Thursday, March 9, 2017

Events At Middlebury College - A National Disgrace and Dangerous. Leaking Continue and Iran and N Korea Pressing Forward With Nuclear War Head Programs.


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I have posted a variety of articles relating to the sharp turn America made after the '60's and how they have taken our nation and its citizens in a direction that, at best, one can only describe as deplorable.

The anti-authority crowd has used protest and PC'ism as a cover for their fascist ideas and actions and perhaps the most recent attack on a faculty member and the driving away of speaker  Charles Murray at Middlebury College is their latest despicable act. If these protesters against free speech are not stopped and punished, America's move away from its Constitutional precepts will continue.  This will mean PC'ism has won again and Ameica cannot afford to lose  any more of these conflicts. (See 1 below.)
The pros and cons regarding health care legislation efforts.  (See 2 below.)
Sent to me by a long time dear friend and fellow memo reader.

During the campaign and even after Trump's victory it was fashionable among Democrats and anti-Trumpers to suggest Trump enlisted Putin for the purpose of  helping him win the presidency.  This unverified allegation continued until such time as Trump tweeted a shot across the bow of the Democrats alleging Obama had Trump's associates and his New York home (The Trump Tower) tapped.

Everyone immediately jumped on Trump because he offered no specific facts relating to his claim.  Then several developments: a) The CIA was accused of possessing a cyber arsenal capable of performing all kind of cyber attacks and Wikkileaks outed this information and then it became evident two requests had been made by The Obama Administration for various wiretaps one refused, the other apparently allowed.

Leaking confidential material has become a serious matter and The FBI in investigating.

That is where we stand at the present time but if the various committees investigating these episodes can produce evidence Obama did, in fact, seek to bug Trump and/or his associates that would be a very revealing no no. We know Obama and his cronies were not above doing so in the past.  Let the fun begin. 
This was sent to me by a friend of a friend who has become a new  fellow memo reader. (See 3 below.)
According to Israeli analysts Iran and N Korea actively engaged in nuclear war head developments. (See  4 below.)
1) McCarthyism at Middlebury

The silencing of Charles Murray is a major event in the annals of free speech.

The violence committed against Charles Murray and others at Middlebury College is a significant event in the annals of free speech.
Since the day the Founding Fathers planted the three words, “freedom of speech,” in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Americans and their institutions have had to contend with attempts to suppress speech.
The right to speak freely has survived not merely because of many eloquent Supreme Court decisions but also because America’s political and institutional leadership, whatever else their differences, has stood together to defend this right.
But maybe not any longer.
America’s campuses have been in the grip of a creeping McCarthyism for years. McCarthyism, the word, stands for the extreme repression of ideas and for silencing speech.

In the 1950s, Republican Sen. Joe McCarthy turned his name into a word of generalized disrepute by using the threat of communism, which was real, to ruin innocent individuals’ careers and reputations.

Today, polite liberals—in politics, academia and the media arts—watch in silent assent as McCarythyist radicals hound, repress and attack conservatives like Charles Murray for what they think, write and say.

One of the first politicians to speak against this mood in 1950 was Republican Sen. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. In her speech, “Declaration of Conscience,” Sen. Smith said: “The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as ‘Communists’ or ‘Fascists’ by their opponents. Freedom of speech is not what it used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others.”
Three years later, in 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower gave a famous commencement speech at Dartmouth College. “Don’t join the book burners,” Ike told the students. Even if others “think ideas that are contrary to ours, their right to say them, their right to record them, and their right to have them at places where they are accessible to others is unquestioned, or it isn’t America.”
Today, the smear is common for conservative speakers and thinkers. Prior to Mr. Murray’s scheduled talk at Middlebury, a student petition, signed by hundreds of faculty and alumni, sought to rescind the invitation because “we believe that Murray’s ideas have no place in rigorous scholarly conversation.” Such “disinvitations” have become routine.
So let us plainly ask: Why hasn’t one Democrat stood in the well of the Senate or House to denounce, or even criticize, what the Middlebury mob did to Charles Murray and the faculty who asked him to speak? Have any of them ever come out against the silencing of speech they don’t like?
Let’s recognize that the failure to oppose McCarthyist creep from the left is also consuming liberal reputations. A key event here is what happened at Yale to Professors Erika and Nicholas Christakis, who were made to resign their positions last May over the infamous 2015 “Halloween” costumes incident.
Erika Christakis wrote later about the experience for the Washington Post and there is one unforgettable passage: “Few [of her colleagues] spoke up. And who can blame them? Numerous professors, including those at Yale’s top-rated law school, contacted us personally to say that it was too risky to speak their minds. Others who generously supported us publicly were admonished by colleagues for vouching for our characters.” That is McCarthyism at Yale.
Years back, well-intentioned people supported the creation of speech codes in academic settings. That was a poisoned chalice. Acquiescing to claims for ever-expanding definitions of “hurtful speech” led, inevitably, to rule by mob, like the one at Middlebury that sent Prof. Allison Stanger to the hospital. Some faculty of late have been setting aside the tedium of open discourse to join the thrilling student mobs.
For all this, Middlebury may be a turning point in this slow, steady and too often unresisted effort to replace the Founders’ First Amendment with a progressive rewrite.
A few days after the Murray incident, something extraordinary happened: Some 40 Middlebury professors, from many disciplines, signed a strong statement supporting “Free Inquiry on Campus.” It was published Tuesday on this newspaper’s op-ed page. By late Wednesday the number had grown to more than 80 signers.
The Middlebury Statement by these professors, some without tenure, is an important event.
Their statement doesn’t merely defend free speech and inquiry. It explicitly rejects arguments by the left justifying speech suppression, such as their notion that certain ideas are themselves a form of “violence.” The Middlebury dissenters assert: “Exposure to controversial points of view does not constitute violence.”
Readers who find that sentence self-evident cannot imagine how far eroded free-speech’s foundations have become. The Middlebury Statement is a thumb in the dike. Its signers deserve wide support, not least from political non-conservatives.
2) What Are the GOP’s Health-Care Alternatives?

Progressives are lining up to assail the GOP’s health-care bill, though many on the political right seem to be even more unhappy. A little internal division is inevitable in any reform campaign worth fighting for, but the alternative strategies these conservative critics are suggesting are less than persuasive.
To repeal and replace ObamaCare, Republicans must manage a mix of policy, political and procedural variables that are more complicated than usual. Compromises are necessary to earn 218 votes in the House and then a simple majority among the 52-member Senate GOP conference under the budget reconciliation process, which can bypass the filibuster but limits the scope of what the bill can contain. Call it the art of the deal.
The Democratic position of obstruction is simple and purely political: Oppose everything to add to the pressure on Republicans and hope the bill fails. Legislative defeats early in a new Presidency tend to beget more defeats. Then Democrats hope to win a majority back in 2018 and fix ObamaCare on their terms with Donald Trump, or wait until 2021.
Judging by the reaction on the right to the House bill, this might work. Hours after the release of the legislative text, detractors were already portraying policy nitpicks as historic betrayal. So let’s look at what they’d do instead.


The House Freedom Caucus and some Senators prefer to revert to the repeal bill that Republicans passed in 2015 to test the limits of reconciliation. That measure would eliminate funding for ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and the exchange subsidies roughly two years after enactment. After this so-called clean repeal, they say, Republicans can debate replacement options and form a consensus later in this Congress—maybe.
But stand-alone repeal is unlikely to pass the Senate, not least because Republicans ran on repeal and replace, not repeal alone. Senators and most of the House also recognize that repeal—without the cushion of the replacement provisions for a smoother transition—will capsize insurance markets and accelerate ObamaCare’s collapse. The market won’t revert automatically to 2009 because that market no longer exists.
Instead, insurers and state Medicaid programs will have to recalibrate everything on the fly, with little time to prepare and adjust amid maximum market disruption. Governors in the 31 states that expanded Medicaid won’t be allies if the feds blow a hole in their budgets. The flight of insurers from the exchanges will increase as executives flee a dying business, and any insurers of last resort that remain will surge premiums to compensate.
Nearly a third of U.S. counties are now served by merely a single insurer. It could fall to zero. Republicans would own every horror story about cancer patients losing coverage and the poor thrown off the Medicaid rolls. Democrats suffered politically when ObamaCare caused a wave of insurance cancellations in 2013.
But let’s give the critics the benefit of the doubt and say repeal-only could get 50 Senate votes. Then what?
The GOP would have to move a replace bill with less political capital and a threshold of 60 Senate votes absent reconciliation. Good luck getting Chuck Schumer and the Democrats to agree under regular order to the reforms in the current House bill, which include block grants for Medicaid, expanded health-savings accounts and funding for high-risk pools. Republicans would go into 2018 having repealed ObamaCare without a replacement.
An argument for regular order is that the reconciliation rules are too restrictive to pass a full repeal or true free-market reform, so better to write legislation from scratch. But that option also puts repeal and replace at the mercy of eight Senate Democrats, who even if amenable would drive the bill to the left.


Liberals and the media have flipped from claiming Republicans had no ideas on health care to claiming those ideas will end civilization, but conservatives ought to know better. Since 2015 House and Senate Republicans collaborated on a consensus replacement, which was published during the campaign as the House’s “Better Way” plan. Anyone who’s surprised hasn’t paid attention.
Especially odd is the conservative opposition to tax credits for people who buy individual insurance. These were previewed in the “Better Way” and are a regular feature of all major GOP plans over the years, from Coburn-Burr-Hatch (2014), Ryan-Kline-Upton (2015) and Tom Price’s Empowering Patients First Act, which has existed in some form since 2009. We prefer tax deductions to credits, but that ship sailed a decade ago.
Mr. Price, now Health and Human Services Secretary, eventually found 84 GOP cosponsors in the last Congress. They include North Carolina’s Mark Meadows, the chairman of the Freedom Caucus and a leading if born-again tax credit critic. Did he read Mr. Price’s bill?
The policy dilemma for conservatives is how to move to a richer market for individual insurance that doesn’t receive the tax subsidy that employer-sponsored insurance does. You can begin to equalize that treatment either by adding a subsidy for individuals or reducing the one for companies. In an ideal world we wouldn’t have a subsidy for either. But that isn’t today’s health market.
The House bill’s tax credits and health-savings accounts are an attempt to equalize the tax treatment over time for individuals, and it’s a shame Republicans took out the cap on the tax exclusion for business. Conservatives should fight to restore it. But at least the House bill is progress toward the kind of market-based, patient-centered coverage conservatives say they want.
Some on the right now say that doing nothing is better than the House bill, claiming they can let ObamaCare deteriorate further and blame Democrats for creating it. But voters aren’t stupid. They know they elected a unified Republican government that promised repeal and replace. Voters will conclude the GOP is either feckless or pulled a bait and switch.


Entitlements by their nature are difficult to roll back once they’ve gained a constituency, which is one reason we opposed ObamaCare. But the GOP has to try. By all means Members should attempt to fix the House bill’s flaws, including the three-year delay in Medicaid reform and the too-generous inflation formula for funding the states, among other things.
But conservatives should keep in mind that failure will have a cost, and the irony could be that they block repeal because the replacement has flaws. Are those flaws really worse than the ObamaCare status quo?

Health-care reform is a test of whether Republicans, having been handed the gift of ObamaCare’s failure, can show voters that they can do better with conservative principles. The health-care market is at a crossroads. Either it heads in a more market-based direction step by step, or it moves toward single-payer step by step. If Republicans blow this chance and default to Democrats, they might as well endorse single-payer because that is where the politics will end up.

What rational person believes Putin wanted Trump in the Oval Office? 
Vlad was very happy with the state of affairs during the Obama years, and was hoping for a continuation of the feckless foreign policy of John Forbes Kerry.  Clinton and Kerry literally handed him suzerainty over much of the Middle East, allowed an unfettered takeover of the Crimea, and continued to ease sanctions.  He viewed Obama as a weakling and must have been amused at the Re-Set strategy by then Secretary Clinton. (The ever-present and steel-eyed Molotov would have wet his pants laughing.)

Although Putin deplores Clinton for her interference in the Russian election of 2011, he certainly wanted her in office to continue weakening the United States’ world position, economy and military.  After all, it was Clinton’s State department that authorized the sale of some 20 percent of our uranium deposits to Uranium One.  Russia’s state-owned atomic energy, Rosatom, owns 17% of Uranium One.  The deal provided Russia with a strategic asset, and sent more than $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. And Bill Clinton received some $500,000 for a speech to an investment bank, with ties to Russia's government, that had a buy rating on Uranium One’s stock.
If there was Russian involvement in the 2016 Presidential Campaign, it backfired. 

Now the Russians are faced with an American Administration run by Capitalists, not the Socialist friendlies of the past eight years.  Gone are the days of  “more flexibility after the election.”  Enter a new paradigm of American interests first.

The frantic Left is doing their best to discredit the 2016 election and administration of Mr. Trump.  The undoing of Lt. General Mike Flynn was probably an inside job, but who knows at this point.  It does means fewer sleepless nights for President Putin.  Flynn’s intelligence and cyber skills certainly rival, or exceed, those of Russian General Staff Chief Valery Gerasimov.  However, the Russians seem to have the advantage in the non-linear warfare espoused by Gerasimov.  The “Agit-Prop” operations of the former Soviet Union appear to be alive and well.  Russia’s carefully orchestrated, sophisticatedly targeted, generously funded, and professionally produced disinformation campaign has met little resistance in the West.  The Kremlin exploits the idea of freedom of information to inject disinformation into society. The effect is not to persuade (as in classic public diplomacy) or earn credibility, but to sow confusion via conspiracy theories and proliferate falsehoods.

For more than 14 years, the West has wrongly and naively believed that Putin was or could become a great ally.  Bush and Obama bought into this. Remember the “ I looked into his soul…” comment by Bush.
Hopefully, Mr. Trump will see the reality of Russia’s ambitions, and Putin will realize he is dealing with the king of dealmakers.  Trump knows how to deal with the media and with the distribution of information.  Now, this government needs to mobilize and weaponize our information assets to combat the disinformation threat from our Russian friends.
Unity Coalition for Israel

Iran Is Progressing Towards Nuclear 

Weapons Via North Korea

This analysis argues that Iran is steadily making progress towards a 
nuclear weapon and is doing so via North Korea. Iran is unwilling to submit to a years-long freeze of 
its military nuclear program as stipulated by the July 2015 Vienna Nuclear Deal. North Korea is 
ready and able to provide a clandestine means of circumventing the deal, which would allow the 
Iranians to covertly advance that nuclear program. At the same time, Iran is likely assisting in the 
upgrading of certain North Korean strategic capacities.
While the Vienna Nuclear Deal (VND) is focused on preventing (or at least postponing) the development of
nuclear weapons (NW) in Iran, its restrictions are looser with regard to related delivery systems
(particularly nuclear-capable ballistic missiles) as well as to the transfer of nuclear technology by Iran to 
other countries. Moreover, almost no limits have been placed on the enhancement of Tehran's military 
nuclear program outside Iran. North Korea (NK) arguably constitutes the ideal such location for Iran.
The nuclear and ballistic interfaces between the two countries are long-lasting, unique, and intriguing. The 
principal difference between the countries is that while NK probably already possesses NW, Iran aspires to 
acquire them but is subject to the VND. Iran has the ability, however, to contribute significantly to NK’s
nuclear program, in terms of both technology (i.e., by upgrading gas centrifuges for uranium enrichment)
and finance (and there is an irony in this, as it is thanks to its VND-spurred economic recovery that Iran is
able to afford it).
This kind of strategic, military-technological collaboration is more than merely plausible. It is entirely 
possible, indeed likely, that such a collaboration is already underway.
This presumption assumes that Iran is unwilling to lose years to the freeze on its military nuclear program. 
It further assumes that NK is ready and able to furnish a route by which Iran can clandestinely circumvent 
the VND, thus allowing it to make concrete progress on its NW program. And finally, it assumes that the 
ongoing, rather vague interface between the two countries reflects Iranian advances towards NW. The following components and vectors comprise that interface.
From the 1990s onward, dozens – perhaps hundreds – of NK scientists and technicians apparently worked 
in Iran in nuclear and ballistic facilities. Ballistic missile field tests were held in Iran, for instance near 
Qom, where the NK missiles Hwasong-6 (originally the Soviet Scud-C, which is designated in Iran as 
Shehab-2) and Nodong-1 (designated in Iran as Shehab-3) were tested. Moreover, in the mid-2000s, the 
Shehab-3 was tentatively adjusted by Kamran Daneshjoo, a top Iranian scientist, to carry a nuclear warhead.
Furthermore, calculations were made that were aimed at miniaturizing a nuclear implosion device in order
to fit its dimensions and weight to the specifications of the Shehab-3 re-entry vehicle. These, together with 
benchmark tests, were conducted in the highly classified facility of Parchin. Even more significantly, Iranian
experts were present at Punggye-ri, the NK nuclear test site, when such tests were carried out in the 2000s.
Syria served concurrently as another important platform for Iran – until the destruction by Israel of the 
plutonium-based nuclear reactor that had been constructed in Syria by NK. According to some reports, not 
only were the Iranians fully aware of that project in real time, but the project was heavily financed by 
Tehran. Considering Iranian interests, it was probably intended as a backup for the heavy water plutonium 
production reactor of Iran’s military nuclear program, and possibly as an alternative to the Iranian uranium 
enrichment plant in Natanz in the event that it is dismantled.
While the Iranian heavy water plutonium production reactor differed from the NK gas-graphite reactor, the
 uranium enrichment routes of both countries are based on the gas centrifuge technique. In that respect, Iran 
seems to be ahead of NK, particularly in developing and manufacturing advanced centrifuges of carbon 
fiber rotors.
A meaningful event took place in September 2012, when Daneshjoo, then the Iranian Minister of Science
and Technology, signed an agreement with NK establishing formal cooperation. The agreement formally
addressed such civil applications as “information technology, energy, environment, agriculture and food”. 
However, the memorandum of the agreement was ratified by Ali Akbar Salehi, head of the Atomic Energy 
Organization of Iran. Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei has since clarified that the agreement is an
 “outcome of the fact that Iran and NK have common enemies, because the arrogant powers do not accept 
independent states.” It is reasonable to infer that the agreement went far beyond its alleged civilian sphere.
The September 2012 agreement was probably intended to mask an evolving Iranian-NK cryptic interface, 
intended by Iran to compensate technologically for the following development. About two months earlier, 
President Obama had sent this secret message to Iran's leaders: “We are prepared to open a direct channel to
resolve the nuclear agreement if you are prepared to do the same thing and authorize it at the highest levels
and engage in a serious discussion on these issues.” This message paved the way towards talks that started 
in Kazakhstan in February 2013, continued through the November 2013 Geneva and March 2015 Lausanne 
interim “Framework” agreements, and culminated in the VND. The final agreement involved freezing
substantial portions of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for largely decreased economic sanctions on Iran.
In tandem with the 2012-13 events, a permanent offshoot of Iranian missile experts was established in NK 
that supported the successful field test of a long-range ballistic missile in December 2012. Ballistic, or
ballistic together with nuclear warhead capabilities, are presumably included in the Iranian-NK missile 
cooperation. Iran and NK upgraded the Shehab-3/Nodong-1 liquid-fueled motor missiles in a quite similar
(though not identical) fashion, with Iran producing the Ghadr (range 1600 km) and Emad (range 1700 km) 
derivatives. In addition, components of the liquid-fueled motor missile Musudan (also called the BM-25), 
which has a range of 2,500-4,000 km and was successfully field-tested in NK in 2016, have been supplied 
to Iran in the past by NK. The more advanced solid-fueled motor technology, which included the NK KN-11 
submarine-launched ballistic missile and the Iranian Sajjil missile (range 2,000 km), was apparently 
developed collaboratively by the two countries. Also, a new NK ballistic missile test site was revealed in
2016 in Guemchang-ri – and it closely resembles the Iranian ballistic missile test site near Tabriz.
A delegation of Iranian nuclear experts headed by Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi, director of the Iranian 
NW project, was covertly present at the third NK nuclear test in February 2013. This test was apparently
based – unlike the previous plutonium-core-based field tests – on an HEU (highly enriched uranium) core 
nuclear device (as, presumably, were the fourth and fifth nuclear tests, which took place in 2016). In 2015, 
information exchanges and reciprocal delegation visits reportedly took place that were aimed at the 
planning of nuclear warheads. These include four NK delegations that visited Iran up until June 2015, one
month before the VND was completed. It may be noted that in August 2015, a new gas centrifuge hall 
apparently became operational in the NK main uranium enrichment facility.
Finally, in April 2016, a remarkable clash arose between Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and 
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) during a US House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing. They locked horns 
over planes that fly between Iran and NK, which should land and be rigorously inspected in China so as to 
ensure the prevention of NK proliferation of nuclear and missile technology, let alone actual nuclear 
weapons, to Iran. Sherman charged that this had not been handled with sufficient care by the Obama 

All in all, a major consequence of the VND is that the Obama administration shot the US in the foot. It is 
expected that the terms of the VND and the abundance of money transacted as a result with Iran – about 
US$150 billion – will substantially facilitate the advancement of the NW and ballistic missile programs of 
both Iran and NK.
The chronology, contents, and features of the overt interface between Iran and NK mark an ongoing 
evolutionary process in terms of weapons technologies at the highest strategic level. The two countries have
followed fairly similar nuclear and ballistic courses, with considerable, largely intended, reciprocal 
technological complementarity. The numerous technological common denominators that underlie the NW 
and ballistic missile programs of Iran and NK cannot be regarded as coincidental. Rather, they likely
 indicate – in conjunction with geopolitical and economic drives –a much broader degree of undisclosed 
interaction between Tehran and Pyongyang.
The current Iranian-NK interface, which appears to be fully active, presumably serves as a productive 
substitute for the Iranian activities prohibited by the VND. It enables Iran, in other words, to continue its 
pursuit of NW. If not strictly monitored by the western intelligence communities, this cooperation might 
take the shape of conveyance from NK to Iran of weapons-grade fissile material, weaponry components, or,
in a worst-case scenario, completed NW. To an appreciable degree, Iran is simultaneously assisting in the 
upgrading of NK strategic capacities as well. The Trump administration would be well advised to
 meticulously and rigidly ascertain that such developments do not take place.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Dr. Refael Ofek is an expert in the field of nuclear physics and technology, who served as a
 senior analyst in the Israeli intelligence community.
Lt. Col. (ret.) Dr. Dany Shoham is an expert in the field of weapons of mass destruction, who served as a senior intelligence analyst in the Israel Defense Forces.

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