President in 1987. He was considered a strong contender for the Democratic Party’s nomination, but in April of that year controversy descended on Biden’s campaign when he told several lies about his academic record in law school. In an April 3, 1987 appearance on C-SPAN, a questioner asked Biden about his law school grades. In response, an angry Biden looked at his questioner and said, “I think I have a much higher I.Q. than you do.” He then stated that he had gone “to law school on a full academic scholarship — the only one in my class to have a full academic scholarship”; that he had “ended up in the top half” of his law school class; and that he had “graduated with three degrees from college.”

But each of those claims proved to be untrue. In reality, Biden had: (a) earned only two college degrees — in history and political science — at the University of Delaware in Newark, where he graduated only 506th in a class of 688; (b) attended law school on a half scholarship that was based on financial need; and (c) eventually graduated 76th in a law-school class of 85. “I exaggerate when I’m angry,” Biden would later concede, “but I’ve never gone around telling people things that aren’t true about me.”

Do you steal intellectual property when you think you can get away with it? Yes.

Then, in August 1987 Biden plagiarized a portion of a speech made by British politician Neil Kinnock. Before long, revelations surfaced that Biden also had plagiarized extensive portions of an article in law school and consequently had received a grade of “F” for the course. (He eventually was permitted to retake the course, and the failure was removed from his transcript.)

So what makes Joe Biden think he should stand for president again now?

Is there some great issue on which he feels he – more than any other Democrat aspiring to the presidency – can run against President Trump and win?

Again Breitbart reports:

Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his third presidential campaign on Thursday [April 25, 2019] by referring to a debunked claim that President Donald Trump referred to neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 as “very fine people.”

In a three-and-a-half minute YouTube video, Biden cited the August 2017 riots as his primary motivation for running against Trump, presenting a version of events that even a CNN contributor has declared to be fraudulent.

After referring to the town’s historic role — including Thomas Jefferson, a slave owner — he added, “Charlottesville is also home to a defining moment for this nation in the last few years,” followed by footage of a neo-Nazi procession.

Biden noted that the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville were “chanting the same antisemitic bile heard in the ’30s”. He then added that they were “met by a courageous group of Americans, and a violent clash ensured.”

Go here to read a justifiably furious objection to those statements.

(Among that “courageous group of Americans” were left-wing Antifa extremists who specifically came to Charlottesville to cause violence, and whom even Nancy Pelosi later condemned after they caused another riot.)

Biden then cited the debunked “very fine people” claim:

And that’s when we heard the words of the President of the United States that stunned the world and shocked the conscience of this nation. He said there were, quote, some “very fine people on both sides”. Very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalence between those spreading hate, and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment, I knew that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had every seen in my lifetime.

What Biden said is completely untrue, as the transcript of Trump’s press conference about Charlottesville shows.

Trump was referring to protesters against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee, as well as to non-violent left-wing protesters against racism, and specifically excluded the neo-Nazis from “very fine people” (emphasis added):

REPORTER: The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville.

TRUMP: Excuse me, they didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis, and you had some very bad people in that group. But you also had people that were very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group – excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.

REPORTER: George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.

TRUMP: Oh no, George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down – excuse me. Are we going to take down, are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him? Okay, good. Are we going to take down his statue? He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? You know what? It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly. Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people, but you also had troublemakers and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets and with the baseball bats – you had a lot of bad people in the other group too. …

[Biden] apparently planned to launch his campaign directly in Charlottesville this week, but local leaders objected because “some residents [were] unhappy about the scene a tragedy the city would prefer to forget being used as a campaign launch backdrop” …

It is unclear why Biden chose to run on a divisive racial hoax, even one that remains dogma among many on the left. Biden may feel vulnerable in a Democratic Party now dominated by identity politics. Indeed, the Associated Press reported Thursday that some “women of color” were “frustrated” by his candidacy.

So would this corrupt, traitorous, dishonest man, this candidate out of a past era

Oh, yes, it must be mentioned too that he is also an assaulting groper and hugger, according to recent reports …

… be a good choice for president of the United States?

Europe-Iran: an evil partnership 17

Europe loves Iran.

Which is to say, Germany loves Iran. And Germany decides what Europe loves.

Which is to say, the rulers of Germany decide what Germany decides what Europe loves.

And Chancellor Angela Merkel decides what the rulers of Germany will decide, and she has decided that Germany and therefore Europe love Iran.

She can rely on the concurrence of the EU’s mascot, French president Emmanuel Macron.   

Here’s a bark or two of his clap-trap against Brexit in an open letter:

‘Brexit … symbolizes the European trap. The trap is not being part of the European Union. The trap is in the lie and the irresponsibility that can destroy it. … And this trap threatens the whole of Europe …”  (Our emphasis.)

We hope it does more than threaten the EU. We hope Brexit brings down the whole rickety structure. It really could set an example to other member states, and with a little bit of luck the European Union will fall into a heap of rubble in a pall of dust. 

Meanwhile, it loves Iran.

From Gatestone, by Majid Rafizadeh:

According to a report published by Amnesty International on February 26, the human rights situation in Iran has “severely deteriorated”. Why then does the European Union continue to pursue appeasement policies with a regime that has an excruciating human rights record? Sadly, Europe — in spite its endless moral preening and self-righteousness — seems to have become the world most immoral player — if it was not already. The European Union, for instance, unjustly singles out for bullying the only liberal, democratic, human-rights-abiding country in the Middle East: Israel … yet tries to find ways to keep on doing business with a country such as Iran that is not only trying to establish its hegemony throughout the Middle East — through proxies in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon — but is also the serial violator of just about every human right imaginable … The only conclusion one can come to is that Europe would evidently still like to kill the Jews and is happy to support those wishing to kill them. How much more immoral can one get?

The list of unspeakable human rights violations committed by Iran’s regime is lengthy; however, by far the most disturbing seems the cruelty enacted against children.

According to the Norway-based organization Iran Human Rights (IHR), which closely monitors executions in Iran:

“Despite ratifying the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of the Child which bans the death penalty for offenses committed at under 18 years of age, Iran stays the world’s top executioner of juvenile offenders. According to reports by IHR, Iranian authorities have executed at least 40 juvenile offenders since 2013. “

These children are held in custody and executed before they have the chance to reach adulthood. At least 6 minors, including two child brides were executed in 2018. Amnesty International comments on Iran’s use of capital punishment on children:

“Girls as young as nine can be sentenced to execution; for boys it’s 15. At least 73 young offenders were executed between 2005 and 2015. And the authorities show no sign of stopping this horrific practice. …

Under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, executions can be conducted in four different ways: hanging, stoning, firing squad, or crucifixion.

Vague charges can be brought up by the Islamic Republic’s judiciary system or the Revolutionary Court, such as “waging war against God”, spreading moharebeh(“corruption on earth”) such as protesting, or endangering the country’s national security. These charges can be stretched to allow for simple acts such as criticizing the Supreme Leader to become crimes, simply to allow an order of execution to be carried out.

This is all allowed to occur while the deeply cynical EU continues to label the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as a “moderate”.

The use of cruel and inhumane punishments is also on the rise in Iran. According to Amnesty International’s report, the use of various forms of torture such as amputation and flogging has been increasing at an alarming rate. …

Due to the recent protests in the country, the theocratic establishment has also ratcheted up its censorship of media, jamming of foreign satellite television channels, and detention of human rights defenders. Human rights defenders and prominent lawyers … who defended or supported social movements such as the opposition of  compulsory hijab, have been unfairly prosecuted and sentenced to long prison sentences.

These increasingly wanton human rights violations should raise alarms among the European governments, who are always lecturing the rest of the world about how caring they are — for instance not sending criminals back to countries where they might be tortured. It should horrify them to know that they are in some way enabling and emboldening this regime and empowering it to continue to commit these vicious acts.

But Europe is not horrified by the Iranian regime. Not in the least. In fact the EU actively supports the Iranian theocracy, because Germany rules Europe, and Angela Merkel’s Germany loves Iran.

Caroline Glick writes at Breitbart:

In a recent conversation with senior Trump administration officials, Breitbart News was told that the force behind the European Union’s trenchant support for Iran is Germany.

This EU support for Iran is manifested in a series of ways.

For example, after President Donald Trump walked away from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), otherwise known as the Iran nuclear deal, last May, the EU responded harshly.

Brussels refused U.S. calls to join America in abandoning the deal that paves the way for Iran to develop a nuclear arsenal, and which funds its terrorism and aggression throughout the Middle East and world. The EU’s “big three”, Germany, France and Britain, spent months putting together a financial vehicle to sidestep U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. They instructed European firms to defy U.S. sanctions and maintain their economic operations in Iran.

In other words, rather than siding with their most powerful and important ally – the United States of America – in its efforts to forge a policy vis-à-vis Iran that actually diminishes the threat the regime poses to global security and stability, the Europeans – led by Germany — have stood with Iran against the United States.

The EU has also, following Germany’s lead, refused to ban Hezbollah – Iran’s terror proxy – from operating in Europe. Instead, the EU’s policy is to make an artificial distinction between what it refers to as the “military wing” of Hezbollah and what it refers to as Hezbollah’s “political wing”. The fact that even Hezbollah rejects the distinction, and that the so-called “political wing” in Europe raises money for Hezbollah and mobilizes terrorists to join Hezbollah through open indoctrination, is of no interest.

Like its Iranian controllers, Hezbollah seeks the obliteration of the Jewish state. When the British parliament voted last week to outlaw Hezbollah’s fake “political wing” from operating in the United Kingdom, the German government was quick to announce that it would not follow suit.

Germany — and through it, the rest of continental Europe — will continue to allow the genocidal terror group to operate openly on its soil.

As for the Iranians, German leaders insist that their continued allegiance to the nuclear deal stems from their conviction that the deal is a non-proliferation agreement and advances their security, and not from their support for Iran. But evidence grows by the day that the opposite is the case. Whereas in Iran, last month the regime had to hire people to fill the streets to “celebrate” the fortieth anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution, senior German leaders were happy to gush in joy as they congratulated the murderous regime for its longevity.

The German Foreign Ministry sent State Minister Niels Annan and an Iran desk officer to celebrate the occasion at the Iranian Embassy in Berlin. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeyer sent a congratulatory telegram to his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, praising the Islamic regime. In contrast, in November 2016, Steinmeyer refused to send a congratulatory telegram to President-elect Donald Trump and referred to him as a “hate preacher.”

In an article in the Washington Examiner, Iran expert Michael Rubin argued that Germany’s support for the Islamic regime is a function of financial interests.

In his words, “For German authorities across from the political spectrum, human rights is only a tool with which to dress its foreign policy rhetoric. … For German authorities, the primary goal is commercial benefit. The execution of gays, slaughter of Jews, repression of other minorities, and terrorism are inconveniences to ignore.”

There is much to support Rubin’s conclusion. But a cursory glance at Germany’s focus in its hypocritical human rights activism shows that money isn’t the only reason that Germany is the greatest defender of a regime that openly seeks the annihilation of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

Israel’s NGO-Monitor is a group that reports on funding for radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to advancing the cause of Israel’s destruction. NGO-Monitor has documented copiously how the German government spends millions of dollars every year funding groups that criminalize Israel’s very right to exist, and goes to great efforts to hide reporting of is funding activities.

During a visit to Israel in 2017 by Germany’s then-foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel, the depths of Germany’s commitment to these groups was laid bare. Parallel to scheduling a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Gabriel ostentatiously announced his plan to meet with two radical anti-Israel propaganda groups funded by Germany …

When Netanyahu heard about Gabriel’s plan … he informed Gabriel that he had to choose between meeting with [the two anti-Israel organizations] or meeting with [him]. Gabriel insisted on meeting with the German-funded NGOs. So Netanyahu canceled their meeting.

When seen in the context of Germany’s extensive funding for political groups whose goal is to criminalize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist, Germany’s enthusiastic, warm, and supportive ties to the genocidally anti-Jewish Iranian regime seem to point to motivations far more sinister than mere greed.

We suspected that Islam-loving President Obama’s most compelling reason for wanting a “deal” with Iran that allowed it to become a nuclear-armed power, was that he thought it the most likely way Islam would be able to destroy Israel.

We suspect that Germany-dominated Europe thinks so too.

The coming tyranny – nightmare or prophecy? 46

Is it likely, is it possible, that the people of the United States will vote to be ruled by Communists, feminists, and Muslim jihadis?

Yes. Some have already done so. New Democratic members of Congress include (left to right in the picture) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Hispanic) who has published a Stalinist agenda, and Rashida Tlaib (Palestinian) and Ilhan Omar (Somali) who are  annihilationist enemies of Jews and the state of Israel and support the terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah.

The Democratic Party is now a party of the extreme Left, with a Socialist and pro-Islam platform. It will do anything to take power including voter fraud. And the rising generation of voters has been indoctrinated at school and college to favor Socialism, Islam, and tribalism; to despise the US itself; and to treat patriots, white people, Jews, Christians, conservatives, constitutionalists, nationalists, and heterosexual men as deviants, miscreants, and provocateurs.      

The Democrats in power will: make racist laws against Jews and white people; break the US alliance with Israel; ally with Russia, China, Cuba and Iran; heavily tax or totally confiscate your assets and savings; severely restrict your consumption of energy; limit the number of children you may have by enforcing abortion; criminalize nonconformist speech; monitor  your communications for punishable violations of their speech code; rewrite history nearer to their hearts’ desire.  

It will be one-party tyrannical rule. The United States will rapidly become poorer and weaker.

We have never hoped for any political outcome as much as we hope now that we are wrong.  

Slavery now 63

Britain passed the Slavery Abolition Act which set free all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout its empire in 1833.

The United States Congress freed all the slaves and abolished the institution of slavery throughout the Union in 1865.

People had been enslaved by other people for as long as there had been people on the earth. No power had ever before 1833 abolished slavery and made enslavement a crime.

So now, in the 21st. century, slavery is long over and gone?

No.

There are tens of millions of people trapped in various forms of slavery throughout the world today. Researchers estimate that 40 million are enslaved worldwide, generating $150 billion each year in illicit profits for traffickers.

Labor Slavery. About 50 percent toil in forced labor slavery in industries where manual labor is needed—such as farming, ranching, logging, mining, fishing, and brick making—and in service industries working as dish washers, janitors, gardeners, and maids.

Sex Slavery. About 12.5 percent are trapped in forced prostitution sex slavery.

Forced Marriage Slavery. About 37.5 percent are trapped in forced marriages. 

Child Slavery. About 25 percent of today’s slaves are children.

New slavery has two chief characteristics—it’s cheap and it’s disposable. Slaves today are cheaper than ever. In 1850, an average slave in the American South cost the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s money. Today a slave costs about $90 on average worldwide. (Source: Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy. See all Free the Slaves books.)

Modern slaves are not considered investments worth maintaining. In the 19thcentury it was difficult to capture slaves and transport them to the United States. But today, when someone in slavery gets sick or injured, they are simply dumped or killed.

So there are at least forty million slaves in the world. (“At least” because it can fairly be said that the populations of all Communist countries are held in slavery.) A quarter of the forty million are children. And the number of child slaves will grow because more are continually being born in slavery.

In 2017, a coalition of states and non-government organizations estimated that there were some 40 million people enslaved worldwide, as well as 152 million child laborers.

Modern slavery

Total

40 m

Forced labor in the private sector

16 m

Forced marriage

15 m

Forced commercial sexual exploitation

5 m

Forced labor imposed by state authorities

4 m

Child labor

Total

152 m

Agriculture

108 m

Children living in middle income countries

84 m

Hazardous work

73 m

Children (ages 5-14) outside the education system

36 m

An estimated 40.3 million men, women, and children were victims of modern slavery on any given day in 2016. Of these, 24.9 million people were in forced labour and 15.4 million people were living in a forced marriage. Women and girls are vastly over-represented, making up 71 percent of victims. Modern slavery is most prevalent in Africa, followed by the Asia and the Pacific region.

Although these are the most reliable estimates of modern slavery to date, we know they are conservative as significant gaps in data remain. The current Global Estimates do not cover all forms of modern slavery; for example, organ trafficking, child soldiers, or child marriage that could also constitute forced marriage are not able to be adequately measured at this time. Further, at a broad regional level there is high confidence in the estimates in all but one of the five regions. Estimates of modern slavery in the Arab States are affected by substantial gaps in the available data. Given this is a region that hosts 17.6 million migrant workers, representing more than one-tenth of all migrant workers in the world and one in three workers in the Arab States, and one in which forced marriage is reportedly widespread, the current estimate is undoubtedly a significant underestimate.

The 10 countries with the highest prevalence of modern slavery [and the predominant religion in each of them] are: 

North Korea [Communist]

Eritrea  [Christian and Muslim]

Burundi [Christian] 

Central African Republic  [Christian]

Afghanistan [Muslim] 

Mauritania [Muslim] 

South Sudan [Christian] 

Pakistan  [Muslim]

Cambodia [Christian] 

Iran [Muslim]

Mauritania and Cambodia remained in the top 10 in 2018. Mauritania continues to host a high proportion of people living in modern slavery. …

The practice is entrenched in Mauritanian society with slave status being inherited, and deeply rooted in social castes and the wider social system. …

In Cambodia, men, women, and children are known to be exploited in various forms of modern slavery – including forced labour, debt bondage and forced marriage. … The government has been slow to improve their response to modern slavery.

Both ISIS and Boko Haram (the Nigerian affiliate of ISIS) have captured and enslaved untold thousands. The number of Yazidi women and girls enslaved by ISIS is estimated at about 7,000. Some who escaped or have been freed as ISIS has been defeated, have reported what they had to endure.

One story in particular haunts us (and it is certainly one of many as terrible.) A little Yazidi slave girl, 5 years old, got sick and wet her bed. Her ISIS Muslim owners in Iraq, a man and his German wife, punished her by putting her, chained up, out in the scorching heat and letting her thirst to death.

Posted under Afghanistan, Africa, Arab States, Cambodia, communism, Iran, Islam, Labor, North Korea, Pakistan, Slavery by Jillian Becker on Monday, January 21, 2019

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What is the EU for? 3

There is no good reason for the existence of the European Union. It is an undemocratic – even anti-democratic – and thoroughly corrupt bureaucracy, headed by a bunch of very rich Communists. They might say “ex-Communists”, but they are no less New Left-minded now than they ever were.

So why was it formed? It was started with stealth – the pretense that there was “only” going to be an economic union. Such a good thing for all Europeans, a vast area within which capital and labor would move freely. Like the United States. Fine. No question of any European nation’s self-determination being diminished, its sovereignty usurped.

Then slowly, treaty by treaty, the EU was formed, and lo! the nations of Europe woke up one figurative morning to find their self-determination and sovereignty gone. Vanished. Oh, what a trick that was. What a laugh. It tickled many a stack of bureaucratic ribs in Brussels.

“Such a good thing,” the unelected commie leaders crowed again. So nice! It will keep us from making war on each other. Hold us tight in a communal embrace that will prevent us making the mistake of the last century of being horrid to each other. Nation shall speak peace unto nation. And straight cucumbers and bananas.

But what was the real aim?

There were two, actually. One the aim of Germany, the other of France.

France wanted a European Union in order to to have power – even though shared – to rival and exceed the power of the United States.

Here‘s a recent confession of it (from a Breitbart report):

France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called for Europe to become an “empire” to compete with the United States after the country’s President Emmanuel Macron called for an EU army to defend against the NATO ally.

“It’s about Europe having to become a kind of empire, as China is. And how the U.S. is,” Mr Le Maire told Germany’s Handelsblatt.

But better, you see. More virtuous, more moral:

Adding that it would be a “peaceful empire”, the economics and finance minister touted the progressive government’s green credentials, saying that the European empire should “rely on green growth. Neither China nor the U.S., who are leaving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, are on this path”.

Quizzed by the journalist on his reference to “empire”, Mr Le Maire said:

Do not get me wrong, I’m talking about a peaceful empire that’s a constitutional state. I use the term to raise awareness that in the world of tomorrow, it will be about power. Power will make the difference: technological power, economic, financial, monetary, cultural power will be crucial. Europe should no longer shy away from displaying its power and being an empire of peace. 

Mr Le Maire also said that France would continue to trade with Iran in defiance of fresh U.S. sanctions imposed last week, saying that the European Union should “tell the U.S. clearly: we are a sovereign continent”. …

And it will not be dictated to by America. Just because President Trump wants to enforce sanctions against Iran (whose criminal regime is inter alia financing wars in the Middle East and building a nuclear arsenal) Europe doesn’t have to comply. It can help Iran all it wants. And France will lead the enterprise – provided it can be sure of all Europe’s firmly cemented support:

[President] Macron has joined the ranks of Eurocrats Guy Vehofstadt MEP and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in calling for deeper EU integration which could eventually lead to a United States of Europe. He added that the UK [despite Brexit? – ed], France, and Germany were working on a special purpose vehicle (SPV) ‘clearing house’ that would allow European Union companies to bypass U.S. sanctions and “maintain legitimate and international trade” with the Islamic regime, with The Guardian noting last week that it could be hosted by either Germany or France.

That vehicle – no, not an Audi or a Peugeot but a bank – will be magnificently engineered, you can bet on it. But as long as the dollar is the world’s reserve currency, it will not carry the EU to superpower status.

Minister Le Maire said:

It is clear to everyone that today it takes courage to stand in the way of the government of Donald Trump. We want an instrument for the independence and sovereignty of Europe. After setting up the special purpose vehicle, we need staff and finally a banking license. Subsequently, we may be able to transform the SPV into an intergovernmental European institution. We want a way to exchange goods and services when financial flows between Iran and Europe are no longer possible. This is legal and under European rules. Payments remain in Europe.

Then Le Maire and Macron went and stood in front of President Trump and for fully five minutes flexed their muscles in unison.

So to speak.

And Germany? What was Germany’s aim in forming the EU?

To dissolve, in the great ocean of Europe, its guilt for its aggression in two world wars and for perpetrating the Holocaust. No more sovereign Germany, responsible for what it did. Just one state among many in the coming United States of Europe.

Bruce Bawer visited Germany – and Austria – recently. He writes at Front Page:

In Berlin, that once gray but increasingly shiny city, you get the distinct impression that the inhabitants desperately want to pretend that the world was reborn anew after World War II and that a dynamic, hyper-contemporary Deutschland, its sins washed entirely clean by all those flagrant public gestures of apology for Auschwitz, is leading us all into a post-national, post-historical utopia, hoisting the EU banner aloft and singing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in joyful chorus. …

Vienna, where I am right now, is of course a German-speaking city, but it’s different in key ways from Berlin – or, for that matter, from any burg I know in Germany. Like Rome, …  Vienna has a feel of being utterly at ease with its history, its cultural heritage, and its national identity. … All over town, national, but not EU, flags abound – the opposite of Germany.

These differences make sense. They can be traced, in part, to the fact that after the war, the Allies treated Germany as a vanquished enemy but Austria as an innocent land that had been the Nazis’ first conquest. The fact that most Austrians cheered the Anschluss, that many fought in the Wehrmacht, and that Hitler was one of them, born and bred, was delicately overlooked. Hence Germans born after the war grew up saddled with guilt – which is why so many of them hate their flag, adore the EU, and continue to embrace the self-destructive immigration policies pursued by the soon-to-retire Frau Merkel. If Germans seem even more prepared than other Western Europeans to accept Muslim “refugees” at a well-nigh suicidal rate, I suspect it’s because, on some level, they want to turn their Bundesrepublik as fast as possible into something as different from the Third Reich as possible, even if it spells their own doom – and their children’s and grandchildren’s.

Austrians grew up without that guilt, however – which helps, I think, to explain why, last year, they elected to the post of chancellor a young man, Sebastian Kurz, who is thoroughly unapologetic in his independence from the EU as well as in his determination to prevent his country’s Islamization.

Austria, Italy, Hungary, Poland and Czechia all now have leaders taking a stand against the Islamization of their countries.

That alone makes a crack in the edifice of the EU, loosens the mutual embrace of the nations. With a little squirming they could extricate themselves from the union, which would be a boon for their own peoples and for the world.

Because up to now, all that the EU has effected that is of any historic importance, is its disastrous capitulation to intolerant, supremacist, misogynist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, bellicose Islam.

Posted under Europe, France, Germany, Iran, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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What to expect when you come under sharia law 8

… which you will if you live in Western Europe, and you possibly will if you live in the United States.

Amil Imani writes (in part) at American Thinker:

Islam is religious fascism.  Both the beliefs and practices of Islam amply prove my assertion. … There is a whole raft of teachings and laws that clearly describe non-Muslims in all manner of derogatory terms and grant them no or few rights.

If you are not a Muslim, and you happened, by some misfortune, to be living in a place ruled by sharia, you want to be at least either a Christian or a Jew. If you are anything else or nothing at all religious-wise, then you are just that: nothing. Jews and Christians enjoy a measure of second-class citizenship under Islam as long as they pay heavy religious taxes (jizya), mandated in Quran 9.29, and behave themselves as docile subservient subjects.

Islam’s maltreatment of non-Muslims is … very sad, inhumane and tragic.

Having said that, I readily admit that there are many Muslims who are decent people by any measure. There are, in fact, some Muslims whose humanity transcends their Muslimness. Not all 1.5 billion Muslims are horrible people. We all can attest to that. In fact, it is Islamic ideology that forces Muslims to behave barbarically.

Below is a tragic case that demonstrates my point.

A year or so ago, an elderly Bahá’í woman in the Islamic Republic of Iran remained behind when her children, in desperation, escaped from their ancestral home for other lands because of the official genocide policy of the Islamic government.

The lone old woman had a Muslim tenant living in her house. The Muslim tenant demanded that the women give him her house. The rent money from the house provided her with a modest income for her to survive.

The old woman refused. The Muslim man threatened to kill her if she did not give him the house. The woman corresponded with her children and explained her predicament. She also tried to seek justice from the authorities.

The Muslim man made good on his threat and murdered the old lone woman and took possession of her house. Under sharia law, only Jews and Christians (of course, in the [early, later largely abrogated] Meccan Quran) are tolerated as members of sanctioned religions who enjoy a modicum of rights.  Members of the Bahá’í faith are declared heretics by law and are halal-ul-dam (free blood, meaning they can be murdered with no compensations or legal penalties). Bahá’ís in the Islamic Republic are completely disenfranchised from all rights of citizenship.

A Muslim female attorney, at significant risk to her reputation and her person, consented to represent this family for redress. This attorney is one of those numerous truly upstanding human beings who holds her own humanity above Muslimness.

Islamic societies box women into their “place” of subservience to men, obediently docile. A woman daring to take up the cause of a dead kefir in a vicious theocracy of the Islamic Republic of Iran? That’s true courage. That’s the litmusy test of a sterling human being.  I salute her and salute all Muslim women who are breaking out of their horribly unjust “place” in Islam.

The attorney petitioned the court on behalf of the children of the murdered old woman. She sought redress by taking a folder of documents and correspondence to a judge. The moment the judge learned that the documents had been touched by a Bahá’í, he took out a box of tissue papers from his desk drawer and used the tissue to handle the folder. This man who was supposed to be an unbiased upholder of justice considered the murdered Bahá’í woman najes (unclean, untouchable, simply for being Bahá’í).  He was following his religious duty not to even touch anything handled by a Bahá’í.  Would this bigot be the kind of impartial agent of law to administer justice?

The dead woman and her children got nothing.  The murderous Muslim got the house.  It is sadly reminiscent of the time of Muhammad, when kefirs (infidels) were always treated as fair game and entitled to little or nothing.

The writer ends with a warning to non-Muslims:

It is this kind of treatment that awaits you if Muslims take over and, in obedience to their belief, institute horrific sharia.

You will not be without moral guidance.

Here is some from the Ayatollah Khomeini, “the Father of the Iranian Republic”:

A man can marry a girl younger than nine years of age, even if the girl is still a baby being breastfed. A man, however is prohibited from having intercourse with a girl younger than nine, other sexual act such as forplay, rubbing, kissing and sodomy is allowed.

If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, an ewe, or a camel, their urine and their excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed and as quickly as possible and burned.

A man can have sex with animals such as sheep, cows, camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm. He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine.

And be aware that he said this:

An Islamic regime must be serious in every field,
There are no jokes in Islam.
There is no humour in Islam.
There is no fun in Islam.

About that he is right.

Posted under Iran, Islam, jihad, Law, Muslims, tyranny by Jillian Becker on Friday, September 28, 2018

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Private diplomat, public traitor 1

President Trump, being supremely sane and sensible, tore up (figuratively speaking) the evil “‘deal” that Obama wormed out of the tyrants of Iran. If the unsigned agreement can be said to have achieved anything at all, it was the tentative postponement of a nuclear armed Mullahcracy of Iran for a few years. That small relief cost an enormous amount of money – more than a hundred billion of it in dollar bills – and deep national abasement in a long process of groveling by Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry at the feet of the demonic mullahs.

Obama probably saw the tenuous thing as his grand achievement in foreign policy, a real biggy in his presidential legacy. And then, “Poof!” – Trump blew it away.

Now Kerry has been in a huddle with the mullahs again, making a delusory – no, an insane – attempt to catch the pieces of the abstract document as they scatter on the winds and stick them together again. At Obama’s request, we imagine. Obama’s sobbing request. To his sometime, long time, lackey.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose implementation of President Trump’s foreign policy Kerry is trying to undermine, was questioned about it:

Scott Johnson comments cogently on Kerry’s private diplomacy in an article at Front Page, in which he displays this video.

In  another Front Page article he argues against a story by April Doss in the Weekly Standard in which the author denies the Obama administration’s misuse of FISA in pursuit of its plot against Donald Trump. The misuse was made. It involved the smearing of Carter Page. Scott Johnson writes:

Under Title I of FISA … it was the burden of the government to establish probable cause that Page was engaging in espionage, terrorism, or sabotage by or on behalf of a foreign power that involved a violation of a criminal statute. (Doss stated: “Although Page had left the campaign, the FBI feared Russia was using him for its own purposes. The application states that the FBI alleged there was probable cause to believe Page was an agent of a foreign power under a specific provision of FISA that involves knowingly aiding, abetting, or knowingly conspiring to assist a foreign power with clandestine intelligence gathering activities, engage in clandestine intelligence gathering at the behest of a foreign power, or participate in sabotage or international terrorism or planning or preparation therefor.”)

Carter Page did nothing of the kind. Not for himself, not for President Trump.

But John Kerry? Is he not “engaging in sabotage on behalf of a foreign power and so violating a criminal statute”?

Is he not “aiding, abetting”, and “knowingly conspiring to assist a foreign power” which is engaged in “international terrorism”?

He surely is, and he could be prosecuted under the Logan Act. But his penalty would be only a fine of $5,000.

He could be barred from holding any future public office. According to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment:

No person shall … hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath … as an officer of the United States … to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have … given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.

There has been a rumor that Kerry will run for the presidency in 2020, and that could stop him.

But is there any need to be concerned about Kerry conspiring with the mullahs? What can he offer them? What can he bribe them with?

And what could he persuade them to do that would change President’s Trump’s policy of no nuclear “deal” with Iran and the increase and strict enforcement of sanctions against it?

Nothing short of their abdication.

Let Kerry plot with them. Let him give them words of comfort. Let him conspire to assist them, never regretting that the administration he served gave them the means to pursue international terrorism.

He is powerless. Obama is powerless. Oh joy! Freude!

And a little touch of Schadenfreude too, why not?

Posted under Iran, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Saturday, September 15, 2018

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Prize lies 2

Obama claims that the eight years of his presidency were free of scandal. In fact, the scandals were many and appalling.

Obama claims to have stopped Iran becoming a nuclear power. In fact, he entered into a deal that permitted Iran to become a nuclear power.

Obama claims to have improved race relations. In fact, he worsened them. 

Obama claims to have launched an economic boom. In fact, he never achieved even 3% GDP growth.

In sum, he was a weak and destructive president. The harm he did would not be easy to repair, and America is lucky to have found the man to succeed him who could not only mend what he had broken, and is doing so, but is going much further, turning the failure round and achieving success. Even some unprecedented successes. And all in record time.

Obama sees the repair as an undoing of the changes he wrought. As he puts it, “The status quo pushes back.”

The complaint comes from a speech he made at the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill., on Sept. 7, 2018, when the university honored him with the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.

The speech he gave on the occasion of receiving the prize included these claims:

Each time we painstakingly pull ourselves closer to our founding ideals, that all of us are created equal, endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights; the ideals that say every child should have opportunity and every man and woman in this country who’s willing to work hard should be able to find a job and support a family and pursue their small piece of the American Dream; our ideals that say we have a collective responsibility to care for the sick and the infirm, and we have a responsibility to conserve the amazing bounty, the natural resources of this country and of this planet for future generations, each time we’ve gotten closer to those ideals, somebody somewhere has pushed back. The status quo pushes back. Sometimes the backlash comes from people who are genuinely, if wrongly, fearful of change. More often it’s manufactured by the powerful and the privileged who want to keep us divided and keep us angry and keep us cynical because that helps them maintain the status quo and keep their power and keep their privilege. …

To which political party does that last sentence most aptly apply? We say the Democratic Party? But then, the Left has a habit of accusing its opponents of the faults, failings, bad emotions, plots, conspiracies, evil intentions, underhand actions, and failures of which itself is guilty.

Most of you don’t remember a time before 9/11, when you didn’t have to take off your shoes at an airport.

Did he mention who was responsible for 9/11 and for us having to take off our shoes at an airport? No. Because he never did and never will blame Islam for its acts of terrorism.

Most of you don’t remember a time when America wasn’t at war, or when money and images and information could travel instantly around the globe, or when the climate wasn’t changing faster than our efforts to address it.

A strange combination of references. No one living remembers a time when America wasn’t at war, if the Cold War is counted. About the money and images he probably meant “remember a time when they could not …”  And then he throws in as a certainty that there was a time when climate was not changing fast, but it is now.

And this was all before a change. What change? Have the wars stopped?

The only change he almost got right was a change to faster communications than ever before.

He claims that all three factors together brought about this consequence:

This change has happened fast, faster than any time in human history. And it created a new economy that has unleashed incredible prosperity.

Only, of the three phenomena he mentioned, could the faster communications be said to have promoted prosperity.

Actually, he just gabbled nonsense. And all to get in a claim to an “unleashed incredible prosperity” – the prosperity he claims as hid own achievement.

He goes on to say how he rescued the economy from wicked men.

[T]he reckless behavior of financial elites triggered a massive financial crisis, ten years ago this week, a crisis that resulted in the worst recession in any of our lifetimes and caused years of hardship for the American people, for many of your parents, for many of your families. Most of you weren’t old enough to fully focus on what was going on at the time, but when I came into office in 2009, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month. 800,000. Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis, but also to break some of these longer term trends. And the actions we took during that crisis returned the economy to healthy growth and initiated the longest streak of job creation on record. And we covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance and we cut our deficits by more than half, partly by making sure that people like me, who have been given such amazing opportunities by this country, pay our fair share of taxes to help folks coming up behind me.

While it is true that employment rose before he left office, his claim that higher taxes (on “people like me”) were a formula for prosperity is false. President Trump’s tax cuts (for all tax payers) prove it. Furthermore, Obama heavily regulated business, and President Trump’s lifting of many Obama regulations has been a factor in creating the very real present economic boom.

And by the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high and the uninsured rate had hit an all-time low and wages were rising and poverty rates were falling. I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy’s doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started.

He came on then to his foreign policy.

Even though we took out bin Laden and wound down the wars in Iraq and our combat role in Afghanistan, and got Iran to halt its nuclear program, the world’s still full of threats and disorder. …

And even though your generation is the most diverse in history …

Nonsense! No generation is more “diverse” than any other.

… with a greater acceptance and celebration of our differences than ever before, those are the kinds of conditions that are ripe for exploitation by politicians who have no compunction and no shame about tapping into America’s dark history of racial and ethnic and religious division. …

[O]ver the past few decades, the politics of division, of resentment and paranoia has unfortunately found a home in the Republican Party.

Remember when a Republican Attorney General refused to prosecute a bunch of white people although they were breaking the law, on the grounds that he would not act against “his  people”? No. Neither do we. But we do recall Eric Holder- Obama’s black AG – saying something like that in a case of the Black Panthers …

This Congress has … embraced wild conspiracy theories, like those surrounding Benghazi, or my birth certificate.

The trick: he throws out, in passing, that the (factually accurate) report of his failure to send help to a US ambassador and three servicemen who were killed by Muslim terrorists in Benghazi was a “wild conspiracy theory’, and associates it with an unproved, unlikely, and petty story that he was not born in the United States. But the horrible events in Benghazi were proved and profoundly important.

He comes to his own party’s wild conspiracy theory:

[The Repulicans in power are] undermining our alliances, cozying up to Russia. What happened to the Republican Party? Its central organizing principle in foreign policy was the fight against Communism, and now they’re cozying up to the former head of the KGB, actively blocking legislation that would defend our elections from Russian attack.

And he calls the partial repeal of his unworkable health legislation “sabotage”:

Their sabotage of the Affordable Care Act has already cost more than three million Americans their health insurance. And if they’re still in power next fall, you’d better believe they’re coming at it again. …

He defends the media who gave him uncritical support in all he did, and never stp attacking President Trump. What is indefnsible in his eyes, is Trump hitting back at his media enemies. To do this, he lies again:

I complained plenty about Fox News – but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them enemies of the people.

We did hear that his administration “spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama ‘the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation’ after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources”. (See our quotations from Matt Margolis below.)

Next, he endorses the lie that President Trump sympathizes with Nazis:

We’re supposed to stand up to discrimination. And we’re sure as heck supposed to stand up, clearly and unequivocally, to Nazi sympathizers.

How hard can that be? Saying that Nazis are bad.

How hard can it be to say that Islamic terrorism is bad? That Communism is bad? Too hard for him, it appeared.

Then comes the most blatantly impudent accusation of them all:

And we won’t win people over by calling them names, or dismissing entire chunks of the country as racist, or sexist, or homophobic.

Who, every minute of every day, calls whom “racist, or sexist, or homophobic”? Or all three?

Matt Margolis comments at PJ Media:

Today we saw just how far academia is going to perpetuate the myth of Obama’s “scandal-free” administration when he was awarded the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government by the University of Illinois. Not since the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has Obama been so undeserving of an award. But, I submit that this award is even worse than the Nobel Peace Prize he didn’t deserve. In 2009, the Nobel committee was at least ignorant of what Obama’s record would turn out to be. There is simply no excuse in 2018 for Obama to be receiving an Ethics in Government award. … The Paul H. Douglas Award is now forever tainted.

What, exactly, did the committee at the University of Illinois think Obama did to earn an Ethics in Government award? The Obama years were plagued by scandal and defined by a hyper-partisan government.

Last month I cited six Obama scandals where a special counsel should have been appointed to investigate but was not. Unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Obama’s attorneys general, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, were partisan lackeys who did everything they could to protect Obama from being held accountable. Obama, Holder, and Lynch knew that if they left the investigating to Republicans in Congress they could write them off as partisan witch hunts and use any and all tactics possible to obstruct and stonewall those investigations, or in some cases, run their own sham investigation that cleared them of any wrongdoing.

I document thirty different scandals in my book The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama. Each scandal on its own makes the idea of Obama receiving an ethics award laughable. All of them together make this award blasphemous. From the moment Obama took office he was under a dark cloud of scandal, having been involved in illegal negotiations with [the condemned criminal] Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to give him a cabinet position in exchange for Blagojevich nominating an Obama-preferred candidate to his vacated Senate seat … yet Obama just received an Ethics in Government award? What a joke!…

There are plenty of well-known scandals that the committee that decided to award Obama had to have been aware of but chose to ignore. There was the Fast and Furious scandal, which involved sending guns to Mexico in the hopes of tracking them to drug cartel leaders. Not only did they lose track of a large number of guns, but one gun was found to have been used in the murder of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. The Obama administration tried to cover it up, and they stonewalled a congressional investigation, resulting in Attorney General Eric Holder being held in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents. Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois?

The Obama administration also abused the Espionage Act to target reporters and their sources. They even spied on members of the media, illegally seizing the phone records of Associated Press journalists. Fox News reporter James Rosen called Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation” after being threatened with possible jail time for refusing to reveal one of his sources.  Is this what constitutes “ethics in government” to the University of Illinois? …

There were also –

The Solyndra scandal [see here], the Benghazi cover-up, Uranium One, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the covering up of thousands of deaths of veterans waiting for care at VA hospitals, manipulating intelligence, paying ransom money to Iran, Project Cassandra [see here], spying on Donald Trump, the Hillary email scandal, which I should add, also implicated Obama, who communicated with Hillary via her private email address and used a pseudonym himself.

It’s bad enough when Obama claims he was scandal-free. But, when he receives an ethics in government award, it diminishes the meaning of ethics. It’s time to stop pretending Obama was scandal-free or ethical. … I’ve only scratched the surface of Obama’s scandalous and unethical presidency. 

The only reason why Barack Obama was elected president was that he was black. He had nothing else to offer. A sufficient number of white Americans voted for him to get him into the White House for no better reason than that they needed to feel good, to prove to themselves, and the country and the world, that they were not “racist“.

Barack Obama, for all his expensive education, was ill-informed and strangely ignorant – and he embraced ideologies inimical to America. He seemed not to know how many states there were in the country he governed. He thought Austrians spoke a language called Austrian. He did not know how to pronounce “corpsman”. And he was a follower of the Communist “community organizer” Saul Alinsky, and a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood.

He lied and commanded others to lie. Under his leadership, his party worked an elaborate plot, which it still pursues, to destroy the candidacy and then the presidency of Donald Trump with false and slanderous allegations of treason.

If prizes were awarded for lying, Obama would deserve them all.

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