May 31, 2016

White House Plays Santa Claus For 7 Years

[From article]
It was the year 2009, and it was official. The Obama administration shelved the anti-missile shield from Poland and Czech Republic and let it marinate in an attic jar. The move was done with an unparalleled subtlety, on the same day that Poland was commemorating the 70th anniversary of its World War II invasion by the USSR. After months of ballet pirouettes in public statements where the Eastern Europeans were “reassured” that their concerns on the issue were totally groundless, the inevitable (and predictable) happened. The Obama administration, citing budgetary reasons, upended the agreements with two NATO allies by cancelling the Bush-era project that angered Russia.
[. . .]

In July, president Obama was addressed in an open letter signed by 22 prominent Eastern European leaders, who voiced their concern that the region had ceased to be a priority on the U.S. foreign policy agenda. The letter warned against “the misguided notion” that the region was largely stable and on a secure path to full trans-Atlantic integration. In reality, this traditional pro-American region was increasingly critical to the United States’ cave in to Russia’s “revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics.”
Had the administration wanted to show contempt for faithful allies in Eastern Europe, there was no better way than scrapping the planned anti-missile shield. It was obvious that, at that moment and even later, the United States did not consider Central and Eastern Europe as a priority any more.
[. . .]
In fact, this was Obama’s free gift to the Russians, offered with a red bow on a golden plate way before the September 2012 president’s tete-a-tete with Medvedev at the Seoul nuclear safety summit and during his “open mike” genuine moment of sincerity.
While it was obvious that U.S. world policy had turned 180 degrees since Obama assumed office, Russian policy continued to look disturbingly unchanged.
In terms of firsthand knowledge of communism, America should have given more credit to Eastern Europe. After all, the Eastern Europeans’ deeper understanding of the multiple facets -- theoretical, clinical, and practical -- of a totalitarian ideology and society exceeds by far Obama’s occasional exotic incursions in the Marxism-pigmented readings during his university years. And this goes for Obama’s international and domestic policies. His obstinacy in promoting collectivist ideas of a “fair share” type has managed to produce confusion in America and hilarity in Eastern Europe. In this context, Jimmy Carter’s 1977 remarks about being “free of that inordinate fear of communism” appear as an equally sinister and pathetic joke.
[. . .]
When he alienated the allies by allying himself with the aliens, he ended up looking more like Terry Crews, as the goofy president Camacho in Idiocracy. In the end, even Camacho came back to his senses. Let us all hope that we, as a nation, do not end up living those “idiocratic” apocalyptic times.

May 30, 2016
The American 'Idiocracy' and Eastern Europe
By Tiberiu Dianu

Free Speech, Hate Speech and Campus Boycott Israel Campaign

[From article]
The Netherlands has just declared the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement against Israel to be free speech. Israel is furious; but for classic conservatives, there is no easy answer to this issue.
“Statements or meetings concerning BDS are protected by freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, as enshrined in the Dutch Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights,” [Dutch Foreign Minister Bert] Koenders said Thursday...-- Jerusalem Post
"Limits on the concept of freedom of speech?" Sounds detestable. Who gets to decide those limits?
Boycotts have been a major part of the Western social arsenal for centuries. History has been swayed by boycotts.

The Boston Tea Party led to a sense of American identity and the American Revolution
The Irish led boycott against eponymous Captain Boycott resurrected Irish nationalism and put Britain on notice that the Gaels were not beaten.
The Jews themselves unsuccessfully tried to boycott German goods in the 1930s, in hopes of toppling Hitler.
In Mandatory Palestine, both the Arabs and Jews tried to boycott each other. Labor Zionism was predicated on Jewish exclusivity.
Blacks led a boycott of the Montgomery Bus line to desegregate buses.
In NAACP vs Claiborne Hardware, 1982, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld boycotts as protected speech.
So boycotts have an honorable history. It is with trepidation that any Western government should intervene to stop them. Normally, they are a vital part of the democratic process. At least Sweden thought so, as well.
...Sweden had been the only European government to recognize that BDS is a civil society movement and that governments should not try to impede it. -- Electronic Intifada
But other nations in Europe have judged in favor of Israel. They agree with the Israeli government that BDS is hate speech intended to bankrupt the Jewish state into dissolution, just as South Africa was broken.

In October 2015, the French high court declared BDS illegal.
French law prohibits targeting of nations for discrimination -- Times of Israel
While one applauds France's preference for the Israeli position, the Muslim world asks why it is deemed okay for the French to draw nude pictures of Mohammed, insulting Islam, in Charlie Hebdo, but peaceful boycotts against Israel are now taboo. Of course, France is less inclined to appreciate Islamic calls for free speech after the Islamic attacks in Paris. Since when were the Muslims ever peacefully in favor of free speech? At least the French did not shoot up BDS organizations.
The fact remains, however: even though Islam obviously does not respect free speech; should the French have restricted free speech; albeit for a different purpose? Though Islam is despicable, free speech has taken a hit in France.
[. . .]
I do not support BDS, but I do support free speech; and so I am in a quandary.
Such restrictions on free speech come to no good. After WWII, with the Holocaust in mind, European countries passed laws protecting minorities from hate speech. Instead of protecting Jews, the laws ended up protecting Muslims from criticism. Michel Houellebecq was hauled into French court for merely criticizing the literary merits of the Koran. Geert Wilders was hauled into Dutch court. Brigette Bardot was regularly in and out of court. And this is just a short list.
Laws intended to protect Jews ended up protecting the enemies of Jews.
[. . .]

I do not support BDS; but I do support the First Amendment. I want Israel to live, but I do not want dangerous restrictions put on free speech. Such laws always backfire. Ask Michel Houellebecq or Geert Wilders.
There is no easy answer to this problem. BDS is starting to hurt Israel. Agrexco, an Israeli agricultural firm, went bankrupt. Sodastream suffered a setback from BDS. BDS is rearing a generation of anti-Israel intelligentsia on campuses all over the Western world. If left unchecked BDS will snowball. Israel is right to fight it.
[. . .]
I have no easy answer to this. I do not want to see Israel hurt or go under, but neither do I want free speech restricted. If one says BDS is an agent of Arab foreign policy -- and it may be -- and therefore should be illegal; how long would AIPAC hold up to similar scrutiny?
No one had expected the Arabs/Palestinians/Fakestinians to fight on this long or this determinedly. And it seems that no one will be allowed to take a neutral position. Will the West have to prioritize whether the Jewish state or Free Political Speech is the superior value? One's opinion on Israel is no longer confined to theory. It now seems Western democratic institutions and practices will be adversely affected.
The Arabs demand free speech to destroy Israel, but scream and shoot if Mohammed is criticized. Zionists wants free speech to criticize Islam, but will sue and if possible, prosecute, if one advocates BDS. We in the West no longer have the option to tell the opponents to take it elsewhere.

May 30, 2016
BDS and Free Speech
By Mike Konrad

Review Of Performance, James Joyce Romance

[From article]
“Himself” refers to the protean and magical Irish giant of the past century, James Augustine Aloysius Joyce, whose birthday is celebrated annually with a full day of readings and performances at NYC’s Symphony Space even now.
[. . .]

James Joyce

Nora, of course, is the fiery Muse he adored, lived with, and refused to legitimize as wife, even after 27 years and several children.
[. . .]
Influenced by the Bard, Yeats, and Oscar Wilde, Joyce the writer polymath died much too soon in 1941, still a man with many works unwrit. But although he’s gone, ere we knew him, lovers of literature and romance can experience a chunk of transcendent elegance and eloquence. Quaff deeply of this linguistic and musical golden goblet.
Grievously, in a time of deracinated and prostituted cultural offerings, the literacy and quality of Himself & Nora are an emotional and singular pleasure we might not be accessible to in a few years of lowest-bar, rancid hanging fruit.

May 30, 2016
Himself and Nora: A Review
By Marion DS Dreyfus

Jew-Hatred in Hong Kong

[From article]
Hong Kong is a city of nearly 8 million people. Modern. Good intra-urban railway mass transit. Good bus service. Reasonably good governmental public schools, and a reasonably honest government.
Beneath the surface, there are societal shortcomings. Acceptable housing is in short supply, so flats are dear. Young adults, including those who maintain long-term relationships or marriages, live with their parents. Replacement of run-down housing stock is slow. People in extreme poverty live in cage housing — flats subdivided into small spaces, formed by vertical steel rods. Each space has room for a mattress and some possessions. One toilet for a dozen or more people.
Food is expensive. Many people work long hours in jobs that pay modest salaries.
Add Jew-hatred to the list of societal shortcomings. (I prefer “Jew-hatred” and “Judaism-hatred” to “anti-Semitism”, a misnomer).
There is in Hong Kong, as elsewhere, the Jew-hatred of Mohammedism. That term is accurate, because “Islam” connotes a religion. There is Mohammedism — a militant totalitarianism under the guise of a religion.

Picture a legitimate-seeming business that is a front for a mafia. The benign attributes of the front business do not change the criminality of the behind-the-front capo, his lieutenants, and his button men. In like manner, Islam is a front for Mohammedism. The benign attributes of the front “religion” do not change the behind-the-front pathologies — loathing of Jews, loathing of Judaism, loathing of Zionism, hatred of the West, hatred of Judeo-Christian values, antipathy to modern life, despising of women, and sexual abuse of children — of the imam, his lieutenants, and his terrorists.
In Hong Kong, Mohammedists express their Jew-hatred through insolence. Turning a back to a Jew who walk by. Cutting across the path of a Jew, as he walks down the street. Spitting.
[. . .]
Within the past six months, I noticed expressions of Jew-hatred among the general Chinese population. Young people, middle-aged people, old people. Low-income people and middle-class people (judging by their clothing). It was across the board. Perhaps the expressions of Jew-hatred are spillovers from the evil BDS movement.
The expressions are varied. Covering the nose with a hand. Translation: Jews smell. Scratching the torso with a hand, under an arm. Translation: Jews are apes. Grasping the throat with a hand. Translation: We’ll murder you. Putting a finger into a nostril. Translation: ____ you. Putting a finger into an ear. Same translation.
[. . .]
Multiple public expressions of Jew-hatred among the general Chinese population changed my life drastically. No more walks in the evenings. No more visits to this or that neighborhood to look around. I leave my flat only when necessary.
[. . .]
My guess is that the circumstances of Hong Kong, for Jews, are more or less like those of Londonistan. The circumstances of Hong Kong, for Jews, are not as bad as those of Paris.
Yet, it’s time to pack my bags, and leave. My travel destination will be a haven for Jews, but havens are few. The growing anti-Jews storm in the world will cause some of the contemporary havens to deteriorate, and will cause other contemporary havens to disappear.

May 29, 2016
Jew-Hatred in Hong Kong: 2016
By Stephen Kruger

Elder Egyptian Christian Woman Stripped, Beaten by Muslim Mob

[From article]
A 70-year-old Christian woman was stripped naked, savagely beaten, and paraded in the streets of Egypt to jeers, whistles, and yells of "Allahu Akbar" after a mob of some 300 Muslim men descended on her house.
Her crime? Her son is falsely accused of having a romantic relationship with a Muslim woman, which is banned by Islamic law, or sharia – the same body of teachings that prescribes the collective punishment of non-Muslim "infidels." Seven other Christian homes were also torched by the mob.
The attacks occurred in Minya, Upper Egypt, on May 20, a Friday – the one day of the week when Muslims congregate in mosques and listen to sermons, and the one day of the week when most Muslim mob attacks on Christians occur.
While on the ground being kicked, cursed, and spat upon, Sa'd Thabet, the Christian grandmother, managed to slide herself underneath a wagon. While hidden there, an unidentified woman slipped her some garments, and the traumatized woman eventually managed to escape.
[. . .]

Prior to the attack on Thabet, her household had been receiving threats for some time. On the morning of the assault, some of the home's property was stolen and vandalized. She and her husband went to local police, who responded by threatening them and kicking them out of the station. A few hours later, around 8 pm, the attack occurred. It took the same local police over two hours to appear, by which time the "avenged" Muslim mob had dispersed.
When asked why she reported the incident four days after it happened, Thabet said: "I tried to hide and suppress what happened, but I could only take the feelings of humiliation and oppression for four days, at which point I decided to return to the local police station and testify about what happened to me before those who had refused to hear me."

She is hardly the first Christian woman in Egypt to be treated so. In 2013, Muslim Brotherhood supporters "burned down a Christian school, paraded three nuns on the streets like 'prisoners of war,' and sexually abused two other female staff even as at least 58 attacks on Christians and their property were reported across Egypt over the last four days. At least two Christians have died in the attacks."
Nor is this an "Egyptian" phenomenon; it's an "Islamic" one. In Pakistan, a 28-year-old pregnant Christian mother of four was stripped naked, beaten, and forced to walk nude in her town by two Muslim brothers following an argument. She lost her baby in the ordeal, which "was motivated because of Bibi's [Christian] religious beliefs." Similarly, a Muslim family kidnapped, beat, and left naked on the streets an 8-year-old Christian girl as a way to "punish" her uncle for pursuing a relationship with a female member of the Muslim family.

In short, every aspect of this most recent attack is part of a well established pattern that has played over in Egypt, Pakistan, and other Muslim-majority nations innumerable times: a Christian is (often falsely) accused of some infraction; his family and possibly entire village is savagely attacked, beaten, raped, and mugged by the mob; and police take their time to arrive and do little when there.
In 2012, after 3,000 Muslims attacked the Christians of a village near Alexandria, it took the army an hour to arrive, even though they were only one mile away. "This happens every time. They wait outside the village until the Muslims have had enough violence, then they appear," said a witness.
Islamic culture – founded as it is by an Arab tribesman – is inherently tribal. The umma is the super-tribe of Islam, meaning Muslims side with Muslims against all "infidels" – that is, outsiders – even if the latter are good and fair to them, according to the doctrine of "loyalty and enmity."
This is the hostile, unassimilating, tribal mentality that the West is importing by the millions. In Muslim-majority nations – where Christians and Muslims look the same, speak the same language, and are virtually indistinguishable – just being non-Muslim is enough to be subjected to the aforementioned hate, violence, and discrimination. How much more is to be expected when the host country isn't just non-Muslim, but completely alien in all ways?

May 28, 2016
Muslims Beat, Strip Naked, and Parade 70-Year-Old Christian Woman
By Raymond Ibrahim

Constitution Versus Progressivism

[From article]
For the last 100 years our grand political debate has centered on the tension between the principles and mechanics of the Constitution and the ideals of the Progressive movement. Under FDR the Progressives became known as liberals, but the term ‘Progressivism’ has re-emerged under Hillary, who described herself as a Progressive Democrat in order to distinguish herself from the self-proclaimed socialist who has ‘trumped’ her party’s nomination process.
[. . .]

Woodrow Wilson believed in a unified will of the voters, molded by strong leaders, and a professionally staffed administrative institution to manage government much as the new managerial class was running large businesses.
Wilson was critical of the structural constraints of the Constitution designed by the Founders. The Progressives sought to tilt the balance of power substantially from the states to the federal government, contending that parochial interests centered in Congress made national action too difficult and incohesive.
Eventually the strong leaders and compliant courts succeeded in implementing the Progressive agenda. The administrative state became a large regulatory state and gave birth to the welfare state.
In Relic. How Our Constitution Undermines Effective Government--and Why We Need a More Powerful Presidency by William Howell and Terry Moe, Wilson’s [. . .] the authors seek a second age of Progressivism. They lament the inability of the Congress to overcome partisan and parochial interests and blame the structure of the Constitution. Their solution is greater legislative authority for the president.
[. . .]

The Founders may have failed to imagine the kinds of changes the country faced a century ahead, but their concern was not the efficiency of government, but the misuse of its power. Thus they dispersed it between the states and the federal government and among the three branches. The great challenge for the modern Progressives is to make the government more responsive to current needs without losing sight of the potential for the abuse of its power.
[. . .]
Author Randy Barnett in Our Republican Constitution. Securing the Liberty and Sovereignty of We the People takes an opposing viewpoint: our problem lies not in the structure of our Constitution but in our efforts to stray from its essential principles. Our unelected Administrative State acting like a fourth branch of government has bypassed constitutional constraints and electoral accountability. Our courts have strayed from the mission of protecting individual constitutional rights to upholding majoritarian democracy.
[. . .]

While our constitutional constraints make comprehensive legislation difficult they also provide a needed break on bad legislation. Barnett notes that the regulatory bureaucracies have upset the balance of power, making reversal of administrative rules extremely difficult. We have found a way to work around the Constitution to pass rules in a branch without accountability yet can invoke the Constitution to block any correction.
[. . .]
We should avoid bestowing power on any position without picturing our worst nightmare in that position able to exercise that power. Charles Cooke at National Review suggested that the potential for a Donald Trump presidency may make even the Progressives reconsider their fondness for greater executive power. In the aftermath of Watergate, Congress saw fit to reduce executive power.

May 28, 2016
Making a Relic of the Constitution
By Henry Oliner

Iran, 1979, Began Muslim Terror Disruption Campaigns

[From article]
The facts are, notwithstanding the forever continuing Palestinian/Israeli war, that the Middle East was kept relatively peaceful and political Islam and its terrorism was kept under control in a secular Iran until 1979.
It was President Jimmy Carter and the Western European leaders, with the total support of the Western media and socialist elites as the likes of Michel Foucault and Noam Chomsky, who decided to support the radical Shi’a Ayatollah Khomeini in taking over peaceful modernity-seeking Iran and establishing political Islam. Unfortunately, the same people are still supporting Islamic clerical imperialism as their child.
The sequence of pugnacious events in the Middle East since the advent of political Islamic domination of Iran in 1979 is evidence that many Middle Eastern problems are related to the ideological policies of the Islamic imperialist regime in Iran. It is the mullah’s goal to establish the Islamic kalifate through interference, intrusions, and promotion of terrorism in the internal affairs of the neighboring countries.
[. . .]

Khomeini considered Iran a platform and a financial source for launching his expansion of the Islamic kalifate throughout the world, beginning in the Middle East. I was there and heard his terrifying speech every day.
He established an Islamic military made up of thugs and hoodlums called the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps -- not to defend the country but to protect, guarantee, and expand Political Islam in Iran and abroad.
Khomeini began by announcing a war against Israel as soon as he took control of Iran; calling it a "Zionist entity" and surrounded it by financing and arming the Palestinians, Hamas, and Hizb’allah in Lebanon.
He encouraged and financed Hizb’allah’s terrorism to destabilize the Lebanese Christian government and take the control of Lebanon.
He instigated eight years of brutal and bloody war with Saddam Hussein to remove Sunni power over the Shi’a population of Iraq. Khomeini’s successor Khamenei selected the Iraqi Shi’a mullah Moqtada al Sadr to establish a Shi’a movement against Saddam Hussein, financed and armed by the Iranian regime.
[. . .]
By 2003, the Revolutionary Guards had infiltrated the Shi’a community of Iraq through Moqtada al Sadr, the anti-American rabble-rouser puppet of Iran whose goal was to remove the Sunnis from military and government positions.
The Bush Administration was able to successfully arbitrate a reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shi’as, bringing them together and under control.
[. . .]

U.S. State Department 2012 reports maintain that Iran remains an active state sponsor of terrorism and increased its terrorist-related activity in 2011. “Weapons are smuggled into Iraq and used to arm Iran's allies among the Shiite militias, including those of the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi army.”
The Sunnis of Iraq were forcefully isolated and, in the absence of the American military, created a disgruntled angry Sunni population, that, joined by the defeated Al Qaida, became ISIS.
[. . .]

While the children of Iran are living in hunger and poverty, Khamenei has been financing and arming Hamas, Hizb’allah, Moslem terrorism in poor African countries, and interfering in the internal affairs of Yemen, not to mention influence buying in South American countries.
It is, by all documents and reports, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guards that have been instrumental in creating the current atmosphere of chaos throughout the Middle East.

May 20, 2016
It was 1979 (not 2003) that Unleashed Political Islam
By Manda Zand Ervin

Jefferson-Adams Political Feud in 19th Century

Thomas Jefferson left, and John Adams

[From article]
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were two of the key figures of the American revolution. Jefferson's glorious pen gave the Declaration of Independence the lines that we all love. Adams was a major force in leading the colonies toward independence.
They were part of the first Cabinet under President Washington. Mr. Adams was the first V.P. and the second president. Mr. Jefferson was the second V.P. and third president. Jefferson defeated Adams in 1800 in a very nasty election that fractured their friendship.
After losing to Jefferson, Adams went home to Massachusetts, and the two men never spoke again. It was a very sad ending to a partnership that mattered so much from independence to the formation of the new nation.
[. . .]
The Jefferson-Adams bitter feud remind us that politics has always been rough.

May 29, 2016
1813: The week Jefferson and Adams started their historic correspondence
By Silvio Canto, Jr.

Hollywood Elite Speak At Harvard University Commencement

[From article]
Breitbart reported that Steven Spielberg fretted at the 2016 Harvard graduation, "We are a nation of least for now." The statement was a poorly disguised attack on Donald Trump. Saying we are immigrants is like saying we all get around on horse and buggy. That self-serving obsolescence, peddled by an enormously wealthy cultural elite, was but part of the dehumanizing lies Spielberg told the graduates about the realities of persecution, genocide, and morality.
[. . .]
It is appalling that Spielberg mentioned Muslims and Jews in his talk but not Christians. Incredibly, he neglected to mention the current Christian holocaust, the most dreadful, specifically religiously motivated persecution on planet Earth today. It is Christian communities that are facing genocide in Muslim areas of Asia and Africa.
Spielberg and his left-wing audience are anti-Christian, though they don't seem to know it.
Of course, Spielberg predictably blathered about racism and homophobia, even though racism hasn't been the leading problem in America for sixty years, and homosexuals not only are not oppressed, but have become a class that enjoys special legal protections at the expense of Christians. The term homophobia, so cavalierly bandied, is a dehumanizing hoax, a thoughtless bigotry against people who compassionately believe that homosexual consciousness and behavior are spiritually harmful in this life and beyond.
Spielberg repeated the big lie that is preventing many of the most gifted young people in America from making the world a better place. "Whether it's the Muslims, or the Jews, or minorities on the border states, or the LGBT community, it is all one big hate." That statement is one big hate. To compare the Islamic State atrocities or Islamic terrorists murdering Jewish children to "LGBT" concerns is disgusting. Spielberg was preaching to people who "privilege" – and he is himself an elder in an industry that privileges – "lesbians-gays-bisexuals-trangenders."
He told the graduates to "stick to your morals" because he doesn't know what morals are. Morals are absolute convictions based on unchanging Godful truth. The young people at Harvard have been taught anti-morality since they were toddlers. They have been taught that morality is "judgmental," particularly regarding issues of sexuality. They have been submerged in humanist ethicality and relativism.
[. . .]
Today's immigrants tend to have fed tummies, cell phones, and attitudes. Unlike the majority of Americans, Spielberg is insulated from unemployment and too rich to care about the looming national bankruptcy being accelerated by millions of demanding, welfare-entitled immigrants. The historic mass immigrations Spielberg was referring to are no more. They arose mainly due to famine, near famine, or political oppression so severe the choice was between flight and death. Science and technology have thankfully made those conditions rare compared to the vast history of humanity. Most people can survive in their own countries. They have the moral duty to secure their freedom in their own lands.
Here's a guideline: ban immigration from any country whose people have the technological capability to watch Spielberg movies. Any nation with television, internet, cell phones, or movie theaters has the technology (or the wherewithal to obtain it) to feed its own people. They should stay home and fix their own problems. America, the most compassionate country in history, is here to help them.

May 29, 2016
Ban immigration from nations that can show Spielberg movies
By Deborah C. Tyler

* * *

Spielberg Calls On Graduates To Follow ‘Intuition’ in Commencement Speech
May 27, 2016

US Rep. Uses Personal Attacks Responding To Witness Testimony

[From article]
During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the recent transgender bathroom mandate, Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) found herself unable to rationally deal with a witness, a law school professor, who had submitted a 21-page written statement to be entered as testimony. As Jennifer Krabbany of the College Fix reports, what set off Lofgren’s meltdown was this:
We are teaching young people a terrible lesson. If I believe that I am a Russian princess, that doesn’t make me a Russian princess, even if my friends and acquaintances are willing to indulge my fantasy. Nor am I a Great Horned Owl just because—as I have been told—I happen to share some personality traits with those feathered creatures. I should add that very few actual transgender individuals are confused in this way. They understand perfectly that their sex and their gender do not align. Some choose surgery to make their bodies better align with their gender. Most choose not to.
Rather than deal with the logic of this statement, Lofgren retreated into the I-am-offended posture, and then when challenged, started calling names:
Ed Driscoll of Instapundit nails it on the final exchange in this sequence:
When the professor quipped: “Does that mean you think I am a Russian princess?” [Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA] could only respond “I have no idea.”
…Of course Lofgren knows the answer to San Diego law school professor Gail Heriot’s deliberately absurdist query, but it’s one that she dare not express under her ideology’s Stalinist culture of fear, lest she commit doubleplus ungood gender thoughtcrime.

May 28, 2016
Watch as Democrat unable to deal with professor’s challenge on ‘transgender’ bathroom rule loses it, starts calling names
By Thomas Lifson

Turn Toward Camera and Smile (Politicians Instructions at Press Conference)

[From article]
Rahm Emanuel is a close friend of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton, and as obsessed both political power and personal vengeance on his enemies. Having obtained the post of Mayor of Chicago, he is now presiding over an impossible fiscal crisis, required to raise taxes to unrealistic levels in order to pay off the bribes pension obligations exchanged with labor unions in return for voting support.
Like his pal Hillary, Rahm believes in scripting his responses to questions. Mark Konkol of DNAinfo exposes the degree to which this process is carried out, via a public records request that yielded gold:
The “Daily Press Guidance” prepared for Emanuel’s Dec. 30 news conference on a new police “use of force” policy was complete with “Today’s sound bites,” “In The News Today” topics and scripted responses to expected questions that read like a stage play.
For instance, if a reporter were to ask if the new policy is meant to tell police officers to “stand down? Not to do their jobs? Run from trouble?” the script calls for the mayor to say, “Absolutely not.”
Then the mayor’s “press guidance” includes this stage direction: “TURN TO JOHN,” a reference to then-acting police Supt. John Escalante, whose lines are also included in the script.
Half of the projected questions included in the script called for Emanuel to say a line or two and then “TURN TO JOHN.”

May 28, 2016
Public records request yields hilarious level of scripting used by Rahm Emanuel for a news conference
By Thomas Lifson

NPR Celebrates Public Benefits Recipient As Success Story

[From article]
Listen to this NPR podcast. They are so proud of it that they re-posted it:
Meet a single mother who makes $16,000 a year and managed to fund a vacation at a Caribbean resort with an interest-free loan from one of the world's largest banks.
The report goes on: an abusive husband; her kid tells how much fun he had playing with dolphins at that resort. Meanwhile, pretty much all her expenses – child care, medical care, food, air conditioning, etc. – are taken care of by the government.
And she thanks God! (How about thanking American taxpayers?)
She declares she has never taken welfare! (She does not consider any of the above “welfare” even though our taxes pay for it.) And she talks about coming to America in 1997 and then talks about going back to “her country” for a visit and tells the interviewer to go to “my country” and see how life is there.
She also mentions taxpayer money going to pay for nails being done.
Taxpayer-funded NPR has the gall to say she "may be the single most successful and productive beneficiary of government assistance you'll ever meet."

May 27, 2016
NPR: ‘The Art Of Living At The Poverty Line’
By Ed Lasky

Tropical Disease Spreads Through Middle East

Children suffering from Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, a disfiguring and disabling skin disease (Getty Images )

[From article]
A disfiguring tropical disease is sweeping across the Middle East as a combination of heavy conflict and a breakdown of health care facilities in Isis-occupied areas leaves swathes of people vulnerable to the illness.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis is caused by a parasite in the blood stream transmitted through sand fly bites. The disease can result in horrible open sores as well as disfiguring skin lesions, nodules or papules.
Leishmaniasis has been endemic in Syria for centuries and was once commonly known as the “Aleppo evil”. However, as Syria’s civil war continues the resulting refugee crisis has triggered a catastrophic outbreak of the disease.
Research published on Thursday in the scientific journal PLOS has found the disease is now affecting hundreds of thousands of people living in refugee camps or trapped in conflict zones. A similar situation may also be unfolding in eastern Libya and Yemen.
“We're seeing lots of diseases, including leishmaniasis in these conflict zones and we need to ring-fence them or risk another situation like Ebola out of the conflict zones in West Africa in 2014,” Peter Hotez, dean of the US National School of Tropical Medicine, US Science Envoy to the Middle East, and lead author of the PLOS research told the Digital Journal.
[. . .]

In Syria, the number of leishmaniasis cases reported to the Ministry of Health doubled from 23,000 before the start of the civil war in 2011 to 41,000 in 2013, according to the PLOS research.
Neighbouring countries, which have received millions of refugees are also reporting many leishmaniasis cases. In Lebanon, cases rose to 1,033 in 2013 from six in the previous 12 years. Hundreds of cases have also been reported in Turkey and Jordan.
[. . .]
Dr Waleed Al-Salem, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, told MailOnline: “It's a very bad situation. The disease has spread dramatically in Syria, but also into countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and even into southern Europe with refugees coming in.
[. . .]
“When people are bitten by sand flies - which are tiny and smaller than a mosquito - it can take anything between two to six months to have the infection.
[. . .]
Cutaneous leishmaniasis is one of 17 tropical diseases categorized by WHO as “neglected”. The organisation says greater awareness of the disease, better monitoring, training for clinicians and vector control could go some way to halting the epidemic.

Cutaneous leishmaniasis: Disfiguring tropical disease sweeps across Middle East
Cutaneous leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted through sand flies causes horrible open sores as well as disfiguring skin lesions
Alexandra Sims
May 30, 2016

Egyptian Political Television News Urges Egyptians and Arabs To Kill All Israelis And To Mutilate Their Bodies

Published on May 23, 2016
Egyptian political commentator Nabih Al-Wahsh accused Israel of downing EgyptAir Flight 804, and called for Egyptians and Arabs to kill any Israeli they come across and to mutilate his body. Al-Wahsh, a lawyer, filed a lawsuit with Egyptian courts four years ago in an attempt to abolish the Camp David Accords. Al-Asseema TV presenter tried to stop Al-Wahsh from inciting to violence, but to no avail, as Al-Wahsh called for the establishment of “death squads” that would hunt down Israelis all over the world. The show aired on May 20.

May 26, 2016

Cambridge, MA Firemen Save Woman Trapped After Accident

Cambridge, MA firemen saved an elder woman trapped in her car which crashed on Kirkland Street, Cambridge, at about 5:45 PM on Thursday, May 26, 2016. I did not see the accident but was walking along Kirkland Street as the emergency vehicles were still arriving. Several firemen worked to extract the woman from her car. One fireman actually climbed into the car to free her. She was alert and talking to emergency responders as they strapped her onto a gurney to take her to a hospital. Her car was upside down, and badly damaged, having turned over after the accident. Another vehicle showed damage in the rear from the collision. That driver did not appear to be injured as he spoke with police officers.

Police interviewed witnesses as I left at about 6:15 PM. I do not have images or video. Some bystanders were capturing video on their cell phones. One woman was capturing still images with a camera. Cambridge firemen exhibited their excellent training and preparations. They had the special services vehicle, and four other pieces of equipment on scene. They used iron tools to pry open the doors. They also had available a metal saw, but it was not needed. The woman was freed before they were able to saw off either door. Cambridge police were placed strategically at adjacent streets keeping non essential traffic away. One ambulance was at the scene near the overturned car. EMS workers stood by until, the woman was freed and placed her on the gurney.

May 25, 2016

Cambridge, MA Bicyclist Struck By Car, Robbed

[From article]
The woman was riding her bike on Prospect Street around 2:26 a.m. on May 22 in the direction of Inman Square when a dark-colored truck pulled alongside her, according to reports. She told police after the truck first pulled up beside her, it then pulled behind her in the travel line. The truck reportedly did this several times until it pulled up beside her and sideswiped her, knocking her off the bicycle.
The woman sustained minor injuries to her head, hands and feet. After being struck by the vehicle, her purse, which was stored in a basket on her bicycle, was ejected on the ground. While on the ground, the suspect got out of the passenger side of the truck and ran to her, according to police. The suspect reportedly asked the woman if she was okay, then grabbed her purse off the ground, returned to the truck and fled the scene.

Police: Cambridge cyclist hit by car and then robbed
By Natalie Handy
Posted May. 25, 2016 at 1:15 PM
Cambridge Chronicle

Another High Ranking NYPD Officer Tries To Retire

Deputy Chief David Colon, the commanding officer of Brooklyn Housing, has been put on desk duty.

[From article]
Yet another high-ranking NYPD officer has put in his retirement papers amid the FBI’s gift-for-favors probe into the department, The Post has learned.
NYPD Deputy Chief of Housing David Colon filed for retirement at One Police Plaza on Tuesday – the day after Deputy Inspector James Grant put in his papers, police sources said.
Colon allegedly had close ties to a former Harlem restaurant owner, Hamlet Peralta, who was recently indicted by the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office on charges related to running a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme. Colon has been transferred to desk duty.
The head of Colon’s union said the deputy chief retired for “personal reasons.
“He has a newborn child he would like to devote all of his attention to,” Roy Richter, president of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association, said in a statement.
Five other NYPD honchos caught up in the scandal are expected to file their retirement papers in the coming days, including Deputy Housing Chief Michael Harrington, Deputy Chief Eric Rodriguez and Deputy Chief Andrew Capul, sources said.

Another cop tries to retire amid NYPD corruption probe
By Larry Celona, Shawn Cohen, Jamie Schram and Tina Moore
New York Post
May 25, 2016 | 12:22pm | Updated

Eleven States Sue Feds Over Bathroom Rules

Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announces Texas’ lawsuit.
Photo: AP

[From article]
Officials from 11 states sued the Obama administration on Wednesday, seeking to overturn a directive from the federal government that public schools should allow transgender students to use the bathroom matching their gender identity.
Ramping up the simmering battles over contentious cultural issues in America, the states, led by Texas, accused the federal government of rewriting laws by “administrative fiat.”
“Defendants have conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit accused the federal government of overstepping its constitutional powers by taking actions that should be left to Congress or individual states.
[. . .]
Nine of the 11 states are led by Republican governors.
The state of Texas is the lead plaintiff and was joined by Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia, plus the Arizona Department of Education and the governor of Maine.
School districts from Texas and Arizona also joined the suit, which names the U.S. government and a host of federal agencies and officials as defendants.
[. . .]
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said, “President Obama has no business setting locker room and restroom policies for our schools.”
“School policies should be determined by individual states, educators and parents – not dictated by a presidential decree,” added West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Eleven states sue White House over schools’ ‘bathroom law’
By Reuters
New York Post
May 25, 2016 | 5:05pm

Black Racist Activists Deny Free Speech To Others At DePaul University

[From article]
Milo Yiannopoulos’ event at DePaul University had to be cut short Tuesday night after protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer’s hand, and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos in the face.

Milo Mayhem: Activists Storm Stage, Threaten Milo at DePaul Event
24 May 2016

Florida Teen, 15, Admits Having Sex With Football Players In School Bathroom

The incident took place on Tuesday at South Fort Myers High School. (GOOGLE MAPS)

[From article]
Florida sheriff's detectives are investigating a cellphone video purportedly showing a 15-year-old girl having sex with as many as two dozen boys in a public high school bathroom after school.
A school security camera captured 25 boys entering the restroom on May 17, news media outlets reported.
Lee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tony Schall said Tuesday that authorities originally decided not to pursue any criminal charges from the incident.
But Schall said when a cellphone video surfaced and was sent to news outlets and posted online, detectives and the Florida Department of Children and Families decided to investigate further.
School spokeswoman Amity Chandler would not comment. A note to parents from the principal said students were disciplined "quickly."
[. . .]

News of the incident-turned-viral has circulated on the web for nearly a week while the school district has fought to keep information under wraps. Officials have declined to comment in detail in an effort to protect the children involved,CBS affiliate WINK News reported.
"I am upset about all the attention it is getting, to be honest with you. I feel for all of the students involved," Lee County School Board Member Pamela LaRiviere told WINK.
Five students were initially suspended and 11 others await disciplinary action, according to sources at the Lee County School District, WINK reported.
Students said videos were shared through text messages, the mobile app Snapchat and on social media, which could land students with child porn charges, attorneys said.

May 24, 2016, 5:53 PM
Fla. authorities investigate sex scandal in high school bathroom

* * *

[From article]
This is not the kind of after-school activity parents had in mind.
A number of male students at a Florida High School had sex with a 15-year-old girl in a school bathroom on Tuesday.
A hallway camera at the school recorded 25 boys entering the restroom at South Fort Myers High School after classes were over on Tuesday, according to the News-Press.
A 15-year-old girl would later admit to the principal that she had sex with some of them, according to reports. At least one student was punished for "inappropriate activity."
[. . .]
The incident was reported to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, who in turn notified the special victims unit, according to the News-Press. A cellphone was seized as evidence.
"That is unbelievable. I can't believe it. It's terrible," parent Kevin Ware told NBC 2. "We need to know what was going on during school? Why are the kids out? Where they supposed to be in class? Where were the teachers? A thorough investigation needs to be done."

Girl, 15, admits to having sex with some male students in bathroom of Florida high school
Updated: Friday, May 20, 2016, 4:20 PM

Apple And Samsung Suppliers in China Replace 60,000 Workers With Robots; McDonald's, ADIDAS Too

[From article]
Apple and Samsung supplier Foxconn has reportedly replaced 60,000 factory workers with robots.
One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.
Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."
China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.
[. . .]
"We are applying robotics engineering and other innovative manufacturing technologies to replace repetitive tasks previously done by employees, and through training, also enable our employees to focus on higher value-added elements in the manufacturing process, such as research and development, process control and quality control.
[. . .]
Economists have issued dire warnings about how automation will affect the job market, with one report, from consultants Deloitte in partnership with Oxford University, suggesting that 35% of jobs were at risk over the next 20 years.
Former McDonald's chief executive Ed Rensi recently told the US's Fox Business programme a minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour would make companies consider robot workers.
"It's cheaper to buy a $35,000 robotic arm than it is to hire an employee who is inefficient, making $15 an hour bagging French fries," he said.

Foxconn replaces '60,000 factory workers with robots'
May 25, 2016

* * *

A battery-powered robot serves dishes up to 8 hour a day in a restaurant in Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province

[From article]
A former McDonald's CEO warned that robots will take over staff jobs at the fast food empire - because it's cheaper than employing humans.
Ed Rensi has said that buying highly skilled robotics is a cheaper alternative than employing people on minimum wage to work in the company's worldwide restaurants.
He warned that huge job losses are imminent, and commented that it would be 'common sense' to replace humans in the workplace.

Building robot McDonald's staff 'cheaper' than hiring workers on minimum wage
10:18, 25 MAY 2016
UPDATED 17:32, 25 MAY 2016
The worrying forecast could threaten jobs at the fast food franchise, a former CEO of the company warns

* * *

[From article]
Adidas is relocating some of its shoe production from Asia to the company's homeland — but Germans shouldn't expect a jobs boom.
What is currently done by hand will soon be carried out by robots as part of what the firm calls an "automated revolution."
The sportswear giant unveiled its prototype "Speedfactory" on Tuesday — a 3,000-square-foot, high-tech facility in the southern German town of Ansbach.
The first 500 robot-made high-performance running shoes are scheduled to be rolled out later this year.
"We believe that this is pioneer work for a fully automated production process," Adidas spokesman Jan Runau told NBC News, adding that the facility will mean the firm "will be able to get the desired product to the customer much faster."
[. . .]
A 50,000-square-foot "Speedfactory" is due to be finished in Ansbach by the end of 2016. A second is expected to open in the U.S. next year while a third is also in the pipeline, according to Adidas.

MAY 25 2016, 9:50 AM ET
Adidas Shifts Production — But Robots Get the Jobs

Confessions Of Uber Drivers

[From article]
Most Uber drivers are there to take you from A to B, but for some the job is a chance to get up to mischief, it seems.
Drivers at the transport company have been sharing revelations about their jobs on the anonymous confessions app Whisper - and the stories range from the comical to the sordid.
The workers reveal they've apparently driven while high, cheated on their wives with customers and told sneaky tales to get tips.
Elicit liaisons with customers is one of the common themes.
One contributor confessed: 'My friends make fun of me for taking a condom as a "just in case". I've actually used them three times now.'
Another added: 'I drive Uber to cheat on my wife with no questions asked about my whereabouts.'
Similarly one user admitted: 'As an Uber driver I'm just waiting for those hot drunk women to come onto me.'
One revealed in graphic detail the things that go through his mind when attractive customers step inside the car.
And an additional user said: 'Don't get me wrong, I value conversations I have with my guests. But I can't stop thinking about turning off the meter and taking one of these ladies for the ride of her life.'
Furthermore one more confessed: 'I drive for Uber on the weekends. I hate the drunks but I love all the hot women dressed to the nines.'
Meanwhile, another driver spilled the beans about a sneaky technique used to get tips.
He said: 'When riders ask about me I always tell them about my son with Autism in hopes they will tip. I feel guilty but therapy costs a lot.'
More shockingly, one even confessed to driving passengers while allegedly under the influence of drugs.
They said: 'I was always high while driving for Uber. I was the best.'
Some said they were picky about the clientèle they picked up, with one confessing: 'I don't accept requests from anyone at a strip club, they are the worst passengers.'
And another said: 'I hate driving rich snobs. You are NOT better than me just because I'm driving you around.'
Some confessed to eavesdropping and said they found it hard not to laugh at back-seat chatter.
One wrote: 'The hardest part is overhearing people's conversations and trying to keep a straight face like you heard nothing at all.'
[. . .]
MailOnline Travel has not been able to confirm if the confessions on Whisper are genuine and has asked Uber for a response to them but has yet to receive a reply.

Confessions of Uber drivers: Hitting on hot women, driving while high... and using the job to cheat on oblivious wives
Uber drivers have revealed some 'truths' of their job on the Whisper app
Many have slept with customers they have picked up while doing a shift
One would tell customers about their Autistic son in the hopes of a big tip
PUBLISHED: 03:46 EST, 25 May 2016 | UPDATED: 08:55 EST, 25 May 2016

Facebook Employees Say Conservative Views Suppressed

[From article]
Facebook is being accused of fiddling with its formulas to suppress conservative news.
That’s what some unnamed former Facebook contractors told the tech site Gizmodo—and it’s an accusation that strikes at the heart of the social network’s credibility.
Facebook relies on computer algorithms to determine what is “trending,” an influential designation that inevitably boosts traffic for what are deemed the hottest topics. But unbeknownst to much of the public, Facebook hires journalists to tweak these formulas, and this is where the question of political bias has erupted.

Gizmodo reports that Facebook “routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers,” according to a former journalist who worked on the trending designations. And several former Facebook “news curators” told the website that they were told to “inject” certain topics into the trending list, even if they weren’t popular enough to warrant making the crucial list.
Depending on who was on duty, said the unnamed conservative ex-curator, citing fear of retribution from the company, “things would be blacklisted or trending … I’d come on shift and I’d discover that CPAC or Mitt Romney or Glenn Beck or popular conservative topics wouldn’t be trending because either the curator didn’t recognize the news topic or it was like they had a bias against Ted Cruz.”

Former Facebook staffers say conservative news is deliberately suppressed
By Howard Kurtz
Published May 09, 2016

Privileged University of Missouri Student Protester Accused of Theft, Drugs, Misogyny

Jonathan Butler made news with a hunger strike at Mizzou last year, but some of his online rants are eyebrow-raising. (Heat Street)

[From article]
“Butler did it,” gushed Southern Christian Leadership Conference president Vernon Howard, introducing the graduate student as he made the keynote speech at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration in January. Since November, Butler has made half-a-dozen speeches, including addresses at the law schools of Harvard and Duke.
Perhaps these institutions should have done their research before portraying Butler as a social-justice hero. Heat Street’s review of Butler’s online presence, as well as video reviewed exclusively by the publication, reveals he’s chronically stolen items, denigrated low-income workers, and made troubling comments about women and drugs.
ost of the coverage of the events of last fall focused on claims of pervasive racism at the university, as well as administrators’ struggle to address the demands of student organization #ConcernedStudent1950. But our investigation has uncovered not only past controversial statements by Butler but also other dimensions to the unrest, including pervasive fears about safety on campus, as well as massive backlash from donors, sports fans and alumni.
Last fall, other student activists and social-justice warriors on campus began looking into Butler’s background because he hadn’t been involved in activism at the University of Missouri previously, and they had concerns about his speaking for everyone. Now that things on the campus have settled down, they’ve provided the information they found to Heat Street.
In a blog post from August 2011, titled “My Summer Breakfast Experience,” Butler describes how, for 61 days, he swung by a hotel before work and “decided to indulge myself with ‘free’ breakfast items.”
Butler describes trying to get caught stealing food, making goofy faces in the camera and making sure staff got a good look at his face.
[. . .]

His disdain for low-income Americans is also apparent in another blog post, from July 2011, that was written about his visit to a Subway sandwich shop. Butler describes how he “stormed up to the counter inpatient [sic] and indecisive,” further detailing rude behavior to the worker. He describes watching the worker, “a grumpy older gentleman, about 70-75 years old,” making his sandwich.”
Butler, who grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, is the son of an railroad executive whose compensation in 2014 was $8.4 million, according to regulatory filings.
Some videos published by Butler, also in 2011, are equally controversial.
In one, nearly 15 minutes long that was published to YouTube in March 2011, Butler says he wants to “address the issue—a very important issue—of XX versus XY. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, male and female: which is better.”
Butler and a guest continue to discuss the problem of “ratchet women,” who flirt and generally are not well-behaved, by their reckoning.
“So you’re saying, she jumps from male to male,” Butler says, continuing: “So this would be like in the kingdom, the wild kingdom, where they’re trying to get their prey.”
At one point, Butler asks his guest: “So what he’s saying is that us as men, we don’t have issues, it’s all women, obviously, because what do we do? We just eat, sleep, work, we’re the backbone. Is that what you’re saying? … You’re saying all women are trash, is that what you’re saying?”
Another 9-minute video, posted to YouTube in July 2011, features Butler singing about cooking crack cocaine with his love interest.

Crack, misogyny and stealing from hotels: Meet Mizzou's rich-kid civil rights hero
By Jillian Kay Melchior
Heat Street
Published May 09, 2016

Updated: Smartest Man in The White House, Boasts Of Fooling Voters, Taxpayers About Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted May 18, 2016 10:48 PM ET; Last updated May 25, 2016 5:11 PM ET

Updated May 25, 2016 5:11 PM ET

White House admits it played us for fools to sell Iran deal
By John Podhoretz
New York Post
May 5, 2016 | 8:39pm
* * *

Obama’s storyteller backs off boasts about selling Iran deal
By David K. Li
May 9, 2016 | 1:40pm
New York Post

* * *

State Dept. faces questions over missing tape, amid scramble over WH aide's Iran boast Staff
Posted: May 10, 2016 12:20 PM

* * *

State Dept. faces questions over missing tape, amid scramble over WH aide's Iran boast
Published May 10, 2016

* * *

Former Obama speechwriters laugh at 'you can keep your plan' promise
5/10/16 4:45 PM

* * *

Posted May 18, 2016 10:48 PM ET
[From article]
What a surprise! It was revealed from the highest level that the Obama White House has been downright deceptive and had lied to the American public and media about the nuclear deal with Iran, as well as carrying on secret bilateral negotiations with Iran.
In spite of arguments by the Obama administration to the contrary, it has been clear from the beginning that the nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed on July 14, 2015, will not stop the Iranian effort to develop nuclear weapons.
[. . .]
In spite of U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20, 2015 that calls on Iran not to launch tests of ballistic missiles, this was the third test by Iran. One of the two missiles fired in March 2016 carried the slogan "Israel must be wiped out."
By chance, the ballistic missile testing coincided with the publication of the extraordinary revealing article by David Samuels in the New York Times on May 8, 2016 on Ben Rhodes, the Boy Wonder of the Obama White House, the single most influential voice next to the president shaping American foreign policy.

Rhodes is officially the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications in the Obama administration, but he is really the spin-doctor narrating or fabricating fantasies or half-truths to the mainstream media that he arrogantly seems to despise. The willingness of the media to consume and disseminate the inaccurate information given them has long been known, but the full extent to which the media was spun has now been revealed.
The main revelation was that Rhodes presented the story of negotiations on the nuclear deal with Iran as having started in 2013 due to the fact the moderates in Iran, led by Hassan Rouhani, had won the election and became president. The moderates therefore were influential and were willing to make a deal with the United States. The media believed this, though it was disputed by well-informed individuals such as Leon Panetta, former secretary of defense, who denied any such division between hard and soft Iranians. Rhodes, with evident contempt, regards previous decision makers on Iran and Iraq – the Washington foreign policy establishment, or The Blob, as he calls it, which includes Hillary Clinton – as "morons."

Ben Rhodes, Novelist, White House National Security Deputy

Rhodes's spin was false. The negotiations with Iran had in fact started earlier in 2012, before Rouhani was elected. The White House deliberately spun the view that Iran moderates wanted peace with the U.S. and with Middle East neighbors. What is important is his contempt for the media as well as for the Washington establishment. Rhodes observed that news bureaus today do not have foreign bureaus, as they used to have, and they therefore call the White House to find out what is happening.
The result is that most of the news outlets are reporting on world affairs from Washington. Rhodes said the average reporter he talks to is 27 years old and literally knows nothing. The White House therefore shapes the news and has particular journalists it can use for spreading it and validating what the White House gives them to say. As Samuels writes, "[t]he way in which most Americans have heard the story of the nuclear deal … was largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal."
The consensus in the U.S. today is that the Iran deal was a major political blunder. Of the two main adversaries during the discussion, most informed commentators would agree that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who opposed the deal, was right, and President Obama was wrong.
[. . .]

Two factors are involved in the White House attempt to prevent Netanyahu from speaking. The first expressed by the media was on the wisdom of the invitation, because Netanyahu was going to criticize the Obama policy. Though most of Congress expressed opposition to the negotiations, there was a genuine difference of opinion on them. President Obama believed and still appears to believe that a deal in which Iran agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions was the way to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Netanyahu disagreed on the whole idea and believed that Iran was not negotiating in good faith. Iran has a record of secret uranium enrichment facilities, and Israel was in danger. Netanyahu argued that the sanctions on Iran, the removal of which was the real reason for Iran's willingness to negotiate, should not be removed – in fact, should be increased.
The second factor was the White House spin, which the media highlighted, that the invitation was unconstitutional. Either Rhodes or someone else in the White House invented something called the "presidential protocol." The White House spokesperson on January 20, 2015, slightly off the point, informed the media that the typical protocol would suggest that "the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he is traveling there." The media, though few of whom if any were constitutional lawyers, claimed that such an invitation had no precedent in American history.
One may disagree on whether the invitation was unwise or inopportune, but it was not unconstitutional. There was no breach of any constitutional provision.
[. . .]
The New York Times incorrectly reported that Netanyahu had accepted the invitation to speak before the White House had been informed. This was not true, and the NYT had to issue a correction. Netanyahu did not formally accept the invitation until after the White House had been informed. It was not true, as Earnest had said, that the White House did not know about the invitation until Boehner announced it publicly. The spin converted the difference of opinion on an important issue into a diplomatic row with constitutional implications. In reality, Boehner had earlier in 2011 invited Netanyahu to speak and had informed the White House, which never responded.
Many in the media bought the White House spin and deception that to oppose the nuclear deal was to support Israel against the Obama administration. That made the State of Israel a partisan issue, while in the past support for Israel has been overwhelmingly bipartisan. The White House and the mainstream media owe Netanyahu an apology for their fallacious and dishonorable presentation of a controversial issue.

May 11, 2016
When the White House Lies to the Media, and Laughs Doing It
By Michael Curtis

* * *

[From article]
Ben Rhodes is perhaps the weirdest foreign policy adviser in the history of the White House. His path to his current position as deputy national security adviser for strategic communications was, as this New York Times profile informs us, "perhaps not strictly believable, even as fiction."
Forget his title. Ben Rhodes is "the single most influential voice shaping American foreign policy aside from Potus himself," according to the Times. What makes that so bizarre is that Rhodes has no background in foreign policy at all. He was a failed short story writer who wandered into the orbit of Obama aides almost by accident and served as a speechwriter during the campaign.
But he helped the administration identify friendly reporters and nonprofits who could be counted on to carry a completely false and misleading "narrative" about the Iran deal.
And it worked.
[. . .]

What the Samuels piece shows is that the Obama administration chose to attempt to get its way not by winning an argument but by bringing an almost fathomless cynicism to bear in manipulating its own clueless liberal fan club.
It's amazing how Rhodes sees himself and his role. He refers to the foreign policy establishment as "the blob," and at bottom, he believes he and Obama are the only smart ones in the room.
Samuels's profile is an amazing piece of writing about the Holden Caulfield of American foreign policy. He's a sentimental adolescent with literary talent (Rhodes published one short story before his mother's connections won him a job in the world of foreign policy), and high self regard, who thinks that everyone else is a phony. Those readers who found Jeffrey Goldberg's picture of Obama in his March Atlantic profile refreshing for the president's willingness to insult American allies publicly will be similarly cheered here by Rhodes's boast of deceiving American citizens, lawmakers, and allies over the Iran deal. Conversely, those who believe Obama risked American interests to take a cheap shot at allies from the pedestal of the Oval Office will be appalled to see Rhodes dancing in the end zone to celebrate the well-packaged misdirections and even lies—what Rhodes and others call a "narrative"—that won Obama his signature foreign policy initiative.
[. . .]
All you have to do to discover the extent of their flim-flamming is to look at the talking points about the agreement after the preliminary deal was agreed to in April and compare it with the final agreement in July. The dishonesty in selling this deal to Congress was so profound that we still don't know yet how Iran is interpreting parts of it.
Samuels's profile is very long and, at times, strains credulity that such a creature could become a top adviser to the president. But it also unintentionally reveals how easily the Washington press corps can be manipulated into doing the president's bidding. There was very little objective analysis of the Iran deal, nor any attempt to reconcile what was in the deal with what the administration was claiming in public.
If there had been, it's doubtful that the deal would have gone through Congress.

May 6, 2016
Ben Rhodes admits administration lied to sell Iran deal
By Rick Moran