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Elon Musk unveils revolutionary underground tunnel

Daily Mail - 1 hour 42 min ago
Elon Musk unveiled his Los Angeles underground transportation tunnel on Tuesday, allowing reporters and invited guests to take the first rides in the revolutionary underground tube.

CNN obtains Trump's signature on a letter of intent to build Trump Tower Moscow

Daily Mail - 1 hour 50 min ago
Chris Cuomo obtained a copy of the signed letter, which he showed to viewers on Tuesday night. The letter discussed plans to build Trump hotel, condos, and commercial property in Moscow.

Elon Musk shows off mile-long test tunnel to ease traffic

UPI - 1 hour 51 min ago
Billionaire Elon Musk unveiled an "entirely new system of transport" with a demonstration of a 1.14-mile test tunnel in Southern California on Tuesday night.

Michelle Obama surprises tour groups at 30 Rock with Jimmy Fallon

Daily Mail - 1 hour 57 min ago
Obama appeared on NBC's Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday night, where she pulled the elevator prank before sitting down for a revealing, wide-ranging interview.

Bronx mom fights back car thief by straddling, kicking the teen

Daily Mail - 1 hour 58 min ago
Footage shows Tihisha Jones after she auto-started her Honda Pilot and witnessed a young man, identified as 19-year-old Bernado Santiago, in the front seat during the attempted auto theft.

School rewound video during massacre, delaying officers

Daily Mail - 2 hours 1 min ago
The police response to the Florida high school massacre was delayed because school officials rewound a school surveillance video, making officers think the gunman was still in the building.

Expose claims Facebook allowed Netflix, Spotify, Amazon to access users' private information

Daily Mail - 2 hours 5 min ago
A new New York Times expose has revealed that Facebook granted access to hundreds of millions of users' data to 150 companies.

Oldest living veteran Richard Overton, 112, hospitalized with pneumonia

Daily Mail - 2 hours 15 min ago
Richard Overton, who celebrated his 112th birthday in May, has been in an Austin, Texas hospital since last Wednesday, his cousin said.

Carnival to offer cruises for first time in San Francisco

UPI - 2 hours 31 min ago
Carnival Cruise Line for the first time in its 46-year history will offer cruises from San Francisco, starting in 2020.

Allan Dershowitz at Restoration Weekend

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 6 min ago

Editor's note: Below are the video and transcript of remarks given by Alan Dershowitz at the David Horowitz Freedom Center's 2018 Restoration Weekend. The event was held Nov. 15th-18th at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.


David Horowitz: Okay.  Thank you.  I have admired Alan Dershowitz ever since I opened his first book, The Best Defense, over 30 years ago, and read its opening words.  The difference he wrote between Perry Mason, Perry Mason's clients and mine is that mine are guilty, and then he explained why it was important to provide the guilty the best defense.  It was to keep the prosecution, the government, honest.  Although Alan is a liberal and he and I would probably disagree over many issues, when you think about it, this idea is the bedrock of the conservative outlook.  As conservatives, we believe that the root cause of social problems is not society, which is a reflection of us, but us, our flawed human nature as human beings.  The people who are in government have the same impulses to lie, cheat, steal and destroy as those they are prosecuting, but because they have the power of the state behind them, they are potentially even more dangerous than their targets, and that is why keeping them honest and holding them to the rules, to the process and the law is such a vital task in our democracy.  And it is why Alan Dershowitz, a liberal and a lifelong Democrat, is such an important figure to our nature in its present political crisis.  It is a tragedy for our nation that the Democrat party itself is no longer a liberal party committed to due process and individual rights.  It has been taken over by a progressive cohort and etiology that does not believe the root cause of our social problems is the flawed nature of individuals but instead it is the oppressive nature of groups based on race, gender and sexual orientation.  The disgraceful witch hunts of President Donald Trump and Judge Brett Kavanaugh reveal a party that does not believe in due process or innocent until proven guilty but is comfortable with guilty by race and gender and guilt by accusation.  If these beliefs that inspire these attitudes prevail, our still young republic is over.  That is why I believe Alan Dershowitz is an iconic figure, even the iconic figure in the battle to preserve this great democracy and restore its founding principles of equality, fairness and respect for the rule of law. 

Alan is both a liberal and a democrat.  The two are no longer synonymous.  Today, he is respected by political conservatives and vilified by progressives as the chief defender of President Trump who was the target of a sadistic attempt by the leaders of Alan's own party to impeach and overthrow him.  So disrespectful of due process by these democratic leaders, that they have constantly invoked the Twenty-Fifth Amendment as grounds for impeaching him.  This is an amendment that was specifically designed to remove presidents incapacitated by strokes and similar catastrophic events.  No one in his right mind can think that Donald Trump, who has accomplished more in the first 2 years in office than any president in the memory, is a stroke victim.  Because Alan is a lifelong democrat and his community of lifetime friends reflect the progressive currents that have overtaken his party, he has been shunned and attacked by the circles he moves in.  To be Alan Dershowitz requires remarkable courage, integrity and commitment to principle and dedication to the ingenious design of the American Founders.  In this time of national crisis, Alan Dershowitz is an American hero and a beacon for a hopeful American future.  We are deeply honored by his presence at our weekend.  The way—finally--I see him, can be summed up in this thought:  If the leaders of the Democratic Party were to become liberals like Alan Dershowitz, we would still have a two‑party system but our nation's crisis would be over and democracy restored.  Alan Dershowitz. 

Alan Dershowitz: Thank you, David.  Thank you very much.  I appreciate the warm welcome.  This is not the kind of venue I'm used to speaking at.  I usually speak at meetings of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Democrat party, liberal organizations, liberal universities, but I'm not getting that many invitations from them these days.  I'm here today not because I am lonely.  I'm here today because I think it's so important for liberals and conservatives to speak to each other and not to shout, threaten, intimidate.  I'm here today because true liberals and true conservatives share many, many values, and I want to speak about how these core values are under attack today.  Our core constitutional and political values are being challenged in many places by many people, but most dangerously, by students and faculty at many of our leading universities.  Why is that so dangerous?  Because our current students are our future leaders.  When I used to teach at Harvard, I would look out at my first-year class, and I would see 150 frightened students.  They were frightened because I was a tough Socratic teacher.  There was no such thing as a right answer in my class, and they looked at each other and were scared, but when I saw the 150 students, I saw the next president of the United States, the next chief justice, the next publisher of various newspapers, the next senior managing partner of Goldman Sachs.  Why?  Because all of those students had been in my classes, and I realized the responsibility that a teacher has to students who are going to be our future leaders, and I worry so much about the distortion of values today on college campuses. 

These values include free and open exchange of ideas, and hold and express views that offend some listeners, the marketplace of ideas as a means of discerning truth.  These values also include truth itself and the need for diversity and ideas.  Challenges as well are being directed at due process and the presumption of innocence for those accused of misconduct.  They also challenge individual versus identity accountability and other traditional hallmarks of liberal democracy and barriers to tyranny.  In place of these proven protections, many students and faculty today are insisting that freedom of speech, and I'm quoting now, is part of a patriarchal privilege designed to preserve the status quo, that truth is identity based and variable and that evidence is in the eye and the experience of the beholder.  I'm reminded of Groucho Marx's famous statement.  Who are you going to believe?  Me or your lying eyes?  They insist that they know the truth, capital T, capital T, and do not need to hear other points of view.  They argue that due process is a tactic for requiring the oppressed to prove their victimization.  They argue that identity politics must displace individual responsibility and that the academic construct of intersectionality that teaches us that all oppressed groups share common oppressors demand group accountability.  If you're a man, if you're white, if you're heterosexual, you're guilty.  It doesn't matter what the facts may be.  And that democracy and liberty are themselves constructs of a hegemonic white male aristocracy.  This is the language one hears today on university campuses.  Most frightening is the fact that some faculty members and some students today believe that if they cannot get their way through democratic means that violence is a viable and legitimate alternative.  This is a throwback to the 1970s when the Weathermen blew up college campuses, engaged in violence against individuals, engaged in threats and we're seeing that today as well. 

These attacks on our traditional values are now spreading beyond university campuses.  We're already seeing the first manifestations of that by the election of several young extremists, Democrats, to Congress in the most recent election, and that is a frightening phenomenon.  Much as I love diversity and think it's important to have diverse representation in Congress, to have the kind of people in Congress that do not support free speech and support boycotts against Israel and support other repressive measures in the name of being progressives is a frightening phenomenon.  Centrist liberalism which is stand for conservatism share a commitment to the core values under attack.  We are being marginalized by extremists who used to dwell on the fringes of society.  The political center is shrinking as many on the left move from liberalism toward misnamed progressivism that often espouses some of the most repressive, intolerant and reactionary elements and some of the right are moving toward hyper nationalism and outright white supremacy.  This is a worldwide trend manifested both on the right and on the left.  Jeremy Corbyn in Great Britain represents the hard left in this trend.  He is a bigot, an anti-Semite, an intolerant person and he may yet become the next prime minister of America's closest ally.  And who is supporting him?  Bernie Sanders.  Can you imagine?  Bernie Sanders goes to England to show support for an anti-Semite, an anti-American, like this man, Corbin.  We are seeing as I mentioned some democratic politicians in our own country.  The trend toward the hard right is represented by nationalist leaders in Hungary, Poland, Greece, Austria and Holland and other European countries as well as by a small number of extremist Republican politicians in this country. 

Here in the United States we have been blessed with a constitutional system of checks and balances that constrain the excesses of either extreme, but the most important and the most powerful check has always remained within the hearts and minds of individuals.  As the great Judge Learned Hand once wisely reminded us, liberty lies in the hearts of men and women and when it dies there no constitution, no law, no court can ever save it.  Our democratic system of checks and balances transcends what we learned in high school civics.  In addition to the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch, we have non‑government checks.  We have the media.  We have the academy.  We have churches.  We have business.  We have so many other elements, and a perfect example was this.  When the president of the United States decided to separate families at the border, the checks and balances came into operation.  Not necessarily in the courts or in the legislature, but business leaders objected to it, academic leaders, church leaders objected to it, and ultimately it became clear this was not the American way, and the president withdrew that ill-advised suggestion.  Some of the media as well have prioritized ideology over truth.  Opinion over reporting.  The New York Times now, it's subtle, sometimes you can't notice it, has on the front page something called News Analysis.  It's simply a disguised editorial.  Their headlines are disguised editorials.  And it's very hard today, oh for the good old days of Walter Cronkite.  Walter Cronkite never voted in elections because he didn't want to appear to be biased or be biased.  At the end of his life, I knew Walter Cronkite.  He came to Martha's Vineyard.  I sailed with him on his boat.  He actually had some strong political views.  You would never had known that from his reporting.  He was trusted to report not to opine, and he represented the best of the media; something we don't have today. 

The great concerning question is where the current trends toward extremism and intolerance are wounding liberty to the extent that they will not be able to recover.  Do we have the capacity to treat these wounds before they fester and become fatal?  History has generally blessed this country with an absence of powerful and influential extremes.  We never had the kind of large fascist or communist parties that plagued Europe in the 1920s and the 1930s.  To be sure, we had regional extremists such as the Ku Klux Klan and the communist party, but they never had a major impact on American politics.  When Europe responded to the depression after World War II with Nazism and communism, America responded in its way.  We had the New Deal, we had President Roosevelt who saved us from extremism and saved capitalism.  You might disagree with him, but he prevented the United States from moving toward either communism or fascism.  President Trump was justly criticized for not condemning more forcefully the white supremacists who falsely claimed to be speaking in his name, so too must Democrats be criticized for not condemning more forcefully those who distort liberalism and turn it into intolerant radicalism.  So too should educational leaders condemn those who misuse the academic license to propagandize rather than to teach and who tell their students what to think rather than how to think for themselves. 

When I taught at Harvard, for 50 years, I never expressed a personal view in the classroom.  Students did not know whether I supported or opposed the death penalty.  I had devoted much of my professional life to opposing it.  Students didn't know because I took the devil's advocate position in the classroom and defended every possible position.  Students didn't know my views on Israel unless they read my material outside the classroom.  I think it's an abuse of the lectern for teachers to try to propagandize their students and yet it's going on all over the academy.  Too many mainstream Democrats have remained silent even some complicit with the anti-Semitic and anti-gay incitements of Louis Farrakhan along with his bigoted followers on campus.  I want you all to imagine the following scenario.  Imagine that President Bill Clinton, who I liked and voted for twice and I regard as a personal friend, imagine if he had been invited to the memorial service for a white country and western singer who he liked, and he came to the memorial service and he saw sitting in a place of honor two places away from him David Duke.  He wouldn't have stayed on that platform for 10 seconds.  He would have been furious for having been duped into standing on the same platform as David Duke.  But that happened.  He went to the memorial for Aretha Franklin and who was sitting two seats away from him?  Louis Farrakhan.  Did President Clinton get up and leave?  No.  He stayed there, and he shook hands with that horrible bigot.  Shame on President Clinton for not applying the same standard he would have applied to David Duke. 

It's so easy for people on the left to condemn the extremism on the right.  So easy.  You don't have to lose any friends or anything, and it's also easy for people on the right to condemn the extremism of the left.  What is hard to do and what I call on everybody to do, my liberal friends and my conservative friends, if you're a liberal, if you're a person of the left, you must prioritize condemning the extremism of the hard left and the bigotry of the hard left.  That's your responsibility.  And if you're a person of the right, if you're a conservative, you must go out of your way to condemn the extremism of those on the hard right.  That's where President Trump made his mistake.  When at Charlottesville, he did condemn both.  He condemned them equally, but as a person of the right and as a person who some of the people in Charlottesville claimed to speak in his own name, he had a special obligation to single out people of the extreme right who purported to speak in his name.  They weren't speaking in his name.  He doesn't support any of that.  There isn't an ounce of anti-Semitism or bigotry in President Trump, but he has a special obligation to condemn those on the extreme right. 

Look, we've experienced shooting in places of worship.  We've experienced targeting lawmakers playing baseball.  We've experienced pipe bombs being sent to people.  These are all symptoms of a deeper underlying sickness in our system.  The root causes include a growing intolerance on both sides of the political spectrum, that such intolerance is being taught to our future leaders makes it even more dangerous than the rare manifestations of actual violence.  Now there's good news.  The good news is that students, many students on our university campuses are finally standing up to the intolerance of the hard left and are fighting back.  They're fighting back against faculty members.  I'll give you an example.  Recently at the University of Michigan, a young woman decided she wanted to take a year leave and study abroad, so she went to her professor and said I'd like you to write me a recommendation, and the professor said great, you're a terrific student.  It would be an honor to write you a recommendation.  By the way, where do you want to study in your year abroad?  She said Israel.  He said oh no,  I can't write you a recommendation to Israel.  I'm part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement against Israel, so I refuse to write.  She fought back.  She fought back and she got the teacher punished, and the University of Michigan is now setting up standards by which professors cannot express their bigotry in the way they treat students.  The best response to hatred, the best response to hate speech is to fight back.  Fight back and use every legal remedy at your disposal. 

Sigmund Freud once said that civilization began the day the first person hurled an insult instead of a spear, and there's some truth to that, but we also have to stop hurling insults.  We have to start talking to each other.  Start listening to each other.  I listen to my conservative friends.  Recently, I introduced at an event of the Zionist Organization of America, the head of the organization, a man named Morton Klein, and people said to me why are you introducing him?  You don't agree with any of his views.  And in the introduction, I said but I learn from him.  I listen to him.  He even on occasion persuades me, and he did persuade me to change my mind on some issues, and I persuaded him to change his mind.  That's the way dialogue must operate.  It's impossible to know which is cause and which is effect.  The growing extremist on both sides of the political spectrum make nuance conversation difficult.  The extreme left and the extreme right share a common tactic.  Shutting down their opponents without listening to them.  True believers do not need to hear opposing arguments.  They know their right, and they understand that there's no reason to listen to wrong arguments.  Neither the extreme, and I'm talking about the extreme, extreme right, the David Duke right, or the extreme left support free speech as a principal, equally applicable to themselves as their opponents.  Free speech for me but not for them is what extremists believe in.  Many observers have noted that the extreme left is now on the forefront of seeking censorship on university campuses.  They asked me when did the change occur, and they're deeply surprised by my answer.  There has been no change.  The hard left has never supported free speech.  They have never supported it as a principle.  They employ freedom of speech as a tactic to help themselves. 

I grew up during the McCarthy period, when the hard left was being censored so of course they advocated free speech because they were the victims of censorship.  Even the famous free speech movement, those of you who are old enough to remember it, Mario Savio at Berkeley, that was not free speech for everybody.  That was free speech for the hard left and no one else.  The hard left has never ever supported free speech from Stalin to the American Communist Party, and we can't count on the hard left ever supporting the free speech of conservatives.  I'm sure we can’t count on the hard, hard right supporting the free speech of liberals.  Freedom of speech has always been a centrist principle supported by both authentic centrist liberals and by authentic centrist conservatives.  Liberal centrists generally support free speech for conservative centrists as well as radicals on both sides.  Centrist conservatives also generally support free speech for liberals as well as for radicals on both sides.  Some of you may remember that about 20 years ago I was regularly on television debating my friend, Bill Buckley, William Buckley.  He called me his favorite liberal.  I called him my favorite conservative.  We would have these great arguments.  We agreed about nothing, but we agreed to talk to each other, and we agreed to try to persuade each other.  Those days are long gone. 

You know I served on the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union for many years in the 1970s.  It was in those days my fellow board members were Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, all of whom shared a common commitment to free speech for me and for thee.  We defended the rights of Nazis to march through Skokie as well as the rights of communist to advocate their pernicious doctrines.  We defended the free speech rights of pornographers, perverts and other ne'er-do-wells because as H. L. Mencken once put it, the trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels, for it's against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it's to be stopped at all.  What has happened to the American Civil Liberties Union?  It's become part of the problem rather than part of the solution.  Would you believe that 2 days ago when the Trump administration finally and belated changed the rules regarding how young men who are on college campuses and who are accused of sexual misconduct, what rights they have to defend themselves.  Finally, the administration has said that people who are accused have the right to cross-examine.  You would think that would be the most basic thing of all.  They would have the presumption of innocence.  How would the ACLU respond to this?  Let me read you what they said.  The ACLU says these new proposals promote an unfair process improperly favoring the accused.  Can you imagine the old ACLU saying that?  The Fifth Amendment does the same thing.  It favors the accused.  The Fourth Amendment does the same thing.  The First Amendment does the same thing.  It favors all kinds of speech.  Is the ACLU now going to seek the abridgement of the Fourth, the Fifth, the Eighth amendments in the Bill of Rights because they favor the accused?  My god what has happened to the ACLU. 

The ACLU has now made a fortune.  They started out with the budget before the Trump administration of $20 million.  It went up to $120 million because they changed their policies.  They are no longer neutral advocates of everybody's civil liberties.  They are part of the get Trump at any cost campaign.  They will do anything, no matter what it does to civil liberties, if the end result is to get President Trump out of office.  That's what's happened to the American Civil Liberties Union.  They took positions on political candidates.  They opposed the Kavanaugh nomination, refused to stand up for his basic due process rights.  They have become a partisan extremist organization, part of the problem rather than part of the solution.  Let me tell you a story about how bad things have become.  So, some of you know I wrote a book called The Case against Impeaching Trump.  I didn't initially intend to write that book.  Why?  Because I believed like many others that my friend and the person who I supported, Hillary Clinton, would be elected president, and I watched as the Republicans said the day she becomes president we will move to impeach her.  You'll remember the cries of “lock her up”, “lock her up”.  So, the original book I was going to write and here's the cover, The Case against Impeaching Hillary Clinton.  But when Donald Trump got elected, I just changed the word Clinton to Trump.  It's the same exact argument.  What I argue is to impeach a president you need to have treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors and that when the framers of the constitution put those safeguards in, they meant it.  Now if I had written the book, The Case against Impeaching Hillary Clinton, they would have built a statue to me on Martha's Vineyard.  Instead, nobody will talk to me.  They even require trigger warnings.  If you're going to invite Dershowitz somewhere, you have to give us advanced notice so we don't come and sully ourselves by meeting him. 

As the result of that, I had my publisher come up with yet a third cover for the book.  This is a plain brown wrapper so people can read my book on the beach of Martha's Vineyard without being accused of being a Trump supporter.  So, what does the future hold?  The prophecy ended with the destruction of the Second Temple so I'm not going to be either a fool or naive to try to prophesy.  I do think that the spirit of liberty is deep in the American people.  I think it's going to be tough for the college students today who want to deny us liberty to prevail.  I think students get older, they mature, they understand the values of liberty, they understand the values of free speech.  In Israel, they say the difference between a pessimist and an optimist is a pessimist says:  things are so bad they can't possibly get any worse.  An optimist says: yes they can.  Now I'm an optimist.  I'm an optimist but not in that sense.  I think things are very bad on university campuses today.  I think the Democratic Party is destroying itself and shooting itself in the foot by pandering to the extreme left, by thinking that the future lies with people who are intolerant of differing points of view.  But we are fighting back.  We must form coalitions between centrist liberals and centrist conservatives.  We must form coalitions that fight for the basic values that we share in common, and I'm confident that if we join together in those coalitions, that American still is a country that values liberty. 

Senate Report Reveals Russians Targeted Blacks and Latinos More Than Conservatives

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 8 min ago

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

What if everything you knew about Russian election trolling was a lie?

That’s the problem faced by two Senate Intelligence Commission reports commissioned from two outside organizations which struggle with the problem of reconciling the facts about Russian election trolling with upholding the Clinton campaign’s conspiracy theory about Trump and the Russians.

The two reports, from New Knowledge and Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, about Russian disinformation serve as their own disinformation campaign, pushing the same false claims that the Russians had sought to help Trump win, even when they were working against him.

New Knowledge is a purely partisan source and its report amplifies echo chamber conspiracies about Trump, while Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project report is the adult in the room, occasionally conceding the more nuanced reality of the Russian campaign by noting that peak Russian propaganda volume actually occurred long after the election during the Syria missile strike: a key national interest area for Russia. It also confirms what Facebook has already told us, that Russian activity actually increased after the election.

That suggests an influence operation rather than election interference.

It also reveals that the Russians bought over 1,000 ads targeting African-Americans and less than 300 targeting conservatives. There were 81 social justice ads and only 24 patriotism ads, 66 pro-gun ads and 70 LGBT ads, 43 veteran ads and 57 Muslim ads, not to mention 143 Latin American culture ads.

The African-American ads also produced over 1.5 million clicks while the conservative ads produced well below 500,000. The former ads also racked up over 15 million impressions while the conservative ads scored below 6 million. Not only did the Russians seem to spend less time and achieve fewer result by targeting conservatives, but they produced more clicks, 548,139, by targeting Latinos.

So the actual story of Russia’s Facebook operations is that they targeted African-Americans and even Latinos more than conservatives. That would be entirely in line with Russia’s past propaganda, and its influence operations in the United States, but it doesn’t fit the Clinton conspiracy theory.

The Oxford report is even forced to concede that the Russians hit Muslims with “pro-Clinton” messages and that the Russians had “targeted Canadians with ads encouraging donations to Justin Trudeau’s campaign.”

That doesn’t fit the narrative, so it’s dismissed as confusing.

When Russia posted pro-Trump material, it’s touted as proof of Russian backing. But when the Russians supported Bernie Sanders, Justin Trudeau or other leftists, suddenly “it’s not what it looks like.”

But if the Russians had set out to influence elections in swing states (a popular lefty conspiracy theory) they were doing a particularly terrible job of it since 152 ads targeted New Yorkers, 127 ads were aimed at Texans, 75 at Californians and only 42 at people in Florida. Pennsylvanians were neglected with only 25 ads while Georgians were barraged with 119 ads.

The Russians gave Iowa the cold shoulder, with only 1 ad, while throwing 6 ads at Alaska.

Missouri was barraged with the most ads, but that seemed to have a lot more to do with Russia’s African-American outreach than an election strategy. This wasn’t a strategy to influence key swing states since the Russians targeted or neglected states for reasons having very little to do with their status.

Just ask Nevada and Colorado, both of which were ignored, while Louisiana was bombarded.

Meanwhile on Twitter, “Right and left activity levels tracked closely together, at almost even levels, until early 2017. By the middle of 2017, there was a marked surge of activity focused on conservatives.”

The Oxford report may be more nuanced, but ultimately, like the New Knowledge report, it exists to service a Clinton campaign conspiracy theory denying the legitimacy of the election.

But it’s vastly better than the New Knowledge report. That’s not surprising considering the source.

New Knowledge claims that it was inspired to set up shop by ISIS and Gamergate. The bizarre equation of Islamic beheading videos and protests by gamers against unethical behavior by gaming journalists neatly sums up its radical slant.

When NK’s CEO Jonathon Morgan talks about “extremists”, he means Republicans. “Radicalization didn't start on mainstream platforms like Twitter and Facebook. It was festering for years in spaces you never think about, like the comments section of Breitbart.” He tweeted.

NK’s non-profit arm, Data for Democracy, appears to receive funding from Pierre Omidyar, a French-Iranian billionaire bankrolling leftist initiatives and sabotage efforts aimed at Trump and Republicans.

Raina Kumra, a director at the Omidyar Network, writes that she led "investments" in, among others, Data for Democracy. And on Twitter, DFD thanked the Omidyar Network for its "continued support". The Omidyar Network’s most famous product is The Intercept, a pro-terrorist site which has justified anti-Semitic violence by Islamic terrorists and which famously served as a platform for Edward Snowden.

Morgan’s past also includes time at the famously Qatari-funded Brookings. And The Intercept has also allegedly served as a clearinghouse for Qatari election tampering and propaganda. The next vectors for the Russia conspiracy theory have been Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UAE: all enemies of Qatar.

The Senate Intelligence Committee hired a firm which appears to have received funding from a deeply partisan source that was used to aid Russia’s biggest intelligence coup against America in a generation to analyze a Russian disinformation campaign. This may be their worst decision since hiring James Wolfe.

And NK’s leadership uses the phantom menace of Russian propaganda to call for internet censorship.

When Facebook leadership attempted to investigate a campaign funded by George Soros, a notoriously anti-Semitic leftist billionaire, NK’s Morgan tweeted, “Facebook and the other social media companies should not be trusted to police themselves. The self-serving attempts to undermine the credibility of those holding these companies accountable are reprehensible.”

The core message of censorship had already been put out last year by NK’s Director of Research Renee DiResta in a piece titled, “Why Facebook and Twitter Can’t Be Trusted to Police Themselves”. Social media companies, she insisted, must ensure that their users see “authentic information".

Who decides what’s "authentic information"? The usual answer is media fact checkers.

People, in DiResta’s worldview, are passive consumers of information or misinformation who must be protected for their own good from the consequences of an open marketplace of ideas on social media.

She proposes an "independent government agency" that would regulate the "marketplace of ideas".

The Oxford report is more subtle, but finds its way to the same place. “We need to develop stronger rules and norms for the use of social media,” it insists. “We cannot wait for national courts to address the technicalities of infractions.”

These arguments, equating government responsibility to oversee financial transactions with a responsibility to monitor the legitimacy of ideas, to protect people from malfunctioning consumer products and protect them from dangerous ideas, are deeply disturbing false analogies.

"Democracy is predicated on an informed electorate," DiResta told CNN. "Things like misinformation, radicalization, pushing people into conspiratorial groups and then profiting from that because it drives engagement, that's just not a viable state for the information ecosystem to be in."

But who decides what’s information and what’s misinformation?

There are two possible answers. Individuals can decide these things for themselves. Or some central agency, corporation, regulatory body, or media echo chamber can be put in charge of deciding them.

Are the claims that Trump is a Russian puppet a conspiracy theory? Or is the claim that the Russia conspiracy theory is an attempt to overturn the election a conspiracy theory?

You can decide for yourself. But the people pushing the former theory would like to decide for you.

NK’s report pushes the conspiracy theory that Russia was backing Trump. It reconciles Russian engagement with leftists as part of its pro-Trump agenda. This is a classic example of a conspiracy theory in that it treats contradictory information as affirming, rather than contradicting, its central thesis by revealing a deeper level of the conspiracy.

Conspiracy theorists begin with a central truth that is fundamental to their worldview, in this case, the illegitimacy of Trump. All new data, no matter how contradictory, is used to support that truth.

And so the Senate Intelligence Committee brought in anti-Trump conspiracy theorists, with links to foreign interests, to produce a report propping up their conspiracy theory about foreign interests.

Morgan and DiResta keep calling for transparency, but New Knowledge doesn’t list its clients and Data for Democracy doesn’t list its donors. The same people who keep claiming that our elections are being influenced won’t say who’s influencing them. In the nebulous environment of the internet, we are told to distrust everyone and everything, except the people feeding national distrust at the highest levels.

That’s what the Russians did. It’s what the media and its political allies are doing.

In a free society, everyone gets to decide what is information and misinformation. Truth isn’t determined by spurious scientism nor is debate silenced with dark murmurs about foreign interests.

The Russia conspiracy crowd tells us that we have to “protect our democracy” through censorship. Censorship doesn’t protect democracy. Just ask the people living in any dictatorship. Including Russia.

Only totalitarian movements believe that people need to be “protected” from different views.

The Russians set out to divide Americans by sowing mistrust in our institutions. A conspiracy theory pushed by a Russian intelligence source to a British ex-intel agent hired by the Clinton campaign to manufacture opposition research against Trump, that was then circulated by Clinton allies in the media and government to justify everything from eavesdropping on Trump allies to questioning the legitimacy of the election, allowed Moscow to succeed beyond its wildest expectations.

Our politics now inhabits a vast media echo chamber in which paranoid conspiracy theories advanced by special interests are used to justify the destruction of democracy and free speech on the internet.

The new war against disinformation is based on disinformation. Its strategy for winning isn’t truth, but censorship. Every populist movement from America to Europe to Asia that the Left disapproves of is immediately blamed on a Russian conspiracy enabled by an unregulated social media.

The past two years have produced a bumper crop of fake patriots warning that the only way to defeat Russian “fake news” and “protect our democracy” is to put them in charge of censoring the internet.

The best way to “protect our democracy” is with free speech. A genuinely free press creates trust by enabling debate. The media oligarchy that we have now creates mistrust and a perfect breeding ground for conspiracy theories and fake news, because of its abusive power and disregard for the truth.

People instinctively trust free institutions and distrust information distributed by central authorities.

Censoring the internet won’t make Americans more likely to trust the media. Like the Russians in the Soviet Union, they will instead believe that whatever the media reports, the opposite is true.

The Russians can’t destroy America. Only Americans can do that.

Chicago drug trafficker testifies about meeting El Chapo in his secret mountain compound

Daily Mail - 3 hours 11 min ago
Pedro Flores, 37, testified on Tuesday at Guzman's trial in Brooklyn, saying that with his identical twin brother Margarito Flores he distributed some 60 tons of cocaine in the U.S. for the Sinaloa Cartel.

Body Language In The Trump vs. Pelosi-Schumer Meeting

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 14 min ago

After Pres. Donald Trump's public meeting Dec. 11 with Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Chuck Schumer about a proposed border wall, most experts criticized Trump's seeming petulance. But those critics ignored Trump's body language -- which reflected confident, tactical cunning against his two biggest legislative opponents, at least in one observer's mind.

Mandy O'Brien, a consultant with Bombards Body Language, interpreted a video of the meeting's first 19 minutes. Most of her commentary analyzed Pelosi's and Schumer's reaction to Trump through their posture and movement. That analysis began before the video started playing.

Let's set the scene. Trump invited Pelosi and Schumer to the Oval Office for what they thought would be private negotiations over funding the wall. After extending the invitation, Trump called an impromptu press conference at the Oval Office. The ensuing assembly of reporters with their cameras, microphones and recorders caught both Democratic leaders off-balance -- and it showed.

As the video began, Schumer was slouching forward with his left hand gripping his right wrist, his face showing disgust. Pelosi, meanwhile, sat erectly and stiffly with her legs close together and her left hand holding her right while managing a smile.

"Pelosi's very stressed," O'Brien said. "She's holding her hands, stressed smile, not happy. Schumer's hunched, literally like a hunchback -- hunched over, grabbing his wrists, uncomfortable. You know, it almost reminds that he really didn't expect the press to come in this room." 

Schumer also revealed his agitation by briefly and nervously tapping his right foot and the fingers of his left hand.

"See the foot going up on Schumer, the hand, the fingers going up?" O'Brien asked. "No, they're not happy. They did not expect this press to come in."

Trump, however, used his hands to form what Allan and Barbara Pearse call "the steeple" in their book, "The Definitive Book of Body Language." The fingertips on both of Trump's hands touched each other while his fingers were spread, forming a three-dimensional triangle. He maintained that position for almost the entire video.

"We found that the steeple was frequently used in superior-subordinate interaction and that it indicates a confident or self-assured attitude," the Pearses wrote. "Superiors often use this gesture position when they give instructions or advice to subordinates, and it is particularly common among accountants, lawyers and managers. People who are confident, superior types often use this gesture and, by doing so, signal their confident attitude."

Pelosi and Schumer remained defensive for the rest of the video. Even when Schumer appeared to relax as Trump began talking about the wall, the senator remained fundamentally anxious.

"Apparently at this moment, Schumer's starting to relax," O'Brien said 2 minutes, 31 seconds into the video. "It's not as bad a tongue-lashing as he initially thought. He's not grabbing his wrists any more. He just now gated: hands clasped together. His hunchness is now supported by his elbows. He's just not as tense. He's trying to get out of the 'fight or flight' mindset."

As Pelosi and Trump discussed whether he had the necessary votes for the wall, the President gesticulated with open palms, generally signifying openness.

"This is what it looks like when you have somebody giving facts back, when there's actually debate and discussion," O'Brien said about Trump. "You can point out what's wrong with what they're saying, or what's right with what they're saying. But if you have someone who constantly makes it their life mission to never have any opposition to anything they say, they don't know how to counteract that. That's what you just saw with Pelosi. She just collapses her hands back in and stays stiff."

O'Brien then made a fascinating comment.

"I will say that Trump, on the other hand, is being a little devious today," she said. "You see him look at that moment at the cameras? He knows what he's doing. (He's saying) I've sat there. I've dealt with these people behind closed doors. I know how they truly act. Now, I'm going to bring it out in the limelight and show you all -- and I'm going to behave." (italics indicate vocal emphasis)

By bringing Pelosi's non-verbal reactions into the limelight, Trump exposed the Speaker-designate's vulnerability. 

"There you have the negative head shake, the belief system up," O'Brien said at 10:41. "Not listening, shut down. That is not what you want to have in a negotiation. You should never mentally just start shaking your head, avoid eye contact and shut down. That's not a good negotiator. That's what children do."

When Schumer told Trump that the Washington Post gave the President "a whole lot of Pinocchios" concerning his assessments about the wall, O'Brien criticized the Senator's approach.

"Obviously while (Trump) was talking to Pelosi, Schumer had enough time mentally to think of a rebuttal, which is not a negotiation," she said. "It's a form of attack. That doesn't make for a very good negotiator, either." 

When Trump forcefully responded that he would reject any Congressional proposal without funding for the wall, Schumer revealed a significant personal weakness. 

"What does Schumer do? He stops looking at (Trump) instantly and goes to his wrist," she said at 17:20. "Schumer's strength is only when you are bowing down to him. If you do not bow down to him, he runs. So really, he's a pushover. He's all bark and no bite."

Schumer returned to barking with this response to Trump's comment about Republicans winning the Senate, a remark that sabotages his credibility in rural areas: "When the President brags that he won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble." 

Pelosi and Schumer would not have embarrassed themselves publicly had Trump not contacted reporters to witness the meeting. By doing so, Trump forced his two biggest political adversaries to fight on his terms.

The President continued that approach two days later with a brief Twitter video in which he called the Democrats "absolute hypocrites" on border security. That video included brief clips of Schumer, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama during his days as an Illinois Senator publicly opposing illegal immigration, with Clinton saying she voted "numerous times as a Senator" to fund border barriers.

A commenter named "treehugger," who said he supported Sen. Bernie Sanders for President, posted his surprising opinion of the meeting on Rod Dreher's blog at "The American Conservative":

"I’m not even (Trump's) constituency on this — and I thought the two democrats (sic) looked condescending and small. They looked like insiders annoyed with the uncouth president. They wanted to play faux-statesman masking small-minded gamesmanship — as in, strike a deal so long as Trump can’t claim a win — and to push dumb word games about who 'owns' a government shutdown. On that one, I actually found myself respecting Trump for essentially saying 'look, if that’s the foolish game you want to play, I’ll take the "blame" and I’ll take it proudly.' When you take the bullet it’s no longer a threat.

"At this point, I’m inclined to vote for Trump in 2020, for the mere fact that I see him actually taking on the sacred cows of Washington which hasn’t happened in decades. That’s the signal. The rest is noise. I’m setting aside traditional political/policy differences for this single dynamic. I know it’s arguable. And I’ll tell you I’ve never admitted that except where I can do so anonymously, like here." (emphases in original)

The public showdown with Pelosi and Schumer shreds the stereotype of Trump as the petulant adolescent. Those who underestimate him do so at their own risk.

Our pick of the decade's eight best young economists (The Economist)

Memeorandum - 3 hours 24 min ago

The Economist:
Our pick of the decade's eight best young economists  —  They mostly want to change the world, not just fathom it  —  “The solution in Vietnam”, said William DePuy, an American general in 1966, “is more bombs, more shells, more napalm.”  But where exactly to drop it all?

Trump's promise to 'review' case of Green Beret murder suspect left legal experts FURIOUS

Daily Mail - 3 hours 32 min ago
President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that he would review the case of Major Matthew Golsteyn, who admitted to killing an Afghan man he suspected was a Taliban bomb maker.

U.S. Rejects UN Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 39 min ago

The United Nations General Assembly affirmed what is called the “Global Compact on Refugees” on Monday. There were 181 UN member states voting in favor of approving the compact, with the United States and Hungary voting against and the Dominican Republic, Eritrea and Libya abstaining. On Wednesday, the General Assembly is scheduled to vote and approve, by a somewhat smaller margin, a separate global migration pact formally known as the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. This compact was already adopted by 164 states at an international inter-governmental conference last week in Marrakech, Morocco. The United States opposes this compact as well.

Both the refugee and migration global compacts are said to be legally non-binding, although they purport to establish international “norms.” Globalists at the United Nations and elsewhere believe that such norms create, or broaden the scope of, a “universal” right, declared as such by all or a significant majority of the UN’s member states. As interpretations of norms acknowledging such rights are repeated in international bodies and incorporated into the laws or judicial rulings of more and more UN member states, they can then become a part of what international lawyers refer to as legally binding “customary international law,” whether there is a formal treaty or not.

The refugee and migration compacts state that they are guided by or rest on various international human rights legal instruments. The United States is not a party to a number of these instruments and does not consider itself legally bound by them, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United States is a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol, which the Global Compact on Refugees cites but goes far beyond by seeking to “translate” the principle of international cooperation “into concrete and practical action.” The compact purports “to provide a basis for predictable and equitable burden-and responsibility-sharing among all United Nations Member States,” which includes “hosting and supporting the world’s refugees.” The refugee compact contains a detailed program of action and a “comprehensive refugee response framework” under United Nations coordination to accomplish this objective. As just one example, the refugee compact calls upon member states to “resettle at least 25 percent of annual resettlement submissions within six months” of “referral” by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and to follow UNHCR priorities and criteria for resettlement.

Irrespective of the compacts’ self-descriptions as legally non-binding, advocates for migrants and asylum-seekers can be expected to argue that the compacts are part of customary international law in furtherance of existing international human rights and humanitarian law and supported by an overwhelming number of countries who intend to align their immigration and asylum legal policies with the compacts’ terms. Advocates in the United States would then take their cases to enforce the supposed “universal” rights of migrants and refugees to sympathetic judges in this country willing to incorporate the global compacts’ norms into their judicial decisions. As seen so often, left-wing activist judges are eager to stretch the U.S. Constitution and U.S. immigration laws to fit their progressive social policy agendas. To avoid getting entangled in this legal web spun by globalists, the Trump administration had to clearly and unambiguously disassociate itself from both global compacts. The administration had to state that it considers the United States to be bound legally only by U.S. immigration laws and treaties which the U.S. has signed according to the text of those treaties and no more. Despite the Trump administration’s actions to that end, globalists at the United Nations and elsewhere will persist in their efforts to entangle the U.S. and infringe on its national sovereignty.

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said that the Global Compact on Refugees represented “a new commitment to shared values of solidarity and the quest to just and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged people.” In a not too subtle dig at the Trump administration, Mr. Grandi added: “In this world of ours, which often turns it back to people in need, that has shamefully politicized even the pain of exile, that has demonized and continues to demonize refugees and migrants and sometimes even just foreigners, this compact, in synergy with the other compact, the compact on migration, can really represent tangibly, a new commitment to international cooperation.”

Even before the adoption of the Global Compact on Refugees giving the UNHCR a significant role in facilitating the burden-sharing objectives of the compact, the UNHCR took it upon itself to criticize the United States for not doing enough to help the self-proclaimed asylum-seekers in the caravans from Central America. The UN refugee agency said that it “expects all countries, including the United States, to make sure any person in need of refugee protection and humanitarian assistance is able to receive both promptly and without obstruction, in accordance with the 1967 refugee Protocol [relating to the Status of Refugees] to which the United States is a party.” The UN refugee agency claimed that requiring asylum seekers to present themselves only at official U.S. southern border ports of entry would fall short of this requirement because of insufficient reception capacity at the official ports of entry.  Such insufficient capacity, the UN refugee agency asserted, would result in “significant delays in northern Mexico” and force “many vulnerable asylum-seekers to turn in desperation to smugglers and cross the border irregularly.”

Following the General Assembly’s approval of the refugee compact, Mr. Grandi said that “we are asking everybody to keep their doors open.” He was responding to my question whether, in his opinion, the United States is still obligated to admit asylum seekers from Central America who are offered the opportunity to seek asylum in Mexico before they arrive at the U.S. border but prefer to settle in the United States. “For some people, it may be necessary to go to the United States,” he said without specifying why. Seeking better economic opportunity in the United States than would be available in Mexico is not a valid reason for asylum.

It is instructive to learn that Mr. Grandi and his UN refugee agency have singled out Iran as “a global example through its progressive and inclusive refugee policies.” The challenge, said Mr. Grandi last September, is to make sure Iran, with its large population of Afghan refugees, is supported and funded by the international community so it can continue along this path, adding “Iran has experienced 39 years of a refugee situation since it started receiving Afghans in 1979.” Referring to the Global Compact on Refugees, Mr. Grandi said that it provides “a blueprint for how the international community will engage with countries – like Iran - hosting large refugee populations. This is the global compact on refugees made real, made live. Iran is already implementing many of the responsibilities and contributing to a shared public good - the well-being of refugees. I hope Iran’s example will be taken up by other countries and will receive the support it deserves.”

In short, Mr. Grandi believes that Iran is a shining example of a country fulfilling its global obligation of shared responsibility for refugees while the U.S. is lagging. He envisions more global financial support for Iran, in direct opposition to the Trump administration’s objective to isolate Iran economically. As for the Afghan refugees in Iran who would supposedly be helped by the financial support Mr. Grandi requests for Iran, Mr. Grandi has blinders on. Iran has a miserable record in the treatment of its Afghan population. According to a 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report prepared by the U.S. State Department, “Afghan migrants and refugees, including children, are highly vulnerable to forced labor, debt bondage, and sex trafficking.” It referred to international organization and media reports that “the Iranian government and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) coerced male Afghans resident in Iran, including migrants and refugees, to fight in military brigades deployed to Syria by threatening them with arrest and deportation to Afghanistan.”

The United States is by far the largest contributor of funding to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. As of  September 24, 2018, the U.S. contributions to UNHCR in 2018 came to $1,291,774,188, nearly triple the amount contributed by the next most generous donor, the European Union. In 2017, the U.S. contributions to UNHCR amounted to $1,450,360,238, a bit more than triple the amount contributed by Germany, the next most generous donor whose open borders policy precipitated the refugee crisis in Europe in 2015.

The United States has nothing to apologize for in standing up for its national sovereignty and opposing global compacts that do not serve the interests of the American people. As the Heritage Foundation concluded in urging the United States not to sign on to the Global Compact on Refugees, “Too often, even non-binding, voluntary compacts serve as gateways to binding commitments and vehicles for politically motivated criticism.” Moreover, if the leadership of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees continues to slam U.S. refugee policies and press for international funding for Iran, the Trump administration should consider cutting back substantially on what the U.S. contributes annually to this UN bureaucracy.

Can Trump be Europe’s Salvation?

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 44 min ago

Islam: Europe Invaded, America Warned is a new English translation of a book that has sold 50,000 copies since appearing in Norwegian three years ago – a figure that, given Norway’s small population, is equivalent to over three million copies in the U.S. Its author, Hege Storhaug, who -- full disclosure – is a longtime friend, former employer, and (frankly) heroine of mine, began her career as a left-wing feminist writing about the rights of women and girls and ended up becoming a supposedly right-wing critic of Islam because she recognized the Religion of Peace as, by far, the greatest threat to females in Norway.

Hege has now been fighting on the Islam front for a quarter-century. She’s advised members of the Norwegian parliament on the subject, handed them tons of material documenting the social and economic consequences of Muslim immigration, and made a number of specific proposals that have resulted in legislation (and, alas, many more proposals that have gone nowhere). Unsurprisingly, her work has made her enemies not only among the nation’s Muslims but also on the radical left, members of which, on New Year’s Eve 2006/7, broke into her Oslo home and beat her up. She now lives in a secret location outside the city, and since the Norwegian edition of her book came out she’s routinely been accompanied to her public events by a cohort of armed police officers. The cops didn’t even tell her beforehand that they’d decided to start guarding her: she found out about it on November 4, 2015, the day before her book’s official publication date, when she showed up at a small-town community center to deliver a lecture and found three – count 'em, three – police cars parked out front.

“I’m the first person in Norway ever to require such protection,” she told me when we spoke the other day. Of course it’s a sign of the times – a reflection of the very real menace that Islam now poses to its outspoken critics in this once placid land. Not surprisingly, the mainstream Norwegian media have kept mum about Hege’s unique security status. Entirely. A naïve observer might think they’d consider it big news that in Norway, in 2018, a writer – a writer! – needs to be followed around by uniformed men packing heat (this in a country where you hardly ever see a cop with a gun). You might also think the Norwegian media – which are notorious for their habit of debating to death the most niggling, nugatory issues you can imagine – would consider this grim sign of the erosion of free speech in Norway worth discussing. Nope. After all, if they reported on Hege’s police escorts, they’d have to acknowledge that Islam really is a threat – and that’s verboten.

Still, the word about Hege’s police escorts has gotten around, so that now, when she’s planning to give a talk, she hears from admirers who’d like to attend but who tell her they’re freaked out by the cop angle – after all, if there’s a police presence, that means there’s a real danger of violence. (Perhaps this is the best place to mention that the American woman who translated Hege’s book into English has chosen, out of sheer fear, to remain anonymous.)

In short, it isn’t easy being Hege Storhaug. Though she may well be the most admired woman in Norway, the media are constantly at her throat. And hard as she works at trying to save Norway from Islam, she often feels as if she’s banging her head against the wall. During the last couple of years, she admitted to me, the reception she’s received from politicians has been particularly frustrating. She had hoped that her book's huge success might make them sit up and take notice – the sales figures, after all, confirm that the Norwegian people are deeply concerned about what Islam is doing to their country – yet elected officials, she laments, have been less responsive than ever to her urgent calls for action.

It’s not that they don’t get it. Hege met recently with some Labor Party politicians, and asked them what they think will happen to the pubs in Oslo when that city turns majority Muslim – a development that isn’t so very far off. They shrugged. They know what’s coming. They just don’t know what to do about it. Haven't a clue. Even those who might want to take action, moreover, have to deal with a single massive obstacle that goes by the name of Erna Solberg. Solberg is Norway’s prime minister, and used to be known as “Iron Erna” because of her purported toughness. But top politicians have told Hege that Solberg won’t listen to a word about Islam. She not only refuses to talk about it; she refuses to allow members of her government to discuss it.

In this regard, of course, Solberg is pretty  much on the same page as Theresa May and Angela Merkel. Why, I asked Hege, is Solberg so pigheaded? What is it with these politicians? “They don’t know what to do,” Hege said simply. “They hope it’ll go away, even though they know it won’t. They care too much about their careers, and know that if they say anything they’ll be stigmatized. So they just figure that when the time comes, they’ll hand the problem over to their successors.” Hege emphasized that she wasn’t criticizing all politicians. “Next week,” she told me, “I’m having lunch with two top Labor Party people and two top Progress Party people. But they didn’t want to meet at a restaurant or café in Oslo.” God forbid they should be seen in public with Hege Storhaug! “So we’re meeting someplace private.”

Hege learned about Islam firsthand in Pakistan, which she’s visited seventeen times, often staying for long periods. She has good friends there who consider themselves to be Muslims, but who don’t go to mosque, and who are, in fact, distressed by the increasing radicalism of their countrymen. While working on her new book, Hege told me, there were times when she felt exhausted by the daunting amount of research involved, and at one point she told the adult daughter of her Pakistani best friend that she was close to throwing in the towel. “Hege,” replied the young woman with real intensity, “you have to write this book! People need it!” The point being that even in Pakistan, there are people who, while nominally adherents of the Religion of Peace, understand that, as the original Norwegian title of Hege’s book puts it, Islam is indeed a plague.

That young Pakistani woman and her mother, Hege pointed out, have visited Norway from time to time over the years, and have thus been able to follow the Islamization of Oslo. “And they’ve been shocked,” Hege said. “Hijab is now a more common sight in Oslo than in Pakistan.” Hege has spent time in London too, and says of niqab, the garment that covers everything but the eyes, “I’ve never seen as many niqab in Pakistan as I have in London.”

Which country in Western Europe is in the worst shape? For my part, I sometimes think it’s Sweden, sometimes Britain or maybe Belgium, although the Yellow Jacket riots in Paris lifted France to the top of my current list. Hege was way ahead of me on this one. Her book contains a long, harrowing chapter entitled “Marseille: Report from the Lost City.” Another friend of mine, Claire Berlinski, in her important 2006 book Menace in Europe, held Marseille up as an example of relatively successful multicultural mixing; her chapter on the city (which is now 35% Muslim) was entitled “The Hope of Marseille.” Today, Hege sees no hope in Marseille or anywhere else in France. “The situation in France is much worse than the surface picture might suggest,” Hege said. (We spoke before the terror attack in Strasbourg.) At the end of her chapter on Marseille, she writes: “I believe that France has reached a ‘point of no return.’” In other words, all hope is gone. “After I wrote that sentence,” she told me, “I took it out. It sounded too stark. But then I thought, no, this is what I believe; I might as well say it. So I put it back in.”

Although she does consider France a lost cause, Hege wouldn’t make predictions about the rest of Western Europe. “There are so many things that could happen,” she said. “What will Erdogan do? What if there’s a massive terror attack in Norway or Sweden or the UK? Will the EU take control of its borders and the Mediterranean?” Perhaps some politicians will grow a spine. Perhaps the rioting in Paris will intensify and lead to political crisis. It has already spread to the Low Countries; perhaps it will continue to spread. All Hege knows for sure is that, at present, “not one country in Western Europe, except maybe Austria, has a government that’s taking the proper action.”

As for the U.S., the main reason Hege was eager to get her book translated into English was that she wanted to do her part to help America avoid Western Europe’s fate. She fully supports the idea of the U.S. subjecting potential immigrants to an ideological test that would weed out freedom-lovers from sharia-lovers. “It may seem extreme,” she admitted, “but we have to save our free societies.” Her friends in Pakistan, she noted, would pass such a test with flying colors. In our conversation, she was fervent in her expression of hope that Donald Trump would be able to introduce a test of this kind. It would not only rescue America, she contended; it could also rescue Western Europe, because if Trump actually took such a step, his Western European counterparts might actually screw up the courage to do the same thing.

“Trump,” she summed up, “can be Western Europe’s salvation.”  

Obama-Loving Country Music Star Partners with Terror-Sponsoring Communists

FrontPageMag - 3 hours 59 min ago

Don’t get me wrong, amigos. The “mainstream media” does not label gun-control-loving Tim McGraw’s upcoming tour in the same manner as does this column. Instead we read stuff like this: 

Tim McGraw to perform in [totalitarian] Cuba--McGraw’s 2019 Memorial Day Weekend trek, dubbed “One of Those Havana Nights.”..The McGraw trip offers lodging in ocean-view rooms at [totalitarian] Havana’s upscale Meliá Hotel, where a box of cigars and a bottle of rum will await each traveler. The all-inclusive tour is designed to make foreigners' typical Havana dreams come true, featuring a ride around [totalitarian] Havana in a classic American convertible, a rumba party, and the chance to “Walk in the footsteps of Hemingway and Obama!” in Old [totalitarian] Havana….Prices range from $2,999 to $5,799 for the four days (May 24-27), which does include airfare, [totalitarian] Cuban visas, taxis and other incidentals.

I apologize for spending time clarifying this issue, amigos. But there was a day when most Americans understood what the term “totalitarian” meant. Indeed, the longest-reigning totalitarian dictator in modern history himself explained the issue: “Inside the Revolution (regime), everything-- outside, nothing.” (Fidel Castro, July 16, 1961.)  Like with so many others, Castro copped this line from Benito Mussolini

Despite all the poppycock propaganda from the Fake News Media about “reforms” in Cuba, Raul Castro’s son Alejandro (a fanatical Stalinist and KGB-trained Colonel in Cuba’s Secret police) actually runs Cuba from behind the scenes.

In fact, when Trump-hating CIA director Brennan secretly traveled to Cuba in 2015 to do some advance work to help facilitate Obama’s whimpering surrender--called “opening” by the Fake Mews Media--to the Castro-Family Crime-Syndicate (called “Cuba” by the Fake News Media), the man he met with was Alejandro Castro.

You see, amigos: Cuba’s entire economic infrastructure, and especially the tourism industry infrastructure, is majority-owned — not only by the Stalinist regime’s military and secret police sectors (the only people in Cuba with guns, in case you’d forgotten) — but more specifically by the Castro family itself.

In a presentation a few years ago at a hearing by the House Foreign Affairs Committee debating travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Simmons, a recently retired Defense Intelligence Agency Cuba specialist, explained the issue in detail. He showed how through a corporation named GAESA, Raul Castro’s military owns virtually every corporation involved in Cuba’s tourism industry, among the Stalinist regime’s top money-makers lately.

And as GAESA’s chief executive officer we find none other than Raul Castro’s very son-in-law Maj. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas.

In fact, McGraw’s Cuba tour, with a business partnership with the Castro family, would have been unthinkable when Soviet subsidies kept Cuba afloat; and when American music in all its forms, from rock to jazz to country, was viciously denounced by regime propaganda as “imperialist!”

Obviously things have changed, and here’s why: take as an illustration, a millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supporter who lives in his divorced mother’s basement room. Say his mother, finally tired of his sloth and stupidity, cut off his allowance and booted him from her basement. So he moves in with his father, who provided the new room, board and allowance. Chances are that the Ocasio-Cortez supporter would suddenly find a way to extol the virtues of his father and forget all the horrible things he said about him while eagerly agreeing with his mother when he encountered her while raiding the refrigerator or asking for her car keys. Don’t you think? Alas, the son’s sloth and stupidity would probably remain unchanged.

Well, think of the Castro regime as that Ocasio-Cortez supporter. Back in the early 1990’s his mother (Russia) finally tired of the arrangement and booted him into the street, so to speak.   

So now Cuba lives with his father (tourism), while retaining essentially all of his disgusting habits. Living with this new provider requires that Cuba slightly change his “tune” – and slightly modify his behavior — but really nothing major, nothing of substance. “What’s a little lip-service in exchange for room, board and my uninterrupted Wi-Fi?” the Ocasio-Cortez supporter snickers.

In brief, the Castro regime briefly “hooked-up” with Tim McGraw for the simple expedience of filling its coffers with millions more in tourist money, one of its major financial lifelines nowadays. In the meantime, Castro’s subjects--while allowed to boot-scoot-n-boogie a bit--essentially remain the impoverished and oppressed subjects of a totalitarian regime.

An OH!...almost forgot! As billed, Tim McGraw’s Cuba tour also offers that “Walk in the footsteps of Hemingway and Obama in Old Havana.

“Castro’s revolution is very pure and beautiful,” Hemingway wrote in 1960, “I’m encouraged by it. The Cuban people now have a decent chance for the first time. The people getting shot all deserve it.”

But in fact, I doubt seriously that McGraw’s tour facilitators will arrange the exact footsteps that Ernest Hemingway walked in old Havana. Because you see, amigos, those steps often took charming old “Papa” Hemingway (also a failed KGB agent) to a ringside seat to watch and gloat during the Castro brothers’ and Che Guevara’s firing squad murder marathons.

Think I jest? Please click here for thorough documentation.

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