Thursday, March 15, 2018

could not resist as I pack the car.

this fits with my last memo about the future of man:https://video-subtitle.tedcdn. com/talk/podcast/2016S/None/Od edShoseyov_2016S-480p-en.mp4
Larry died.  His will provided $40,000 for an elaborate funeral.  As the last guests departed the
funeral, his wife, Sarah, turned to her oldest and dearest friend.  "Well, I'm sure Larry would be
pleased," she said.

"I'm sure you're right," replied Jody, who lowered her voice and leaned in close.  "How much did this
really cost?"
"All of it," said Sarah.  "Forty thousand."

 "No!" Jody exclaimed.  "I mean, it was very nice, but $40,000?"

 Sarah answered, "The funeral was $6,500.  I donated $500 to church.  The whiskey, wine and snacks were  another $500.  The rest went for the Memorial Stone."

 Jody computed quickly.  "$34,500 for a Memorial Stone? My God, how big is it?" "Four and a half carats."
More Rants (See 1 below.)
This from a very, very dear friend, fellow memo reader and brilliant psychiatrist regarding Trump:

"I agree.  Also he sits with the arms closed in front of his chest.  That is a no-no in  psychiatrist terms.

It may mean that he is hiding something, not open to conversation or not accepting what he is being told.

Happy spring , M----"
1)I  previously mentioned that it is the credit spread that matters as much as the  index rate. Right now there are numerous sources of debt for real estate ranging from traditional banks and insurance companies to private equity funds, mortgage loan funds, and assorted other lenders. They are all competing for a shrunken pool of opportunities. This leads to the borrowers being able to shop their deals to get better, lower spreads. So the ten year might go up by 10 or 15 basis points, but spreads on a specific deal might go down by a like amount if the deal is attractive enough to the lenders. So just looking at rising 10 year base rates is not what matters. Most loans today are actually priced over the swaps rate, so the pure ten year treasury rate is not the index. Swaps can vary in spread from the ten year rate as well as the credit spread.  The  other issues for borrowers are covenants, and the competition by lenders to get the deal can sometimes result in covenant light, meaning looser terms than would be the case if money was tight. It all depends on who is the sponsor, how good is the deal, how much leverage the borrower wants, and location of the property. Point is, don’t just assume because the ten year yield is up a few basis points, that it is so bad for all real estate deals. The ten year is still near an all-time low and even at 2.9%, it Is still possible for a very good sponsor, with a good deal, to get a very attractive rate on his loan and 70% leverage. This even goes for land development loans. It takes a lot to get a good loan, but if you are a good borrower and a solid project it is very achievable.

We are past the wave of 2007 -2008 maturities that threatened to crowd out new loans. One way or another these maturing loans got repaid, modified, deed in lieu, or worked out with added equity infusions. That means there is now more capacity for lenders to make new loans and that has increased the competition by lenders which is good for borrowers. Corporate bond default rates are expected to drop to 2.2% this year from 3.2% in January. While leverage levels have risen again, it is very different if you can lock in 4% vs 6%-or 8% years ago before the crash. With lower taxes and a fast growing economy, the risk of default for several more years is low. Because banks have far more base capital, the risks to the banking system are far less than ever. The banks also hold far less risk on their own balance sheets and there are no more sidecar entities they used to hide the real risk. Primary bond dealers held $279 billion of corporate bonds. Today they hold $24 billion. Debt is much more affordable with very low interest rates, and cash flow is at record high levels thanks to tax reform and good economic growth.  With inflation remaining at moderate levels, interest rates will remain relatively low for at least several more months. Default risk will remain very low for at least this year.

There is still no final decision as to what is the replacement for Libor, and how the transition is to work. The documentation for new loans today is tricky in that nobody is sure what the replacement will be, and in transition from Libor to the new index, it is not clear how the pricing adjustment will be handled so neither party gets hurt. As a result, lawyers are having to be creative in the sections related to the index rate and how to finalize pricing and adjust for differing indexes. We are still 2-3 years way from all this getting finalized, but Libor will be gone by 2021, and maybe sooner. There are trillions in loans around the world indexed to Libor, so it is a bit messy right now and the closer we get to 2020, the messier it becomes. There are bound to be lawsuits when it happens with one side or the other claiming the adjustment was not in accord with the documents which by necessity will be somewhat vague until the final index is agreed. This will be messy no matter what is decided. It is a lawyers dream come true as far as fee generation possibilities.

If you think hacking is bad now, wait until AI takes over for the hackers. It will soon be possible for hackers to use AI to unleash storms of cyber-attacks by robot computers. Current defenses may become overwhelmed. It will be a battle of the AI geeks to attack and to defend. One of the other areas of danger is using AI to control swarms of drones to launch military attacks by overwhelming defenses. This technology exists now, and it is why the US military is working on lasers as defense as well as other electronic defenses to foil drone attacks. Just as the Iranians try to use swarms of small attack boats to attack US navy vessels in the straits, attackers will use swarms of drones. There are defenses being developed but a F-35 cannot take out a swarm of drones by itself the way it can blow up an aircraft. Israel and the US are way ahead in this field, but it is moving very fast, and it is why we need tens of billions for defense to develop these weapons and defenses. In China now the government is using AI to track everyone in a given area with facial recognition, and other identifying factors. The Chinese budget just released spends more on this internal security equipment than on external defense. In a couple of years, China will be George Orwell’s dream come true, and Xi will control it all.  AI will change life for the better in most cases, but the bad guys like Putin and Iran will try to use it for very bad things. With Google, Facebook, Instagram and the other social networks, there is no privacy in the US anymore. If you think you have privacy you are naive. If you go online to buy anything, use Facebook or Twitter or Instagram -you have a data set all about you somewhere. Just look what happens next time you go online to consider buying something and all of a sudden, ads appear with similar product offers. As soon as you go on your phone they know where you are. So now assume it is China and the AI tracking programs and equipment they use. The government knows all. Science fiction has arrived in real time.

Believe it or not, wood is replacing steel and concrete in tall skyscrapers in some places. Apparently the technology has been perfected such that wood now can be made stronger than steel and fireproof. Go look it up online. It Is not yet in the US, and it is new, but the first of these buildings are under construction in other countries, and if it proves itself, you will see it here. Cost and speed of construction is driving this.

Critical lesson for everyone signing agreements to sell a company, or do some other similar transaction or joint venture. In my big law suit on Sacramento we won the case on a single word in a key sentence. That was the entire case in a single word-refinance. The appeal judges focused on that single word-refinance. I wrote the one sentence that was the whole case, and I wrote it myself because I knew going into that deal that it would be the key to any case where the guy was going to try to not pay us. I wanted to be sure it was in simple English and with no possible ability to misconstrue what it said. And that was the key to our winning. In at least two other cases I know, the lawyers were not so careful to read the documents and the principals lost millions as a result. Bottom line—if you are the principal you must read every word in a sale or JV document, and make certain that the key sentences which dictate if you get paid or not are in clear, precise English with no chance of misunderstanding. You must be fully aware of exact terms of calculating if you get paid on an earn out, and time limits on when you must act or not. Do not ever trust your lawyers to do this.  Many lawyers are excellent, but just because someone passed the bar, does not make every lawyer competent. Do it yourself. Be sure you understand all the key covenants, and remember key dates and triggers even if it is a few years later. These were key to our winning our lawsuit.

Now we have the first proof that there was no collusion. It really was a plot to go after Trump and upset his ability to govern.  It is clear Mueller has no evidence either. Schiff will scream it is a cover up and the investigation is not complete, but that is just the Dems wanting to cover their butts and keep the script in play for the media. There also is no case for obstruction. Drafting a press release that was essentially true is not a crime, and there was no crime to obstruct. Firing Comey had a legal basis, and was demanded by the Dems until Trump fired him, and then it is suddenly obstruction. Trump had every right to fire him, and this is not Nixon.  The Investigation of Trump and collusion went on at the FBI, and by Mueller, and now there Is no case to have obstructed since there was no collusion. The media will keep trying to make a case for obstruction, but there is nothing there.

The Dems are hoping to win the House, and supposedly white suburban and urban women will be the difference. I wonder what it is these women are voting against other than they just do not like the individual Trump. Surely it can’t be womanizing after Clinton. Is it their tax reduction, their rising stock portfolio value, their rising home value, record low unemployment for blacks and Latinos, a far better DACCA deal than the Dems put forward, the rebuilding of relations with Israel and the Arab states, the near record low unemployment, 3% GDP growth everyone said was impossible, rebuilding the military, maybe having a shot at denuclearization of N Korea, reestablishing a good working relationship with XI, crushing ISIS which has led to a material reduction in terror attacks in Europe and the US, the reversal of losses in Afghanistan and now talk of a peace agreement possibility, attacking Syrian chemical weapons facilities, Standing with our allies against Iran, deregulation which has spurred greatly accelerated growth in the economy, a chance for real laws to prevent school shootings, a possible real infrastructure program, support for school choice for poor kids, getting NATO to pay more for their defense so the US taxpayer  is not supporting them, or maybe they are signing on to the new Dem platform to raise taxes back up, bring back regulation which will kill economic growth, pay people  not to work with minimum guaranteed incomes, clamping down on free speech, or maybe they are for the new Dem policy  of eliminating ICE so there will be no deportation of MS-13. Putin is correct- the US is eating itself with the political battles now being fought by the Resistance. If it is educated white women in the suburbs and cities, then one wonders where they got their education, and how they lost their ability to think clearly. Do they really think there is anything good to come of a vote by House Dems to impeach Trump which will have no real legal basis, but will disrupt the country and our foreign policy. Putin understands us better than we do. He thinks we have lost our collective minds. A year ago I said ignore the tweets and what Trump says, and watch what the cabinet does.

CUOMO Protests While Being Protected By The Very Thing He Protests. Kroft and Soros. Shock Therapy Diplomacy. MY Thoughts. No MEMOING!

Takes self-righteous guts to protest gun ownership when you are protected by those carrying them.
This from a long time dear  friend and fellow memo reader followed by my response.

Once when we were very young, a friend of mine told me to "consider the source", a process I have practiced ever since.  Thus I'm always interested in who is doing the speaking.  In your recent post "Democrats/Liberals Versus Peanuts", you included a terrific review of Charles Schulz.  Mr. Schulz, his characters, humor, and insights, which I have followed since their inception, have always been a delightful inspiration for me.  Thus, I was most pleased and impressed with your Charles Schultz post.  Question is:  who wrote the article?  Dick, since it flowed seamlessly in your post, I take it that you wrote it.  Yes?  Regardless, it is a great tribute to a great man and I thank you for posting it.  I'm also curious, why now?  I see how it fits with your recent theme of the different way liberals and conservatives react and conduct themselves in society, but I wonder, since Schultz died 18 years ago, whether the article was written then and republished or newly minted.  Would appreciate knowing the context for the post.  Thanks.

With best regards,
I wrote it and posted it a few days ago. Thoughts and connections have a way of coming together at odds times. Me
N Korea's terrorist connections and activity? (See 1 below.)
Some times the best foreign policy strategy shock therapy . Trump's version of water-boarding. (See 2 below.)
I am not endorsing Kroft's analysis or conclusions but he comes to some  about Soros with which I do  agree .

Recently, Soros has been funding campaigns of sheriffs and district attorneys in America.

The deeper we plunge into debt the more vulnerable our financial system and currency becomes vulnerable to a raid. Decades ago The Hunt Brothers tried to corner the price of silver.  They failed but market manipulation can work and often does. (See 3 below.)
I am taking another stab at the break down of community and family as it related to school,other killings and the blame leveled at The NRA. (See 4 below.)
1)U.S. Monitoring Possible North Korean Military Base in Syria


The United States is monitoring information indicating that North Korea may be running a large underground military base in Syria that could be used for advanced weaponry and nuclear-related work, according to regional reports and U.S. officials tracking the situation.

Regional reports have begun to surface indicating North Korea has neared completion of the construction of an underground military base located near Qardaha in Syria, the hometown of embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"According to … satellite images and a military source the underground facility has been under construction for seven years, started by the beginning if the Syrian revolution in March 2011," Zaman Al Wasl, a Syrian news outlet, reported earlier this month. "The high level of secrecy and tight guard in the North Korean base raise speculations whether it's a nuclear facility or overseas depot for North Korean weapons."

U.S. officials told the Washington Free Beacon they are monitoring these reports and efforts by North Korea to help Assad rebuild Syria's chemical weapons factories.
"We are aware of reports regarding possible DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] assistance to Syria to rebuild its chemical weapons capabilities," a State Department official, speaking on background, told the Free Beacon. "We take these allegations very seriously and we are working assiduously to prevent the Assad regime from obtaining material and equipment to support its chemical weapons program."
The Trump administration has been engaged in efforts to counter North Korea's proliferation in Syria, particularly its efforts to supply Assad with chemical weapons.
"The United States has long expressed its deep concerns about both the assistance the DPRK provides to Syria's weapons programs and Syria's ongoing possession and use of chemical weapons—both activities in defiance of multiple United Nations Security Council resolutions," the State Department official said.

The underground North Korean military base could be hiding more than just chemical weapons, according to regional reports indicating that the sheer size of the base, which is mostly situated within a mountain, raises concerns of nuclear work.
Purported satellite images of the base circulating on the internet indicate that only a small portion of the facility is visible from above ground.

"Long tunnels have been built during the last seven years in a deep valley in Qardaha under the supervision of North Korean experts," the Zaman Al Wasl outlet reported.
The United Nations recently cited North Korea for its increased efforts to meddle in Syria and provide the Assad regime with new caches of chemical weapons.
This has fueled U.S. concerns about the hermit nation at a time when the Trump administration is pursuing diplomatic talks regarding North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Evidence that North Korea is working to bolster the Assad regime is likely to fuel further international tensions as Iran and Russia undertake similar efforts. The newest underground facility may facilitate further Iranian and North Korean military collaboration.

The Trump administration is continuing efforts to crackdown on this military collaboration and is urging allies to apply similar pressure.

"North Korea is a significant threat to international security and the Assad regime's ongoing use of chemical weapons is a similar affront to international law," the State Department official said. "We work with all our partners to uphold U.N. Security Council Resolutions and prevent North Korea and Syria from further threatening international peace and stability."

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Dermer: Trump’s Jerusalem move is ‘shock therapy’ for Palestinians
The minute the Palestinians recognize a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, he said, the whole edifice of Palestinian rejectionism would begin to collapse.

US President Donald Trump’s recent moves on Jerusalem constituted “shock therapy” against Palestinian rejectionism, which is the real obstacle to peace, Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer said in Washington.

Dermer was speaking at an event in the Senate on Tuesday where former Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold gave a presentation to about 100 legislators, congressional staffers and think tank members titled “Jerusalem: What’s at stake.”

Dermer said that there is no peace today between Israel and the Palestinians because of a Palestinian refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the right of the Jews to a state in Israel within any boundaries.

“That is why the Palestinians try to deny any historical connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem,” he said. “Because to admit this connection is to admit that the Jewish people aren’t foreign colonialists in the Land of Israel; that Israel for the Jewish people is not India for the British, or Algeria for the French, or the Congo for the Belgians – but that this is the land of our ancestors.”

The minute the Palestinians recognize a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, he said, the whole edifice of Palestinian rejectionism would begin to collapse, because it would mean that the Jewish people are in Israel “not merely by might, but by right.”

“Dealing with this Palestinian rejectionism is critical if you are going to advance peace, and the rejectionism is strongest, and of course most absurd, when it comes to Jerusalem,” he said.

Dermer mocked the phrase that Palestinian officials often use – that Israel is trying to “Judaize Jerusalem,” saying this is akin to saying that the Chinese are “Sino-fying” Beijing, or the Russians are “Russo-fying” Moscow.

Dermer said that while he understands why the Palestinians are trying to deny a Jewish connection to Jerusalem, he does not understand why the world tolerates it and even applauds it, as it did when it adopted UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in December 2016, a resolution that essentially stated that the Western Wall is in occupied Palestinian territory.

“To advance peace, you must confront this Palestinian rejectionism,” he said, “and that is precisely what President Trump did when he recognized Jerusalem as our capital. It is shock therapy for Palestinian rejectionism. And it is actually, in my view, one of the first positive things that has been done to advance peace in decades.”

He said that by recognizing the Jewish people’s historical connection to Jerusalem, Trump “laid an important cornerstone for peace.”

Gold, the head of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, said that Trump’s announcement also “effectively put to rest” the idea of a corpus separatum – or internationalization – of Jerusalem, an idea that he said has persisted up until today.

When President Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, he effectively put to rest the internationalization idea,” Gold said. “He was also correcting decades of diplomatic distortions at the United Nations. Finally, he was fulfilling the Jerusalem Embassy Act from 1995, that bipartisan initiative cosponsored by senators Tom Daschle and Bob Dole, calling for moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

That was the accepted position across the American political spectrum and across our political spectrum.

“This,” he said, “was the greatest gift the United States could give to Israel on the 70th anniversary of its birth.”

Steve Kroft (born August 22, 1945) is an American journalist and a longtime correspondent for "60 Minutes".  His investigative reporting has garnered him much acclaim, including three Peabody Awards and nine Emmy awards, one of which was an Emmy for Lifetime Achievement.  You can understand what is happening to our America after reading this. 
May God have mercy upon our nation!
One Evil Human
FROM STEVE KROFT ("60 Minutes")

Glen Beck has been developing material to show all the ties that Soros has through the nation and world along with his goals.  This article is written by Steve Kroft from "60 Minutes".  It begins to piece together the rise of Obama and his behavior in leading the nation along with many members of Congress (in particular the Democrats, such as the election of Pelosi as the minority leader in Congress).

If you have wondered where Obama came from and just how he quickly moved from obscurity to President, or why the media is "selective" in what we are told, here is the man who most probably put him there and is responsible.  He controls President Obama's every move .  Think this is absurd?  Invest a few minutes and read this.  You won't regret it.

Who is Obama?  Obama is a puppet and here is the explanation of the man or demon that pulls his strings.  It’s not by chance that Obama can manipulate the world.  After reading this and Obama's reluctance to accept help on the oil spill you wonder if the spill is part of the plan to destroy the US?  "In history, nothing happens by accident.  If it happened, you can bet someone planned it." ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Who Is George Soros?  He brought the market down in 2 days.  Here is what CBS' Mr. Steve Kroft's research has turned up.  It's a bit of a read, and it took 4 months to put it together.  "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States of America."  ~ George Soros" 

George Soros is an evil man.  He's anti-God, anti-family, anti-American, and anti-good."  He killed and robbed his own Jewish people.  What we have in Soros, is a multi-billionaire atheist, with skewed moral values, and a sociopath's lack of conscience.  He considers himself to be an elitist world class philosopher, despises the American way, and just loves to do social engineering and change cultures.

Garry Schwartz, better known to the world as George Soros, was born August 12, 1930 in Hungary.  Soros' father, Tivadar, was a fervent practitioner of the Esperanto language invented in 1887, and designed to be the first global language, free of any national identity.  The Schwartz's, who were non-practicing Jews, changed the family name to Soros, in order to facilitate assimilation into the Gentile population, as the Nazis spread into Hungary during the 1930s.

When Hitler's henchman, Adolf Eichmann arrived in Hungary, to oversee the murder of that country's Jews, George Soros ended up with a man whose job was confiscating property from the Jewish population.  Soros went with him on his rounds . 

Soros has repeatedly called 1944 "the best year of his life."  70% of Mr. Soros's fellow Jews in Hungary, nearly a half-million human beings, were annihilated in that year , yet he gives no sign that this put any damper on his elation, either at the time or indeed in retrospect".  During an interview with "Sixty Minute's" Steve Kroft, Soros was asked about his "best year."

KROFT:  My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson. 

SOROS:  Yes.  Yes.

KROFT:  Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from your fellow Jews, friends and neighbors. 

SOROS:  Yes.  That's right.  Yes.

KROFT:  I mean, that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many, years.  Was it difficult?

SOROS:  No, not at all.  Not at all, I rather enjoyed it.

KROFT:  No feelings of guilt?

SOROS:  No, only feelings of absolute power.

In his article, Muravchik describes how Soros has admitted to having carried some rather "potent messianic fantasies with me from childhood, which I felt I had to control, otherwise they might get me in trouble."  Be that as it may.  After WWII, Soros attended the London School of Economics, where he fell under the thrall of fellow atheist and Hungarian, Karl Popper, one of his professors.  Popper was a mentor to Soros until Popper's death in 1994.  Two of Popper's most influential teachings concerned "the open society," and Fallibilism.

Fallibilism is the philosophical doctrine that all claims of knowledge could, in principle, be mistaken.  (Then again, I could be wrong about that.)  The "open society" basically refers to a "test and evaluate" approach to social engineering.  Regarding "open society" Roy Childs writes, "Since the Second World War, most of the Western democracies have followed Popper's advice about piecemeal social engineering and democratic social reform, and it has gotten them into a grand mess."

In 1956 Soros moved to New York City, where he worked on Wall Street, and started amassing his fortune.  He specialized in hedge funds and currency speculation.  Soros is absolutely ruthless, amoral, and clever in his business dealings, and quickly made his fortune.  By the 1980s he was well on his way to becoming the global powerhouse that he is today.

In an article Kyle-Anne Shiver wrote for "The American Thinker" she says, "Soros made his first billion in 1992 by shorting the British pound with leveraged billions in financial bets, and became known as the man who broke the Bank of England.  He broke it on the backs of hard-working British citizens who immediately saw their homes severely devalued and their life savings cut drastically, almost overnight."

In 1994 Soros crowed in "The New Republic," that "the former Soviet Empire is now called the Soros Empire."  The Russia-gate scandal in 1999, which almost collapsed the Russian economy, was labeled by Rep. Jim Leach, then head of the House Banking Committee, to be "one of the greatest social robberies in human history.  "The "Soros Empire" indeed. 

In 1997 Soros almost destroyed the economies of Thailand and Malaysia.  At the time, Malaysia's Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohammad, called Soros "a villain, and a moron."  Thai activist Weng Tojirakarn said, "We regard George Soros as a kind of Dracula.  He sucks the blood from the people."

The website Greek National Pride reports, "Soros was part of the full court press that dismantled Yugoslavia and caused trouble in Georgia, Ukraine and Myanmar [Burma].  Calling himself a philanthropist, Soros' role is to tighten the ideological stranglehold of globalization and the New World Order while promoting his own financial gain.  He is without conscience; a capitalist who functions with absolute amorality."

France has upheld an earlier conviction against Soros, for felony insider trading.  Soros was fined 2.9 million dollars.  Recently, his native Hungary fined Soros 2.2 million dollars for "illegal market manipulation."  Elizabeth Crum writes that the Hungarian economy has been in a state of transition as the country seeks to become more financially stable and westernized.  Soros deliberately driving down the share price of its largest bank put Hungary's economy into a wicked tailspin, one from which it is still trying to recover. 
My point here is that Soros is a planetary parasite.  His grasp, greed, and gluttony have a global reach.  But what about America?  Soros told Australia's national newspaper "The Australian."  "America, as the center of the globalized financial markets, was sucking up the savings of the world.  This is now over.  "The game is out," he said, adding that the time has come for "a very serious adjustment" in American's consumption habits.  He implied that he was the one with the power to bring this about." 

Soros:  "World financial crisis was "stimulating" and "in a way, the culmination of my life's work." 

Obama has recently promised 10 billion of our tax dollars to Brazil, in order to give them a leg-up in expanding their offshore oil fields.  Obama's largesse towards Brazil came shortly after his political financial backer, George Soros, invested heavily in Brazilian oil (Petrobras). 

Tait Trussel writes, "The Petrobras loan may be a windfall for Soros and Brazil, but it is a bad deal for the U.S.  The American Petroleum Institute estimates that oil exploration in the U S could create 160,000 new, well-paying jobs, as well as $1.7 trillion in revenues to federal, state, and local governments, all while fostering greater energy security and independence." 

A blog you might want to keep an eye on is  Their mission:  "This blog is dedicated to all who have suffered due to the ruthless financial pursuits of George Soros.  Your stories are many and varied, but the theme is the same:  the destructive power of greed without conscience.  We pledge to tirelessly watch Soros wherever he goes and to print the truth in the hope that he will one day be made to stop preying upon the world's poor, that justice will be served." 

Back to America.  Soros has been actively working to destroy America from the inside out for some years now.  People have been warning us.  Two years ago, news sources reported that "Soros [is] an extremist who wants open borders, a one-world foreign policy, legalized drugs, euthanasia, and on and on.  This is off-the-chart dangerous.  In 1997 Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote, "Soros uses his philanthropy to change or more accurately deconstruct the moral values and attitudes of the Western world, and particularly of the American people".  His "open society" is not about freedom; it is about license.  His vision rejects the notion of ordered liberty, in favor of a PROGRESSIVE ideology of rights and entitlements.

Perhaps the most important of these "whistle blowers" are David Horowitz and Richard Poe.  Their book, "The Shadow Party", outlines in detail how Soros hijacked the Democratic Party, and now owns it lock, stock, and barrel.  Soros has been packing the Democratic Party with radicals, and ousting moderate Democrats for years.  The Shadow Party became the Shadow Government, which recently became the Obama Administration.

Discover The (another good source) writes, "By his [Soros'] own admission, he helped engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, Georgia, and Yugoslavia.  When Soros targets a country for "regime change," he begins by creating a shadow government, a fully formed government-in-exile, ready to assume power when the opportunity arises.  The Shadow Party he has built in America greatly resembles those he has created in other countries prior to instigating a coup."

November 2008 edition of the German magazine, "Der Spiegel," in which Soros gives his opinion on what the next POTUS (President of the U. S.) should do after taking office.  "I think we need a large stimulus package."  Soros thought that around 600 billion would be about right.  Soros also said that "I think Obama presents us a great opportunity to finally deal with global warming and energy dependence.  The U.S. needs a cap and trade system with auctioning of licenses for emissions rights."

Although Soros doesn't (yet) own the Republican Party, like he does the Democrats, make no mistake, his tentacles are spread throughout the Republican Party as well. 

Soros is a partner in the Carlyle Group where he has invested more than 100 million dollars.  According to an article by "The Baltimore Chronicle's" Alice Cherbonnier, the Carlyle Group is run by "a veritable who's who of former Republican leaders," from CIA man, Frank Carlucci, to CIA head and ex-President George Bush, Sr.
In late 2006, Soros bought about 2 million shares of Halliburton, Dick Cheney's old stomping grounds.  When the Democrats and Republicans held their conventions in 2000, Soros held Shadow Party conventions in the same cities, at the same time.  In 2008, Soros donated $5,000,000,000 (that’s Five Billion) to the Democratic National Committee, DNC, to insure Obama's win and wins for many other Alinsky trained Radical Rules Anti-American Socialist.  George has been contributing a billion plus to the DNC since Clinton came on the scene. 

Soros has dirtied both sides of the aisle, trust me.  And if that weren't bad enough, he has long held connections with the CIA.  And I mustn't forget to mention Soros' involvement with the MSM (Main Stream Media), the entertainment industry (e.g. he owns 2.6 million shares of Time Warner), and the various political advertising organizations he funnels millions to.  In short, George Soros controls or influences most of the MSM.  Little wonder they ignore the TEA PARTY, Soros' NEMESIS.

As Matthew Vadum writes, "The liberal billionaire-turned-philanthropist has been buying up media properties for years in order to drive home his message to the American public that they are too materialistic, too wasteful, too selfish, and too stupid to decide for themselves how to run their own lives."

Richard Poe writes, "Soros' private philanthropy, totaling nearly $5 billion, continues undermining America's traditional Western values.  His giving has provided funding of abortion rights, atheism, drug legalization, sex education, euthanasia, feminism, gun control, globalization, mass immigration, gay marriage and other radical experiments in social engineering." 

Some of the many NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) that Soros funds with his billions are:, the Apollo Alliance, Media Matters for America, the Tides Foundation, the ACLU, ACORN, PDIA (Project on Death In America), La Raza, and many more.  For a more complete list, with brief descriptions of the NGOs, go to                                                           
Poe continues, "Through his global web of Open Society Institutes and Open Society Foundations, Soros has spent 25 years recruiting, training, indoctrinating and installing a network of loyal operatives in 50 countries, placing them in positions of influence and power in media, government, finance and academia."

Without Soros' money, would the Saul Alinsky's Chicago machine still be rolling?  Would SEIU, ACORN, and La Raza still be pursuing their nefarious activities?  Would big money and lobbyists still be corrupting government?  Would our college campuses still be retirement homes for 1960s radicals?

America stands at the brink of an abyss, and that fact is directly attributable to Soros.  Soros has vigorously, cleverly, and insidiously planned the ruination of America and his puppet, Barack Obama is leading the way.

The words of Patrick Henry are apropos:  "Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!" 
4)Historians and sociologists associate the breakdown of the family and community with The Industrial Revolution.

Prior to this period, people lived in small groups, were dependent upon their family unit for a variety of essential needs and knew each other intimately. They even had significant influence over each other, felt responsible for each other and even shaped the behaviour of those in their own family unit. They generally worked in family businesses and activities.

Along came The Industrial Revolution and state and governmental entities supplanted the family unit and the community.  People were freed of family connections,  and the state and government took over many of the roles of educating, protecting , supporting, ruling the behaviour of individuals.  

In less than two centuries most vestiges and benefits associated with family and community have been radically altered and/or replaced.

Psychologically, as people developed away from family and the Post-industrial Revolution community came to be, their emotional and physical needs were addressed and filled by more distant entities (bureaucracies.) People were free to go their own way and the safety net of the family and community was lessened if not entirely erased.

Statistically, as borders became established and nation states were  formed, man has lived in relative security notwithstanding, tragic periods of wars and other horrible human dislocations. We are witnessing such in Syria and areas of Africa at this very time. Today, benefits derived from wars have lessened as man becomes more dependent upon technology and his own creativity and most people are increasingly able to sustain life.

The Jewish people could not take land with them so they developed trades and professions that were more intellectually connected/oriented  Unless you were decapitated you could leave with your head and start life somewhere else.  Once Israel was established, Jews reverted back to being like other people, in that they farmed, developed methods that enhanced cultivation and productivity. even in desert conditions. and you know the rest.

Man's life pursuit is to be happy, to be safe, to be free, to achieve wealth and to procreate among other goals and desires. Modern man also finds himself living in an increasingly lonely world because the connection with family and community has been broken and his support system is more distant and de-humanized.

Biologists maintain our mental and emotional world has been shaped by millions of years of evolution. Happiness, one can argue, is the correlation between objective conditions and subjective expectations. What satisfies man often proves ephemeral/fleeting.

When one examines the pathology and life of the wretched soul who killed 17 students and teachers in Florida, I do not see a connection because of the existence of The NRA.  The lack of a family structure, his biological make up and the distance of the external support system, which totally failed to act, is more to blame than the NRA. 

I do not own a gun nor have I ever been a member of The NRA. However, pursuing the wrong avenue will not lead to answers. It might assuage emotions of the moment and political goals but every time we try this approach we find no true answer and/or solution.

If blaming The NRA makes you feel better so be it.  

Scapegoating is a human condition but to be human is to err.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

American And Israel - Commentary.Las Vegas, MGM Unanswered Questions. "Thou Shalt Innovate" Reviewed. Bolton To Head NIA!

Issues pertaining to American and Israeli relations. (See 1, 1a, 1b, and 1c. below.)

And:  This for those who are conspiratorial believers:
Avi's book, reviewed.

I have not read as yet as I am still trying to finish "Sapiens."  but taking it on my lengthy trip and should have finished by the time I return.(See 2 below.)
Apparently John Bolton will become the head of the National Intelligence Agency.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ B
Is favoring Israel an American national security interest?

Should the United States distance itself from Israel to become a neutral negotiator?  According to a Wall Street Journal article, the Trump administration’s recent “moves have been seen as favoring Israel by Europeans, the Palestinians and their supporters.”
Lost in the discussion is whether America’s national security interests would be best served as a neutral intermediary, or, as Nikki Haley recently said, “There’s nothing wrong with showing favoritism towards an ally.”
Is Israel a strategically vital ally?
Back in 201, the Washington Institute’s Robert Blackwill and Walter Slocombe said, “There is no other Middle East country whose definition of national interests is so closely aligned with that of the United States.” Today those interests include reigning in Iranian expansionism and its quest for weapons of mass destruction, while combating both radical Sunni and Shiite Islamist terrorism.
The State Department, over the years, has been reluctant to “take sides” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arguing that this would have negative effects for America’s other interests in the region.
However, it seems this has not advanced American interests or brought peace to the region. It has magnified Palestinian intransigence, while draining American taxpayer dollars, propping up a corrupt Palestinian Authority without demanding anything substantial of it.
Beyond shared democratic western values, does Israel advance American interests?
In the 21st century, intelligence and cyber-defense are paramount for security. For the United States, there is no better source of reliable information in the Middle East than Israel. The Israelis live in this bad neighborhood and understand the realities better than those on the outside.
It was Israel that discovered the North Korean-built Syrian nuclear reactor and destroyed it. Can you imagine the threat to American security if there were loose nukes in today’s Syria? Who would control them — ISIS, Bashar al-Assad, Hezbollah, or Iran? These days, do we want our military in the region to be dependent on Turkey’s President Erdogan?
Today the United States has a reliable naval port in Haifa, joint military exercises preparing its soldiers, American troops manning the X-band anti-missile system in Israel to protect Europe, Israeli security technology for U.S. homeland security, and Israel’s advances in drone technology to benefit our military.
It should be clear to all that the present Palestinian leadership is incapable of making the hard but essential choices for real peace, a demilitarized state, ending the claim of a “right of return” of descendants of Palestinians refugees to Israel, accepting a Jewish State, and signing a final end-of-conflict agreement.
The Palestinians disengaged from meaningful negotiations years ago. President Abbas used the opportunity of Trump’s Jerusalem announcement to end America’s primary role in mediating the conflict, moving it to the more friendly confines of an internationalized mediation. Abbas knows full well that the Europeans are his best ally and advocate, with the deck stacked against Israel.
As retired Israeli Brig. Gen. Michael Herzog wrote in World AffairsAbbas “was afraid of the U.S. peace plan coming his way, felt he would have to reject it — while Israel may say yes — and didn’t want to navigate that situation.”
Pro-Palestinian Americans, such as Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, have encouraged the Palestinian leadership to distance itself from America; Khalidi called the United States the “eternally dishonest broker” in an op-ed in The Nation. A binational state controlled by Palestinians, where Israel now stands, would be an unreliable American strategic partner and would cripple American security in the Levant.
Far too many American secretaries of State have wanted to be the one to be the hero to cut the Gordian knot, to do something about the Arab-Israeli situation, so they have pressured Israel to make major concessions. American administrations have pressured Israel repeatedly because it is the one party in the conflict that is susceptible to pressure.
Unacknowledged by the realist school of thought advocated by Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski, Israel over the years has taken profound risks to accommodate American interests to its own detriment. President George W. Bush’s demand for Palestinian elections in 2006, against Israeli advice, directly led to Hamas’ takeover of Gaza. Bush’s father demanded that Israel break its own strategic doctrine by not responding to the Iraqi Scud attack during the Gulf War.
If a Western-style peace settlement is beyond possible in the shifting sands of the Islamic Middle East, what, then, will advance American security interests? The problem is that our interests have moved way beyond the conflict over the past decade, with our primary security problem being Iranian hegemony and its alignment with anti-American allies and proxies — Russia, Syria, Hezbollah and Turkey’s Erdogan.
So, how can America and Israel move forward without a Palestinian partner? The best, but still unlikely, possibility is encouraging the Sunni Arab Gulf states to start dealing with Israel as an equal and legitimate nation in the open, forcing the Palestinians to make more reasonable demands. The idea of treating these two belligerents evenly is morally obtuse, but treating them fairly according to our interests is appropriate.
Yes, American foreign policy interests would be advanced if there is resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but not at the expense of endangering the security interests of its indispensable ally Israel — security interests that are vital to combating Iranian, Turkish and Russian expansionism. You need only to look at Turkey, the eastern flank of NATO, to know how important Israel has become to American long-term security interests in the region.
Favoring Israel is an American national security interest. It lets our other allies know that America sticks with its longtime friends, and warns our adversaries not to underestimate American loyalty.
Eric R. Mandel is director of the Middle East Political and Information Network (MEPIN™). He regularly briefs members of Congress on the Middle East.

"National Security Leaders" Adopt the Palestinian Narrative
Blog Post by Elliott Abrams 
On March 2, seventeen “National Security Leaders” issued an alarming statement about Israel-Palestinian peace and U.S. policy. The statement was carried as an ad in The New York Times and a PDF version can be found here.
In my view, the statement is fairly radical in its departure from what has been U.S. policy for decades. How? 
--The Statement claims that “previous U.S. administrations” have “accepted” a Palestinian demand for “equal and minimal land swaps.” I will speak only about the George W. Bush administration. We understood that land swaps were a very useful idea to make the two-state solution work, but we did not back any demand that they be “equal and minimal.” That was to be negotiated by the parties.
--The Statement says that “Jerusalem [is] to be the capital of Israel and Palestine, in the west and the east of the city respectively, an open city for the faithful of the three monotheistic religions.” The Bush administration also left the borders of Jerusalem to be determined by the parties, and never insisted on an “open city”—whatever that means.
--The Statement calls for “Ensuring the security of the two states consistent with their respective sovereignty and supported by a third-party security mechanism.” The Bush administration understood that security was an enormously complex and dangerous issue, but did not demand a “third-party security mechanism.” Again, the meaning of that phrase is entirely unclear, while it has long been entirely clear that Israel would not hand its security over to the United Nations, the United States, NATO troops, or any other possible “mechanism.”
--The Statement says our goal should be “Two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.” What’s missing here? Compare the words of President Bush when addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 2002: “In the Middle East there can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices.” The Statement makes no mention whatsoever of freedom or democracy, simply abandoning the hopes and indeed the rights of the Palestinian people in this regard.
--The Statement says that a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians “remains a core U.S. national interest.” Really? A desirable goal to be sure, but as one thinks of the rise of China, American military preparedness, missile defense, Iranian and North Korean nukes, energy issues, and the like, does solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict qualify as a “core national interest?”
The Statement is radical in a more significant way in embracing the Palestinian view that only Israel is to blame for the failure of peace negotiations. It says that “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, addressing the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, February 20, affirmed the Palestinian commitment to a peaceful negotiated path….” Nowhere does it note that for nine years running now, the PLO has refused to come to the table and negotiate. If Abbas is committed to the path of negotiations, why did he not take it—especially in the years when Secretary of State Kerry was energetically trying to make that happen. It is worth recalling the comment of Martin Indyk, who was part of the American team under Obama: while PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas “checked out of the negotiations," Israeli prime minister Netanyahu "moved into the zone of a possible agreement." Indyk spreads blame to both parties, but his statement fully contradicts the Palestinian “narrative” that the Statement adopts.
The Statement does say that “The Palestinian leadership has reiterated its commitment to a non-violent path of diplomatic negotiations and dialogue. Having articulated principles for a peaceful settlement, Palestinian leaders must also demonstrate this commitment in words and deeds….” That’s fine, but nowhere does the Statement actually demand that the PLO do the single thing that should be most obvious: agree to get back to the negotiating table.
The statement is radical in holding that the American role over the years is blameworthy: “Addressing legitimate Palestinian grievances, and America's role in their prolongation, is…crucial to the goal of de-radicalization, denying oxygen to extremists, and resetting America's standing and relationships.” Note that “legitimate Israeli grievances” are not even mentioned.
But how exactly has the United States “prolonged Palestinian grievances?” This is not explained. It must be assumed, given the overall tone of the Statement, that the answer is simple: the United States has been too “pro-Israel” and has not crammed a deal down Israel’s throat. So again, according to this Statement the blame does not lie with the Palestinians, led for decades by the terrorist Yasser Arafat and now by someone who refused a peace deal in 2008 and has for nine years refused to negotiate.
The Statement is radical in backing fully the Palestinian demand that the traditional American role in fostering negotiations must be usurped by others. The Statement backs the Palestinian call for a grand international conference whose ambitions and participants are worth noting: “with the participation of the parties themselves, the International Quartet, as well as the permanent members of the Security Council and regional stakeholders, creating a multilateral mechanism to assist the Israelis and Palestinians in negotiations, and to realize the Arab Peace Initiative and conclude a regional peace based on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement consistent with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338.” That formulation would bring China into the mix, and Syria as well (isn’t it a “regional stakeholder?”). And what does concluding “a regional peace” mean, exactly? Israeli-Palestinian negotiations may be insufficiently complicated, so peace between Israel and Lebanon and Israel and Syria should now be in the mix?
Lest there be any confusion as to its intent, the Statement concludes this way: “If the Administration rejects two states and these reasonable parameters, then other members of the Quartet, of the Security Council and International Community should move forward with parameters and a mechanism to re-focus efforts on an early return to the two-state solution.”
So what is this all about? Clearly the signers believe the United States has long been much too pro-Israel. And now the dreaded Trump administration has gone even further in that direction (for example, one must suppose, by recognizing that Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is Israel’s capital) --and this is intolerable. Therefore the signers demand that the “International Community” take over. This is not entirely unreasonable in one way: we can surely count on the “International Community” to abandon the support of Israel that has characterized American foreign policy, and to try to force a solution unfavorable to Israel. Israel has seventy years of experience with the “International Community” and it is bitter.
After all, that “International Community” includes 57 Islamic states, the EU, and countries hostile to Israel such as Sweden and Cuba. The Statement is, then, is a cry of anguish about the Trump administration’s strong support of Israel and a demand that someone, somewhere, start meeting to take the Palestinian side and pressure Israel for concessions.
Most surprising about this Statement is the thought that its many distinguished signers believe this can possibly work. Admittedly, not all signers are distinguished: one is distinguished only for hostility to Israel; several others are quite distinguished but have no particular expertise in this subject area. But what of those who have long experience? Do they really think any of this can happen, or would have any positive effect? A gigantic international conference “by mid 2018”—this is in the Statement—in other words with minimal preparation?
I have an elixir that can calm the signers down. I suggest they travel in the Arab world, where the main topics are Iran and (as always) regime survival.
There they will find as I have that the sense of emerging calamity because Israel and the PLO have not made peace is missing. No one is demanding vast conferences or is seeking to exclude the United States. But the Arab world is far, so an alternative is traveling to Capitol Hill. There as well they will find no sense that America’s relationship with Israel requires that the “International Community” push us aside and take over, nor any belief among the leaders of either party that America is to blame for “prolonging” the Palestinians’ problems. They will find plenty of opposition to the Trump Administration, but happily it has not been translated into an analysis of the Middle East that blames Israel and the United States for the region’s troubles.
The Statement, like so many of its intellectual predecessors, infantilizes the Palestinians: they are victims and little else. But the past suggests, to me at least, that only when Palestinians take responsibility for their politics, their civic culture, their society, and their future can peace really be possible.

Secretary of State nominee ‘friend of Israel,’ critic of Iran deal
 March 14, 2018
Secretary of State nominee ‘friend of Israel,’ critic of Iran deal
Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo (AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

It appears that President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of State, CIA director Mike Pompeo, views Israel favorably and sees the Iran nuclear deal as fatally flawed.
By: Ebin Sandler, World Israel News
By all accounts, President Donald Trump is preparing to nominate CIA chief Mike Pompeo to serve as the next US Secretary of State following Trump’s dismissal of Rex Tillerson earlier in the week. Tillerson and Trump failed to see eye to eye on the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran, which the president is determined to either significantly alter or eliminate completely.
In the past, Pompeo’s positions on Israel have reflected an appreciation for the Jewish state’s role in maintaining stability in the Middle East. According to former Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, Pompeo has a very positive disposition toward Israel, the Jerusalem Post reported. Oren’s comments were based on interactions with Pompeo when the latter served as a congressman representing Kansas.
Oren explained to the Post that Pompeo breaks the mold of many State Department career employees and appointees, whom he says pursue an Arabist worldview in their positions at the agency. Oren cited as examples of this posture former Secretaries of State John Kerry, Condoleezza Rice, and Madeleine Albright.
Pompeo has been described in the past as “a friend of American Jews and a true friend of Israel” by Matt Brooks, who leads the Republican Jewish Coalition. During a 2015 visit to Israel as a congressman from Kansas, Pompeo was briefed by the Israel Police and made a stop at the Western Wall. At that time, Pompeo lauded Israelis’ “admirable restraint in the face of unspeakably cruel attacks,” in reference to a wave of Palestinian terrorism, including a rash of fatal stabbings.
With regard to Iran, Pompeo unequivocally criticized the nuclear deal signed with the Islamic Republic in 2015, subsequently tweeting that he advocates “rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” Pompeo favors extending sanctions on Iran, in addition to taking further actions to reign in the nation’s regional aggression and nuclear ambitions.


The Gallup Poll showed that 74% of the US public views Israel favorably.


Two months after a Pew poll indicated a deep partisan split over Israel leading to much hand-wringing in Israel, Gallup released its own poll showing that American public support for Israel has never been higher.

Under the headline “Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel's Corner,” Gallup – in an explanatory article written by senior Gallup editor Lydia Saad on its website on Tuesday – wrote that “as the Trump administration prepares to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and is reportedly finalizing its broader Middle East peace plan, Americans' stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as strongly pro-Israel as at any time in Gallup's three-decade trend.”

According to the poll, 64% of the US population says their sympathies lie more with Israel than the Palestinians, with 19% saying they sympathize more with the Palestinians.

This tied the previous high recorded in 1991, the year of the Gulf War, when Scud missiles rained down on Israel, and 2013, when president Barack Obama visited the country. The 45 point differential in this year's poll between those saying they support Israel and those saying their sympathies are with the Palestinians is, however, less than the 52 point difference in 2013 and the whopping 57% difference in 1991.

Fewer people than in the past, only 16%, have no opinion, the lowest percentage since Gallup began asking this question 30 years ago, and an indication, Saad wrote, that more Americans have taken a clear position on the dispute.

Gallup, like Pew, found a significant partisan gap, but far less pronounced than the Pew findings. According to the Gallup poll, 87% of Republicans sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians, though that number among Democrats is only 49%, representing a 38 point difference. In the Pew poll there was a huge 52 point difference between Republicans and Democrats (79% vs. 27%).

The Gallup poll showed the highest level of support ever among Republicans, and even among Democrats support increased  eight percentage points from the low mark in 2005 – the year of the withdrawal from Gaza –when only 41% of Democrats expressed more sympathy for Israel. This is contrary to the widespread perception that Israel’s position among Democrats has never been worse. 

The Gallup Poll showed that 74% of the US public views Israel favorably, the highest level since 1991, while 23% have a negative view of the country. The situation regarding the Palestinians is flipped, with 21% viewing the Palestinians Authority favorably, and 71% unfavorably.

The poll also showed that twice as many Americans believe the US should place more pressure on the Palestinians to solve the conflict (50%) than on Israel (27%).

According to Saad, “The broad contours of Americans' perspectives on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remain about the same under President Donald Trump as they've been in recent years. Most Americans view Israel favorably and the Palestinian Authority unfavorably, resulting in a strong tendency for Americans to sympathize with Israel in the territorial conflict and to call for greater diplomatic pressure to be placed on the Palestinians.”

With the pro-Israel sentiments particularly strong and growing among Republicans, Saad's conclusion was that “to satisfy his political base, Trump's options would seem limited to those that put minimal pressure on Israel over such thorny issues as the status of Jerusalem and the maintenance of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.”

However, she added, “given Trump's past efforts at diplomacy, anything is possible.”

The Gallup poll was conducted by phone interviews from from February 1-10, with a random sample of 1,044 adults, and has a ,±4% margin of error.

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

The second week post launch of Thou Shalt Innovate has been exciting and included speaking engagements for AIPAC and FIDF, alongside positive press coverage.
  • RealClearPolitics: My friend and colleague Peter Berkowitz of the Hoover Institution reviews the book (full text below)  
  • The Tower: author interview and excerpt of Thou Shalt Innovate (drip irrigation)
  • The Algemeiner: provides an overview of  Israel's role in international development as explained in Thou Shalt Innovate
  • AIPAC Policy Conference: I was privileged to sit alongside Sivan Ya'ari (Innovation Africa), Ambassador Gil Haskel (MASHAV) and Yotam Polizer (Isaaid) on a panel entitled: The Israeli Ethos: Contributing to the World, Responding to Crisis & Saving Lives. The full clip is available for viewing
I could not be happier with the attention the book is receiving. Please consider telling your friends and colleagues about Thou Shalt Innovate, which can be purchased here. Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,
The Untold Story of Israeli Innovation
Real Clear Politics
By Peter Berkowitz
March 13, 2018

Even beyond its extraordinary success in launching high-tech companies chronicled nine years ago in the best-selling “Start-up Nation,” Israel is an innovation capital of the world. But the inspiring story of its inventors and entrepreneurs and their discoveries, devices, and services that have benefited the Jewish state and people around the globe has not been fully told. Nor have the cultural, religious, and political roots of Israeli exceptionalism been sufficiently explored.

Israel’s security threats and political challenges understandably preoccupy the media. Newspaper headlines and TV news coverage give the impression that the country exists in an all-consuming state of crisis. The press duly reports that the country has been subject to international opprobrium owing to its control since the 1967 Six Day War of the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria; for decades it has been mired in a battle on several fronts against Islamists; and its political leaders seem to operate perennially amid charges of corruption and government investigations.

Feature articles examining the discord within Israel only bolster the sense of crisis. Much has been written about the obstacles to full integration into the country’s society and economy faced by Israel’s Arab minority—slightly more than 20 percent of the citizenry. Alarming stories report the high birth rate among Israel’s ultra-Orthodox—about 11 percent of the population—and describe how the community, by shielding its children from non-religious education, produces young men and women ill-prepared to participate in the nation’s defense and join the labor force.  And plenty of pieces examine the bitter divide between the intellectual and cultural elites who live in the greater Tel Aviv municipal area and vehemently oppose Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the working-class, many of whom reside on the periphery of large-city centers, and consistently support him.

Small wonder then that many believe Israel is a fortress state embattled from without and from within. But any portrait that overlooks Israeli dynamism is woefully incomplete.

Celebrating its 70th birthday in May, Israel abounds with energy, creativity, and intelligence. Its citizens come from a diverse array of countries. Its Jewish population runs the gamut from deeply pious to ardently irreverent. Israeli Arabs, Christians, and other minority populations share the same political rights as Jewish citizens. Newspapers, TV and radio, and social media crackle around the clock with raucous political debate. Literature, music, painting, theater, and dance thrive. In the last decade or so, Israelis have discovered the joys of cooking: celebrity chefs share their recipes and techniques on a steady stream of popular TV shows. And Israel’s burgeoning wine industry has given rise to more than 200 wineries in a country that, though the size of New Jersey, boasts an amazing variety of soils and microclimates.

In “Thou Shalt Innovate: How Israeli Ingenuity Repairs the World,” my friend Avi Jorisch argues that Israel’s “remarkable culture of innovation” further testifies to Israeli dynamism. It also reflects, he stresses, the influence of the “the Jewish prophetic tradition.” Israel, he suggests, “is a nation with the soul of a synagogue.” The country’s stunning advances in agriculture, water, medicine, and defense have been fostered “consciously or unconsciously,” Jorisch argues, by the divine imperative “to make the world a better place.”

American born, Jorisch spent many of his formative childhood years in Israel and returned for graduate school, which led to studies in Arabic and Islamic philosophy in Egypt. Now residing in the United States and active as an entrepreneur, a Middle East expert who has served in the Departments of Treasury and Defense, and a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council, he writes about Israel with an insider’s knowledge of Zionism, Judaism, and the fabric of Israeli life and an outsider’s astonishment at the Israelis whose ingenuity, pluck, and moral purpose he depicts.

Jorisch tells the story of Eli Beer who, having witnessed the terrorist bombing of a bus when he was in kindergarten, was inspired as an adult to create the “Uber of ambulances.” Beer’s “ambucylces”—motorcycles equipped with essential first-responder equipment—have dramatically improved emergency care by enabling EMTs to dodge traffic and arrive on the scene in the crucial first moments following an accident or attack.

Jorisch recounts Simcha Blass’s development of drip irrigation, which gives farmers the ability to make hot, arid regions bloom, and which is widely used on several continents. Before Blass, desert irrigation could lose up to 50 percent of water to evaporation. By depositing water directly at the base of plants, the inexpensive plastic pipes with regularly spaced outlets and cleverly designed valves that Blass pioneered have greatly reduced the waste of a scarce resource.

Jorisch describes the race to build the Iron Dome missile system, which came online in 2014 to provide an affordable defense against the short-range rockets and missiles with which Hamas and Hezbollah have terrorized Israelis civilians. He relates the urgent development in the 1950s and 1960s of solar technology that allowed Israel, a country with few natural resources (in the last decade Israel discovered vast offshore reservoirs of natural gas), to substantially reduce energy outlays by mounting cost-effective hot water heaters on roofs throughout the country. He also reports on a paralyzed Israeli physician who invented an exoskeleton that permits paraplegics to walk; an Israeli Arab husband-and-wife team who created a device that guides doctors to the precise spot to implant electrodes for deep-brain-stimulation therapy; and a botanist who nursed back to life 2000-year-old seeds of the extinct Judean date palm, an achievement that may yield wondrous new medicines.

It is not Judaism’s prophetic tradition alone to which Jorisch attributes the amazing outpouring of innovation in Israel. He recognizes as well the lingering effects of the Talmudic tradition—which cherishes education, authorizes dissent, and celebrates mastery of opposing viewpoints—on a “culture that encourages its citizens to challenge authority, ask the next question, and defy the obvious.” Charity and service to the community, he notes, have been long-standing Jewish teachings. And he credits Israel’s mandatory military service, which simultaneously imposes discipline and encourages young officers with big responsibilities to improvise, and well-designed government programs that fund inventions and entrepreneurship.

Jorisch mentions but understates the political dimension. A commitment to a more just world, he observes, is inscribed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence. In May 1948, as five Arab armies sought to destroy the new Jewish state, Israel’s founding fathers proclaimed, “We extend our hand to all neighboring states and their peoples in an offer of peace and good neighborliness, and appeal to them to establish bonds of co-operation and mutual help with the sovereign Jewish people settled in its own land.” It should be emphasized also that the declaration emphatically guaranteed equality of rights to all Israel’s inhabitants regardless of religion, race, or sex and, over the nearly 70 years since its birth, Israel has, good to its promise, cultivated the Middle East’s first and only liberal democracy.  

A distinctive synthesis of liberty, equality, and nationhood provides the conditions in which an ancient religious spirit has entwined with a distinctive contemporary culture to produce in Israel technological innovations that continue to better the world. The prospering of this political synthesis in an uncommonly tough neighborhood is a crucial and still-to-be-fully-told part of Israel’s exceptional story.