Thursday, September 15, 2016

Russia and The Middle East. The Evil Side. Driver-Less Cars In Pittsburgh. Conservatism and What It Means To Me. My Cousin - Israel's Consul General!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Yes, a lot to digest but I had the time and desire to post and discuss much that came to my attention and/or peaked my interest.  Hope it does yours.
Russia and The Middle East. Written by Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Senior Counselor. (See 1 below.)
A refresher course illuminating the evil side of Nominee Hillary. (See 2 below.)

I have repeatedly said this election would be nasty but Hillary showed her true feelings in her recent smearing, snearing outburst. (See 2a below.)
Recently I was in Pittsburgh and mentioned I saw my first two driver-less cars.  The entire city is now involved in launching a test program. (See 3 below.)

And then there is Los Angeles. (See 3a below.)
This is what conservatism means to me.

I will expand upon it by saying that when my Representatives and Senators vote on an issue I want them to ask themselves: a) How will it be paid for currently? b) How does it relate to what is intended in our Constitution? and c) Does it truly serve the interests of our nation  and are there programs or legislation that it duplicates?

I do believe what Trump is proposing about taxes has merit but I believe everyone should pay something so they have a vested interest and are in the game.  The fact that Trump is proud his tax plan will result in 50% f Americans not paying taxes is troublesome.

The idea of reducing corporate and business taxes should help the economy return to a growth rate in excess of Obama's paltry and historically low rate.  Simplification is way overdue so kudos to Trump on that score.  Once the 16th Amendment was passed the survival of this Republic became threatened and we are now seeing the disastrous consequences of allowing politicians to levy taxes with total disregard of paying for much of their legislative nonsense. (See 4 below.)
This is not good! (See 5 below.)
Israel's new Consul General in Los Angeles is my cousin.

Welcome to America and your post Sam!  Know you will be a fabulous representative of your/our people! (See 6 below.)
Even before Russian bombers launched strikes into Syria from an Iranian air base last month, it was clear that one of President Barack Obama’s more dubious foreign policy legacies would be the resurrection of Moscow’s great power status in the Middle East. Lacking a significant military footprint in the region since being unceremoniously expelled from Egypt in 1972, the Russians are back with a vengeance, potentially bigger than ever. Indeed, moving into the void created by Obama’s years-long retreat from Pax Americana, Russian President Vladimir Putin now stands poised to make major geopolitical advances into areas that his predecessors — czars and communist party general secretaries alike — coveted for centuries, but never realized. Areas, it should be stressed, where blocking the expansion of Russian influence has been among America’s highest national security priorities for the entire post-World War II era, from the Truman Doctrine to the Carter Doctrine and beyond. Until the age of Obama, that is.
Across the eastern Mediterranean and Levant, through Turkey, Iran, and the broader Gulf region, the trend line is obvious to anyone with eyes to see it: Russia’s star is waxing while America’s wanes. In strategic theaters where successive generations of U.S. statesmen have consistently maintained that American military dominance is essential, a resurgent Russia increasingly poses challenges. Slowly but surely, Washington’s freedom of action is being constricted. And as sure as night follows day, Russia’s successful flexing of military power has led to the rapid expansion of its political clout as well. And not just among America’s adversaries. From Israel to Saudi Arabia, from Egypt to Turkey, traditional U.S. partners are also increasingly compelled to curry favor with Moscow.
Syria, of course, is the Obama administration’s original sin in this regard: the hesitancy, the empty ultimatums, the erased red lines, the lack of anything approaching a serious strategy to contain that conflict’s steady, predictable descent into hell. All that and more over the course of four and a half long years amounted to a flashing neon sign declaring the abdication of U.S. leadership, an open invitation for a decisive assertion of Russian might in September 2015.
And decisive it was. Obama insisted that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Asad must go. Putin insisted that Asad stay. Needless to say, Asad is staying. In the face of Obama’s endless tut-tutting about the disutility of military force to shape political outcomes in the Middle East, Putin deployed force and in a matter of months transformed Syria’s political landscape.
As for the impact of Russia’s intervention on U.S. military calculations, the Obama administration has been pretty clear. It wanted no part of any action to weaken the Asad regime that might risk tangling with the Russians. Just days after Moscow’s bombing campaign began, a Washington Post headline blared, “U.S. will not directly confront Russia in Syria, Obama says.” Months later, in open testimony to Congress, a top U.S. general all but admitted that U.S. options to impose a no-fly zone inside Syria had been effectively nullified by the administration’s fear of triggering a confrontation with Moscow.
While the United States once enjoyed near-total domination of the skies over Syria and the broader eastern Mediterranean, it was clearly now constrained heavily, forced to alter its operational patterns to deconflict with Russia’s growing presence. The bottom line: As a result of Putin’s intervention, the Asad regime — a regime, let’s remember, that has split its time in the 21st century between running al Qaeda rat lines into Iraq to blow up American soldiers and perpetrating mass murder against its own people — appears now largely immune from U.S. military action that might compel a change Assad’s decision-making calculus toward the war, much less put his government’s very survival at risk.
The changes wrought by Russia’s intervention are no passing phenomenon linked to the Syria crisis. They appear to represent a more permanent shift in the geostrategic realities of the eastern Mediterranean. Whether or not the immediate conflict gets settled, the new Russian airbase in Latakia, Syria, is almost certainly here to stay. Russian fighters will be flying regular patrols in the area to monitor (and harass) U.S. warships and planes. The S-400 surface-to-air missile system, among the most advanced in the world, will be capable of striking targets in a wide arc that takes in southern Turkey, Cyprus, most of Israel, and northern Jordan. U.S. and allied forces will be confronted with an area denial, anti-access challenge on NATO’s southern flank that they haven’t faced for decades, if ever. On a daily basis, regional states will have to take account of the reality of Russian power projection on their immediate doorstep, with potentially far-reaching impact on their own decision-making and behavior — especially in a context of continued American retrenchment.
Recent Russian bombing raids from an air base in Iran raise the specter that Moscow’s growing military role, bad enough in the case of the eastern Mediterranean, could expand to the Gulf region as well, a theater of perhaps even greater strategic consequence for the United States. True, the immediate grounds for the use of the base were relatively narrow, restricted to the joint Russian-Iranian interest in bolstering the Asad regime. Also true, the sorties lasted just a few days, cut short abruptly after Russian crowing about the operations to the media triggered a public kerfuffle in sovereignty-obsessed Iran. The Iranian defense minister, Hossein Dehghan (a former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, mind you, not an institution otherwise renowned for its strict adherence to the rules of etiquette) even chastised his Russian counterparts for their “ungentlemanly” remarks.
But no one should take much solace from the temporary hiccup. Senior Iranian officials made clear that Russia’s use of the base had only ended “for now.” Even as he criticized Russia for prematurely advertising its operations, Defense Minister Dehghan emphasized that “Iran will give the Russians permission to use Nojeh Air Base whenever necessary.” He, along with other Iranian leaders, also pointed out that Russia’s use of the base had been approved by Iran’s highest decision-making body, the Supreme National Security Council, under the direct control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Making the point even more explicit, members of Iran’s parliament underscored that the expansion of Russian-Iranian military cooperation had occurred with Khamenei’s “approval and signature,” and that “it is impossible for such things to happen without the leadership’s permission.”
There may indeed be powerful constraints acting to limit military cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, including Iranian nationalism and centuries of Persian-Russian rivalry and suspicion. But it is also increasingly clear that there are powerful forces at work pushing the two countries in the direction of unprecedented cooperation. The war to save the Asad regime in Syria, where Russian planes have been providing air support to Iranian-led ground troops for almost a year, is the most immediate and striking example. But beyond Syria, a much broader strategic rationale for enhanced Russian-Iranian partnership is taking shape, one focused not just on thwarting U.S. interests in the Middle East, but on systematically dismantling the American-led security order that has underpinned regional stability since World War II.
Should it come to pass, the persistent presence in Iran of Russian aircraft, personnel, and potentially air defense systems would have profound implications for the United States and its allies. Most obviously, as in Syria, it would dramatically enhance Iran’s deterrence posture against American or Israeli military action. In defending the Iranian nuclear deal, Obama has argued that the risks are acceptable because his successors will have at their disposal exactly the same options that exist today to prevent any Iranian dash to the bomb, including the use of force. That will patently not be true if in a few years time the next president has to confront the possibility that any attack on Iran risks triggering a great power clash with Russia. The same logic would also apply outside the nuclear sphere to any possible punitive attack on Iranian territory, whether in response to Iran’s aggression against U.S. allies, threatening actions against American warships in the Gulf, or sponsorship of terrorism. In short, a de facto Russian deterrent umbrella would give Iranian leaders even greater latitude to undermine U.S. interests, secure in the belief that Washington would be especially reluctant to risk a direct clash with Russia.
More broadly, an expanded Russian military role in Iran would give Moscow the capability to project power in ways never before seen in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, and Indian Ocean — critical lines of communication where U.S. military dominance has gone largely unchallenged for decades. A world where long-range Russian bombers and aircraft are suddenly in position to disrupt or challenge guaranteed U.S. access in these theaters is a very different world, indeed — complicating American military planning, for sure, but also influencing the decision-making and policies of key regional actors.
Just put yourself in the shoes of a Saudi policymaker, for example. You see your traditional great power partner, the United States, pulling back from its Middle East commitments; making deals with your archenemy, Iran; and standing aside as its historical rival, Russia, embarks on a large-scale military intervention against U.S. interests in Syria, working hand in glove with a Shiite coalition commanded by the head of the Iran’s Qods Force, Qassem Soleimani. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, there’s now the possibility for a Russian military presence in Iran as well, with potentially profound implications for vital Saudi interests in the Gulf. Facing that kind of emerging strategic challenge in its immediate neighborhood, it would hardly be surprising if the Saudis eventually start looking for ways to be more accommodating to Putin’s interests — maybe by dropping their demand for Asad’s immediate departure from power, or deciding to invest several billion dollars in Putin-approved projects in Russia, or submitting to Putin’s request for a cap on Saudi oil production that helps drive up global prices and Moscow’s revenues.
Putin almost certainly has his sights set on exploiting other opportunities for projecting Russian power in the region as well. For example, in defending Russia’s use of the Iranian air base to conduct strikes in Syria, Ali Larijani, the powerful speaker of Iran’s parliament, noted cryptically, “we are also pleased that Russia is paying more attention to the Yemen issue too.” Within days, Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the main ally of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that have been fighting Saudi-led forces for control of the country, announced in an interview that Yemen would gladly welcome a Russian military presence. “In the fight against terrorism,” Saleh told Russian television, “we reach out and offer all facilities. Our airports, our ports…. We are ready to provide this to the Russian Federation.”
Iraq is almost certainly on Putin’s radar, too. Shortly after Russia’s intervention in Syria, Moscow said that it had entered a quadripartite intelligence-sharing agreement with Iran, Syria, and Iraq, for purposes of fighting the Islamic State. It includes a coordination center in Baghdad, staffed by officers from the four countries. Russia is also providing the Iraqis with increasing amounts of military equipment, including planes and helicopters. Iraq allows Russian military aircraft to overfly its territory for resupply missions in Syria, and on several occasions Russian combat operations have used Iraqi air space as well. Russian cruise missiles fired from the Caspian Sea in October 2015 crossed Iraqi territory on their way to Syrian targets (though allegedly without Iraqi permission). And last month, the Russian bombers that launched from Iran were given approval to fly in Iraqi air space to conduct their missions. Especially in light of Iran’s growing influence over the Iraqi government, it’s not much of a stretch to think that at some point the Russian military could be granted access to Iraqi bases. True, the U.S. might raise objections. But then again, if Washington has long been willing to abide Qassem Soleimani’s high-profile activities in Iraq commanding Shiite militias, how hard would it really push to keep the Russians out?
Finally, even Turkey merits concern when it comes to Russia’s expanding ambitions. Here’s the short version: U.S.-Turkish relations have been on a downward trajectory for years, but especially since the July 15th aborted coup against the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He and other Turkish leaders have repeatedly suggested that the United States might somehow have been behind the coup, lambasting America it in particular for failing to extradite immediately a Pennsylvania-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who they believe was the coup’s mastermind. The virulent campaign of anti-Americanism that Erdogan has engineered has sunk popular support for Turkey’s alliance with the United States and NATO to new lows.
At the same time, Turkey’s relations with Russia have been on an upswing since June, when Erdogan issued an apology for the 2015 Turkish shoot-down of a Russian jet over Syria. Putin was among the first world leaders to express unqualified support for Erdogan in the face of the coup, while Erdogan made a point of going to Russia to meet Putin in his first post-coup trip, resulting in the full normalization of bilateral economic ties. Perhaps most surprisingly, just days after Russia’s use of the Iranian air base, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim suggested that Turkey might also be open to letting Russia use the air base in Incirlik, Turkey, which of course has been the epicenter of U.S. combat operations against the Islamic State. “If necessary, the Incirlik base can be used [by the Russians],” Yildirim told reporters.
One other related development worth noting: As Turkey was pursuing reconciliation with Russia, Turkish ties to Iran also intensified, with the Turkish and Iranian foreign ministers exchanging visits in August, and plans for an Erdogan visit to Tehran allegedly in the works for later in 2016. Speculation arose quickly about the possible emergence of a new Russian-Iranian-Turkish axis.
Let’s stipulate upfront that the odds of Turkey definitively switching sides from the United States to Russia are slim. After more than 60 years of NATO membership, Turkey’s security dependence on the U.S.-led Western alliance is deep and would be extremely difficult to replace. Moreover, Turkey’s long history with Russia is at least as troubled and suspicion-filled as Iran’s, including several lost wars.
Yet within limits, there’s still certainly plenty of running room for Putin to make a lot of mischief for the United States in Turkey. As analysts have noted, there are rising voices in Ankara calling for the country’s withdrawal from NATO in favor of an alliance with Russia. While Erdogan is probably too practical a politician to run the risks of going down that route, he’s definitely not above stoking the general sentiment as a means of mobilizing domestic support and building leverage over the United States. At a personal level, it’s frequently been noted that Erdogan’s natural impulses are far more Eurasianist than Western in orientation. Prior to the contretemps over the shoot-down of the Russian jet, Erdogan was known to have an extremely strong affinity for Putin and his style of authoritarian leadership and crony capitalism. That predisposition has no doubt been reinforced after the coup, as Erdogan contrasts Western complaints about his indiscriminate mass purge of at least 100,000 suspected “Gulenists” with Putin’s unqualified support. If Putin can exacerbate these already existing tensions, he will without question do so, using whatever means he has to fuel Erdogan’s continued drift away from NATO and the West.
Exactly how far Russia’s resurgence in the Middle East will ultimately go remains to be seen, as do the potential strategic ramifications for U.S. interests. But no one should be sanguine. The trend lines are all troubling. Thanks to the Obama administration’s retreat from regional leadership, things that seemed unthinkable five years ago are now entirely possible — from a large and permanent Russian military presence in the eastern Mediterranean to a rapidly evolving Russian strategic relationship with Iran in the Gulf. Already, Russia is today unquestionably the dominant player in the Syrian crisis, the most significant international conflict of our time. Based on the frequency with which Middle Eastern leaders are trekking to Moscow rather than Washington for consultations, it’s an assessment that could increasingly apply beyond Syria to the broader region as well.
While the Obama administration may not understand Russia’s power play in the Middle East as a serious challenge to important American interests, Putin definitely does. The fact is that while Obama may believe the world has transcended the era of great power rivalry, Putin is convinced that the United States is Russia’s main strategic enemy, and that the two countries are effectively at war. He will seek every opportunity to undermine U.S. interests and weaken the U.S. global position, while enhancing Russia’s. As one Russian defense analyst explained after Russia’s use of the Iranian air base in August:
There could be more, and the possibility of spreading the Russian air campaign to Iraq…. The thing is not about [the war in] Syria per se. Syria is important, but there is more: Russia wants to spread its influence over the entire region, have bases all over, push the Americans out and become the dominant power in the region.
As surely as Obama was unable to unilaterally end America’s wars in the Middle East, his effort to declare the region’s Great Game for influence irrelevant has also failed. Simply withdrawing from the field does not trigger the emergence of some self-sustaining, organic equilibrium. Instead, it creates a vacuum that engenders conflict and chaos, while empowering dangerous enemies like Russia, Iran, and the Islamic State that are determined to fill the void and attack U.S. interests. Yes, for sure, American primacy in the Middle East has been a bitch. But its abandonment will be a nightmare. Obama never got that. Will his successor?
John Hannah is a Senior Counselor at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. 
By Jen Kuznicki

If you listen to the news, the only real reporting being done about Hillary Clinton has to do with her email scandal. Even though she violated the Espionage Act, the FBI refused to prosecute. Her family’s foundation is under heavy scrutiny. But did you know these other important points about Hillary’s life-long run to the White House?

Saul Alinsky

  1. During her college years at Wellesley, Hillary Clinton formed her political ideology as a close friend and confidant of Saul Alinsky, the Marxist firebrand who resurrected the “Communist Manifesto” and urged young liberals to agitate and create unrest to establish communist ends.
  2. Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis at Wellesley College was locked at her husband’s request during his time as president. The 92-page thesis was about Alinsky, with whom Clinton shared a mentor/apprentice relationship.
  3. According to NBCNewsDavid Brock called Hillary “Alinsky’s daughter” in his 1996 biography, “The Seduction of Hillary Rodham.”
  4. Hillary Clinton wrote in her thesis, “Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’” This, coming from the man who dedicated his book, “Rules for Radicals” to Lucifer, “the first radical.”
  5. To read a more in depth article about Hillary and Saul Alinsky, read, “Alinsky’s Daughter: Here’s the truth about Hillary the media won’t tell you.

    Leftist Law Firm

  6. After college, Hillary searched for a leftist “movement” law firm and secured a spot at Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein.
  7. Treuhaft was a former Communist Party member who defended the Black Panthers and other radical leftist groups.
  8. Walker was an avowed Communist until the day she died, and was notorious for successfully defending Angie Davis, a California Communist, on conspiracy murder charges. Davis purchased two firearms two days prior to an armed takeover of a county courthouse. While governor, Ronald Reagan barred Davis from teaching at any California University because of her militant communist beliefs. Walker made a living defending Communists against the Smith Act.
  9. Burnstein was a defender of leftist radical protesters, taking the side of the Communists in Vietnam.
  10. Hillary claimed to work on a child custody case only at the radical firm, but others recall differently. “We did a lot of conscientious-objector work,” during the Vietnam War.
  11. Why did Hillary go to Treuhaft, Walker, and Burnstein? Carl Bernstein quoted Treuhaft as saying, "The reason she came to us, the only reason I could think of because none of us knew her, was because we were a so-called Movement law firm at the time.


  12. As a college student, Hillary embraced the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and admired its leader Yassar Arafat, once defending him as a “‘freedom fighter’ trying to free his people from their Israeli ‘oppressors.’”
  13. In her run for senator from New York, Hillary claimed she had Jewish roots by bringing up her grandmother’s remarriage to a Jewish man.
  14. In reaction to seeing a menorah in a friend’s home, Hillary wouldn’t get out of her car, and friends heard Bill explain, "I'm sorry, but Hillary's really tight with the people in the PLO in New York. They're friends of hers, and she just doesn't feel right about the menorah."

    Whitewater Scandal

  15. As partners in the Rose Law Firm, Hillary, Bill, and Jim and Susan McDougal participated in a pyramid scheme that used fraudulent real estate loans involving inflated appraisals to circumvent federal law. By the time the FBI investigated, every single person involved was indicted or destroyed except Bill and Hillary. Power Line reported in March 2015:
    Clinton, working with Webster Hubbell and Vince Foster, stole hard copies of the billing records of the Rose law firm where they were partners. They erased the electronic version of these records. One set of these documents was later found in the White House, just outside Hillary’s private office, by an employee. Another set was found in Foster’s attic by his widow, some years after he committed suicide. Clinton’s time sheets (handwritten, as was the practice back in the day) were never found.

    Fighting for Women

  16. While an attorney in Arkansas, Hillary defended a child rapist, knew he was guilty, but impugned the character of the 12 year old victim anyway, which would send the now-52 year old woman on a path to a life of drugs and crime. Hillary claimed the girl actively sought out “older men,” and had a reputation as a liar. In an interview, Hillary talked about having the rapist take a lie detector test, which he passed, and laughing, Hillary said, “Which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs.”
  17. Hillary successfully defended a 300 lb man who obviously beat his girlfriend, and got the case thrown out on a technicality.
  18. Juanita Broaddrick claimed she was raped by Bill Clinton, Paula Jones won a $850,000 settlement when she accused Bill of sexual harassment, and Kathleen Willey accused Bill of sexual assault. In each of these cases, and many more, Hillary hired private detectives to dig up dirt on Bill’s accusers in order to destroy their stories, and keep Bill on his path to the White House, as told by biographer Carl Bernstein, former aide George Stephanopoulous, and former Clinton aide Dick Morris.

    Black Lives Matter

  19. Hillary has said that white people have to, “recognize our privilege and practice humility.”
  20. To BLM rioters she said, “We need you. We need the promise of a rising generation of activists and organizers who are fearless in your advocacy and determination.”
  21. The Black Lives Matter founder from Worchester, Massachusetts, once complained to Hillary, “Until someone speaks the truth to white people in this country so that we can actually take on anti-blackness as a founding problem in this country, I don’t believe that there is going to be a solution. What in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of this country?” Hillary responded, “I don’t believe you change hearts, I believe you change laws. You change allocation of resources. You change the way systems operate,” indicating that she would change government to implement BLM’s demands.

    Muslim Brotherhood

  22. Hillary backed the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Mursi. Incidentally, on the way to meet with Mursi, Hillary, was pelted with tomatoes while the Egyptians chanted, “Monica, Monica!”
  23. Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin, has well-established ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
  24. Hillary sided with the second official-of-record of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya and discussed what could be done to hamper Qaddafi. “Hillary’s war,” as identified by U.S Navy Rear Admiral Charles Kubic, ended in destabilizing Libya and enhancing the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS.

    Gun Control

  25. Hillary believes that Second Amendment proponents are a “minority” of people, and that their viewpoint is “terrorizing” the American people.
  26. Hillary not only wants to make gun ownership illegal for many, but would allow gun manufacturers to be sued by those who have been shot by a legally owned gun. This would include those committing crimes on private property.
  27. Hillary said that the Supreme Court is wrong about the Second Amendment, referring to District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down the D.C. gun ban and ruled that individuals have a fundamental right to gun ownership under the Second Amendment.

    The First Amendment

  28. Hillary has condemned the Citizens United court ruling and wants a constitutional amendment to overturn it. The Citizens United case hinged on the right to free speech and censorship of opposing views. Justices looked at the FEC ban as akin to book burning, and the court ruled that the FEC could not limit political speech.
  29. After four American lives were lost in Benghazi, Hillary Clinton blamed Nakoula Basseley Nakoula for a film he made about Islam. Hillary further falsely claimed the attack was in response to said film. To Charles Woods, the father of one of the deceased at Benghazi, Hillary said, “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.” Nakoula was immediately jailed for over a year.
  30. She has every intention of using the full power of the federal government to snuff out religious liberty.
  31. Hillary has a long history of faulting or trying to ban movies, music, and video games for the actions of criminals.


  32. Hillary’s view is that people’s religious beliefs have to be changed when it comes to abortion. “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will,” she explained. “And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
  33. Hillary believes that an unborn child — just hours before delivery — has no constitutional rights, i.e., no right to life.
  34. Hillary praised her husband Bill for vetoing a partial birth abortion ban. Partial-birth abortion is exactly what it implies, a child is pulled feet-first out of the mother's womb past the navel and the abortionist punctures the skull of the baby, inserts a powerful vacuum, and suctions the baby's brains which collapses the skull and the child is pulled the rest of the way and discarded. At the time of the veto, the Clintons claimed it was a procedure to protect the health and life of the mother, but a prominent abortion advocate said at the time that the information given to the public was intentionally misleading.
  35. Hillary wants more funding to go to the abortion giant and butcher shop, Planned Parenthood.
  36. Hillary wants to overturn the Hyde Amendment, which is intended to ban government funding for abortion.


  37. Hillary’s voter registration leader for her campaign is an illegal immigrant.
  38. Clinton wants to increase Syrian refugees coming into America from 1,500 to 65,000.
  39. At the Univision Democratic debate in March, Hillary said, “I am committed to introducing comprehensive immigration reform and a path to legitimate citizenship within the first 100 days of my presidency.”
  40. Hillary would allow illegal immigrants to obtain health insurance under Obamacare.

    Much More

  41. Hillary’s first solo legal case was in defense of a canning corporation when a man found the back end of a rat in his pork and beans. Affectionately known as the “Rat’s ass case,” Hillary claimed it would be considered food in some countries.
  42. Grateful for Hillary’s help in his presidential run, President Jimmy Carter put her in charge of Legal Services Corporation, a federally funded nonprofit, whose budget under Hillary would swell from $90 million to $321 million. Investigators from the General Accounting Office found that during her leadership, those involved with the LSC were, “uniquely reprehensible.”
  43. In 1978 and 1979, Hillary turned a $1,000 investment into $98,540 in less than one year trading cattle futures under the guidance of a Tyson Foods outside attorney. Tyson Foods, under state law, was supposed to dispose of its chicken manure properly, but the state’s governor, Bill Clinton, never enforced the law. Five years later, seepage from the waste contaminated a community’s drinking water and made people sick. It took Bill Clinton 15 months to declare the town a disaster area.
  44. In two years, 2013-2015, Hillary made $2.9 million in speaking fees from large corporations including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs.
  45. In her commencement speech at Wellesley, Hillary quoted her mother as saying, “You know I’ll always love you but there are times when I certainly won’t like you.” In 1993, in an interview with the New York Times, Hillary attributed that exact quote to her father instead.
  46. Hillary was “the first presidential spouse to be subpoenaed. Bill and Hillary Clinton are the first and only first couple to be fingerprinted by the FBI.”
  47. Hillary was at the center of “Travelgate” during her time as first lady. The controversy surrounded seven people who were fired in the office and replaced with her cronies.
  48. Hillary claimed she came under sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia. That claim was easily debunked by Sharyl Attkisson who was accompanied Hillary’s trip as a member of the press. Hillary twice tried to make the silly suggestion stick before the media caught up with her.
  49. Hillary hailed the television channel Al Jazeera and said its viewership was going up in the U.S. “’because it’s real news. You may not agree with it, but you feel like you’re getting real news around the clock.’ She said it was ‘changing peoples’ minds and attitudes. And like it or hate it, it is really effective.’ U.S. news, she added, was not keeping up.”
Hillary is a radical's radical, a compulsive liar, and is intoxicated by the accumulation of wealth and power. Her Marxist ideology and belief that destroying this nation from within is what has motivated and propelled her to become president of this nation. Anyone considering voting for this destroyer should have their heads examined.

Jen Kuznicki is a contributor to Conservative Review, blue collar, wife, mom, political writer, humorist, conservative activist, a seamstress by trade, and compelled to write.

2a)  Les Déplorables

Hillary Clinton names the five phobias of Donald Trump’s political supporters.

Hillary Clinton’s comment that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic”—a heck of a lot of phobia for anyone to lug around all day—puts back in play what will be seen as one of the 2016 campaign’s defining forces: the revolt of the politically incorrect.
They may not live at the level of Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” but it was only a matter of time before les déplorables—our own writhing mass of unheard Americans—rebelled against the intellectual elites’ ancien régime of political correctness.
It remains to be seen what effect Hillary’s five phobias will have on the race, which tightened even before these remarks and Pneumonia-gate. The two events produced one of Mrs. Clinton’s worst weeks in opposite ways.
As with the irrepressible email server, Mrs. Clinton’s handling of her infirmity—“I feel great,” the pneumonia-infected candidate said while hugging a little girl—deepened the hole of distrust she lives in. At the same time, her dismissal, at Barbra Streisand’s LGBT fundraiser, of uncounted millions of Americans as deplorables had the ring of genuine belief.
Perhaps sensing that public knowledge of what she really thinks could be a political liability, Mrs. Clinton went on to describe “people who feel that the government has let them down, the economy has let them down, nobody cares about them . . . and they’re just desperate for change.”
She is of course describing the people in Charles Murray’s recent and compelling book on cultural disintegration among the working class, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.” This is indeed the bedrock of the broader Trump base.
Mrs. Clinton is right that they feel the system has let them down. There is a legitimate argument over exactly when the rising digital economy started transferring income away from blue-collar workers and toward the “creative class” of Google and Facebookemployees, no few of whom are smug progressives who think the landmass seen from business class between San Francisco and New York is pocked with deplorable, phobic Americans. Naturally, they’ll vote for the status quo, which is Hillary.
But in the eight years available to Barack Obama to do something about what rankles the lower-middle class—white, black or brown—the non-employed and underemployed grew. A lot of them will vote for Donald Trump because they want a radical mid-course correction. Which Mrs. Clinton isn’t and never will be.
This is not the Democratic Party of Bill Clinton. The progressive Democrats, a wholly public-sector party, have disconnected from the realities of the private economy, which exists as a mysterious revenue-producing abstraction. Hillary’s comments suggest they now see much of the population has a cultural and social abstraction.
To repeat: “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic.”
Those are all potent words. Or once were. The racism of the Jim Crow era was ugly, physically cruel and murderous. Today, progressives output these words as reflexively as a burp. What’s more, the left enjoys calling people Islamophobic or homophobic. It’s bullying without personal risk.
Donald Trump’s appeal, in part, is that he cracks back at progressive cultural condescension in utterly crude terms. Nativists exist, and the sky is still blue. But the overwhelming majority of these people aren’t phobic about a modernizing America. They’re fed up with the relentless, moral superciliousness of Hillary, the Obamas, progressive pundits and 19-year-old campus activists.
Evangelicals at last week’s Values Voter Summit said they’d look past Mr. Trump’s personal résumé. This is the reason. It’s not about him.
The moral clarity that drove the original civil-rights movement or the women’s movement has degenerated into a confused moral narcissism. One wonders if even some of the people in Mrs. Clinton’s Streisandian audience didn’t feel discomfort at the ease with which the presidential candidate slapped isms and phobias on so many people.
Presidential politics has become hyper-focused on individual personalities because the media rubs them in our face nonstop. It is a mistake, though, to blame Hillary alone for that derisive remark. It’s not just her. Hillary Clinton is the logical result of the Democratic Party’s new, progressive algorithm—a set of strict social rules that drives politics and the culture to one point of view. A Clinton victory would enable and entrench the forces her comment represents.
Her supporters say it’s Donald Trump’s rhetoric that is “divisive.” Just so. But it’s rich to hear them claim that their words and politics are “inclusive.” So is the town dump. They have chopped American society into so many offendable identities that only a Yale freshman can name them all.
If the Democrats lose behind Hillary Clinton, it will be in part because America’s les déplorables decided enough of this is enough.

Uber’s Self-Driving Cars Debut in Pittsburgh

Up to 1,000 Uber customers will be part of the first real-world test in the U.S. for regular people

PITTSBURGH—When local residents begin riding in Uber Technologies Inc.’s self-driving cars, they may find the robots operate like driver’s-ed students.
On Monday, autonomous Ford Fusions owned by Uber, manned by a backup driver and an engineer in the front seat for safety, rolled slowly and cautiously through some of the city’s grittier neighborhoods as pedestrians curiously looked on. During a demonstration ride for The Wall Street Journal, our robo-taxi obeyed speed limits, stayed in its lane and never shot through yellow lights. It struggled with some obstacles and once jarringly hit the brakes.
The test represents Uber Chief Executive Travis Kalanick’s audacious vision to one day roll out an entire fleet of autonomous vehicles to replace the company’s roughly 1.5 million drivers and to ferry commuters, packages and food around urban centers. It is a dream shared by Detroit auto makers, Tesla Motors Inc.’s Elon Musk and a host of startups, which believe such driverless autos will one day be safer than manned vehicles.
It isn’t clear when fully autonomous vehicles will roam city streets, although Ford MotorCo. has a five-year goal.
In the meantime, Uber is turning Pittsburgh into an experimental lab, summoning the public to participate before any laws have been written. Uber invited up to 1,000 of its “most loyal” Pittsburgh customers to experience the futuristic vehicles in the first U.S. real-world test of self-driving cars for regular people.
“It seems the testing could all be done in an urban environment without having human passengers, so this may be more marketing than real-world testing,” said David Zuby,executive vice president and chief research officer for the Insurance Institute for 
Uber said the test lets it gather valuable feedback from customers. “We’ve done extensive testing for 18 months and several members of our team have dedicated their careers to this kind of technology,” an Uber spokeswoman said.
An early view shows there are still kinks to work out. During our run, the sedan drove only about 20 yards before encountering an obstacle that caused it to halt: a large truck was stopped in the middle of a side street, straddling the center lane. The cars are programmed to stop and remain in their lanes in such cases, so the backup driver had to take control to scoot around the truck.

From the Archives

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Could your next Uber ride come without a driver? WSJ’s Rolfe Winkler reports on why Uber’s new partnership puts it in competition with Google. Photo: Getty (Originally published Feb. 3, 2015)

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Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering center is in crisis after 40 of its researchers and scientists have left the institution to join Uber, as the car-hailing service aims to develop driverless car technology. WSJ’s Mike Ramsey reports. Photo: AP (Originally published June 1, 2015)
The car drove itself through a warehouse district and into the heavier traffic of downtown Pittsburgh. When several pedestrians spotted the radar device spinning on top of the Fusion, they stopped in the middle of the street to gape. The car waited for them to move.
Minutes later, the car braked suddenly at the approach of a vehicle that appeared briefly to be veering into its path, jostling its passengers. Uber software writers are tweaking their programs to help the car distinguish between likely and unlikely threats.
“We’re still rapidly learning,” said Raffi Krikorian, director of Uber’s Pittsburgh Advanced Technologies Center.
The cars can’t yet make right turns at red lights, which may frustrate impatient passengers and cars behind them. The move, which requires edging forward and carefully scanning for traffic, is beyond the program’s limits. Uber managers promised to rectify this soon.
Uber generally has programmed its cars to drive within speed limits, but it is considering making the cars a bit more aggressive to blend with traffic flows where people routinely speed.
The driverless service won’t cover the entire city at first. The initial boundaries will encompass downtown Pittsburgh and several neighborhoods within a few miles.

Uber Rolls Out Self-Driving Cars in Pittsburgh

The company is inviting customers to experience the futuristic vehicles starting Wednesday in the first real-world test of self-driving cars for regular people.

A fleet of self-driving Uber cars lines up outside of Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2016.
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‘Arriving at destination’ seen on the rider control screen in a self-driving Uber car. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A fleet of self-driving Uber cars lines up outside of Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2016. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The top-mounted lidar units and forward-facing camera arrays are mounted to self-driving Uber cars. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A vehicle operator for Uber keeps close watch on a self-driving Uber car as it drives itself through Pittsburgh. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A lidar view shows on the rider control screen. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A self-driving Uber hybrid Ford Fusion drives through traffic in Pittsburgh. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A test operations manager for Uber monitors his ride in a self-driving Uber car. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
The self-driving controls allow a driver to move from auto-driving mode to a manual, driver-controlled mode in the self-driving Uber car. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A self-driving Uber hybrid Ford Fusion navigates itself through downtown Pittsburgh. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
‘Arriving at destination’ seen on the rider control screen in a self-driving Uber car. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
A fleet of self-driving Uber cars lines up outside of Uber Advanced Technologies Center in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2016. STEPHANIE STRASBURG FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Uber said it hopes to drive to the airport within months and include the entire metropolitan area in a year.
The Fusions look normal, except for hardware on top of the roof that Uber developed itself. A spinning laser device sits on top of banks of cameras and other electronic devices.
Only four of the cars will be on the road initially, though Uber has more than a dozen Fusions available and said it plans as many as 100 specially equipped Volvo XC90s in Pittsburgh. Similar vehicles have been spotted driving around San Francisco.
Uber said it chose Pittsburgh for its research and development center partly because the city is home to Carnegie Mellon University, one of the top centers of autonomous-driving technology, creating a pool of talent for the company to tap.
Pittsburgh also has its own quirks. It is customary for the first driver at a stoplight who is signaling a left turn to have priority over oncoming traffic when the light turns green. People in the oncoming lanes generally allow that leftward dash and are puzzled or even angry if it doesn’t occur. Uber has programmed its cars to allow other cars to make the “Pittsburgh left” but not to make it themselves.
The city is also notoriously difficult to drive through with steep hills and three rivers that make streets twist and turn unpredictably. Crumbling bridges and potholes provide added thrills. Roads that appear to intersect on a map don’t meet in real life because they are at vastly different elevations. Lush weeds tend to obscure landmarks in the summer; ice makes the hills deadly in winter.
“If you can drive successfully in Pittsburgh, you’re pretty much done,” said Ragunathan Rajkumar, a professor at CMU who specializes in autonomous vehicles.
Corrections & Amplifications: 
Uber Technologies’ Pittsburgh effort is the first real-world test in the U.S., other such tests are underway outside the country. An earlier version of this article incorrectly called Uber’s test the first

            Interesting that the LA Times did this.  Lou Dobbs reported this on CNN and it cost him his job.  The only network we would see this on would be FOX.  All the others are staying away from it.  Whether you are a Democrat or Republican, this should be of great interest to you!            

This is only one State... If this doesn't open your eyes, nothing will!            

From the L.A. Times.            

1.  40% of all workers in LA County (10.2 million people) are working for cash; and avoiding paying taxes.  This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants, working without a green card.            

(Donald Trump was right)            

2.  95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.            

3.  75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.            

4.  Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.            

5.  Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals; they are here illegally.            

6.  Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.            

7.  The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.            

8.   Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.            

9.   21 radio stations in LA are Spanish-  speaking.            

10.  In LA County, 5.1 million people speak English; 3.9 million, speak Spanish.  (There are 10.2 million people, in LA County.)            

(All 10 of the above facts were published in the Los Angeles Times)            

Less than 2% of illegal aliens are picking our crops, but 29% are on welfare.  Over 70% of the United States' annual population growth, (and over 90% of California, Florida, and New York),  results from immigration.  Also, 29% of inmates in federal prisons are illegal aliens.            

Are we fools for letting this continue?            


This  is only one State...If this doesn't open your eyes nothing will,  and you wonder why Nancy Pelosi wants them to become  Democrat voters!
4) Historian George H. Nash, author of “The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945,” in the September issue of the New Criterion:
Trumpist populism is defiantly challenging the fundamental tenets and perspectives of every component of the post-1945 conservative coalition . . . In its perspective on free trade, Trumpism deviates sharply from the limited-government, pro-free market philosophy of the libertarians and classical liberals. Despite some ritualistic support for the right to life and religious freedom, Trumpism has shown relatively little interest in the religious, moral, and cultural concerns of the traditionalist and social conservatives. In foreign policy it has harshly criticized the conservative internationalism grounded in the Cold War, as well as the post–Cold War “hard Wilsonianism” and distrust of Putinist Russia espoused by many national security hawks and neoconservatives. What Trumpism has addressed, loudly and insistently, is the insecurity and disorientation that large numbers of conservatives now feel about conditions at home and abroad. . . .
In these stormy circumstances, it would be foolish to prophesy the outcome. Suffice it to say that in all my years as a historian of conservatism I have never observed as much dissension on the Right as there is at present. It is unlikely to disappear anytime soon.
Now some may see in this cacophony a sign of vitality, and perhaps it will turn out to be. But conservatives, more than ever, need minds as well as voices, arguments as well as sound bites, and civility as well as indignation. In this season of discontent, it might be useful for conservatives of all persuasions to step back from the fray for a moment and ask themselves a simple question: What do conservatives want? . . .
To put it in elementary terms, I believe they want what nearly all conservatives since 1945 have wanted: they want to be free; they want to live virtuous and meaningful lives; and they want to be secure from threats both beyond and within our borders. They want to live in a society whose government respects and encourages these aspirations while otherwise leaving people alone. Freedom, virtue, and safety: goals reflected in the libertarian, traditionalist, and national security dimensions of the conservative movement as it has developed over the past seventy years. In other words, there is at least a little fusionism in nearly all of us. It is something to build on. But it will take time.
5) Greater Share of U.S. Workers Testing Positive for Illicit Drugs

Detection of illicit drugs increased slightly both for general and ‘safety-sensitive’ workforce

The share of U.S. workers testing positive for illicit drug use reached its highest level in a decade, according to data from millions of workplace drug tests administered by Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the nation’s largest medical-screening laboratories.
Detection of illicit drugs—from marijuana to heroin to methamphetamine—increased slightly both for the general workforce and the “safety-sensitive” workforce, which includes millions of truck drivers, pilots, ship captains, subway engineers, and other transportation workers. Employers are required to test those individuals at random, as well as in specific situations such as after accidents occur.
Overall, 4% of worker drug tests were positive in 2015. Among safety-sensitive workers, positive tests rose to 1.8% from 1.7%. In the general workforce, positive tests rose to 4.8% from 4.7%.
Some of the positive results are later discarded if a worker produces a doctor’s prescription for a legal drug. However, the majority reflect illicit use, driven by increases in detection of amphetamines, cocaine and heroin, according to the Quest data.
In 2015, positive results from workers tested by Quest rose for the third year in a row following decades of declines.
The data, which is based on more than 9.5 million urine tests, mostly echoes broader statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which surveys Americans about drug use every year. The agency found that in 2014, the year of the most recent completed survey, about 10% of Americans over age 12 had used an illicit drug in the prior 30 days, the highest share since at least 2002.
Quest publishes data going back to 1988, when 13.6% of U.S. workers’ drug tests came back positive. That year, Ronald Reagan signed the Drug-Free Workplace Act and soon after federal rules began mandating drug checks for safety-sensitive workers. Testing also became more broadly accepted as a workplace practice even for non-transportation jobs, particularly as a pre-employment screen.
The share of positive tests declined to a low of 3.5% in 2010 and stayed at that level until 2012, when it began to rise. The increases overlap with legislation in Colorado and Washington, where voters approved initiatives allowing the recreational use of marijuana in 2012. Since then, more than 20 other states have legalized that drug in some form.
Marijuana “remains America’s favorite illegal drug,” said Barry Sample, director of science and technology for Quest’s employer solutions business. Nearly half of all workplace positive tests are for marijuana, with the number holding steady from 2014.
While states that have legalized some form of the drug exhibit higher marijuana positivity rates, the numbers didn’t increase in Colorado and Washington from 2014, said Dr. Sample.
“We’ve heard concerns from some employers [in those states] about the difficulty in identifying and hiring workers that will pass the drug test primarily because of marijuana positives, but when we look at our macro picture, our data doesn’t necessarily bear that out,” he said.
More troubling was an increase in detection of heroin. While the numbers are relatively small—less than one-tenth of 1% of all drug tests—heroin positives increased 146% in the general workforce between 2011 and 2015 and 84% in the safety-sensitive workforce.
Heroin use has increased in part because of a crackdown on abuse of prescription opiates such as hydrocodone, said Dr. Sample. Drug users turn to heroin when it is “more difficult or expensive to obtain extra prescriptions from physicians, or buy diverted pharmaceutical products” illegally, he said.
On the other side of that coin, Quest found that detection of the two most common prescription opiates—hydrocodone and hydromorphone—fell steeply in 2015.

New consul general hopes to advance the diplomatic ball for Israel

Consul General Sam Grundwerg (center) is flanked by his family, from left, daughter Felicia, wife Julia, son Elisha and daughter Sarita. Grundwerg hopes to strengthen ties with the Black community and expand relations with the entertainment industry.
Consul General Sam Grundwerg (center) is flanked by his family, from left, daughter Felicia, wife Julia, son Elisha and daughter Sarita. Grundwerg hopes to strengthen ties with the Black community and expand relations with the entertainment industry.
Sam Grundwerg has arrived in Los Angeles, and it is a fairly safe bet that he is the first Israeli consul general who has been elected to the football hall of fame.
Not the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, but the American Football in Israel (AFI) Flag Football Hall of Fame, which has its offices in Jerusalem.
Given his athletic background, it comes as no surprise that the compactly built envoy sees sports as a universally shared interest that has more than once spearheaded diplomatic initiatives.
A native of Miami Beach, Fla., Grundwerg has been an ardent fan of the Miami Dolphins since childhood, and in his new post welcomes the return of the Rams to Los Angeles.
At 43, Grundwerg is the latest in a string of American-born Israelis appointed to diplomatic posts, a relatively recent practice. They include his predecessor in Los Angeles, David Siegel, as well as Michael Oren, the former Israel ambassador to Washington, and Oren’s successor, Ron Dermer.
Such appointments, Grundwerg believes, benefit Israel by dispatching envoys who, literally and figuratively, speak their host’s language and are familiar with American culture and politics.
Grundwerg proves his point with his own personality, in his easy use of American humor and enthusiasm for American sports, though he is prevented by his diplomatic status from discussing current U.S. politics.
Grundwerg grew up in Miami Beach with Dermer — considered one of the closest advisors to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — and the two played on their high school’s football and basketball teams, and are fellow AFI Hall of Famers.
In landing his assignment to Los Angeles, Grundwerg has one of the most coveted posts for Israeli diplomats, as it involves running one of the largest Israeli missions in the world with a jurisdiction that encompasses five Southwestern states, Hawaii and Southern California.
Grundwerg will face many of the same problems as his predecessors, but like every consul general before him, can be expected to put his own stamp on the job. In a recent interview, Grundwerg said his top priorities include maintaining contact with public officials in his “territory,” which includes 57 members of Congress, 14 senators, seven governors and numerous mayors and other local officials.
He also will immerse himself in the Jewish communities of L. A. and other major cities, and cultivate relations with key ethnic communities, such as Latinos and African-Americans.
Grundwerg speaks some Spanish as a result of growing up in the Miami area, but he can also rely on his wife, Julia, a nurse, who was born in Puerto Rico into a family of Syrian-Jewish immigrants who had lived for many years in Buenos Aires.
High up on his to-do list is outreach to the millennial generation, both on and off campus.
Grundwerg hopes to strengthen ties with Black Angelenos through such projects as the ongoing plans for a trauma center in South Los Angeles, drawing heavily on the expertise of some of Israel’s foremost psychologists. He also plans to maintain and expand relations with the Hollywood entertainment industry, a must for every Los Angeles-based Israeli diplomat, and he will push for movie and TV productions “in and about Israel,” he said.
In this last effort, in particular, he will have the full backing of Netanyahu, a media-savvy prime minister, who “knows full well the impact of Hollywood on global public opinion,” Grundwerg said. 
The consul general earned a feel for film production himself as co-producer of the 2012 documentary “Life Is Strange,” about Jewish life in Eastern Europe before World War II.
Grundwerg said he plans to advocate to both Jewish and non-Jewish Americans to oppose anti-Israel initiatives, such as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, though he feels “we should keep this problem in proportion and not overemphasize it.”
Grundwerg’s grandparents immigrated to the United States from Hungary, Poland and Germany. His father, a lawyer, and mother maintained a home environment that was “Modern Orthodox, open-minded and very Zionist,” and, as a boy, Grundwerg always took it for granted that he would eventually live in Israel.
His first schooling was at the Hebrew Academy of Greater Miami (it used to be called the Hebrew Academy of Miami until someone pointed out that school’s acronym spelled out HAM, so the word “Greater” was inserted).
At 17, he went to Israel, studied at a yeshiva for one year and then volunteered for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), serving as a tank gunner toward the end of the First Intifada. Two years in the army made him a fluent speaker of Hebrew, although, he said, some of it turned out to be slang.
After his army discharge, he enrolled at Bar-Ilan University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business finance and then working for two years as a senior financial analyst.
He returned to Florida in 1998, and during the following years, studied at the University of Miami, first majoring in finance and then earning a law degree. He is now qualified to practice law in Israel, Florida and Washington, D.C.
Subsequently, he held positions with private law and finance companies in the United States and then Israel, after returning and settling in the Jewish state in 2009.
The following year, he became director general in Israel for the World Jewish Congress. This position, in which he dealt constantly with heads of Jewish communities in the Diaspora and with high government officials in Israel, served as valuable preparation for his present assignment, Grundwerg said.
While serving in the Israeli army, Grundwerg was designated a “lone soldier,” meaning he had no close family in the country to join for visits and holidays. However, he was “adopted” by a number of different families in Efrat, a settlement south of Jerusalem, who vied to make him feel at home.
“When I visited Efrat, I took all my dirty laundry and divided it into several small piles, so a number of different families could participate in the mitzvah of washing my clothes,” Grundwerg recalled.
Like all discharged Israeli soldiers, Grundwerg pulls annual reserve duty, in his case as a casualty officer who must notify parents of the death of their son or daughter in combat or through a terrorist attack.
Both his current assignment, and his previous status as a lone soldier, have given him a special sensitivity to the experience of serving while away from home, and he promises to try to ease the burdens of young Americans serving in the IDF, and of their parents at home.
Sam and Julia Grundwerg are joined in Los Angeles by their son, Elisha, 18, and daughters Sarita, 16, and Felicia, 14.
When it came time for Grundwerg to pick a family home in Israel, he remembered his ties to Efrat as a lone soldier, and his family now lives there when in the Jewish state. Efrat is a settlement in the Judean Mountains of the West Bank and thus is not recognized as part of the State of Israel by most of the international community.
Grundwerg said he’s sensitive to the fact that even among Jews in the Diaspora, there are voices opposing the existence or expansion of settlement on lands that most foreign governments see as part of a future Palestinian state.
To clarify his own position, the consul general made the following points: The population of Efrat is quite diversified and includes Modern Orthodox Zionists, ultra-Orthodox and secular inhabitants. He said he believes the issue of the settlements must be solved directly by the Israeli and Palestinian sides, but in the meantime, should not be used as an excuse to avoid any conversations and negotiations between the two sides.
Grundwerg said it is unfair and misleading to judge Efrat and other settlements by the acts of the so-called “hilltop youth,” small groups of dogmatic nationalists who try to occupy West Bank hilltops and attack Arab farmers against the will of Israel’s government.
From a personal perspective, the kippah-wearing Grundwerg said, “I represent the people and government of the entire State of Israel, not any particular faction or party. As people here get to know me and we talk to each other, I hope we can clarify any misunderstandings.”
As a political appointee, rather than a career diplomat, Grundwerg is expected to serve at the consulate here for three years, with a likely one-year extension

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