Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Trump: Ban all Muslim travel to U.S.

ISIS themselves have said that many of their fighters are embedded among the Syrian refugees so this is in fact the only way these Jihadis can be kept out.  "Screening" is a joke.  What do you screen and how?  But if you want to find out if someone is a Muslim, that's easy.  Just ask them to say: "Islam is a false religion"

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump called Monday for barring all Muslims from entering the United States.

"Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said.

Trump, who has previously called for surveillance against mosques and said he was open to establishing a database for all Muslims living in the U.S., made his latest controversial call in a news release. His message comes in the wake of a deadly mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, by suspected ISIS sympathizers and the day after President Barack Obama asked the country not to "turn against one another" out of fear.

Trump's comments are likely to roil the Republican presidential race, forcing many of his opponents for the nomination to engage in a debate over whether there should be a religious test to enter America.

But his proposal was met with enthusiasm by many of his supporters, who showed their approval via social media as well as at his rally on Monday night.

"I think that we should definitely disallow any Muslims from coming in. Any of them. The reason is simple: we can't identify what their attitude is," said 75-year-old Charlie Marzka of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Moreover, the Muslim travel ban will likely do little to dent Trump's own popularity among Republican primary voters. The billionaire businessman has dominated the GOP contest for months despite repeated controversies that would likely sink other White House hopefuls.

"Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine," Trump said in a statement. "Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life."

The release pointed to an online poll from the controversial Center for Security Policy, which claimed that a quarter of Muslims living in the U.S. believe violence against Americans is justified as part of a global jihadist campaign. Critics have questioned the reliability of the organization's information. It also pointed to a Pew Research poll, which the campaign declined to identify, which the campaign claimed points to "great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population."

Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN on Monday that the ban would apply not just to Muslim foreigners looking to immigrate to the U.S., but also to Muslims looking to visit the U.S. as tourists.

"Everyone," Lewandowski said when asked if the ban would also apply to Muslim tourists.

Trump confirmed that his policy would not apply to current Muslims in the U.S. during a Fox News interview on Monday evening.



Turkey's Human Wave Assault on the West?

For months, Western policymakers have agonized over what to do with the masses of Sunni Muslim migrants flooding Europe by the boatload, particularly Syrians. Largely missing from this discussion is the question of why this flood is happening.

For starters, it doesn't have much to do directly with the civil war in Syria or the rise of ISIS. The vast majority of the 886,662 migrants who illegally entered Europe this year embarked from Turkey, a little over half of them Syrians who took shelter in the country over the past four years. "EU officials have said . Ankara was very effective in previous years in preventing the outflow of refugees from the country," according to the Wall Street Journal.

What caused the spike in migration is that Ankara stopped containing it. Over the past year or so, the Turkish government has allowed human traffickers to vastly expand their operations, bringing prices down tenfold (from $10,000-$12,000 per person last year to around $1,250 today, according to one report. This spawned what the New York Times calls a "multimillion-dollar shadow economy" profiting from the traffic, ranging from the smugglers to manufacturers of cheap rafts, life vests, and other equipment.

By the spring of this year it had become easier and cheaper than ever before to illegally enter Europe through Turkey, and more people have taken advantage of the opportunity Ankara has created.

So why did Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan open the spigot? Put simply, to extract financial, political, and strategic concessions from European governments in exchange for closing it.

Ankara certainly hasn't been shy about asking for money over the course of its negotiations with EU officials in recent weeks. On November 29 the EU agreed to provide Turkey with an "initial" $3.19 billion and take steps to expedite its bid to join the EU in exchange for Turkish promises to better patrol its coastlines.

Erdogan also used the crisis to generate foreign political support ahead of snap elections on November 1, essentially a re-do of the June 2015 elections that saw the ruling AKP lose its parliamentary majority for the first time. Though Western diplomatic protocol frowns on state visits during election time, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Istanbul for high-profile meetings with Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu just two weeks before the vote. The European Commission postponed the release of a report detailing the erosion of the rule of law, freedom of expression and judicial independence in Turkey until after the election in order, according to Reuters, "to avoid antagonizing" its president.

Most worrisome, perhaps, is Turkey's pursuit of strategic payoffs for its human wave assault on Europe. In a letter sent to European leaders at the September 23 EU migration summit, Davutoglu proposed the creation of a "safe zone" and U.S.-enforced no-fly zone stretching from the Turkish border 80 km into northern Syria, where his government has backed a variety of Sunni Islamist insurgents against both pro-regime Syrian forces and local Kurds.

Although the start of Russian military intervention in Syria on September 30 put an end to this fantasy for the time being (which perhaps explains why the Turks were so trigger-happy in shooting down an SU-24 that only slightly violated their airspace on November 24), you can bet Erdogan will use the migrant crisis to pressure the West into supporting his ambitions in Syria.

If all of this sounds familiar, it's because the late Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi used to play the same game, turning the pipeline of illegal trans-African migration into Europe on and off as a way of extracting concessions. The most vexing question, then as now, is not what to do with the migrants, but what to do with a government that so callously manipulates masses of downtrodden human beings as a diplomatic pressure tactic.

On this there's room for debate. But the first step in doing anything about it is to call Erdogan out for what he is - dangerous and manipulative - no partner for Western leaders. Still, after meeting with the Erdogan in Paris on Tuesday, President Obama praised Turkey for being "extraordinarily generous when it comes to its support of refugees."

The next step, instead of bribing Turkey with ransom payments to end the hemorrhaging of Syrian and other Middle East refugees into the West, should turn the tables on Ankara. The potential loss of Western support to Turkey as it deals with both Russia and ISIS should be the sword of Damocles, convincing Erdogan to contain the refugee crisis.

Western material support to Turkey should be cut off entirely unless Ankara puts an end to the refugee crisis it is manufacturing and begins to play a constructive role in bringing stability to the region. How appropriate that an ancient Greek tragedy disrupt the current calamitous Turkish-born reality.



In the Wake of the Terror Attack, Democrats are currying favor with Muslims

As Americans are arming up and demanding that government come up with a solution for the radical Islam problem, Democrats are doing the unthinkable- attending service at a radical Islamist mosque

Democratic lawmakers are planning to attend prayer services at a Washington-area mosque that has been accused of acting as a front for Hamas and that served as the home of terrorist spiritual leader Anwar al-Awlaki, who reportedly mentored two of the 9/11 hijackers.

On the heels of a deadly mass shooting by two Muslim individuals in San Bernardino, California, a group of Democratic lawmakers said they would attend Friday prayer services at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Virginia, which has been linked to the financing of terrorists and where al-Awlaki served as the spiritual leader

Republican leaders are offering all different kinds of solutions for the Islamic terrorism problem, while Democrats are blaming it on global warming and law abiding gun owners. Their frontrunner is walking around cutting ads with her head covered in submission to Islam. Whomever your candidate, the message is clear. There is one party in this country who has no interest in confronting the radical Islamist threat to America.



Is Liberalism Good for Poor People?

When is the last time you heard Hillary Clinton talk about poverty? How about Barack Obama? Or Bernie Sanders?

Granted, they use the word "middle class" a lot. But when is the last time you heard them talk about what they want to do for the "poor"? I can't remember.

Take housing. On any given day about 565,000 people in the United States are homeless. That problem isn't going away any time soon. In fact, at the current rate of progress it will take 40 years before the homeless disappear from our shelters and streets. I don't recall any Democratic proposals to change that.

Ironically, the chronically homeless decreased more under President Bush (30%) than under President Obama (21%). Hillary Clinton actually charged a group of homeless veterans $500,000 to give a speech. (I have no idea where they got the money.)

When they talk about the problem at all, liberal Democrats invariably say we need to spend more money. But that's not the answer. Like the problems of education, transportation, medical care and lack of job opportunities, the housing problems of the poor are largely the creation of bad government policies. The cheapest, most efficient way to solve these problems is to change the bad polices.

In 1900, more than half the population was living in poverty, using today's definition. That was a time when there were huge influxes of people into the cities and urban areas. So where did all those people live? Were they all sleeping under bridges? Since we had a largely free market for housing, the private sector seemed to do quite well at meeting people's needs.

Not many of today's readers would want to live in the tenements that housed families 100 years ago. But at least they were housed. They weren't sleeping on the streets.

One way in which the private sector created housing space is with single room occupancy or single resident occupancy dwellings-usually called SROs:

    [These are] a form of housing in which one or two people are housed in individual rooms (sometimes two rooms, or two rooms with a bathroom or half bathroom) within a multiple-tenant building... SRO tenants typically share bathrooms and/or kitchens, while some SRO rooms may include kitchenettes, bathrooms, or half-baths... many are former hotels ... primarily rented as a permanent residence.

These were born out of urban overcrowding, as cities scrambled to meet housing demands produced by industrialization and the urban population explosion of the early 20th century. But today, they are largely illegal. As Mariana lonova writes:

    [T]he number of legal SROs in New York City has dwindled dramatically, with some 175,000 units disappearing between the 1950s and today. Single-room dwellings also fell out of favor in other urban centers across the country, which led in the loss of nearly 1 million SRO units nationwide. Between 1960 and 1980, Chicago lost 80 percent of its 38,845 SROs, while Seattle saw 15,000 units disappear. In San Francisco, more than 10,000 units were converted or demolished between 1960 and 2000....

Today, there are only 30,000 legal SROs in New York City, but there are an estimated three times that many illegal units-meeting an ever increasing demand:

    ... poverty in New York has persisted and even worsened-today nearly a fifth of New Yorkers live in poverty, compared to less than a sixth in 1969. Meanwhile, changing gender and family norms have meant a massive increase in the number of single-person households in the city, which rose from 185,000 in 1960 to more than 700,000 in 1987 to an estimated 1.8 million today.

That city and state housing polices contribute to a housing shortage in places like New York and San Francisco and exacerbate the problem of homelessness is not even controversial. Here is a whole speech on the matter by Jason Furman, Prescient Omasa's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. (HT: John Cochrane.) And here is an editorial on the issue by Paul Krugman.

Yet, neither Furman nor Krugman makes the point I made in "How Liberals Live." The worst housing shortages, the most homelessness and the worst inequality exist in the cities that are the most Democratic and the most liberal.

I wonder why?



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