16 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-26-18

  1. Here’s an interesting read to start things off.


    “There has been some recent scientific news that touches upon biblical history. In honor of Christmas, I thought I would share some of these items.

    First, some preliminary data suggest that an exploding meteor obliterated cities and farming settlements north of the Dead Sea around 3,700 years ago, which may have been the basis for Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Radiocarbon dating and unearthed minerals that instantly crystallized at high temperatures indicate that a massive airburst caused by a meteor that exploded in the atmosphere instantaneously destroyed civilization in a 25-kilometer-wide circular plain called Middle Ghor, said archaeologist Phillip Silvia. The event also pushed a bubbling brine of Dead Sea salts over once-fertile farm land, Silvia and his colleagues suspect.

    People did not return to the region for 600 to 700 years, said Silvia, of Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque. He reported these findings at the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research on November 17.

    Scientists now suspect that the Earth has been slammed by more extraterrestrial objects than previously suspected. For example, a giant meteor crater five times the size of Paris has been found half a mile under the ice in Greenland. The crater is thought to have formed about 12,000 years ago.

    Additionally, biology may confirm the impact of catastrophic events on humanity. Genetic testing has revealed that there may have been an actual Adam and Eve.

    A scientific study has prompted speculation that all modern humans could have descended from a solitary pair who lived 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

    Scientists surveyed the genetic ‘bar codes’ of five million animals – including humans – from 100,000 different species and the results have prompted speculation that we sprang from a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race.

    …Stoeckle and Thaler, the scientists who headed the study, concluded that ninety percent of all animal species alive today come from parents that all began giving birth at roughly the same time, less than 250 thousand years ago – throwing into doubt the patterns of human evolution.

    Next, it appears that infamous Roman Governor Pontius Pilate’s ring may have been discovered at an ancient biblical fortress.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some good news for fire ravaged areas.


    “President Trump issued an executive order allowing agencies to do more to prevent massive wildfires.
    The order came one day after Trump signed GOP-backed wildfire legislation.
    Wildfires have burned more than 8.5 million acres this year.
    President Donald Trump moved forward with policies aimed at preventing catastrophic wildfires while the media breathlessly covered the government funding battle.

    Trump issued an executive order Friday to allow for active management of forest and rangelands, including thinning and removing debris from millions of acres of federal lands.

    The order also calls on federal officials to streamline regulations and permitting processes to allow the harvest of at least 3.8 billion board feet from U.S. Forest Service lands and 600 million board feet from Bureau of Land Management lands.

    That represents a massive increase in timber sales from federal lands. For example, loggers harvested 2.9 billion board feet from Forest Service lands in 2017, according to federal figures. But even Trump’s increased allowance for loggers is still about one-quarter of what was harvested in 1973.

    Trump also asked federal officials to do more to maintain roads into hard-to-reach areas where fires can spread.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Even the media and caravan members are starting to see this group doesn’t pass the smell test. This has been orchestrated by outsiders and lawyers from the start.


    ” Thousands of Central Americans journeying toward the United States were 2,500 miles from their destination in October when they reached a moment of decision: Should they press on toward the U.S. border? Or should they stop and put down roots in Mexico, where the government offered to let them stay?

    Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a group of activists escorting the caravan, warned the migrants that the offer might be too good to be true and called a voice vote on whether to continue.

    “Let’s keep going!” the crowd yelled amid applause.

    And they kept going. Thousands are now in Tijuana on the U.S. border, where they are likely to be camped for months or longer with no easy way to get into the United States, creating what is fast becoming a humanitarian crisis in this overwhelmed city.

    Many blame Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, made up of about 40 U.S. and Mexican activists.

    Critics, including former allies and some of the migrants themselves, say Pueblo Sin Fronteras downplayed the dangers of such treks, especially for families and small children, and misled the participants about how long they would have to wait on the Mexican side to apply for asylum.

    Adelaida Gonzalez, 37, of Guatemala City, who joined the caravan with her 15-year-old son and neighbor, said that now that she is in Tijuana, she wishes she had accepted Mexico’s offer to stay and work in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas.

    “We were never told along the way that it would be this hard,” said Gonzalez, after seeing the border wall topped with razor wire and the long waiting list for asylum seekers.

    A Pueblo Sin Fronteras leader, Irineo Mujica, emphatically rejected the criticism.

    “Our commitment first and foremost was protecting the lives of migrants and giving them as much information as possible,” Mujica said. “To blame the people who are helping is crazy.”

    Pueblo Sin Fronteras founder Roberto Corona said in the organization’s defense that attorneys along the way told the migrants they could be held in U.S. detention centers for months and possibly separated from their children. In the end, he said, the migrants — many of whom are fleeing poverty and violence in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala — made their own decision.

    “They know the wall is very big, and they will not be very welcome in the U.S. by many people,” Corona said, “but still they have hope of coming here, that at least their rights will be more protected, and they will be able to make a living.”

    This is the fourth and biggest caravan of Central American asylum seekers that Pueblo Sin Fronteras has helped reach Tijuana, a trek that angered President Donald Trump and prompted him to send troops to the border. When the caravan crossed into Mexico, it numbered 7,000; about 5,500 made it to Tijuana.”




    “Sure enough, caravan migrants turn on their organizers”

    It had to happen. As we suspected would happen.

    The caravan migrants, still cooling their heels out of sight of tourists in an isolated redoubt of Tijuana, in line awaiting for their U.S. asylum claims to be adjudicated, have finally turned on their rabidly left-wing organizers – namely, Pueblo Sin Fronteras.

    The Associated Press has a pretty good report about the scope of the migrant disgust:

    Thousands are now in Tijuana on the U.S. border, where they are likely to be camped for months or longer with no easy way to get into the United States, creating what is fast becoming a humanitarian crisis in this overwhelmed city.

    Many blame Pueblo Sin Fronteras, or People Without Borders, made up of about 40 U.S. and Mexican activists.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pick your poison. There are no good guys here, not even the dead wanna be spy guy.

    And don’t feel bad for falling for it if you did (HRW). That’s what disinformation is designed to do. But Khashoggi was never the good guy, and he was never really a journalist either.


    “Khashoggi: Qatari Asset in Life; Qatari Asset in Death”

    “When Donald Trump announced that his first trip abroad as president would take him to Saudi Arabia and to Israel, it was a signal that the new administration had returned America’s traditional alliances in the Middle East to their privileged status. For the prior eight years, the Obama White House had, in contrast, prioritized relations with these countries’ regional adversary in Iran and embraced the Islamic Republic’s regional allies, Turkey and Qatar, as key interlocutors and partners. The Obama administration also supported Islamist movements in the Middle East, principally the Muslim Brotherhood, that threated to topple regimes and instigate more hostility toward the Jewish State. Even before taking office, it was clear that the Trump administration would reverse these policies.

    Obviously, some were alarmed both at the American turn back to Jerusalem and Riyadh as well as the Trump administration’s recognition of the threat of political Islam, but none more than the architects of Obama foreign policy and the many talking heads, reporters, think tank wags and politicians who supported it and comprised their “echo chamber.”

    That effort, spearheaded by former National Security Council Communications Director Ben Rhodes, organized a chorus of voices in support of Obama national security policy and waged brutal rhetorical war on its enemies in the press. Indeed, over the last decade, this community has come to broadly view the Iranian regime, Erdogan’s Turkey and Qatar-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood as positive forces in the Middle East. Moreover, they resented the efforts by Israel and Saudi Arabia to combat their signature achievement, the Iran Deal, an agreement they believed would solidify a new alliance with that country.

    In some ways, the American public’s support for the Jewish State made it difficult for Obama partisans to wage total information war against it, even as they did just that during the intense time of the Iran Deal debate in 2015. The monarchy of Saudi Arabia, by contrast, was vulnerable; it quickly found itself the target of a relentless and hostile American press corps.

    By the end of the first week of October 2018, when the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi set off a global media firestorm, these voices, including many that were prominent in American media, were primed to take advantage—and revenge. Faced with a common enemy, members of the media and policy community who comprised the “echo chamber” that spun and amplified the positions of the Obama administration soon found themselves aligned with a sophisticated Turkish and Qatari information operation to target the US-Saudi alliance.

    Due to their policy biases and the friendly intellectual environment created and nurtured by petrodollars inside the Beltway, American elites and policymakers have been soft targets for Qatari influence and information operations. Information operations use media and traditional tools of public relations to advance policy interests through narratives. A negative message is always more potent than a positive one, so operators of all kinds quickly find that the easiest way to advance one’s interests is to coordinate and weaponize media attacks on one’s enemies or rivals.

    The narrative focusing on the death of Jamal Khashoggi was to be put into the service of both Qatar and Turkey’s main interest, undermining the stability of its rival, Saudi Arabia. When complete, the successful information operation would depict Khashoggi a heroic martyr to independent journalism and freedom, while Saudi Arabia would be the embodiment of evil and callousness. It is clear now that, not only was Khashoggi transmogrified in death into a major front in Qatar’s war on its Gulf neighbors; in life, he was Qatar’s asset in that war, as well.

    The effort to transform Khashoggi from the political operative he was into a journalist and martyr for freedom was an information operation waged largely in the United States. It targeted a diverse audience spanning from “echo chamber” commentators and media figures to politicians, who would then be moved to act based on the new attitude and information the campaign had inserted into the discussion. This operational aspect is of primary importance; as information operations always work to advance policy interests, in order to succeed, these perceptions must affect policymakers and cause them to alter policy.

    As the news of Khashoggi’s disappearance and death broke, nearly the entire media was abuzz with praise for the late columnist and engaged in an effort to turn him into a martyr for democratic values, free expression and freedom.

    As the Post described him recently, “[Khashoggi was] a writer of modest influence beyond the Middle East when he was alive. In death, he has become a symbol of a broader struggle for human rights.” No outlet did more in the service of cementing that symbolism than the Washington Post and its news and editorial staff. Since October, that outlet has functioned unofficially as the most relentless and influential anti-Saudi lobbying shop in the nation’s capital. Indeed, the successful campaign of hagiography spearheaded by The Post prompted Time Magazine to name Khashoggi and other members of the media “Person of the Year.”

    Of course, in order to do this, the media largely ignored salient facts about him that emerged almost immediately: his long history as an apologist and propagandist for the Muslim Brotherhood; his youthful collaboration with Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda in Afghanistan; his antipathy toward both Israel and Shia Muslims; as well as rumors about his questionable and financial links to Qatari intelligence.

    Now, shockingly, the Washington Post itself has largely revealed those rumors to be true. We now know that Jamal Khashoggi was never a journalist—at least, not in the usual sense of the word; he was a highly-partisan operative who worked with a handler to publish propaganda at the behest of the Emirate of Qatar. He was, in other words, an agent of influence.

    Rumors have floated inside the Beltway about the contents of Khashoggi’s text messages and, potentially, evidence of wire transfers from Qatar found at his residences in Turkey and in Virginia. The Post’s pre-Christmas release of this information is almost certainly in an effort to get ahead of a story that another outlet is pursuing, and frame some rather explosive revelations in the least damaging way.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thought Khashoggi was probably a CIA asset, a Saudi political activist, or both. It was a gruesome way to die, but since he wasn’t a US citizen, it isn’t appropriate to upset US policy over his death. In general, it’s not a good idea to form policy around any one person. That’s why more people are needed in positions of power who share Trump’s political goals and objectives. I’m pretty sure the people exist, but they don’t seem to be in place.


  6. The media’s latest attempt at a Trump gotcha! moment has already been debunked as fake news. Again…… Still.


    “The parents of Collman Lloyd — the 7-year-old girl from Lexington, South Carolina, whose phone call with President Trump on Christmas Eve went viral after he asked her if she still believes in Santa Claus and then said, “At 7 it’s marginal, right?” — said they have no issue with how Trump spoke to their daughter.

    In fact, dad Donald J. Lloyd, 40 (who, as it happens, shares a first name and middle initial with the president), told BuzzFeed News he would have used similar language with his daughter, and that he thinks the remark is being blown out of proportion and unfairly politicized.

    “I think it’s crazy it became a big deal. It’s Christmastime. I’d love to keep politics out of Christmas,” said Donald. “It didn’t bother me — I like to talk to my kids like adults.”

    Collman’s mom, Erica, 40, agreed. She added that she found Trump to be extremely generous.

    “I’m a teacher. I’m OK with the vocabulary,” said Erica, who teaches third-grade students. “He was very kind. I was very impressed with the phone call.””


  7. You know what says “Merry Christmas” to your readers?

    Some good ole Christmas Day propaganda for the benefit of Iran and Hezbollah terrorists.

    Well, it does if you’re the NYTimes, the preferred propaganda outlet of leftists and terrorists throughout the world.

    I guess they didn’t want to be outdone by WaPo’s Saudi propaganda efforts for Khasoogi and the Saudis.


    “The New York Times was mocked Tuesday for a piece that romanticized efforts by militant group Hezbollah to help spread holiday cheer.

    While Hezbollah has been described as an Iranian-backed terrorist organization, the Times’ World section sent out the following tweet:

    Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor wrote that the Times “does the bidding of murderous Hezbollah cowards.”

    Hezbollah was formed in the early-1980s as part of an Iranian effort to counter the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon during that country’s brutal civil war. The U.S. has designated Hezbollah as a foreign terrorist organization since the State Department list was created in 1997.

    The Times’ tweet linked to a feature story headlined, “Christmas in Lebanon: ‘Jesus Isn’t Only for the Christians,’” that referred to Hezbollah as “the Shiite political movement and militia that the United States has branded a terrorist organization.” The piece noted that Hezbollah representatives attended a recent Iranian Christmas concert and has helped ring in the holiday season.

    “These demonstrations of Christmas spirit seem intended, analysts said, to demonstrate Hezbollah’s inclusivity as a major political and military force in Lebanese society and to highlight its political alliances with Christian parties,” the paper wrote.”


  8. AJ, the 6:45 link: I get nervous when we seem to seek validation of Scripture from archaeology or any other science. It’s interesting, and at a few times it has even “confirmed” that someone mentioned in Scripture (but believed by secular scientists to be fictional) is in fact real.

    Our faith is a historical faith, so we can’t say that outside evidence means nothing–but the resurrection is confirmation enough to say “This all really happened in a real time and a real place.” Invariably, going back farther than four thousand years or so, much of the information is simply wrong. For instance, dating all people to “a single pair of adults after a catastrophic event almost wiped out the human race” would be Noah and his wife, not Adam and Eve. And the dates of hundreds of thousands of years don’t align with scriptural dates.

    Interestingly, however, we do have a lot of records dating back as far as the Israelites living as slaves in Egypt. So we have a very large portion of human history confirmed, and fairly precisely dated. But when we go back as far as Creation and the Flood–really early human history, Genesis 1-11 or so–we have to rely on Scripture, because pretty much everything else was destroyed.

    It’s fascinating, though, that those early chapters of human history come complete with names and ages, ages at birth of the next in line and ages at death. Those specific genealogies take us as far forward as dates that appear in other histories, so there is no possible way for human history to go back tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years, or more. We can’t do what Ussher tried to do, and nail down the precise day (or even the year) of creation, but we can know that the total is no more than a few thousand.

    Anyway, archaeology gives us an interesting overview, but it often fails to give accurate details. Not every ruler is recorded, for instance, and the common people almost never are. The dates often are a mix of speculation and dating methods that simply aren’t accurate at ancient ages. Scripture actually fills in a lot more details, such as the information that this “couple” would be Noah and his wife, and that they did indeed replenish the earth after a catastrophic event. But the Flood destroyed nearly everything that is truly ancient, and if we want the oldest details, we simply must look at surviving records, which are given in Scripture.


  9. Although the NYT may have thought Hezbollah’s Santa was good click bait, its really not that surprising. First most Muslims have no problem celebrating Christmas esp in its modern secular form. Second and probably more importantly, the Christian Maronite community is Hezbollah’s most important internal Lebanese ally.


  10. Khassonogi was an American resident working for an American newspaper murdered in Turkey, a NATO ally. The US response has probably encouraged Erdogan to move closer to Putin. And if he was a US asset, then the signal is even worse.

    Your article attempts to place this murder in the context of US, Saudi, Iranian and Israeli relationships. Its the wrong approach. Keep the focus narrow, the Saudis murdered an American asset on NATO soil.

    Even in the larger context, the analysis is wrong. The Iran treaty had the effect of mitigating the Saudi and Israeli influence on US Mideast policy. Breaking treaty makes Israeli/Saudi policy US policy but their interests are not identical.

    The Saudis are responsible for the export of Islamic terrorism and radicalism in the West. Iran stays within the Middle east, Yemen, Iraq Syria and Lebanon. The US is better off to stay out of Saudi Iran disputes esp now that they are leaving Syria-Iraq. Canceling the Iran treaty and leaving Syt8a/Iraq are contradictory and make the US even more dependent on the Saudis for influence.

    Now that the US has very little need for Saudi oil why are they still allowing the Saudis dictate US policy. As for Qatar…..its raised the ire of Arab autocrats bc of its slightly more liberal freedoms and thus we should support Qatar, the most westernized nation in the Gulf.

    And as for Iran, the ayatollahs are getting old. Time to engage and balance Saudi influence. Prior to the revolution, Iranians were far more western than the Arabs. A long term policymaker would see the opportunity.


  11. HRW,

    I’m not taking sides. They’re all scum. The problem is Islam, not any particular flavor. All it’s flavors come from the same rotten fruit. That’s the problem. And the idea that somehow Iran will be nice and friendly when the mullahs are gone is a leftist pipe dream. Same goes for the Saudi princes ruling there.

    The US shouldn’t be changing policy because of one death, on either side, is the point. There are no good guys here. Never were.


  12. If Islam is the problem, then why not a pox on both? The only reason to favour the Saudis is bc the Israelis do, but that isn’t in the US interest.

    On an American First basis, its better to withdraw support for the Saudis. Their support for terrorism and radicalism extends into West wheras Iran sees itself as a regional power only. Keep the treaty with Iran, withdraw from Syria/Iraq, and if America’s lucky, the Saudis and the ayatollahs will be distracted by fighting each other in Yemen and Syria.

    In terms of Khassonogi’s murder, to ignore is to lose face in an area of the world where it actually matters. Putin and Erdogan also play by those rules so Trumps hesitancy and lukewarm assertion of American interests sends a signal to the Russia. Turkey, the Saudis etc that the US will not stand up for its interest or its reputation.


  13. “The only reason to favour the Saudis is bc the Israelis do, but that isn’t in the US interest.”

    I favor nothing when it comes to Islam. It’s all trash. It’s also irrelevant to me where Israel stands on either. I’m not a Jew, so I could care less. Stop assuming.


  14. Lose face in the world?…..

    Like I give 2 flyin’ pieces of monkey crap about that, or what the rest of the pathetic world thinks of us. They only love us when they need us or we’re saving them from someone else.

    You do know I voted for Trump, tight? That right there should show you how little that means to me.


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