Brexit: Fourth Time Lucky?

The Brexit deal nobody likes is back, and characteristically, there’s something in it for everyone to hate. A ten-point plan presented to MPs by Prime Minister Theresa May contained many of the same promises and compromises she had previously offered. Vague language about “alternative arrangements” and “keeping Northern Ireland aligned” aren’t any more likely to win over Conservative Brexiteers, or her Democratic Unionist partners, than they were before. At least one item, per The Guardian, seemed placed for no other reason than to round the list up to ten.

Ask Pete Buttigieg If We Should Stop Honoring George Washington?

Is it better to be just color blind (to race), or change how we honor past historians figures based on race relations today?  Dr Martin Luther King Jr said it very well: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) is claiming it “is the right thing to do” to rewrite history and erase U.S. Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson from our public buildings and all other honors. Buttigieg would have us erase our forefathers because he believes they have legacies that are “problematic.”

Is Polling Broken? Australian Miss Continues Losing Streak

At around 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on Australia’s east coast, Antony Green, chief elections analyst at the ABC, made his announcement to a half-stunned, half-delirious nation. “At this stage, we think the Morrison Government has been reelected.” Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative Coalition, widely expected to lose to Bill Shorten’s Labor Party after six turbulent years (and three Prime Ministers), instead won a majority government in the House of Representatives. For Labor, it was a crushing and baffling defeat in an election many thought un-losable. For the polling industry, however, the Coalition’s triumph was catastrophic, the latest high-profile miss over an abysmal and embarrassing three-year span.

Google, Chip Manufacturers Join Huawei Ban

Tech giant Google suspended all business requiring the transfer of hardware, software, and technical services with Chinese firm Huawei, Reuters reported on Sunday. New Huawei smartphones will lose access to popular Google apps, like YouTube and Maps, as well as security updates. Those publicly available, via open source licensing, would not appear to be affected. The move comes days after the Trump administration blacklisted Huawei, prohibiting American firms from trading with the company without a license.

Remembering Memorial Day

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down their lives for the cause of freedom. May the examples of their sacrifice inspire us to selfless love. Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their lives with Your strength and peace.

Recently, I received a Memorial Day newsletter called “Army Echoes.” It is a publication for Army Retirees. In it was an article entitled “The Problem with Being Humble.” This prompted a discussion with my Retired Ranger Buddy Lieutenant Colonel Chad Walker on Humility.  Chad sponsors a Gofundme page under RANGER Walker walk for Veterans.

Coming Half Way – Two State Solution in the Middle East

Most of the problems of the world can be solved through compromise.  Compromise is not simple.

Compromise begins with two sides in conflict.  National compromise requires the guarantee of two nations which are in conflict to insure their security. In the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians each side must first be required to guarantee the other side’s security. To accomplish this task of peace in Israel requires two sides which are strongly united to become two nations separate and united.  To make peace between two nations you first need national unity.

Russia Scandal Brings Down Government in Austria

“Enough is enough!” Those were all the words necessary Saturday for Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz to explain why he was taking the country to early elections. His center-right Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) would be pulling out of a governing coalition with the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ). “I am not in politics to hold this office,” the Chancellor said in his announcement, “but to work for our beautiful country.” The President, Alexander Van der Bellen, has not yet set a date for the election, but condemned the “bold disrespect to the citizens of our country” which precipitated it.

Russian Propaganda Targets US Cyber Warfare

The year is 1984, and Ronald Regan and Mikhail Gorbachev faceoff over nukes and the fate of the world…

The year is 2019, and what is old is new again.

The US strategic programs utilized during the Soviet era and the Cold War are making a huge comeback. An example would be QRHELPFUL, the program used by the CIA to install a western style of governance in Poland. A new Russian law taking effect in November 2019, is meant to further isolate western sources via the Russian internet. The law’s supporters are targeting Russian citizens with fear mongering and claiming the US is going on the offensive. When in reality the US is securing counter measures due to Russian information warfare attacks on the West.

Trump Lifts Steel & Aluminum Tariffs, Urges Ratification of USMCA

It was good news all around on Friday, as President Trump announced a deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico.  The tariffs had been a major obstacle to passing the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement, which would replace NAFTA.  In fact, Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) had warned Trump in April that the deal would be dead unless they were removed.  The U.S. will drop the metals tariffs within two days, and Canada and Mexico will do likewise with their retaliatory tariffs.

Biden Leads Trump by 29 points in Favorability/Unfavorability Polls

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is on top of the world right now. The polling world.

The question is can he hold his top position for 16 months?  The hard negative campaigning against him hasn’t really started yet. According to Gallup (May 15th), 53 percent of the public has a favorable opinion of Biden, compared to only 35 percent with a negative opinion. That’s an 18 point favorability spread.  President Donald Trump currently has a 42.1 favorable rating and 53.4 unfavorable rating giving him an 11.3 point negative rating.

As the Prime Ministership Turns: Australians Vote Saturday for Even More Change

Australians will be voting for a new Parliament, and possibly, their fourth Prime Minister in six years this weekend. Liberal incumbent Scott Morrison and Labor leader Bill Shorten have been neck and neck throughout the campaign. However, Aussies don’t seem to like either one of them, with up to a quarter unable to state a preference in the polls. Yet, voting is compulsory Down Under, so they’ll have to vote for one of them.

Australians go to the polls much more often than in other Westminster democracies, at every three years. Still, the frequent changes in party and national leadership have made the country something of an international joke.

Trump Declares Emergency, Blacklists Huawei

President Trump used an executive order Wednesday to declare a national emergency over threats to American technology. The move prohibits American companies from using telecom services solely owned, controlled, or directed by a foreign adversary. The order also “delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce,” Wilbur Ross, “to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States.” The move clears the way for a ban on Huawei, China’s controversial telecom giant.

Elizabeth Warren Goes to War Against Fox News for Inviting Her to a Televised Town Hall

If Trump can call CNN, MSNBC, and others news outlets fake news, Elizabeth Warren Senator (D) now demonstrated she could be on the same warpath calling Fox News a Hate-for-profit Racket.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted that she rejected an invitation from Fox News to participate in a town hall with the network. She denounced Fox News as a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”

Who Will Be in the Next Democratic Cabinet?

Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) announced his run for the presidency on Tuesday. He did so without the endorsement of Montana’s Democratic Senator, Jon Tester, and while struggling to name an accomplishment he was most proud of in his six years as governor. Democrats had hoped he would run against Montana’s other Senator, Steve Daines (R-MT), and are reportedly still pleading with him to change his mind.

Gov. Bullock is now the 22nd candidate to announce a run for the Democratic pennant, with more possibly on the way. Not all of them can be the nominee, and with several potential candidates currently polling at 0%, it’s questionable how many of them really want to be.

With Southern Border Family Units Up 400% ~ Biden Wants Healthcare for Immigrants ~ Trump Wants More US Control and Accountability

The US Southern Border with Mexico has seen 531,478 apprehension from October to April 2019, compared to 288,612 during the same time period in 2018–that’s an 84% increase.

There were 109,144 migrants encountered in April at the Southern Border, the highest since 2007, or 12 years.  Using nominal seasonal normality Princeton Policy Advisors predicts that 2019 Southern Apprehensions will double from 2018, and reach the highest level since 2006.

More People Died from Islamic Terrorism in 2019 than in the 9/11 Attacks

So far in 2019 there has been 3,541 deaths due to Islamic Terrorist.  On September 11, 2001 two Jet planes crashed into the each of the two Twin Towers in New York City, a jet flew into the Pentagon. and one more crashed into a field in Pennsylvania, killing a total 2,996 people. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor killed 2,403.

Deaths by radical terrorist in 2019, even though we are less than halfway through the year, are on track to reach about 7,000.

Decision Season Starts at the Supreme Court

Late spring is decision season on the Supreme Court, and for judicial watchers, Monday morning did not disappoint. The Court issued three decisions, on seemingly minor issues, which could have larger reverberations across the country. If tradition is any guide, more contentious and newsworthy decisions await in mid-June.

In the decision you had to search legal blogs to find, the Court unanimously expanded the time available to private parties to bring whistleblower suits under the False Claims Act. In Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. United States, the Court ruled that such a party, called a relator, could rely on a second statute of limitations in a suit in which the U.S. has declined to intervene.

The State of Israel – Acceptance or Denial

The State of Israel is in the middle of forming a new government after its recent elections. Israel is in the center of the world and cannot be ignored.

Judaism is the first of the three religions which are Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. After the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, the Jewish people were given their Torah by Moses.  Between the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai and when the children of Israel entered into the land of Israel took forty years. In the beginning of these forty years there was an event in Jewish history recorded in the Bible which was the building of the Golden Calf. Another event in Jewish history recorded in the Bible Numbers 13: Moses sent spies from each of the twelve tribes of Israel distinguished men to report to the Jewish people in the wilderness about their capability of conquering and living in the land of Israel.

Is Facebook Too Powerful?

It was another wild week for Facebook. Dueling editorials in The New York Times debated the social network’s very existence. The right is still in an uproar over Facebook’s censorship of conservative viewpoints, users and scientific issues. Meanwhile, on the left, the website— or is it a utility?— has become a campaign issue on its own. Differing Democrats have begun to split on whether stringent regulation of the tech giant will be sufficient, or whether Facebook has become too big to allow to survive.

On Thursday, Chris Hughes tore in to his co-creation, and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, in The Times. “Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered,” he said. This, Hughes argues, gives Zuckerberg “unilateral control over speech.

South African Elections Roundup: Reduced Majority, Surprising Results

By Friday, the Independent Electoral Commission had finished counting the ballots in South Africa’s sixth general election since the end of Apartheid. As expected, the African National Congress extended their quarter-century in power with a substantial, yet reduced, majority. What was not expected was both the extent of their reduction, and the subpar performance of at least one opposition party. The new National Assembly will present a fresh set of challenges to President Cyril Ramaphosa and his reform agenda.

Duterte’s Slate a Cinch in Philippine Midterms

More than 61 million voters will decide over 18,000 national and local offices, up for grabs in Monday’s midterm elections in the Philippines. The contests will serve as a referendum on the current president and his policies. President Rodrigo Duterte is widely expected to pass his first test. A victory could allow the popular populist to expand his control over the country and further tilt it toward China.

All 305 seats are up for grabs in the House of Representatives, increased from 297. Duterte’s PDP-Laban party holds 115 seats. His allies in the Coalition for Change add another 135. Duterte’s thumping majority isn’t under threat or likely to change. The House typically supports popular presidents, and at around 80% in the latest polls, Duterte certainly is.

Trump Campaign Update: More Talk Than Action on His Big 3 Issues

Trump has been focusing on three major issues during the last few days: immigration, tariffs, and infrastructure. Of those issues, infrastructure is the one that seems at least a bit refreshing. The last time Trump really made infrastructure a major focus was during his 2016 campaign.

During that campaign Trump compared U.S. infrastructure to that of “a third world country.” His promise to rebuild and reinvest in the country’s infrastructure was something that excited and pleased many Americans.

Islamic Terrorists Kill 3,458 So Far in 2019

The number of targeted attacks by extreme Islamic terrorists in 2019 just keep growing. There were 615 Islamic attacks in 38 countries in which 3,458 people were killed and 3,896 were injured so far this year. That works out to nearly 27 people killed per day (down from over 30 per day a week ago) and over four attacks per day.

This week’s two biggest attacks were both in Afghanistan. A suicide bomber plowed into a police station, killing 20. The next day, the Taliban storm a checkpoint and massacred twenty local soldiers.

Energy Producers Boost Price, Lower Reliability, in the Name of ‘Fighting Climate Change’

You would think energy producers would always be looking for ways to lessen the costs and increase the reliability of power for their customers. This is not the case, however, with several American energy producers who are now taking advantage of the climate scare to try to force their customers to pay more. They are doing this through unnecessary conversions away from dependable, inexpensive coal-fired electricity generation to unreliable and costly wind and solar power. The Wisconsin-based utility, Alliant Energy, which provides electricity to about 960,000 customers in Wisconsin and Iowa, is a case in point.

North Korea: Is a Deal Still Possible?

It’s never good when North Korea is in the news. On Thursday, the Hermit Kingdom launched two short-range ballistic missiles in to the Sea of Japan. The pair were similar to one the DPRK test-fired on Friday. Later that day, American authorities seized a coal ship used by North Korea for sanction-busting.

The missile tests were the first by North Korea in more than 500 days. Yet, the self-imposed moratorium on long-range testing remains. The state media, whose prophesies of mass annihilation and lakes of fire normally rival that of any shortwave radio preacher, assured the world that nothing was amiss.

Trump’s Tax Transcripts: “The Biggest Loser” or No Story?

On Tuesday, The New York Times published an investigation detailing ten years worth of figures it had obtained from President Trump’s tax returns. The paper claimed the previously unrevealed numbers came from IRS tax transcripts, and someone who had legal access to them. The story provided the latest flare up in the political tug of war between the Democratic House and the GOP White House.

The Times claimed their report painted a far bleaker picture of Trump’s finances, between 1985 and 1994, than even he led on. Trump’s core businesses reported $1.17 billion in losses during the period.

US and China Trade: The Stakes Are Rising

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted an escalation to his trade war with China, warning tariffs would more than double, from 10% to 25%. By Tuesday, stocks were sent tumbling, and companies scrambling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 472 points Tuesday, it’s worst day in four months. Grain futures hit their lowest mark in more than 40 years. Companies weren’t given much in the way of warning, with tariffs due to increase Friday. They’ll have to decide whether to eat the tariffs themselves or pass the costs on to consumers.

Trump’s escalation comes amid a five-month truce between the world’s two biggest economies, and as the U.S. and China appeared close to a deal. However, Administration officials say China has been backtracking from earlier commitments. In a Washington Post op-ed, former chief strategist Steve Bannon urged the president to “follow his instincts and not soften his stance against the greatest existential threat ever faced by the United States.” Trade advisor Peter Navarro, and others, see no deal as preferable to any deal, and some fear the president will cave, again.

“Or Else What?” The Limits of Checks and Balances

America’s founding fathers were wise in many respects. They were revolutionary in setting up a republic, based on the separation of powers and a system of checks and balances. One even presciently warned against the mischief of factions. What they did not foresee was two nationalized factions paralyzing government, a viable means of resolving disputes between elections, and an answer to “or else what?” should one branch refuse to comply with the demands of the other.

Biden Maintains 20 Point Lead Over Dem Rivals

Vice President Joe Biden (D) continues to lead all rivals for the Democratic nomination by a wide margin. The only other candidate with double digit support is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (D), and Biden leads him by 20 points.

Biden also leads in a head-to-head match up with President Donald Trump in the key Electoral College states of Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Trump leads Biden in North Carolina. The men are tied in Arizona. However, it’s worth remembering that nearly every pollster was wrong about the 2016 presidential outcome.

South Africans Go to the Polls This Week; a Majority Will Stay Away

In political science, a democratic transition is said to have been completed once at least two parties win elections. If that’s the case, the end of Apartheid twenty-five years ago merely marked the replacement of one dominant-party state by another. Since vanquishing the National Party— and white minority rule— in 1994, the African National Congress has won five consecutive elections, and governed alone. On Wednesday, the ANC will make it six in a row, and a full term for South Africa’s new President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Israel and Gaza Reach Cease Fire

Another flare up between Israel and Hamas began unexpectedly over the weekend.  While Jews in the south were praying in the Synagogue on Saturday morning (the day of the Sabbath) suddenly there were sirens.  The people interrupted their prayers and ran into bomb shelters. Officially another battle began between Israel and Gaza.  The war continued until 4:30 on Monday morning.

Nearly 700 rockets were fired from Gaza and four Israelis were killed.  Most of the missiles aimed at Israel population centers were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.  Very few made clean hits into Israeli populated areas in the south including Beer Sheva, Kiryat Gat, Ashkelon, Sederot, Nitivot, Ofakim and Israel settlements in the south.

It’s Complicated: Facebook’s Relationship With Civil Society

Facebook made headlines Thursday, banning several media personalities from their social media platforms, calling them “dangerous.”  That is, multiple media outlets reported the bans before they actually took place.  Laura Loomer, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Nehlen, Louis Farrakhan, Paul Joseph Watson, and Infowars creator Alex Jones still had control of their Facebook and Instagram accounts several hours after their bans were reported by the press.

Infowars’ status as a proscribed entity seems particularly unique.  In a move usually reserved for terrorist organizations, all official and unofficial pages and content has been removed.  Infowars content posted by ordinary users will be removed.  Repeat violators of this policy will themselves be banned.

Trump’s 2020 Campaign Update: The $30 Million Man

Trump has proved to be one of the most effective campaigners the country has seen in a while. Trump’s aggressive and slightly unorthodox campaign strategy netted him the election in 2016, and as candidates begin collecting donations and holding rallies for their 2020 run against him, Trump’s proving he is as effective as ever.

The Trump campaign has raised more money than any other candidate (over $30 million), dominated the news cycle, and energized hundreds of thousands of voters at rallies.

UK Local Elections: All Politics is Brexit

In a possible dress rehearsal for European elections later this month, British voters took out their frustrations on the two major parties in local elections on Thursday.  Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives got the worst of it, losing some 1,300 city councilors, and more than 40 councils, compared to their 2015 figures.  Labour fared no better, dropping about 80 councilors, and losing control of a half-dozen city councils.  For good measure, even pro-Brexit UKIP, big winners four years ago, lost almost all their seats Thursday night.

Is Elizabeth Warren Making a Presidential Move?

Our article on April 27 had Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) on April 27 fifth among Democratic primary candidates at 6.3%. Today the Real Clear Politics Poll has her in third place at 8.8%.  It appears she flipped places with Senator Kamala Harris (D) who was in 3rd who is now polling in 5th during the same time frame.

Warren, out of the vast number of candidates running for president in 2020, has the most ideas and is the most policy driven–such as breaking up Big Tech and protecting public lands. She appears to be the Democratic Party’s  “academia candidate.”

No Holds BARRed on Capitol Hill

It’s been an eventful week, to say the least, for U.S. Attorney General William Barr. On Tuesday, special counsel Robert Mueller was revealed to have sent Barr a letter strongly objecting to the AG’s characterization of the report’s findings. The next day, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about the report. By Thursday, the Attorney General skipped his scheduled hearing before the House Judiciary Committee over a disagreement about whether staff, rather than elected members, could question him.

Islamic Terrorists Kill 3,237 So Far in 2019

The number of targeted attacks by extreme Islamic terrorists in 2019 is staggering. There were 569 Islamic attacks in 37 countries in which 3,237 people were killed and 3,689 were injured so far this year  That works out to over 30 people killed per day and almost five attacks per day.

This week’s major news story and largest attack was a Boko Haram attack on a Nigerian Kuda-Kaya Village. That Boko Haram extremists killed at least 25 people who were returning home from a wedding celebration.

Spanish Socialists Win Most Seats, Growing Nationalist Party Makes Historic Gains

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) won the most seats in Sunday’s national election and must now assemble a governing coalition.

This week’s results were a first test for Sanchez who assumed leadership during a coalition restructuring last year. He now expects his increased legitimacy to help him pass social and political reforms.

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel – May 2, 2019

Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel is celebrated a week before Israel Independence Day.  This year it falls out on Thursday, May 2.  Every Human being suffered from the wrath of Hitler.  Six million Jews were killed in concentration camps in Europe and over forty million people died in World War II.

In and around 1941 Hitler officially declared his desire to exterminate all the Jews.  He already had this plan many years before.

Internet Shutdowns

The Internet is sometimes called a friend and sometimes an enemy. In th  small African nation of Chad, the internet has been closed for one year.  Chadians feel anger and  are revolting as they struggle without internet.

An internet shutdown happens when someone, usually a government, intentionally disrupts internet access to control what people say and do. Blackouts are sometimes called blackouts or kill switches.  The internet enables all our human rights.  When there is peace, people enjoy life with The Internet.  In times of war it may be better to close The Internet.

Unions Join France’s Yellow Jacket Movement

Yellow Jacket protesters in France got a boost this week when some trade unionists announced their decision to join the movement. The “gilets jaunes” have been in the streets of France, clashing with police for six months. Protests started after the government of Emmanuel Macron moved to cut pensions and raise gas prices, but this was more of a last straw, members of the movement say.

The group’s name come from the road safety vests that early marchers donned when they started blocking roads in rural areas.

Rival Marches in Venezuela on Wednesday Could Lead to Violence

Things may be coming to a head in Venezuela on Wednesday as the major forces at odds in that country have both decided to hold major rallies on May Day (May 1).

Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó, 35, has called for huge protests on Wednesday to demand the resignation of the current President Nicolas Maduro. The regime, in turn, has asked its Chavista supporters (referring to supporters of the late president and Maduro’s predecessor Hugo Chavez) to take to the streets on Wednesday in a show of support.

Biden Leads Trump by 6: First poll After Biden Officially Announces His Candidacy

Vice President Joe Biden (D) launched his candidacy in Pennsylvania, a purple state where President Donald Trump (R) only beat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by .007 percent, or just over 44,000 votes out of almost 6 million.

Prior to Trump, the last six presidential elections in the keystone state were won by the Democratic ticket. Our guess is that he will soon show up in Michigan where the Trump winning margin was even smaller (only .002 percent). The six Great Lake State elections prior to Trump were also all won by the DNC candidate.

Poll: Biden 29.3: Sanders 23: Harris 7.5: What an Simple Person Thinks They Need to Do to Win the Democratic Primary

Vice President Joe Biden has taken a 6 point lead and has been able to hold the press attention during his presidential launch this week. Joe Biden now has to establish that he can:

  1. Establish himself as a top fundraiser for his candidacy. Having polls showing him beating Trump should help.
  2. Keep the high attention of the left wing press, with no major gaffes.
  3. Keep the the others in his party from doing too much damage to him, especially the liberal wing, knowing he has a long track record of being a mainstream politician.

452 Killed, 881 Injured by Terror Attacks in One Week

Enclosed is a list of targeted attacks on civilians, churches, honor killings or Sharia executions by extreme Islamic terrorists over the last week. This week’s major news story and largest attack was Sri Lanka, with 358 dead and 800 injured.

Of course this should be headline news. What seems to be missing in the news is that their was a total of 23 terrorist attacks in only seven days. That means over three attacks occurred per day, and over 90 people were killed (not including Sri Lanka), again in a weeks time period. These multiple, smaller fundamentalist terror attacks are hardly covered in the news.  Many people claim these terrorist attacks are part of an overarching religious war on Christianity. Others claim that calling these killings a ‘Christian-based religious war’ is a false and extreme narrative.