Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Netanyahu hopes to work with Trump to undo Iran nuclear deal
President-elect Donald Trump will be a good friend to Israel and hopefully the two countries can work together to dismantle the international nuclear agreement with Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview Sunday.
While the two countries are close allies, relations were sometimes tense between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama because of their vastly different world views on the Iran deal and other issues.
There is sentiment in the nationalist Israeli right wing that Trump's election could usher in a new era of relations with the United States.
"I know Donald Trump," Netanyahu told CBS's "60 Minutes" in an interview that will air later Sunday night. "And I think his attitude, his support for Israel is clear. He feels very warmly about the Jewish state, about the Jewish people. There's no question about that," Netanyahu said.
His remarks were significant because critics have accused Trump of tolerating anti-Semitism among some of his supporters.
Netanyahu said he "had differences of opinion" with President Obama the "most well-known, of course, is Iran."
The Israeli prime minister has been one of the fiercest critics of the nuclear deal and butted heads with Obama over the issue.
Iran has long backed armed groups committed to Israel's destruction and its leaders have called for it to be wiped off the map. Israel fears that Iran's nuclear program is designed to threaten its very existence.
Netanyahu said there are "various ways of undoing" the 2015 deal, in which Iran agreed to limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions on its oil industry and finances.
"I have about five things in my mind," Netanyahu said, declining to go into further detail.
During his campaign, Trump was harshly critical of the nuclear deal.
Fake News Exposes Real Hypocrisy
The Left has coalesced around the "real reason" for Clinton's defeat.
The American Left’s determination to blame virtually anything other than their alienation of millions of working-class Americans for the defeat of Hillary Clinton is finally coalescing around a prevailing idea: “stupid” voters were conned by “fake news.”
If one likes a good fake news story, the high-profile Washington Post screed about the Russian-generated fake news propaganda campaign that ostensibly put Trump in the White House goes right to the top of the list. How fake? After its publication, the paper’s editor added a “clarifier” at the top of the story, disavowing a group of anonymous “experts” calling themselves PropOrNot, who had named several fake news sources in the original article. The Post’s editor subsequently decided the paper could no longer “vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings.”
Why? The New Yorker’s Adrian Chen reveals PropOrNot’s methodology for determining fake news was so flawed it “could include … nearly every news outlet in the world, including the Post itself.”
In short the Post’s story about fake news … was fake news.
Nonetheless, this weekend the Post, joined by other major Leftmedia outlets, doubled-down with both claiming “secret sources” within the CIA have come to a “consensus” view the Russians helped Trump win the election. Yet the Post was forced to admit a CIA presentation on the subject “fell short of a formal U.S. assessment produced by all 17 intelligence agencies,” and some disagreement remains because “some questions remain unanswered.”
Despite those unanswered questions, The New York Times said American intelligence agencies concluded the Russians hacked both the DNC and RNC computers, but only released the DNC information to hand the election to Trump. The same agencies ostensibly concluded the Russians gave WikiLeaks the DNC documents.
That contradicts what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Congress in November, when he admitted America’s intelligence agencies “don’t have good insight” about a direct link between WikiLeaks and the Russians.
Clapper is not alone. An unnamed senior FBI official questioned for two hours by both Democrats and Republicans during a secret meeting of the House Intelligence Committee refused to confirm the CIA’s assertion that Russia tried to help Trump.
In a dead giveaway, the Washington Post explains the “cultural differences” between the agencies. “The bureau, true to its law enforcement roots, wants facts and tangible evidence to prove something beyond all reasonable doubt. The CIA is more comfortable drawing inferences from behavior.”
In short, the Times and the Post have conflated inference with proof. It doesn’t get more fake than that.
Yet the leftist beat goes on, even as they remain immune to the breathtaking hypocrisy that animates it. Hillary Clinton led the way during an appearance at an event celebrating retiring Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) career. She spoke about the “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year,” and the “real world consequences” that attended it. “This isn’t about politics or partisanship,” she insisted. “Lives are at risk.”
At risk? Lives were lost in Benghazi. And to maintain Obama administration credibility toward the end of the 2012 presidential campaign, Clinton and Barack Obama perpetrated the most despicable fake news story of the decade, blaming the deaths of four Americans on an offensive video. Perhaps the hand wringers at the Times and the Post might ask themselves which is more egregious: an unproven fake news campaign disseminated by the Russians, or a thoroughly documented one disseminated by the Obama administration.
And then there’s Reid himself who penned a New York Times piece insisting “the responsibility for separating what is real and what is fake will fall on Democrats.” One is left to wonder if such Democrats include Reid himself, who not only used the floor of the Senate to make an unsubstantiated claim about Mitt Romney’s failure to pay taxes for 10 years, but subsequently bragged that his lying helped to defeat Romney.
As for Democrats tasked with separating “what is real and what is fake,” what could be phonier than celebrating the career of perhaps the most ethically challenged person to ever sit in the Senate?
Former NBC anchor Brian Williams gets in on the action as well, declaring that “fake news played a role in the election and continues to find a wide audience.” That’s the same Brian Williams given a six month suspension by NBC for perpetrating fake news stories, especially the whopper about being nearly shot down during a helicopter flight over Iraq. Ironically, Williams won the 2009 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism and was praised by Cronkite, who called Williams a “fastidious newsman.” That’s the same “Uncle Walter” Cronkite never held sufficiently accountable for his lie about America losing the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. A lie that prolonged a conflict ultimately costing 54,000 Americans their lives.
“Fake news is hardly a new phenomenon,” Greta Von Susteren aptly asserts. “For decades, Americans have had an appetite for fringe stories, from grassy knoll conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination to the alien secrets of Area 51 and the baseless notion that 9/11 was an inside job.”
Von Susteren lays the blame for fake news squarely where it belongs. “Part of the reason fake news is so easy to believe is that fringe stories no longer read or sound all that different from too many of the real stories. Too often, both have little or no sourcing; they lack context and they get disseminated with almost no fact-checking.”
Maybe that’s because the Left’s determination to embrace the moral and cultural relativism that appeals to emotion in lieu of objectivity — makes fact-checking subservient.
Subservient to what? The Narrative, in all its “hands up don’t shoot” reality-twisting, divisiveness-inducing and ratings-generating glory.
Add calculated errors of omission to the mix, along with the fact these major media players have a reach that dwarfs that of the fake news purveyors they rail about, and it becomes clear who the most egregious disseminators of fake news are — and whose agenda they are determined to serve, at the price of journalistic integrity.
“Recall that the Times and its co-conspirators created a fictional Trump held aloft by goose-stepping brownshirts and toothless bigots rising from the swamps,” columnist Michael Goodwin explains. “They aimed to scare the country into supporting Clinton by turning their front pages into editorial pages, where ‘straight news’ became an oxymoron.”
Turning straight news into an oxymoron is an integral part of a progressive ideology and their “never let a crisis go to waste,” “win by any means necessary” worldview. The worldview animated by the disciples of Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” who include our current president and Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, their Alinsky-advocated vision to “fundamentally transform the United States of America” just got steamrolled by a trash-talking, Twitter-posting political neophyte whose own bona fides — or lack thereof — have yet to be established.
Regardless, Donald Trump has already done the nation an enormous favor: In the course of winning the election, he exposed millions of self-professed “tolerant” leftists as the hateful hysterics they truly are. Better still, it is an “emperor has no clothes” revelation that cannot be walked back in the foreseeable future — all the fake news in the world notwithstanding.
The Rainbow Mafia Claims Another Victim
A ruling against TimberCreek Bed & Breakfast for refusing to host a same-sex wedding was upheld by a three-member panel of the Illinois Human Rights Commission by its refusal to hear an appeal of the original ruling. In 2011, Jim Walder, owner of TimberCreek, refused to host a same-sex couple’s wedding on religious-conviction grounds. Walder is a devout Christian and stated, “We will never host same-sex civil unions. We will never host same-sex weddings even if they become legal in Illinois.”
A same-sex couple evidentially took umbrage and sued Walden for discrimination. (That is the modus operandi for the Rainbow Mafia.) This past March, the couple won and the state ordered Walden to pay $30,000 for causing “emotional distress” plus another $50,000 in attorney fees. Walden argued, “In our opinion, forcing a small business with one employee to host gay marriage which violates the owners sincerely-held Biblical belief that marriage is between one man and one woman is an extreme circumstance, especially when marriage has been understood for thousands of years to be a union between one man and one woman.”
Once again the freedom for sexual deviancy trumps an individual’s First Amendment rights. For those who seek to argue that this is a discrimination issue — that no one should have the right to discriminate against another — the truth is one way or another someone is being discriminated against. Clearly, the message being sent by those in power is that freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are secondary rights that must be discriminated against if they don’t uphold the new moral order of sexual liberation. It may not be long before faithful Christians find themselves squeezed out of mainstream America entirely. Then again, Jesus Christ didn’t tell his followers that the world would love them…
Australia: Politically correct and risk averse Victoria Police ensure crime thrives
It took an attempted carjacking of a former assistant police commissioner for Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews finally to take his state’s soaring crime rate seriously.
Two weeks ago former detective Noel Ashby was ambushed by four "aggressive African males" who tried to force his Mercedes off the road. Just another day in the socialist state of Victoria, where carjackings and violent home invasions are a constant fear.
So Andrews and police commissioner Graham Ashton last week announced a $2 billion recruitment of 3000 new police officers.
But it won’t matter how many cops they hire, the politically correct, risk-averse culture of Victoria Police will ensure crime thrives.
Crooks and thugs are free to run riot, while police obsess about gender, racism and LGBTI. Rapists prowl, gangs brawl, losers brazenly smoke bongs in CBD parks, drunk drivers speed away from booze buses, while police are busy cracking down on racial abuse on Facebook, or denouncing "language" crimes by Eddie McGuire that "demean women".
Victorians accept a level of lawlessness unheard of in Sydney. It’s a lesson to the rest of the country how quickly life turns sour when you neuter your police force with politically appointed commissioners, and when your justice system is at the mercy of a judiciary stacked with human rights lawyers and former union functionaries.
After Melbourne’s iconic Moomba Festival fireworks in March, Sudanese members of the fabled Apex gang brawled with Pacific Islanders in Federation Square, forcing people to cower behind locked restaurant doors. Only four people were arrested.
When pot-smoking protesters fired up their bongs at a picnic in Flagstaff Gardens this year, police didn’t just turn a blind eye; a spokeswoman condoned the event as "freedom of expression".
When two officers tested positive to drugs on duty a few years ago, not only were they not sacked or charged, but a spokeswoman described their drug use as "no surprise".
No surprise former commissioner Ken Lay is the poster boy for drug decriminalisation. "We can’t arrest our way out of this", he says, which is true if you don’t even try.
Victoria Police don’t enforce the law on union picket-lines, either, but stand sentry in implied solidarity.
And, after a law suit for "racial profiling" young African men, street police now are required to issue "receipts" to anyone they talk to, in a humiliating, time-wasting farce.
Then there is the joke of police chases, restricted last year so 145 a month dropped to five. Crooks just have to step on the gas.
There’s no point wailing about African refugees as if they pose some sort of novel crime challenge. Wrongdoers have been empowered by a police force which has neglected its responsibilities for a decade.
As a result, Victoria’s crime rate keeps rising — up 12.4 per cent in the past year. It’s now the nation’s murder capital.
But the problem is not, as Andrews pretends, a shortage of police. Victoria has more police per capita than NSW, which boasts the lowest crime rate in 25 years. NSW has 218 police per 100,000 people, versus Victoria’s 258.
Victoria has half the imprisonment rate of NSW, a higher victimisation rate and a lower reporting rate for most crimes, a good indication people have lost faith in police.
Even more telling, in the western suburbs of Melbourne, residents are banding together to protect their neighbourhoods with DYI security. Locals in Caroline Springs call it "Criminal Springs" because of the brazen carjackings and home invasions. Fed up with the lack of police protection, they patrol their streets themselves.
But instead of being mortified by this vote of no confidence, Ashton told radio 3AW the patrols should stop "because it becomes vigilantism".
When Jill Meagher was raped and murdered in Melbourne four years ago, no one knew how complicit police and legal authorities were in the crime that shook the nation. Adrian Bayley had been convicted of raping eight women, yet was free on parole. He is suspected of raping at least 16 prostitutes in 2000, but the rape squad wasn’t interested. His DNA, taken in 2001, was lost by the hopeless police forensics lab.
Instead of locking up crooks, Victoria Police have become do-gooder agents of social change. Last year they embraced the gender scolds of the Victoria Human Rights Commission who made the usual "shocking" claims of entrenched sexual harassment and discrimination.
When he’s not pondering gender quotas, Ashton reserves his zeal for a self-serving vendetta against Catholic Cardinal George Pell, which wins plaudits from the ABC.
Rather than playing sectarian games and pandering to identity politics, Ashton might try doing his job. Better yet he could resign.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.