When Power Talks the Truth

The expression of “talking truth to power,” has a ring of empowerment in certain circles. It portrays weak or disenfranchised people challenging powerful people and/ or interests. The activity is often described as bold and risky and deserving of widespread support and admiration.

Liberals are most frequently heard using the expression due to their desire to flatten society by both promoting the weak and pulling down the powerful. They tend to distrust all forms of authority, according to the Cato Institute. Not surprisingly, stabbing a finger into the eye of powerful groups is a celebrated event.

However, the far lefts’ desire for equality has little to do with “truth.” The goal of equality – whether gender or income or racial – is of primary importance. Truth can be bent, altered or ignored to advance the liberal agenda.

As such, listening to extreme progressives’ use the phrase “talking truth to power,” has an awful dissonance. They doctored truth long ago.

When Power Talks Truth

Truth has the greatest impact when proclaimed by the powerful, especially on a global stage. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley used several opportunities during the week of July 23, 2018, to educate the world not just of certain facts, but about the importance of standing for and shedding light on important truths.

Nikki Haley told the ministerial group about the importance of religious freedom, not just for human rights, but for the basic foundation of peace. “The fact is, real peace cannot be achieved in isolation from human rights,” she told the audience, as she noted the countries of Burma, China, Iran, Iraq, and Sudan had been called out in 1999 for suppressing religious freedom. They would go on to become security threats killing thousands of their own people.

Nikki Haley called out the terrorist actions of Hamas and the destructive and hateful actions of Palestinian Arabs from Gaza destroying enormous swaths of Israel with arson attacks. She called out the Arab states for saying nothing:

“Where are the Arab countries when it comes to denouncing Hamas terrorism? Where are the Arab countries when it comes to supporting compromises that are necessary for peace?”

Haley called out the hypocrisy of the Arab world that claims to care about Palestinians, yet give zero or virtually no monies to UNRWA:

“Talk is cheap…

Last year, Iran’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Algeria’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Tunisia’s contribution to UNRWA was zero. Other countries did provide some funding. Pakistan gave 20,000. Egypt gave 20,000. Oman gave 668,000. Moving up the list, Turkey gave 6.7 million. Kuwait gave nine million dollars. United Arab Emirates gave 12.8 million dollars.

Again, if you judge a nation’s commitment to the Palestinian people by the words heard in this chamber, you might come to the conclusion that the United States has been less generous, simply because we stand proudly with our ally Israel here at the UN.

But once again, this conclusion would be entirely false.

Last year, while Algeria was providing nothing to UNRWA, and Turkey was providing 6.7 million dollars, the United States gave 364 million dollars. That’s ten times the combined amounts from every country I just named.

And that’s on top of what the American people give annually to the Palestinians in bilateral assistance. That is another 300 million dollars just last year, and it averages to more than a quarter of a billion dollars every year since 1993.

Since that year, the United States has provided over six billion – with a B – dollars in bilateral assistance to Palestinians. How much have the Arab countries – some of whom are wealthy countries – how much have they given to the Palestinians? It does not come anywhere close to what the United States has done.

To drive her point home, she made clear that America would not continue to play the Arab world’s farce:

The Palestinian leadership has been allowed to live a false reality for too long because Arab leaders are afraid to tell them the truth. The United States is telling the truth because we do care about the Palestinian people.

But we should all recognize that Palestinian needs are not an American problem any more than a Russian problem or a French problem. And they are certainly not more of an American problem than an Egyptian, Saudi, Emirati, or Turkish problem.

So the next time we have a meeting like this in the Security Council or in the General Assembly, and we hear speech after speech about the plight of the Palestinian people, I would ask those who are making the speeches to examine what your country is doing to help – other than speechmaking.

It is time for the regional states in particular to step up and really help the Palestinian people, instead of just making speeches thousands of miles away.”

That’s talking some real truth at the UN Security Council.


US Ambassador to the UN  Nikki Haley addressing the UN Security Council
on July 24, 2018

But Haley had more truths.

Haley spoke for 30 minutes at the 2018 CUFI conference and called out many facts about Israel and the state of the world:

  • “We live in a world in which anti-Semitism is on the rise.”
  • “We live in a world in which terrorist groups and even some countries openly call for Israel’s destruction.”
  • “On many college campuses, the anti-Semitic BDS movement has become a trendy cause for students and professors who should know better.”
  • “Last September, when Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke at the UN, he said that for too long, the “epicenter of global anti-Semitism was the UN itself.” That’s an amazing statement. But unfortunately, it’s true.”
  • “Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That’s a fact. And President Trump had the courage to recognize that fact when others would not.”
  • “Many of the protesters in Gaza are anything but peaceful. If they were peaceful, there would be no burning tires, there would be no Molotov cocktails, there would be no flaming swastika kites flying into Israel burning thousands of acres of land.”
  • “When I heard country after country in the UN Security Council hypocritically standing in judgment of Israel, I spoke out. What I said shocked the people at the UN; but I’ll say it again, because it’s the truth: Israel has acted with more restraint than just about any other country would under those same conditions. It’s true.”
  • ” in the history of the UN General Assembly there has been over 600 resolutions on the Israel-Palestinian issue alone – and not one of them has ever mentioned Hamas. Not one in 600.”
  • “It’s very important to me that we represent truths and reality at the UN, even if it makes other countries uncomfortable.”
  • “UNESCO has the outrageous distinction of attempting to change ancient history. UNESCO declared one of Judaism’s holiest sites, The Tomb of the Patriarchs, as a Palestinian Heritage Site, in need of protection from Israel. That was enough. Ten months into this administration, the United States withdrew from UNESCO.”
  • “we don’t even need to talk about Israel to conclude that the Human Rights Council is a sham. But we should talk about Israel, because Israel is a special case that proves the moral bankruptcy of the organization.”
  • “The United States has no moral duty to be neutral between right and wrong. On the contrary, we have a moral duty to take sides, even when that means standing alone.”
  • “We demand that Israel not be treated like some sort of temporary provisional entity or pariah.”
  • “It cannot be the case that only one country in the world doesn’t get to choose its capital city.”
  • “It cannot be the case that the Human Rights Council has a standing agenda item for only one country.”
  • “It cannot be the case that only one set of refugees throughout the world is counted in a way that causes the number to grow literally forever.”
  • “It cannot be the case that in an organization with 193 countries, the United Nations spends half of its time attacking only one country.”
  • “Our demand for fairness for Israel is actually a demand for peace. The UN’s bias against Israel has long undermined peace, by encouraging an illusion that Israel will go away.”
  • Fantasies encourage absolutist demands. When realities are accepted, then compromise becomes possible. When the reality of Israel’s existence is accepted, both sides will become freed to achieve a durable peace.”

A truly incredible dissertation about the importance of truth.

Past US administrations were both too concerned with angering the 50+ oil-rich Muslim and Arab nations, and with upsetting the impoverished (morally and financially) Palestinian Authority. No longer.


The world has been caught up with #FakeNews and #AlternativeFacts over the past few years. Extreme Liberals have added to the tempest with alternate realities of “my truths” as they attempt to enforce their worldview on the public. Reality was discarded as everyone fought for the mantle of the underdog.

Fortunately, truth has returned with a powerful champion. And her name is Nikki Haley.


Related First.One.Through articles:

When Only Republicans Trust the Police

In The Margins

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

The UN’s #Alternative Facts about the 1967 Six Day War

Journalists Killed in 2016 #AlternativeFacts

From Eyes Wide Shut (11/13/16):

Today, the world has declared that truth can be ignored, openly and honestly. Fixed facts fold before the fantasy of personal belief. People shout their gestating gospels as the thoughts enter their minds and are blessed in their echo chambers on social media and in the streets.

Opinions no longer need an anchor in fact. People need not see nor hear a matter to declare it untrue or irrelevant. The world has become unhinged as the mind emerges as the sole arbiter of the firmament. Society has quickly moved beyond goggles of virtual reality to worship in the chapel of blind delusions.

In a world where facts are extraneous, we are only left with a clash of emotions.

Will we pass judgment solely on which party seems the most sympathetic because they feel the most injured? Does that foretell a future of balms for the pain, rather than solutions for the problems?

We are carrying our emotions across the threshold to deflower our intelligence. That is a marriage that will end poorly for civilization.”

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The Gross OVER-Staffing of UNRWA Schools

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has been bloating its staff and wards since 1949. Tasked with taking care of displaced Arab people from the 1948-9 Arab war against Israel’s creation, the agency has continued to provide services for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original refugees who continue to live in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.

To examine the staffing of UNRWA is to gain insight into the gross misuse of the world’s generosity.

UNRWA’s own 2017 statistics revealed the following:

 Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Amman HQ   Total 
 Registered Refugees        2,175,491        463,664        543,014        809,738        1,348,536        5,340,443
 Other Registered Persons            111,152           50,131           75,114        187,435              87,080            510,912
 Total Registered Persons (RR)        2,286,643        513,795        618,128        997,173        1,435,616        5,851,355

UNRWA gives services to nearly 5.9 million people today, even though only 711,000 “refugees” existed in 1949. Of those 711,000 people, only about 25,000 real refugees are alive today.

The numbers continue to show further abuse:

 Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Amman HQ   Total 
 UNRWA Staff                6,642             3,096             3,003             4,635              13,037                  386              30,799
 International Staff                      15                  15                  17                  19                      27                    85                   178
 RR / Staff                   344                166                206                215                   110                   190

As of December 31, 2017, there were close to 31,000 employees of UNRWA – more than the number of ACTUAL refugees alive today.

Further, almost all of the 31,000 employees are local Palestinian Arabs – only 178 people are “international.” UNRWA is simply a vehicle to employ local Arabs.

The most aggressive employment happens in Gaza, where there is an UNRWA Staff person for every 110 Registered Refugees (RR). That is almost twice the level in the other regions, and three times the staffing level as in Jordan.


UNRWA offices in Jerusalem
(photo: First.One.Through)

Most of the staffing is for UNRWA’s schools. As shown in the chart below, roughly 71% of the overall staffing is for the schools.

 Staff Detail   Jordan   Lebanon   Syria   West Bank   Gaza   Total 
 Educational Staff                5,090             2,082             2,193             2,671                9,910              21,946
 Pupil enrollment            121,368           36,088           46,733           48,959            262,112            515,260
 Pupil / Educational Staff                      24                  17                  21                  18                      26                      23
 Educational Staff as % Staff 77% 67% 73% 58% 76% 71%

To get an appreciation for  staffing levels of the schools, consider that UNRWA has a student-to-staff ratio of approximately 23:1. By way of comparison, the student-to-staff ratio in the schools in the United States is 32:1, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. There is a wide disparity in the ratio, ranging from 15:1 in Virginia to 136:1 in Kansas. But on average, UNRWA over-staffs its schools by roughly 40% compared to the United States.

There are various arguments against the existence of UNRWA which keeps Arabs in a perpetual state of statelessness and hopelessness (SAPs). There are additional arguments against the funding of the schools which promote antisemitism and intolerance.

It is worth taking note of the gross over-staffing of the organization as another component in assessing the funding of UNRWA.


Related First.One.Through articles:

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

UNRWA’s Munchausen Disease

UNRWA’s Ongoing War against Israel and Jews

Help Refugees: Shut the UNRWA, Fund the UNHCR

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Removing the Next Issue – The Return of 20,000 Palestinian Arabs

The UN Wants “Real Stories on REAL Refugees”

Related First.One.Through video:

Jordan’s Hypocrisy about UNRWA

The Hamas Theme Song (CSNY)

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Deciphering the 2018 Basic Law in Israel – The Nation State of the Jewish People

On July 19, 2018, Israel signed a new Basic Law called “The Nation-State of the Jewish People.” It has been called controversial by many liberal media outlets in what it purports to do with minority rights.

The notion that there is a major curtailment of Israeli Arabs’ rights is a gross exaggeration. However, what should be discussed is the novel stance whereby Israel has now assumed the responsibility for the security and the “cultural, historical and religious legacy” of Jews in the diaspora.

Below is the text of the latest Basic Law in Israel, with a review below each point.

  1. The State of Israel
    a) Israel is the historical homeland of the Jewish people in which the state of Israel was established.
    b) The state of Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people, in which it actualizes its natural, religious, and historical right for self-determination.
    c) The actualization of the right of national self-determination in the state of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.

Review:

The comments in parts 1a and 1b are actually found in international law, in both the San Remo Conference Resolution of 1920 and the 1922 Mandate of Palestine. Specifically, international law acknowledged the historic ties of the Jewish people to the land of Israel and the goal to reconstitute such national home:

  • in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people”
  • “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”

It’s an established fact that Jews have a long history in the land of Israel going back thousands of years. For over 100 years, Jews and the international community have been working to re-actualize the Jewish right to self-determination in that homeland. Sections 1a and 1b are seemingly innocuous and superfluous.

However, section 1c went a step further. It states that the national right of self-determination is ONLY for Jews. While the clause does not limit the INDIVIDUAL rights of non-Jews to live openly and freely in Israel, the intention of the clause is seemingly that non-Jews have no NATIONAL right of self-determination. Non-Jews in Israel have personal rights of self-determination as citizens of the state, while Jews have an added right as a people.

Why:

The State of Israel has very few Basic Laws. As such, why would the country opt to state the obvious points of 1a and 1b in a new Basic Law, and add the additional point of the uniqueness of Jewish self-determination in section 1c?

For the past several years, Palestinian Arab leaders have voiced their belief that Jews are not native to Israel and that only Palestinian Arabs are indigenous to the region. They have turned a blind eye to history and have been effective in getting various United Nations’ bodies to similarly cut off the deep historic and religious ties between Jews and their holy land. They have gotten the UN to decry that Jews are eliminating the natural and historic “Arab character” of Judaism’s holiest city and capital of Jerusalem where Jews have been a majority for over 150 years.

Further, Arabs contend that Jews are not even a people and therefore cannot have a claim of national self-determination. Jews are simply people that believe in a religion – Judaism – and are a diverse mix of cultures and nationalities from around the world, who descended on Palestine as tools of global powers to insert a foreign democracy in the heart of the Arab world. The Arabs have promoted the notion that these Israeli Jews are simply foreign interlopers, who are negating the Palestinian Arab right of self-determination. The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas gave a long lecture to this effect in April 2018.

If the rants of these wild fools would have been given no ear, perhaps this Basic Law would not have been drafted as is. But the mean and angry words have no longer just been echoed in the Muslim and Arab world, but are repeated in European capitals and at the United Nations. Consequently, Israel felt compelled to declare that the land of Israel has always been the homeland of the Jewish people and that the country of Israel is uniquely the nation-state of the Jewish people.

That the liberal press would be shocked at this section of the Basic Law is particularly surprising, noting how much they championed the idea of “two states for two people: one for Jews and one for Arabs,” for so many years.

  1. National symbols of the State of Israel
    a) The name of the state is Israel.
    b) The flag of the state is white, two blue stripes near the edges, and a blue Star of David in the center.
    c) The symbol of the state is the Menorah with seven branches, olive leaves on each side, and the word Israel at the bottom.
    d) The national anthem of the state is “Hatikvah”
    e) [Further] details concerning the issue of state symbols will be determined by law.

Review:

None of the items listed in section 2 is news to anyone that has ever been to Israel or knows anything about the country. These are all established facts.

Yet, it is curious that nowhere in this section is there a specific reference to Jews or Judaism. The symbols that are highlighted – Israel (Jews are known as the Children of Israel in the Bible); Star of David (King David was a leading unifying king in Jewish history); the Menorah (a symbol of religious Judaism from the Temple); the “Hatikvah” (a song of modern Jewish longing for a return to self-determination in the Jewish holy land) – are all based on Judaism and Jewish history, yet “Jews” and “Judaism” are absent in this section.

Why:

While section 1 underscored historical facts and repudiated the Arab narrative about Jews in Israel, section 2 put forward some modern manifestations of the Jewish State. As symbols, each item is simply a marker and note of Jewish pride. Each item does nothing to impact the day-to-day lives of Jew or non-Jew living in Israel.

Perhaps section 2e leaves open the idea that new state symbols might include items that are not inherently Jewish, such as a state bird.

  1. [The] unified and complete [city of] Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Review:

Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel, and Israel enshrined this fact in the 1980 Basic Law about Jerusalem that was issued solely for such purpose. This section is seemingly wholly redundant.

Why:

While much of the world has not recognized Israel’s annexation of the eastern part of Jerusalem, the United Nations took additional steps against part of Israel’s capital in December 2017. UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that all lands that Israel won in its defensive war against Jordan in 1967 were illegally obtained, including the eastern part of Jerusalem.

It would appear that Israel opted to repeat its claim on the entirety of Jerusalem because of the recent action of the United Nations. If there were broader goals such as declaring the city as the holiest site for Jews, the statement would have been broader and discussed the holy sites in the city. Perhaps the drafters of the Law decided that they did not want to provoke the Muslim world, despite the Arabs’ constant belittling of Jewish sites and rights in Jerusalem.

  1. The Language of the State of Israel
    a) Hebrew is the language of the state.
    b) The Arabic language has a special status in the state; the regulation of the Arab language in state institutions or when facing them will be regulated by law.
    c) This clause does not change the status given to the Arabic language before the basic law was created.

Review:

Since the Mandate of Palestine of 1922, English, Arabic and Hebrew have been the official languages in Palestine (Article 22). When Israel declared itself a state in 1948, it continued to give preference to the Arabic language. This Basic law’s section 4b is seemingly a demotion of Arabic as an “official” language, but section 4c seems to ensure that there is no practical impact of such demotion, as Arabic will continue to be used in all governmental items such as monies, stamps and signage.

Why:

Section 4 can best be viewed through the same lens as section 2 – a symbolic note that has no practical impact on day-to-day life. Only the Hebrew language was called out with pride by David Ben Gurion in the country’s Declaration of Independence in May 1948. This section is seemingly another marker of the Jewishness of the State of Israel, even while it makes accommodations for people who speak Arabic.

  1. The state will be open to Jewish immigration and to the gathering of the exiled.

Review:

This statement is seemingly WEAKER than international law laid out in the Mandate of Palestine. In Article 6, that document specifically sought to “facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” The word “facilitate” is an active verb compared to simply being “open” to Jewish immigration.

More specifically, section 5 is completely redundant with the country’s Declaration of Independence which stated “THE STATE OF ISRAEL will be open for Jewish immigration and for the Ingathering of the Exiles.”

Why:

Once again, this Basic Law is seemingly redundant with international law and the country’s foundation document. Which might give a clue as to why the country’s lawmakers decided to issue such clauses in a rare new Basic Law.

The United Nations acted against its own international laws as it related to Jews and the Jewish homeland. The Mandate of Palestine clearly stated that no person could be excluded from living anywhere in the Mandate because of their religion (Article 15), but the British promptly separated half of the Mandate region into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and allowed the country to become Jew-free. When Jordan attacked Israel in 1948 and subsequently banned all Jews from the west bank of the Jordan River, including eastern Jerusalem, and then gave citizenship only to Arabs – specifically excluding Jews – the United Nations said nothing. The UN continues to declare that the vast majority of the Mandate – Jordan, the “West Bank” and Gaza – should be Jew-free today.

Israel clearly felt the need to state in its own laws that it is going to welcome the Jewish exiles from around the world, as it has for years, and not rely on the neutered international laws from 1922, nor its own foundation document.

  1. The Diaspora
    a) The state will labor to ensure the safety of sons of the Jewish people and its citizens who are in trouble and captivity due to their Jewishness or their citizenship.
    b) The state will act to preservethe cultural, historical and religious legacy of the Jewish people among the Jewish diaspora.

Review:

Of the eleven sections in the 2018 Basic Law on The Nation State of the Jewish People, this is the only one that is truly new. It is not found in international law (1920 and 1922) nor in Israel’s Declaration of Independence (1948). It has no appearance in any of the country’s prior Basic Laws. It is extraordinary in every facet.

That a sovereign country would extend its safety net to a select group of non-citizens around the world is remarkable. It is without parallel.

The second underlying rationale of this new Basic Law becomes clear in this section. It is not only about echoing facts and laws that the world has chosen to ignore, but establishing this new one. The notion of a nation-state is a two-way street: Israel is the Jewish State, and the Jewish State is there for all Jews around the world.

This language stands against the carefully worded text of the Balfour Declaration of 1917 that specifically did not bias the Jewish communities outside of Palestine, that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights… or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

While Jews are not in jeopardy of losing their “political status” as citizens of countries around the world, they now seemingly have a foreign country protecting them and their culture.

Why:

The 2014 War from Gaza unleashed waves of antisemitism around the world, particularly in Europe. Jews were attacked and killed in capital cities and small towns. It reached such a point that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to Paris in early 2015 and asked the Jewish community whether it was time to leave France and move to Israel. It was an outrageous act, but also effective: the number of people from France making Aliya (moving to Israel) tripled after the events and Netanyahu’s visit.

Many people in France were angry at Netanyahu’s statement. The government of France appealed to its Jews that France would be considered a failure if it could not protect its Jewish population, but in fact, the Jewish community in France was broadly resentful that France was no longer a secure home for them.

Netanyahu came to Europe to state that times are different: the 1939 British White Paper which prevented Jews from fleeing the Holocaust to come to Israel was no more. Israel was a reality and ready to welcome anyone fleeing persecution as the nation-state for all Jews around the world.

It perhaps comes at a moment of security and smugness that Israel now offers its help to world Jewry, after decades of calling on world Jewry to help the nascent state. As Ben Gurion said on that fateful day in May 1948, “WE APPEAL to the Jewish people throughout the Diaspora to rally round the Jews of Eretz-Israel in the tasks of immigration and upbuilding and to stand by them in the great struggle for the realization of the age-old dream – the redemption of Israel.” Israel has now turned the table and is assuming the role of the guardian for world Jewry as opposed to the other way around.

But Jewish memory extends beyond the 1940s.

In 1917, British Jews made sure that the Balfour Declaration did not ensnare Jews outside of Palestine. However in 2018, Israel did not consult with world Jewry when it extended its sheltering tabernacle over their homes in the diaspora.

A very awkward step for a government that stated it had the interests of world Jewry in mind.

 

  1. The state views Jewish settlement as a national value and will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development.

Review:

Section 7 is a repeat of international law as mentioned above in Article 6 of the Mandate of Palestine.

Why:

Settling the land has always been a priority of Zionists. It was true in the 1890s and remains true in the 21st century. The tie between the Jewish people and the Jewish holy land has been true for thousands of years, and no law that sought to connect the nation-state of Jews and Israel could possibly ignore the land of Israel. The Jewish ties to the Jewish holy land existed before the Modern State of Israel, and the government of Israel would be failing its basic mission of self-determination if it did not wholeheartedly promote the development of the land itself.

  1. The Hebrew calendar is the official calendar of the state and alongside it the secular calendar will serve as an official calendar. The usage of the Hebrew calendar and of the secular calendar will be determined by law.

Review:

Not news for anyone living in, or doing business in Israel.

Why:

As with the other items in this Basic Law, it seeks to affirm particular Jewishness of how the state operates. Like many of the sections, it does nothing to harm not-Jewish citizens, any more than some countries declaring Christmas a national holiday harms non-Christians.

  1. National Holidays
    a) Independence Day is the official holiday of the state.
    b) The Memorial Day for those who fell in the wars of Israel and the Memorial Day for the Holocaust and heroism are official memorial days of the state.

Review:

Beyond stating that the holidays and calendar of Judaism will be officially recognized in Israel’s calendar (sections 8 and 10), section 9 ascribes important moments in Israel’s history as national holidays in a typical fashion of any country, but adds a new dimension. Placing a historic event that occurred OUTSIDE of the country’s borders, which impacted a subset of its citizens is highly unusual. The Holocaust did not just have minimal impact on the non-Jews in Israel, but it had little direct impact on the majority Mizrachi Jews from countries including Iraq, Yemen, Egypt and Morocco.

But the Holocaust stands apart from the terrible persecutions suffered by Jews in Arab lands. The Holocaust was so evil and heinous, that it forced the world to create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Even the United Nations marks the day and encourages all member nations to remember the Nazi atrocities.

Of course the Jewish State would be one of those countries to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day.

  1. Saturday and the Jewish Holidays are the official days of rest in the state. Those who are not Jewish have the right to honor their days of rest and their holidays. Details concerning these matters will be determined by law.

Review:

See section 8 above.

  1. This Basic Law may not be altered except by a Basic Law that gained the approval of the majority of the Knesset members.

Review:

Self explanatory.


The 2018 Basic Law is seemingly a reaction to world events since early 2014. While Israel has had to contend with an Arab world that rejects coexistence in favor of terrorism for decades, it has been the world’s more recent embrace of fake history and vile antisemitism that necessitated the Basic Law of the Nation State of the Jewish People at this time.

That the Basic Law would include language that Israel will act to protect Jews around the world, gives some insight of how Israel expects antisemitism to play out in the years ahead.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The Jewish Holy Land

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

Related First.One.Through videos:

Ethiopian Jews Come Home (Phillip Phillips)

The Anthem of Israel is JERUSALEM

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The United Nations’ Select Concern for Arson in the Middle East

The fires around Israel have been burning for weeks, a direct result of the hundreds of arson attacks launched by Palestinian Arab terrorists in Gaza. And the United Nations has been silent.

Well, not exactly. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov made remarks in Gaza on July 15, 2018. In those remarks, he spoke about the situation from the Palestinian perspective. He spoke about the “humanitarian, political and security” situation of the people in Gaza, but not in Israel. The most telling indication of how Mladenov viewed the situation could perhaps be captured by this remark:

“For the last decade Palestinians in Gaza have lived through 3 conflicts. Israelis across the fence have lived with a constant threat of rocket attacks for the last decade. This cycle has to stop. It has to end.”

For the United Nations’ point person on the “Middle East Peace Process,” only the Palestinians lived through three wars, not the Israelis. The Israelis only had the “threat of rocket attacks,” not actual rocket attacks. Not abductions and infiltrations by underground tunnels. Not arson attacks through the air.

Simply threats. Not real violence.

It is not as though the UN doesn’t understand the dangers of arson. It has loudly spoken up about it – in the few cases when Israelis engaged in such attacks.

In July 2015, the UN loudly condemned Israelis. The Secretary General said at the time:

“The Secretary-General strongly condemns today’s murder of a Palestinian child in the West Bank and calls for the perpetrators of this terrorist act to be promptly brought to justice. He expresses his deepest condolences to the family of Ali Dawabsha, who were themselves severely injured in the arson attack. Continued failures to effectively address impunity for repeated acts of settler violence have led to another horrific incident involving the death of an innocent life.  This must end.”

The UN would say the same about another attack in March 2016:

“I strongly condemn today’s arson attack by suspected Jewish extremists on the home of Palestinian Ibrahim Dawabsheh in the occupied West Bank village of Duma. Mr. Dawabsheh and his wife were at home during the attack and sustained light injuries as a result of smoke inhalation. I wish them both a full and speedy recovery.”

But when it comes to Israel, the UN cannot acknowledge the HUNDREDS of arson attacks by HUNDREDS of Palestinian Arabs.

Similarly, the UN will never call out “Muslim extremists,” even while it comfortably condemns so-called “Jewish extremists,” despite passing resolutions that specifically denounce calling out extremists by their religious identity.

The UN will also not call the Palestinians’ attacks “terrorist acts” as it does for Israelis. It actually does the exact opposite. It celebrates the Palestinians. It calls the arsonists allies as it stands with the people of Gaza:

“Our allies in this are the Palestinian people in Gaza themselves. Our partners are in the Palestinian government and everybody who wants to see an end to this current escalation.”

“I assure you that the UN will not leave Gaza. We will enhance our presence here to be more effective and more efficient in providing support to the Palestinian people.”

There is ZERO concern for Israelis suffering from arson. Israel is simply a counter-party with whom the UN negotiates on behalf of the Palestinian Arabs:

“We will continue working with the Israeli authorities to improve access and movement for Gaza and to allow for more imports and exports. Without an economy, another escalation can come very quickly.”


For several decades, the United Nations has contorted itself with new and unique definitions for “refugees” just for Palestinian Arabs. It continues to turn a blind eye to the evils of Hamas which it seeks to legitimize by ushering it into a coalition government, as well as ignoring the actions of other Palestinian arsonists.

The Secretary General of the UN Antonio Guterres saidThe international community has the legal right and the moral duty to act collectively to put an end to terrorism ‘in all its forms and manifestations, committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purposes.’” If only the UN would live up to its own values with it comes to Palestinian Arab terrorists.


Related First.One.Through articles:

The UN Must Pay to Repair the Gaza Fence

UN Comments on the Murder of Innocents: Itamar and Duma

UNRWA Is Not Just Making “Refugees,” It’s Creating Palestinians

 

 

The Time Factor in the Israeli-Arab Conflict

It is true. Time moves at a different pace for the players in the Middle East.

Looking for some proof?

  • The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas said in September 2016: “We ask Great Britain, as we approach 100 years since this infamous declaration, to draw the necessary lessons and to bear its historic, legal, political, material and moral responsibility for the consequences of this declaration, including an apology to the Palestinian people for the catastrophes, misery and injustice this declaration created and to act to rectify these disasters and remedy its consequences, including by the recognition of the state of Palestine.” No joke. He asked Great Britain to apologize for the Balfour Declaration from 100 years prior that sought to facilitate the emigration of Jews to their holy land.
  • A poll of Palestinians conducted in March 2018 found that only 9% of Palestinians believed that there would be peace with Israel within 100 years.

Whether 100 years into the past or 100 years into the future, the Palestinians view the situation as stagnant. They hold onto perceived injuries of 100 years ago as if they just occurred, and imagine that they will feel the same in a century as well.

Is the Arab-Israel Conflict inherently unsolvable, or is the nature of how Arabs in the Middle East consider time simply different than how Israel and western societies relate to it?

Democracy-versus-Dictatorship

Political matters typically require immediate attention, such as budgets, trade policies, military contracts and establishing treaties. Governments seek to move at the pace of life – in the present – so the protagonists act to effectuate policies under their administration and ideally witness the associated results.

That mode of thinking is actually only relevant in a democracy. A government with a finite term that must seek re-election from its citizens is vulnerable to having a short stint in office. Its “present” is fleeting. However, a dictatorship has no set term limit of being in office or caring much about the opinions of its populace. Its “present” might extend for decades.

Consider the lengths of time that Arab leaders have stayed in power in the Middle East:

  • Syria. Bashar al-Assad has been in power for 17 years and counting while he decimates his country. His father Hafez al-Assad was the leader for 29 years.
  • Jordan. King Abdullah II has been king for over 19 years. He took over from his father King Hussein who was king for 47 years.
  • Saudi Arabia. The monarchs of Saudi Arabia have all been from the same family for generations, starting with Ibn Saud in 1932.
  • Egypt. Hosni Mubarak ruled for almost 30 years until the Arab Spring swept him out. The country tried democracy electing Mohamed Morsi, but he was quickly kicked out after just a year in office.
  • Libya. Muammar Gadaffi headed the country for 42 years until he was killed.
  • Tunisia. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ruled for 24 years until he was swept out by the Arab Spring

The list goes on, even for non-countries.

The Palestinian Authority held elections in 2005 to elect a president for a four-year term. The victor, Mahmoud Abbas, has not held elections since then and remains as the acting-President nine years after his term expired.

The leadership in the Arab world is entrenched. The only method of deposing the leaders and changing the direction of the country is often by assassination, coup or civil war, such as those raging in Syria and Yemen.

In contrast, democracies do not stay entrenched, as the citizens vote for new leaders every few years. Healthy, peaceful democracies have established term limits for the highest office. As such, the leaders in democracies are cognizant of the most precious resource – time. They know that they have a short window to take action and make their mark on society. They can stretch that time by being very mindful of their citizenry, but ultimately, the time remains short.

A dramatic contrast in the orientation of time between democracies and dictatorships.

Secular-versus-Religion

When it comes to the Middle East, religion plays a significant role in politics and government.

Many of the wars that rage in the Middle East stem from the divide within Islam between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Iran and Iraq are predominantly Shiite, while much of the rest of the region is Sunni.

The civil war in Syria is as much about the majority Sunni Muslims fighting the Shia dictator that rules the country, as it is about a country seeking a new direction. Saudi Arabia and Iran are fighting a proxy war in Yemen about the future direction of that country, whether it will be headed by Shia or Sunni leaders.

In the Middle East, the battle between religions and sects has the added layer of the sensitivity regarding holy sites.

The region is packed with holy sites for Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The fights for control extend beyond physical land and resources, to the spiritual centers for different people.

These spiritual locations operate on a different plane. They exist beyond time.

When competing parties fight over control of holy sites, they operate in the dimension of the divine, and consequently engage in a timeless dance. The earthly connection to the Heavens is eternally rooted in a handful of discrete locations, and it is impossible to “walk away” from those anchors. To do so would be akin to being a traitor and apostate. Relinquishing a holy site to a another sect – or even worse, a different religion – would forever tarnish a person’s reputation and that of his entire family. It would be seen as the ultimate failure, an embarrassment.

Conversely, a person could achieve eternal honor by becoming a ‘shahid,’ a martyr in Arabic, by fighting to the death to protect and/or seize a religious site.

The risk-reward mathematics drives a bloody calculation. On one side, there is a consideration of compromise and relinquishing some control over holy land to enable a better day-to-day life for one’s people, but forever be viewed as a traitor to one’s religion. On the other, is the fight for a holy cause that may not yield any benefits for one’s community, but ensures a revered space within one’s society. Is a better job for a few years a worthy trade-off to an eternity with 72 virgins? (Out of curiosity, do they stay virgins for eternity, meaning there is never any sex?)

Israel and Palestinians

Within the Islamic world stretching from Morocco to Indonesia, lies the only Jewish State, Israel.

Israel is more than a little unique in the Middle East. As the sole true democracy, its leadership changes often according to the desire of the Israeli citizens. The prime minister and parliament (Knesset) may be right-of-center at one time, and left-of-center shortly thereafter.

The current Israeli Prime Minister is Benjamin Netanyahu who has won several elections, and may set a record for the longest serving leader of the country, perhaps passing David Ben Gurion if he stays in power until July 16, 2019. The democracy has not instituted term limits as it is still in a state of war with many of its neighbors.

The acting-President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been in power since 2005, not by winning several elections, but by not conducting any. If he had, he would have been thrown from office many years ago by a population that considers him to be both corrupt and ineffective at governing (he’s great at stealing).

Even without a country, Abbas is a dictator, holding onto power without the blessing of his constituents. He stands above his people and above the law as he tries to grasp at the penumbra on the holy land. He imagines himself a timeless champion fighting on behalf of nearly 2 billion Muslims worldwide against the “Zionist Invasion.”

From his vantage point, Abbas can look back in time 100 years as though he were talking to someone in the back seat of a car. The Balfour Declaration of 100 years ago is still yapping, and the Jews keep piling on and will seemingly overload the car over the next 100 years. Time only changes the number of Jews in the car, but will not change his attitude towards Jews regarding their rights to sit in the car, let alone take the wheel.

For their part, the Israelis have made many offers for peace both with Palestinian Arabs as well as Egypt and Jordan over the years. Leaders like Ehud Barak and Ehud Omert knew that they had short windows in office to make a better more peaceful future for their citizens. They attempted different approaches towards compromise with the PA, only to be shut down each time. Real compromises, even in the very small Jewish Holy Land, which received no responses.

Dictators like Abbas have a different calculus, especially since he will be second-guessed by dozens of other dictators that have an interest in Muslim holy sites in Israel. The attitude and approach cannot be moderated by time. The Palestinian Arabs feel the same way:

Time is irrelevant. Feelings trump facts and frustrate a pathway to peace. But it doesn’t matter. Peace is not the goal. Control of the land and the holy sites are paramount. Issues like the economy, security, healthcare and rights always rank at the bottom of every Palestinian poll.

The unaccomplished former US Secretary of State John Kerry understood the Arab world’s perception of time. Kerry suggested in January 2018 that the Palestinians “hold on and be strong,” and “play for time, that he [Abbas] will not break and will not yield to President [Donald] Trump’s demands.” Hey, Abbas! You are a dictator and Israel and the United States are democracies. You can wait it out. Screw today. Stick it out and wait for a better payday.

Play for time. Only democracies have a shot clock.


The Western World views time very differently than the Arab Middle East. As secular democracies, the West seeks to enjoy and improve life in the here-and-now, while the Arab Middle East is a world of religious dictatorships where time is not a critical factor. Any negotiations between parties that view time so differently must be mindful in considering short-term and long-term situations and goals, and adjust. Specifically, a democracy must adapt to either be willing to wait forever and show no rush towards concluding a deal (adopt the Arab approach), or demonstrate that time is an enemy to the dictatorship (force the Arabs to play with a shot clock too).

Israel has slowly learned the lesson. Will the rest of the West?


Related First.One.Through articles:

Failing Negotiation 101: The United States

Failing Negotiation 102: Europe

The Israeli Peace Process versus the Palestinian Divorce Proceedings

Delivery of the Fictional Palestinian Keys

Nikki Haley Channels Robert Aumann at the UN Security Council

The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity

Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The Proud Fathers of Palestinian Terrorists

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The U.S. is Stealing Real Choices from the Voters

The United States of America prides itself on its democracy.

Americans strongly believe that the country gives its citizens the right to choose the course of their lives, much as they can choose to elect a leader of their liking. It is a mantra that President Abraham Lincoln encapsulated in his prayer for at Gettysburg in 1863, about freedom in the USA, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.

Embedded in those words is the notion that ALL people have the ability to serve in the U.S. government for the benefit of ALL Americans.

But remarkably, there are some families that seemingly have a stranglehold on political office. They have names like Bush, Clinton, Kennedy and Cuomo. Brothers, sons, wives and cousins with the same last name show up as presidents, senators, governors and congressmen. Decade after decade.

The notion that any and all Americans have a shot at being a leader in government feels more like a fairy tale than a foundation principle of the country.

And it is rooted in corrupt mechanisms that those people in power use to cement their positions in government.

Governor Andrew Cuomo
and the Women’s Equality Party

Andrew Cuomo is the current Governor of the State of New York. He served as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Clinton Administration from 1997 to 2001 (often accused of creating the foundational mess for the great housing and stock market collapse in 2008-9 due to encouraging banks to provide housing loans to people whom could not afford them) before becoming Attorney General of New York and then Governor.

Not coincidentally, his father Mario Cuomo also served as governor of New York.

But it is not just the famous name, lineage and connections that help cement Andrew Cuomo in power (his brother Chris Cuomo is a famous TV journalist). It is also very much about his gaming the system in his favor.

In 2014, Governor Andrew Cuomo – the most powerful Democrat in the State of New York – decided to launch another separate political party. If that sounds too outrageous to be true, you haven’t looked into New York politics.

Noting how many women were voting Democratic, Andrew Cuomo created the Women’s Equality Party. A new party, beyond his Democratic Party, solely focused on women’s issues.

And who did the Women’s Equality Party support for governor? A woman? Of course not. It backed its creator, Andrew Cuomo.

When an average New Yorker went in to the voting booth to elect a governor in 2014, did he or she get to choose from a wide array of candidates? There were many parties listed on the ballot including the Green Party and the Independence Party and the Reform Party…. so many choices beyond the major Democratic and Republican Parties.

But the long list of parties posted a fiction. There was no choice.

Andrew Cuomo was not only listed as a candidate by the Democrats, but by the Working Families Party, the Independence Party, and the Women’s Equality Party. Rob Astorino of the Republican Party also showed up under the Conservative Party and the Stop-the Common-Core Party (now called the Reform Party).

Two individuals showed up seven times to voters!

How impressive these candidates must have been that so many parties endorsed them! And the Women’s Party endorsed Cuomo too! He must be extremely pro-women, even if no voter could recall anything he did for women as the sitting governor. (Of course there was no footnote on the voting form that Cuomo himself created and named this new party to ensnare those single-issue voters).

But the Cuomo machinations were not done.

You see, New York State has some funky rules for getting on the Voter Registration Form. A party must have at least 50,000 votes in the governor contest to appear as an “official party” over the next four years. For Cuomo’s new entity to get staying power, he needed to funnel some of the votes that would normally come to him via the Democratic, Working Families and Independence Parties to come through the Women’s Equality Party to establish it for the next several years.

And wouldn’t you be shocked to learn, that of the over 2 million votes that Cuomo received in 2014, just over 53,000 – barely enough – came from the Women’s Equality Party. Just enough to be on the New York Voter Registration Forms. What a happy coincidence! Wink.

Not only did New Yorkers have few choices for governor despite the multiple parties in the race, they were deceived and manipulated by Cuomo and the New York Board of Elections.

Libertarians – The Invisible Third Party

In the 2014 New York governor contest, the Green Party and Libertarian Party each promoted a distinct candidate not named Cuomo or Astorino. The Green Party candidate won almost 5% of the vote, but the Libertarian candidate only gathered 17,000 votes. Due to New York State rules of needing 50,000 votes to be an “official party,” the Libertarians are now invisible on New York State Voter Registration Forms.

VoterRegistration2015

The Libertarian Party had the third greatest number of votes in the 2016 presidential election. The Libertarians won more votes than all of the minor parties COMBINED.

But if you want to register as a Libertarian in New York, you have to skip over eight other choices and go to the “Other” category and type in “Libertarian.”

Don’t think there’s an impact? Here are the totals of registered voters in New York as of April 2018:

  • Democrat           6,201,033
  • Republican        2,823,758
  • Independent         481,831
  • Conservative        155,500
  • Working Families   46,453
  • Green                    29,787
  • Other                       7,329 (including Libertarian)
  • Women’s Equality    4,675

So how does the Women’s Equality Party get 53,000 votes when fewer than 5,000 people are registered with the party? Well there are over 2.6 million people that didn’t affiliate with any party. And of course, there’s Cuomo’s influence that helped make it happen.

It would have been so much easier to just be a politician from royalty and cook up your own political party…

The Majors at the Margins
and the Minors at the Edges

Voters are increasingly disillusioned by the Democratic and Republican Parties, which have become more and more extreme as they fight to appeal to the excited base at the margins through their respective primaries. As of 2017, Liberals accounted for 48% of the Democratic Party, dwarfing the middle of the road Conservative Democrats which are down to just 15% of the party (and shrinking). The Republicans’ situation is not better. To review the Republicans on the Judicial Committee which approves judges, is to look at a cast of characters that are all almost exclusively Conservative purists (only three of eleven members had a GovTracks rating of under 0.85 – Chuck Grassley; Lindsay Graham; and Ben Sasse).

Meanwhile the small niche single-issue parties like the Green Party continue on their extremist ways. They either push an extremist candidate like Jill Stein (Green Party), or endorse the Democrat or Republican candidate, to stay relevant and on the voter registration forms. Ideological purists on one hand, or tools of the establishment and election committees on the other.

The dynamic has led to a false array of choices which have become more extreme, and single issue marginal candidates. You can either binge watch Law & Order on Netflix or three different cable channels OR you can watch SproutTV and wait for the cable channels to drop it from the visible universe.

Needed Overhaul

It is time to dramatically overhaul our election system to bring genuine mainstream choices back to voters.

  1. Any political party that wins at least 2.5% of the votes in the last presidential election should be on every state’s voter registration form
  2. If a political party does not field a distinct candidate from the other parties for two consecutive election cycles, it gets removed from the state’s voter registration form
  3. If a political party does not field a distinct candidate from the other parties for three consecutive election cycles, it does not appear on the election form
  4. The threshold of reaching the voter registration form should be 1.0% of the gubernatorial election, not 50,000 (in New York). An absolute number is unfair, especially if few voters turn out, and it should become a standard for all states.
  5. Any candidate from any party that calls for violence against a U.S. citizen must be removed from the ballot. It is time to bring back the most basic level of civility.

The founding fathers of the United States imagined a country based on the principles of freedom and liberty and feared the abuse of power and the coercive nature of people who played games with election process, money and judges. President James Madison may have had Andrew Cuomo (and his family, appointees and political parties) in mind when he said:

“The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”

Americans are being robbed of quality moderate choices for leadership positions, and the runaway train seems to be just gathering steam.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Naked Democracy

Let’s Make America VOTE Again

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

In The Margins

In Defense of Foundation Principles

Losing Rights

A Country Divided

“Coastal Liberal Latte-sipping Politically-correct Out-of-touch Folks.”

Is Calling Someone a ‘Nazi’ Simply a ‘Poor Choice of Words?’ Ask a Westchester Democrat

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The Democratic Party of No Takes on the Supreme Court

There was a time when bipartisanship had a place in Washington, D.C., especially as it related to nominations to the Supreme Court.

In July 1993, Democratic President Bill Clinton nominated Ruth Bader Ginsberg to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court. She was approved unanimously by both the Democrats and Republicans on the Judicial Committee, even though she was – and continues to be – an extreme liberal in her rulings.

The following year in July 1994, Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer to be an Associate Justice. Like Bader Ginsberg, he was approved by an 18-to-0 margin. Every Republican approved his nomination.

All of that changed a decade later under a Republican administration.

When Republican President George W. Bush nominated Stephen Roberts in September 2005 to be Chief Justice, he was only approved by a 13-to-5 margin. All ten Republicans on the committee approved him, but only three of eight Democrats approved the nomination (Patrick Leahy of Vermont; Herb Kohl of Wisconsin; and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin).

Samuel Alito’s January 2006 nomination was even more contentious. While all ten Republicans approved his nomination, none of the eight Democrats voted in favor of him. Zero percent.

The Republicans have never uniformly voted against Democratic presidential Supreme Court nominees including Sonia Sotamayor in July 2009 (6-to-1 against) and Elana Kagan in July 2010 (6-to-1 against). But the Democrats would be absolutists and do it again under Republican President Donald Trump in April 2017, with all nine Democrats opposing Neil Gorsuch.

The Democratic Party of No has promised to take a similar stance for the replacement for Justice Anthony Kennedy. Left wing-radical Senator Elizabeth Warren has been calling on Republicans to vote against an “extremist” Trump nominee. Quite a bizarre and telling comment from an extreme liberal senator and after Justice Gorsuch proved himself to be a more moderate than either Bader Ginsberg and Sotamayor.


Senator Elizabeth Warren

The Democrats have become so disoriented in the far left fringe, that even moderate Conservatives are considered unacceptable extremists. Democratic President Barack Obama noted that his party had run off the rails after the 2016 presidential loss saying that “Democrats are characterized as coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks.” It is not a characterization. It has become a fact.

Here are the Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee (and their GovTracks ideological score, with 0.0 being the most extreme liberal, 0.5 being a perfect moderate and 1.0 being a full conservative) who will consider the nominee to replace Justice Kennedy:

  • Diane Feinstein (0.18)
  • Patrick Leahy (0.23)
  • Dick Durbin (0.17)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (0.19)
  • Amy Klobuchar (0.38)
  • Christopher Coons (0.39)
  • Richard Blumenthal (0.16)
  • Mazie Hirono (0.18)
  • Cory Booker (0.21)
  • Kamala Harris (0.14)

As seen above, almost all of the Democrats on the committee are extreme liberals with the exceptions of Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. They are the the keys to a rationale bipartisan review of the Supreme Court nominee. Contact Senator Coons and Senator Klobuchar to let them know of your desire to have a thoughtful – not knee-jerk – review of this most important position.

“I am part of First.One.Through, a group of people dedicated to a thoughtful and honest review of issues in the hopes of bettering our society.

I am writing in regards to your role on the Judiciary Committee. Republicans have NEVER unanimously rejected a Democratic president’s nominee, while the Democrats have done that for each of the last two Republican nominees. I ask that you fight the extreme liberal wing of the Democratic Party of No and give a thoughtful hearing to the Supreme Court nominee. My sincere thanks.”


Related First.One.Through articles:

I Love 5-to-4

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

In The Margins

A Deplorable Definition

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

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This July 4, I am Leaving the Democratic Party that Left Me Long Ago

I have been increasingly unhappy with the far-left direction of the Democratic Party for several years. Its horrible handling of international affairs under Obama, its refusal to actively combat antisemitism in preference to “Islamophobia,” the welcome mat for Senator Bernie Sanders and Cornel West, the refusal of party members to actively rebuke racist Louis Farrakhan are just some of the reasons.

I held off leaving the party when it elected Tom Perez as head of the Democratic National Committee instead of alt-left wing Congressman Keith Ellison who was supported by liberal stalwarts including Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chuck Schumer and Sanders. I thought the party had dodged a bullet.

But that was just wishful thinking. The Democratic Party has been hijacked and it doesn’t look like it will be returning.

On July 3, 2018, the current Chair of the DNC, Tom Perez praised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who had recently won a primary. He described this self-described Democrat-Socialist in the mold of Bernie Sanders as “the future of our party.

It is a future of extremism of which I want no part.

Libertarians / Conservative Democrats like me have been vanishing from the Democratic Party for a decade. From 2000 through 2009, The percentage of Conservative Democrats was relatively stable, going from 23% to 22%, while the Liberal wing grew from 28% to 32%. While a minority of the party, I still felt that I had a voice and a place, as the moderates still had the largest slice at over 40%.

That disappeared since the Obama inauguration.

As shown in the graph above from the Pew Research Center, Liberals account for 48% of the party as of 2017, while the Conservative branch has shrunk to just 15%. The DNC Chair and 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have taken notice and are endorsing far-left candidates and positions. It is time for moderates and conservative Democrats to go.

To celebrate this great country’s Independence Day, I will change my party affiliation which I have had for several decades. If you live in New York, you can use this form to join me. If you live in another state, look up your Board of Elections to find the form.

Roughly 44% of U.S. adults identify as Democrats. While I used to be part of that group, I no longer recognize the party that has been seized by the alt-left that now more closely resembles the Green Party and Working Families Party then the Democratic Party of 20 years ago.

Please join me in saying goodbye.


Related First.One.Through articles:

Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Liberal’s Protest Bubble Harms Democracy

American Hate: The Right Targets Foreigners, The Left Targets Americans

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

The Democrats’ Slide on Israel

Fake Definitions: Pluralism and Progressive / Liberalism

The Left-Wing’s Two State Solution: 1.5 States for Arabs, 0.5 for Jews

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When Only Republicans Trust the Police

I grew up in suburbia.

I was taught from the earliest age that the police were our community’s brave protectors. In case of danger, they were to be called in an instant.

On hot summer days, my mother would send me out with cans of soda for the policemen that sat in their cars in the neighborhood (the old larger cans that would actually quench one’s thirst; not the miniature cans of today that just wet the lips). It was a small token of appreciation for being out in a hot day for us. We appreciated our guardians.

And I never thought any differently until years later.

For college, I moved just a few miles – but an ideological continent away – to the big city. I remained there after I graduated and started work. A short time later, I was called for my first jury duty.

On my first day, I was ushered with a pool of jurists into a large room by a manager of the court who gave us a short run-down of the case in question: a robbery-and-assault which was witnessed by a police officer. It basically came down to a he-said/ he-said assessment of who was telling the truth. The judge asked if anyone had any reason why they could not be impartial in the case.

I raised my hand.

I explained that all things being equal, I was inclined to believe the police officer and give greater weight to his testimony. When the judge asked why I would be partial to the police, I explained my upbringing of always trusting police officers.

The pool of jurists burst out laughing.

The judge went nuts.

She lashed out that my explanation was ridiculous and worthy of a child. She asked whether I was just looking for a quick exit to my corporate job. Hundreds of eyes from the multi-ethnic city jurists bored into my pale white skin.

But I didn’t blush of embarrassment; I shrunk in disbelief. Was I still in America?

Now, decades later, I often think about that day.

  • I think about it when I read articles about “white privilege.” Do non-Whites engage in society differently than I do?
  • I recall it when I read of unarmed Blacks being shot by police. Is race a dividing line in dealing with police?
  • I consider the gap between the red counties and blue counties across the country every election cycle, particularly in 2016. Is there a genuine difference between the experiences of people in large cities versus the rest of America?


2016 Presidential Election Map by County (red=Republican; blue=Democrat)
Source: BrilliantMaps

I am aware that the U.S. has become more divided regarding politics. But where is the fault line when it comes to government protection? Is America divided by race, by a rural-urban divide, by liberal-versus-conservative, old-versus-young, married-versus-single as it relates to something as basic as the police?

Our Common Defense

The preamble of the U.S. Constitution outlines the principle roles of our government:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”

In taking apart the opening clause, one can see how liberals and conservatives view the role(s) of government in starkly different terms:

  • form a more perfect union,” related to the establishment of the country in binding the colonies into a single entity. It may be poetic to consider 300+ million people married to each other today, but the union relates to our common citizenship.
  • establish justice,” has a very different meaning to progressives that seek to “establish justice” by flattening society and providing promotions to those falling behind, and conservatives that seek to uphold the rule of law;
  • insure domestic tranquility,” is a broad phrase and could cover freedom of speech (either protecting or curtailing) and religion, strengthening the economy, or preserving peace;
  • provide for the common defence,” can only be read one way, but may be perceived differently as reviewed here;
  • promote general welfare,” to liberals means freebies for individuals like free schools and free healthcare, while for conservatives it means governmental projects for society like highways, hospitals and parks;
  • and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” means the establishment of the rule of law, including the ability to prosecute such laws. Liberals could read “liberty to ourselves” as covering such rights as abortion for nine months of pregnancy, while conservatives could read “our posterity” to specifically limit abortion which undermines the unborn.

While various roles of our government can be interpreted very differently by liberals and conservatives, there is no misreading the role of “common defence,” to protect our borders, land and citizens from foreign actors with our armed forces. There is no question that each domestic goal can only be secured through a local police force.

But there is a swath of America that views the nation’s police and military with distrust.

Urban-versus-Rural

Based on my experience at jury duty, I thought the cynicism for our officers came from people in the cities. But the Cato Institute did work on the subject and concluded:

“People who live in densely populated areas are more likely to come into contact with officers. City centers also are more likely to have higher crime rates, which may increase the likelihood one has an encounter with law enforcement. However, actual differences in favorability toward the police by community type are rather small. Sixty-nine percent (69%) of individuals living in the suburbs have a favorable view of the police, as do 60% of those living in cities and 61% residing in rural areas.”

The fault line isn’t population density.

Race

The nation’s local and national protective forces have been increasing the number of minorities for the past few decades.

As of 2015, minorities made up 40% of the active military, up from just 25% in 1990. The percentage of minorities in local police forces doubled between 1987 and 2013, with Latinos making up the largest jump (just as they did in the US military).

But despite the increase of Blacks and Latinos in the police and military, Blacks continued to view the armed forces with distrust at the same levels as the 1970’s according to the Cato Institute. From 1970 to 2016, the percent of Whites with a favorable view of police was relatively constant, going from 67% to 68%. Over the same time, the percent of Blacks viewing police favorably dropped from 43% to 40%.

Blacks were skeptical of law enforcement regardless of income level, whereas Whites and Hispanics grew more comfortable with police as their incomes grew. Further, Black people were distrustful of police at almost the same levels whether they were Democrats, Independents or Republicans. Not so for Whites and Hispanics, whose positive opinions grew as their politics moved rightward.

Democrat-versus-Republican

Just as Black people were unlikely to change their feelings about law enforcement regardless of their income, party affiliation or increase in the number of Black people on police forces, Democrats – and liberals in particular – also barely change their distrust of the police. Whether the Democrats were White, Black or Hispanic and regardless of income level, they were wary of the police. However, Independents, Libertarians and Republicans all saw movement towards greater faith in the police as incomes grew in both the Hispanic and White communities.

Democrats that are White, Latino or Black all view the criminal justice system as unfair to minorities, with only 26%, 17% and 13%, thinking that the system was fair, respectively. The number jumped dramatically for Republicans that are White and Hispanic, but not for Blacks, with 67%, 45% and 15% stating that the system was fair, respectively.

Age

Older people are much more likely to have a favorable attitude towards police. People 65 and older had an 82% positive scoring for the police, higher than any group. The favorability scoring dropped to 70%, 54% and 53% for ages 45-64, 30-44 and 18-29, respectively.

Young Liberals and Blacks Distrust Police

The Cato Institute attempted to develop some underlying reasons behind the persistent negative feelings that Blacks and Liberals have for police.

One theory relayed to a “Respect for Authority (RAI) Index.” It found that Conservatives scored much higher (44%) than Liberals (16%). People that scored high on respecting authority were more likely to grant police latitude in their criminal prosecution. Young people are more likely to push against all forms of authority, including police, while Black people feel that the system has been set against them for generations.

Another poll examined the asymmetry of protecting the innocent versus punishing criminals. Liberals were much more likely to let more criminals run free if it meant avoiding incarcerating innocent people. Conservatives were more likely to pursue more arrests, even if it meant that innocent people would be caught up in the net. Not surprisingly, such attitudes correlate to Conservatives favoring a strong police presence, while Liberals favored a weaker force.

Black Lives Matter –
A Liberal and Black Coalition Against Police

A core principle of the local and national government is the protection of its citizens, and Liberals and Blacks believe that the government is failing in that regard. Liberals prefer empathy to order, and assistance to prosecution. Police sit on the wrong side of that equation for all Liberals, regardless of race, age or income.

Black people are still suspicious of the police, despite the large increase in their numbers in law enforcement and eight years of a Black president. They believe the anti-Black bias is deep and systemic.

These two groups coalesced into the Black Lives Matter movement a few years ago.

As stated on the BLM website:

“Black Lives Matter began as a call to action in response to state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act together in their communities. The impetus for that commitment was, and still is, the rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state.

Enraged by the death of Trayvon Martin and the subsequent acquittal of his killer, George Zimmerman, and inspired by the 31-day takeover of the Florida State Capitol by POWER U and the Dream Defenders, we took to the streets. A year later, we set out together on the Black Lives Matter Freedom Ride to Ferguson, in search of justice for Mike Brown and all of those who have been torn apart by state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism. Forever changed, we returned home and began building the infrastructure for the Black Lives Matter Global Network, which, even in its infancy, has become a political home for many.”

Liberals attached themselves to the movement and added LGBTQ, environmental matters, minimum wage and a host of other issues into a movement that was primarily concerned with perceived police brutality against Blacks. The intersectionality of rage against the police was natural for the Liberals anyway.

Where Do We Go From Here

The polarization in the United States regarding a range of issues including unions, abortion and minimum wage all pale relative to the divide that exists in the perception of law enforcement, which is a core tenet of our government. Our society cannot thrive with only “red” cops (Republican-loved police), nor can it survive the anarchy proposed by Liberals. Increasing the number of minorities on police forces has yielded no change in attitude, nor has increased wealth.

Therefore, new approaches should be considered:

  • Elevate Hispanics. The Hispanic community has been joining both police forces and the national armed forces in great numbers. Their admiration for law enforcement has grown significantly. Society should reward both efforts by continuing to hire and promote the talented Hispanic officers, including to prominent positions.
  • Positive Police in Schools. Do not let the Black Lives Matter run the agenda in schools teaching young people to hate the police, and do not only have police officers in school when investigating a crime. Have officers talk to students and get to know them in a positive class and hallway format. Visit the local precinct and celebrate holidays together with police, possibly side-by-side in homeless shelters (versus just going to shelters without the police).
  • Dial back “authority.” If Liberals and Blacks are sensitive about authority, then police should consider selectively managing such authority, such as being more selective in “stop-and-frisk”programs.

America’s police and military are for all citizens and should be appreciated and trusted by everyone. If people are not learning to respect and appreciate our protective forces in their homes, we must do out utmost to promote such message in schools and society at-large.


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