John McCain 2008 / 2018

On November 4, 2008, a group of friends got together in a home in New York to watch the US presidential elections. The mood was gleeful. Mostly. The living room was room full of boisterous Obama supporters surrounding the TV. And me. I was the only one there who voted for John McCain. The ribbing and jokes came at me well before the first results came in.

I didn’t care.

I didn’t cast a vote simply to be part of the winning side. John McCain got it and Barack Obama didn’t have a clue. The stakes were high and only one person running had a clear understanding of the world, and it was John McCain.

Senator John McCain during 2008 run for President

The Atlantic published an article in May 2008 called “McCain on Israel, Iran and the Holocaust.” It outlined clear distinctions between McCain who called “Islamic extremism” and the fanatical regime in Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons as the principle threats to global peace and stability, in sharp contrast to an Obama approach of focusing on building bridges to the Islamic world and sitting face-to-face with the leaders of Iran. It showed a McCain standing steadfastly behind Israel and Zionism and a Obama which viewed the Israel-Arab conflict through the prism of a “constant sore.”

I feared an Obama presidency on the global stage, and over the following eight years, my fears were realized.

Obama’s eight years in office left a government in Iran still hell-bent on destroying Israel with a totally legal pathway to nuclear weapons to threaten the entire western world. He left Israel to burn at the United Nations Security Council. He wouldn’t even mention the words “Islamic extremism.” Internalize that: Obama gave a radical state sponsor of terrorism a legal course to nuclear weapons while also making it illegal for Jews to live in the eastern part of their homeland.

Domestically, Obama’s attacks on “the 1%,” on “fat-cat” investment bankers and others created a schism in America. He proudly said that he was not a president of all Americans, just a segment. His efforts created an opening that fellow Democrats would pile into, including Nancy Pelosi who ridiculed religious people, and Hillary Clinton who was very proud to make enemies of half of America.

By 2016, the country was so divided that friends who had gathered together to watch every presidential election were too angry and divided to even sit in a room to watch the results.

I voted for the losing side in 2008. And in 2012. But I still don’t care.

John McCain once said “No just cause is futile, even if it’s lost, if it helps make the future better than the past.

The future of 2008 is now the past in 2018, and the world is much worse off for not electing John McCain a decade ago. Perhaps if we remember his lifetime of courageous efforts and actions to put country ahead of party and politics, and friends before foes, we can still make the future a more peaceful and united place.

Related First.One.Through articles:

The Gap between Fairness and Safety: WMDs in Iraq and Iran

Naked Democracy

The Right Stuff, Then and Now

The Trump Pinata Preserving the False Obama Messiah

Politicians React to Vile and Vulgar Palestinian Hatred

Obama’s “Values” Red Herring

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There are Standards for Unity

The Jewish holiday of Sukkot (Tabernacles) is one that emphasizes unity more than any other Jewish holiday.

In addition to the commandment to stay in huts (sukkahs) over the holiday, Jews are commanded to gather four species and hold them together in commemorating the holiday. The four species are the lulav, the aravot, the hadasim and the etrog. The four different natural items are said to represent four different types of people. Just as the four species have different characteristics – smell & taste / no smell & taste / smell and no taste / no smell & no taste – similarly these items represent people with a different mix of good deeds and Torah learning. Just as it is necessary to hold all four of these species together to execute the biblical command, so it is with welcoming all kinds of people into our communal tent.

As such, the holiday of Sukkot is a demonstration of unity.

Many progressive rabbis emphasize the nature of unity during the holiday but overlook a critical component of the laws surrounding the lulav: minimum standards.

Each of the four species cannot be contaminated in any way. For example, the tip of the etrog must be intact; the hadasim cannot be dried out. If any one of the four species is damaged, the mitzvah cannot be performed.

So too there are limits to unity.

In theory, all types of people should be allowed in the communal tent. However, there are thresholds at which actions or statements render people unfit and unwelcome into the collective.

Hillary Clinton made a point of describing racists and misogynists as “deplorable,” during her presidential campaign. While she was right in stating that there are some people that are deplorable, she chose that label for 25% of the US population. That is and was an absurd libel.

Liberals have held on to Clinton’s claim post the election of Donald Trump. They continue to state that one in four Americans is a pariah. A disgrace. Unfit to wield a vote.

As such, liberals concluded that the 2016 election was flawed. Like a lulav with dried out hadasim, the process itself was compromised. They held placards that “He’s not my president,” and blamed the loss on a variety of issues like Russian meddling and late breaking revelations about her emails.

But at the core, it was really about their perception of the American deplorables.

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Similarly, for many pro-Israel Americans, there is a divide over acceptable approaches to Israel. Some left-wing extremist groups like Jewish Voice for Peace, the New Israel Fund and J Street are viewed as beyond the pale for many in the pro-Israel community due to the groups’ approaches of punishing Israel economically and politically. They are the Jewish “deplorables.”

Does one in four pro-Israel Americans really support such left-wing extremist groups? Unlikely. Just as the number of racists in America is much lower than 25%.

America and the pro-Israel community are strong enough to manage a handful of “deplorables.” But it is incumbent on all of us to make sure that our society does not reach a tipping point where one in four people have such hateful views.

The fabric of decency and unity has limits.

Related First.One.Through articles:

A Disservice to Jewish Community

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

Selective Speech

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

A Deplorable Definition

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

On December 16, 2016, Preisdent Barack Obama held his last press conference as president.  In his remarks, he discussed why the Democrats lost the election.  He said that “People feel as if they’re not being heard. Democrats are characterized as coastal liberal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch folks.”


President Barack Obama at his final press conference

Some liberals were upset by Obama’s comment. They noted that Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes, so they claim that the Democrats’ message was indeed heard and appreciated by the majority of Americans.

However, that margin of victory was indeed found in the coastal liberal areas. Look at election results in just eight counties in California:

County  Clinton   Trump   Margin 
Alameda        486,351        91,189        395,162
Contra Costa        286,658      105,819        180,839
Los Angeles     1,893,770      620,285     1,273,485
Sacramento        273,768      163,024        110,744
San Diego        567,243      386,807        180,436
San Francisco        312,443        34,493        277,950
San Mateo        219,580        53,731        165,849
Santa Clara        483,472      137,452        346,020
 TOTAL         2,930,485

Hillary Clinton’s entire margin of victory in the popular vote was eclipsed in just these eight coastal latte-sipping politically-correct out-of-touch counties.  Other California liberal counties like Marin, Sonoma and Orange counties added hundreds of thousands of incremental votes for Clinton.

Put another way, Republican President-elect Donald Trump won the popular vote as well as the electoral college outside of the California coastal counties.

What kind of liberal laws are found in these counties that are not typical of the rest of America?

  • Sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants
  • First in transgender laws in bathrooms and locker rooms
  • Most liberal abortion laws in the country
  • First cities to increase minimum wage to highest levels in the country
  • Highest income taxes
  • Highest “sin taxes” for alcohol and tobacco
  • Toughest gun laws
  • Right to Die laws
  • Equal pay laws making it easier for women to sue bosses
  • Voting law that automatically registers people who get licenses to vote
  • Cities make it illegal for grocers to provide plastic bags
  • Legalizing marijuana

A liberal neighbor to the north – Portland, Oregon – just passed a law that makes it a crime for a CEO to make too much money relative to his other workers.  Another push by the liberal coast to advance a measure counter to American values.

So when Obama suggests that Democrats “have to be in the [non-liberal] communities,” to retake the White House, he simplified the Clinton and Democrats’ problem. The reality is that the Democrats have to reengage the entire country, not just a couple of isolated “communities,” and consider whether the entire country wants to embrace its left-wing platform.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Money Can’t Buy Clinton Love

If You Want to Take Money out of Politics, Liberal Leaders Suggest Voting for Trump

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

George Soros’ Left Wing Lobbying Dwarfs Goldman Sachs and the NRA

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Money Can’t Buy Clinton Love

The 2016 US presidential race was not only contentious throughout the campaign; it remains so post the results.  The NeverTrump bandwagon continues to insult every move that the President-elect makes, and other Hillary Clinton supporters trumpet her win in the popular vote.

Yes, the diehards still insist that Hillary Clinton is popular.

Perhaps they should honestly consider the results in light of a glaring fact: Clinton spent an estimated $687 million on her campaign, which averages to $10.84 for every vote that she received.  That is a whopping record figure for anyone -let alone someone who is truly “popular.”  Consider that Trump spent only $307 million on his campaign, or just $4.96 per vote received. Clinton had to spend more than double Trump’s spend for each vote.


  • That enormous figure was despite her well known-brand, having spent her lifetime in public service including as Secretary of State, Senator from New York and eight years as First Spouse.
  • That 2.2x Clinton spend was still required, even though she had the backing of the mainstream media, including TV channels, newspapers and magazines.
  • Clinton’s incredible overspend to obtain votes was needed, despite the aggressive lobbying by the incumbent president on her behalf.
  • Hillary’s campaign to shatter that final “glass ceiling,” failed to attract a significant majority of the enormous female voting public.

With so much wind in her sails and running against the most unpopular candidate in history, Hillary was only able to win the popular vote by 2.5%. She was clearly a very damaged candidate.

Note that the Democrats may state publicly that they want to change the influence of money in politics, but they would have been doomed without the money. Liberals may claim they have the majority of America backing their agenda, but all they achieved was carpet-bombing ad campaigns on a confused nation.

Liberals cannot claim to represent the will of the common man, after spending more than double the Republicans in a losing effort. They have only highlighted how much more they have to spend to reach a parity. An election purchased is not smugness earned.

Related First.One.Through articles:

If You Want to Take Money out of Politics, Liberal Leaders Suggest Voting for Trump

Michael Bloomberg Talks to America about Marrying a Prostitute

Liberals’ Biggest Enemies of 2015

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

George Soros’ Left Wing Lobbying Dwarfs Goldman Sachs and the NRA

The Broken Glass Ceiling in Politics Hides the Importance of Education

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Naked Democracy

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation
with the average voter.”

-Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Democracy is a system of government in which the people get to decide for themselves who will be their leaders. In some situations, people make their choices directly, in others, they elect representatives who ultimately choose the leaders. In either case, citizens are often guided to their decisions by professionals, both in the media and in government.

The 2016 contest for president of the United States of America was a whirlwind, and the two primary parties took very different paths to nominate their ultimate candidates. Those paths ended with individuals at polar extremes.

The Democrats worked with party favorites and their political machine to nominate a long-time political insider, Hillary Clinton.  The Republicans let the American citizens override their guidance to nominate a complete political-outsider.

In 2016, naked democracy won.

Clinton, Arm-in-Arm with the Democratic Machine

Hillary Clinton spent her lifetime in politics. She began as the first lady of the State of Arkansas while her husband Bill was governor (1979-1992), and then of the United States (1992-2000). She served as US Senator from New York (2001-2008) and then as US Secretary of State (2009-2013). Her life was politics, and she craved capping that career as the president in 2016.

Clinton had the Democratic Party backing her the entire way.  The head of the Democratic Party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, took many actions to favor Clinton in the primaries. It included having only a few debates and revoking Bernie Sanders’ access to voter data.  Leaked DNC emails made clear that the Democratic party sought to actively undermine Sanders – including by questioning his religious affiliation – in an incident that forced Schultz to resign.

The immoral actions against Bernie Sanders were embarrassing, but only half of the story.  The Sanders’ left-wing fringe campaign could not score many “superdelegates,” (those Democratic party bigwigs that supported the lifetime politician) which undermined a pure democratic process.

The Democratic machinery did not stop pushing Hillary after crushing Sanders. It continued to operate for Clinton in similar ways against Trump.

After Schultz was forced to resign, her position in charge of the DNC was handed to Donna Brazile, who was a commentator with CNN.  It was soon discovered that Brazile leaked questions to Clinton before one of the presidential debates, giving Clinton an unfair advantage. Like Schultz, Brazile was subsequently forced out of the DNC.

Hillary Clinton may claim that she is “not a natural politician” like her husband, but she is the very embodiment of a crony politician, in bed with the political and media establishment.

Trump on the Outside

Donald Trump was not just a political outsider who had never run for any governmental office. He was also spurned by the Republican establishment and conservative media.

Many of the Republican candidates for president and other politicians refused to endorse Trump, and several loudly criticized him:

  • “I also cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump because I do not believe he is a reliable Republican conservative…nor has he displayed the judgment and temperament to serve as Commander in Chief.”  – Sen. Lindsey Graham
  • Trump is not a non-interventionist in foreign affairs; he’s a national populist who will adopt any position that advances his political ends.”  -Rep. Justin Amash (MI)
  • A “serial philanderer” and “pathological liar” for whom “morality doesn’t exist.”  -Sen. Ted Cruz
  • A “con artist.”  – Sen. Marco Rubio
  • “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He’s playing the American public for suckers: He gets a free ride to the White House and all we get is a lousy hat.”  – Former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney

The list goes on, including from various members of the Bush family.

The conservative media treated Trump no better, including Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal and Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard.

  • I can’t support Trump”  – Bill Kristol
  • Donald Trump is anti-conservative, un-American, immoral and dangerous.”  – Bret Stephens

Cover of the Conservative Magazine National Review

Sarah Palin, who had run for Vice President on Sen. John McCain’s ticket in 2008 called out the Republican establishment for turning their backs on Trump:

“Even today, the G.O.P. machine, they’re attacking their own front-runner, and his base of dynamic, diverse, very patriotic supporters.  They’re attacking you! They can’t afford the status quo to go. Otherwise, the gravy train, it stops and they can’t keep slurpin’ from it, not if things change the way that Mr. Trump and all of we know needs to change.”

Trump was not only a political novice.  He ran without the support of the Republican party and was saddled with a conservative media which constantly sought to bring him down.

The Naked Democracy

By any account, such a contest would likely have been unfair. A lifetime politician with the complete backing of the political machine and media, AND the backing of the sitting president AND a family foundation which peddled influence for money, stood opposite a complete novice.  That first-timer was undercut by his party and the media, AND by the Republican Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.

How could the American people possibly ignore all of the money, media, power and politics? The results were clear before the first vote was cast. There was really no reason to vote.  Clinton will be your president. So said the establishment.

But the people did not listen. Not to the media. Not to the government. Not to their political parties.

The people decided for themselves, as they went to the polling stations with their own opinions.

Winston Churchill, the venerated leader of Great Britain during World War II and in the 1950s, had very mixed feelings about democracy.  While he admired the concept of people deciding upon their own futures, he felt that most people were incapable of properly understanding the issues and proposed solutions to arrive at a logical conclusion. Just have a “five-minute conversation with the average voter,” he would say.

So the Democratic party offered Americans a crafted Hollywood Democracy, full of fake sets, scripts and voice-overs to make them feel good as they were ushered to the voting booth with their ballots already filled in. The Republican party would have preferred that approach as well, but let the American people move forward with a Naked Democracy, without any supporting actors.

In 2016, the American people voted directly for the naked novice.  Will they now decide for themselves if they are happy with the results, or will they wait for the media establishment to inform them about their feelings?

Related First.One.Through articles:

Older White Men are the Most Politically Balanced Demographic By Far

Buckets of Deplorable Presidential Endorsements

Eyes Wide Shut

Let’s Make America VOTE Again

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Eyes Wide Shut

Americans and other people around the world have seemingly decided that the best course of action is to loudly scream and vote with eyes wide shut.

Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton decided to endorse her with the pounding, painful knowledge in the dark corners of their brains that she: was the Secretary of State under Obama who watched Americans butchered in Libya, and then casually observed as that country turned into a terrorist haven; watched Iran march toward a legitimate and complete nuclear weapons infrastructure;  saw ISIS emerge in Iraq as she pulled American troops from the country; did nothing as Syria collapsed into civil war killing 500,000 people and watched those refugees flood the world; deleted thousands of emails while under investigation for usage of an improper private server; took millions of dollars into her Clinton Foundation in possible exchange for favors from foreign governments; etc.  No matter. Clinton’s #ImWithHer supporters feared Donald Trump, and craved a female president.

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump voted for him, even though they knew he: was accused of sexually harassing women; threatened to ban all Muslims from the country; spoke unfavorably about parents of an American soldier killed in battle; called for a massive deportation of millions of illegal immigrants; had no political experience; etc.  No matter.  They despised Hillary Clinton and were not going to let the radical left of Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders run the country for another four years.

Days after the election, Clinton supporters took the streets and – despite the obvious facts – declared that Trump was not their president.  They declared that Trump was a homophobe and would threaten the LGBT community, even though he clearly stated his support for them to loud applause at the Republican National Committee. Whether they somehow thought the electoral college should no longer matter, or that they did not want to be associated with such a leader, they closed their eyes to reality. Willingly.

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Protesters hold signs during a protest against the election of President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in downtown Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Americans were not alone in willingly closing their eyes to reality as they cast their ballots.

On October 13, 2016, UNESCO approved a draft resolution which removed any mention of the Jewish names for the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site. Dozens of countries voted in favor of the resolution despite the insult, as they moved to give the Jordanian Waqf full control of the Jewish Temple Mount, and to ultimately hand the Old City of Jerusalem to become a capital of a future state of Palestine. Jewish rights and history, and Israeli security be damned.

In September 2016, The European Union took further steps to remove Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations.  They did this, despite Hamas waging three wars against Israel over the previous eight years, and having the most anti-Semitic charter of any governmental party in the world, which firmly rejects peace negotiations and calls for the annihilation of Israel.

And in the summer of 2014, while Israel fought to stop the rocket fire into its country from Gaza and to dismantle the terrorist tunnel infrastructure of Hamas, Europeans took the streets in loud protests against Israel. Despite the calls of “Hitler was right,” and the many attacks on Jews and Jewish-owned businesses, the New York Times opted to ignore the condemnation of European leaders that the riots were anti-Semitic, and stated that there was just a “tinge” of Jew hatred. Repeatedly.

Why are people and governments willingly revising history? How do people feel comfortable voting against reality? Are they blind to the facts, or do they hope that a new reality would somehow emerge with their votes?

Historically, people have claimed that there are multiple truths, that “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”  Today, that sentiment is magnified by the “progressive” endorsement of “self-identity” in matters such as gender and race.

But seemingly, truth is no longer a debate between traditional views and those with fluid interpretations. Those were old distinctions between the Orthodox (static) and liberals (evolving).

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.

Related First.One.Through articles:

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

The Impossible Liberal Standard

A Deplorable Definition

Pride. Jewish and Gay

The New York Times Wrote About Computer Hackers Charged by the US and Israel. Differently.

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

For over a year now, we have heard from the left-wing media that right-wing extremism is more of a threat than Islamic terrorism. We have watched the uber-left decry Republican capitalism as inherently evil and corrupt. Barack Obama made fun of the right-wing’s primitive infatuation with guns and religion, as he sought laws to limit their accessibility to guns. And Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president, proudly declared that she was proud of making enemies with 41% of Americans, the Republicans, whom she derided as “deporables.”

The Republican nominee, and now President-elect, Donald Trump, said that he would seek to deport foreigners that were in the country illegally, and build a wall along the southern border to minimize people from illegally crossing into the US from Mexico. He announced that he would limit Muslim immigration from countries that spawn terror and are at war with America and its allies. Trump declared that he would have an “America First” policy, putting foreign trading partners on alert.

The right targeted non-Americans, as it sought to protect the security, jobs and economy of Americans. The left targeted Americans, as it viewed its flat, “progressive” global view as inherently fair.

Neither side was nice, and neither can understand how they vilified the “other” in a way that was inappropriate.

Whether from fear and concern, or hope and aspiration, Americans wanted to change. But the change that they sought put others in their crosshairs. Their comments blanketed entire groups unfairly, and raised the distrust and anger of people.

Police form a line to contain protesters outside a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. A group of protesters attacked Trump supporters who were leaving the presidential candidate's rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Police form a line to contain protesters outside a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, June 2, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. A group of protesters attacked Trump supporters who were leaving the presidential candidate’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire on the ground. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The aggressive demonization of the right by the American left-wing produced a backlash in November 2016, as Americans elected a political novice to office. Many liberals have doubled down on their taunts, and taken to the streets in protests and riots. Meanwhile, the Americans that nominated Trump are deaf to the protests, as they hope that the global (and American) forces that made them fearful and defensive, will be combatted at last.

We Americans have a corrosive approach to the “other.” The global warming that environmentalists call out, may come from all of us being too hot-headed. We should consider how to improve our situation AND become more united.

The best pathway to unite people is to treat them with respect. The pathway to treating them with respect, is to stop demonizing them. And the best way to stop demonizing them is to stop the screaming and name-calling.

Rather than insulting someone, try simply disagreeing with their position, rather than their person.  You might also consider saying “hello.”

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Magnifying the Margins, and the Rise of the Independents

Libertarian Validation and Absolution

Crises at the Borders

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Buckets of Deplorable Presidential Endorsements

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate for president has sought to portray her Republican challenger Donald Trump as a racist, and those that support him as racists. Both she and President Barack Obama should consider that those same people endorsed them as well.

David Duke

David Duke is a leader of the racist group the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and is currently running for the Senate from Louisiana. He proclaimed that he would be the “biggest supporter” of Trump from his position in Congress. Clinton used the endorsement as an opportunity to portray half of Trump supporters as “deplorables” who are “irredeemable.” In doing so, she sought to send a message that anyone that votes for Trump is either a “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic,or is happy to associate with such people.

There is no question that David Duke deserves the charge of a deplorable and maintains the views that Clinton ascribed.  However, it was that same David Duke that came out in favor of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal. Should that have been a warning that the Democrats were advancing a deplorable deal?


Iran is listed by the US State Department as an official state sponsor of terror (one of only three countries with such designation).   Iran celebrated the nuclear deal brokered by Obama.  Does its support mean that Obama strengthened global terrorism?


The government of Qatar supports Hamas, a virulently anti-Semitic terrorist group whose goal is the complete destruction of a US ally, Israel.

But the Clinton Foundation was happy to accept a $1 million gift from Qatar in 2011, while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.  The Qatar government bought Bill Clinton’s former Vice President Al Gore’s cable channel, Current TV for $500 million in 2013. That deal netted Gore a personal gain of roughly $17 million.  That channel and social media site, AJ+, continue to spew anti-Israel commentary and incite violence against Israel.

Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a well-earned reputation of falling into Clinton’s “basket of deplorables.”  It is the only country in the world that received a ZERO for women’s empowerment by the World Economic Forum. It kills anyone that converts from Islam (apostasy), a right that is clearly protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The country also condemns people to death for homosexuality – even minors.

This deplorable country gave the Clinton Foundation well over $10 million according to PolitiFact.

Hillary Clinton addressing liberals at a campaign fund raiser
September 9, 2016

The Washington Post listed many other problematic parties supporting Hillary Clinton, including Algeria, Kuwait and Oman. The Arab countries continue to support her candidacy.

Donald Trump did not solicit the endorsement of David Duke, but was nevertheless rebuked for not immediately distancing himself from the man (which Trump did do later). But Clinton hammered continuously on the campaign trail and in advertisements that Trump supporters were racists, misogynists, xenophobes and homophobes. (The last claim is pretty remarkable, as Trump stood before the entire Republican National Committee, and drew loud applause for his pro-gay comments).

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton actively courted the support of some of the most deplorable countries in the world, who are homophobic, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and racist.

Does Clinton claim that any endorsement from a “deplorable” means that all all (or at least half) supporters are terrible as well? Hillary Clinton often claims that Russia supports Trump and is behind her email scandal.  But that same Russia also supported the Iranian nuclear deal.  Does she want us all to revisit that toxic deal negotiated by Obama, Kerry and herself?

As Clinton and Obama trash the “deplorable” Trump supporters, they should consider their own tainted glass houses, in which some of the worst deplorables in the world gave them direct financial support and endorsed their most controversial policies.

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A Deplorable Definition

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

Murderous Governments of the Middle East

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

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The Broken Glass Ceiling in Politics Hides the Importance of Education

As the United States prepares to elect its first female president, women in the United States will celebrate the shattering of the ultimate glass ceiling. And while the event is momentous, it undermines a critical point: the key to gender equality is not in electing women into government nor simply advancing women in the workforce.

It is in EDUCATING women, and then giving them the opportunities to advance.

Women in Democracies

The  World Economic Forum (WEF) did a ranking of gender equality around the world.  It considered several factors including: health, education, workforce participation and political empowerment. The Scandinavian countries rocked the rest of the world. Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden ranked numbers 1 to 4, with Denmark did not do badly at #14.  The USA came in at #28, right in front of Cuba.

Why did the US fair so poorly? Almost singularly because so few women have been elected to government office, not just the presidency. A secondary reason was labor force participation and wage equality.


And which countries led the world in those two categories?

For political empowerment, Rwanda, Bolivia and Cuba, all had roughly 50% women in the governments according to the Inter-parliamentary Union.  The United States ranked #97 at only 19.4%. That was lower than Saudi Arabia!

Regarding women in the workforce, Tanzania, Madagascar and Rwanda topped the list, according to the World Bank, each with over 86% of the women in the workforce.  Only 56% of American women were in the workforce in 2014, trailing Mongolia and Gabon.  Quite a poor showing.

But are those factors – women in government and the workforce – truly indicative of gender equality? Consider the statistics where women truly fair poorly- the Middle East.

Women in the Middle East

The position of women in the Middle East is much worse than in the western democracies. According to the WEF, the MENA region had by far the worst gender gap relative to any region. The exception was Israel, which while being in the heart of the Middle East, resembled the world’s democracies much more than its neighbors.

In the 1000-mile region around Israel, Sudan (yes, that Sudan) led the region in the percentage of governmental positions held by women. One would therefore imagine that women fair the best in Sudan, if that is a metric for scoring gender equality.

Nope.  Sudan treat women horribly.

According to a 2013 Thomson Reuters Foundation survey, Sudan “allows for domestic abuse, child marriage and marital rape. Sexual violence is common and often goes unpunished.” It is estimated that over 12 million women have undergone genital mutilation in Sudan, and article 152 of the penal code justifies arresting and flogging women just for the way they dress.

Clearly not a good correlation between women in government and gender equality.


When it comes to women’s participation in the workforce, Israel led the region, just ahead of Cyprus. At the other extreme, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq and Jordan had almost no women working, which would suggest that the workforce is a logical barometer of gender equality.

However, consider that Tanzania had the highest percentage of women in the workforce in the world, and only obtaining a ranking by the WEF of #49 overall.  The low ranking reflected the fact that almost no women in the country received proper education and their literacy rate was extremely low.  So while women owned businesses and were in the workforce, they made a fraction of what men earned.

So workforce participation is also not a simple straight reflection of gender equality.


As described above, a high percentage of women in the workforce and in government does not yield a society which fully respects women and provides gender equality.  Women must have a proper education – on par with men – to properly achieve equality.

Not surprisingly, countries that deny girls a proper education have a terrible record regarding women’s rights.  The worst offending countries are in southeast Asia and include: India; Cambodia; Pakistan; Nepal and Afghanistan. These countries dominate the world in acid attacks against women that leave women as “walking dead” for dishonoring their families. They also are among the leaders of honor killings of women.

But a proper education in itself is not a pathway to gender equality. Consider Saudi Arabia, which receives high marks for educating women, but then does not allow women to progress in society. They are prohibited from driving or going out without a male escort. Women are discouraged from working and have zero political empowerment.

The key for gender equality is education-plus.  A proper education and an ability to be a full participating part of society.

Israel’s Women

The education+ format is what helped Israel stand apart from the rest of the MENA region.Overall, the ranking for MENA were:

  • Israel #53
  • Kuwait #117
  • UAE #119
  • Qatar #122
  • Bahrain #123
  • and it went downhill from there

How did Israel’s #53 ranking fair on the world stage?  Ahead of:

  • Singapore #54
  • Croatia #59
  • El Salvador #62
  • Chile #73
  • Czech Republic #81
  • Brazil #85
  • Greece #87

Israel achieved the relatively high ranking because of education+.

Israel ranked #1 in the world when it comes to women enrolled in primary, secondary and tertiary schools.  It also ranked #1 in terms of women in technical professions (not surprisingly, because of the terrific education).

Beyond the pure figures, how does Israel treat women? Consider the report from the European Union (no friend of Israel) that concluded in a report:

International rankings of women’s equality rank Israel well among the countries in the EuroMediterranean region. Women are increasingly represented across all levels of civil society, spanning the political, legislative and judicial systems, government corporations, the general labour market and the military. Workplace laws are progressive and women-friendly and Gender Based Violence (GBV) in terms of rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment, early marriage and killings in the name of “family honour” in Israel is comparatively low internationally.
Programmes to advance the rights of women have been promoted at all levels of government and civil society. With respect to women in the workplace, the state established the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) to monitor labour law compliance. It has allocated increased funding to subsidize child care centres to allow more women with small children to re-enter the workforce, hosted awareness and educational programs about proper workplace practices, launched a website with information about women’s issues, offered training and professional guidance courses to women, and held seminars for teachers on how to encourage girls to excel in mathematics and exact sciences.”

An excellent example of the fruits that come from education+

With the election of Hillary Clinton, the United States will jump in the WEF ranking considerably.  While the bump in ranking is nice, the US should be proud of the long history of promoting top quality education for women.

Even more, people should not lose sight that the key to gender parity does not lie with electing a woman as president, but by ensuring that women have a great education and the opportunities to pursue any vocation of their choosing.

It is a shame that the United Nations missed delivering the world that important message as it named the female comic book hero Wonder Woman as its Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. Although it is nice that Wonder Woman is played by a proud Israeli!

Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel, the Liberal Country of the Middle East

In Israel, the winner is…Democracy

The Sad Assault on Women in the Middle and Far East

The Color Coded Lexicon of Israel’s Bigotry: It’s not Just PinkWashing

A Flower in Terra Barbarus

Israel’s Peers and Neighbors

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Is Hillary Clinton as Pro-Israel as George W Bush?

Pro-Israel Democrats have loudly proclaimed that their candidate, Hillary Clinton, is a strong supporter of Israel. They have even stated that her pro-Israel positions are really not that dissimilar to the Republican President George W. Bush.


“Settlements” and Berating Israel

A new batch of emails from Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State reveals some of her positions related to Israel and her approach to dealing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Consider the email exchange between Hillary Clinton and Sandy Berger on September 19 & 22, 2009.

“ironically, his [Netanyahu’s] intransigence over 67 borders may offer us [the Clinton’s State Department] that possibility – to turn his position against him… Sending [Middle East Peace Envoy George] Mitchell back to try to get the parties to agree on a common basis to relaunch negotiations. This includes: an end to the occupation that began in 1967. –– This 67 formulation was used in the Road Map, by Bush, Sharon and Olmert. Assuming Bibi will accept no formulation that includes 67 borders, it suggests that Bibi is the obstacle to progress and backtracking on his part on an issue that previous Israeli governments have accepted.”

The Clinton/Berger plot was clearly to undermine Netanyahu to punish him for disagreeing to set the borders that existed in 1967 as the permanent borders. They viewed those borders as concessions that had been previously agreed to.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, 2009

But look at what President George W. Bush and the US Congress actually stated five years earlier on June 23, 2004.

“Whereas in the April 14, 2004, letter the President stated that in light of new realities on the ground in Israel, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, but realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities;”

This House of Representatives motion, H. Con.Res 460, was passed in a landslide roll call vote 407-9.

Note that Bush clearly stated the opposite of what Clinton and Berger contended: prior agreements and assurances that the borders would NOT be along the Green Line which existed until 1967.

Further, the April letter from Bush to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon underscored that the pathway to peace and a two-state future was the cessation of all Palestinian incitement to, and acts of violence.

The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking [Israeli withdrawal from Gaza] represents. I [President George W Bush] therefore want to reassure you on several points.

First, the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

Second, there will be no security for Israelis or Palestinians until they and all states, in the region and beyond, join together to fight terrorism and dismantle terrorist organizations. The United States reiterates its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

Third, Israel will retain its right to defend itself against terrorism, including to take actions against terrorist organizations. The United States will lead efforts, working together with Jordan, Egypt, and others in the international community, to build the capacity and will of Palestinian institutions to fight terrorism, dismantle terrorist organizations, and prevent the areas from which Israel has withdrawn from posing a threat that would have to be addressed by any other means. The United States understands that after Israel withdraws from Gaza and/or parts of the West Bank, and pending agreements on other arrangements, existing arrangements regarding control of airspace, territorial waters, and land passages of the West Bank and Gaza will continue. The United States is strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state. It seems clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement will need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel. “

Bush focused on the cessation of Palestinian Arab terrorism and incitement, as he underscored that Israel would NOT return to the 1967 borders.

What happened between the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter and the 2009 Clinton/Berger email?

  • In 2005, Israel withdrew every Israeli civilian and soldier from Gaza
  • In 2006, Hamas, the anti-Semitic terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destruction swept legislative elections, gaining 58% of the seats in the Palestinian Authority
  • In 2007, Hamas routed the competing political party Fatah, and seized total control of Gaza
  • In 2008/9, Israel launched Operation Cast Lead to stop the incessant missile fire into Israel from Gaza
  • And in September 2009, as Clinton and Berger exchanged emails, the United Nations was preparing to release the Goldstone Report, a 452-page report where the world body would demonize Israel for committing war crimes in Operation Cast Lead

It was in that environment, where Israel was feeling the condemnation of the world, that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sought to add fuel to the fire by berating Benjamin Netanyahu as an “obstacle to progress.” Not a single criticism of Palestinian Arab terror, which WAS the focus of the assurances between the US and Israel.

At best, pro-Israel Clinton supporters may claim that she was simply following the direction of President Barack Obama to rewrite facts and history in the hope that no one would notice.

Democrats can claim that there was no malice in rewriting the long-standing Democratic platform in 2012, removing the historic clause that had been the party’s approach for years, “All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.”  The entire language that was lifted verbatim from the 2004 Bush/Sharon letter was deleted in its entirety. It was as if it never existed.

Democrats comfortably pretend that Israel moved to the right, rather than the party’s positions that moved counter to facts and history, because they BELIEVE their cause to be just. They believe that the settlements are the primary obstacle to peace because they get terrible advice from left-wing groups like J Street that claim to be pro-Israel and pro-peace. (J Street just released a foolish video making fun of Donald Trump’s ties to the settlements, in time for the elections.)

The reality, is that the Democratic party under Obama’s leadership moved sharply away from Israel and the truth.  And Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State followed that caustic approach to attack Israel while it was vulnerable on the world stage.

Related First.One.Through articles:

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

An Open Letter to Non-Anti-Semitic Sanders Supporters

The United States Joins the Silent Chorus

The Invisible Anti-Semitism in Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

On Accepting Invitations, Part 2

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