Submitted by: Int'l Interiors via P McMillan
“Which way am I going?” asked President Biden when he ended Thursday’s press conference at the NATO summit in Madrid. He began to exit stage right, before someone redirected him toward stage left. This combination of ignorance and indecision was not new. Throughout his 18 months as president, Biden has been confused, uncertain, sluggish. He behaves as if he is guided by unseen forces. He moves on a course set by hidden captains.
People notice. Every time I speak to a conservative audience, I am asked who is really in charge in the White House. My answer has been that the president is in command. After all, institutions take on the character of their leaders. If all the White House has to offer is excuses, if decisions are made either slowly or randomly, if the communications team and the president and vice president seem to live on different planets, if incompetence and mismanagement appear throughout the government, it is because the chief executive allows it. No conspiracy is required to explain the ineptitude. This is Joe Biden we are talking about.
Lately, though, I have been having second thoughts. Not that Barack Obama or Ron Klain or Dr. Jill are running the show in secret. What I have been wondering, instead, is whether anyone is leading the government at all. There is no power, either overt or covert, in or behind the throne. The throne is empty.
Think of the economy, the border, and Ukraine. From time to time, Biden addresses these issues. He may even answer questions about them. The White House sends out press releases describing its latest initiatives. Vice President Harris or the second gentleman pops up somewhere to talk about all the good she and he are doing.
Yet each of these elements—the president, his staff, his spokesperson, his vice president, his policy—comes across as disconnected, discombobulated, as if each inhabits a separate sphere of activity. Whether because of Biden’s age, or his weekend trips to Delaware, or years of remote work, or lower-level staff turnover, or a painstakingly slow decision-making process, or ideological stubbornness, or a lack of a strategic plan, this administration drifts from crisis to crisis, and from one bad headline to the next. And nothing improves.
Americans say the economy, unemployment, and jobs are the most important problems facing the country. What is Biden's plan? He blames Vladimir Putin and the energy industry for high gas prices. He says it's the Federal Reserve's job to reduce inflation.
He asks Middle East autocrats to pump more oil rather than easing the burden on domestic fossil fuel production. He wants more spending, more tax hikes, more regulation. Will Congress give him what he wants? Okay, you can stop laughing.
The result: America slouches toward stagflation because the alternative—reducing (non-China) tariffs, suspending "Buy American" provisions, reversing his entire energy policy, dropping his tax plans, committing to spending cuts—is unacceptable to the president.
Decisive leadership is not Joe Biden's calling card. And so, the crises continue to mount. And Americans are left with feelings of aimlessness and fear. [Read the whole article HERE.]
· Various opinion polls put [Erdoğan's] popularity at less than 30%, compared to the 52% with which he won re-election in 2018.
· Many Turks, although starving, are nevertheless proud that they have a leader who can confront the "infidel West" -- including their traditional rival and neighbor, Greece. It is precisely this feeling that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose popularity has been plummeting in recent months, sees as a national weakness to stoke.
· What should Erdoğan do, therefore, as former loyalists of his powerful Justice and Development Party (AKP) seem to be deserting en masse?
· Erdoğan has already set the stage for the new episode of his theatrical extravaganza. His coalition partner, ultranationalist leader Devlet Bahçeli, claimed that U.S. military bases in Greece pose a "direct threat" to Turkish security... How could a peaceable NATO ally, Greece, pose a direct threat to another NATO member, Turkey, home to US military bases? Are US bases in Turkey a direct threat to Turkey?
· Erdoğan did not mention that the same treaties also ban the militarization of Turkey's islands in the Aegean Sea and Turkey's Dardanelles and Bosporus straits.
· Fortunately, all these theatrics are about barking, not biting. Turkey does not have the political, military or economic might to invade a member of the EU.. Turkey invading Greece is not Russia invading Ukraine. Erdoğan is a gambler who has used the same tactic for domestic consumption many times before. The ruse never ended up in a war across the Aegean. This one is no exception: Erdoğan, whatever he is, is not suicidal.
On the night of Friday, June 24, a 42-year-old Muslim named Zaniar Matapour shot up the city’s largest gay bar, London Pub, and the tiny watering hole next door, Per På Hjørnet (Per on the Corner). He killed two and wounded twenty-one. But even though Matapour kicked off his evening of mayhem by shouting “Allahu Akbar” and was later shown to belong to a radical Islamic clique, don’t think for a moment that his offense had anything to do with Islam. And even though he committed his dastardly deeds on the eve of Oslo’s scheduled Pride parade, a week after his buddy Arfan Bhatti, a convicted terrorist, posted a note on Facebook calling for the murder of gays, don’t dare suggest that the crime might have been rooted in Islam’s deadly view of homosexuality.
After all, as I reported here on June 27, no less eminent a figure than Masud Gharahkhani, the 39-year-old president of the Norwegian parliament who is (after the king) the country’s highest-ranking person – and who, like Matapour, came to Norway as a child refugee from Iran – was quick to deny that this was an Islamic act. “Hate is hate,” Gharahkhani told a reporter for VG, “and has nothing to do with religion or background.” (Why, then, did his parents flee Iran after it became an Islamic theocracy?)
Norway’s leading Muslim organizations agreed with Gharahkhani. The Islamic Council (IRN), which for years refused to take a position on punishing homosexuality with the death penalty, condemned the atrocity and denied any Islamic connection. Ditto Senaid Kobilica of the Muslim Dialogue Network (MDN). Ditto, too, Fahad Qureshi of Islam Net, who asserted, in total contravention of the Koran, that “Islam does not permit taking the life of an innocent person, no matter gay or straight.”
From his first day in office, President Biden’s Middle East policies, a seemingly “win them over with kindness” approach, have been misguided and self-defeating. From the start, Biden strongly sought a new Iran deal, as if financially rewarding Iran for its signature would ensure its compliance. Indeed, one basis for the first deal was Iran providing its nuclear history—Iran lied. Apparently, we did not learn.
During the deal’s tenure Iran consistently cheated, obstructed inspections, and ramped up its ballistic missile program, which was foolishly left out of the first agreement. Iranian efforts to bring uranium enrichment to weapons-grade has continued, supposedly due to Trump’s withdrawal from the deal—talk about excuses! The mullahs are clearly determined.
Over the past two years the International Atomic Energy Agency has regularly complained about Iranian non-compliance, finally issuing a resolution in early June condemning Iran after traces of uranium were found at three undeclared locations.
But isn’t it strange, or very convenient, that a country whose self-declaration is peaceful use of nuclear materials would then block 27 inspection cameras? To bring Iran to the now-interrupted negotiating table, the Administration accepted its demand that we cannot be in the negotiating room, which should have stopped everything then and there. Instead, we huddled outside while Putin’s Russia represented us! Further sweetening things, the Administration earlier rescinded the foreign terrorist organization designation of the Houthis, a group armed and abetted by Iran, one which occasionally lobs missiles into Saudi Arabia or the UAE when it takes a respite from augmenting the Yemen civil war. Iran now requires that sanctions against its Revolutionary Guards be dropped before any negotiations proceed.
Congress apparently has had enough, resisting this almost silly ceremonial demand, while the Administration currently tries to work around this latest obstruction. There is a clear pattern —the more we overlook and the more we give, the more intransigent Iran becomes. Alas, Robert Malley, previously Obama’s point man, and now Biden’s, has pursued this holy grail mission with enormous, but blind passion. Unfortunately, his dream is likely to become the world’s nightmare.
Iran’s Quds Force, which the Biden White House has reportedly discussed removing from the terrorism list, has more than a hundred active agents operating inside the United States, according to former U.S. and Iranian intelligence officials.
Their current goal is to penetrate the security perimeter surrounding former President Donald J. Trump and to kill him.
The Iranian plot is not a secret: Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamene’I, boasted in January that Iranian agents inside the United States were tracking the former president’s movements, and could penetrate the security systems protecting him.
That boast appeared in the form of a chilling video, posted to the Khamenei’s website and to Twitter by regime sympathizers and intelligence analysts, showing Quds Force operatives targeting the president on the tee of his West Palm Beach golf club. It ended with a photograph of Qassem Soleymani, the Quds Force commander killed by a U.S. drone strike outside the Baghdad airport on Jan. 2, 2020, and a black screen: “Revenge is Definite.”
They have also threatened to kill former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA Director Gina Haspel in retaliation for their role in the drone strike that killed Suleymani and 17 others on Route Irish at the Baghdad airport. “Ironically, that’s the same road where Suleymani had killed dozens of Americans,” said John Maguire, a former CIA deputy station chief who worked in Iraq after the 2003 invasion.
U.S. intelligence agencies, including the FBI, have known for over a decade about Iranian programs to recruit and train Quds Force operatives – preferably non-Iranians – capable of penetrating Western countries.
· The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook paid over $20 million to the New York Times and $15 million to the Washington Post in annual fees. Even more valuable than the big checks was Facebook's ability to push media content to its users. Last year, sources at several publishers were crediting Facebook News with massive traffic surges, but not everyone was equal.
· "Many other U.S. news publishers are getting payments from Facebook to have their content featured in its news tab, but they only get a fraction of the sums paid to the Washington Post, the New York Times," the Wall Street Journal noted.
· Facebook and the media had created a cartel in which media sites created paywalls to raise the value of their content and gain better deals with the social media monopoly. Zuckerberg's company offered its biggest media critics big checks in exchange for exclusive deals. Both sides claimed that they were "fighting misinformation" with what was really a shakedown and a cartel.
· When the media accused Facebook of spreading conservative misinformation, the only defense was providing special privileges for the media. Despite the fundamental illegality of such cartels, Democrat politicians and the media openly pressured Facebook to promote "responsible" journalism, by which they meant their own political content, at the expense of "misinformation".
· By then the entire debate about misinformation had boiled down to creating a two-tiered content system across Big Tech that would fund and push media content while suppressing rival material. This urgent need for a news cartel was described as the best way to meet the "threat to democracy" posed by the "wild west" of the internet. This cynical rhetoric carefully avoided any discussion about the benefits that would flow to the media from this arrangement.
· Recent entries from the Washington Post, which was being paid $15 million, include, "Facebook Gives Gun Sellers 10 Strikes Before Ban" and "Facebook Fails Again to Detect Hate Speech in Ads": both of which went viral. The former taps into the new mania over gun control to manufacture yet another crisis involving Facebook. And crises reward the media cartel.
· The two interlocking cartels, Big Tech and the media, became politically and then economically interdependent in a way that was both illegal and deeply dangerous to a free society. The lies, the conspiracy theories and the censorship are products of technopolitical collusion between two sets of corrupt companies that have devastated our politics, our culture and our country.
· The two cartels set out to control our speech and our politics for their own power and profit. They did it by manufacturing a crisis and declaring that their abuses were the solution.
· Both Big Media and Big Tech cartels need to be broken up before they break our society.
In the fall of 2019, Facebook announced that it would be writing selected media outlets some very big checks. The launch of Facebook News was billed as a way to give consumers more access to information, but it was actually an attempt at appeasing big media companies.
To hear Andrew McCarthy tell it, Donald Trump’s raucous speech at the Ellipse on January 6 ended with a “Braveheart” moment when the president beseeched his throng of weapon-wielding supporters to attack government leaders at the U.S. Capitol that afternoon.
Last week’s testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, the junior White House aide who made a number of dubious claims under oath, has been accepted as fact by most of the corporate news media and Never Trump pundits including McCarthy, as I explained here. In response to leading questions by Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Hutchinson claimed both the president and chief of staff Mark Meadows knew by mid-morning that the crowd was filled with “armed” supporters but Trump nonetheless urged those alleged self-styled soldiers to head to Capitol Hill as the joint session of Congress was underway.
In a clip of her closed-door testimony to the committee—the loquacious aide met three times with committee investigators talking for roughly 20 hours relying at times on a thick folder of notes—Hutchinson ticked off a list of weapons allegedly confiscated by 10 a.m. as rally-goers passed through security screeners known as magnetometers. Reading from a page in her binder, Hutchinson recalled a conversation with deputy White House chief of staff Tony Ornato, who described the cache to Meadows and her. “I remember Tony mentioning knives, guns in the form of pistols and rifles, um, bear spray, body armor, spears, and flagpoles,” she said.
She further stated that Ornato informed the president about the seized weapons but Trump dismissed any concern and instead instructed his team to “take the effing mags away,” referring to the magnetometers, Hutchinson claimed.
The view from : down under” always so “up front.”
Yesterday in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, a rooftop gunman opened fire on the July 4 parade, killing at least six innocent people and wounding many others. As always in such cases, the first reaction on social media was not sympathy for the victims but immediate attempts by both left and right to blame the other side for inspiring a lunatic’s rampage. Within minutes each side was combing Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo and all the rest for ‘evidence’ to make their cases.
The suspect, identified as 22-year-old Robert ‘Bobby’ Crimo, is the son of a Highland Park small-business owner who recently contested the suburb’s mayoralty. Therefore, in the grand tradition of social media speculation, he must be a Donald Trump supporter because an entrepreneurial dad could only ever sire a fascist. As so many have noted, intelligence has never been a requirement for floating one’s insights in the Twitter sewer.
Right-leaning social media types were no less quick to identify a murderous leftist, observing that suspect Cimo’s facial and neck tattoos would not be out of place at an Antifa riot.
It will be for the courts to decide which motivation, if any, was at work in Highland Park, but a couple of recent social media post, though not directly related to the shooter, might help to explain the mindset of those who treat a nation’s birthday celebration as an obscenity. One such example is atop this column, a tweet from Denver’s Democratic Socialists inviting one and all to come burn Ol’ Glory.
What credence, you might say, can be placed in the ratbaggery of a political party even further to the left than the most wild-eyed Democrats? As the tweeted invitation below attests, a faction in the ‘mainstream’ party of Biden, Schumer and Pelosi shares the same sentiment.
— roger franklin
Business leaders have chalked up President Biden’s attacks on oil companies to political cynicism, but maybe they’re too generous. His tweet over the weekend ordering gas stations to lower prices betrayed a willful ignorance about the private economy.
“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Mr. Biden tweeted Saturday. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.” Had Donald Trump issued such a command as President, the left would have cried “authoritarian.”
It’s embarrassing for the leader of the free world to sound like he’s channeling Hugo Chávez. A Chinese state media flack praised Mr. Biden’s tweet: “Now US President finally realized that capitalism is all about exploitation. He didn’t believe this before.” Or maybe he did, and nobody wanted to believe it.
You’d think that the President’s Ivy League-educated economic advisers would have informed him that large refiners own fewer than 5% of all gas stations in America. More than 60% are operated by an individual or family that owns a single store, and the rest are independently owned chains or grocery stores that sell fuel. Many license brands from refiners.
Jump out of a perfectly good airplane, charge a machine gun nest, be stationed at Ft. Irwin – these are just three of the myriad miseries American patriots are willing to endure to defend our country. But today’s military is asking too much of our young people, as evidenced by the crashing recruitment rates that threaten to deplete a military already running short of soldiers. Have our young people suddenly turned from heroes to zeros, ne’er-do-well heirs of the brave warriors who confronted the forces of tyrannical gun control at Lexington and Concord?
No. The kids are alright. The problems lie echelons above.
Here’s a little leadership secret that’s actually not a secret at all to competent commissioned and non-commissioned officers. There are no bad cohorts of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and whatever the hell Space Force people are called. There are only bad leaders, and we have the worst military leadership in American history, starting right at the top with a commander-in-chief who is less like Ike than Beavis.
In fact – and this rips me up to say because I would not trade my about 27 years in the Army for anything – the reluctance to enlist of the traditional, normal Americans who are most likely to serve and who are the most desirable for service, is entirely rational. You do have an obligation to serve your country in some way, the military being the highest and best way for those who are able.
“Democrats are using a Leninist strategy to overthrow a government and install socialism. By creating as much chaos, strife, terror, and pain on a populace and blaming these problems on the existing government, people will then be more susceptible to believing the lie that socialism will restore order, peace, and stability — enabling them to seize power and control. ”
Biden, leftist progressive Democrats, and legacy and social media news have all promoted a psychotic and psychopathological hatred of Trump, Republicans, conservatives, Christians, capitalism, our Constitution, and anyone who opposes or questions their policies.
Election improprieties were ignored and are not covered, yet they oppose commonsense election integrity laws such as requiring an ID to vote, and they call for “common sense gun laws.”
Our legacy news media spread Democrat talking points, propaganda, and lies. For years they touted the Hillary-Clinton-paid-for, fake, and salacious Steele Dossier as true. They have said “inflation will be transitory, high gas prices are not our fault, and our economy is much better under Biden.” They have claimed that “America does not have open borders” as we see thousands freely crossing. They say “crime is down” while at the same time releasing violent criminals back into our neighborhoods. They ignore and not report contrary FBI reports documenting the tremendous increase in violent crime in Democrat-run cities.
Meanwhile, our schools are indoctrinating 1st- to 3rd-graders with hateful identity politics, promoting socialism as good and capitalism as bad, touting racist Critical Race Theory as anti-racist, preaching that Marxist “equity” theory needs to replace our foundation of “equality,” touting transgenderism and pedophilia as normal, and encouraging “sex change” surgery and puberty-blockers on our children.
The presence of slavery at the Founding is America’s great stain, but the Revolution was the beginning of its erasure.
‘I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
Those were the words of John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail, after the Continental Congress’s approval of the Declaration of Independence. In predicting that America’s Independence Day would be celebrated in epochs succeeding his, he was mostly correct, but he was wrong on a couple of things. First, he was referring to July 2, when the Congress voted on the resolution on independence, not July 4, the day of its signing that we celebrate instead. Second, while most people in the country give proper due to the heroism of the Founding Fathers, some choose to denounce them. Their chief complaint is that Adams and the others did not do enough to outlaw slavery from the country’s outset. This grievance is pretty solid. Slavery is a moral abomination, and our country’s dereliction is our original sin.
But to say that the American Revolution was a mistake because of it, as did “3 Reasons the American Revolution Was a Mistake,” a notorious piece from Vox, is ill-advised and discounts the abolitionist fire already burning in the nascent nation. A main thrust of the argument is that America should have remained under British tyranny because the Crown outlawed slavery throughout the Empire in 1833, more than 30 years before the 13th Amendment in the United States. The factual basis for the claim is true, technically — but certain American states made tremendous gains for abolition in the immediate aftermath of the Revolution, which set the course for the country as a whole in the clash yet to come.
Anyone in America who deviates from the group-think enforced by public health bureaucrats runs the risk of cancellation. Politicians, parents, comedians, teachers – now they’re even coming for the doctors.
As a lung and ICU specialist, I have practiced medicine for 14 years and successfully treated more than 450 patients during the pandemic. Long before anyone had heard of Covid-19, I was studying and implementing cutting-edge methods to treat critically ill patients. I’m the Senior Editor of a best-selling textbook in my field, now in its second edition, which has been translated into seven languages.
For my efforts, I now find myself on the receiving end of “disciplinary sanctions” from the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), who sent me a letter threatening “suspension or revocation of board certification.”
The “sin” threatening to end my medical career was my unwillingness to go along with Fauci’s monolithic vaccines-above-all-else strategy. The failure of this approach is plain to see, and anyone with an ounce of curiosity knows there are many methods of treating the virus.
Ivermectin is one of them. This cheap, readily available generic medicine is approved by the FDA for certain uses in humans – but not for Covid-19, despite 85 controlled trials from around the world demonstrating its effectiveness. In Brazil, the largest study to date found a reduction in Covid mortality rate of 70%. In India, the second most populated country in the world, the drug has been credited with near eradication of the disease. Studies attempting to discredit ivermectin have been debunked again and again.
All the cool kids say humanity has to abandon fossil fuels and rely on wind and solar for our electricity and battery-operated cars (which remind us of the toys we played with as kids) to get around. It’s the future, they say. So why does it seem more like the past?
Let’s begin with a fascinating “fer instance”:
“Classic Cars,” says a Motorious headline from late last month, “Are Greener Than Electric Vehicles.” The story below the headline refers to a study from British insurance company Footman James, which is “refreshing,” says the article’s author, “because it doesn’t talk emotional rage, sticking instead to the inconvenient facts.”
And what are those facts?
“A classic car notching up the national average of 1,200 miles emits 563kg of CO2 a year. By comparison, a new Volkswagen Golf has a carbon footprint of 6.8 tonnes of CO2 the day it leaves the factory, a figure it would take our average classic 12 years to match.”
“For an electric vehicle, the footprint is even greater. A battery-powered Polestar 2 creates 26 tonnes of CO2 during its production, emissions that would take a typical classic more than 46 years to achieve. By which time, the EV’s cutting-edge lithium-ion battery would have long since lost its ability to hold a charge and been consigned to the nearest recycling facility.”
President Biden’s ambition to phase out fossil fuels is at odds with his human-rights objectives in China. Last month the U.S. started enforcing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, “ensuring goods made with forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China do not enter the United States market.” Mr. Biden advocated intensely for this legislation and signed it in December.
But the administration is no less committed to using solar energy, batteries and electric vehicles to meet its commitments under the Glasgow Climate Pact. The technologies that underpin these climate-change commitments depend on Chinese forced and child labor.
The lithium-based battery is the only currently available technology that permits the early electrification of transportation at scale. China has vertically integrated its supply chain to produce this product. China has acquired mining properties throughout the world to produce lithium, which it processes to manufacture batteries. China also became the dominant producer of cobalt after its acquisition of mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which produces 60% of the world’s supply. Cobalt is a critical material for lithium battery anodes, and Congo’s cobalt mining industry is notorious for the use of child labor.
This vertically integrated approach is aligned with China’s aspirations to dominate the global electric-vehicle market. This goal was established by the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in 2017 as an aim of “Made in China 2025” policy.