Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Donald Trump's Twitter threat to hit 'high level Iranian culture targets' draws accusations that he is plotting WAR CRIMES

They are not thinking big enough in trying to predict where Trump will strike.  It seems clear that fried Ayatollah is on the menu, direct attacks on the Mullahs themselves, maybe in their homes.  I quote Pompeo:

“We’ve made clear to the theocrats and kleptocrats that are running Iran today – running it into the ground against the will of their own people – we made clear to them that we would not respond just against these proxy forces that they run in Yemen and in Syria and in Iraq and in Lebanon,” he said on Fox News Sunday.

“We made clear that this cost would be brought home to them, to the leadership regime in Iran, and that we would raise costs. We wouldn’t just attack their asymmetric efforts, we would respond in a way that imposed costs on the decision-makers who are putting American lives at risk.”

And one thing Trump has shown is that he CAN target prominent Iranians

President Donald Trump has been accused by his critics of plotting war crimes after issuing a threat on Twitter to strike 'Iranian cultural' targets.

'Let this serve as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans, or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD,' Trump wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

It came in response to an Iranian threat to strike 35 U.S. targets in the region in retaliation for the American drone strike that killed Revolutionary Guard General Qassem Solemani early Friday.

It is not entirely clear what Trump meant by targets 'important to Iran & the Iranian culture', and a White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com.

The Geneva Convention Protocol 1 bans 'any acts of hostility directed against the historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples.'

However, neither Iran nor the United States have ratified Protocol 1. Both states are parties to 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which offers more vague language protecting cultural sites.

'For what it's worth, I find it hard to believe the Pentagon would provide Trump targeting options that include Iranian cultural sites,' tweeted Colin Kahl, a former deputy assistant to President Barack Obama.



The Left are up to their usual tricks

There is something really off in the media fury over Trump’s killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani. Let’s leave to one side whether the killing was wise (spiked thinks not). The virtual weeping over Soleimani’s death is still seriously messed up.

Serious foreign-policy talking heads and others in the chattering classes are talking Soleimani up as an anti-ISIS hero, almost as an innocent man ‘murdered’ by evil Donald Trump. This is dangerous nonsense. Soleimani was an Islamist theocrat and imperialist who unleashed terror across the Middle East and who was in Iraq (where he was killed) as part of Iran’s violent repression of dissent in that country. He helped to crush dissent in Iran, too.

The sorrow over his death has nothing to do with anti-imperialism – rather, it is driven by geopolitical cowardice, by a fear of taking decisive action, and by a loathing of Trump so irrational that it convinces its adherents that Islamist hardmen are good guys in comparison. This is perverse. Stop crying for Soleimani.

Via email from Brendan O'neill, editor of "Spiked"


Housing, Homelessness, and the Future of America

Every day we see it. And every day, it gets worse. However, as dire as homelessness seems, all is not lost. You can play an integral part in changing the tide in 2020.

This past year, the blight of homelessness spread to areas never before seen. San Francisco, for example, has experienced an astonishing 30 percent increase in its homelessness population—making national headlines.

Especially in the midst of plenty, it grieves me to see so many spending the holidays without a roof over their head, and mired in despair.

Homelessness is a multifaceted issue, to be sure, but the amount of housing regulations is a significant culprit, especially for families.

In California, for example, regulations alone comprise a third of the cost to build. Once defined by its pioneering spirit, the Golden State’s immense entrepreneurial potential in construction is being bogged down by invasive bureaucracy. This is the case in most other parts of the country as well.

Remember: in urban areas such as San Francisco, there once was an array of very low-cost, private housing options for the poor—nearly all eliminated by “urban renewal,” or outlawed by regulations.

Costly regulation is leaving many little choice but to live in public spaces—a scene that is all too familiar.

Even more ominously, homeownership is increasingly out of reach for young people and even the middle classes.

Studies have shown that homeownership significantly supports the well-being of one's children, increased graduation rates being one example. Homes also represent the largest store of equity for most Americans. Therefore, the devastating decrease in homeownership across income levels bodes ill for the future of our society.

Regulations are undermining the very fabric of the American dream of homeownership.

Fortunately, the Independent Institute has solutions to reinvigorate the power of private entrepreneurship.

If only set free, entrepreneurs can dramatically alleviate our current housing shortage.

I should know. My father, Willard Garvey, built large numbers of extremely low-cost “starter” homes for GIs returning from World War II, as well as for low-income families in Mexico, Peru, India, and Thailand—at affordable, market rates opening homeownership to vast numbers who had never dreamed it possible.

In 2020, Independent will be pursuing several projects to present free-market solutions to housing and homelessness. Our work starts with the release of our latest California Golden Fleece® Award.

As you may know, the Fleece Awards are our state government transparency project, which both spotlights wasteful government taxes, regulations, fraud, and spending projects and, importantly, offers solutions rooted in private entrepreneurship and enterprise.

Our upcoming Fleece, set for release in January, exposes the devastating cost of regulations and provides both bold and actionable steps to free entrepreneurs from these undue and arbitrary burdens.  Once free, entrepreneurs can address the issues of homelessness and the housing shortage.

Having been consistently featured across mainstream media, including USA Today, Los Angeles Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, and San Jose Mercury News, the Fleece Awards are reaching a mainstream audience with free-market policy and private, community-based solutions.

Building upon this success, we expect our new Fleece Award to be among our most impactful yet.

Via email from The Independent Institute


Facts Are the Antidote to Trump Derangement Syndrome
Being a conservative in perhaps the most liberal state in the country, Massachusetts, I’m often asked why I support the president by those on the left, some of whom think he’s a racist, misogynist, homophobe, criminal and, for good measure, a bully.

I laugh and say, “It’s because none of those things are true!” and then hit them with facts, not #FakeNews.

Let’s start with the absurd allegation that President Donald Trump is anti-women. “If that were true,” I ask, “why has he created millions of jobs for women?” Under the Trump administration, the unemployment rate for women is 3.5%, the lowest in 66 years. Hence the poverty rate for women has fallen to record lows. In September 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported, “While both the poverty rate and the number of people in poverty fell for many demographic groups between 2017 and 2018, a large proportion of the decline can be attributed to female-householder families with no spouse present.”

Why is this so vitally important? It’s because financial independence truly empowers and liberates women, giving them the freedom to chart their own course on their own terms, beholden to no one.

Isn’t that the definition of feminism?

This means millions of women employed in the roaring Trump economy fueled by capitalist, free market principles aren’t dependent on “the Man,” aka the government, reliant on that next welfare check, nor are they dependent on a man in the traditional sense. One of the many benefits? Women in bad jobs or bad relationships have the power to change direction without the paralyzing fear or financial worry they won’t be able to pay the rent or afford life’s other necessities.

If you think this isn’t a game changer, ask any woman who’s ever been trapped in a dead-end job or an abusive relationship. She’ll set you straight.

Last month, the president signed into law up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal civilian employees, which will go into effect this year. Undoubtedly, this most benefits women, who disproportionally care for children. It’s also a stepping stone toward the president’s broader goal of implementing paid family leave for all Americans, which will benefit women across the nation by not penalizing them financially for caring for their families.

Since Trump took office, nearly 7 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps, which means millions of women have transitioned from poverty and government dependence to a career and self-reliance.

If that isn’t female empowerment, what is?

My liberal friends will then pivot and say, “But Democratic lawmakers and cable news ‘experts’ say he’s a racist!” To which I counter that thanks to the president’s leadership with the economy, the black unemployment rate is also at a historic low. The president has delivered on criminal justice reform, giving thousands of those wrongfully incarcerated a second chance at life while also implementing a number of initiatives that support the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs. In fact, just last month, the president signed legislation that will permanently provide $255 million annually to HBCUs and dozens of other institutions that predominantly serve minority students. He also signed an executive order in 2018 that established the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to improve revitalization initiatives that target economically distressed areas including so-called opportunity zones.

Now, would a racist be uplifting minorities and empowering them with enhanced housing and education opportunities, block grants, access to small-business loans, jobs, higher wages and tax breaks while also rebuilding their communities?


And when it comes to allegations of homophobia, the Trump administration last year launched a global crusade alongside LGBTQ groups and human rights organizations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Leading the charge? Richard Grenell, the openly gay U.S. ambassador to Germany the president appointed.

When I hear, “Trump’s a criminal,” from some on the far left, I remind them that in America everyone is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers. Since the president has occupied the Oval Office, he’s been subjected to a daily deluge of investigations including a 22-month special counsel probe that found “insufficient evidence” of criminal mischief.

Undoubtedly, if any of these partisan investigations had found a scintilla of evidence of criminal wrongdoing, he would’ve been charged long ago.

Grasping for straws at this point, some of my Democratic friends will say, “OK, I guess you’re right, but he’s still a bully.” To which I respond that if you were to have the entire Washington establishment against you and the #FakeNewsMedia accusing you of treason and other accusations that are heinous, false, defamatory — and hurtful — wouldn’t you fight back, too?

That’s usually where the debate swiftly ends and they change the subject.

Bottom line: Plain and simple facts, not blind hatred fed by #FakeNewsMedia, should be one’s guiding light leading into the next election.




SANITY: Marine Corps authorizes concealed carry on bases following recent shootings (National Review)

CIRCLING THE WAGONS: Media struggle to explain recent wave of anti-Semitic attacks without blaming Jews, Trump (The Washington Free Beacon)

LIMITED VAPING BAN: Trump administration declares ban on mint, fruit-flavored vaping products (The Hill)

GUN-GRAB PROPOSAL: Virginia governor's call for 18-person gun-ban force comes under fire (Washington Examiner)

STOCKING UP: Guns and ammo "flying off the shelves" in Virginia as Democrats pursue confiscation (The Daily Wire)

REVISIONIST HISTORY: Ralph Northam calls for removing statue of Robert E. Lee from U.S. Capitol (The Daily Wire)

"A RADICALLY UNSETTLED PRECEDENT": Two hundred members of Congress are urging the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade (The Daily Caller)

"THE LIES ... HAVE BEEN FOREVER EXPOSED": First trans person to obtain legal "non-binary" sex status changes back to birth sex in blow to LGBT movement (PJ Media)

POLICY: The surprisingly good news about American family life — for kids (American Enterprise Institute)


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.

Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here  (Personal).  My annual picture page is here


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