Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hope Fellow Citizens Return Favor In November. What Hillary Was Really Up To And Arranged So It Could Happen. Kudos President Zimmer - Novel Concept!

    Dagny in The Big Apple at Natural
      History Museum with Grandma
Double standards are the regular fare when it comes to Israel versus the slaughter in Syria caused by Russian, Syrian and even American air strikes alone. (See 1 below.)

Ah, but when it comes to Obama and Iran he is allowed to sell prospects of freedom down the river and not a peep from the media and news lackeys.  The same who are now protecting Hillary.

Obama broke with America's tradition of supporting those who fought to be free.  Did he do so because he wanted to support Iran and its leaders in becoming the major force in The Middle East?

Did he do so because he mistakenly thought Iran's leaders would come around and be friends with America, thus, making the same mistake regarding his assumed relationship with Erdowan?

So far, Iran has broken terms of the Iran Deal by continuing to test missiles and advance their development and capability of delivering nuclear bombs.  They are now harassing our fleet in the Straits of Hormuz in order to embarrass us after previously capturing and humiliating our sailors. They have thumbed their nose at Obama, after being paid millions in ransom and proceeded to capture two more Americans while holding a third.  Finally, they continue to finance terrorism.

It is time to sink a few Iranian boats but rest assured Obama would never do anything that bold.  After all, any nation as arrogant as the U.S. deserves a little harassing. (See 1a below.)

These are facts.  These are actions taken by Iran after Obama's Iran Deal.  If these were the actions taken by a party to a contract the aggrieved party could seek redress  in a court of law claiming the contract was null and void because of violations.

This is the same deal Obama was able to perpetrate upon the world by claiming it was not a treaty and therefore, did not have to be approved and ratified by The Senate. The Republicans stood by in a feckless manner and did nothing but whimper.

The strategy for and planning of these events took place during Hillary's 'service" as Sec. of State and has subsequently been defended by the current Sec. of State, Kerry who is either another liar or dreamer. (See 1b below.)

Meanwhile, Trump is being castigated for changing his mind over illegal immigration.  More double standards?  He is also being attacked by blacks who find his comment about "what have you got to lose?" offensive because they claim it demeans and insults them.  I guess they enjoy the poor education, poverty, dope infested neighborhoods and unemployment they are enjoying under Obama's care and do not want to lose the opportunity of it continuing.

From all polling indications the press and media have begun picking up their drum beat pace and message that  the election is over and Hillary wins by a landslide unless something unforeseen takes place at the debates or Wikileaks releases something seriously damning.

With respect to the latter, voters have concluded Hillary is a crook, cannot be trusted and is unqualified to be president but, we are told,  they are going to vote for her anyway for a variety of reasons, ie. she is a woman, Trump is worse, she has vast experience though no accomplishments, in fact, only failures to her credit and the list of looking the other way is endless.

Could the professional geniuses be wrong as they were when Truman defeated Dewey?  Could the silent become the majority and are simply keeping quiet in order to avoid the calumny and intimidation that would be directed at them were they to express their intentions to vote for Trump?

Only time will tell but when it finally does it might also reveal the depths to which American voters might claim they were willing to disregard what matters in order to embrace and elect the unethical because of the faulty choices presented to them.

Once again, Trump may not be the choice I would have wished as the alternative to Hillary but I cannot bring myself to allow a proven crook, a proven liar to occupy the Oval Office, who happens to be the wife of a previous president who also lied and besmirched that same office. We have one such currently occupying that seat. Three ought to be enough but is it?  Are these the new standards we willingly ignore? If they are then this Republic will soon take its place upon the failed.  A people that will not abide its nation's laws will soon become intimidated by their government and if you do not believe this then you should read Strassel's: " The Intimidation Game" and focus on the chapters devoted to The IRS and their rogue employee named Lois Lerner.  It is chilling and hearkens back to Hitler's Gestapo.

I could not bring myself to vote for Obama based on my system of values and beliefs and I see no reason to lower them in order to cast my vote for Hillary. I care too much about my country to impose her on it and my fellow citizens. I only hope they return the favor in November. (See 1c, 1d  and 1e below.)
Lou Weiss is an internet friend and fellow memo reader and friend of my son in Pittsburgh.  (See 2 below.)
The President of The University of Chicago decides the Constitution means what it says regarding American's, and particularly the University's student body, having the right to free speech and that students need to be free of their fear of hearing what they do not like and thus be free to protest.

What a novel concept! It used to be standard fare but then the PC crowd began to erode our rights with their inane rules and outright dangerous garbage. (See 3 below.)
Huckabee has a theory.  Whether it will hold this time remains to be seen. (See 4 below.)
Now for some humor to make your weekend more pleasant and to soften the edginess of this memo. (See 5 below.)
1) Anti-Israel Double Standards Enable Assad's Brutality
by Noah Beck
Special to IPT News
Syria's civil war claimed 470,000 lives since it started in March 2011, the Syrian Centre for Policy Research announced in February. That's an average of about 262 deaths per day and 7,860 per month. The carnage has continued unabated, so, applying the same death rate nearly 200 days after the February estimate, the death toll is over 520,000.

Such numbers are staggering, even by Middle East standards. However, the violence has become so routine that it only occasionally captures global attention, usually when a particularly poignant moment of human suffering is documented. The most recent example is Omran Daqneesh, a 5-year old Syrian boy who was filmed shell-shocked, bloody, and covered in dust after the airstrike bombing of his Aleppo apartment block.

The tragic image of Omran caused outrage around the world, as did the image of Aylan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy whose body washed up last September on a beach in Turkey. Yet Omran's plight demonstrates that, nearly a year after the last child victim of Syrian horrors captured global sympathy, nothing has changed.

If anything, the violence in this multi-party proxy war seems to be getting worse. Since Aylan Kurdi's drowning, Russia began blitz-bombing Syria in support of the Assad regime. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) estimates that nine months of Russian airstrikes have killed 3,089 civilians – a toll that is greater, by some estimates, than the number of civilians killed by ISIS. By contrast, Syrian civilian deaths caused by U.S. airstrikes are probably in the hundreds (over roughly twice as much time, since U.S. airstrikes began in the summer of 2015).

But Syrian airstrikes are responsible for the bulk of civilian deaths in Syria. The Assad regime killed 109,347 civilians between March 2011 and July 2014 (88 percent of the total casualties at the time), according to estimates by the Syrian Network for Human Rights. That works out to about 91 civilian deaths per day. More recently, the SOHR documented 9,307 civilian deaths from 35,775 regime airstrikes over a 20-month period running from November 2014 through June 2016. Thus, roughly one innocent Syrian was killed every hour, during the 20 months that the SOHR documented civilian casualties caused by Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
Compare those figures to the number of innocent Palestinians killed by Israel from 2011 to 2014. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), which has been accused of anti-Israel bias37 Palestinians were killed in 2011, 103 in 2012, 15 in 2013 and 1,500 in 2014 – the year when Hamas fired rockets at Israel from highly populated Gazan areas. That's a four-year total of 1,655. During roughly the same four-year period, the number of Syrian civilian deaths was about 76 times greater than the HRW total of Palestinian civilian casualties.
Yet the European Union singles out Israel for conflict-related consumer labels without any similar attempt to warn European consumers about goods or services whose consumption in any way helps the economies of countries responsible for the Syrian bloodshed, including Syria, Russia, and Iran. Human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky has how none of those countries is targeted by those advocating a boycott of Israel out of a purported concern for human rights. Even more absurd, most of the results produced by a Google search for "academic boycott of Syria" or "academic boycott of Iran" concern academic boycotts of Israel. That asymmetry precisely captures the problem.

In addition to supporting the Assad regime in Syria and contributing to the violence there, Iran executes people for everything from drug offenses to being gay.

Indeed, the global outcry over Syrian suffering is embarrassingly weak when compared to reactions to Israel's far less bloody conflict with the Palestinians. Imagine if Omran Daqneesh had been a Palestinian boy hurt by an Israeli airstrike on Gaza. College campus protests, the media, NGOs, and world bodies around the planet would be positively on fire. Israeli embassies would be attacked, French synagogues would be firebombed (eight were attacked in just one week during Israel's 2014 war with Gaza), Jews around the world would be attacked, and condemnations would pour in from the EU, the United Nations, and the Obama administration. UN resolutions and emergency sessions would condemn the incident. International investigations would be demanded. Global blame would deluge Israel, regardless of whether Hamas, a terrorist organization, actually started the fighting or used human shields to maximize civilian deaths. Israel would be obsessively demonized despite any risky and unprecedented measures the Israeli military might have taken to minimize civilian casualties.

Moreover, when an occasional Syrian victim captures global attention, the protests are generally for some vague demand for "peace" in Syria, rather than blaming and demanding the punishment of Syria, Iran, and Russia, even though those regimes are clearly responsible for the slaughter. The starkly different reactions to Israel and Syria are even more shocking when it comes to the United Nations.

From its 2006 inception through August 2015, 62 United Nations Human Rights Council resolutions condemned Israel, compared to just 17 for Syria, five for Iran, and zero for Russia, according to the watchdog group UN Watch. The lopsided focus on Israel is equally appalling at the UN General Assembly, as UN Watch has highlighted. In each of the last four years, as the Syrian bloodbath claimed hundreds of thousands of lives, there were at least five times as many resolutions condemning Israel as those rebuking the rest of the world:

A corollary of the anti-Israel bias ensures that no Israeli victim will ever enjoy the kind of global sympathy expressed for Omran Daqneesh or Aylan Kurdi. When a Palestinian man enters the bedroom of a 13-year old girl and stabs her to death in her sleep, Obama says nothing even though she was a U.S. citizen and the world hardly notices. By contrast, imagine if the Israeli father of Hallel Yaffa Ariel had decided to take revenge by entering a nearby Palestinian home to stab a 13-year old Palestinian girl to death in her sleep. The global anger would be deafening.

Why do Israeli lives matter so much less? And why do student activists, the UN, the EU, the media, and the rest of the world focus so much more on alleged Palestinian civilian deaths than on Syrian civilian deaths? Doing so is woefully unjust to Syrians. It is also deeply unfair to Israel, which has endured terrorist attacks on its people throughout its existence as a state. It is the one country that, according to Col. Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, has done more to protect civilians during war than any other in the history of war.

The global obsession with condemning Israel not only defames a beleaguered democracy doing its best, it also enables the truly evil actors like the Assad regime and Hamas, by giving them a pass on some of the world's worst crimes.

Noah Beck is the author of The Last Israelis, an apocalyptic novel about Iranian nukes and other geopolitical issues in the Middle East.


New Relationship: Iran Continues to Threaten U.S. Ships

By Katie Pavlich

It's been more than a year since President Obama finished his legacy defining nuclear deal with Iran. Since then, Iran has taken more Americans hostage, violated U.N. sanctions by firing off a number of ballistic missiles and took U.S. Navy sailors captive early this year. While in captivity, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard took video of the sailors without boots, forced a female sailor into covering her head and demanded sailors issue apologies for their behavior. That footage was then used as propaganda on Iranian state television, a violation of the Geneva Convention.

Now, the Iranians are harassing U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and vowing to keep threatening them if they "get too close." Earlier this week USS Destroyer Nitze was swarmed by armed Iranian vessels and just hours later, three more U.S. ships were harassed. 
Three more U.S. ships were harassed by Iranian patrol boats over three incidents on Wednesday, U.S. 5th Fleet spokesman Cmdr. Bill Urban told USNI News on Thursday.

One of the encounters resulted in a U.S. ship firing warning shots at an Iranian patrol boat with a .50 caliber machine gun to ward off a dangerous approach, according to the service.

Cyclone-class patrol craft USS Tempest (PC-2) and USS Squall (PC-7) were operating in the northern Persian Gulf when three Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came at the pair at high speed, Urban said.

“This situation presented a drastically increased risk of collision, and the Iranian vessel
refused to safely maneuver in accordance with internationally recognized maritime rules of the road, despite several request and warnings via radio, and visual and audible warnings from both U.S. ships,” Urban said.
“During the encounter, Tempest fired three warning flares in the direction of the IRGCN patrol
vessel while also attempting radio communications and sounding loud audible warnings via loudspeaker. Ultimately, Squall resorted to firing three warning shots from their 50-caliber gun, which caused the Iranian vessel to turn away.”
The White House has essentially chalked all of this up as "bad behavior" instead of acts by an enemy the Obama administration has naively tried to friend. The Iranians are threatening the United States with military force, they just haven't pulled the trigger yet. Someday when they do, we'll look back on all of the warning signs and question how it happened. 
An op-ed in USA Today says it best: It's time to stop Iran from humiliating the U.S. and it's time to take their threats seriously. 
The swarming boat attack is just what it sounds like: a number of fast boats equipped with missiles and torpedoes attack enemy ships from multiple angles to damage or destroy them as quickly as possible. Recently the Iranians added another dimension to the swarming boats: a vessel known as the Ya Mahdi, a remotely piloted fast patrol boat that can fire rockets or be stuffed with explosives. It is a new version of the boat that attacked the USS Cole in Aden in 2000 at a cost of 17 lives, 39 injuries and severe damage to the ship.

The Pentagon has known about this threat for a long time, and has opted to do next to nothing about it. Focused on big blue water operations, the Navy is behind a curve 20 years in the making.

The Pentagon needs to get its act together and come up with tactics and weapons systems to solve the problem of swarm boat attacks. So, too, must the administration stop pretending Iran is not a real threat. Above all, it is time to end America's humiliation on the high seas.


Gold: Arab leaders are “laying out a case against Iranian actions, and we are seeing it expressed over and over by Arab leaders.”

Thousand of Basij soldiers stage mock seige of Temple Mount in Iran. (photo credit: FARS)
Israel and the Gulf states share the exact same perception of Iran’s desire for regional hegemony, Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold said, explaining why he retweeted on Thursday a five month old article from the Dubai-based Gulf News.
The article, headlined, “Arab ministers condemn Iran’s hegemony drive,” reports on a meeting of Arab interior ministers held in Tunisia in March.
“The Iranian interference is considered to be a threat to a number of countries in the region,” Bahrain’s Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa was quoted as saying. “Their interference includes support for terrorism, promoting chaos, and political interference.
The goal is to achieve Persian domination over Arabism with the use of the Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah.
Even Iran’s media groups play a role.”
Gold said Israel was listening to the Arab discourse about Iranian intentions “with great interest, because it gives you a perspective about how others are seeing the same challenges that we face, and that the bottom line is that Iran is driven by a goal of achieving regional hegemony.”
Arab leaders are “laying out a case against Iranian actions, and we are seeing it expressed over and over by Arab leaders,” he said.
For instance, Gold pointed out that in July, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Abdel al-Jubeir told Politico, “Iran is on a rampage. It wants to reestablish the Persian Empire, as crazy as that sounds because it’s been dead for centuries.”
Gold said this discourse is something Israel is watching and monitoring very carefully.
“I think the challenges Israel faces with Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iranian- backed Hamas in the Gaza Strip are a subset of a much larger problem which all Middle East states are facing, and which emanates directly from Tehran,” he said. “We are watching what they are saying, and it is fascinating because that is exactly the perception we have in Israel.”
When making the case internationally about Iran’s designs, Gold said it is important to be able to raise the views of other countries and “point out that Iran is not only Israel’s problem, but also a problem for the whole region.”
There was a tendency by some in the world to ignore and overlook Iran’s destabilizing role in the region, and “you find these expressions by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states as very important to us,” he said.
The issue of Iran’s deleterious regional role is likely to be high on the agenda when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu travels to the UN General Assembly in New York next month. His speech there, which in years past has focused on Iran’s nuclear designs, is likely to underline how Tehran is responsible for much of the current turmoil in the Middle East.
The prime minister will be in New York for four days, from September 20 to 24, and is expected to meet with a long line of foreign leaders on the sidelines of the General Assembly, though nothing has yet been made public. No meeting has yet been scheduled with US President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu is slated to speak to the UN on September 22.

1c) Why Obama Let Iran's Green Revolution Fail

One of the great hypotheticals of Barack Obama's presidency involves the Iranian uprising that began on June 12, 2009, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced the winner of contested presidential elections. What if the president had done more to help the protesters when the regime appeared to be teetering?

It's well known he was slow to react. Obama publicly downplayed the prospect of real change at first, saying the candidates whom hundreds of thousands of Iranians were risking their lives to support did not represent fundamental change. When he finally did speak out, he couldn't bring himself to say the election was stolen: "The world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was."

But Obama wasn't just reluctant to show solidarity in 2009, he feared the demonstrations would sabotage his secret outreach to Iran. In his new book, "The Iran Wars," Wall Street Journal reporter Jay Solomon uncovers new details on how far Obama went to avoid helping Iran's green movement. Behind the scenes, Obama overruled advisers who wanted to do what America had done at similar transitions from dictatorship to democracy, and signal America's support.

Solomon reports that Obama ordered the CIA to sever contacts it had with the green movement's supporters. "The Agency has contingency plans for supporting democratic uprisings anywhere in the world. This includes providing dissidents with communications, money, and in extreme cases even arms," Solomon writes. "But in this case the White House ordered it to stand down."

At the time, Solomon reports, Obama's aides received mixed messages. Members of the Iranian diaspora wanted the president to support the uprisings. Dissident Iranians from inside the country said such support would be the kiss of death. In the end, Obama did nothing, and Iran's supreme leader blamed him anyway for fomenting the revolt.

It's worth contrasting Obama's response with how the U.S. has reacted to other democratic uprisings. The State Department, for example, ran a program in 2000 through the U.S. embassy in Hungary to train Serbian activists in nonviolent resistance against their dictator, Slobodan Milosevic. Milosevic, too, accused his opposition of being pawns of the U.S. government. But in the end his people forced the dictator from power.

Similarly, when Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze met with popular protests in 2003 after rigged elections, George W. Bush dispatched James Baker to urge him to step down peacefully, which he did. Even the Obama administration provided diplomatic and moral support for popular uprisings in Egypt in 2011 and Ukraine in 2014.

Iran though is a very different story. Obama from the beginning of his presidency tried to turn the country's ruling clerics from foes to friends. It was an obsession. And even though the president would impose severe sanctions on the country's economy at the end of his first term and beginning of his second, from the start of his presidency, Obama made it clear the U.S. did not seek regime change for Iran.  

It's debatable whether the U.S. ever did support such a policy. But it's striking the lengths to which Obama went to make good on his word. As Solomon reports, Obama ended U.S. programs to document Iranian human rights abuses. He wrote personal letters to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei assuring him the U.S. was not trying to overthrow him. Obama repeatedly stressed his respect for the regime in his statements marking Iran's annual Nowruz celebration.

His quest to engage the mullahs seems to have influenced Obama's decision-making on other issues too. When he walked away from his red line against Syria's use of chemical weapons in 2013, Solomon reports, both U.S. and Iranian officials had told him that nuclear negotiations would be halted if he intervened against Bashar al-Assad.

Obama eventually did get a nuclear deal with Iran. Solomon's book shines in reporting the details of the diplomacy that led to the 2015 accord. American diplomats held two sets of negotiations with Iran -- one public channel with the British, Chinese, European Union, French, Germans, Russians and the United Nations -- and another, bilateral track established through the Sultanate of Oman. In 2013, U.S. officials shuttled on public busses between two hotels in Geneva to conduct the two tracks before telling their negotiating partners about the formerly secret channel to Iran.

Eventually, the Iranians wore down the U.S. delegation. At the beginning of the talks in 2013, the U.S. position was for Iran to dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure. By the end of the talks in 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry and his team "agreed that Iran would then be allowed to build an industrial-scale nuclear program, with hundreds of thousands of machines, after a ten year period of restraint."

Other U.S. red lines were demolished too. The final deal would allow the U.N. ban on Iranian missile development to phase out after eight years, and the arms embargo against Iran to expire after five. Iran would not have to acknowledge that it had tried to develop a nuclear weapon, even though samples the Iranians collected at its Parchin facility found evidence of man-made uranium.

In one particularly revealing passage, Solomon captures the thinking of Kerry, who engaged in detailed negotiations over the deal in the final months of the talks. "So many wars have been fought over misunderstandings, misinterpretations, lack of effective diplomacy," Kerry told Solomon in a 2016 interview. "War is the failure of diplomacy."

Kerry's diplomacy succeeded. But the Middle East got war nonetheless. "The Revolutionary Guard continues to develop increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, including ballistic missiles inscribed with threats against Israel on their nose cones," Solomon writes in the book's concluding chapter. "Khamenei and other revolutionary leaders, meanwhile, fine-tune their rhetorical attacks against the United States, seeming to need the American threat to justify their existence." 

There was a chance for a better outcome. There is no guarantee that an Obama intervention would have been able to topple Khamenei back in 2009, when his people flooded the streets to protest an election the American president wouldn't say was stolen. But it was worth a try. Imagine if that uprising had succeeded. Perhaps then a nuclear deal could have brought about a real peace. Instead, Obama spent his presidency misunderstanding Iran's dictator, assuring the supreme leader America wouldn't aid his citizens when they tried to change the regime that oppresses them to this day.

1d) It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States if the government can punish you for exercising those rights.  And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials power if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences.  In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it.  Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop
 unless they get stopped. - Thomas Sowell


The U.S. Department of Clinton

The latest emails show that State and the foundation were one seamless entity.

Hillary Clinton speaks at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York.ENLARGE
Hillary Clinton speaks at the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York. PHOTO: CORBIS/GETTY IMAGES
This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall. This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.
In March this column argued that while Mrs. Clinton’s mishandling of classified information was important, it missed the bigger point. The Democratic nominee obviously didn’t set up her server with the express purpose of exposing national secrets—that was incidental. She set up the server to keep secret the details of the Clintons’ private life—a life built around an elaborate and sweeping money-raising and self-promoting entity known as the Clinton Foundation.
Had Secretary Clinton kept the foundation at arm’s length while in office—as obvious ethical standards would have dictated—there would never have been any need for a private server, or even private email. The vast majority of her electronic communications would have related to her job at the State Department, with maybe that occasional yoga schedule. And those Freedom of Information Act officers would have had little difficulty—when later going through a email—screening out the clearly “personal” before making her records public. This is how it works for everybody else.
Mrs. Clinton’s problem—as we now know from this week’s release of emails from Huma Abedin’s private Clinton-server account—was that there was no divide between public and private. Mrs. Clinton’s State Department and her family foundation were one seamless entity—employing the same people, comparing schedules, mixing foundation donors with State supplicants. This is why she maintained a secret server, and why she deleted 15,000 emails that should have been turned over to the government.
Most of the focus on this week’s Abedin emails has centered on the disturbing examples of Clinton Foundation executive Doug Band negotiating State favors for foundation donors. But equally instructive in the 725 pages released by Judicial Watch is the frequency and banality of most of the email interaction. Mr. Band asks if Hillary’s doing this conference, or having that meeting, and when she’s going to Brazil. Ms. Abedin responds that she’s working on it, or will get this or that answer. These aren’t the emails of mere casual acquaintances; they don’t even bother with salutations or signoffs. These are the emails of two people engaged in the same purpose—serving the State-Clinton Foundation nexus.
The other undernoted but important revelation is that the media has been looking in the wrong place. The focus is on Mrs. Clinton’s missing emails, and no doubt those 15,000 FBI-recovered texts contain nuggets. Then again, Mrs. Clinton was a busy woman, and most of the details of her daily State/foundation life would have been handled by trusted aides. This is why they, too, had private email. Top marks to Judicial Watch for pursuing Ms. Abedin’s file from the start. A new urgency needs to go into seeing similar emails of former Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills.
Mostly, we learned this week that Mrs. Clinton’s foundation issue goes far beyond the “appearance” of a conflict of interest. This is straight-up pay to play. When Mr. Band sends an email demanding a Hillary meeting with the crown prince of Bahrain and notes that he’s a “good friend of ours,” what Mr. Band means is that the crown prince had contributed millions to a Clinton Global Initiative scholarship program, and therefore has bought face time. It doesn’t get more clear-cut, folks.
That’s highlighted by the Associated Press’s extraordinary finding this week that of the 154 outside people Mrs. Clinton met with in the first years of her tenure, more than half were Clinton Foundation donors. Clinton apologists, like Vox’s Matthew Yglesias, are claiming that statistic is overblown, because the 154 doesn’t include thousands of meetings held with foreign diplomats and U.S. officials.
Nice try. As the nation’s top diplomat, Mrs. Clinton was obliged to meet with diplomats and officials—not with others. Only a blessed few outsiders scored meetings with the harried secretary of state and, surprise, most of the blessed were Clinton Foundation donors.
Mrs. Clinton’s only whisper of grace is that it remains (as it always does in potential cases of corruption) hard to connect the dots. There are “quids” (foundation donations) and “quos” (Bahrain arms deals) all over the place, but no precise evidence of “pros.” Count on the Clinton menagerie to dwell in that sliver of a refuge.
But does it even matter? What we discovered this week is that one of the nation’s top officials created a private server that housed proof that she continued a secret, ongoing entwinement with her family foundation—despite ethics agreements—and that she destroyed public records. If that alone doesn’t disqualify her for the presidency, it’s hard to know what would.
2) Lou Weiss

I have long failed to follow a bit of advice from my father: Never tell anyone how you vote.
He got smart when my mother threatened to divorce him if he voted for Richard Nixon instead of George McGovern in 1972. We would often try to pry his decision from him, but he said that all of his selections are written on a paper in his safety deposit box, to be opened upon his demise.

I have always been public about my electoral choices and this has led to no end of discussion, confrontation and now threats. Almost all of my friends and family are liberal, and I am a sushi-eating, Subaru-driving (formerly Volvo-driving), foreign-film-loving, city-living conservative, so I have leaned to talk politics with a smile, lest I have no acquaintances at all.

My congressman Mike Doyle and my friends call me their favorite Republican, which is not that hard because, in most cases, I am the only conservative or Republican that they know. They view me as a curiosity and often come up to me to ask or, more accurately, prod me: How I could possibly vote for [insert Republican name here]?

The Donald J. Trump question is a delight for them and a challenge for me. For some reason, people feel it is their duty to convert me in this particular year. If I listen to NPR in the morning, I am NeverTrump. After Dennis Prager in the afternoon on Christian radio. I am NeverHillary and MaybeTrump. I usually tell my moral betters that I find it hard to vote for either of the grifters that the major parties have put up and I’m going third party or writing in Steph Curry.

Not that I’ve never voted for Democrats. In Pittsburgh the only action is in the primary and I sometimes switch my registration to have a modicum of a voice. My state Rep. Dan “I’m Not Some Crazy Liberal” Frankel and I have been clearing dinner parties with our policy “discussions” since freshman year at Kenyon College. He runs unopposed almost every time, so I can honestly tell him that I voted for the best candidate available. It seems that when someone proclaims that they don’t vote for the party but rather for the candidate, they can’t name any of their Republican choices.

Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again — too few to mention. Bill Clinton. Ed Rendell.

Some years ago at the behest of Sen. Rick Santorum, I ran to be a delegate to the Republican Convention. Getting the requisite 250 signatures for the ballot in Squirrel Hill was more perilous than navigating the Khumbu Icefall on an Everest ascent. Occasionally I would find a Republican soul and they would bring their fellow traveler in from the cold. Sometimes I would encounter a political mixed marriage that screamed out for an intervention. My family, being Democrats, could not sign and my mother said that even if I made it to the ballot, she would not vote for me. Professor Freud?
My wife is as liberal as the rest of them, but she has to sleep with the enemy. She’s CNN and I’m Fox. With her permission I’ve been able to put Republican bumper stickers on the car but they somehow disappear in just a few days. Only when I discovered a bottle of Goo Gone stashed in her makeup drawer was the mystery solved. Cars have swerved and almost crashed when they see the juxtaposition of our Frankel-Santorum yard signs. In what may be a historical first, another candidate once asked that his sign be removed from our lawn.

Over the years I have tried to bring her over to the dark side and when I couldn’t, I employed my kind of passive voter suppression. When we would be traveling over Election Day, I picked an absentee ballot for just one of us. When she was sick with the shingles, I told her that I spoke to her doctor and her orders prevented my wife from leaving the bed. Defying my — I mean the doctor’s — medical advice, she went to the polls in her pajamas anyway and had the audacity to leave her voting receipt stub on my pillow.

In 2004 she caved. She told me that she voted for George W. Bush over John Kerry and I was blown away. I bragged to everyone that I had a fellow conservative on board. After six months she confessed that she had lied about her vote, thinking that I would like her better if she voted Republican. I did.
This year, my wife has reached a new low. In a modern version of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, she has vowed to withhold marital relations with me if I vote for Trump. Why is this threat always made by women? I was thinking about making this same threat to her but I’m sure that she would view it as somewhat of a relief.

So I guess that it’s either the lying crook who uses the legal system to hide her crimes, or the crooked liar who uses the legal system to punish his detractors and his vendors. It took 40 years, Dad, but I’ve decided to follow your example.

Kids, check my safety deposit box when I’m gone

Lou Weiss, a carpet salesman, lives in Squirrel Hill (

Free Speech Is the Basis of a True Education

A university should not be a sanctuary for comfort but rather a crucible for confronting ideas.


Free speech is at risk at the very institution where it should be assured: the university.
Invited speakers are disinvited because a segment of a university community deems them offensive, while other orators are shouted down for similar reasons. Demands are made to eliminate readings that might make some students uncomfortable. Individuals are forced to apologize for expressing views that conflict with prevailing perceptions. In many cases, these efforts have been supported by university administrators.
Yet what is the value of a university education without encountering, reflecting on and debating ideas that differ from the ones that students brought with them to college? The purpose of a university education is to provide the critical pathway by which students can fulfill their potential, change the trajectory of their families, and build healthier and more inclusive societies.
Students learn not only through the acquisition of specific knowledge, but also through the attainment of intellectual skills that serve them their entire life. Students come to appreciate context, trade-offs and data. They master how to recognize complexity, to argue effectively for their positions and to reconsider and challenge their own beliefs.
Students discover, too, that seemingly straightforward phenomena can have complicated cultural, historical and situational contexts that are critical to understanding their meaning. They realize that actions inevitably have multiple implications and that many decisions involve not simply choosing between “good” or “bad” but evaluating a set of consequences and uncertainties, both desired and undesired.
Students grasp the complexity of collecting, analyzing, interpreting and deriving meaning from evidence of multiple forms. They learn to imagine alternatives, to test their hypotheses and to question the accepted wisdom. A good education gives students the intellectual skills and approaches essential to success in much of human endeavor.
One word summarizes the process by which universities impart these skills: questioning. Productive and informed questioning involves challenging assumptions, arguments and conclusions. It calls for multiple and diverse perspectives and listening to the views of others. It requires understanding the power and limitations of arguments. More fundamentally, the process of questioning demands an ability to rethink one’s own assumptions, often the most difficult task of all.
Essential to this process is an environment that promotes free expression and the open exchange of ideas, ensuring that difficult questions are asked and that diverse and challenging perspectives are considered. This underscores the importance of diversity among students, faculty and visitors—diversity of background, belief and experience. Without this, students’ experience becomes a weak imitation of a true education, and the value of that education is seriously diminished.
Free expression and the unfettered exchange of ideas do not always come naturally. Many people value the right to express their own ideas but are less committed to granting that right to others.
Over the years, universities have come under attack from a range of groups, both external and internal, that demand the silencing of speakers, faculty, students and visitors. The attack is sometimes driven by a desire of an individual or group not to have its authority questioned. Other times it derives from a group’s moral certainty that its particular values, beliefs or approaches are the only correct ones and that others should adhere to the group’s views. Some assert that universities should be refuges from intellectual discomfort and that their own discomfort with conflicting and challenging views should override the value of free and open discourse.
We have seen efforts to suppress discussion of Charles Darwin’s work, to insist upon particular political perspectives during the McCarthy era, to impose exclusionary acts of racial and religious discrimination, and to demand compliance with various forms of “moral” behavior. The silencing being advocated today is equally as problematic. Every attempt to legitimize silencing creates justification for others to restrain speech that they do not like in the future.
Universities should be clear about their core educational mission—to provide students with the most enriching education possible. We cannot shortchange our students. This means that questioning and challenge must flourish.
Universities cannot be viewed as a sanctuary for comfort but rather as a crucible for confronting ideas and thereby learning to make informed judgments in complex environments. Having one’s assumptions challenged and experiencing the discomfort that sometimes accompanies this process are intrinsic parts of an excellent education. Only then will students develop the skills necessary to build their own futures and contribute to society.
Mr. Zimmer is president of the University of Chicago.
4) Mike Huckabee: Hillary Concedes Defeat With Her Trump KKK 'Slander
By Bill Hoffmann   

Mike Huckabee says a Clinton campaign ad in which Donald Trump is praised by members of the Ku Klux Klan is "ridiculous slander" and indicates she has "conceded defeat" in the presidential election.

"There's an Internet maxim called 'Godwin's Law' that states that in any political discussion, sooner or later, one side will compare the other side to Hitler or the Nazis. There's also a corollary that the first person who resorts to that loses the debate," the former Arkansas governor said Friday in a Facebook post.

"If so, then in her speech today and her new commercial, Hillary Clinton conceded defeat by actually claiming that Donald Trump's popularity is a function of his racist appeal to the KKK."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++5)    a) Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.
 b. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. 

 c. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

 d. How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

e. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

  f. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

g) I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

 h. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front.  Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

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