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Monday, December 31, 2018

Why Won't Obama Let RFK Rest in Peace?

By On December 31, 2018
Following in the footsteps of notable luminaries like Bill and Hillary Clinton, Robert DeNiro, George Clooney and Taylor Swift, the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award was bestowed on Barack Obama.

That's not to be confused with the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights awards which were already given out this year to the teen gun control front group, March for Our Lives and to advocates for illegal aliens.

The award, an ugly misshapen bust of RFK which looks to be permanently grimacing in pain (and who can blame him), goes for under $5,000 on the open market. One of the tchotchkes owned by the Kennedy family was sold for $3,336, which can be cheaper than actually going to the ceremony.

And probably more respectful to RFK whose grave at Arlington ripples at every ‘Ripple of Hope’.

Like France’s Legion of Honour, it’s hard to find anyone who’s anyone who doesn’t have one. (If they haven’t sold them yet to pay for a trip to the Bahamas.) Al Gore and Joe Biden have them on a shelf somewhere. If you visit the Kennedy clan, you’re bound to get one as a going away present.

Giving out awards named after RFK at the Hilton Midtown in New York is one of the few things that the foundation named after him seems to do. Its leadership has undergone a grueling grind of three award ceremonies just this year. But the RFK awards in their glorious meaninglessness help bored New York celebs and CEOs answer the question of what to do when they haven’t picked up an award in a year.

Obama had given away plenty of the ugly little things, so it was his turn to actually get one of his own. His first time at the RFKs had been to hand out the award to ACORN activist Stephen Bradberry, who had insisted that New Orleans was suffering from “a concerted plan to make this a whiter city.”

That was 2005 and both Barry and Bradberry were auditioning for bigger things. Barry made it, Bradberry didn’t. These days his bio lists a few accomplishments. One of them is the claim that, “Bradberry is the only American individual to receive the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award.”

It depends on how you define American.

In 2009, Obama was handing out the little statues of RFK at the White House. If he had any real concern for human rights, he would have done the decent thing and let Robert F. Kennedy rest in peace.

Instead, he showed up grinning and tilting his head for the cameras at the New York Midtown Hilton.

In his acceptance speech, he often spoke of hope. But it’s hard to look at a map of the country or the world and find one place on it that feels more hopeful after his years in office. Are Americans more hopeful than they were in 2008? Are people in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, or South America more hopeful? Where can you find Obama and ‘hope’ together except at the RFK Ripple of Hope awards?

Obama urged attendees at the gala to reject cynicism and embrace hope. Then he sat back down next to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Goldman Sachs executive and top Den donor who bought an ambassadorship from Obama and then bought a gubernatorial election, and is now enmeshed in a scandal involving a sexual assault by a staffer that the perpetually smirking politician chose to ignore.

But mere sexual assaults can no more slow down the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope awards than it ever slowed down the real life Kennedys.

Murphy thanked the people giving him an award for "keeping the legacy and spirit of RFK alive". The legacy and spirit of RFK apparently involves handing out awards to racists, rape enablers and murderers.

Three health care CEOs have received the Ripple of Hope award. As did Bono, Wyclef Jean, George Clooney, Tony Bennett, Robert DeNiro, and Taylor Swift, for dating a member of the Kennedy family. If dating a Kennedy (and surviving) isn’t a true commitment to human rights, I don’t know what is.

Alec Baldwin was there as the emcee for the second year in a row despite recently being arrested and charged with assault after punching a man during a fight over a parking spot. Baldwin’s history of altercations may have prevented him from receiving a Ripple of Hope Award, but it didn’t prevent him from emceeing another of them. Nothing short of murder in broad daylight would have done it.

(Drowning a woman in a car at night or murdering a teenage girl in her backyard also doesn’t count according to the Kennedy code of ethics.)

Also speaking was Tom Brokaw, who recently had his own #MeToo moment.

Sadly, there was no mention of one of the RFK award’s first recipients, Winnie Mandela, who had recently passed away and gone to whatever place the murderers of teenage boys are summoned.

Four years after winning the prestigious human rights award, Winnie Mandela and her thugs murdered Stompie Moeketsi Seipei, a 14-year-old boy, in a failed effort to get him to make a false accusation of molestation against a white Methodist minister active in the fight against Apartheid.

"I slaughtered him like a goat," one of her thugs testified.

Jerry Richardson, the thug, called Mandela, "Mommy", and described beating, killing and torturing people on her orders.

Stompie had been beaten for days, including by Winnie Mandela who used her fists and a whip.

"She was singing when she started the assault on us," another of the RFK Human Rights award winner's victims described.

Yet another victim described Winnie Mandela dancing to the rhythm of the blows.

Another of Mandela’s thugs stated that, “Madikizela-Mandela told me to sing loudly to drown the voices of those being brutally assaulted.”

It certainly puts Alec Baldwin into perspective.

The Robert F. Kennedy award ceremonies are an embarrassment to RFK, who, for all his flaws, didn’t deserve this. No one does. Some leaders hope to have bridges and rivers named after them. Nobody really wants to have the CEO of a health care company and a bunch of trashy cable channels explain how connected to you they feel in their work of killing the elderly and making millennials even dumber.

Discovery CEO David Zaslav claimed that his company was carrying forward RFK's legacy by "informing, inspiring and educating its global viewers with deeply loved content."

It's hard to say whether RFK would have seen his legacy more in Battlebots, Naked and Afraid or Deadliest Catch. Or whether he would come back to haunt the Ripple of Hope awards if he could.

But you can’t deny that when it isn’t handing out worthless awards that make RFK roll over in his grave, that the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights foundation occasionally makes a difference in people’s lives.

Just last October, RFK Human Rights bailed out Tamika West, a career criminal in New York with 27 arrests for burglary, prostitution and drugs, to prove that bail is unfair to “people living in poverty.”

That was according to Kerry Kennedy, who can’t stop handing out awards to random Democrats.

This December, Tamika was busted for stealing toys for needy kids, after lighting a crack pipe, and going on her merry way.

Look for her to be next year’s Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope honoree.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Hillary's Russia Doomsday Scenario

By On December 27, 2018
The Steele dossier, a document produced by Christopher Steele at the behest of the Clinton campaign is ground zero for the Russia conspiracy theory that is tearing apart the country. Even the Mueller investigation has its ultimate roots in the eavesdropping carried out by the Obama administration using the dossier as evidence and the dubious and unverified claims made by Steele in the dossier.

But why did the Clinton campaign ever set out to create such a document?

The Steele dossier has been described as opposition research and it was certainly circulated among reporters in order to spread the Russia conspiracy theory in the media, but its contents were circulated more in the Obama era FBI and the DOJ, and its media rounds seemed more geared to creating stories that would justify a FISA warrant than to any serious effort to sway the electorate with its attacks.

The dossier was never convincing opposition research because its central claim, that Trump was a Russian agent, was too farfetched and detached from election issues to ever connect with voters. It required the complicity of the FBI and the DOJ, and Mueller’s sanction, to give it any credibility.

The dossier’s real role was legal, not political. It wasn’t meant for the tabloids, but to create a pretext for an investigation of Trump and his associates. And so it’s easy to see its usefulness to the Dems today.

But why create a pretext for a secret investigation of Trump before the election was even done?

The FISA warrants had always raised the possibility that the investigation was used to collect information on a rival campaign. And, because of the slow pace of declassification and the lack of a thorough release of information about exactly what was done and who was responsible, that remains a real possibility. But a recent statement by Christopher Steele raises an even more disturbing possibility.

Steele had been hired by Fusion GPS, a smear firm, which in turn had been hired by the Clinton campaign through Perkins Coie.

In response to a lawsuit, Steele admitted that, “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election.”

“Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”

The Steele dossier would have been mostly worthless in a conventional legal challenge of the election outcome, but it was used to launch a very different brand of “legal challenge” that is more often seen in banana republics in which police powers are abused to target the political opposition.

It is highly implausible that the Clinton campaign had hired a firm to investigate the possibility of Russian election tampering as far back as April or June. But it could have been laying the groundwork for a variety of scenarios, including a doomsday scenario in which Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.

It’s a matter of faith among both Democrats and Republicans that Hillary Clinton never expected to lose. And there’s certainly plenty of evidence of arrogance and complacency by the Clinton campaign. But Steele’s reply offers evidence that some people in the Clinton campaign had a doomsday plan.

To understand why, consider the unique natures of both the Clinton and Trump campaigns.

The Clinton campaign wasn’t just a candidacy thrown together a year or two before an election. It was Clintonworld, a political network going back decades, an interface between government, charity and political campaigns, with loyalists whose entire careers had been built around the Clintons. There’s been nothing quite like it in American history. And it all depended on one unappealing politician. Hillary.

Clintonworld had been badly burned by Hillary’s loss to Obama. The Clinton Foundation wasn’t just about Bill and Hillary. It gave Clintonworlders their own embassy with an international presence, employment opportunities and networking. It was the royal court in exile of the Clintons and it allowed them to maintain an army of loyalists to launch yet another bid for the White House.

A second defeat would be catastrophic because it would kill Clintonworld leaving behind an army of unemployed and unemployable Clintonites with egg on their face after having lost yet another expensive election and burned through another vast fortune of donor cash. And few in the golden halls of Clintonworld wanted to take the fall for Hillary’s poor people skills and lack of popular appeal.

They needed a potential election defeat to be illegitimate even before it happened.

But there was something even bigger at stake. Shortly after Steele got to work on his dossier, Trump was cheering the “Lock her up” chants directed at Hillary. The Clintons had done plenty of things to be locked up for. But Clintonworld staffers knew that Bill and Hillary were unlikely to ever go down. If a new DOJ were to seriously go after them, it would be the minions of Clintonworld who would take the fall.

The Steele dossier became Plan B. A doomsday scenario in case the impossible truly happened.

Was Plan B meant to be Hillary’s revenge by bringing down her rival even if he defeated her? Was it a conspiracy to cripple any possible investigation of the Clintons by instead enmeshing Trump in legal troubles? Was it an excuse to eavesdrop on the Trump campaign? A last ditch effort by Clinton staffers to justify their loss? It could be any and all of the above. But the tactics do reveal certain clues.

The Russia theme enabled abuses like the FISA warrant. Any scandal short of foreign espionage would not have allowed the Obama administration and its Clinton allies to pull off their own Watergate. Being able to eavesdrop on Trump allies was crucial to the conspiracy. But false accusations are also revealing. The accusers tend to slander their targets by accusing them of their own crimes to cover them up. What Trump and his allies have been accused of, is what Clintonworld most feared being accused of.

General Michael Flynn was a special target. The NSC had been abused, and so had to be secured. But one obvious personal reason was the "Lock her up" chants. Revenge is a cliché, but it should never be overlooked when it comes to the famously spiteful Clintons. An ongoing investigation building to impeachment looks a lot like the Clintons seeking revenge for Bill.

Would the Clintons have diverted effort and energy from the campaign to plot a doomsday scenario? We don’t know, but a group in the campaign and integrated within the government certainly did.

There’s been a lot of talk about the ‘deep state’. But anyone who knows Washington D.C. also knows that there are many deep states. Some are ideological, most are careerist. Moving up the ladder is about making the right connections. Political patronage isn’t just a necessary evil, but a way of life. Transactional opportunism defines the microscopic political universe of the city that runs the country.

“Lock her up” was less of a threat to Hillary Clinton than to the people who had been doing her dirty work, and everyone who had been doing their dirty work. Even more than the threat of prison, the fall of Clintonworld was a blow to countless careers. And then there were the Obama people who weren’t invested in Clintonworld, but were concerned about the light being shined under their particular rock.

The Steele dossier was a clumsy instrument, but it got the job done. And if it was clumsy, that may be because no one ever thought that it would be truly needed or ever see the light of day. It was badly made because it wasn’t a priority. But then it was truly needed, and it was too late to fix it, so it had to be put into action as it was, with all its errors and absurd nonsense.

The Clinton campaign spared enough resources to create a post-election doomsday weapon. It built the weapon and detonated it. And the radioactivity from the blast has poisoned our political system.

Dirty tricks are part of politics. But few presidential candidates have the spite and hubris to create a dirty trick that blows up the presidency even when it can no longer benefit them in any obvious way.

Hillary Clinton never made history the way she wanted to. But she made history anyway.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

The Great Facebook Wars

By On December 26, 2018
Facebook got its start as FaceMash: a site comparing the attractiveness of female Harvard students. It was then reborn as a social network for Harvard students, Ivy League schools and then everyone.

More recent surveys showed that the average Facebook user in the United States is 40 years old. That makes Facebook users less likely to start stupid viral trends, those tend to come from younger social media apps, some owned by Facebook, and more likely to be deeply engaged in politics.

Mark Zuckerberg had created a company to appeal to college students who wanted to rate the cutest girls on campus, but is instead stuck with a monster worth hundreds of billions (that number will continue fluctuating with media hit pieces) used by people with actual jobs to share family photos and talk politics. And it’s the politics part, not the baby photos, that’s turning the heat up on Zuckerberg.

Despite the hundreds of billions of dollars, the marriage, the language lessons, the awkward tour of America, Zuckerberg is still on some level the drunken college kid who got in trouble setting up a site to rate his classmates. He doesn’t understand the stakes of the game. As Facebook aged, it became an unwanted gatekeeper for global politics, instead of for teens doing viral challenges.

And though Zuckerberg has given the media some of what it wants, allowing its “fact checkers” to censor certain trending conservative stories, he hasn’t allowed Twitter’s wholesale censorship.

Zuckerberg was told he had to clean up Facebook after Trump’s victory. He failed to do it. Now the Left and its media apparatus is coming for the heads of Facebook leadership. The endgame is to inflict punishing harm on Facebook’s valuation, forcing the company to replace its leadership with media types who will lock down Facebook and make it a safe space for the media and for its political agenda.

Facebook’s problem, the media insisted after Trump’s victory, was ‘fake news’. And ‘fake news’ was anything that didn’t come from the media. Or whose content the media didn’t like.

Michelle Goldberg in a New York Times call for regulating Facebook was more direct, “Without Facebook, Donald Trump probably wouldn’t be president, which is reason enough to curse its existence.”

Facebook has been blamed for nearly every populist movement that the Left hates, from Brexit to the victories of Duterte in the Philippines and Bolsonaro in Brazil, Buddhist protests against Muslim violence in Myanmar and the Yellow Jacket riots in France. None of these media hit pieces address the fact that Facebook is just as responsible for successful populist movements that favor the Left, and that social media is an agnostic political tool anyone can use because that is the whole point of the Facebook wars.

The Left doesn’t want anyone to be able to harness the social media tools of populism.

Censoring Facebook is about suppressing political dissent while promoting lefty political speech. And the best way to do that is to turn the media into the gatekeepers of what can appear on the internet.

Many of these hit pieces targeting Facebook came out of BuzzFeed, a viral site that had gotten big by barraging Facebook with listicles and memes, but that had transitioned with Facebook’s aging demographics into the realm of serious politics.

BuzzFeed was uniquely vulnerable and obsessed with Facebook’s algorithms. Jonah Peretti, BuzzFeed's boss, has proposed battling Facebook by merging lefty viral trash sites like BuzzFeed, Vice and Vox together. BuzzFeed’s obsession with Facebook revenues captures the corrupt intersection between politics and profits that is at the heart of the media’s war against Facebook.

George Soros and his ilk want to regulate Facebook because they fear the power of populism. They see the media as a politically reliable entity pushing the public leftward while restraining blowback. The media wants to regulate Facebook because it offers too much scope for uncensored political dissent, but also because regulating its key distributor will lock in a business model that can assure its future.

Facebook became the dog and the media the tail. The media dog wants Facebook to be its tail.

The situation grew direr as digital lefty media’s revenues turned shaky. It’s why BuzzFeed is talking about a merger with Vice and Vox. Lefty media is already heavily subsidized by the huge companies that are making a fortune from the internet. The Washington Post is owned by Amazon’s boss. AT&T owns CNN and helps subsidize Vice. Verizon owns the Huffington Post. Netflix helps subsidize Vox. Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes took over New Republic and turned the former liberal magazine into a trashy leftist clickbait blog that runs stories like, “Facebook Betrayed America”.

The media wants to transform Facebook’s political and business models. Its campaign is backed by lefty billionaires like George Soros, who likely see both political and financial angles in taking over Facebook.

Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and other Facebook leaders are on the Left. They haven’t been resisting the media’s censorship and George Soros’ coup because they believe in free speech, but because their business model depends on free speech. If Facebook is reduced to just recirculating Vox and BuzzFeed lefty clickbait, their failing business model will become Facebook’s failing business model.

Facebook has made concessions to the media mob, but it hasn’t given away everything. If its user base was still in college, it could censor more freely, but an older user demographic is also a more conservative one. As Facebook’s base aged, it also became more conservative. And the brand of comprehensive censorship that the media mob demands would destroy Facebook’s viability.

The new wave of media attacks is forcing Facebook to consider whether it would lose more value from the hit pieces or from defenestrating its user base. As tech stocks decline, the companies have become perfect targets for pressure campaigns. Facebook became the first company to lose over $100 billion in one day. That’s the atmosphere that explains why the pressure campaign was suddenly turned up.

If Facebook is ever going to be rolled, now’s the time.

History is rich and rotten with examples of radicals devouring their own clueless enablers. Silicon Valley is filled with companies that have enabled political radicals. The drivers of Porches, BMWs and Teslas with Bernie 2016 stickers on the back don’t really think that their money will be affected.

The digital darlings of the Left that specialized in social media clickbait bet everything on video and lost their shirts. They plan to survive by devouring Facebook. The dead tree media can’t wait for the cannibalistic orgy. And George Soros is happy to fund the astroturf protests to make it all happen.

The media began its war on Facebook by accusing it of hosting fake news. Now it’s fighting Facebook with false accusations of rigging elections, causing genocide and aiding right-wing populism.

The truth behind the fake news is that it’s about power and profits. The real enemy isn’t Facebook, it’s what it represents, a more open internet in which people aren’t passive consumers of CNN broadcasts and New York Times editorials, but get to choose what they watch, read and listen to. It’s a world of cable cord-cutters and social sharer activists who distrust the media and make up their own minds.

And it’s not an environment that can be controlled except by banning the political opposition.

The Great Facebook Wars are not just about one company; they’re about the structure and nature of the internet. They’re a bid by the media to reclaim a totalitarian top-down business model that has no place in the modern digital age and that cannot be maintained except through a totalitarian regime.

This isn’t about Facebook. It’s about freedom.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Socialism Can Kill You, But It Won't Bury You

By On December 25, 2018
Venezuela, a failing socialist state, has gifted its people with the sixth minimum wage hike in one year. The 150% increase last week won’t help too much because inflation is up to 1.7 million percent.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Minimum wage hikes don’t help when your currency isn’t worth the cost of the paper it’s printed on. That’s literally true in Venezuela, which has tried switching to an even more worthless cryptocurrency.

Forget the #Fightfor15, in Venezuela it’s a fight to afford basic food supplies or even a cup of coffee.

The cost of a cup of coffee rose 285614% in a year and doubled in seven days. Under the new currency, you can grab a cup of the good stuff for 400 bolivars. Too bad that the minimum wage is 4,800 bolivars and 90% of the population is impoverished. It isn’t looking to buy a cup of coffee, but is starving because it can’t actually buy food. Alternatives have included eating zoo animals, pets and wild donkeys.

“Juntos: todo es possible”, the Obamaesque slogan of the regime declaring, “Together, anything is possible”, looms over a frightened starving population from billboards decorated with socialist icons.

The trouble is that anything really is possible. It’s possible to starve to death, to sit in the dark because there’s no power, to be unable to go to work because there’s no fuel, to be killed in food riots by government thugs, to have your savings wiped out, or to die of a treatable illness because there’s no medicine. Socialism has made “anything” possible in Venezuela. But all the possibilities are horrifying.

The regime’s other election slogan was, “Vamos Venezuela”. And Venezuelans are going.

10% of the population has fled Venezuela escaping through Simon Bolivar Airport, which has no water, no working toilets, no air conditioning and barely any power, where government thugs demand money and jewelry from passengers, or just marching on foot to escape the socialist mess any way they can.

Those Venezuelans who remain can’t find medicine, lack drinking water and can’t even afford to die.

The death rate in Venezuela is high. Between gang violence, outbreaks of disease and food riots, the corpses are piling up, and no one can afford to bury the dead.

Two years ago, a public cemetery charged 240,000 bolivars for a burial, while private cemeteries charged 400,000. The casket alone could cost 100,000 bolivars. Not that it matters because caskets have become hard to obtain due to shortages of wood and metal.

The number of zeroes may have changed with the new currency, but has become no more affordable.

Meanwhile, cemeteries, like every business, have seen employees vanish to wait on food lines or work in the black market, which means that not only can’t you bury the dead, but there’s no one to do the burying. Not only did socialism force Venezuelans to wait on line to buy food to live, they also had to wait on line after they were dead. Socialism is defined by the line. You are born into it and die on line.

After funerals became unaffordable, Venezuelans settled for cremating the dead. But the iron law of supply and demand quickly fell into place. As demand for cremation increased, so did the cost.

It wasn’t just the cost of a cup of coffee that doubled in a week: the cost of cremation rose 108%.

Major General Manuel Quevedo , the 2019 president of OPEC, is Venezuelan even as the country’s mourners can’t afford the cost of the gas with which to burn their dead.

Quevedo, a leftist Lenin-praising thug, was dispatched to take control of Venezuela’s collapsing oil industry, but instead dealt it a fatal blow. Protests were put down by force. Anyone who committed the crime of actually knowing anything about the industry was locked up and replaced by a regime loyalist.

The socialist thug ordered workers to denounce anyone who opposed the government. Instead, 25,000 workers out of 146,000 resigned last year. And it’s worse than the numbers make it look because many of those resigning are engineers and managers who can’t be replaced by hiring just anyone.

Under the socialist military regime, oil production fell 29% as drilling rigs lacked crews and fires broke out in refineries. Those workers that haven’t quit have been selling their uniforms in exchange for food.

Fuel shortages broke out in an OPEC nation as its former production of 2 million barrels of oil dropped to 1.2 million. The situation is now so bad that Venezuela will import 300,000 barrels.

Venezuela is so broken that one of the world’s top oil producers and exporters is now forced to import oil to be able to sell it at artificially subsidized low prices to its population and to repay Russia and China. The Maduro regime keeps touting Russian and Chinese deals as the answer, but the problem is that Venezuela only has one thing that Russia and China want, and it’s too socialist to even get at it.

With a worthless currency, Venezuela is paying America, Russia and China in crude and buying back barrels of oil because under military socialist control, its refineries are no longer functional.

It’s also trading natural gas for barrels of oil, and so Venezuela may have the eight largest gas reserves in the world, but the families of the dead can no longer manage to get natural gas to burn the bodies.

There’s no cooking gas, long lines at gas stations and no way to even cremate the dead.

In the final triumph of socialism, Venezuela’s energy industry has collapsed. There isn’t even enough gas left to burn the corpses left in the aftermath of the failed socialist experiment forcing loved ones to dump them in pits and mass graves.

You can’t live under socialism. You can die under it. But you can’t be buried under socialism.

Socialism killed Venezuela as it will kill any country given enough time. First, you run out of other people’s money. Then wage and price controls destroy the supply and demand of the marketplace. And when there’s nothing left in the stores, a government takeover will consolidate the destruction.

It happened in Venezuela. And it can happen here too.

Seven years ago, Senator Bernie Sanders wrote an editorial, claiming that the, “American dream is more apt to be realized in South America, in places such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Argentina, where incomes are actually more equal today than they are in the land of Horatio Alger.”

“Who's the banana republic now?” he asked.

It’s the socialist dictatorship with no food, no power, no water, no hope and true income equality.

Incomes are more equal in Venezuela. Everyone, except the regime and its loyalists, has nothing. Not even a grave in which to bury the dead. That’s not the American dream, that’s the socialist nightmare.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

LA Doubled Homeless Budget, Doubled Homeless Crime

By On December 22, 2018
It wasn’t all that long ago that the nation watched transfixed in horror as fires tore apart California, destroying homes and claiming lives. In all the debates about global warming and forestry management, one singular cause of the fire was left unaddressed.

Global warming wasn’t starting the fires. People were.

Last December, the 422-acre Skirball Fire that forced the evacuation of 700 homes and took 10 days to put out was started by illegal cooking in a homeless encampment. The Leo Baeck Temple in Bel-Air, which celebrates "social justice", even sued Los Angeles (both city and county) over fire damage for ignoring multiple complaints about the homeless encampment and the fire hazard that it posed.

This November, the Los Angeles Zoo had to evacuate its animals over a fire in yet another homeless encampment. That fire not only endangered lives, but diverted resources from fighting the much more serious fires in Ventura County.

But instead of shutting down the encampments, Mayor Garcetti, who has done more to legalize and subsidize homelessness in Los Angeles than any of his predecessors, sent "outreach workers" from the expanding behemoth of the LA Homeless Services Agency to ask them to please move.

That worked about as well as expected.

Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer blasted Garcetti for condoning campfires and refusing to arrest "homeless firebugs" and "vagrants" because there weren’t enough "No Trespassing" signs. “It’s unclear to me how many signs Mayor Eric Garcetti thinks he would need to cover the Santa Monica Mountains behind Bel Air and the Getty Museum," he angrily wrote.

Brush fires are just one of the wages of the legalization and subsidization of the homeless. And while these fires are spectacular, they are not the most dangerous consequence.

Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget to $450 million. Despite that its homeless population had only dropped to 39,826, a reduction of only 256 people. The only surprise in those statistics is that the population dropped at all. Homeless spending has the notorious effect of increasing homeless populations rather than diminishing them as vagrants swarm in and agencies inflate their numbers.

But while doubling its homeless budget didn’t significantly diminish the homeless population in Los Angeles, it did have another spectacular statistical effect on the wellbeing of city residents.

LAPD statistics showed that homeless crime actually increased by nearly 50%, jumping from 5,976 crime reports of homeless perpetrators in most of 2017 to 8,906 crime reports in most of 2018.

Los Angeles had doubled its homeless budget and doubled the amount of homeless crime.

Homeless advocates like to claim that the police wrongly arrest the homeless for quality of life offenses that other people get a pass on. If ordinary people aren’t arrested for public urination or campfires, why should the homeless?

That argument fueled the legalization of homelessness which allowed vagrants to urinate and defecate in public, resulting in businesses fleeing the affected areas, and Hepatitis outbreaks among homeless populations in Los Angeles and other major California cities, and it also allowed them to start fires.

Several epidemics and fires later, not to mention an outbreak of shoplifting and tents being set up in residential areas and outside small businesses, the full scale of homeless legalization looks even worse.

It’s not just the “quality of life” offenses or broken windows policing whose accomplishments helped bring back American cities in the 90s, but which the pro-Crime progressives have been reversing.

LAPD statistics showed that while the homeless were suspects in 4.3% of all crime in Los Angeles, they were the suspects in 12.6% of aggravated assaults. The footprint of homeless crime was three times as high when it came to aggravated assaults compared to the whole general geography of crime.

And that’s not surprising.

Despite the echo chamber of public officials and media talking heads claiming that the homeless are just “ordinary folks” who are down on their luck, the most visible homeless population is the one that stays outside the shelter system, that aggressively camps in public areas and that is mentally ill.

Drive around Los Angeles for a few hours and you will quickly encounter Third World street scenes. Ragged men and women stomp down deserted streets, threatening, cursing and violently gesticulating in the air. Legions of schizophrenics hang out in even the most expensive areas having angry debates with unseen antagonists. And sometimes they take a break from fighting ghosts to punch passerby.

Talk to enough people and the anecdotal stories of being threatened, punched or otherwise assaulted by the homeless population pile up. Most of these assaults aren’t serious and aren’t reported to the police. But they have frightened residents and made them more willing to shovel money into a homeless services system that only encourages and enables the very problem they are hoping to end.

The real story of the homeless crisis is not about economics, it’s about mental illness. And the way it has played out is another demonstration of how leftist activism can manage to wreak havoc on a city, a state or a country on behalf of an incrementally tiny and dysfunctional population.

LAPD statistics show 8,906 crime reports among a homeless population which has been measured at 39,826 people. The crime rate per population in Los Angeles is a little over 3%. Among the homeless, it’s 22%.

Out of 4 million people, 39,826 homeless are responsible for 12.6% or one eight of aggravated assaults.

Less than 1% of the population commits one eight of the aggravated assaults in a city of four million. Meanwhile 4.5% of a budget meant to serve those 4 million is going to 1% of the population.

As it turns out, there is a 1% that is responsible for many of the problems. It’s just the other 1%.

It’s not the people who work harder, who achieve more and who produce more that are the problem. Nor is it the people who have fallen on hard times, but are still looking to get back on their feet.

It’s the people who are wrecking everything.

The greatest lie that leftists have ever told is that they seek to help the less fortunate. They don’t. If they are accidentally helped, that’s collateral assistance. Instead they elevate the most disruptive elements, economically, politically, socially and culturally, in order to wreck cities, states and countries.

Lefty activism insists that everything stop to help that 1% which can’t stop dealing drugs, complaining about microaggressions or urinating in doorways. It inflates their numbers, their suffering and their significance to prop up a narrative of an uncaring society that must be taken over and reformed.

By the Left.

The opposite is true.

It’s not that we care too little. We care too much. The Left took over by playing on that empathy.

Our empathy often overpowers our common sense. We do what feels good, rather than what is good. But our good deeds don’t lead to good outcomes. We legalize homelessness and Hepatitis outbreaks follow among the very people we tried to help. The more money we spend on the homeless, the more homeless there are. And then violence, crime and brush fires break out because we listened to the Left.

The Left wants us to enable criminals and the mentally ill. But when we do that, it not only harms us, it harms them. Mental illness and crime are not social problems. They are individual problems. They only become social problems to the extent that we lose the ability to meaningfully address them. And that not only means that we can’t help ourselves, it also means that we can no longer help them.

California’s homeless crisis is a tragic demonstration of a society losing its values and its sense. The Hepatitis outbreaks, violent assaults and brush fires are just symptoms of what happens when the 99% allow the 1% and its progressive protectors to get away with anything in the name of social justice.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

What the Russian Trolls Were Really Doing in 2016

By On December 20, 2018
What if everything you knew about Russian election trolling was a lie?

That’s the problem faced by two Senate Intelligence Commission reports commissioned from two outside organizations which struggle with the problem of reconciling the facts about Russian election trolling with upholding the Clinton campaign’s conspiracy theory about Trump and the Russians.

The two reports, from New Knowledge and Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, about Russian disinformation serve as their own disinformation campaign, pushing the same false claims that the Russians had sought to help Trump win, even when they were working against him.

New Knowledge is a purely partisan source and its involvement in a false flag operation to fake Russian support for Roy Moore's Senate campaign should disqualify it from ever being taken seriously. Its report amplifies echo chamber conspiracies about Trump, while Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project report is the adult in the room, occasionally conceding the more nuanced reality of the Russian campaign by noting that peak Russian propaganda volume actually occurred long after the election during the Syria missile strike: a key national interest area for Russia. It also confirms what Facebook has already told us, that Russian activity actually increased after the election.

That suggests an influence operation rather than election interference.

It also reveals that the Russians bought over 1,000 ads targeting African-Americans and less than 300 targeting conservatives. There were 81 social justice ads and only 24 patriotism ads, 66 pro-gun ads and 70 LGBT ads, 43 veteran ads and 57 Muslim ads, not to mention 143 Latin American culture ads.

The African-American ads also produced over 1.5 million clicks while the conservative ads produced well below 500,000. The former ads also racked up over 15 million impressions while the conservative ads scored below 6 million. Not only did the Russians seem to spend less time and achieve fewer result by targeting conservatives, but they produced more clicks, 548,139, by targeting Latinos.

So the actual story of Russia’s Facebook operations is that they targeted African-Americans and even Latinos more than conservatives. That would be entirely in line with Russia’s past propaganda, and its influence operations in the United States, but it doesn’t fit the Clinton conspiracy theory.

The Oxford report is even forced to concede that the Russians hit Muslims with “pro-Clinton” messages and that the Russians had “targeted Canadians with ads encouraging donations to Justin Trudeau’s campaign.”

That doesn’t fit the narrative, so it’s dismissed as confusing.

When Russia posted pro-Trump material, it’s touted as proof of Russian backing. But when the Russians supported Bernie Sanders, Justin Trudeau or other leftists, suddenly “it’s not what it looks like.”

But if the Russians had set out to influence elections in swing states (a popular lefty conspiracy theory) they were doing a particularly terrible job of it since 152 ads targeted New Yorkers, 127 ads were aimed at Texans, 75 at Californians and only 42 at people in Florida. Pennsylvanians were neglected with only 25 ads while Georgians were barraged with 119 ads.

The Russians gave Iowa the cold shoulder, with only 1 ad, while throwing 6 ads at Alaska.

Missouri was barraged with the most ads, but that seemed to have a lot more to do with Russia’s African-American outreach than an election strategy. This wasn’t a strategy to influence key swing states since the Russians targeted or neglected states for reasons having very little to do with their status.

Just ask Nevada and Colorado, both of which were ignored, while Louisiana was bombarded.

Meanwhile on Twitter, “Right and left activity levels tracked closely together, at almost even levels, until early 2017. By the middle of 2017, there was a marked surge of activity focused on conservatives.”

The Oxford report may be more nuanced, but ultimately, like the New Knowledge report, it exists to service a Clinton campaign conspiracy theory denying the legitimacy of the election.

But it’s vastly better than the New Knowledge report. That’s not surprising considering the source.

New Knowledge claims that it was inspired to set up shop by ISIS and Gamergate. The bizarre equation of Islamic beheading videos and protests by gamers against unethical behavior by gaming journalists neatly sums up its radical slant.

When NK’s CEO Jonathon Morgan talks about “extremists”, he means Republicans. “Radicalization didn't start on mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It was festering for years in spaces you never think about, like the comments section of Breitbart.” He tweeted.

NK’s non-profit arm, Data for Democracy, appears to receive funding from Pierre Omidyar, a French-Iranian billionaire bankrolling leftist initiatives and sabotage efforts aimed at Trump and Republicans.

Raina Kumra, a director at the Omidyar Network, writes that she led "investments" in, among others, Data for Democracy. And on Twitter, DFD thanked the Omidyar Network for its "continued support". The Omidyar Network’s most famous product is The Intercept, a pro-terrorist site which has justified anti-Semitic violence by Islamic terrorists and which famously served as a platform for Edward Snowden.

Morgan’s past also includes time at the famously Qatari-funded Brookings. And The Intercept has also allegedly served as a clearinghouse for Qatari election tampering and propaganda. The next vectors for the Russia conspiracy theory have been Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE: all enemies of Qatar.

The Senate Intelligence Committee hired a firm which appears to have received funding from a deeply partisan source that was used to aid Russia’s biggest intelligence coup against America in a generation to analyze a Russian disinformation campaign. This may be their worst decision since hiring James Wolfe.

And NK’s leadership uses the phantom menace of Russian propaganda to call for internet censorship.

When Facebook leadership attempted to investigate a campaign funded by George Soros, a notoriously anti-Semitic leftist billionaire, NK’s Morgan tweeted, “Facebook and the other social media companies should not be trusted to police themselves. The self-serving attempts to undermine the credibility of those holding these companies accountable are reprehensible.”

The core message of censorship had already been put out last year by NK’s Director of Research Renee DiResta in a piece titled, “Why Facebook and Twitter Can’t Be Trusted to Police Themselves”. Social media companies, she insisted, must ensure that their users see “authentic information".

Who decides what’s "authentic information"? The usual answer is media fact checkers.

People, in DiResta’s worldview, are passive consumers of information or misinformation who must be protected for their own good from the consequences of an open marketplace of ideas on social media.

She proposes an "independent government agency" that would regulate the "marketplace of ideas".

The Oxford report is more subtle, but finds its way to the same place. “We need to develop stronger rules and norms for the use of social media,” it insists. “We cannot wait for national courts to address the technicalities of infractions.”

These arguments, equating government responsibility to oversee financial transactions with a responsibility to monitor the legitimacy of ideas, to protect people from malfunctioning consumer products and protect them from dangerous ideas, are deeply disturbing false analogies.

"Democracy is predicated on an informed electorate," DiResta told CNN. "Things like misinformation, radicalization, pushing people into conspiratorial groups and then profiting from that because it drives engagement, that's just not a viable state for the information ecosystem to be in."

But who decides what’s information and what’s misinformation?

There are two possible answers. Individuals can decide these things for themselves. Or some central agency, corporation, regulatory body, or media echo chamber can be put in charge of deciding them.

Are the claims that Trump is a Russian puppet a conspiracy theory? Or is the claim that the Russia conspiracy theory is an attempt to overturn the election a conspiracy theory?

You can decide for yourself. But the people pushing the former theory would like to decide for you.

NK’s report pushes the conspiracy theory that Russia was backing Trump. It reconciles Russian engagement with leftists as part of its pro-Trump agenda. This is a classic example of a conspiracy theory in that it treats contradictory information as affirming, rather than contradicting, its central thesis by revealing a deeper level of the conspiracy.

Conspiracy theorists begin with a central truth that is fundamental to their worldview, in this case, the illegitimacy of Trump. All new data, no matter how contradictory, is used to support that truth.

And so the Senate Intelligence Committee brought in anti-Trump conspiracy theorists, with links to foreign interests, to produce a report propping up their conspiracy theory about foreign interests.

Morgan and DiResta keep calling for transparency, but New Knowledge doesn’t list its clients and Data for Democracy doesn’t list its donors. The same people who keep claiming that our elections are being influenced won’t say who’s influencing them. In the nebulous environment of the internet, we are told to distrust everyone and everything, except the people feeding national distrust at the highest levels.

That’s what the Russians did. It’s what the media and its political allies are doing.

In a free society, everyone gets to decide what is information and misinformation. Truth isn’t determined by spurious scientism nor is debate silenced with dark murmurs about foreign interests.

The Russia conspiracy crowd tells us that we have to “protect our democracy” through censorship. Censorship doesn’t protect democracy. Just ask the people living in any dictatorship. Including Russia.

Only totalitarian movements believe that people need to be “protected” from different views.

The Russians set out to divide Americans by sowing mistrust in our institutions. A conspiracy theory pushed by a Russian intelligence source to a British ex-intel agent hired by the Clinton campaign to manufacture opposition research against Trump, that was then circulated by Clinton allies in the media and government to justify everything from eavesdropping on Trump allies to questioning the legitimacy of the election, allowed Moscow to succeed beyond its wildest expectations.

Our politics now inhabits a vast media echo chamber in which paranoid conspiracy theories advanced by special interests are used to justify the destruction of democracy and free speech on the internet.

The new war against disinformation is based on disinformation. Its strategy for winning isn’t truth, but censorship. Every populist movement from America to Europe to Asia that the Left disapproves of is immediately blamed on a Russian conspiracy enabled by an unregulated social media.

The past two years have produced a bumper crop of fake patriots warning that the only way to defeat Russian “fake news” and “protect our democracy” is to put them in charge of censoring the internet.

The best way to “protect our democracy” is with free speech. A genuinely free press creates trust by enabling debate. The media oligarchy that we have now creates mistrust and a perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories and fake news, because of its abusive power and disregard for the truth.

People instinctively trust free institutions and distrust information distributed by central authorities.

Censoring the internet won’t make Americans more likely to trust the media. Like the Russians in the Soviet Union, they will instead believe that whatever the media reports, the opposite is true.

The Russians can’t destroy America. Only Americans can do that.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Israel and the Structural Islamic Discrimination of the UN

By On December 17, 2018
What do Cuba and Iran, Venezuela and Qatar, Vietnam and Somalia, and China and Pakistan have in common? They all voted to protect Hamas, a genocidal Islamic terrorist group, at the United Nations General Assembly against a United States resolution condemning “Hamas for repeatedly firing rockets into Israel" and for abusing civilian infrastructure to attack Israel instead of dealing with its supposed humanitarian crisis.

Muslims condemn terrorism. But they do so in general terms while supporting it in specific cases.

The United Nations resolution condemning Hamas was a typical example of the problem. Despite complaints about bias at the UN, the American resolution actually picked up a majority of the votes with 87 countries voting for the resolution, 57 countries voting against it and 33 countries abstaining.

It did not however manage a two-thirds majority because a bloc of Muslim and leftist countries voted against it. 38 out of 58, the majority of the votes defending Hamas, came from majority Muslim countries: Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Libya, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Gambia, Niger, Comoros, Guinea and Djibouti.

65% of the pro-Hamas votes came from majority Muslim nations.

Another 5 of the votes came from Muslim minority countries: Mauritius, Suriname, Nigeria, Congo and Mozambique.

That means 74% or three-quarters of the pro-Hamas vote came from majority or minority Muslim countries accounting for the vast majority of the total.

And then there’s Russia and China, which along with their satellites like Belarus, Latvia, Mongolia and Laos, backed Hamas. The Russians effectively created the “Palestinians” and are hostile to America so any other vote would have been unimaginable. And China also finds it useful to support Islamic terrorists in Israel even as it ruthlessly cracks down on its own domestic Muslim population. In a cynical tradeoff, Muslim countries don’t object to China’s Islamic repression as long it backs them on Israel.

But while Russia and China aren’t Muslim minority countries because their overall populations are so large, their Muslim minorities are still huge enough to be larger than some of the countries on this list with over 10 million Muslims in Russia (more in its areas of influence) and over 20 million in China.

Add Russia, China and their satellites to the list, and 49 out of 58, or 84%, the vast majority of the pro-Hamas votes, came from countries with large percentages or numbers of domestic Muslims.

This sums up the structural problem of religious discrimination that Israel faces at the United Nations.

Only 1 majority Muslim country, Albania, and four minority Muslim countries, Eritrea, Malawi, Singapore and Macedonia, voted to condemn Hamas.

Albania is however that extremely rare Muslim majority country whose constitution not only does not state that it is based on Islamic sharia law, but declares that it has no official religion making it the least Islamic Muslim country around. At 12%, its Muslim population has a lower support level for Sharia law than Russia, where support hovers in the 40% range.

Nor do any of the minority Muslim countries have Muslim leaders or governments.

Aside from Israel’s various other problems at the United Nations, it faces a structural problem of Islamic religious discrimination. And as long as religious Muslim countries vote in lockstep to support Islamic terrorists and oppose their Jewish victims, UN votes will be inherently discriminatory and illegitimate.

A/73/L.42 Activities of Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza failed, but its failure brought attention to the core of the problem. As UN Watch documented, some countries undermined the resolution by voting to require a two-thirds majority, or abstained from the vote, and then voted against Hamas, even as they knew their votes would be irrelevant. But that’s just the symptom of a bigger problem.

In the final vote, a coalition of Muslim majority and minority countries, supplemented by a few Marxist leftist governments joined forces to protect Hamas. The Marxists in Bolivia, Cuba, Laos, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and South Africa would not have been enough to make a difference on their own.

And Russia has a lot fewer satellites these days than it used to.

In the seventies, Kosygin could deploy Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Albania and a laundry list of Soviet bloc countries to impose the UN's infamous 'Zionism is Racism' resolution. While Putin has to be content with Belarus, Mongolia and Latvia, while fighting for control of little pieces of Ukraine (which voted against Russia and Hamas.)

The Left and the leftovers of its old regimes in Russia and China make very useful Islamic allies, but the days when the Left was the center of the anti-Israel bloc ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Islamic countries used to be the tail that Moscow wagged. These days, Moscow is the tail of the Islamic dog with Russia spending blood and treasure in Syria to help the Shiites hang on to Damascus, and then, after all that work, having to be satisfied with playing second fiddle to Iran in Syria.

During the Cold War, Islamic countries were the collaborators in a leftist war against the free world. These days it’s the leftist leftovers that have become collaborators in an Islamic war against the West.

That is the simple fact that drives everything from geopolitics to domestic terrorism. Where leftists once recruited Muslims into its global and domestic war, they have become accomplices in the Jihad.

As the clash of civilizations shifts from a secular to a religious war, Israel’s role only grows more pivotal.

And that also transforms the character of United Nations hostility to Israel from an ideological anti-Semitism to a theological anti-Semitism. The Albanian exception at the Hamas vote is significant because it shows that the character of Islamic hostility to Israel is not merely nationalistic or cultural, but religious. When religious Islamic countries, but not a secular Islamic country, vote to protect an Islamic religious movement’s terroristic war against Israel, that is an act of religious discrimination.

Israel’s inability to get a fair hearing at the UN is no longer a matter of ideology or politics, but a manifestation of structural Islamic supremacism due to the makeup of the UN General Assembly.

Every discussion of UN resolutions targeting Israel must begin and end with that simple fact.

And, as Islamic migration transforms Europe, and then America, Canada and Australia, the structural problem of religious discrimination will only worsen to become thorough and overwhelming.

The UN frequently condemns Israel. It had the opportunity to condemn Islamic terrorism against Israel. Instead a coalition of Islamic countries and their leftist camp followers stood with Islamic terrorism making it clear that this is not about human rights or justice, it’s about Islamic supremacism.

As long as the UN remains a vehicle for Islamic supremacism, it will remain illegitimate.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

20 Years of Muslim Terror in the "Capital of Christmas"

By On December 16, 2018
On the second day of Christmas, the only things stirring in some apartments in Frankfurt, Germany, were some Muslim refugees, the German cops smashing through the door and the chemicals in their kitchen bomb labs which they had been plotting to use to commit mass murder a year before 9/11.

It was the year 2000. And Muslim terrorism was far from unknown, but still a little bit exotic.

While the Algerian terrorists did not prove very cooperative, their home videos were very evocative, especially a shaky video videotape taken by Salim Boukari at the Christmas market in Strasbourg, France.

"This cathedral is Allah's enemy," the Algerian Muslim refugee narrated as he watched the cheerful shoppers outside the Strasbourg Cathedral.

"These are the enemies of Allah. They dance and are happy. You will go to hell, Allah willing."

As the home of the European Parliament and, around this time of year, the “Capital of Christmas” with lavish displays marketing to tourists from around the world, Strasbourg was a natural target.

The massive Al Qaeda terror plot in Strasbourg targeting the cathedral, Christmas market, possibly a synagogue and European Parliament building would have brought together Muslims from Spain, Germany and the UK in a grandiose plot that might have included the use of nerve gas and bombs.

Instead the Muslim refugee terror plot was broken up.

Boukari, who had tried to claim political asylum in the UK, had his conversation with Abu Doha, the terrorist mastermind and another refugee, intercepted.

Aeurobui Beandali, the bomb builder, was another refugee who had come to Germany as a minor, applied for asylum, and committed thefts and assaults. Despite a deportation order, he stayed in Germany and began selling drugs, carrying out robberies and then made it out to terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. He then used that training to work on a pressure cooker bomb.

At the trial, Lamine Maroni, a Muslim refugee who had applied for political asylum, quoted the Koran, declared that non-Muslim were dirt, accused everyone in the courtroom of being Jews, and refused a lawyer because, "Allah will defend me."

Allah didn’t do a great job. But he didn’t have to. It was a European court, so the terrorists were only sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in prison. That was well below the legal maximum of 15 years. Maroni got 11. Boukari, who mocked the judges, got 12.

That means they’ve been free men for a while.

Abu Doha, the mastermind of the attack, had a special hatred for Christmas. The United States had been looking for him over the LAX bomb plot on New Year’s Eve. But Doha was another Muslim refugee who had applied for political asylum in the UK in the 90s. And his lawyer claimed that he couldn’t get a fair trial in America. When last we heard from him, he was in the UK under house arrest.

While the Strasbourg Cathedral bomb plot, as it came to be known, faded from memory, the threat never went away. It just fell to a new generation of Muslim terrorists to carry it out.

"This cathedral is Allah's enemy," a Muslim refugee had declared in Strasbourg in 2000. “You will go to hell, Allah willing.”

On December 11, Cherif Chekkat, a Moroccan Muslim terrorist, opened fire at the Christmas market in Strasbourg. As bullets cut through the shoppers, he cried, “Allahu Akbar”.

What North African terrorists had failed to do for Allah in Strasbourg in 2000, a North African terrorist was doing now.

Cherif Chekkat’s story echoes his Jihadist predecessors who had plotted mass murder in the same place. Like them, he was a criminal who turned to terrorism. Despite a reported 27 convictions for theft and assault, he remained on the loose.

On the morning of the attack, he was due to be arrested for attempted murder.

Like his Jihadist predecessors, Chekat had operated and been arrested in Germany. And had been deported last year from Germany to France.

But Chekkat was very different from the members of the Frankfurt cell, whose work he had completed, in one disturbing way. While they were mostly refugees who had migrated to Europe, he was born there. In the time between the original Strasbourg Cathedral bomb plot and the latest attack, a generation of homegrown Islamic Jihadis had been born and bred on European soil.

Chekkat and the 12,000 Islamists on the terror watch list are the new generation of Islamic terror. Despite the watch list and the Christmas market security zone, he was able to carry out his attack.

Eighteen years later, few meaningful precautions had been taken to stop Islamic terrorist attacks even though Christmas market terror plots have lately become ubiquitous in Europe.

In 2016, the Kindergarten bomber, a 12-year-old Iraqi boy, had planted a nail bomb in the Christmas market in the German city of Ludwigshafen.

That same year, a North Africa Muslim refugee drove a truck into the Berlin Christmas market killing 12 and injuring 56 until it came to a halt on a trial of blood with its back wheel resting against a market stand boasting of the "magic of Christmas".

And then there were the alleged failed Christmas bomb plots in the UK and Belgium. A total of 29 lone wolves were busted in Christmas terror plots in the UK, Australia, Brussels and France.

One of those plots was centered once again on Strasbourg with the arrests coming five days before the opening of its famed Christmas market. The seven arrests were announced in Strasbourg and Marseille preventing, what was described as, "a long-planned terror attack."

Four of the arrests were made in Strasbourg.

One of the arrested men had worked for the Strasbourg government on "special events".

The plot has been largely kept secret by French authorities, but was allegedly, “an action envisaged by the Strasbourg group for the first of December.”

Potential targets might have included the Christmas market on the Champs-Élysées, rather than in Strasbourg.

That same year, 7 Muslim settlers from Strasbourg were convicted of having gone off to join ISIS. The 7 were part of a group of 10. Of those 10, 2 were killed in the fighting in the region.

One man, Foued Mohamed-Aggad, came home, slipped past the authorities, and helped kill 90 people in France in the Bataclan attack.

After the long trail of Islamic terrorism leading out of Strasbourg, it was inevitable that a Muslim terrorist would strike in the French city and finish what the Frankfurt cell had started in 2000.

Death and terror had been deferred at the Christmas market for eighteen years.

And then Cherif Chekkat, one of the numberless North African Muslims crowding France’s terror lists, slipped past the security zone and opened fire, killing tourists in the “Capital of Christmas”.

The attack was inevitable.

Individual Islamic terror plots can be prevented, as had happened twice in Strasbourg, but the sheer momentum of Islamic terror is a relentless force whose motivating power is the Islamic population.

You can no more stop Islamic terrorism than you can stop crime or end poverty. But, unlike crime and poverty, Islamic terrorism is not a human condition. It is an Islamic condition. It is inevitable in Islamic countries and in those countries that choose to maintain Islamic populations with their infrastructure of Jihadist mosques and Islamist organizations interlinked with counterparts in their mother countries.

After the 2016 plot, Strasbourg’s Christmas market was sealed off. Pedestrians approaching the market were searched in security zones. It might have been enough. But it wasn’t.

Cherif Chekkat got through with a knife and a gun. He shouted, “Allahu Akbar” and began to kill.

Strasbourg Mayor Roland Ries told a TV station that, "life must go on."

It's a familiar refrain in the cities targeted by terror.

And life will go on. Until the next attack. And the one after that. Until everyone learns the lessons of Strasbourg and the shadow of Islamic terror no longer hangs over the “Capital of Christmas.”

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Muslim Migrants Terrorize a Sleepy German College Town

By On December 12, 2018

That’s how many crimes one single Syrian migrant had allegedly committed since entering Germany four years ago. He had already been wanted for drug trafficking and had been investigated for a rape last year. And then he struck again, this time in a case that has once again torn apart a sleepy college town.

Freiburg is a German city of 226,000 people. Foreigners make up 36,800 or 16% of the population. Of the foreigners in Freiburg, whose name means fortified city of free people, 18,750 or 8.5% are men.

Even though foreigners are only a small percentage of the population, they commit 42% of the crimes.

These days, Freiburg is mainly known as a college town. One site describes it as the “sunniest and warmest city in Germany” with a "progressive mindset" and "a remarkable commitment to the environment". The University of Freiburg’s 30,000 college students make the area a magnet for parties, clubs and eateries catering to the booming student population. And for those who prey on the students.

The medieval cobblestone streets of Freiburg bulging with bars aimed at college students had come to host a very different population as a mass of Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and others claiming to be refugees poured into Germany. Facilities catering to refugees quickly popped up all over the sleepy college town.

Unaccompanied minors, migrants, many of them claiming to be underage when their actual ages ranged into the twenties and even the thirties poured into Freiburg. By November 2016, 577 of these ‘minors’ had showed up in Freiburg. And crime, drugs, theft and sexual assaults came traveling along with them.

Trouble had already been reported at the White Rabbit, a trendy club where sexual assaults by refugees have become routine. Reports even described men forcing their way into women’s bathroom stalls. A refugee reportedly attempted to assault a woman in the bathroom and the dance club soon announced that it would not allow asylum seekers inside. “This is not an easy thing to do but we see no other way as currently we are experiencing problems with refugees,” it said in a statement.

On New Year’s Eve of that year, the wave of refugee sexual assaults taking place across Germany, most notably in Cologne, reached Freiburg with two women being assaulted by seventeen men.

But none of that had any impact on the eagerness of the Freiburg establishment to continue welcoming in migrants. Even as the violence grew worse, Freiburg followed Merkel’s slogan, “Wir schaffen das” or “We’ll make it work.” Refugee violence was only a minor obstacle on the road to integration.

The University of Freiburg has a special refugee initiative, as do other educational institutions in the area. The City of Freiburg commissioned rapid prefabricated housing that could hold hundreds of refugees. It hasn’t asked any of the difficult questions about what those refugees will do in Freiburg.

The “progressive mindset” made Freiburg a very welcoming destination for Muslim migrants; and for the crime and violence that has come with the great migratory wave from the terrorlands.

In 2017, Syrians had committed 282 of crimes in Freiburg. The Turks were responsible for another 246, the Iraqis for 158, the Algerians for 141, the Afghans for 121, the Tunisians for 77, the Moroccans for 76, the Somalis for 69, and the Albanians tying the Pakistanis for 59 for a grand total of 1,288 crimes committed by immigrants from Muslim majority countries.

But those statistics also conceal the human cost of migration to Europe from Muslim countries.

In March, Hussein Khavari, an Afghan refugee, was sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of Maria Ladenburger, a 19-year-old med student volunteering for a refugee charity, in Freiburg. Khavari had already been sentenced to 10 years in prison in Greece after pushing a woman off a cliff. Then, even though evidence shows that he was in his thirties, the Greeks released him as a juvenile offender.

The monster continued on to Germany where he pulled the same scam and attacked another woman. His previous victim had been twenty, his new victim was nineteen. His previous victim had survived, but the Muslim refugee made sure that Maria wouldn’t, by strangling her and then drowning her.

In October, 7 Syrian men were arrested in Freiburg for the gang rape of an 18-year-old woman. The assault, like many others, took place at a club. And, like a number of other assaults, rape drugs were involved. The female student had gone out to celebrate with a friend. Someone had slipped her a drink.

The first Syrian rapist assaulted the woman in the bushes. After he was done, he went into the club and called on his friends to join in.

The suspects include a Majid, an Ahmed, a Muhammad, a Munahad, an Alaa and a Jekar. Some of the Syrian men also allegedly had links to terrorist groups. A number had posted pictures of themselves brandishing guns on social media. The full number of attackers may be in the double digits.

The alleged rapists lived in refugee housing around Freiburg. They had previously come to the attention of the authorities for drugs, assaults and robberies. And still they weren’t deported.

One of the suspects is a refugee who had come to Germany in 2015 during the great migration.

Majid and another of the suspects had already been suspected of the rape of another 20-year-old woman in her home. And Majid had also been suspected of committing yet another sexual assault. He was also due to be arrested shortly for drug trafficking, but before the police could take him in, he struck again and destroyed a young woman’s life.

"In Freiburg, there is no room for criminals and such terrible crimes," Mayor Martin Horn insisted.

But the evidence tells another story.

Sexual assaults have been rising in Freiburg with over 50% of the suspects listed as foreigners. The parties are slowing down. There are more bouncers than ever around the club. And fear is in the air.

Muslim migrants have turned a sleepy German college town, a place once known for having the most sunshine in Germany, for its Black Forest hikes and its nearness to France and Switzerland, into a place where college students are stalked by predatory refugees. The “sunniest place” in Germany has become a place of shadows, and its progressive mindset has turned a city of free people into hunted prey.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Have a Very Intolerant Day

By On December 10, 2018
November 16 was National Button Day, National Fast Food Day and International Tolerance Day: if you’ve never heard of International Tolerance Day, that just shows how intolerant you are.

International Tolerance Day was celebrated at the World Tolerance Summit at the Armani Hotel in Dubai. A photo of the event shows three Arab Muslim men in burnooses sitting under the Summit's subtitle, "Prospering from Pluralism: Embracing Diversity through Innovation and Collaboration."

The UAE is an Arab Muslim entity. Good luck obtaining citizenship if you aren’t an Arab Muslim. Leaving Islam is forbidden, but the government has a special site encouraging infidels to convert to Islam.

Diversity is great. As long as it’s limited to Muslim men. Pluralism is fantastic. But you’re not allowed to leave Islam. And tolerance is applied equally to Muslim men and other Muslim men on Tolerance Day.

Like most terrible global ideas, International Tolerance Day was invented by the UN. Or specifically by UNESCO around the time that Bosnia and Herzegovina joined up before becoming enmeshed in a genocidal war. Because nothing says tolerance like genocidal ethnic conflicts at the United Nations.

Key conferences were held in Russia, Korea and Turkey: three countries in a permanent state of war.

The Turkey tolerance conference featured a renewal of Turkey’s emergency law after over 10,000 Kurds were killed by Turkish authorities. After the Korean tolerance conference, North Korea sent armed infiltrators across the border. And during the Moscow tolerance conference, Chechen Islamic terrorists attacked a hospital and took thousands of hostages. The 1995 score read: Intolerance 3, Tolerance 0.

But that’s always the way it is at the UN where tolerance is on the menu, but never on the plate.

International Tolerance Day led to the Year of Tolerance in 1995. It wasn’t very successful as the Bosnian War was still going on, the First Chechen War was underway, and the Taliban were wrapping up their takeover of Afghanistan. The Turks were tolerantly killing the Kurds, the Kurds in Iraq were killing each other, Bill Clinton decided to bomb the Serbs, and the United Nations retreated from Somalia.

And that was the last Year of Tolerance.

The Year of Tolerance Hell spawned the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize to commemorate the Year from Tolerance Hell and the 125th birthday of Gandhi, who had urged the British to surrender to Nazi Germany and suggested that “the Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher's knife.”

Since then a day of tolerance is about as much tolerance as anyone could manage.

Tolerance Day sits on the imaginary UN calendar between World Philosophy Day, and World Toilet Day. Like every UN holiday, it’s an utterly useless exercise in spreading awareness of things and of making commitments to improve or end other things whether they be philosophy, tolerance or toilets.

The 25th anniversary of International Tolerance Day has passed with less fanfare than World Toilet Day. UNESCO hasn’t become famous for promoting tolerance, but for spreading anti-Semitism. In October, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Permanent Observer to UNESCO described the ugly scene after the historical moment when the first UNESCO French-Jewish director-general was inaugurated.

"The day that Azoulay was inaugurated, I left the ceremony with some 15 Ambassadors and UNESCO officials. Number 3 in the hierarchy ran after me. In earshot of his colleagues, he shouted: 'Shimon, are you now happy to have your Jew as director-general?'”

That’s what tolerance look like at UNESCO and the UN.

According to UNESCO, its mission is to “deepen the binds of a single humanity, through understanding, dialogue and knowledge.” And occasional anti-Semitism. Hating Jews is one of those few things that Islamist sheikhs, European technocrats and American social justice crybullies can all agree on.

What better way to bind humanity together than finding common ground on hating Jews?

That’s why UNESCO, like the rest of the UN, divides its time equally between pointless hearings and sessions whose only purpose is justifying the hefty restaurant budgets of its personnel, and blaming Israel for everything under the sun, and in solar systems, galaxies and universes far beyond the sun.

As Hitler and Stalin knew, you can’t “deepen the binds of a single humanity” without hating and murdering a whole lot of people in general and Jews specifically along the way.

And Tolerance Day doesn’t look much better in America.

Tolerance Day is hard enough. Don’t even think about expanding it to a year, a month or even a week.

Last year, Riverside-Brookfield High School in Illinois tried to expand it into Tolerance Week with Monday as Gender Equality Day, Tuesday as LGBT Pride Day, and Friday as Minority Empowerment Day. Board members and parents objected to the left-wing agenda. Pro-tolerance board members then expressed intolerance toward Trump supporters. And an intolerant time was had by all.

At Gonzaga University in Washington State, this year’s International Day of Tolerance involved the director of the Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane accusing white people of intolerance.

The trouble with tolerance is that tolerant people rarely go around advocating it. Tolerant people tolerate, rather than advocate. And tolerance advocates urge intolerance in the name of tolerance. Much like destroying the village to save it and making peace by fighting wars, the tolerant are the most intolerant people around. That’s why the International Day of Tolerance began with genocide.

The United Nations says all the right things and does all the wrong things. The tolerant ends always justify the intolerant means whether at UNESCO or Riverside-Brookfield High School.

Once you get past the idealistic rhetoric about our common humanity, the genocide begins. How else are we ever going to make that common humanity happen without repressing everyone who disagrees?

Idealistic tyrannies always turn murderous as the idealists demonize everyone who isn’t on the same page with their utopia. The good thing about the UN is that it’s too inept to commit genocide. Instead its delegates, diplomats, staffers, peacekeepers and janitors stand around whenever a genocide happens worriedly wringing their hands and urging all the participants to stop and let the UN finish the job.

The United Nations never stops talking about peaceful coexistence and never actually practices it. The International Day of Tolerance, like World Philosophy Day and World Toilet Day, is a bizarre fantasy of world government by a powerless body of bureaucrats which couldn’t figure out how to use a toilet, never mind philosophy or tolerance, and which has never done anything useful in its existence.

Powerlessness ought to have taught the UN humility. But the less power the UN has, the more grandiose its fantasies of world government become. It demands tolerance, but it never returns it.

The world doesn’t need a fantasy world government to teach it intolerance in the guise of tolerance. As the UN has demonstrated so often, its members are fully capable of being intolerant on their own.

The best to celebrate the International Day of Tolerance is to stop tolerating the United Nations.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

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Thank you for reading.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Anthem Kneelers and Wife Beaters

By On December 09, 2018
Last year, 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster kneeled in disrespect to the national anthem. This year, he was arrested twice on domestic violence charges.

The anthem kneeler was arrested for the second time on Saturday, Nov 24, at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Tampa, Florida. He was charged with one count of first-degree misdemeanor domestic violence after allegedly slapping the phone out of his girlfriend's hand, pushing her and then slapping her across the face.

Foster had been previously arrested for domestic violence against the same woman, earlier that year, in California. This time around, after multiple brushes with the law, the 49ers finally decided that they might be better off without him. And so the Redskins quickly swooped in to claim him.

Doug Williams, a former player and currently Redskin executive, dismissed Foster's arrest as "small potatoes" before later being forced to apologize because of the outcry.

Williams had previously participated in an anthem protest last year.

Foster’s domestic violence crisis occurred only a few days before a video showed Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt kicking and shoving a woman in his Cleveland apartment building. Another man claims to have been violently assaulted by Hunt in a Kansas City nightclub back in January.

TMZ described the video as showing Hunt attacking the woman. “As more people came into the hallway, Hunt had to be restrained several times as he made advances toward the woman and other people. At one point, he appeared to knock two people over with a shove, including the woman he initially shoved. At the end of the video, Hunt kicks the woman as she’s crouched on the ground.”

"It was just a long night," Hunt told ESPN. "I could have took responsibility and made the right decision to find a way to de-escalate the situation."

Even though the actual assault had happened back in February, the NFL had mostly ignored it.

Hunt, like Foster, had disrespected the anthem, by kneeling, explaining, “It’s kind of a bad situation going on right now. I really don’t like to talk about it much.”

Media hot takes quickly tried to contrast the players with Colin Kaepernick, Nike’s anti-American celeb, but Foster and Hunt were also anthem protesters. No team wants Kaepernick because of his mediocrity attitude toward any team that would have him. Defaming America is never the problem at the NFL.

NFL players joining in anti-police protest is natural because of the high rate of crime in the NFL.

Foster and Hunt are only 2 of 33 players who were arrested this year on charges ranging from drug smuggling to drunk driving to assaulting the elderly to sexual assault. While Foster got the NFL’s War on Women started back in February, King Dunlap was also arrested that same month for violating a protective order put in place by his girlfriend of 12 years and the mother of his two children.

According to her complaint, Dunlap had ripped a bathroom door to shreds and then came out with a hammer. According to his lawyer, it was a misunderstood effort to reach a joint resolution.

Dunlap's girlfriend had alleged that the 6-foot-8 football player had “put his hands around my throat, and had me pinned up against the wall with my feet dangling, screaming in my face”.

King Dunlap had participated in at least some of the anthem protests by raising his fist.

Adam Gotsis of the Broncos followed closely on Dunlap’s heels with an arrest for an alleged rape from his Georgia Tech days. Prosecutors eventually decided not to prosecute him. The year before, Gotsis had made headlines by being the only white player to join the anti-American protest of other Broncos players.

Michael Bennett, of the Seahawks and the Eagles, made Colin Kaepernick look like John Wayne and Martin Luther King. He not only sat out the anthem, declaring, “I’ll protest the anthem until we’re equal”, but even wrote a book titled, “Things That Make White People Uncomfortable.” The book was co-written with Dave Zirin, a white man who covers sports for The Nation and who had tweeted support for Marc Lamont Hill, after the former CNN commentator was let go for endorsing the murder of Jews.

"There's a reality that I'm a black man in America, and there's things that are going on pertaining to minorities, pertaining to women, pertaining to kids, pertaining to religion, and we can't be hiding behind it," Bennett had rambled.

He was arrested in March for an assault on an elderly black paraplegic woman.

The 6-foot-4, 274-pound football player allegedly shoved the 66-year-old woman and shouted at a police officer, "You all must know who I am and I can own this m***. I'm going down to the field, whether you like it or not."

The woman, who was paralyzed from the waist down, suffered a shoulder injury.

Chief Acevedo, the first Hispanic man to head the Houston PD, also found Bennett’s actions very “uncomfortable”. “I’m grateful that a guy who decides to push a 66-year-old black female paraplegic little old woman that’s trying to make a living making a fraction of what he’s making not only did they have to put up with his verbal abuse but had to put up with his physical assault,” he said.

There’s no word on whether Bennett and Zirin are working on a sequel, “Things That Make Elderly Black Paraplegic Women Uncomfortable.”

And that’s how March wrapped up in the NFL.

"It’s time for the racism and bigotry, for those things to go away. Those things have no place in society, no place in America, no place in any country, and that’s my two cents," Chris McCain of the Los Angeles Chargers had declared, when it came to the anthem protests.

It cost him more than two cents when he was charged in June for grabbing a woman' neck and spitting on her. While McCain initially claimed the woman was lying, he pleaded no contest to two charges of battery in October.

The issue isn’t just that the NFL is filled with entitled criminals. That’s not news to anyone.

The anthem protests are not the outraged grievance of an oppressed minority, but of a 1% that, like Bennett, believes it should be able to get away with anything, without the police getting in the way.

But, as this tally in a year of the NFL’s War on Women shows, the victims of their violent entitlement are often women.

When the police are prevented from doing their jobs, it’s the most vulnerable who suffer the most.

And those vulnerable people are often black women.

The anthem protests are as much about domestic violence as they are about police brutality. For many NFL players, police brutality means anything that interferes with their right to start fights in bars, drive drunk, smuggle drugs and beat women. Especially their wives and girlfriends.

The endorsement of the anthem protests by the Left is an endorsement of domestic violence.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine at the above link.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. And click here to support my work with a donation.

Thank you for reading.


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