All About the Benjamins: Jordan Sells Citizenship While Women Left In The Cold

In February 2019, new Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) accused members of Congress of selling their votes to the Israel lobby saying “it’s all about the Benjamins.” While the comment was condemned by most members of Congress, her alt-left progressive comrades stood by her, including fellow female Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and Woman’s March organizer Linda Sarsour, also a Muslim woman. Sarsour had loudly attacked Israel with comments like “there’s nothing creepier than Zionism,” while defending sharia law and the actions of Muslim countries.


Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

Curiously, just one year before Omar’s antisemitic “Benjamins” smear, the Arab Muslim country of Jordan was busy selling off rights to citizenship for huge stacks of Benjamins.

On February 19, 2018, the parliament of Jordan passed the Jordanian Citizenship by Investment Programme (JIP), which proudly declared “High-net-worth individuals can now become Jordanian citizens!” (exclamation point NOT added). How sweet! Citizenship in Jordan is so coveted, they’ll sell it to anyone – as long as they have at least $1 million to fork over to Jordan.

Personally, I think a country can make whatever rules it wants about citizenship. I would likely value Jordanian citizenship at about a single dollar (Canadian), but that’s just me.

However, what’s beyond insulting is that thousands of people – specifically women and Palestinians just like Linda Sarsour – are DENIED citizenship in Jordan, and stripped of citizenship they once had.

In Jordan, a male-dominated society, citizenship is controlled by men. By law, only men can pass on citizenship to their wives and children; a woman cannot pass on citizenship to her children or spouse.

And rather than rectify the situation when making adjustments to citizenship laws, Jordan simply went for the Benjamins and didn’t offer a morsel to women. Many activists in Jordan were outraged. But not a peep from Omar, Tlaib or Sarsour.

Linda Sarsour, herself a child of Palestinians and a woman’s rights advocate, could not arch an eyebrow about the insulting practice of Jordan selling a right it won’t even extend to women in the country.

For Palestinians, the insult is particularly insulting. Those people living in the West Bank which Jordan illegally annexed in 1950, were given Jordanian citizenship in 1954 until Jordan revoked such citizenship on July 31, 1988. The Jordanians have since started removing the citizenship of thousands of other people of Palestinian origin living inside of Jordan. It’s almost as though Palestinians were transforming into Jews, who were specifically denied Jordanian citizenship in Article 3 of the 1954 Citizenship Law.

Neither the Palestinian part of her persona, nor her women’s warrior mantle could stir Sarsour to denounce the actions of the Jordanians. A country where only the wealthy can get citizenship while poor women worry over the fate and future of their own children.


Linda Sarsour

When observing Omar, Tlaib and Sarsour, one can only sigh that “there’s nothing creepier than Muslim antisemitism dressed up as progressivism.


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Examining Ilhan Omar’s Point About Muslim Antisemitism

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Rep. Ilhan Omar and The 2001 Durban Racism Conference

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Taking it Straight to the People: Obama and Kushner

Political leaders normally engage with other political leaders. A president of one country would normally have meetings and calls with a person of the same rank from another country. On rare occasions, a politician would bypass elected officials and talk and negotiate with another county’s citizens, or maybe even third parties on behalf of those citizens.

Here is a review of two American politicians going to the Middle East on the same issue: U.S. President Barack Obama talking directly to Israelis, and U.S. Middle East Envoy Jared Kushner engaging with Arab countries on behalf of Palestinian Arabs.

Obama Bypasses the Knesset in Favor of Israelis

In March 2013, Israel invited U.S. President Barack Obama to visit Israel and speak to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. Both of the two previous US presidents, Bill Clinton (1994) and George W Bush (2008) addressed the Knesset while they were in office, yet Obama declined the invitation. The administration explained that Obama had a speech for “the Israeli public and that really was our priority.” The White House arranged to have an audience of students from Israeli universities, except he barred students from schools located on the West Bank of the Jordan, to hear his remarks.


Obama speaking to Israelis, March 2013

Obama spoke to this group of young Israelis as if the Knesset wasn’t a democratically-elected represented government of the people. He sought an audience which he hoped would be more receptive to his feeble efforts to denuclearize Iran and remove a sadist killer from the head of Syria. He appealed to the Israelis to give peace a chance with the Palestinians – directly. “Peace will have to be made among peoples, not just governments.

His remarks about the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority spoke volumes. He gave the Israeli leader a single mention, “I’ve reaffirmed the bonds between our countries with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres,” while saying nothing about Netanyahu’s efforts to establish peace and prosperity – or really anything about the two Israeli leaders at all, just as formal points of contact.

Conversely, Obama’s comment about the Palestinian leadership made them out to be heroic figures seeking peace: “while I know you have had differences with the Palestinian Authority, I genuinely believe that you do have a true partner in President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.  (Applause.)  I believe that.  And they have a track record to prove it.  Over the last few years, they have built institutions and maintained security on the West Bank in ways that few could have imagined just a few years ago.  So many Palestinians — including young people — have rejected violence as a means of achieving their aspirations.” Wars from Gaza in 2008 and 2012? Obama skipped those. The slaughter of the Fogel family in their beds in 2011? Abbas’ meeting in January 2013 to bring the terrorist group Hamas into the ruling government seemed to not be significant to mention. Or, more likely, a track record which Obama knew to be highly problematic.

Obama called for the Israeli youth to change their leadership to one more willing to make sacrifices for peace rather than for security: “Now, only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have.  But remember that as you make these decisions, you will define not simply the future of your relationship with the Palestinians — you will define the future of Israel as well.

Obama bypassed the Israeli leadership he loathed and whom he felt would not fulfill his vision for a peaceful settlement, and talked to the Israeli public – which had democratically elected that Israeli leadership – in the belief that his speech could influence the Israeli public and elections.

Obama’s efforts were all for naught. Netanyahu won elections in 2013 and 2015. Syria’s Bashar al-Assad still rules in Syria after slaughtering over half a million of his own people. Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure remains completely intact. The Palestinians continued to intensify their wars against Israel in 2014 and 2015, while Mahmoud Abbas gave speeches about Jews and Zionists which would have make Adolf Hitler blush.

Obama tried something new – and insulting to the Israeli government – and nothing changed, even now, many years later.

Trump Administration Bypasses Palestinian Authority
for the Arab Street

In June 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump would also try a new approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

With the political portion of his self-declared “deal of the century” still under wraps due to the pending Israeli elections, Trump’s point people for Middle East Peace assembled a conference in Bahrain to unveil the economic portion of his plan.

The Palestinians would not show.

Angered by various Trump moves over the first two years of his term as president including recognizing the fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and moving the U.S. embassy to the city, as well as cutting aid to the broken United Nations agency which employees 30,000 Palestinians to hand out aid to the descendants of people who lived in Israel, the Palestinian Authority stayed away and urged others to boycott the event.

No matter. The team of Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt had a different audience in mind, just as Obama did six years earlier: the Palestinian people themselves.


Jared Kushner at Bahrain Conference, June 2019

The leadership of the Palestinians had long robbed the Palestinian people of a working economy, aid dollars and dignity. As detailed in the fascinating book Harpoon by Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Palestinian leadership is rife with corruption. Yasser Arafat stole billions of dollars in aid meant for Palestinian Arabs and handed it to loyalists who kept him in power and funded terrorism at his command. The talent was passed to his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, who placates his henchmen with riches and supplies his terrorist families with money for life in a pay-to-slay program.

As described in The Parameters of Palestinian Dignity, the Obama administration and the United Nations believed that Palestinian dignity was predicated on undermining Israeli dignity in a zero sum game. Other people, like Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid believe that Palestinian dignity comes from economic self sufficiency. The Trump administration seems to agree.

The newly unveiled U.S. economic program would pump $50 billion into the Palestinian economy over 10 years and generate 1 million jobs. The monies would come mostly from the region, including $15 billion in grants, $25 billion in low interest loans and $11 billion of private capital. It would be administered by new multi-country agencies, including parties from neighboring Lebanon, Syria and Egypt which house many stateless Arabs from Palestine (SAPs). The power of the purse would no longer rest in the corrupt biased U.N. agency nor in the Palestinian Authority.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinian Authority rejected it completely. No money, no power.


Both the Obama and Trump administrations took new approaches towards peace in the Middle East, with each bypassing elected leadership to engage with the people who would ultimately realize peace. Obama talked directly to the Israeli people and urged them to ignore Palestinian terror, Muslim pathological killers in their neighborhood and their elected leadership to imagine peace. Trump’s approach was both more obtuse and direct: he sent his envoys to meet with the leaders of other nations and revealed a plan to direct billions of dollars in investment into the lives of the Palestinian Arabs. Obama’s prose was celebrated even though it contained no details and ultimately delivered exactly that – nothing. Trump’s plan has been derided by the liberal media and politicians who await the core political portion of the “deal of the century.”

Obama used his oratory skills to woo the Israeli public to replace their leadership and to imagine a peaceful coexistence. Trump put forward an economic plan to the Arab region to effectuate an enduring peace by bypassing Palestinian leaders.

Obama’s efforts brought nothing to the region but more wars and millions of refugees. Time will tell what Trump’s plan will yield.


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Ilhan Omar and AOC Try To Reclaim The Word ‘Holocaust’

A satire.

Inspired by the ground-breaking work of Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degeocello (Sasha Baron Cohen in ‘Who is America’), Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are advancing a bill to reclaim the word ‘Holocaust,’ much as their liberal champion is fighting to reclaim the word ‘pedophile.’

“I am a pedophile in that I love children. And I reclaim that word because it has been stolen by the abusers. I love children and I am a proud pedophile.”

Dr. Nira Cain-N’Degecello in Season 1 Episode 4

AOC had channeled her scorn against the Trump Administration and said that the U.S. was making ‘concentration camps’ for Latin immigrants in the United States and that Jews should be the most sensitive to the crimes of the Republican administration which is waging a Holocaust against Hispanic children. Newsweek came to AOC’s defense by listing various academics who pointed out how concentration camps existed long before World War II.

Ilhan Omar said she was disgusted by alt-right Jews attacking her fellow liberal colleague. She held up a Merriam-Webster Dictionary and said “the word ‘Holocaust‘ is defined as ‘a thorough destruction involving extensive loss of life especially through fire.’ No ‘Jew’ in the definition. It is a word that existed long before Zionis… excuse me, Jews, died in World War II. We cannot continue to allow Zioni.. excuse me, Jews to steal our language from us, or buy it off with a bunch of Benjamins.

AOC said Republicans were missing the critical point of her comment: “Hispanics in this country are being forced into death marches to get here and are suffering pogroms under the direct orders of this Republican Nazi government, just as the Jews suffered under Germany’s government. All my Jewish coastal liberal latte-drinking out-of-touch politically-correct constituents agree with me.” She then added, “and you know I’m part Jewish too.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) on Twitter

Omar was more direct. “Holocaust imagery has been stolen by Zionist abusers. They don’t own all of the world’s suffering and they cannot steal everything they want. I am a black woman Muslim refugee. I have suffered a thousand times more than the millionaire Jewish bankers who attack me. I stand with AOC and we will reclaim all of these words on behalf of the downtrodden including: ‘Holocaust,’ ‘concentration camps,’ ‘death march,’ ‘pogrom,’ ‘crematoria’, and anything else we accidentally say in the future and need to defend rather than admit stupidity and guilt.

David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK even chimed in to defend AOC: “The Nazis didn’t create the swastika; it was around for a thousand years. But the German government bans its use today as a cowardly retreat to Jews because they’re sensitive about some Jews dying a generation ago. I hope that AOC starts to wear one to congress to shut them [the Jews] up.”

Palestinian Authority President-for-Life Mahmoud Abbas cheered the initiative. “It’s well passed time for the Democrats to take back words which Jews stole for themselves years ago. They colonized language like they do everything else. I’ve been using the termsgenocide‘ and ‘ethnic cleansing‘ for years and the United Nations never complained. Matter of fact, they cheered. J Street even complemented me.

Brant Rosen, an alt-left anti-Zionist on the board of Jewish Voice for Peace penned his agreement with both Omar and AOC: “You know, even the word ‘Jude‘ was around for a long time. It was really the Beatles who made the word famous, even though right-wing and Orthodox-looking Jews would have you believe otherwise.

Linda Sarsour, a founder of the ‘Woman’s March’ said the whole thing stinks. “This a blood libel if there ever was one. The Judenrat are trying to kill Hispanic babies while pointing fingers at AOC as a distraction. I suggest doing a DNA test on all babkas and challahs in Jewish neighborhoods along the border.”

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) added “the final solution to this Fuhrer – er, furor – is to stop the blitzkrieg against our human rights leaders like AOC and recognize that it’s the Republicans that are Nazis. I swear on my grandmother’s original edition of Mein Kampf.”

“It’s this whole evil hypnosis thing all over again,” Omar sighed. “I say, ‘Never Again.’


Related First.One.Through articles:

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The Cave of the Jewish Matriarch and Arab Cultural Appropriation

The Left Wing’s Accelerating Assault on the Holocaust

The Ultimate Chutzpah: A New Form of Holocaust Denial

Seeing the Holocaust Through Nakba Eyes

Ilhan Omar Isn’t Debating Israeli Policy, She is Attacking Americans

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

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Juneteenth and the Deceptive Hustle

June 19, 1865 was the day that slavery came to an end in Texas and generally marks the end of the abominable practice in the Confederate States. While President Lincoln may have emancipated the slaves on January 1, 1863, a bloody civil war would have to be fought for another two and a half years for black people to gain their freedom.

The black slaves had their lives, property, work product and dignity stolen from them, and their descendants came to the U.S. Congress on June 19, 2019 to ask for reparations from the United States. It is a claim that is appropriate and just. History is clear about the crime and consideration must be given.

Actor Danny Glover, right, and author Ta-Nehisi Coates, left, testify about reparation for the descendants of slaves during a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Various speakers on different platforms argued that the period of injustice continued well past 1865, as laws remained which kept black people from obtaining citizenship, the right to vote, to receive a proper education and ability to work freely, and as such, the reparations must cover this time frame as well. There is some truth to these arguments although not as clear cut as the situation regarding slavery. Should every child who ever received a bad education (or their descendants) be allowed to sue the government? Are all descendants of women who also didn’t have the right to vote entitled to compensation?

The recitations of wrongdoings kept coming, and the arguments became even more tenuous.

Talking heads with lofty titles argued that slavery exists today in the form of the mass incarceration and home foreclosures among black people, as well as the income gap and wealth gap between black people and white people. They argue that these modern day forms of slavery and injustice which must also be addressed through similar mechanisms of reparations.

This is a dangerous and slippery slope of blending real and perceived rights.

Prison reform is an important issue worth reviewing. Whether the government should forgive and wipe clean the arrest records for minor crimes must be discussed, and there is seemingly no question that such matter has impacted the black community disproportionately. But the laws were made for all Americans to benefit all Americans. There was no malice targeting the entire black community.

Home foreclosures was a matter of individuals, of all backgrounds, not paying their mortgages to financial institutions. These were transactions between homeowners and banks, not governmental laws prejudicing a segment of society. U.S. taxpayers should not provide any compensation to any single segment of the population because of personal financial matters. To fold this unfortunate situation into the discussion of slavery is absurd.

Lastly, the inequality of outcomes regarding income and wealth are byproducts of thousands of variables, including education, location, vocation and marital status. An equality of outcome is not a right, regardless of how many times the alt-left demands. If there are issues regarding the causes of income or wealth inequality based on race, then those are the only items which should be reviewed, and such consideration in no way means that there must be cash compensation offered to the black community. For example, imagine the black community sues the U.S. government in the future because of the disproportionate number of abortions which black women have, thereby reducing the black population and proportionate power. That’s an outcome which results from the choices made by black people, not one mandated by the government.

Reparations for the U.S. government’s crime of slavery is a worthwhile point to consider but it has become entangled in the current commentary about income and wealth inequality. It is a deceptive hustle to broaden the discussion and fatten the greenback pie, but ultimately undermines the legitimacy of the Juneteenth discussions.


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The Left Wing’s Accelerating Assault on the Holocaust

The left wing’s assault on the Holocaust continues to gather momentum.

Over the past several years, the left wing media and progressive politicians sought to portray the Jewish State of Israel as committing atrocities against Arabs as similar to the Nazis, with claims of “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide.” The fact that the number of Arabs in Israel has grown faster than the number of Arabs in any other country in the region doesn’t seem to bother their pathology. Accusing Jews of becoming the genocidal monsters that slaughtered their parents and cousins was seemingly a painful insult worth making if it could help the stateless Arabs.

Since the Arab Spring and the civil war in Syria met with the push back in the U.S. and Europe against the enormous immigration coming from Muslim countries, the media went after the Trump administration. It claimed that a Syrian girl is the Anne Frank of today, and that Trump was acting like then President Franklin Roosevelt who turned away boats of refugees fleeing for their lives.

Now, left wing politicians and the media are accusing Trump of not just being cold-hearted like FDR, but being a mass murderer like Hitler, while today’s Latin immigrants and black people are the new persecuted Jews.

On June 18, 2019, the new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that “the United States is running concentration camps on its southern border.” She demanded of her viewers on Twitter that “‘Never Again’ means something,” a reference to the widely used expression that the evils of antisemitism of the Holocaust must never be allowed to reoccur. AOC made clear that she views President Trump like Adolf Hitler and that Hispanic immigrants are the new Jews.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter

Seemingly not wanting to be outdone by a fellow alt-leftist, CNN anchor Don Lemon specifically connected President Trump to the Fuhrer. “Think about Hitler. Think about any of those people…” Fellow anchor Chris Cuomo pushed back on the comparison as being highly inappropriate but Lemon would hear none of it and continued “Listen, for people like me, how this the president [Trump] feels about the Central Park Five, that could be a life or death issue for people like me [black people]. He took a big part of their life away… and demonizing immigrants and talking about ‘sh**hole countries’ and saying that ‘there were very fine people on both sides.’ For people of color in this country, it is a life or death issue…

For the alt-left, Holocaust denial has taken on a new noxious formula: portray anyone to the right of you as an evil Nazi and depict any minority as innocent slaughtered Jews. Minimize the uniqueness of the annihilation of Jews in the Holocaust and attempt to demonstrate that extremist progressives are the true champions of minority victims.

There is indeed evil in the world. Sometimes evil comes from those who distort what evil really is.


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Considering Mohammed Morsi and Hamas: The Muslim Brotherhood in Power

Mohammed Morsi, the once democratically-elected ruler of Egypt, died on June 17, 2019 while in court. His death is a useful time to consider the difference between most Arab Muslim countries dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood and that of the Palestinians.

Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood was developed in Egypt in the early 20th century, not long after the British and French Mandates took control of most of the Middle East. It espoused the adopting of Islamic sharia law in all aspects of society and the unification of Muslim lands to thwart western “imperialism.”

The Brotherhood grew to a major force and was involved in a number of violent acts including assassinations before it was banned by Gamel Abdel Nasser. His successors Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak were similarly cautious about them, but it was the “Arab Spring” in 2011 that truly afforded the group to chance to come out from the shadows and run aggressively in the country’s election in 2012. It won 52% of the vote and was declared the winner on June 18, 2012, with the party’s leader Mohamed Morsi sworn in as president on June 30.

Morsi’s tenure would last just a year as concern about how his reforms would play out worried non-Muslims and liberals. The military took over and arrested Morsi and hundreds of other members of the Brotherhood. Many were sentenced to death, with several – like Morsi – spending the rest of their lives in courts pleading for their lives.

Palestinian Arabs and Hamas

The Muslim Brotherhood’s branch in Israel and Gaza was launched in 1987 together with the first Intifada, and called Hamas. Hamas published its charter in 1988, calling for the death of Jews around the world and the complete destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. It was the most antisemitic ruling document of any party ever written – including from Nazi Germany.

Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) viewed Hamas as a political rival to his own Fatah party. He did not ban it as much as tried to use and abuse it, much the way political enemies do.

When the Palestinians created the Palestinian Authority and held elections for president and parliament in 2005 and 2006, respectively, Hamas participated with the support of the U.S.’s Bush administration. Hamas won 58% of the parliamentary seats. In its rivalry with Fatah, it fought a mini-war in 2007 to seize control of the Gaza Strip, which it continues to hold to this day.

Saudi Arabia and other Muslim States

The Muslim Brotherhood denounced the Saudi monarchy for both allowing U.S. soldiers on “Muslim land” during Operation Desert Storm, and the ongoing close relationship that the monarchy maintains with the west. The government designated the group as a terrorist organization in 2014, as a long developing post-9/11 U.S. initiative on the “War on Terror.”

Syria banned the Brotherhood and considered membership in the group a capital offense as far back as 1980. The UAE labeled the group a terrorist organization in 2014, around the same time as Saudi Arabia.

The principal backers of the Muslim Brotherhood are Qatar and Turkey. Its messages can be found throughout the Qatar-owned media outlet, Al Jazeera. Turkey’s strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved his country much further towards sharia over his tenure. Both Turkey and Qatar are significant backers of Hamas.


The Muslim Brotherhood has some deep support in the Muslim Middle East, with calls for institutionalization of sharia law and a caliphate, quite similar to the goals of the Islamic State/ ISIS. The MB has been banned and prosecuted by the leaders of most of the Muslim countries as a threat to their ruling status, and the leaders use their military and court system to suppress the group.

The Palestinian Authority does not have a strong leader. Mahmoud Abbas has no military and barely a court system. Abbas cannot bring himself to strike a compromise joint government, and he risks losing foreign funding if the Palestinian government includes a terrorist organization. His attempts to woo the Palestinian Arabs to Fatah have been weak, as he has not brought the economy and self-determination which many had hoped for.

Morsi’s life and death is a window into the Muslim Middle East: people who desire a caliphate and to be ruled by sharia law, in competition with leaders who want to maintain their own power as well as access to money and respect from the western world. As long as that non-Muslim world continues to demand Middle East oil and shipping through the Suez Canal, the tension will continue. When it stops caring, the caliphate of the indigent will be here.


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When It Becomes

An allegory.

 

Seth’s ninth birthday seemed like a welcome time for skipping school and a take-your-son-to-work day. As his father, the architect, did most of his work from home, his mother was quite excited to bring Seth to see her latest projects.

The housing development was designed to accommodate 73 homes. With only about 20 homes completed, the sunny day was a great chance to show the nine-year old the various stages of home building.

Seth knew that his mother was a home builder but had never really understood what was involved in her day-to-day activity. He was very excited to find out.

They parked at the entrance of the complex and got out of the car to take in the lesson on foot. Seth was surprised that they began at an open field.

“There’s nothing here,” Seth said, “it’s just a bunch of grass.”

“Yes,” his mother replied, “this is how things are before we break ground. I wanted you to get a sense of how a house is built by taking you through the various stages of home building. Here we have a flat field which will one day have a four-bedroom house.”

They walked up the road to what looked like a large hole in the ground. Inside the pit were rectangular gray walls with various notches on top. Seth was confused. “What’s this?”

His Mom replied, “that’s the foundation to a house. It’s what holds up the rest of the house and keeps it from sinking into the ground. We start by digging a hole and then pouring concrete which is very strong that can hold up the walls of the house. These gray rectangles will become the rooms of the basement.”

“I can’t really see it,” Seth mumbled. “It just looks like a jumbled maze.”

His Mom laughed. “I know, it’ll look more obvious to you as we get further along.”

The next stop had a few people working. They wore helmets and were standing among lots of wooden beams. Measuring tape and tools were everywhere.

“What’s happening now?” Seth asked.

“They’re putting up the walls. Those are wooden frames of the outside and inside walls of the house.”

The child was frustrated. “I still don’t see it. It looks like a jumble of wood. There are no walls! I can see though everything!”

The mother was upset. Her goal was to make this interesting and exciting, not frustrating. She decided to move onto a more complete project. They took a diagonal cut through some sites to a large building.

Seth became excited. “Now I see it! There’s the roof and walls and windows! That’s where the door goes!”

“That’s right! You can start to make out the definite outlines of the house at this point. Grab this helmet and let’s go inside!”

The two of them walked up some boards and into the house. “Be very careful and try not to touch anything,” she warned. “It’s an active construction site so there’s a lot of workers with nail guns which are dangerous. Stay close to me.”

Seth was excited. It finally felt like he was seeing a house.

Seth noted that the tone of his mother changed. She suddenly went from being his Mom to a working professional. “This is going to be the entrance hallway. Over there is the living room. Come with me and we’ll look at the kitchen,” she said.

The large space looked much like the other large spaces. There was saw dust everywhere just like the first rooms. His mother started going into details about where the refrigerator and oven were going to be, the sink and the island. She waved her hand at the open walls which was going to have the kitchen table. Suddenly, it started to come together in Seth’s mind. “I get it. I can imagine the table, but it’s hard to imagine all of the appliances. I still just see open walls.”

“Come to the next house which already has the plumbing and electrical work installed. We will be closing the walls this week. A building inspector is going to be there tomorrow.”

The house next door was still under construction but clean. There were wires and pipes in many of the walls. “These are the guts of the house. These thin wires are for electricity and broadband. These pipes are for hot and cold water. And these big tubes are the air conditioning.”

Seth nodded. “So that’s why the walls aren’t solid? So you can put in all of the pipes and electricity?”

She smiled, “that’s certainly a big part of it. It also would be much more expensive to make all of the walls solid.”

They went outside and down the street to a home that looked totally finished. The grass wasn’t in, but the house itself looked safe.

They went inside. Aside from the lack of furniture, everything looked finished. “Didn’t anybody buy this house? Why is it empty?” Seth asked.

“The owner’s want everything completed before they move in. They’re adding some chandeliers, changing the paint in some rooms, adding window treatments. A bunch of little items before they move in the furniture.”

Seth paused for a second. “So Mom, when is a house officially a house? Is it once a person moves in?”

“That’s an excellent question. I would say a house becomes a home when a family moves in. That’s when there’s a personal connection to the building, when people make memories. But a house becomes a house much earlier.”

“Like when a foundation is put in?” Seth asked.

“No, that’s too early. That’s the building blocks for a house, but not yet a house itself. I would say it’s when the building gets the ‘C of O,’ the certificate of occupancy.”

Seth was now confused. He didn’t see any ‘C of O’ on the tour. “What’s that?”

“Do you remember how I said that a building inspector was going to come look at the wiring of the house before we closed the walls? The city sends a person to look at the house during various stages of the construction to make sure that everything is safe and up to the latest safety codes and regulations. When they’re satisfied that everything is done and the house is ready to be occupied, they issue a Certificate of Occupancy. Typically, no one moves into a house for many more weeks as the house gets the finishing touches, but I would say the C of O probably marks the house as officially being a house.”

“So even though the government doesn’t own the house, it gets to decide on whether it really is a house?”

“No one ever suggested that the government owns the house and gets to decide on the colors of the draperies or anything like that. But the government does get the sign-off on when the building is ready.”

“And how long does that typically take?” asked Seth.

“There’s no set formula, but for this project, from the time we break ground to getting a C of O takes about 24 weeks. The last weeks before people move in are installing lighting fixtures, back-splashes and other incidentals that invariably take a bunch of time. It’s about 9 months from the start until someone moves in.”

“That’s almost like a baby,” noted Seth.

“Yes, it’s very much like the development of a baby. It takes about 24 weeks from conception to become a viable person, and a total of nine months for the baby to be born and for a family to begin to build a lifetime of memories together.”


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#NeverGillibrand #NeverSanders #NeverHarris #NeverDeBlasio

US elections have become affairs seemingly as much about who people will NOT vote for as much as who they actually do endorse.

In that spirit, with a crowded field of Democrats vying to become the next US president, let’s toss out the clearly unacceptable candidates, those who will tear this country apart – the extremists.

Both Republicans and Democrats have them, and the current nature of the primary season is unfortunately to cater to the radical base of the party. But it is a recipe for disaster and a continuation of the fracturing the great United States.

Three of the Democratic candidates for president are among the most extremist liberal fringe of the senate, as compiled by GovTracks, an independent monitoring group which tracks the voting records of all members of Congress.

Look at the five most extreme liberal voters in the US Senate for 2018:

Rank Score Senator

#95 0.09 Sen. Edward “Ed” Markey [D-MA]
#96 0.05 Sen. Kamala Harris [D-CA]
#97 0.03 Sen. Jeff Merkley [D-OR]
#98 0.01 Sen. Bernard “Bernie” Sanders [I-VT]
#99 0.00 Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Three of the most extremist members of the US Senate are running for president. Voting for such people to the highest office is akin to trying to initiate a civil war in the country between the blue states and the red states, between the rural and the urban, between the religious and the secular.

Similarly, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is a far left-wing fringe politician and should be shunned on the national stage.

When Barack Obama was leaving the political stage, he warned his fellow Democrats not to let themselves be “characterized as coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks.Well they’re not be characterized as such – they are the very epitome of the alt-left.

If Americans actually want to heal the divide, it is time to encourage the moderate voices from both parties to take leadership roles in the national debates, not the lunatic fringe embodied by Gillibrand and Sanders.


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The United Nations is Beyond Criminal Prosecution

It may also be beyond repair.

In May 2019, Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel hired to investigate the matter of whether US President Donald Trump conspired with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election said there was a limit as to what he could do in his investigation, as “a President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.” Democrats went berserk.

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election at the Justice Department in Washington, U.S., May 29, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of various crimes including trading favors with an Israeli news outlet for favorable coverage, and now people claim he is trying to build a new ruling parliamentary coalition with parties which will protect him from indictment. The left-wing parties have gone nuts.

Around the world, leaders of democracies are possibly breaking the law to get into power or stay in power, and are using the system to try to avoid paying any price for their actions.

That’s the game of politics that politicians play: they compete vigorously to get in power, to stay in power, and to remove the other party from being in power. Whether laws are or are not broken, the opposition party goes into high gear to bring the ruler down. While it may sometimes appear that politicians are noble in trying to uphold the law, even a toddler is cynical enough to not lose sight of the fact that the nature of the purported Trump and Netanyahu crimes were getting into and maintaining power at the expense of those very people who are now trying to bring the leaders down. That’s why there are some laws to prevent and limit rulers from being sued in the courts, as they are perpetual political targets for opposition parties and their fans.

But what happens when there are REAL CRIMES such as rape and murder? What if there is NO RECOURSE to hold the party accountable? What if there are NO OPPOSITION parties and all of the power resides in a single person and a dysfunctional committee? That doesn’t happen in democracies.

That’s the disgrace of the United Nations.

The Crimes and Immunity of the United Nations

The crimes of the UN and its agencies are plentiful:

  • From 2004 to 2007, UN peacekeepers from Sri Lanka exploited nine girls in a sex ring
  • For many years up to his assassination in 2008, a teacher for UNRWA in Gaza was a top bomb maker for Islamic Jihad
  • In 2013, the UN finally admitted it was responsible for the deaths of over 8,000 Haitians from a cholera epidemic that UN’s carelessness fostered
  • In 2014, UN peacekeepers from France and Georgia were involved with sexually exploiting children in the Central African Republic
  • In 2014, the terrorist group Hamas used UN schools to store weapons and launch rockets into Israeli civilian neighborhoods
  • In 2016, UN reported 41 cases of abuse involving peacekeepers from Burundi and Gabon

The list goes on and on. Thousands exploited. Thousands dead.

And no one goes to jail. No one pays a fine.

As noted in UN Watch:

“By virtue of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and the UN Charter, the U.S. Federal Court has ruled that “the UN is immune from suit unless it expressly waives its immunity.

Likewise, the Appeal Court in The Hague ruled that “the UN has been granted the most far-reaching immunity, in the sense that the UN cannot be brought before any national court of law in the countries that are a party to the Convention.”

Regarding the cholera epidemic in Haiti, former Secretary General of the UN Ban Ki Moon expressed sympathy for the injured, but refused to pay compensation to the victims. You see, the UN is above the law. It’s above everything.

In September 2018, then US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley introduced a resolution at the Security Council to finally hold the bad actors accountable. The resolution went nowhere because China and Russia killed it. Undeterred, the U.S. took some unilateral actions, such as cutting funding for various UN agencies which have failed to reform.

So the politicians and their media partners came out swinging again.

The left-wing journal The Nation, attacked Haley a few weeks later after she submitted her resignation with an article titled “Nikki Haley Was Never The Adult In The Room.” Another left wing paper, The Washington Post wrote a piece “Nikki Haley Somehow Avoided Public Humiliation and Legal Jeopardy.” Even though there was no accusation of Haley committing a crime nor positioning to gain power, the political game was being played by left-wing media with a wink from left-wing politicians.

The Nation couldn’t spare so much ink about the appalling behavior of the United Nations.


A report from the Associated Press claimed that over 2,000 people were raped and sexually exploited by UN peacekeepers, principally from Bangladesh, Brazil, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uruguay and Sri Lanka. One of the rape victims saidas far as the UN goes, they came here to protect us, but all they’ve brought is destruction.” Adding to the injury, the evil perpetrators have gone unpunished.

In democracies, there are some limits to the charges which can be leveled against a leader accused of misdemeanors, particularly as they relate to the power game of politics, but ideally there are no protections if the leader committed high crimes like rape and murder. But the United Nations is no democracy and the majority of its constituents are not democracies. It smugly claims to solve “issues confronting humanity” while it commits horrific abuses around the world.

It is well past time to hold this body accountable or to defang it completely.


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The Real Offensive Question of the US Census: Dominican or Cuban?

There is quite a bit of fuss about a particular question in the 2020 census.

Many Democrats are contending that a question asking about the citizenship status of people is an attempt to under-count Hispanics who are often not citizens and will be nervous to check off the “not a U.S. citizen” box in the form in fear of being deported. Many of these non-citizens live in urban areas which vote Democratic, and the Democratic politicians are looking to boost their weight in Congress and budgetary allocations so want to ensure as many people fill out the census forms in Democratic strongholds as possible. Anything which might hurt their personal politics is repulsive.

But the census forms are filled out anonymously. The forms specifically state that the information collected is private and confidential. Are the Democrats worried that the census results will show that the number of people in a census block is much lower than the number of voters, proving severe voting irregularities with many people voting in elections who are non-citizens? That there is a perfect correlation between high levels of non-citizens and newly minted “sanctuary cities”?

According to the US Census Bureau, the citizenship question has been asked for many years, “in 1820, 1830, 1870 and 1890 to present.” Why the sudden hullabaloo?

If people were really concerned about the Hispanic population and not their own politics, why not challenge the government asking about the origin of Hispanics? Why does it matter if someone came to the United States from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba or El Salvador? Will the government use a different dialect of Spanish in some forms? Will it change the meal plans at schools?

The census form has a distinct question about race, not related to the Hispanic question. The race question asks Asians to specify if they are Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese and other. That is understandable as each speaks different languages. Further, the government states that it asks questions about race to “evaluate government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all racial groups and to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination laws.” Seems fair enough.

But why does the form separate Hispanics into a different category outside of race? The Census Bureau clarifies:

“Though many respondents expect to see a Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish category on the race question, this question is asked separately because people of
Hispanic origin may be of any race(s) in accordance with the 1997 Office of Management and Budget standards on race and ethnicity.”

Are only Hispanics of mixed race? In the race question, respondents are allowed to check off more than one box (say, White and Black), but not so in the Hispanic question. That seems bizarre. A person cannot be both Cuban and Puerto Rican?

When the FBI reports on hate crimes – a pretty good indicator of whether there is discrimination in society – it doesn’t break down the details of “anti-Hispanic or Latino” into Cuban or Dominican, so why is there a need for so much granular detail in the census? In 2017, the number of hate crimes against Jews was more than against Hispanics, Arabs, Asians, Native Americans and Pacific-Islanders COMBINED. If the US government is really concerned about discrimination, why doesn’t the census ask questions about religion?

It is far more likely that the government is extracting details of the country of origin in the census as a matter of mapping international relations. More Mexicans in the US may mean reconsidering trade policy with Mexico, or changing the visa and immigration policy. If the US governments finds a spike in Hondurans in the United States, it might decide to either cap or relax immigration policy with Honduras, and similarly with each of the Latin American countries where the majority of US immigrants are coming from.

That’s a real concern for the Hispanic community which no one discusses.

If Democrats really cared about the Hispanic community and not about their own personal politics, it would attempt to abolish the census question which might limit immigration from Latin America, not the power of Democratic kingpins.


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