Monday, November 13, 2017

The best hope for world peace

Mr Trump obviously gets on well with Mr Putin and enjoys talking to him.  With its stupid sanctions, Congress has done what it can to foster cold war with Russia so the world is fortunate to have a real statesman in  charge of the U.S. administration.  The entente between Trump and Putin at the very least ensures good communication between them and that ensures that no mistakes will be made between them

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin shook hands Saturday in Da Nang, Vietnam for the second time in two days during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit.

Trump entered the summit meeting room and walked straight to his Russian counterpart, who was already seated at the room's giant round table.

Putin stood and the two shook hands and spoke briefly, with Trump smiling and doing most of the talking.

Later, the two heads of state chatted before posing for a 'family photo' with all the other presidents and prime ministers.

The two presidents stood next to each other Friday night for a less formal group photo, shaking hands before waving at onlookers as shutters snapped.



Prince Charles suggested the 'influx of foreign Jews' was partly to blame for unrest in the Middle East and asked who will stand up and take on 'Jewish lobby' in America in controversial letter

He is just a fool.  Coming on top of his love for the global warming fraud, this confirms it. I have always defended him as being well meaning but I can no longer justify that.  And I am (and will remain) a keen monarchist.  His eldest son will re-establish the sterling reputation so outstanding in the Queen. For the sake of the monarchy, Charles should not take up the crown when the times comes but pass that duty over to Prince William

Prince Charles was fiercely criticised last night after it emerged he once urged the US to ‘take on the Jewish lobby’ – and blamed ‘the influx of foreign Jews’ for causing unrest in the Middle East.

Writing to his close friend Laurens van der Post in 1986, the Prince makes a startling assessment of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He argues it was the exodus of European Jews in the middle of the last century that ‘helped to cause the great problems’.

He goes on to say terrorism in the region will only end when its causes are eliminated.

He then expresses the hope a US President will find the courage to stand up to the American ‘Jewish lobby’.

The term ‘Jewish lobby’ is considered by many to be anti-Semitic – suggesting wealthy Jews in the US operate behind the scenes to exercise undue influence over government policy.

Other high-profile figures have been heavily criticised for using the term.

Last night, Stephen Pollard, influential editor of The Jewish Chronicle, said: ‘To me this is the most astonishing element of the Prince’s letter. The “Jewish lobby” is one of the anti-Semitic themes that have endured for centuries. It is this myth there are these very powerful Jews who control foreign policy or the media or banks or whatever.’

Mr Pollard described the letter as ‘jaw-droppingly shocking’, adding: ‘That they [the Prince’s comments] come from the heir to the throne is unsettling, to put it mildly.’

While the letter is inflammatory, there is no suggestion Charles holds anti-Semitic views.

He has many prominent Jewish friends and in 2013 became the first Royal to attend a chief rabbi’s inauguration ceremony. In a speech that year, he expressed concern at the apparent rise of anti-Semitism in Britain.

In the past it has been reported that the Prince is privately critical of US policy in the Middle East, with one diplomatic source accusing him of having ‘fairly dodgy views on Israel’.

At the same time, he is seen as a defender of Islam, with one historian noting that no other major Western figure has as high a standing in the Muslim world.

It has also been suggested he has pro-Palestinian leanings, a perception the letter appears to support.

The Prince’s candid letter surfaced in a public archive. It was written on November 24, 1986, immediately after an official visit the then 38-year-old Prince made to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar with Princess Diana.

The Prince’s reference in the letter to the influx of European Jews also caused dismay.

It is not clear if he is referring to immigration before or after the Second World War, or both. Mr Pollard said: ‘It is the absolute classic Arab explanation of the problems in the Middle East.

'And it is what everyone has always said the British aristocracy actually thinks – the idea that Jews were some kind of foreigners who had no real place in Israel until we decided to make it their homeland. Historically it is nonsense and it’s quite stunning when it comes from the heir to the throne.’

A senior Israeli diplomatic source said last night: ‘He [Charles] was travelling around the Gulf states [just before he wrote the controversial letter], which in those years were very anti-Israel. It seems he was presented with a narrative in a very convincing way.’

Earlier this month, Britain marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the document that paved the way for the state of Israel, with a gala dinner in London attended by Theresa May and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 1993, Charles delivered what was then considered to be the most pro-Islamic speech ever made by a member of the Royal Family. He said: ‘Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity is poorer for having lost.’

In 2003, it was reported the Prince had not been to the US for the previous six years on Foreign Office advice, largely because of his criticism of US policy in the Middle East.

A diplomatic source said at the time the Prince had ‘in American terms and international terms, fairly dodgy views on Israel. He thinks American policy in the Middle East is complete madness.’

In 2007, leaked emails between senior Clarence House staff put Charles at the centre of a row about the Royals’ attitude towards the Jewish state.

Exchanges between Sir Michael Peat, the Prince’s then principal secretary, and Clive Alderton, Sir Michael’s deputy, contained apparently disparaging remarks about Israel.

Over the years, the Prince has forged a close relationship with the Saudi royal family. But no Royal has ever visited Israel in an official capacity. Officials say it is because there is no permanent peace deal in the region.



Outsiders vs. Insiders: 2017’s lessons – To ‘win’ more, Republicans need to man-up and change

I see the results discussed below as a reproof to the small band of Senate RINOs who blocked Trump's agenda.  The results show that their actions did nothing for the GOP but were a boon to the Democrats.  Trump needs to show that he can deliver on behalf of the GOP and they have blocked that -- JR

What happened?  It’s a legitimate question coming two days after Democrats dominated the 2017 elections. Granted gubernatorial contests were held only in two Mid-Atlantic states (New Jersey and Virginia) this year – both either solid blue or trending blue – but the results pretty much equaled a whitewash for Republicans in their first state-level test of the Donald Trump era.

Not only did Democrat candidates for governor win convincingly in both cases, by all appearances the minority party picked up enough seats in the Virginia House of Delegates to at least pull even in the chamber. When coupled with the GOP’s narrow two-seat majority in the state senate, Virginia could now be the most evenly partisan divided state in the country (with Democrats holding all the executive offices, of course).

The media narrative of the drubbing was about what you’d expect from the chattering class – voters rejected Trump; they were fed up with the Republicans’ “negative” tone; people revolted against racism… you know, standard stuff for the liberal journalism profession.

Tunneling a little deeper below the surface there is some evidence that the Democrats, at least in Virginia, pulled out all the stops to win when they had to. They went low and it doesn’t look like they’re ashamed of it either.

Charles Hurt wrote in the Washington Times, “Over the past 40 years, only once has Virginia elected a governor from the same party that won the White House the previous year. With Republican Donald Trump in the White House, Mr. Northam, nee [Jim] Crow, was all but guaranteed to win this off-year election in a walk.

“This trend has only intensified in the favor of Democrats in recent elections as the state turns bluer and bluer because of population in the swampy northern part of the state. Add to that the unique distaste for the government-bashing Mr. Trump, an outsider who is loathed by all the swamp creatures who commute into the District from Northern Virginia.

As the federal government grows, so do the Virginia/Washington D.C. suburbs. Even in my home of Prince William County the voters kicked out long-serving principled conservative Delegate Bob Marshall in favor of what is probably the first transgender elected official in the country (at least at the state-level). Daniel “Danica” Roem won with 54 percent of the district 13 vote.

But judging by the number of seats Democrats pulled-in statewide, it wasn’t just a transgender thing on Tuesday. This election was a sure sign that something isn’t quite right with the state Republican Party. Democrats not only portrayed poor nice guy Ed Gillespie as a child-threatening racist, they also firmly pinned the establishment label to the former lobbyist’s lapel. “Enron Ed” they called him in several TV ads.

Ralph Northam will take over for outgoing Clinton buddy Governor Terry McAuliffe in January. The former head of the Democrat National Committee is widely rumored to be considering a run for president in 2020. Carpetbagger McAuliffe likely won’t get far – he’s too closely tied to the Clintons -- but with the clueless Democrats, you never can tell.

Beyond the local matters at stake in this year’s elections it’s clear blame for the GOP’s losses also lies with the national Republican Party, and to some extent, with President Trump himself. Congress’s multiple well-reported failures to pass a promised Obamacare repeal and replace bill gave average voters little reason to choose Republicans two days ago. And Trump’s tweeting habit remains a sore spot for some who might otherwise be inclined to support his agenda.

After what happened this week it’s only natural to lean towards panicking, but it’s probably too early for candidates to completely jump off the Trump bandwagon and start taking up the Gillespie-esque strategy of distancing themselves from the president in order to appeal to those in the so-called “middle” (if there is such a category any more).

While I agree it’s in the Republican Party’s own best interests to pound the healthy economic numbers it shouldn’t be forgotten many of the items on Trump’s agenda have been summarily pushed to the side by party elites who believe they can get away with waffling on immigration, tax cuts and conservative cultural issues and still win elections.

Let’s not leap off the bridge just yet – after all, this was blue-trending Virginia and bluer than blue New Jersey we’re talking about. The GOP is growing stronger in regions such as the Midwest where Trump’s agenda hits home with the citizens. Democrats and the media have turned Virginia into the modern-day battleground over confederate statues and politically correct race issues. I highly doubt the country has wholesale changed in less than a year’s time and likewise taken up the cause of those who want to erase history to appease some political constituency.

If anything, the GOP needs more Trump, not less; or should I clarify, it needs more of Trump’s agenda, not less.

Historic trends usually lead away from the incumbent president in off-year elections. 2017 was no different. There’s plenty of time to “recover” for the GOP, but not if the Congress doesn’t get to work and keep some of its promises. This should be a wake-up call, indeed.

Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner, “Unlike during the campaign, Trump today has a record as president for voters to evaluate. If the economy were to stumble, he would certainly pay a political price. But what if current trends continue for a while, and the economy stays strong or keeps getting better?

“Should that happen, there's no doubt Trump's adversaries, in Congress and in the press, will focus even more relentlessly on his tone, on the hair-on-fire controversy of the day, in an effort to make voters overlook their general level of satisfaction and oppose Trump, even as their lives improve.”

This already seems to be happening as economic growth is stronger now than it’s been for most of this century and the unemployment numbers are similarly trending positively downward for the GOP. Consumer confidence is sky-high and the stock market keeps setting new records. Americans are feeling good about a lot of things, but still don’t like Trump because of his Twitter “tone.”


Another suggestion:  We should make the District of Columbia include any adjacent county in Maryland and Va and it becomes a state. absurd to let  adjacent VA and MD counties loaded with DC interests control both those states.


For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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