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Friday, December 23, 2016

Obama Breaks with Supporters of Israel



As most people know by now, the UN security Council today approved a resolution calling on Israel to cease building settlements.
The administration said they abstained from voting because the language mirrored facts on the ground.
Obama could have vetoed the resolution but didn't because they agreed with much of the resolution.
In effect, this is a propaganda victory for Arabs, and another propaganda tool to use while attacking Israel.
This will be a large part of Obama's legacy. mfbsr


PEACE ON EARTH?
Team Obama Lets U.N. Condemn Israel for Settlements
Republicans and Democrats alike excoriated the Obama administration for allowing the Security Council measure to pass.
Andrew Desiderio
ANDREW DESIDERIO

12.23.16 2:44 PM ET
In a stinging rebuke to Israel, the United States abstained from a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution that demands a halt to Israeli settlements, allowing the measure to pass despite vigorous bipartisan opposition at home.
In advance of the vote, Democratic and Republican lawmakers called on the Obama administration to block the measure, saying it would harm peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The Obama administration, meanwhile, contends that Israel’s settlements have imperiled the peace process, and that a two-state solution cannot exist while settlement activity increases.
Speaking immediately after the vote, Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., singled out Netanyahu and his allies for their continued support of settlements.

“One cannot simultaneously champion expanding Israeli settlements and champion a viable two-state solution that would end the conflict,” Power said. “One has to make a choice between settlements and separation.”
Of the 15 member states, 14 voted in favor of the measure. As one of the five permanent member states on the Security Council, the U.S. has veto power over any resolution. It decided instead to abstain, prompting rousing applause inside the chamber but vehement criticism from Capitol Hill and the incoming administration.
As drafted, the resolution condemns Israel’s settlements as a “flagrant violation of international law” and as having “no legal validity.” Israel has long maintained that its settlements, particularly those in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, are legitimate and legal.
President-elect Donald Trump had intervened in the process earlier in the week, speaking on the phone with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in an appeal to delay the vote that was originally scheduled for Thursday. Trump was successful, but the same resolution was put up for a vote by four separate nations—Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Senegal. After the vote, Netanyahu asked his ambassadors in New Zealand and Senegal to return to Israel.
Trump also personally offered his support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose government vehemently opposed the resolution. The president-elect tweeted in response to the vote: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th”—the day Trump officially takes office.
That sentiment was echoed by Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, who said he has “no doubt that the new U.S. administration will usher in a new era.” In a separate statement, Netanyahu called the vote “shameful” and vowed to defy it, accusing the U.S. of sabotaging his government.

In advance of the vote, Rep. Adam Schiff and Sen. Chuck Schumer, both Democrats, were vocal in their opposition to the resolution, and urged the Obama administration to block it. After the vote, critics from both sides of the aisle piled on.
“I am dismayed that the Administration departed from decades of U.S. policy by not vetoing the U.N. resolution regarding Israeli settlements. I continue to believe that a productive path toward peace requires direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” said Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia.
Added House Speaker Paul Ryan: “This is absolutely shameful. Today’s vote is a blow to peace that sets a dangerous precedent for further diplomatic efforts to isolate and demonize Israel.” He pledged that the incoming Trump administration will work to “rebuild our alliance with Israel.”
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said the U.N. as a whole “is increasingly viewed as anti-Semitic and seems to have lost all sense of proportionality.”
Amid the backlash, the White House held a last-minute call with reporters after the vote, during which senior White House officials said the settlements have only contributed to Israel’s “isolation” within the international community, making it harder to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine.
“The continued pace of settlement activity, which has accelerated significantly in recent years … puts at risk the two-state solution,” said Ben Rhodes, a top national security aide to President Obama.
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Rhodes added that the U.N. is a “flawed venue” through which to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it “has frequently been used to single out Israel.” The U.S., Rhodes said, has therefore resisted efforts to hold negotiations on the issue through the international body.
The Obama administration’s opposition to Israel’s settlements has been well-documented. Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel was “heading to a place of danger” with its construction in disputed territory. The White House said Friday that opposition to Israeli settlements and “incitements of terrorism” are “consistent with longstanding bipartisan policy.” Breaking with her colleagues, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised the Obama administration for acting to preserve the U.S.’s support for a two-state solution.
Responding to the vote, GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, a foreign policy hawk, suggested that the U.S. should consider pulling out of the international body.
“Time for complete review of our U.N. policy, not just funding. Open question whether U.S. should remain member & allow U.N. to disgrace our soil,” Cotton wrote on Twitter. White House officials characterized similar suggestions as an overreaction.
The incoming Trump administration has signaled its intention to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and critics suggested the Obama administration’s decision to abstain from the U.N. vote was intended to rebuke Trump. Rhodes shot down that suggestion.
“It is absurd to suggest this action is related some way to police positions that the incoming administration has already said it was going to pursue,” Rhodes said, adding: “There’s one president at a time.”

http://www.thedailybeast.com/contributors/andrew-desiderio.html

 .

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Will Trump's Dementia Be Diagnosed as Alzheimer's ?

The GOP gave us Reagan who had Alzheimer's, Now they give us Trump.

Anyone with anything like an education and Common Sense can see that trump is bat shit crazy.
No normal person can dispute that.
The lack of Civics instruction in America's schools has contributed to the dumbing down of America to the point where almost half of the electorate voted for a failed businessman and pervert to be President.
Although Hillary Clinton crushed Trump in the popular vote, the scam of the electoral college has once again saddled our country with a man who is not fit to run a flea market.
Here are some "tweets" by and about trump that demonstrate that he is as crazy as Reagan was:
mfbsr


Let us to not forget that Donald J. Trump has nothing if not the world’s most professional doctor. (Hey, remember that one letter by Trump’s doctor that read suspiciously like Trump’s own unique, superlative-heavy language excessively praising the candidate’s health might have hidden a nasty secret? Yeah, I knew you remembered, I just wanted to talk about it because it brings me joy.) Leaving aside, for the moment, how plenty of people who have either worked closely with Trump or have advanced degrees in psychology have associated the Donald with sociopathy, research into symptoms of dementia reveals that he’s exhibited quite a few.

Before I delve into those signs, take a minute to recall all the times he’s demonstrated these behavioral traits, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic:

“irritability, personality changes, restlessness, lack of restraint” — any late-night tweets in particular come to mind? Then there’s these cognitive symptoms: “memory loss, mental decline, confusion in the evening hours, paranoia”

I repeat: recall the late-night tweets

“disorientation, inability to speak or understand, making things up.”

The Alzheimer’s Association emphasizes dementia and “decline in memory or other thinking skills,” and similarly, Web MD associates the illness with “trouble recalling recent events or recognizing people and places,” and “trouble finding the right words.”

Now, I’m not outright saying Trump has dementia, but let’s look at the signs. You can’t argue with facts. That’s why they’re facts. Also, science. Let’s dig in:

The late-night Twitter storms

 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
"@RubenMMoreno: @realDonaldTrump The biggest loser in the debate was @megynkelly. You can't out trump Donald Trump. You will lose!
1:23 AM - 7 Aug 2015
  865 865 Retweets   1,974 1,974 likes
 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
"@timjcam: @megynkelly @FrankLuntz @realDonaldTrump Fox viewers give low marks to bimbo @MegynKelly will consider other programs!"
1:24 AM - 7 Aug 2015
  845 845 Retweets   1,461 1,461 likes
 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Wow, @megynkelly really bombed tonight. People are going wild on twitter! Funny to watch.
1:40 AM - 7 Aug 2015 · Manhattan, NY
  1,771 1,771 Retweets   4,369 4,369 likes
Trump’s Twitter shit storms tend to be unpresidential in their language and immaturity, sure, and they certainly demonstrate “irritability” and “lack of restraint,” but take a minute to just look at the time stamps on some of his craziest ones. He goes off in the wee hours of the night. “Confusion in the evening hours”??? Right. Like I said, facts. Most of what he’s saying is despicable, whether that’s sexist attacks on his favorite victim, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, or accusing the hosts of the Morning Joe show of having an affair, but above all, this prompts the question of whether or not the man is OK.

The above tweets merely highlight his summer 2015 midnight crusade against Kelly. Let’s not forget his 4 A.M. Twitter rampage against Ted Cruz, in which he basically identified his former rival as Goldman Sachs’ bitch. Highlights below:

 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Ted Cruz was born in Canada and was a Canadian citizen until 15 months ago. Lawsuits have just been filed with more to follow. I told you so
4:40 AM - 16 Jan 2016
  4,015 4,015 Retweets   8,418 8,418 likes
 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Oh no, just reported that Ted Cruz didn't report another loan, this one from Citi. Wow, no wonder banks do so well in the U.S. Senate.
5:17 AM - 16 Jan 2016
  2,877 2,877 Retweets   6,824 6,824 likes
 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Ted is the ultimate hypocrite. Says one thing for money, does another for votes. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/politics/at-new-york-reception-ted-cruz-is-said-to-strike-different-tone-toward-gays.html?referer= …
9:11 AM - 16 Jan 2016
Photo published for Ted Cruz Is Guest of Two Gay Businessmen
Ted Cruz Is Guest of Two Gay Businessmen
Mr. Cruz said at an event hosted by prominent gay hoteliers that he would have no problem if one of his daughters was gay, according to one of the attendees.
mobile.nytimes.com
  2,777 2,777 Retweets   5,434 5,434 likes
And, of course, that other 4 A.M. tweet from last month in which he identified journalists Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski as two philandering “clowns.”

 Follow
 Donald J. Trump ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Some day, when things calm down, I'll tell the real story of @JoeNBC and his very insecure long-time girlfriend, @morningmika. Two clowns!
5:29 AM - 22 Aug 2016
  7,114 7,114 Retweets   21,900 21,900 likes
Irrationality is easily the most prominent and troubling symptom Trump has been long displaying.

The video of Muslims cheering on 9/11 that he definitely saw


Trump, late last year, claimed to have watched a video of “thousands and thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Other than former rival for the nomination and known Islamophobe Ben Carson (who, actually, went on to walk back on his claims), no one else could corroborate that such footage existed. Sound like “memory loss” or “making things up,” to anyone? DEFINITE DEMENTIA (probably).

The time he confused Ben Carson with President Obama

Photo published for Trump confuses Barack Obama for Ben Carson
Trump confuses Barack Obama for Ben Carson
The Republican candidate was corrected by his audience.
politico.eu
  13 13 Retweets   18 18 likes
Speaking of Ben Carson, worth mentioning is that one time in February, where Trump switched Carson and Obama’s names. Frankly, I wouldn’t take it personally if I were either guy. Trump has literally mixed up his wife and daughter before. SYMPTOM CHECKER™: memory loss, mental decline, disorientation, and inability to understand or speak.

The time he confused 9/11 with 7/11


Trump is not OK. Irrefutable fact: This is an instance of memory loss, or at the very least, a good example of his inability to speak.

He keeps forgetting he supported for the Iraq War


  124 124 Retweets   132 132 likes
Donald Trump supported the Iraq War. That’s not speculation, that’s objective fact, and yet for the life of him, the man cannot seem to remember that. Poor guy. Thoughts and prayers.

All the times he pretended to be his own publicist


  5 5 Retweets   3 3 likes
The signs were there so early! How have we missed Trump’s clear and present need for help and compassion? Does pretending to be one’s own publicist and rambling on and on about how wonderful they are really sound like the actions of someone fully in their right mind? If evidence of Hillary Clinton ever doing something like this ever came to light, I imagine Trump supporters would have long formed a mob and forced her into a rehabilitation center by now.

His intense paranoia about everything related to Mexicans


 Follow
 niran. [IVI] @TheOfficialFNG
Interviewer: "Why do you support Donald Trump?"
American: "Muslim socialist Mexicans stealing our jobs & stuff"
Me:
4:35 PM - 24 Mar 2016
  2 2 Retweets   4 4 likes
Early on, Trump made his unwarranted, intensive fears of Mexican immigrants coming to steal American jobs the focal point of his campaign, and imploring other to share in his paranoia that they are literally coming to kill us. Xenophobic and racist as fuck? Yes. Symptom of dementia? That, too.

Lack of empathy, poor judgment, impulsiveness, etc.

Donald Trump GOP Presidential Candidates Debate In Milwaukee

He’s called Megyn Kelly a bimbo, made references to Hillary Clinton using the bathroom, fat-shamed countless women, compared current pal Ben Carson to a child molester, publicly distributed former rival Lindsey Graham’s personal phone number, forgot about the KKK and David Duke — the list goes on and on like a once-healthy man’s screaming descent into complete mental flaccidity.

I am in literally no position whatsoever to diagnose Trump. Even if I was a doctor, I would never be half the doctor that Trump’s doctor is. And also making diagnoses about someone’s mental health without their consent is unethical and shitty. All I’m saying is the signs are there. For what it’s worth. And if mental and physical health are suddenly of paramount importance for presidential candidates, why should only one candidate be spared of thorough examination? I just love America, guys. Get well soon, Trump.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Daesh Criminals Dress as Women to Escape Justice



Iraqi special forces battling to clear Islamic State from eastern Mosul have killed nearly 1,000 militants but fighting has slowed as troops face a mobile enemy hidden among thousands of civilians in the city, a top commander said.

Six weeks into a major offensive, Iraqi forces have captured nearly half of eastern Mosul, moving from district to district against jihadist snipers, suicide attackers and car bombs.

Elite Iraqi troops, known as the "Golden Division", are the only brigades to have entered Mosul from the east, with Iraqi army, federal police and Kurdish Peshmerga units surrounding the city to the north and south. Shi'ite militias are trying to complete the encirclement from the west.

The U.S.-trained Counter Terrorism Service unit breached Islamic State's defenses at the end of October, but has been slowed by the militants' mobile tactics and concern over civilian casualties preventing the use of tanks and heavy armor.

Major General Abdul Ghani al-Asadi, one of the commanders of the special forces, said troops had adapted their tactics, surrounding one district at a time to cut off the militants' supplies and protect civilians.

"Progress was faster at the start. The reason is we were operating before in areas without residents," Asadi told Reuters in Bartella, on Mosul's outskirts.

"We have arrived in populated districts. So how do we protect civilians? We have sealed off district after district."

He said around 990 militants had been killed in fighting in the east so far. He would not say how many casualties there were among government special forces.

"We have made changes to plans, partly due to the changing nature of the enemy ... Daesh (Islamic State) is not based in one location, but moving from here to there," he said.

"Tanks don't work here, artillery is not effective. Planes from the coalition force and the air force are restricted because of the civilians."

THOUSANDS DISPLACED

The Iraqi government has asked civilians in Mosul to stay at home during the offensive, as humanitarian organizations say they cannot cope with an influx of hundred of thousands of people displaced from the city.

More than one million people are believed to remain in the city, the largest in northern Iraq.

Defeating Islamic State in Mosul, Islamic State's last major bastion in Iraq, is seen as vital to destroying the "caliphate" declared by the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, from the pulpit of Mosul's Grand Mosque in July 2014.

But commanders have said the battle could take months. Dozens of districts must be taken in the east before attacking forces reach the Tigris River which splits Mosul into east and west. U.S. air strikes have taken out four of the five river bridges used by the militants.

RELATED COVERAGE

Iraqi special forces screen Mosul men in hunt for suicide bombers
Major General Najm al-Jubbouri, one of the army's top commanders, told Reuters that the western part of the city could be the more dangerous.

To the south, Iraqi army brigades are now advancing slowly on the remaining Islamic State-held villages before reaching the city limits. To the west, the mostly Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias known as Popular Mobilisation have cut off the highway to Syria, but they have yet to close in on the city.

"The force left in front of us is small, unable to stop our advance. Their spirit is broken," Asadi said.

"We have killed more than 992 fighters on our front plus more wounded ... Their supplies and communications to the outside world are cut. They stage fewer suicide bombings."

Iraqi military estimates initially put the number of insurgents in Mosul at 5,000 to 6,000, facing a 100,000-strong coalition force. But Asadi said the figure for the Islamic State presence may have been too high.

Iraqi authorities have not released estimates of civilian casualties but the United Nations says growing numbers of injured, both civilians and military, are overwhelming aid groups.

By Patrick Markey and Ulf Laessing | BARTELLA, IRAQ

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trump will “review” the Iran nuclear agreement, but will stop short of ripping up the pact.

Women in the Iranian Dictatorship risk Imprisonment and worse to defy conservative demands that women submit
A senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump said the new US leader will “review” the Iran nuclear agreement, but will stop short of ripping up the landmark international pact. Walid Phares, one of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers, also signaled that Trump might not move the US Embassy to Jerusalem immediately and indicated he would make negotiating an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal a priority right off the bat. The comments appeared to represent a break with some comments made by other Trump advisers and the president-elect himself, and highlighted persisting confusion over what the contours of a Trump administration’s foreign policy may look like. Speaking to BBC Radio on Thursday, Phares said the nuclear deal, which Trump has railed against and vowed to dismantle, would instead be renegotiated with Tehran. “Ripping up is maybe a too strong of word, he’s gonna take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it,” he said, according to a CNN recording of the interview. “He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore a few issues or change a few issues, and there will be a discussion,” Phares added. “It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now — $750 billion to the Iranian regime without receiving much in return and increasing intervention in four countries — that is not going to be accepted by the Trump administration.” During the election campaign, Trump described the nuclear deal as “disastrous” and said it would be his “number one priority” to dismantle it. Yet he also sowed confusion when he said he would demand greater oversight over the deal and enforce it, at a speech to the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC in March. In that same speech, he also said he would dismantle the deal. “We must enforce the terms of the previous deal to hold Iran totally accountable. And we will enforce it like you’ve never seen a contract enforced before, folks, believe me,” he said then. On Thursday, State Department spokesman Mark Toner warned that nothing was stopping Trump from tearing up the agreement, rebuffing comments from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that the pact was enshrined by the United Nations Security Council and could therefore not be canceled by one party. The agreement, reached in July 2014 to thwart suspected work toward an atomic weapon, requires Iran to curb its nuclear enrichment activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Israel was and remains the world’s leading critic of the deal, calling it a “historic mistake” and arguing that it falls woefully short of preventing Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Toner said if Trump pulls out of the agreement, it could fall apart and lead to Iran restarting work toward a bomb. It’s not clear if Iran, which remains deeply distrustful of the United States and has complained of receiving a raw deal under the nuclear pact, would be open to renegotiating the agreement, the hard-fought result of years of intensive diplomatic activity. Will move embassy ‘under consensus’ Phares also told the BBC that while Trump was committed to moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as other presidential candidates have vowed, he would not do so unilaterally. “Many presidents of the United States have committed to do that, and he said as well that he will do that, but he will do it under consensus,” Phares said. Phares did not elaborate on what consensus would be sought for such a move, which would break with decades of precedent and put Washington at odds with nearly all United Nations member states. A number of Israeli politicians, including Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, have seized on Trump’s victory by asking him to make good on his promises to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital and move the embassy there, breaking with long-standing US policy to await a final status agreement on the city. During the campaign, Trump called Jerusalem “the eternal capital” of Israel and said he was “100 percent for” moving the embassy there. Earlier Thursday, Trump Israel adviser Jason Dov Greenblatt told Israel’s Army Radio that the president-elect would make good on his promise. “I think if he said it, he’s going to do it,” Greenblatt said. “He is different for Israel than any recent president there has been, and I think he’s a man who keeps his word. He recognizes the historical significance of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, unlike, say, UNESCO.” The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (photo credit: CC-BY Krokodyl, Wikimedia Commons) The US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (CC-BY Krokodyl, Wikimedia Commons) Congress passed a law in 1995 mandating the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, but allowed the president a waiver. Each president since then has routinely exercised the waiver, citing the national security interests of the United States, despite repeated campaign promises. Phares also indicated efforts for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would be a top agenda item for Trump, casting doubt on a claim by Greenblatt that Trump would not necessarily prioritize trying to push the Israelis and Palestinians into peace negotiations. “He is ready and he will immediately move to try and solve the problem between Palestinian and Israelis,” Phares said. “He told me personally that, as the author of ‘The Art of the Deal,’ it’s not going to be impossible for him to broker a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. At least he’s going to go in that direction and not waste eight years — four years for now — not doing something for the Palestinians and Israelis.” Jason Dov Greenblatt, Donald Trump's top real estate lawyer and an Orthodox Jew, is one of three members on the Republican nominee's Israel Advisory Committee. (JTA/Uriel Heilman) Jason Dov Greenblatt, Donald Trump’s top real estate lawyer and an Orthodox Jew, is one of three members on the Republican nominee’s Israel Advisory Committee. (JTA/Uriel Heilman) On Wednesday, Greenblatt told The Times of Israel that Trump would only prioritize solving the conflict if that’s what the sides wanted him to do. “He will make it a priority if the Israelis and Palestinians want to make it a priority,” Greenblatt said. “He’s not going to force peace upon them, it will have to come from them.” The gap in signals coming out of Trump’s camp is consistent with frustration some have pointed to in trying to demystify what Trump’s foreign policy will be. In comments published in German weekly Der Spiegel Thursday, Germany Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said it was urgent for the incoming US administration to set out its positions quickly since “very many questions are open” on its foreign policy. Steinmeier said he had spoken several times with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger about what President-elect Donald Trump’s foreign policies might look like. But Steinmeier said even Kissinger had no insights to offer. “Many have already tried to read a foreign policy doctrine, or at least clear and coherent positions, out of Donald Trump’s comments. Without much success,” Steinmeier said. In Israel, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported Thursday that Israeli officials were viewing Trump as “a puzzle,” without a clear sense of whether he will match his words with actions or how he will manage ties with Jerusalem. Others close to the Israeli government, though, said the new US president will fall closer in line with their views than the current administration. Tzachi Hanegbi, a minister-without-portfolio who is a close confidant of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said Thursday that the Iran nuclear deal and construction over the Green Line — the two most contentious topics between the Obama administration and Netanyahu — will no longer be a source of tension between Israel and the United States under a Trump presidency. “On both of these issues, our view was much different than Obama’s, while it is likely much more similar to that of Trump,” Hanegbi told Army Radio. The Associated Press contributed to this report

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

To pro Israel voters: I get it




I understand why you resent President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. True, Obama has given Israel billions in military aid, protected Israel in the United Nations, and validated the country’s founding narrative. But he has been prickly in his approach to its leaders, fanatic in his opposition to settlements and unable to understand that Israelis respond better to love-love than tough love. I disagree when you call either of them “anti-Israel”: I reserve that term for people like Max “It’s a Mitzva” Blumenthal and Palestinian delegitimizers.

Still, Obama – and Clinton – often seem far angrier about housing starts by civilians in Israel than lives ended violently by terrorists in Israel, Syria and elsewhere.

And yes, I fear that president Hillary Clinton will come in with the same blame-Israel-first, settlement obsessed, tired peace processors who have failed for 20 years. I worry about the lurking influence of George Soros and Sidney Blumenthal. Moreover, I am distressed that the Democratic Party, while still overwhelmingly pro-Israel, has become the home to the radical anti-Israel forces in America – and that no Democrat of stature has had the nerve to confront them, saying: “Get out! Your anti-Zionism which masks antisemitism does not belong in my party.”


Still, I start with some assumptions before voting.

First, a patriot shouldn’t vote based on a single issue but on an overall assessment of the candidate’s policy and ideology. Second, character counts. The president combines the role of king (or queen) and prime minister; we need a good role model in the office. And third, regarding Israel, the old saying is correct: if America has the sniffles Israel catches a cold, or, more positively, what’s good for America is good for Israel.

Beyond Obama’s Israel churlishness, he has been disastrous for Israel because his farcical foreign policy has weakened America, the West and Israel. The weakness he broadcasts, his cowardice and incompetence regarding China, Syria, Islamic State, Iran and Russia have undermined Israel’s strategic strength as America’s loyal friend, more than any anti-housing or anti-Netanyahu temper tantrums.

Given those understandings, here are three groups of questions you should ask yourself before voting for Donald Trump. First, what policies actually will define this man with no governing experience, who contradicts himself mid-sentence, who treats facts and principles like silly putty to twist to satisfy the needs of the moment? He’s a twice-divorced darling of the Evangelicals, someone who was pro-choice until it was convenient to be pro-life, an unpredictable, showboating real estate gambler who has won big and lost big.

Every campaign appearance of his has been drive-by performance art suited to the age of bluster and Twitter, lacking thoughtful analysis or anchoring principles.

And how do you even know this self-absorbed deal-maker won’t decide he knows how to impose the right solution on the Israelis and the Palestinians? Second, and related, do you think this impulsive, egotistical narcissist has the temperament to be the most powerful person in the world and the character to represent an America that is now 78 percent white and 50% female? My issue is not with the offensive private banter he – and Bill Clinton and many other boors – indulge in. No, I fear his public statements. How could a president Trump earn respect from Mexican-Americans, from Muslim-Americans, from immigrants, from the disabled, when he has denigrated them so? Trump has lowered the rhetorical bar in American politics, pitted groups against others, stirring a nastiness that appalls and terrifies.

Obama’s election in 2008 offered a healing moment, allowing all Americans, black and white, Republican and Democrat, to appreciate that the country that once enslaved blacks could elect one president; a Trump election victory would be a traumatic moment demonstrating that ugliness, not character, counts – and inviting boorish imitators in future campaigns.

Finally, Hillary Clinton, for all her flaws, is a part of the system, for all its flaws. I understand the desire to shake things up but aren’t the stakes too high to fire so blindly? How can Trump translate his bluff and bluster into effective strategies against America’s enemies? In the debates, when pressed, he only repeats himself and uses words like “tremendous” – that’s posturing, not a strategy.

Last week, I moderated a debate between a Trump representative and a Clinton representative at the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem. During the Q&A, these smart, idealistic Israeli high school students asked hard-hitting questions about both candidates which left me feeling depressed about both choices. But two questions, about Trump’s “racism” and ugly rhetoric, were truly devastating. I tried to be a fair moderator, asking the kinds of normal questions one asks about presidential candidates’ biographies and stands. I realized that, especially since Trump’s nomination, we have normalized his monstrosities, we have mainstreamed his deviance.

An Israeli newspaper or column shouldn’t endorse one candidate or another, but those of us who love America and Israel, who champion democratic and Jewish values, must point out just how outrageous Trump’s behavior has been – and how dangerous it could be in the Oval Office. Good luck to us all in choosing.

The author, professor of history at McGill University, is the author of The Age of Clinton: America in the 1990s, published by St. Martin’s Press. His next book will update Arthur Hertzberg’s The Zionist Idea. Follow on Twitter @GilTroy.


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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Neuroscientist Explains Why Some People support Trump

Mayor Giuliani: "Donald don't pay No taxes Because he's smart, lots of rich people don't pay taxes"

Senator John McCain has a simple explanation for trump's unwavering support. “What he did was he fired up the crazies.”

While the former Republican presidential nominee may be on to something, he doesn’t exactly provide a very satisfying scientific explanation.  So how exactly are Trump loyalists psychologically or neurologically different from everyone else? What is going on in their brains that makes them so blindly devoted?

The Dunning-Kruger Effect:
Some believe that many of those who support Donald Trump do so because of ignorance — basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that crime is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst it’s ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The seemingly obvious solution would be to try to reach those people through political ads, expert opinions, and logical arguments that educate with facts. Except none of those things seem to be swaying any Trump supporters from his side, despite great efforts to deliver this information to them directly.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isn’t just that they are misinformed; it’s that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed. This creates a double burden.

Studies have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a cognitive bias that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an op-ed for Politico, “The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task — and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.” Essentially, they’re not smart enough to realize they’re dumb.

And if one is under the illusion that they have sufficient or even superior knowledge, then they have no reason to defer to anyone else’s judgment. This helps explain why even nonpartisan experts — like military generals and Independent former Mayor of New York/billionaire CEO Michael Bloomberg — as well as some respected Republican politicians, don’t seem to be able to say anything that can change the minds of loyal Trump followers.

Out of immense frustration, some of us may feel the urge to shake a Trump supporter and say, “Hey! Don’t you realize that he’s an idiot?!” No. They don’t. That may be hard to fathom, but that’s the nature of the Dunning-Kruger effect — one’s ignorance is completely invisible to them.

Hypersensitivity to Threat
Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative brain has an exaggerated fear response when faced with stimuli that may be perceived as threatening. A classic study in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A brain-imaging study published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala — a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 fMRI study found that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

So how does this help explain the unbridled loyalty of Trump supporters? These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Mexican immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with remarks that would normally be seen as highly offensive.

Terror Management Theory
A well-supported theory from social psychology, called Terror Management Theory, explains why Trump’s fear mongering is doubly effective.

The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitably of one’s death creates existential terror and anxiety that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews — like religions, political ideologies, and national identities — that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic identity, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders increase nationalism, they influence actual voting habits in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for extreme military interventions by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasn’t lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.

High Attentional Engagement
According to a recent study that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didn’t necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple messages clearly resonate at a visceral level.

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s addiction with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because he’s so amusing to watch. With Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will forgive anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

Of course these explanations do not apply to all Trump supporters. In fact, some are likely intelligent people who know better, but are supporting Trump to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Hillary Clinton that their vote for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington.

So what can we do to potentially change the minds of Trump loyalists before voting day in November? As a cognitive neuroscientist, it grieves me to say that there may be nothing we can do. The overwhelming majority of these people may be beyond reach, at least in the short term. The best we can do is to motivate everyone else to get out to the booths and check the box that doesn’t belong to a narcissistic nationalist who has the potential to damage the nation beyond repair.
By Bobby Azarian

Bobby Azarian is a neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a science writer. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, and he has written for The New York Times, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Slate, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. He also runs the website Science Is Sexy. Follow him @BobbyAzarian.




Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ex-Convicts Shot In Tulsa and N.Carolina had long History of Violent Crimes



Terence Crutcher was shot and killed on Sept. 16 in an officer-involved shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Since then, the media have tried to push a false narrative that Crutcher had his hands up when he was shot — but video evidence, as it often does in these cases, disproved the media’s theory.

There’s also more information that the mainstream media conveniently left out.

Crutcher had a hefty criminal record before he was shot. In fact, he had just been released in May after nine years in prison for drug trafficking, He also had a history of resisting arrest. Behold the rap sheet:

1996 Shooting with intent to kill — Dismissed
2001 Petit larceny — Conviction
2004 Driving while suspended — Conviction
2005 Driving while suspended, resisting officer — Conviction
2006 Driving while suspended — Conviction
Driving with open container — Dismissed
2006 Trafficking in illegal drugs — Conviction. (He was also charged in that incident with assault on a police officer and resisting, but that was dismissed.)
2011 Public intoxication (while in prison for drug trafficking) — Conviction
2012 Public intoxication — Conviction
Obstructing an officer — Conviction
2013 DUI — Conviction
Resisting officer — Conviction
Open Container — Conviction
Failure to wear seatbelt — Conviction
Speeding — Conviction

But even all of that was not all.


Take a look at the numerous open warrants for Crutcher. There were 30 warrants active at the time of his death.

They included things like DUI, resisting, drug trafficking and public intoxication.


The media are actively pushing the narrative that Crutcher had his hands up and that the police shot him anyway.

We’ve heard this lie peddled by the media before, in the Michael Brown case, and clearly the obtuse media didn’t learn a thing.
Now, you watch that video and listen to the commentary. Did it look to you like Crutcher was following commands? You can hear an officer say that Crutcher was “still walking” and that he wasn’t “following commands.” Another officer said that he “could be on something.”

As you can see, Crutcher was not shot with his hands up. He was clearly flouting officer orders, and at the time of his shooting he lowered his right hand toward his waistband.

Oh, and by the way, the media have run with the story that Crutcher was unarmed, but didn’t seem too interested in the PCP that was found in his car and that the Tulsa Police Department officer who shot Crutcher, Betty Shelby, was trained to spot PCP abuse, according to Bearing Arms.

In any of these cases, the legal system should be given time to do its job, but the media have decided to run false narratives that fit their agenda without all the facts and, in some cases, despite the facts.

As you can see above, there’s clearly more to the story.

Keith Scott is was also an Ex-Con with a violent criminal past.

Report: Charlotte’s Keith Scott Had History of Violence Including Arrest for Shooting At Police…

According to a story in The Christian Times, who they claim verified with The Charlotte Observer, Keith Lamont Scott had a two decades long history of gun violence, including an arrest/conviction for shooting at police officers in Texas.   The New York Times has previously reported on his troubled past but not the 2005 shooting at police incident:
(Via NYT) […] According to court records, Mr. Scott was born in South Carolina, was about six feet tall and weighed 230 to 250 pounds. While living in South Carolina in the 1990s, he was charged with a number of offenses including check fraud, aggravated assault and carrying a concealed weapon. Later, he moved to Texas where he shot and wounded a man in San Antonio in 2002, for which he was convicted and sentenced, in 2005, to seven years in prison. He was released in 2011. (link)
The Charlotte Observer also reported on Scott’s extensive criminal career –SEE HERE– and we did independently identify a criminal record in Texas – SEE HERE – which aligns with all of these reports.
nc-riot-19-keith-scott(Via Christian Times) Keith Scott had a long police record that included gun violations. Christian Times Newspaper has learned,and it has been confirmed by the Charlotte Observer, that Scott was convicted in April 2004 of a misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon charge in Mecklenburg County, and other charges were dismissed: including felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, assault on a female, and communicating threats.  Scott was also charged with assault with intent to kill in 1995.  
The most shocking find in Scott’s record, however, is what occurred in Bexar County, Texas in 2005.  In March of that year, Scott was sentenced to 15 months in state prison for evading arrest, and in July, he was consecutively sentenced to seven years on a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Sources are now coming forward and alleging that those two separate convictions are in fact related, and they both have to do with a confrontation between Scott and Bexar County Police in early 2005.
One source, who asked CTN to refrain from using her name to protect her identity, told reporters that Scott fired a handgun at San Antonio police officers when they attempted to detain him in February 2005 after noticing that he was driving erratically.  (Scott had a history of drunk driving, according to court records).
Allegedly, as the officers approached Scott’s black Ford sedan, he fired two rounds from the driver’s seat and then sped away.  Neither of the officers was hit, and they proceeded to give chase and detain Scott several blocks away.
While Scott did leave the gun in his passenger’s seat when he attempted to run on-foot, he did, according to our source, assault one officer by punching him in the face.
Scott was released from Texas state prison in 2011. In April 2015 in Gaston County Court, Scott was found guilty of driving while intoxicated.
In 1992, Scott was charged in Charleston County, S.C., with several different crimes on different dates, including carrying a concealed weapon (not a gun), simple assault and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pleaded guilty to all charges.
Scott also was charged with aggravated assault in 1992 and assault with intent to kill in 1995. Both charges were reduced, but the disposition of the cases is unclear.
According to Bexar County, Texas, records, Scott was sentenced in March 2005 to 15 months in a state jail for evading arrest. In July of that year, records show, he was sentenced to seven years in prison on a conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokesman said Scott completed his sentence and was released from prison in 2011.  (more)
An initial sentence of 15 months (March 2005) that gained an additional sentence of 7 more years (July 2005), that took until 2011 to complete, definitely aligns with a much more serious set of charges.
A long history of gun violence – HERE and HERE – including shooting at police?
If accurate, those reports when combined with the eye witness who took pictures of the handgun dropped by Keith Scott when shot by police officers (see above and below), the account of the Charlotte police department appears to be validated..




.












Sunday, September 18, 2016

Why Does The Left Hate Israel?




Respectable opinion knows which side wears the black hats in this conflict.
What is it about Israel that arouses so much anger? Is it because it’s a theocratic state, committed to destroying its neighbour, which uses civilians as human shields, tortures and kills its political opponents, persecutes homosexuals, and holds freedom of speech and the rule of law in contempt?

No, hang on, that’s Hamas. No matter how appallingly they treat their own people and how many innocents they blow up, shoot or kidnap, nothing can damage their image in the left's eye.
 Israel can’t even protect its own people without drawing criticism. Israel is like the older brother who is expected to know better. His younger siblings can run riot, because they’re held to different standards, but big bro should sit there quietly, no matter how many times he takes a kicking.

Not that the media does much reporting on the kicking Israel receives. It would much rather lament the significantly higher Palestinian losses, as if they automatically put Israel in the wrong and let Hamas off the hook for striking the first blow. Israel, it seems, should show restraint that no one would realistically expect of Hamas if it possessed the same military might. The relativists who see no moral difference between a liberal democracy and a terrorist regime have no problem expecting the two sides to behave differently.

One thing’s for sure, if it was just another flyblown Islamic hellhole, Israel would get a much easier ride on the world stage. More blood is typically shed each year in Somalia, Pakistan and Nigeria than in Gaza, but outrage at those horrors pales beside the indignation Israel’s actions provoke. Heads are buried, standards doubled and blind eyes turned to provide an excuse for bashing the country everybody loves to hate.

So is this just about anti-Semitism? It is certainly rife in the Arab world, and long-standing critics of Israel probably pick up a little Jew-hatred along the way. But I don’t think it’s at the heart of Western, liberal antipathy. If anti-Semitism were to blame, it would be directed at Israel wherever it was in the world. Yet it’s hard to imagine it having as much trouble with its neighbours, or attracting as much hatred, if it were a European state. The chances are it would be another Switzerland, and would arouse the same amount of ill-feeling.

The fact is that when it comes to Israel, nobody seems to be interested in the truth. No one cares that it gave up the lands it seized during the Yom Kippur War, in the hope of securing peace. Nor that it gifted the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses, opened border crossings and encouraged trade. Nor that the Gazans responded by destroying the greenhouses and electing a government committed to eradicating the Jews, which has fired thousands of rockets into Israel, and digs tunnels under Israeli territory from which to launch surprise attacks.

No one cares that Israel gives Gazans advance warning of raids, while Hamas deliberately targets Israeli civilians. Nor that Hamas places its weapons in schools, mosques, hospitals and private homes, to maximise the chance of civilian casualties. Nor that Israel arrested those guilty of murdering a Palestinian youth, and offered reparations to the victim’s family, while Hamas did nothing to capture or punish the killers of three Israeli teenagers. Nor that no Israeli soldiers are actually based in Gaza, despite talk of an ‘occupying force’ by Hamas apologists

No one takes these facts into account because they are unhelpful to the narrative propagated by the pro-Palestinian Left – namely, that this is a battle between a strong, macho oppressor and a weak, downtrodden underdog, which leftists can feel virtuous about supporting.

Israel is a distillation of everything leftists hate about Western nations: capitalist, conservative and fiercely patriotic. It is a projection of their own prejudices about the supposed injustices of societies that cherish the ‘wrong’ values and the ‘wrong’ people. They don’t share the Palestinians’ spiritual beliefs, but they share a common enemy. Indeed, if Israel was removed from the equation, its critics would have little good to say about Gaza or Hamas. Theirs is a marriage of convenience.

The Left’s use of the Israeli-Arab situation as a platform for moral preening, and as a metaphor for its own hang-ups, blinds it to the evils of Hamas and the rest of the Muslim Brotherhood. It seems oblivious to the ideological conflict between Islamic fundamentalists and Western progressives, because it persists in regarding the former as pet victims of the latter. It may discover the hard way that it is giving comfort to an enemy that makes no distinction between liberal hand-wringers and any other infidels.                  

By Russell Taylor

The Left Hate Israel Because It Is Everything They Despise: Capitalist, Conservative and Patriotic



Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"If you are an Israel Hater you are an Antisemite" MLK JR.

Alan Dershowitz OWNS the Anti-Jews in this debate covering  BDS



Monday, August 29, 2016

Trump: Everything is Negotiable

  


Several months ago, Donald Trump took a new position on a highly contentious issue and then completely walked it back.

Women, he said, should face "some form of punishment" for getting an abortion if the procedure were outlawed.
Several hours of bipartisan outrage later, Trump did an about-face, releasing a statement in which he said those who perform abortions, and not the women who undergo them, should be punished.
But Trump's flip-flop was just one of many.. 

Here are 10 examples:

1. Nuclear proliferation

"Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation," Trump told the New York Times last week.
But Trump also said that he would like to see South Korea and Japan obtain nuclear weapons, which would fly in the face of non-proliferation efforts that have been American policy for decades.
"We're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we're better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself," Trump said during a CNN town hall this week. "It's going to happen anyway."
Trump added, "I don't want more nuclear weapons."

2. The Iraq War
Donald Trump in 2002: I support Iraq invasion

Donald Trump in 2002: I support Iraq invasion 01:32
Trump steadfastly insisted throughout his campaign that he -- unlike most of his Republican counterparts -- opposed the Iraq War before it began.
"I said, 'Don't hit Iraq' because you're going to totally destabilize the Middle East," Trump said during his June 16, 2015 speech announcing his candidacy for president. "I'm the one that made all of the right predictions about Iraq."
And throughout his campaign, Trump expressed some version of that claim at nearly every campaign rally and in every interview he was asked about the issue, arguing he should get "points for vision."
But his claim was debunked in February when BuzzFeed News dug up a September 2002 interview -- weeks before Congress voted to authorize military force in Iraq -- in which Trump said he was in favor of invading Iraq.
"Yeah, I guess so," Trump said after Howard Stern asked him if he favored invading Iraq. "You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly."
And two days after the war began, Trump said on Fox Business Network that the invasion "looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint."
Trump was asked by Anderson Cooper bout the contradictory statements during a CNN town hall in February.
"I mean, I could have said that," he said. "Nobody asked me—I wasn't a politician. It was probably the first time anybody asked me that question."

3. Afghanistan War
Trump also flipped his position on the war in Afghanistan, labeling the war a "terrible mistake," in a CNN interview in October.
Trump subsequently claimed that he was talking about Iraq, and not Afghanistan -- which the U.S. invaded in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
But a review of the interview transcript shows that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo made it clear he was talking about Afghanistan, mentioning the country by name twice in his question to Trump.
"We made a terrible mistake getting involved there in the first place," Trump said of Afghanistan during the October 6 interview.
And Trump himself then compared Afghanistan to the situation in Iraq.
"It's a mess. And at this point, you probably have to, because that thing will collapse about two seconds after they leave. Just as I said that Iraq was going to collapse after we leave," Trump said.

4. Abortion
Trump's response earlier on punishments for abortion isn't the first time Trump has changed his tune on the issue.
But his total shift on this issue -- going from "pro-choice" to "pro-life" -- is one Trump openly acknowledges.
"I'm pro-life, and I was originally pro-choice," Trump said Tuesday in a CNN town hall. "I have evolved."
That's because in a 1999 interview and in his 2000 book as he was considering a run for president then, Trump said he was "very pro-choice."
In that 1999 interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Trump said he would even support women's rights to "partial-birth" or late-term abortion.
Trump now wants to ban all abortions, except in the case of incest, rape or if the life or health of the mother is at risk.

5. Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Trump has sought to walk a fine line on the issue, on one hand promising his presidency would be a boon for Israel while also trying to position himself as a master negotiator who could draw the two sides of the conflict to a peace settlement.
But Trump shocked the political world when he proclaimed that he would try to be "neutral" in the conflict .
"I want to be very neutral and see if I can get both sides together," Trump said in a December interview with the Associated Press.
He reignited that backlash in February when he said he wants to "be sort of a neutral guy" in negotiating a deal.
But Trump's neutrality claims were nowhere to be found in a speech earlier this month during the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual gathering, where he sought to place himself squarely and unequivocally in the pro-Israel camp.
"When I become president, the days of treating Israel like a second-class citizen will end on day one," Trump said.

6. Torture

Donald Trump declared in February that "torture works" and that he would "bring back waterboarding and I'd bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding."
In subsequent rallies, Trump argued that ISIS's brutal and barbarous tactics merited a more forceful response from the U.S. that would include torturing suspected terrorists.
As experts argued that military officials would disobey even a commander-in-chief's unlawful order -- as Trump's torture decision would be -- Trump bristled.
"Frankly, when I say they'll do as I tell them, they'll do as I tell them," Trump said during a March 3 GOP debate.
The next day, Trump walked back his comments.
"I will not order a military officer to disobey the law. It is clear that as president I will be bound by laws just like all Americans and I will meet those responsibilities," Trump said in a statement that also acknowledged that the U.S. "is bound by laws and treaties."
The day after that, Trump again changed his answer again.
"We're going to stay within the laws. But you know what we're going to do? We're going to have those laws broadened because we're playing with two sets of rules: their rules and our rules," Trump said pointing to ISIS's tactics.

7. Immigration

Donald Trump drew millions to his campaign with his bold and uncompromising pledges to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border and deport all of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
But faced with a report that he told the New York Times editorial board in an off-the-record meeting that his immigration views are in fact more flexible than he has let on, Trump appeared to confirm those suspicions.
"Everything is negotiable," Trump said in late February on Fox News when asked about the report.
Trump then went on to say that he would be willing to negotiate on the height of the wall and suggested his policy to deport all undocumented immigrants could also be flexible.
Pressed by CNN the next day during a news conference as to whether deporting all undocumented immigrants was negotiable, Trump again offered a response that left the door open to changes to his policy down the line.
"At this moment, the answer is absolutely not," he replied.

8. Gun control

Donald Trump's position on the campaign trail has been clear and unequivocal. "I'm a very strong Second Amendment person," he has said repeatedly.
Trump has argued in favor of eliminating gun-free zones in schools and on military bases and argued that looser gun laws in France could have diminished the number of casualties during the Paris terrorist attacks.
But while he's argued during his running for president that he wouldn't support any further restrictions to gun access, that hasn't always been Trump's position.
Trump previously argued in favor of banning assault weapons and supported "a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun," a position he articulated in his 2000 book "The America We Deserve."

9. Muslim ban

Trump continues to supports his contentious proposal to temporarily ban non-American Muslims from entering the U.S. until we "figure out what the hell is going on" -- with terrorism, that is.
But the pool of people who would be banned has shrunk since Trump made the broad-based proposal that could keep as many as 1.6 billion people from entering the U.S.
Trump first described his proposal in December as a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States." Pressed the day of the announcement for whether the policy would apply to all Muslims, Trump's campaign manager simply replied "everyone."
Later that evening, Trump said his policy would not apply to Muslims already living in the United States.
Since then he has also expanded his exceptions to include foreign leaders, government officials and business executives.

10. Hillary Clinton
Trump: Clinton doesn't have the stamina to be President
Gearing up for an increasingly likely general election battle against Clinton, Trump frequently slams the Democratic presidential front-runner on the trail, including referring to her as "the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States."
Trump had previously and repeatedly heaped praise on Clinton, including in a March 2012 interview as Clinton entered the last year of her tenure as secretary of state.
Trump called Clinton "a terrific woman" in the March 2012 Fox News interview and said that "she really works hard and I think she does a good job."

Thanks to cnn for this article.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Itihaj Muhammad, American Olympic Fencer, is a Disgrace to America and an Enemy Of Women's Equality




The burqa, the hijab and  the chador are the visual symbols of the horrifying treatment of women in most muslim countries.
Although some American women, usually America hating radical Chic dilettantes, wear these symbols of women's inferiority while claiming they are showing solidarity with muslims in the arab world they are actually showing solidarity with countries that routinely butcher hundreds of women a year for being victims of rape, and notably, being caught without the covering demanded by evil, misogynistic muslim demagogues.
It is like someone wearing a Nazi uniform and saying "I do it out of unity for Jews that were tortured and gassed in the concentration camps."  

When Itihaj Muhammad starts her career of endorsing products on TV, Americans should boycott the products she promotes, and make the sponsors stop promoting this hate filled disgrace.

The following article was written by  an Arab Human Rights Advocate and exposes the reality of the Hijab.

 Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and the author of “Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam.” She is a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement, a new initiative of Muslims and their allies, advocating peace, human rights and secular governance. She can be reached at asra@asranomani.com.


For us, as mainstream Muslim women, born in Egypt and India, the spectacle at the mosque was a painful reminder of the well-financed effort by conservative Muslims to dominate modern Muslim societies. This modern-day movement spreads an ideology of political Islam, called “Islamism,” enlisting well-intentioned interfaith do-gooders and the media into promoting the idea that “hijab” is a virtual “sixth pillar” of Islam, after the traditional “five pillars” of the shahada (or proclamation of faith), prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage.

We reject this interpretation that the “hijab” is merely a symbol of modesty and dignity adopted by faithful female followers of Islam.

This modern-day movement, codified by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan and the Islamic State, has erroneously made the Arabic word hijab synonymous with “headscarf.” This conflation of hijab with the secular word headscarf is misleading. “Hijab” literally means  “curtain” in Arabic. It also means “hiding,” ”obstructing” and “isolating” someone or something. It is never used in the Koran to mean headscarf.

In colloquial Arabic, the word for “headscarf” is tarha. In classical Arabic, “head” is al-ra’as and cover is gheta’a. No matter what formula you use, “hijab” never means headscarf.  The media must stop spreading this misleading interpretation.

Born in the 1960s into conservative but open-minded families (Hala in Egypt and Asra in India), we grew up without an edict that we had to cover our hair. But, starting in the 1980s, following the 1979 Iranian revolution of the minority Shiite sect and the rise of well-funded Saudi clerics from the majority Sunni sect, we have been bullied in an attempt to get us  to cover our hair from men and boys. Women and girls, who are sometimes called “enforce-hers” and “Muslim mean girls,” take it a step further by even making fun of women whom they perceive as wearing the hijab inappropriately, referring to “hijabis” in skinny jeans as “ho-jabis,” using the indelicate term for “whores.”

But in interpretations from the 7th century to today, theologians, from the late Moroccan scholar Fatima Mernissi to UCLA’s Khaled Abou El Fadl, and Harvard’s Leila Ahmed, Egypt’s Zaki Badawi, Iraq’s Abdullah al Judai and Pakistan’s Javaid Ghamidi, have clearly established that Muslim women are not required to cover their hair.

[Another opinion: A conservative theologian explains why he disagrees with Jerry Falwell Jr. on Christians and guns]

Challenging the hijab

To us, the “hijab”is a symbol of an interpretation of Islam we reject that believes that women are a sexual distraction to men, who are weak, and thus must not be tempted by the sight of our hair. We don’t buy it. This ideology promotes a social attitude that absolves men of sexually harassing women and puts the onus on the victim to protect herself by covering up.

The new Muslim Reform Movement, a global network of leaders, advocating for human rights, peace and secular governance, supports the right of Muslim women to wear — or not wear — the headscarf.

Unfortunately, the idea of “hijab” as a mandatory headscarf is promulgated by naïve efforts such as “World Hijab Day,” started in 2013 by Nazma Khan, the Bangladeshi American owner of a Brooklyn-based headscarf company, and Ahlul Bayt, a Shiite-proselytizing TV station, that the University of Calgary, in southwest Canada, promotes as a resource for its participation in “World Hijab Day.” The TV station argues that wearing a “hijab” is necessary for women to avoid “unwanted attention.” World Hijab Day, Ahlul Bayt and the University of Calgary didn’t respond to requests for comment.

In its “resources,” Ahluly Bayt includes a link to the notion that “the woman is awrah,” or forbidden, an idea that leads to the confinement, subordination, silencing and subjugation of women’s voices and presence in public society. It also includes an article, “The top 10 excuses of Muslim women who don’t wear hijab and their obvious weaknesses,” with the argument, “Get on the train of repentance, my sister, before it passes by your station.”

The rush to cover women’s hair has reached a fever pitch with ultraconservative Muslim websites and organizations pushing this interpretation, such as VirtualMosque.com and Al-Islam.org, which even published a feature, “Hijab Jokes,” mocking Muslim women who don’t cover their hair “Islamically.”

Last week, high school girls at Vernon Hills High School, outside Chicago, wore headscarves for an activity, “Walk a Mile in Her Hijab,” sponsored by the school’s conservative Muslim Students Association. It disturbed us to see the image of the girls in scarves.

 Muslim woman Samantha Elauf (R), who was denied a sales job at an Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa in 2008, stands with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lead attorney Barbara Seely (C) at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, February 25, 2015. The Court on Wednesday considered whether Elauf, who wears a head scarf, or hijab, was required to specifically request a religious accommodation at her job interview at the store in 2008 when she was 17. The company denied Elauf the job on the grounds that wearing the scarf violated its "look policy" for members of the sales staff. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) Muslim woman Samantha Elauf (R), who was denied a sales job at an Abercrombie Kids store in Tulsa in 2008, stands with U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lead attorney Barbara Seely (C) at the U.S. Supreme Court. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Furthermore, Muslim special-interest groups are feeding articles about “Muslim women in hijab” under siege. Staff members at the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which has pressed legal and PR complaints against U.S. companies that have barred employees from wearing hijabs on the job, has even called their organization “the hijab legal defense fund.”

Today, in the 21st century, most mosques around the world, including in the United States, deny us, as Muslim women, our Islamic right to pray without a headscarf, discriminating against us by refusing us entry if we don’t cover our hair. Like the Catholic Church after the Vatican II reforms of 1965 removed a requirement that women enter churches with heads covers, mosques should become headscarf-optional, if they truly want to make their places of worship “women-friendly.”

Fortunately, we have those courageous enough to challenge these edicts. In early May 2014, an Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad, started a brave new campaign, #MyStealthyFreedom, to protest laws requiring women to wear hijabs that Iran’s theocracy put in place after it won control in 1979. The campaign’s slogan: “The right for individual Iranian women to choose whether they want hijab.”

Important interpretations of the Koran

The mandate that women cover their hair relies on misinterpretations of Koranic verses.

In Arabic dictionaries, hijab refers to a “barrier,” not necessarily between men and women, but also between two men. Hijab appears in a Koranic verse (33:53), during the fifth year of the prophet Muhammad’s migration, or hijra, to Medina, when some wedding guests overstayed their welcome at the prophet’s home. It established some rules of etiquette for speaking to the wives of prophet Muhammad: “And when ye ask of them anything, ask it of them from behind a hijab. This is purer for your hearts and for their hearts.” Thus, hijab meant a partition.

The word hijab, or a derivative, appears only eight times in the Koran as an “obstacle” or “wall of separation” (7:46), a “curtain” (33:53), “hidden” (38:32), just a “wall of separation” (41:5, 42:52, 17:45), “hiding” (19:14) and “prevented” or “denied access to God” (83:15).

In the Koran, the word hijab never connotes any act of piety. Rather, it carries the negative connotation of being an actual or metaphorical obstacle separating the “non-believers” in a dark place, noting “our hearts are under hijab (41:5),” for example, a wall of separation between those in heaven and those in hell (7:46) or “Surely, they will be mahjaboon from seeing their Lord that day (83:15).” Mahjaboon is a derivate verb from hijab. The Saudi Koran translates it as “veiled.” Actually, in this usage, it means, “denied access.”

The most cited verse to defend the headscarf (33:59) states, “Oh, Prophet tell thy wives and thy daughters and the believer women to draw their jilbab close around them; this will be better so that they be recognized and not harmed and God is the most forgiving, most merciful.” According to Arabic dictionaries, jilbab means “long, overflowing gown” which was the traditional dress at the time. The verse does not instruct them to add a new garment but rather adjust an existing one. It also does not mean headscarf.

Disturbingly, the government of Saudi Arabia twists its translation of the verse to impose face veils on women, allowing them even to see with just “one eye.” The government’s translation reads: “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks (veils) all over their bodies (i.e. screen themselves completely except the eyes or one eye to see the way). That will be better, that they should be known (as free respectable women) so as not to be annoyed, and God is most forgiving, most merciful.”

Looked at in context, Islamic historians say this verse was revealed in the city of Medina, where the prophet Muhammad fled to escape persecution in Mecca, and was revealed to protect women from rampant sexual aggression they faced on the streets of Medina, where men often sexually harassed women, particularly slaves. Today, we have criminal codes that make such crimes illegal; countries that don’t have such laws need to pass them, rather than punishing women for the violent acts of others.

Another verse (24:31) is also widely used to justify a headscarf, stating, “… and tell the believing women to lower their gaze and guard their chastity, and do not reveal their adornment except what is already shown; and draw their khemar over their neck. . . .”

In old Arabic poetry, the khemar was a fancy silk scarf worn by affluent women. It was fixed on the middle of the head and thrown over their back, as a means of seducing men and flaunting their wealth. This verse was revealed at a time, too, when women faced harassment when they used open-air toilets. The verse also instructs how to wear an existing traditional garment. It doesn’t impose a new one.

Reclaiming our religion

 Asra Nomani talks to audience members in 2009 after Doha Debate in which she argued for the right of Muslim women to marry anyone they choose. ) 
In 1919, Egyptian women marched on the streets demanding the right to vote; they took off their veils, imported as a cultural tradition from the Ottoman Empire, not a religious edict. The veil then became a relic of the past.

Later, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel-Nasser said in a speech in the early 1960s that, when he sought reconciliation with members of the Muslim Brotherhood group for attempting to assassinate him in 1954, the Supreme Leader of the Brotherhood gave him a list of demands, including, “imposing hijab on Egyptian women.” The audience members didn’t understand what the word hijab meant. When Nasser explained that the Brotherhood wanted Egyptian women to wear a headscarf, the audience members burst out laughing.

As women who grew up in modern Muslim families with theologians, we are trying to reclaim our religion from the prongs of a strict interpretation. Like in our youth, we are witnessing attempts to make this strict ideology the one and only accepted face of Islam. We have seen what the resurgence of political Islam has done to our regions of origin and to our adoptive country.

As Americans, we believe in freedom of religion. But we need to clarify to those in universities, the media and discussion forums that in exploring the “hijab,” they are not exploring Islam, but rather the ideology of political Islam as practiced by the mullahs, or clerics, of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State.

Irv Rubin and Earl Krugel

Never Again!


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