Enter your keyword

Monday, August 15, 2022

Samantha Power Stonewalls Inspector General on Afghanistan on Terror Cash

By On August 15, 2022
In June, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction’s office (SIGAR), dispatched letters to Secretary of State Blinken and Samantha Power complaining that the State Department and USAID were stonewalling its investigation of waste, corruption and terror cash.

"Two SIGAR audits are also being hindered by a lack of cooperation from State and USAID. The first evaluates your agencies’ compliance with the laws and regulations prohibiting transfers of funds to members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network," the letter to Power complained.

The Haqqani Network, which is allied with Al Qaeda, gained control of Kabul security and played a key role in preventing Americans from being evacuated and in the seizure of American military equipment left behind, even as the Biden administration described the Islamic terrorists responsible for the murder of Americans as “partners”. Despite claiming to no longer have ties to Al Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Al Qaeda's leader, was recently taken out at a Haqqani Network safe house. And, afterward, Haqqani members quickly evacuated Zawahiri's family.

Any funding going to the Taliban, the Haqqanis and Al Qaeda must be investigated.

In a recent interview, Special Inspector General John Sopko noted that his office was aware of the, "close to $800 million that we’ve spent in Afghanistan since the collapse of the government last August".

“I guess people don’t realize that,” he told reporters. “And I think people should realize that."

Samantha Power's policy of relying more heavily on local aid groups has made it that much more difficult to track where USAID’s money goes. And may be one reason that USAID has been stonewalling the Afghanistan watchdog.

Instead of turning over the information, Blinken and Power's people have lawyered up.

"A State official has informed SIGAR that department staff have received internal direction to not engage with or speak to SIGAR without prior clearance from State legal counsel," the open letter that was also sent to members of Congress revealed.

Illegally refusing to cooperate with an inspector general and then using State Department lawyers to impede any investigation in a matter involving possible terrorist financing is shocking.

It should be major news. Instead there’s been little coverage and less interest.

Beyond terrorism financing, the State Department and USAID have spent months stonewalling the inspector general’s office on matters such as "the settlement of Afghan refugees" and wouldn't even reveal "funding information regarding its ongoing programs in Afghanistan, citing ongoing consultation with its legal counsel." Instead of cooperating with the watchdog’s audit, USAID argued that it would use its "internal process to conduct cost audits.”

That is not the way organizations with clean hands behave.

Last month, Rep. Mike Turner sent a letter to the Biden administration asking him to order the State Department to begin cooperating with the Afghanistan investigation.

Senator Chuck Grassley sent one to Samantha Power warning that stonewalling the Afghanistan special inspector general is in violation of "federal law requiring federal employees to comply with IG investigations".

"Instructing federal employees to obtain permission to cooperate with an IG investigation is clearly at odds with federal law," Grassley wrote. "It is also reported that you have refused to permit SIGAR employees to travel internationally to conduct on-the-ground research."

Samantha Power’s abuses were notorious during the Obama administration and like the behavior of most of the Obama vets, they have only become more shameless under Biden.

In response to a question about the State Department’s refusal to cooperate with the investigation, spokesman Ned Price made matters worse by replying that a SIGAR report on the collapse of the Afghan military "does not reflect the consensus view of the State Department or of the U.S. Government."

The seeming admission by a Biden administration appointee that the State Department was retaliating against an inspector general for blowing the whistle on its disaster received no attention despite making the whole thing even more illegal.

Price is not just another government apparatchik, he was formerly Obama's special assistant at the NSC and resigned when Trump came into office. His comments at the press conference and the lack of response from the Biden administration made it clear that he was speaking for the White House. By authorizing the stonewalling, the Biden administration was also undermining the oversight authority of the House and Senate. And was clearly doing so deliberately.

SIGAR recently dispatched its latest quarterly report to Congress noting that the Biden administration had authorized "transactions and activities involving the Taliban and members of the Haqqani Network so long as the transactions are for the official business of the U.S. government or certain international organizations, or for NGOs working on certain humanitarian projects."

It also included the false claim by Biden's DIA head made to Congress in May that "the Taliban have held to their word about not allowing al-Qaeda to rejuvenate."

Al-Zawahiri’s death in a Haqqani safe house makes it clear that the Taliban remain aligned with Al Qaeda.

As the United States approaches $800 million in spending in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, there is no way to know how much of the money is going to Islamic terrorists. And the State Department and USAID have violated federal law on obstructing audits and investigations while experiencing no consequences either in the form of legal sanctions or media pressure.

The Biden administration is determined to prevent any scrutiny of taxpayer money going to terrorists. And after having authorized such deals, it’s won’t let SIGAR peek over its shoulder.

The question is no longer what Biden, Blinken and Power are hiding, but how bad it is.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

The Hot Pagan Nights of August

By On August 14, 2022
"On summer nights, star of stars, Orion’s Dog they call it, brightest, of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat, and fevers to suffering humanity," Homer lyrically described it in The Iliad.

The ancient Greeks believed that heat waves were caused by heat from Sirius: the dog star. We postmoderns don’t believe in any silly superstitious nonsense like that knowing all too well that the ‘dog days of summer’ are caused by Styrofoam containers and a lack of carbon taxes.

To bring attention to this urgent crisis, the Spanish city of Seville, the Spanish Office for Climate Change and the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, decided to start naming heat waves. This one was named “Zoe”, which was how assimilated Alexandrian Jews in Egypt rendered “Chava” or “Eve”: meaning the mother of all life.

Postmoderns are also too smart to believe in the Bible or the story of G-d creating the world. They know that the world emerged accidentally out of chaos and is always on the verge of being destroyed by mankind. Instead a foundation under the aegis of CIA officials, named after a leading oilman and the widow of JFK’s premier opposition researcher will name the heat.

To pagans, the minutiae of the natural world, heat and cold, the position of the stars, were the revealed religion that they could experience. Postmodern pagans feel the same way. Global warming is the old pagan climate religions, the worship of rain and sun, tree and wave, animal and earth, not out of a desperation to survive, but a spiritual void in a culture that has lost its moral capacity.

Naming the heat and blaming it on man’s sinful refusal to appease the natural forces by abandoning his technology is a postmodern paganism that sees summer heat as an ill portent. What we lack in the arts of a Homer, we more than make up for in a panicked bureaucracy.

According to the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, every year is the warmest year on record and this is no exception though one might query the hippos whose skeletons were found in the Thames and the lions who roamed where London now stands, the remains of elephants have been found in Seville, and giraffes lived in Italy long before Caesar brought one over and the Romans took to eating the long necked creatures as a delicacy.

Europe tried to stop global warming by abandoning its domestic energy capabilities, turning to solar and wind energy, and when that failed, to Russian gas delivered through Ukrainian pipelines. The resulting war between the two countries has now lasted over 150 days and one can only imagine how much heat the destruction of cities and the endless bombing has unleashed.

One of the things that the ancient Greeks understood that the modern greeks don’t is hubris.

Much has been made of 'Zoe' giving Seville whopping 110 degree temperatures, or what Arizonans call mild summer weather, but the intemperate Spanish city hit 116 in August 1946, and 123.8 in 1876. The latter, like most temperature records made before Earth Day, has been withdrawn for its heretical implication that there were any hot days before the advent of Al Gore.

Weather is as much an art as science. It has objective measurements, but subjective experiences.

“This is a bad country, this America, where you always have to drink, either to get warm, or to get cold,” a Hessian mercenary fighting against Americans during the War of Independence complained.

A more contemporary European visitor, French Ambassador Philippe Etienne, arrived recently in Alaska and began by opining, "We had just, in Europe, two heat waves already this summer... So it’s really important for all of us in the world, reaching our goals, limiting the global warming."

If you’re going to limit global warming, Alaska would be the place to start.

Back in Europe, the Globe Theater, which has gone both woke and broke, marked Earth Day with "Shakespeare and Climate Emergency", examining the works of the Bard through climate panic, or the other way around. We are told however that Shakespeare "would have had no conception of the scientific link between emissions and climate change."

That seems unlikely considering that he wrote of “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Shakespeare’s monarch was not apt to spend billions paying researchers to claim that the sky is falling unless everyone takes to biking to work and eating soy patties.

But apocalyptic scams were nothing new even in his time.

That was the era when the Prophetia Merlini or prophecies of Merlin, mostly forgotten today, were still seen by some as predicting the future. “Oak trees will burn in the forests and acorns will grow on the branches of lindens. The Severn estuary will flow through seven channels and the river Usk will boil for seven months. The heat will kill its fish and snakes will take their place.”

“Sometimes he angers me with telling me of the moldwarp and the ant, of the dreamer Merlin and his prophecies,” Shakespeare comments in Henry VI. “And such a deal of skimble skamble stuff.” The skimble skamble stuff of dreams is all around us now. In the hot noonday sun where only mad dogs and Englishmen walk, climate prophets cry, “Doom” and do BBC interviews.

Bill McGuire, a British academic who blogs for the eco-terrorist group Extinction Rebellion who have taken to glueing themselves to things like Oxford Circus, the Science Museum and the European Commission headquarters, has a new book out, “Hothouse Earth”.

"There is now no chance of dodging a grim future of perilous all-pervasive, climate breakdown," he declares in a book that will be out in paperback for only $16.95.

This follows up on his 2002 book, "A Guide to the End of the World" looking at the "frightful prospects that await us in the 21st century" and "Surviving Armageddon" from 2005 about "massive earthquakes and super-eruptions, collision with vast boulders from space."

Now this is the sort of skimble-skamble stuff to set off idiots gluing themselves to things.

“This is a call to arms. So if you feel the need to glue yourself to a motorway or blockade an oil refinery, do it. Drive an electric car or, even better, use public transport, walk or cycle. Switch to a green energy tariff; eat less meat," McGuire raves.

Notably he leaves off suggestions about environmentalist nutters gluing themselves to bookstores selling his book or interrupting his speaking engagements the way that they seem to have taken to gluing themselves to classical works of art. He urges fans to order his book at local bookstores and kill some trees and emit some fumes, instead of buying it on Kindle.

The end is always near. And from the earliest literature of mankind, it makes for good book deals. Zoe will be the first of the named heat waves sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. Any ambassadors from Paris or barbers from Seville who fly to Alaska will be deemed climate refugees and allowed to move into igloos. The heat waves of summer will give way to the storms of the fall and the snowfalls of winter. And all will be heralded as climate change.

People with nothing to believe in must turn to something. They find ill omens and portents, conspiracy theories and rumors, they bow down and worship the earth and the sun.

It’s far more appealing than turning to G-d.

But as Shakespeare wrote, "The day is hot, and the weather, and the wars, and the King, and the Dukes; it is no time to discourse."

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Russian Spies Were Behind Black Nationalist Protest Groups

By On August 10, 2022
After years of Russiagate conspiracy theories about how the Russians had somehow rigged the 2016 presidential election using Facebook ads, the Senate Intelligence report awkwardly revealed that the Russian operation had focused most of its attention on black nationalists.

The Senate report revealed that "most of the videos" put out by the Russian IRA troll factory on YouTube "pertained to police brutality and the activist efforts of the Black Lives Matter organization" and found that "no single group of Americans was targeted... more than African-Americans" around "race and related issues".

But that was an understatement.

The Russians had created their own Black Lives Matter groups, activists and protests. It is still not fully clear where the dividing lines between black nationalists and Russian agents lie. And the media has consistently buried these revelations about the real Russian role in our politics to focus on the discredited smears targeting President Trump and his political allies.

And yet the true Russian agents were the black nationalists championed by the Left.

The recent indictment of Aleksandr Ianov, a Russian figure operating in coordination with Russia’s FSB security agency, accuses him of recruiting and providing financial support for black nationalist groups in the United States.

One of the black nationalist groups in the indictment is the Black Hammer Party whose leader Gazi Kodzo had described Anne Frank as a "colonizer" and “bleach demon” and who has since been arrested on charges of kidnapping, assault, and aggravated sodomy.

The Marxist group involved in BLM protests had been known for marching through Atlanta behind its “gender non-conforming” leader who calls himself “they”, and shouting, “Kill the police! To get free, you’ve got to kill the pigs.”

Another of these was the Uhuru Movement, a socialist black nationalist group previously involved in race riots in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1996.

The Tampa Bay Times described the city becoming a “war zone, echoing with bullets, sirens and anguished screams” where “police officers took cover from automatic gunfire” and “police helicopters circled looking for rooftop snipers” while “one helicopter was hit by gunfire in the windshield and floor. A bullet grazed the pilot's elbow.”

The violence had begun with the arrest of an Uhuru member outside its headquarters.

More recently, Uhuru figures took part in Black Lives Matter marches. Despite the group's ugly history, when its black nationalist flag was set on fire, the media rushed to falsely claim that it was a hate crime when it was actually a black man who burned the supremacist group’s symbol of hate with a flamethrower because he hated socialists.

The indictment of the alleged Russian agent and the raid on Uhuru House has revisited the question of the ties between Moscow and its racist supremacist fifth column.

Omali Yeshitela, who claims that he was handcuffed during a raid on Uhuru House, is a longtime black nationalist figure with a history with the Nation of Islam and the Black Panther hate group. He appeared at a New Black Panther Party convention and had been involved in an anti-semitism controversy at a hate event at San Diego State University.

Uhuru is a deeply racist movement and some of its latest materials include claims that white people are "barbarians" and "terrorists", and that they "achieve their means of existence from a parasitic relationship they enjoy with the rest of the world." These are ideas fundamental to the critical race theory understanding of the world, in arenas such as the 1619 Project and the entire anti-racism project, but the question is how many of these ideas were coming out of Moscow?

One of the Uhuru projects backed by Russia was a campaign titled, "Africans Charge Genocide". “We Charge Genocide” was originally a Communist project in the 1950s under Stalinist singer Paul Robeson and the Communist front group, the Civil Rights Congress.

Black nationalism, from its early days a century ago, had been tied up with Communists, and with the rise of the Soviet Union was increasingly organized and funded out of Moscow.

Uhuru candidates for political office in St. Petersburg, Florida, appeared to be backed by Russian agents. The FSB received campaign statistics and information with one officer of the Russian security agency commenting, "our election campaign is kind of unique."

According to the Tampa Bay Times, the campaign fit the profile of Eritha “Akile” Cainion, the editor of Uhuru’s Burning Spear paper, whose city council campaign was promoted by local media which praised her racialist slogan, “Make the Southside Black Again.”

One ad on her Instagram urged, “call us to pick up your ballot”.

At the time it was recorded that she had "raised nearly $30,000, primarily through small donations, including several as little as $1. Much of her money has come from donors who live out of state."

Cainion, currently the director of agitation and propaganda for the African People's Socialist Party, responded to the Uhuru raid with a press conference, echoing traditional Communist propaganda and claiming that, "world colonial powers have been collaborating against Russia for well into the early 1900s." And she declared, “We are in support of Russia.”

How far do the longtime links between black nationalists and Russia’s spy organizations go?

Previous events involving Ionov's Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia allegedly included Margaret Kimberley of Black Agenda Report whom Cornel West had praised as "one of the few great truth tellers", and more traditional Trotskyist groups such as the Workers World Party which played an early role in statue attacks in the South and may have links to Antifa.

After the statue attack in Durham, the Workers World Party issued a statement claiming that it “put out a call for militant action to our close comrades in Black Youth Project 100, Durham Beyond Policing, Southerners on New Ground, Industrial Workers of the World and local Antifa.”

A Workers World writeup of one of Ionov's conferences featured a presentation on Russia's territorial claims in Ukraine, along with "the Israeli genocide against the Palestinian people" and concluded with a protest against racism outside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

"Demonstrators carried photos of Mike Brown, Eric Garner and Rasmea Odeh and chanted, 'Hands up! Don’t shoot' and 'I can’t breathe!'”

Odeh is the Muslim terrorist linked to the murder of two Jewish college students in Israel.

There’s little novel here except that the old Soviet propaganda machine is still running in Moscow and promoting the same coalition of Communists, black nationalists and Muslim terrorists this time under the aegis of a what Putin had created as the National Military Fund.

The question is how much of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa violence came out of Moscow?

Much like the Soviet involvement in race riots and domestic terrorism by the black nationalist and anti-war Left during the Cold War, we will likely never get a full accounting of the impact.

And yet an important missing piece of Russiagate is that the Left was once again accusing conservatives of its own crimes. Right down to the Russian backing for its election interference.

The Russians weren’t elevating Trump and Republicans, they were backing the far Left.

Democrats answer to their furthest fringes of black nationalists and leftists who were allowed to engage in a long orgy of national violence, and then to hijack our economic and cultural institutions in the name of critical race theory with the so-called Black Lives Matter movement.

America’s radical enemies attacked government buildings, churches and synagogues, toppled statues, assaulted police, and carried out the nation’s biggest insurrection in two generations with the overt political support of the media, leading corporations, and the Democrats.

The end result put Biden in power and America on a course to international decline. Moscow and Beijing are the biggest beneficiaries of that decline.

Russian Facebook ads had nothing to do with the 2016 election, but they helped promote the hate groups behind the “mostly peaceful” race riots that changed the political trajectory of 2020.

And FSB agents were apparently directly involved with at least one black nationalist hate group.

A real Russia investigation would finally expose the longstanding ties between the American Left and our international adversaries, including their longtime backers in Moscow.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 08, 2022

The Democrat Economists in Charge of Deciding 'If' There’s a Recession

By On August 08, 2022
Facebook is now censoring posts and videos about the Biden recession by using partisan fact-checks from left-leaning outlets to wrongly condemn them as “misinformation”.

The fact checks rely on the same argument being propounded by the Biden administration and its media allies that only the National Bureau of Economic Research and, more specifically, its Business Cycle Dating Committee, can officially decide if there's a recession.

And anyone who isn't on the Committee talking about a recession is spreading "misinformation".

That's an obvious problem because 2 out of 3 American voters, including even 53% of Democrats, believe that there's a recession. That’s a whole lot of people to censor.

Totalitarian Communist regimes in Russia and China have criminalized discussions about domestic economic problems, and the American Left is trying to deploy its propaganda machine of partisan media outlets, fact checkers and Big Tech monopolies to duplicate their efforts.

It’s bound to fail.

Declaring that only a small group of “experts” is allowed to call it a recession despite the fact that two consecutive quarters of a shrinking economy is the definition of a recession is a gatekeeping fallacy.

And the experts are hardly any more objective than the fact checkers citing them.

Peter Blair Henry, the current vice chair of the National Bureau of Economic Research, was the head of the Obama campaign's economics advisory team and then served on his transition team. And Henry has promoted Biden's disastrous inflationary “Build Back Better” plan.

Of the eight economists on the Business Cycle Dating Committee, the team that the White House and the media insist are the only ones who get to decide if it’s a recession, several held posts in the Obama administration, and others were clearly aligned with the Democrats.

Christina and David Romer, a husband and wife team, already an innate conflict of interest, were described as "staunch Obama supporters" in an IMF profile. Romer had provided "briefing memos" to Austan Goolsbee, Obama's radical economic adviser, during the campaign, and she went on to chair Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. In that role, she aggressively pushed for an even bigger “stimulus package” than the one that damaged the economy under Obama.

Robert J. Gordon compared Trump to Hitler and declared that he would miss Obama's “eloquence”. He claims that America's growth is over and proposes a program of a "progressive tax code", eliminating deductions, legalizing drugs, and providing a lot more welfare.

Gordon had joined lefty economists in arguing that the era of permanent economic malaise was upon us. During the 2016 election, his “The Rise and Fall of American Growth” was frequently cited as expert evidence that serious GDP growth of the kind Trump was urging was impossible.

The economist, or someone by that name from his university, appears to be a donor to Democrat candidates, the DNC and at least one anti-Republican PAC.

Gordon was also a signatory to an open letter titled, “Economists Oppose Trump's Re-Election”.

The pro-Biden and anti-Trump letter included the contention that Trump "claimed to have the unique ability to generate growth (in real GDP) of between 4% and 6%, but never surpassed 2.9% in his first three years in office. Furthermore, analysts at Goldman Sachs and Moody’s Analytics have projected that Joe Biden’s economic plans, if implemented, would actually generate faster growth in both employment and real GDP."

Gordon, along with other lefty academics, was expressing a political preference for Biden over Trump while claiming that this position was backed up by their “expert” opinion.

Biden’s economic plans led to a massive disaster, but there’s no reason to think that Gordon or any of the other economists involved in this letter are ready to admit that they were wrong.

And that Biden has inflicted a recession on America.

Another of the members of the Business Cycle Dating Committee who also signed the anti-Trump and pro-Biden letter is Mark Watson of Princeton. Watson was also the co-author of an infamous argument claiming that the economy performs better under Democrat presidents.

His work was cited by Obama's Council of Economic Advisers co-authored together with James Stock, a member of the council who serves as another member of the Business Cycle Dating Committee.

Obama had appointed Stock to his Council of Economic Advisers in 2013. Stock was both an Obama and a Hillary donor. He also contributed $2,800, close to the maximum, to Biden.

The political conflict of interest in determining that the economy is in recession is obvious.

Of the remaining Business Cycle Dating Committee members, Robert Hall appears to have donated to a Democrat candidate. James Poterba had vocally praised Obama's economic council members, calling them "realists and pragmatists who are looking for what will work to address the particular problems we are facing".

What that means is that of the eight Business Cycle Dating Committee members, a quarter are former members of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, half are public Obama supporters, one is a Biden donor, two have expressed public opposition to Trump and support for Biden.

This group of experts is anything but non-partisan and the lean is anything but conservative.

It’s fair to say that 6 of the 8 Business Cycle Dating Committee are either Democrats or aligned with Democrats. Another is ambiguous and only one has expressed no recent public political preference.

It’s obvious why the Biden administration is betting that a group stocked with its own political allies will be less likely to state the obvious about the state of the economy. Democrats, their media and their tech monopolies are using expert gatekeeping by their own allies to deny that there’s a recession even though the vast majority of Americans know that it’s already here.

It doesn’t take the Business Cycle Dating Committee to state the obvious. All it can do is stonewall what everyone can see around them. Beyond their political allegiances, many members of the Committee have a history of being fundamentally wrong about the economic measures of the Obama and Trump administrations. Many supported the Obama era inflationary spending that deepened our national debt and suppressed our economic potential.

There’s no reason to think they’ve learned to be any more correct or any less biased.

The new technocratic totalitarianism insists that the nature of reality is controlled by small groups of partisan handpicked experts and that ordinary people have no right to disagree, and that furthermore it is the job of the tech monopolies who control the marketplace of ideas to immediately stamp out such dissent as “disinformation” and a “threat to democracy”.

But reality isn’t controlled by experts and the efforts by the Biden administration to build a wall of experts around reality is as doomed to failure as similar measures in totalitarian states.

After first denying the reality of inflation, the Biden administration is trying to deny the recession.

The same experts who tried to deny the disastrous effects of Obama’s economy are trying to tell the same lies for Biden. But no amount of lies will turn a recession into a recovery.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

China Tested Biden. And He Blinked.

By On August 04, 2022
If you believe the Biden administration and its media allies, members of congress visiting Taiwan is a shocking and unprecedented event. Except that Senator Tammy Duckworth visited Taiwan in May. Senator Richard Burr, Robert Menendez, Lindsey Graham, Ben Sasse and Robert Portman came in April. Along with Rep. Ronny Jackson

Senator Dan Sullivan and Chris Coons flew over last summer. In the fall, Rep. Nancy Mace, Sarah Jacobs, Mark Takano, Elissa Slotkin and Colin Allred saw the sights.

Thanks in part to the Taiwan Travel Act, which passed with no opposition and was signed by President Trump in 2018, Taiwan is Grand Central Station for congressional delegations.

Pelosi is higher-ranking only in that she’s the outgoing lame duck leader of a vanishing majority.

China was not threatened by Pelosi’s visit. It chose to exploit it as an opportunity to intimidate the Biden administration and blackmail its weak enemies. And whatever else happens, it succeeded in exposing once again how worthless Biden’s tough talk about Taiwan is.

“Are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan?" Biden had been asked at a press conference with the Japanese prime minister.

“Yes,” he assured. “That’s the commitment we made.”

"We made a sacred commitment to Article 5 that if, in fact, anyone were to invade or take action against our Nato allies, we would respond. Same with Japan, same with South Korea, same with Taiwan," Biden had promised.

NATO, Japan and South Korea must be feeling pretty good now that the Biden administration announced that it doesn’t recognize the existence of Taiwan after spending a week trying to pressure his own party’s House Speaker out of paying a visit to the independent nation.

But this is the same administration whose secretary of state had tweeted, "We stand with the people of Hong Kong & continue to support their human rights & fundamental freedoms".

And then deleted it.

Last year, Secretary of State Blinken warned Communist China that an invasion of Taiwan would result in "terrible consequences".

"We’ve been very clear and consistently clear, over many years that we are committed to making sure that Taiwan has the means to defend itself," he vowed. "We will continue to make good on that commitment."

The Trump administration had approved nearly $1 billion in arms sales to Taiwan in its first year in office comprising everything from coastal defense systems to submarine torpedoes to drones and aircraft parts. The Biden administration's approval of arms sales has currently focused on a much narrower sale of artillery. There's a $14 billion backlog in delivering equipment that Taiwan already purchased including 66 F-16 jets that are crucial for defending against China's aerial incursions.

Pelosi's visit resulted in reports of China's SU-35 jets crossing the Taiwan strait and military exercises, which the brutal Communist dictatorship refers to as "military operations", entering Taiwan's territorial waters. While the Biden administration had put on a show of talking tough last year, Chinese pressure immediately sent Biden and his cronies into a cowardly panic.

Biden claimed that “the military thinks it's not a good idea right now”, as if the military sets foreign policy and tells elected officials what to do, instead of the other way around.

Administration officials began working the phones, calling every reporter in D.C. and Manhattan to dish on what a terrible idea Pelosi's trip would be. And the more Communist China threatened, the harder Biden appeased.

In the days before the visit, the media was filled with administration hit pieces aimed at the woman who is third in line for the presidency. Pelosi was getting the Trump treatment.

"The damage from Pelosi’s unwise Taiwan visit must be contained," the Washington Post's editorial board warned. The board's position was understandable considering that the paper is owned by Jeff Bezos whose vast fortune comes from Amazon's third party Chinese sellers ripping off American products and then dumping them in this country.

But the Post was also closely echoing the Biden administration.

At the New York Times, Paul Krugman launched his attack headlined, "Why Pelosi's Visit to Taiwan Is Utterly Reckless". Coincidentally, "reckless" was how China's Ambassador Qin Gang had described the visit to CNN. Or maybe not so coincidentally after all since so many of America’s headlines are actually translated from the original Chinese.

There’s nothing reckless about the visit.

American politicians regularly visit Taiwan. Six senators have visited just this year. Neither of the major papers campaigned against the Taiwan Travel Act. Nor did they condemn the series of congressional delegations that have been visiting the Republic of China. Until now.

But when China exercised its heckler’s veto, the Biden administration ran to duck and cover. And the media suddenly decided that visiting Taiwan was suddenly very dangerous business.

Communist China is likely to invade Taiwan. It will do so irrespective of whether a daffy California congresswoman sets foot in it or not. Beijing knows that Pelosi doesn’t set foreign policy. It has too many spies here and has corrupted too many of our officials, from Biden on down, not to know how the game is played on this side of the ocean.

China chose to pick this fight over Pelosi because it could make Biden blink. And he blinked.

Biden didn’t just turn on Republicans when China bellowed, he went after one of his closest allies in a desperate bid to do Beijing's bidding. And the media, which joined Xi’s chorus, showed that its only allegiance is to protecting the Biden administration and kowtowing to China.

Speaker Pelosi certainly didn’t set out to demonstrate all that. Unintentionally she did.

The otherwise forgettable trip became another warning that America could not be counted on and that any of the assurances coming out of the White House are worthless. Taiwan can’t count on American military intervention. It can’t even count on the delivery of the arms that it already purchased and needs in order to defend itself against Hunter’s business partners.

Many protest that the United States shouldn’t be in the business of defending Taiwan. There’s a legitimate debate to be had there, but just as with Ukraine, Biden is in the business of talking tough until the shooting starts and then he runs away. And that’s the worst of both worlds.

If China believes that American military intervention is a possibility, it would be much less likely to invade Taiwan. The Biden administration repeatedly threw away the country’s strategic ambiguity, talking tough about militarily defending Taiwan, only to panic at China’s threats.

America’s enemies keep testing Biden. What appear to be crises are often just tests by China, Russia, Iran, and other enemies to see how far the United States can be pushed. And the latest answer is that Biden can be pushed by China into turning on his closest allies.

If Biden won’t even defend Pelosi from China, what are the odds he’ll defend Taiwan? None.

Communist China isn’t afraid of Pelosi and it certainly isn’t afraid of Biden. The Communist dictatorship is testing our nation’s leaders to see if it has any reason to fear America.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Environmentalism is an Environmental Hazard

By On August 02, 2022
20 years after voters rejected ‘toilet-to-tap’ water, Los Angeles Democrats brag that they will be the first city in the state to pipe toilet water to faucets for the sake of the environment.

As part of the city's version of the Green New Deal, a majority of Los Angeles water will be 'toilet-to-tap'. California Democrats, who refuse to build new dams or do anything to expand water resources, are set to spend at least $12 billion on what they describe as "locally sourced" water which certainly sounds nicer than toilet water. The environmentalist elites will go on drinking bottled water and it will be the city’s poor drinking out of the toilet.

Environmentalists insist that nothing can go wrong even though a 2019 NIH hosted survey noted that “there have been relatively few health-based studies evaluating the microbial risks associated with potable reuse” and that California wants to achieve "a benchmark level of public health protection of 1 infection in 10,000 people per year". That’s 1,000 people in Los Angeles County. The risks include “pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and protozoa” transmitted via a fecal-oral route” including Hepatitis A. A new reservoir might cost $4 billion, but environmentalists would rather spend three times as much on their toilet-to-tap plan.

‘Toilet-to-tap’ is just one of the multitude of ways that environmentalism creates an environmental hazard, threatening public health and undermining life in California.

No state has been as in love with solar power. With over 700 solar power plants and hundreds of thousands of residential solar panels, Californians enjoy an expensive and unreliable energy supply that leads to regular brown-outs. Solar panels generate their energy during the day, when most people aren’t home so that it goes to waste while being useless at night.

But in Hotel California, you can’t check out of subsidizing China’s exported solar industry.

As of 2020, California Democrats imposed a solar mandate requiring all new homes to have solar panels which added over $10,000 to the cost of a new home putting home ownership even further out of the reach of most people and making a mockery of talk of “affordable housing”.

The California Public Utilities Commission has admitted that the state has far more solar panels than it needs, but has argued that it should "dramatically overbuild solar" and then let it go to waste. Wasting a lot of energy has become the best way to stop waste and save the planet.

But that’s not all that’s going to waste.

With a lifespan of 25 years, the early generations of solar panels have begun to clutter up the state's landfills. Ironically, only about 10% of the solar "green energy" solution are recycled and the rest represent a serious toxic waste hazard. Behind the illusion of clean energy is the grimy reality that solar panels break down and just turn into poisonous and dangerous trash.

Recycling, itself a scam, often just sends our waste abroad to poor countries. A New York Times article described how in Africa, laborers "break them open with machetes and drain the acid into the ground by hand" which "pollutes the soil and water with lead, which can lead to brain damage." Actual recycling of solar panels is unworkable because it costs more to recycle them than it does to make them. So it’s just more economical to bury solar panels in landfills.

Faced with a growing toxic solar panel problem, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control reclassified them. In a press release typical of the state’s environmentalist puffery which always boast about being the first to pursue some disastrous policy, DTSC boasted that it was the "first in the nation" to "add hazardous waste solar panels to its universal waste program."

Meredith Williams, DTSC's director, claimed that lowering hazardous waste restrictions on solar panels was "another great step forward in our state’s efforts to put environmental protection first – both for the health and safety of our people and natural resources.”

California Democrats were boasting of being the first in the nation to ignore the environmental risks of an environmental policy in the name of the environment. The planet was being destroyed to save the planet. And people were being exposed to toxic chemicals to prop up the solar panel industry, its woke investors who finance the Democrats, and Chinese manufacturers.

California solar has become too big to fail. With billions in state subsidies and massive amounts of money seized from homeowners to fund the solar scam, the threat of lead and cadmium leaching into groundwater can’t be permitted to stop the environmentalist solar disaster.

As each generation of solar panels ages into oblivion, the solar trash problem will boom. And it’s just getting started. The hundreds of thousands of rooftop solar panels will either end up in the trash or will require spending twice as much up front to subsidize their eventual disposal.

At least.

While California Democrats fight to shut down the state’s nuclear power, they double down on solar which as Michael Shellenberger has argued, "produced 300 times more toxic waste than high-level nuclear waste.”

California’s solar subsidies will not only put homeownership further out of reach but are set to cover the state in toxic trash. Solar panels are worthless as energy and they’re worthless as trash. Governments have to mandate and subsidize their installation and then their disposal.

The situation isn’t much better with the ubiquitous wind turbines whose blades can’t be recycled.

Much as solar panels are filling up landfills, so are wind turbine blades. And those blades which "can be longer than a Boeing 747 wing" will first have to be cut up with a "diamond-encrusted industrial saw" and then hauled away on tractor trailers to massive landfills.

Fiberglass blades aren't biodegradable and burning or crushing them releases toxic fibers that have been linked to everything from skin reactions to lung disease.

Inhaling fiberglass dust is potentially dangerous. Especially from something the size of a jet wing. That just leaves one option. The same option as for nuclear power. Bury them.

Wind turbines, which were supposed to save the environment, are piling up in rural areas in Wyoming, Iowa and South Dakota.

“The wind turbine blade will be there, ultimately, forever,” an energy company executive admitted.

So much for clean energy saving the planet.

Environmentalists agonize over the 85,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel in the United States when a single wind turbine blade can weigh 12 tons. It's estimated that by 2050, wind turbine blade waste will amount to over 2 million tons or 1% of landfill capacity.

The green agenda isn’t saving the planet, it’s destroying it and harming people.

Environmentalism is an environmental hazard that threatens both the ecosystem and public health. From the solar panel lead in the groundwater to the wind turbine fiberglass in your lungs to the toilet water in your sink, there’s nothing ‘clean’ about the environmental agenda.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Biden’s Military Vaccine Mandate is a Political Test

By On August 01, 2022

The Army has admitted that it won’t meet its recruiting goals for the year.

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Joseph Martin told the House Armed Services Committee that the service will be 28,000 soldiers short of projections. The Army raised its maximum enlistment bonus to $50,000 and offers recruits up to $10,000 for showing up to basic training in 30 days. It routinely offers moral waivers for criminal records and no longer even asks for a high school diploma. And even in the midst of this massive recruiting crisis, it’s purging the unvaccinated.

According to the Army's latest numbers, 1,379 soldiers have faced separation and over 3,000 written reprimands were issued for refusing the vaccine. The numbers are much higher among the Army National Guard where there have been 10,798 refusals and 5,098 in the Army Reserve. The majority however haven’t even applied for an exemption. There are 40,000 unvaccinated Army National Guard personnel and 20,000 Army Reserve and Biden’s war on them is dangerously undermining our national security in the face of our enemies.

In early July, Biden's cronies within the military barred unvaccinated personnel from taking part in training and drills, and denied them their pay. This treasonously impedes military readiness and unit cohesion. It’s also potentially catastrophic when applied to a fifth of Oklahoma Army Guardsmen, 17% of the Arkansas Guard, or even only 5% of the Minnesota National Guard.

"To date, the military has lost more than 1,100 soldiers, 800 airmen, 1,000 sailors, and 2,000 Marines because of this mandate, with thousands more separations likely to come," Senator Roger Wicker, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, warned. "We desperately need these service members, but President Biden seems content to lose them. His vaccine order is threatening our military readiness, and I have forcefully urged his officials to rescind it."

Biden’s brass claim that vaccination is required to maintain military readiness, but they are the ones who have actually crippled military readiness. Earlier this year, hundreds of new recruits were being kicked out of the services over the vaccine mandate, some who had finished training, at a cost of millions of dollars. The Army alone appears to have wasted at least $11 million recruiting and training soldiers only to then prevent them from being able to serve.

All of this is going on while official Department of Defense data records only 95 military deaths due to COVID. Compare that to the 176 suicides in just the Army alone in one year alone.

The Navy has filed over 1,000 separations against personnel even though there have been only 17 COVID deaths for active duty personnel in the service. There are over 3,000 unvaccinated active duty personnel and also over 3,000 in the reserve. Despite over 3,000 religious accommodation requests, the Navy has approved only 42 active duty requests.

The Air Force has had only 12 hospitalizations and 16 military deaths, but has separated nearly 300 airmen for refusing the vaccine. Lawsuits over religious exemptions are still ongoing.

From the Defense Department’s own numbers it’s abundantly clear that there is no major COVID crisis within the military. There have been four times as many civilian deaths within the department than active duty military deaths. There’s no justification for the mandate and for wrecking the military and forcing large numbers of military personnel out of the services.

Especially during a recruiting crisis.

The threat to military readiness does not come from 95 deaths, but from the plot to purge thousands of active duty personnel over a political decision made by an unfriendly administration.

“The Biden Administration is destroying the readiness of our Armed Forces by creating an unnecessary recruiting and retention shortfall, and trying to make up the difference by lowering other crucial education and fitness standards,” Rep. Mike Johnson noted.

Lowering these standards, involving high school diplomas and criminal records, is crucial to the larger demographic agenda of the Biden administration which seeks to aggressively “diversify” the military by bringing in more Democrats and driving out more Republicans.

The vaccine mandate is playing the role of a political test.

The Biden administration came into office vowing to fight “extremism” in the military. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s political witch hunt can’t be separated from his vaccine mandates.

While Biden imposed a general vaccine mandate on federal employees, civilian government employees, mostly Democrats, have been treated very differently. Little has been done to pressure federal employees. At the VA, only six employees were fired and, in complete contrast to matters within the military proper, the VA "pushed all of its unvaccinated staff to seek religious or medical exemptions and has not questioned the legitimacy of any of those requests."

The “VA has mostly offered those workers other positions that interact with less vulnerable patients or did not require in-person attendance, allowing it to actually fire so few staff,” Govexec reported. The VA’s approach has been described as a test case for the federal workforce and the agency is a member of the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

That very generous approach is the opposite of how soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines have been treated by the Biden administration. Unvaccinated federal employees are being given paid leave and encouraged to work online if they run into any issues. Meanwhile our nation’s heroes are being pressured, threatened and shown the door by the Biden administration.

While the Biden administration has defended its vaccine mandate for federal employees in court, it's shown little eagerness to actually impose it on them. The federal vaccine mandate had been scheduled for May 31, before it was halted by a court ruling, but federal agencies hadn't been taking any steps to prepare for implementing it because they have no desire to do so.

“During a moment of increased action from Russia to China, is it worth it? Is it worth sacrificing our end-strength for vaccine mandates?” Rep. Jim Banks had asked Gen. Milley. “Would you rather have a few extra battalions of unvaccinated soldiers or not have them at all because of this?”

“It's tiny, the numbers that are actually being asked to process out, so I think it's manageable,” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had sneered. “If 2,000 are kicked out, I think that wouldn't hurt.”

It certainly wouldn’t hurt Gen. Milley who was ready to endorse critical race theory in the military. It fulfills the Biden administration’s true objective of purging conservatives from the only remaining part of the federal government whose personnel are largely conservative. But it treasonously undermines America’s military readiness in the face of the enemy.

Democrats are hollowing out another part of the federal government to make it an even bigger sinecure for their people while driving everyone who isn’t part of their political machine.

Our nation’s heroes and our national security will pay the price for their treason.

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

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.


Blog Archive