Friday, March 24, 2017

Business Deal Versus Political Deal. Hezbollah Versus Iran? Sand In The Gears. All Four Plus. Slimy Schiff and Schumer.

What Trump learned today is that there is no art in doing a political deal.  The GOP Health Care Bill did not go down in flames because it was pulled but I believe The Republican House, particularly Speaker Ryan, did.

Business deals involve money and are motivated by profit whereas, political deals involve egos, philosophy and pettiness.  Schumer, Pelosi and Obama have to be gloating.

Republicans deservedly have egg on their face and have proven several things:

a) They may be a big tent party but it is one comprised of unyielding factions.

b) These factions have seemingly little regard for their president.

c) Trump proved he is a risk taker and is willing to roll up his sleeves and fight.

d) The prospect of them coming to together to pass tax and immigration reform and passage of a rational budget and other promised critical legislation is increasingly doubtful.

e) The Party gave evidence they are unable to govern and coalesce for the nation's benefit.

f) Finally, the opposition proved they are unified when it comes to throwing sand in the gears of  The Trump Train causing it to wreck.
Is Hezbollah a greater risk than Iran? (See 1 below.)
Vis a Vis The Palestinians, is time an ally of Israel?  (See 2 and 2a below.)
There are several basic ways to destroy a society.

First, allow multiple languages to be spoken and open borders. Second, allow/encourage students to take over the college campuses and engage in  anarchy and tenure a faculty that has antipathy towards the nation.  Third, dumb down the future population and destroy their desire to read and ability to reason.  Fourth, grow the government and in the process bankrupt the nation, crush freedoms and create a society hooked on drugs,dependent on entitlements, bereft of a work ethic and one turned away from religion. Fifth, spread discord and distrust and utter contempt for enforcing the law. Sixth and finally, elect a leader whose background, associations and culture is the antithesis of the country.

We have accomplished all six, plus.

POGO and Walt Kelly were correct.  The enemy is us.(See 3 below.)
Rep. Adam Schiff is as shifty as they come.  He is The House equivalent of  Senator Schumer.

They are both so slimy one wonders how they can sit in a chair without sliding off the seat.(See 4 below.)
It is a Yankee/Southerner thing. (See 5 below.)
1) Column One: Trump’s greatest deal
By Caroline Glick

The Iran deal Trump needs to make with the Russians is clear. What can be done about Iran? In Israel, a dispute is reportedly raging between the IDF and the Mossad about the greatest threat facing Israel. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot thinks that Hezbollah is the greatest threat facing Israel. Mossad Director Yossi Cohen thinks Iran’s nuclear program is the greatest danger facing the Jewish state.

While the media highlight the two men’s disagreement, the underlying truth about their concerns has been ignored.

Hezbollah and Iran’s nuclear program are two aspects of the same threat: the regime in Tehran.

Hezbollah is a wholly owned subsidiary of the regime. If the regime disappeared, Hezbollah would fall apart. As for the nuclear installations, in the hands of less fanatical leaders, they would represent a far less acute danger to global security.

So if you undermine the Iranian regime, you defeat Hezbollah and defuse the nuclear threat.

If you fail to deal with the regime in Tehran, both threats will continue to grow no matter what you do, until they become all but insurmountable.

So what can be done about Tehran? With each passing day we discover new ways Iran endangers Israel and the rest of the region.

This week we learned Iran has built underground weapons factories in Lebanon. The facilities are reportedly capable of building missiles, drones, small arms and ammunition. Their underground location protects them from aerial bombardment.

Then there is Hezbollah’s relationship to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).

For more than a decade, the Americans have been selling themselves the implausible claim that the LAF is a responsible fighting force capable and willing to rein in Hezbollah. Never an easy claim – the LAF provided targeting information to Hezbollah missile crews attacking Israel in 2006 – after Hezbollah domesticated the Lebanese government in 2008, the claim became downright silly. And yet, over the past decade, the US has provided the LAF with weapons worth in excess of $1 billion. In 2016 alone the US gave the LAF jets, helicopters, armored personnel carriers and missiles worth more than $220 million.

In recent months, showing that Iran no longer feels the need to hide its control over Lebanon, the LAF has openly stated that it is working hand in glove with Hezbollah.

Last November, Hezbollah showcased US M113 armored personnel carriers with roof-mounted Russian anti-aircraft guns, at a military parade in Syria. The next month the Americans gave the LAF a Hellfire missile-equipped Cessna aircraft with day and night targeting systems.

Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun is a Hezbollah ally. So is Defense Minister Yaacoub Sarraf and LAF commander Gen. Joseph Aoun.

Last month President Aoun told Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, that Hezbollah serves “a complementary role to the Lebanese army.”

And yet the Americans insist that it continues to make sense – and to be lawful – to arm the LAF.

You can hardly blame them. Denial is an attractive option, given the alternatives.

For the past eight years, the Obama administration did everything in its power to empower Iran. To make Iran happy, Obama did nothing as hundreds of thousands of Syrians were killed and millions more were forced to flee their homes by Iran and its puppet Bashar Assad.

Obama allowed Iran to take over the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military. He sat back as Iran’s Houthi proxy overthrew the pro-US regime in Yemen.

And of course, the crowning achievement of Obama’s foreign policy was his nuclear deal with the mullahs. Obama’s deal gives Iran an open path to a nuclear arsenal in a bit more than a decade and enriches the regime beyond Ayatollah Khamenei’s wildest dreams.

Obama empowered Iran at the expense of the US’s Sunni allies and Israel, and indeed, at the expense of the US’s own superpower status in the region, to enable the former president to withdraw the US from the Middle East.

Power of course, doesn’t suffer a vacuum, and the one that Obama created was quickly filled.

For decades, Russia has been Iran’s major arms supplier. It has assisted Iran with its nuclear program and with its ballistic missile program. Russia serves as Iran’s loyal protector at the UN Security Council.

But for all the help it provided Tehran through the years, Moscow never presented itself as Iran’s military defender.

That all changed in September 2015. Two months after Obama cut his nuclear deal with the ayatollahs, Russia deployed its forces to Syria on behalf of Iran and its Syrian and Lebanese proxies.

In so doing, Russia became the leading member and the protector of the Iranian axis.

Russia’s deployment of forces had an immediate impact not only on the war in Syria, but on the regional power balance as a whole. With Russia serving as the air force for Iran and its Syrian and Hezbollah proxies, the Assad regime’s chances of survival increased dramatically. So did Iran’s prospects for regional hegemony.

For Obama, this situation was not without its advantages.

In his final year in office, Obama’s greatest concern was ensuring that his nuclear deal with Iran would outlive his presidency. Russia’s deployment in Syria as the protector of Iran and its proxies was a means of achieving this end.

Russia’s alliance with Iran made attacking Iran’s nuclear program or its Hezbollah proxy a much more dangerous prospect than it had been before.

After all, in 2006, Russia supported Iran and Hezbollah in their war against Israel. But Russia’s support for Iran and its Lebanese legion didn’t diminish Israel’s operational freedom. Israel was able to wage war without any fear that its operations would place it in a direct confrontation with the Russian military.

This changed in September 2015.

The first person to grasp the strategic implications of the Russian move was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu recognized that with Russian forces on the ground in Syria, the only way for Israel to take even remedial measures to protect itself from Iran and its proxies was to drive a wedge between President Vladimir Putin and the ayatollahs wide enough to enable Israel to continue its raids against weapons convoys to Hezbollah and other targets without risking a confrontation with Russia. This is the reason that Netanyahu boarded a flight to Moscow to speak to Putin almost immediately after the Russian leader deployed his forces to Syria.

Israel’s ability to continue to strike targets in Syria, whether along the border on the Golan Heights or deep within Syrian territory, is a function of Netanyahu’s success in convincing Putin to limit his commitment to his Iranian allies.

Since President Donald Trump entered the White House, Iran has been his most urgent foreign policy challenge. Unlike Obama, Trump recognizes that Iran’s nuclear program and its threats to US economic and strategic interests in the Persian Gulf and the Levant cannot be wished away.

And so he has decided to deal with Iran.

The question is, what is he supposed to do? Trump has three basic options.

He can cut a deal with Russia. He can act against Iran without cutting a deal with Russia. And he can do nothing, or anemically maintain Obama’s pro-Iran policies.

The first option has the greatest potential strategic payoff. If Trump can convince Russia to ditch Iran, then he has a chance of dismantling the regime in Tehran and so defusing the Iranian nuclear program and destroying Hezbollah without having to fight a major war.

The payoff to Russia for agreeing to such a deal would be significant. But if Trump were to adopt this policy, the US has a lot of bargaining chips that it can use to convince Putin to walk away from the ayatollahs long enough for the US to defuse the threat they pose to its interests.

The problem with the Russia strategy is that since Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, the Democrats, their allied media outlets and powerful forces in the US intelligence community have been beset by a Russia hysteria unseen since the Red scares in the 1920s and 1950s.

The fact that Obama bent over backward to cater to Putin’s interests for eight years has been pushed down the memory hole.

Also ignored is the fact that during her tenure as secretary of state, Clinton approved deals with the Russians that were arguably antithetical to US interests while the Clinton Foundation received millions of dollars in contributions from Russian businessmen and companies closely allied with Putin.

Since November 8, the Democrats and their clapping seals in the media and allies in the US intelligence community have banged the war drums against Russia, accusing Trump and his advisers of serving as Russian patsies at best, and Russian agents at worst.

In this climate, it would be politically costly for Trump to implement a Russian-based strategy for dismantling the Iranian threat.

This brings us to the second option, which is to confront Iran and Russia. Under this option, US action against Iran could easily cause hostilities to break out between the US and Russia. It goes without saying that the political fallout from making a deal with Russia would be nothing compared to the political consequences if Trump were to take the US down a path that led to war with Russia.

Obviously, the economic and human costs of such a confrontation would be prohibitive regardless of the political consequences.

This leaves us with the final option of doing nothing, or anemically continuing to implement Obama’s policies, as the Americans are doing today.

Although tempting, the hard truth is that this is the most dangerous policy of all.

You need only look to North Korea to understand why this is so.

Seemingly on a daily basis, Pyongyang threatens to nuke America. And the US has no good options for dealing with the threat.

As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged during his recent trip to Asia, decades of US diplomacy regarding North Korea’s nuclear program did nothing to diminish or delay the threat.

North Korea has been able to develop nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles while threatening the US with destruction because North Korea enjoys the protection of China. If not for the Chinese, the US would long ago have dealt a death blow to the regime.

Israel has moved Russia as far away from Iran as it can on its own. It is enough to stop convoys of North Korean weapons from crossing into Lebanon.

But it isn’t enough to cause serious harm to Tehran or its clients.

The only government that can do that is the American government.

Trump built his career by mastering the art of deal making. And he recognized that Obama’s deal with Iran is not the masterpiece Obama and his allies claim but a catastrophe.

The Iran deal Trump needs to make with the Russians is clear. The only question is whether he is willing to pay the political price it requires.

What if time is not Israel’s enemy 

By Jonathan S. Tobin

At first glance, it was one more example of why the United Nations is a cesspool of hatred for Israel and anti-Semitism. The publication of a report commissioned by the U.N.’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia broke new ground by not merely unfairly criticizing Israel, but taking the position that its existence as a Jewish state is illegitimate and, in and of itself, a justification for being branded as guilty of the “crime of apartheid.”

Though this was more evidence of the rise of a new anti-Semitism that masquerades as anti-Zionism, what happened next should give pause both to Israel’s enemies and Jewish critics. The strong pushback from the U.S. and, even more remarkably, the disavowal of the report by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres—who not only demanded it be taken down from the U.N. website, but then forced the resignation of the bureaucrat behind it—sent a surprisingly strong message to the Palestinians. 

Though much of what goes on at the U.N. with regard to Israel remains an outrage, the notion that the Palestinians and allied Israel-haters have carte blanche from the international community may no longer be true. If so, the prediction of doom for Israel unless it bows to the demands of its foes is wrong.

The report is a compendium of half-truths and outright lies about Israel and the terrorist war that is still being waged against it. Written by well-known anti-Israel extremist Richard Falk of Princeton University and Virginia Tilley of the University of Southern Illinois, the screed will be a gift to supporters of the BDS movement, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel.

Yet with it being expunged from the U.N.’s official website, the report becomes just another piece of recycled anti-Israel propaganda.

Falk and the Palestinians saw the U.N. seal of approval on the apartheid libel as an important step in mobilizing the international community behind their efforts to treat Israel as a pariah nation. Instead, it is the Palestinians who have been dealt a setback that reveals to the world that support for their lies isn’t as strong as they hoped.

Part of the credit for this development must be given to the Trump administration. Guterres and the U.N. bureaucracy know that in President Barack Obama, they lost a genuine admirer of the world body and all its work, and that his replacement is not exactly a fan of their institution. Obama’s tilt against Israel at the U.N. in his final weeks in office only served to encourage the Jewish state’s enemies to redouble their efforts. Trump is deeply unpopular around the world, but the U.N. is stuck with him for the next four years. That means they need to avoid giving him excuses to go to war with the U.N., since he has made it clear he has no intention of allowing Israel to be pressured in the way Obama preferred. 

But Trump is only part of the explanation. Guterres’s reaction is similar to the way even Western European nations that are generally critical of Israel have pushed back against some of the Palestinians’ more egregious efforts. Just like when they sought to have UNESCO brand Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem—including the Temple Mount and Western Wall—as exclusively Muslim, the apartheid smear was a bridge too far for many Europeans. While they may be prepared to criticize Israel over settlements and other issues, they have begun to catch on to the fact that the Palestinian goal isn’t really to attain a state alongside Israel, but to replace and destroy the Jewish state.Although critics of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu government insist that Israel must surrender territory even without a guarantee of peace, the country’s diplomatic position isn’t so weak as they think. Israel will never have the love of the international community, but the Palestinians are wrong if they think the U.N. is going to give them what they want—unless they give up their extreme demands and show a willingness to recognize Israel’s legitimacy.

What we’ve just learned is that with the world getting sick of the Palestinians’ intransigence—a sentiment that is shared by many Arab nations—and the U.S. determined to stick by its sole democratic ally in the Middle East, Israel can afford to wait for real peace rather than surrendering its rights for a deal that will give them neither peace nor security.

Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review.

2a) Mahmoud Abbas Against Freedom of Expression

The political behavior of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in relation to the Palestinian opposition is no different from any other ruler in an Arab country. In other words, this is another dictator who knows how to suppress his opponents using various pretexts.
Abbas’ bitter rivalry with Mohammad Dahlan and the deep hatred Abbas has towards Dahlan has resulted in some unusual steps, the latest of which was a directive given by the Palestinian Foreign Ministry to all the PLO representatives abroad to restrict the activities of Dahlan in Europe because of a conference he organized two weeks ago in Paris.
Political rivalry is normal and legitimate, but the PA chairman crossed “red lines” by setting his security forces against his political opponents, at the head of which is Dahlan – just as tyrants do in dictatorships.
In recent weeks, Abbas’ security forces have been working to locate hundreds of Palestinian youths who participated in several conferences organized by Dahlan for Fatah activists in Ein a-Sukhna, Egypt.
Some of the students were located and interrogated, and ten of them were transferred to administrative detention, accused of having attempted to co-operate with Egyptian intelligence in an attempt to overthrow the PA chairman.
One of the most sensitive issues for Abbas is the Palestinian security coordination with Israel, set according to the Oslo Accords. Abbas is careful to maintain the security cooperation, and even once defined it as “holy.” The PA Chairman knows that the war on terror and his insistence on security coordination is his oxygen pipeline that allows him to continue to rule.
Israel is the one providing Abbas with this oxygen. The IDF safeguards the main routes throughout the West Bank, enabling the proper functioning of PA institutions in Ramallah. The Israel Defense Forces has already thwarted two major Hamas plots to topple the PA. Every month the PA receives hundreds of millions of shekels from Israel used to pay the salaries of thousands of PA officials.
Last week, the Palestinian police brutally dispersed demonstrations in Ramallah and Bethlehem against the prosecution of five wanted men including Basel al-Araj, who was killed in clashes with IDF forces in Ramallah.
The demonstrations took place during the visit of U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt in Israel. According to sources in the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas wanted to demonstrate to the U.S. administration how he maintains security coordination with Israel and with an iron fist crushes any criticism against him.

Suppression of Journalist and Political Activists

Abbas’ right-hand man in his struggle against critical press is General Majed Faraj, Head of Palestinian General Intelligence. This intelligence apparatus works to locate Abbas’ critics in the media and social networks.
Its activities have been ongoing for several years. In October 2016, Palestinian General Intelligence arrested journalists Muhammad Abu Guheisha and Nidal al-Natasha for allegedly cursing and denouncing the PA and Mahmoud Abbas. In Qalqiliya, journalist Qais Abu Samra was summoned for a warning by the Palestinian police. In Nablus, journalist Tareq Abu Zayd was prosecuted for blaspheming the PA.
Imad al-Faranji, head of the Palestinian Press Club, said that the journalists and political activists in the territories were very concerned about the PA campaign of terrorizing journalists and activists.
The PA also operates abroad against its critics. According to Fatah sources, last October, Mahmoud Abbas sent a letter to Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki, in which he asked to prepare a file on all Facebook activists who criticize him and live in the United States, Europe, and Arab countries. In fact, the PA has prepared a “black list” of these activists.
Abd al-Rahman Thaher, a film producer based in Jordan, said he had received threatening phone calls for criticizing the PA, transferring money to Abbas’ opponents, and allegedly acting on behalf of the Jordanian intelligence service.
Sources in Fatah said that the Palestinian General Intelligence had handed over to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry a list of all the opponents of Mahmoud Abbas living abroad so that he could turn to the foreign ministries in those countries to curb the criticism.
Foreign Minister al-Maliki denied the report, but the Rai al-Yom newspaper reported on October 14, 2016, that the Palestinian Foreign Minister had sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asking that they act against political activist Fadi al-Salamin on charges of supporting terrorism and incitement against peace.
The letter included a request to prevent al-Salamin from criticizing the PA and Mahmoud Abbas on his Facebook page. Al-Salamin is one of the sharpest opponents of the PA in the United States.
Another Palestinian journalist, Hanin Warda al-Abed, who lives in Turkey, has also been pressured not to criticize the PA.
Earlier this month, Palestinian security forces in Hebron arrested journalist Amer Abu Arfa, but was released after a day of interrogation.

Tracking Social Networks

The PA, as might be expected, denies that it is persecuting political activists and journalists.
According to Palestinian sources, on March 9, 2017, the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, Rami Hamdallah, sent a letter to General Ziad al-Harih, head of PA Preventive Security, instructing him to step up oversight and monitoring of the accounts of people on social networks that “incite against our institutions.”
This message, which was leaked to several Arabic-language websites, attests more than anything else to the PA’s attitude toward freedom of expression.
This is not an issue of opinions published in the media, but in posts published by residents living in the West Bank and Palestinians living abroad.
Summary: The PA continues to persecute its critics wherever it can.
The PA chairman cannot tolerate any criticism. The criticism is not only political, but involves criticism of acts of corruption attributed to him, his two sons, Yasser and Tarek, and other PA officials.
Palestinian residents of the territories, who live near Israel and see Israeli democracy close up, understand very well that they live in a dictatorship under Abbas. Palestinians understand that they will be forced to live under that dictatorship in a Palestinian state if it is established.
3) K-12: No Joy In Reading. That's the Plan.

Newspapers in my state reported a particularly sadistic murder.  The victim was shot, strangled, beaten with a hammer, stabbed, punched, and set on fire.  The killers were thorough and then some.

If you look at how reading is taught in the U.S., you will think of this  execution.  Children are taught stupidly and then some.  Every technique that will make reading difficult and unpleasant is employed. 

To start with, Sight-words are the worst way to start.  Instead of learning letters and the sounds they represent, children memorize graphic designs.  Rudolf Flesch (Chapter V of Why Johnny Can't Read) said that as of 1948, eleven studies had been conducted; all found that phonics is superior.  (So the Education Establishment has always known that if you want a society to have low literacy, you will promote Sight-words.  And that is what they relentlessly do.) 

Children who rely entirely on Sight-words will invariably end up semi-literate (aka functionally illiterate).  However, it's also true that the more verbal children will in time figure out that Sight-words are not efficient.  These children will notice that certain letter-shapes represent certain sounds.  And by the third grade, many children will be reading phonetically even though they were never taught to do so!

Well, the Education Establishment is not going to put up with that kind of failure.  If water in the fuel line is not enough, put some sugar in the gas tank and some sand in the engine, and while you're at it, punch a hole in the radiator.  Examples include:

1) Professor Ken Goodman's "three cueing system" teaches children to rely on semantics or context.  Second, use syntax.  (Last if at all, use phonetics.)  These rules turn the English language into an elusive puzzle you need to solve word by word and sentence by sentence, every time you read.  Goodman is world-famous for this guff.

2) Professor Frank Smith mandated that children must, when not recognizing a word, guess and then skip.  Once a child has acquired the tendency to use these techniques, that child will never be a good reader.  Guessing is a hard habit to break.  Conversely, real readers rarely guess or skip.  (Frank Smith is world-famous for guff about guessing.)

3) Public schools have for many years told children to look for Picture Clues, as if pictures will always be there and always mean one thing.  Furthermore, in the very act of looking at a picture, the child stops looking at the text.  This disruptive habit kills off good reading.

4) Prior Knowledge is constantly emphasized, as if children could use what they already know to decode text they have not seen before.  At best, this turns reading into a puzzle, a detective story.  In elementary-school practice, Prior Knowledge is used to justify lots of pre-reading and re-reading, until students know virtually the whole piece by heart.  Students can then demonstrate their alleged reading ability.  So it's not that Prior Knowledge helps you to read; it's that Prior Knowledge conceals the fact that you cannot read.  (Compare to someone being allowed to take a test three times.  What would an A mean?)

5) Reading Logs are one of those things that never needed to be invented.  Apparently, some children are made to keep records of what they read as if this will somehow make them enjoy reading more.  No, it does the opposite.

6) Guided, Leveled, or Graded Reading mainly serves to keep schools dull and to provide an alibi (and camouflage) for slow progress.  Children are supposed to read from a small selection of books matched to their supposed ability instead of being able to explore whatever catches their interest.  This unnecessary filtration guarantees that children don't explore too far or have too much fun.  Motivation is sabotaged.  (Collectivists, of course, love any excuse for leveling.)

7) Close Reading is a big feature of Common Core, a sure way to know that this boondoggle had no redeeming features.  Instead of encouraging children to read quickly and exuberantly in all directions, Close Reading forces them to read small complex passages again and again.  David Coleman, the weird wizard in charge of Common Core, thought IRS booklets and air-conditioning manuals were fine material for young readers. 

8) Often there seems to be a concerted effort to make sure children don't see books they might actually enjoy.  This is especially obvious (and brutal) in the case of boys.  The quickest way to sandbag reading is to give them books that were written for girls – i.e., books about feelings and relationships.  Boys cringe, and the Education Establishment takes a bow.

9) Another gimmick is to describe what skilled readers theoretically do and to claim that students must learn to do exactly that.  Adults know how to do many things more or less automatically.  Children need to learn them step by step, starting with the smallest bits and pieces.  Flesch (Chapter IV) quotes a Dr. Cronbach, who claimed that psychologists figured out by 1910: "The good reader takes in a whole word or phrase at a single glance, recognizing it by its outline."  It's doubtful that any adults do this.  Imagine the idiocy of making children try to do it.

10) Even when "phonics" is supposedly used, it's often a misnomer.  The International Literacy Association, long a crusader against phonics, recommends with equal enthusiasm different kinds of phonics, some bad: "intensive, explicit, synthetic, analytic, embedded."  Systematic phonics is the phonics you need.

The result of all these  unnecessary (or destructive) techniques is to make children unable to read or unable to derive pleasure from reading.  A lot of teenage boys say, "I hate reading.  I don't like books."  Probably the truth in most cases is, they don't actually know how to read, or they know how to read in a clumsy way, one guessed Sight-word at a time.  They were never taught to read correctly, and that's where they stay.  Many people suffer a lifelong agony as a result.

The percentage of adults who can read for pleasure is lower than it was years ago, according to many articles.

All of these techniques overlap and interact.  It's as if every time you went camping, there was a new kind of biting insect or a flash flood.  Even if you know a lot about camping, you will have no pleasant associations with it.  You would be amazed if anybody wanted to go camping.  You would avoid it if at all possible.  We have tens of millions of citizens who avoid reading in exactly the same way.

QED: Reading taught with Sight-words is the most urgent problem in education.  Low literacy is the crisis that we can most easily fix.  President Trump, please take note.

Now is the time for all good people to come to the aid of our children.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains educational theories and methods on his site, For info about his four new books, see his literary site,
4) Benghazi Liar Adam Schiff Slimes Devin Nunes

It is said that the Senate plays chess while the House of Representatives plays smash mouth hockey. The revelation by House Intelligence  Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes that, yes, members of Team Trump were in fact surveilled and the contents of their conversations and their names were recorded and disseminated set off ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff from the People’s Republic of California. As Fox News Politics reported:
Members of the intelligence community "incidentally collected" communications from the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets, a top Republican lawmaker said Wednesday afternoon.

House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced "dozens" of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were "widely disseminated."…

"This afternoon, Chairman Devin Nunes announced he had some form of intercepts revealing that lawfully gathered intelligence on foreign officials included information on U.S. Persons, potentially including those associated with President Trump or the President himself. If accurate, this information should have been shared with members of the committee, but it has not been... The Chairman also shared this information with the White House before providing it to the committee, another profound irregularity, given that the matter is currently under investigation. I have expressed my grave concerns with the Chairman that a credible investigation cannot be conducted this way."
Neither can they be conducted through leaks to the media. Rep. Schiff has no problem with intel leaks to the New York Times, but an intelligence committee chairman giving the President a heads-up that his transition team was in fact caught up in surveillance by his own government is out of bounds? Schiff insisted that it was and claimed Nunes was not acting as a committee chair but as a surrogate of Team Trump:
At his own news conference later that afternoon, Schiff sharply criticized Nunes, given that his committee is in the middle of an active investigation that includes the question of whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia’s suspected attempts to meddle in last year’s election.

“The chairman will need to decide whether he is the chairman of an independent investigation into conduct which includes allegations of potential coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians, or he is going to act as a surrogate of the White House, because he cannot do both,” Schiff told reporters.
Schiff has had no problem in himself acting as a surrogate for Team Obama or Team Hillary. That deafening silence you hear is the outrage he has expressed over the leaking of classified information to the press designed to fatally wound the Trump transition. Schiff had no problem repeating claims without evidence that Team Trump was colluding with the Russians. Now he is troubled by Nunes citing reports proving President Trump was right about his team being monitored.
Schiff and his brethren insist that this still doesn’t prove Trump’s claim that Obama ordered the surveillance. This is a distinction without a difference. It was Obama who ordered a review of alleged Russian hacking of our elections, demanding that he receive it before he left office. It was President Obama who expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share monitored communications with the 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections. Obama made the leaking of communications he arguably knew were being monitored easier and more likely. President Obama wanted to damage the incoming Trump administration.

Schiff should be shouting from the rooftops demanding the intelligence leakers be found and incarcerated and that the names of those who approved he “unmasking” of the names of American citizens caught up in the “incidental” collection of the conversations with foreign nationals be revealed. Names of such Americans are supposed to be masked by default, unless unmasking is approved for some reason. As the Weekly Standard reported:
Nunes told reporters Wednesday that Trump transition members' communications were repeatedly intercepted during legal surveillance on a foreign target, otherwise known as incidental collection. These communications were then disseminated in intelligence reports, despite having "little or no apparent foreign intelligence value." A number of Trump transition members' names were also revealed through a process known as "unmasking," he said….

April Doss, a former NSA lawyer who spent over a decade at the agency, told THE WEEKLY STANDARD earlier in March that intelligence officials are required to follow strict procedures governing foreign intelligence collection. These procedures protect the identity of U.S. persons.

"If the communication appears likely to be worth reporting on -- there's a reason why other people in government need to see an intelligence report that says, "here's what our foreign target was doing"-- they'll write the report in a way that focuses only on the foreign target and that doesn't name the U.S. person, that literally inserts something like 'U.S. person number one,'" Doss said.
Schiff was the individual who called the heroes who fought off terrorists from the roof of the CIA annex in Benghazi liars for their account of the Obama/Clinton administration’s denying security improvements, ignoring warnings of the attack, and the issuance of a stand-down order for any rescue, an order they ignored. As Investor’s Business Daily recounted in 2014:
The California Democrat who suggested that his party boycott the Benghazi Select Committee as a waste of time now accuses those who fought on the CIA annex roof of lying "to promote a new book."

The last we heard from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, was in May. That's when he told Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" he thought the planned select committee to investigate the 2012 Benghazi attack was a "colossal waste of time."

Calling the yet-to-be-approved committee a "tremendous red herring," Schiff said: "I don't think it makes sense, really, for Democrats to participate."

…Schiff apparently is still not happy about the hearing, which pointed out the State Department's pre-Benghazi neglect of security, ignoring the security recommendations after the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania…

The hearing came right after Kris Paronto, Mark Geist and John Tiegen, three CIA contractors who on that night fought terrorists from the roof of the CIA's Benghazi annex building, confirmed that there was indeed a stand-down order given that caused a critical half-hour delay….

Schiff, who was not in Benghazi that night, says Paronto, Geist and Tiegen are making up a tale to sell their book, as if their story is less plausible than the proven lie that the Benghazi attack was caused by an inflammatory YouTube video, a myth promoted both by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama.
After seeing clips of Schiff saying the contractors were trying to sell their book and Smith claiming a stand-down order "was never given," Geist said he "would like to invite Mr. Schiff to a debate... we can talk about it." He wondered if Schiff wished to "say that to my face."
Schiff thought the Benghazi heroes were making it up and now he thinks Nunes and Team Trump are making up the fact that they were caught up in Obama administration monitoring of conversations in which they were involved or mentioned. Schif was not being honest then or now. It is he who is not telling the truth

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human EventsReason Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.


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