FBI Collusion

According to the infamous memo that Pres. Trump released this week, the issue is not Russian collusion with the Republicans, but rather FBI collusion with the Democrats to prevent Trump being elected President.

It was a memo produced for the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee by its Chairman Devin Nunes, summarizing the findings of an investigation into the case behind the whole FBI/DOJ investigation of the Russian affair.  But, some of the contents are truly disturbing.  It shows that the FBI used the report of a British spy named Christopher Steele, who was paid by the Clinton Election campaign to dig up dirt on Trump.  And then individuals in the FBI, who are now on record as being dedicated to preventing Trump winning at all costs and who expected to be rewarded by Clinton if she won, took over the investigation of the Trump campaign’s supposed collusion with Russia.  What a smelly kettle of fish, what an unethical and biased process.  Some of these agents, including Peter Strzok, have since been fired from the case by the Special Counsel Mueller.  It is too late to be able to say that this investigation is objective, it is totally compromised.

I don’t propose to get into the details of this situation, there are too many strands and too many characters involved.  To say that it resembles the Watergate affair with Nixon is an understatement.  This is hard-ball politics played for keeps by people who are dedicated to destroy the careers of opponents as enemies and also to subvert the will of the people.  When the full story comes out, if it ever will, it will make an exciting story and movie.  Until then lets hope it does not prove as damaging to the fabric of American democracy as some think.

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Trump’s SOTU Speech

President Trump gave his first State of the Union speech to Congress one year after taking office.  I watched the whole speech.  This was not high-flying oratory, it was not articulate or memorable phraseology, as we have heard before.  But, it was nevertheless a great speech, why?  Because it was measured, deliberate and policy-based.  The overall approach was patriotic and pragmatic.  He outlined his intended initiatives for the coming year and covered them very effectively.  He also called for across-the-aisle cooperation with the Democrats, although from the way the Democrats sat silently with sour faces it was clear that little cooperation will be forth-coming from them, even on issues that they supposedly support.

The issues he outlined include:

  • Immigration: Trump is absolutely right that the US has a defective immigration system that allows illegal immigrants to get away with it.  The round-up and release system, the chain immigration of extended families, and the lottery are all ways that criminal gangs and terrorists can and do infiltrate into the USA.  Further, the legal immigration system is not based on merit, as it was when I became a legal immigrant to the USA.  The ides that somehow the US should take the poor and dispossessed without any consideration of how they will support themselves is ridiculous.  I strongly oppose the idea that because we were once immigrants we should support all other immigrants, whether they are legal, illegal or purely economic migrants.  He also mentioned that we need the “wall” with Mexico to prevent illegal immigration.
  • Infrastructure: There is no doubt that the infrastructure of the USA, bridges, roads and ports are in a state of decay, having been ignored by previous administrations.  This is partly because some of these assets are also owned by the States.  So now a sharing program must be instituted that will enable the considerable funds required to be amassed, including private industry.
  • Foreign Aid: It makes no sense for the US to be providing billions of dollars in foreign aid when much of it goes to countries and entities, such as the Palestinians, who are consistently anti-American.  If the BDS movement wants to support the Palestinians, let them pay for their welfare from cradle to grave, the US taxpayer should not bear that burden.
  • Economy:  The US economy is thriving since Trump took office.  Some have questioned whether he can take credit for this, of course he can, he is the President.  The stock market has consistently reached new highs, and money and jobs are returning to the US after many decades of loss.   After introducing the largest tax reform in US history Trump is well on the way to increasing jobs and salaries to new highs.  It was symptomatic of the Democrats, that even the Black caucus members did not applaud his mention that Black unemployment is the lowest ever.

I enjoyed his introduction of many people who exemplified the American tradition of service and commitment.  Altogether his emphasis on elected officials being the servants of the American people was very effective.  In this speech Trump came across as Presidential, dedicated, sober and well-informed.  Not the crazy, unhinged, amateur idiot that a lot of Democrats and show business personalities would like us to believe.

Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury” is the title of the infamous book that is exciting passions in the US, in which the author Michael Wolff uses quotes from Steve Bannon and others to criticize Pres. Trump and his family.  Bannon was, of course, Trump’s primary adviser during the election campaign and was a White House appointee after the election.  But, Trump fired him for reasons that still remain obscure.  Wolff also uses the book to increase his notoriety and no doubt thereby increase sales.  Since I have not read the book, I can only comment on the media buzz that has become excessive, partly because of the strong negative reaction by Pres. Trump himself and his spokesmen.

This book, like many others of its kind is a deliberate peek behind the scenes intended to show all the dirty linen that can be exposed.  Such authors are out to make headlines and often use scathing criticisms of their target victims.  What is not unusual is that Steve Bannon, soon after first quotes were released in which he accuses Donald Trump Jr. of “traitorous conduct” in meeting with a Russian representative, soon reversed himself and said that he was not even referring to Don Trump Jr. but to Paul Manafort, another of Trump’s advisers.

Furthermore Bannon himself stated that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. something that is being investigated in Congress by three Committees at the cost of millions of dollars to the American taxpayer.  These so-called investigations amount to a Democratic witch-hunt against Trump, principally because the Dems could not accept the fact that he won the election.  Furthermore, such serious infractions as Hillary Clinton using a non-secure server for sending e-mails when she was Secty. of State and her aide Huma Abedin sharing secret e-mails with her former husband disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner have been conveniently over-looked.  When will the FBI do its job and carry out serious investigations of their crimes?

Aid and Strings

It is about time that the US, that spends billions of dollars a year on foreign aid, linked that aid to some form of cooperation with US policies.  For many years hundreds of millions of dollars, given to such countries as Pakistan and to the Palestinians, have been used to line the pockets of corrupt rulers and to subsidise terrorism.  The US through its UN representative Nikki Haley has announced that they will cut m$255 from the Pakistan aid budget and Pres. Trump himself has announced that he will cut aid to the Palestinians, since they are not cooperating in any peace process.  Of course, they haven’t participated in any peace process for over 10 years, but they have still been getting hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and they are using it to pay their terrorists (or their families) for killing Jews.

In response, Pres. Abbas of the PA, never showing any gratitude for the money spent, roundly criticized the US and Pres. Trump, and said that they will not cooperate with the US.  How is it that the US (the State Dept. excepted) hasn’t realized that the Palestinians, like most of the Arabs, are virulently anti-American?  Don’t they remember that on 9/11 when the Twin Towers were attacked, the Palestinians celebrated in the streets, handing out candies and firing fire-crackers (some pro-Palestinian media censored these actions, including CNN and BBC)?  Abbas also said that the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel was a declaration of war by Israel and the USA.  But, then it is the Palestinians who are waging war on Israel and the US is paying their bills.  What hypocrisy!

Finally, after the disaster of Obama, we have a US Administration that rewards its friends and punishes its enemies.  The US aid given to Israel (ca. b$3) is a good investment for the US.  Not only is Israel a close ally and friend of the US, but it has voted with the  US at the UN more than any other country (including the so-called European allies). Much of the military aid (ca. 40%) given to Israel is returned to the US in the form of Israel buying American-made military hardware, including fighter planes.  This keeps a lot of Americans employed.  Israel acts as America’s biggest aircraft carrier!  If push comes to shove with Iran, the US (and the Saudis) will be very glad they have Israel on their side.

 

2017-2018

For me, undoubtedly the most important event of 2017 was the recognition by Pres. Trump of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  Although this was actually recognising reality, it was nevertheless a brave and surprising thing to do.  Yes, he had promised to do this in his election campaign, but so had Barack Obama and several other previous Presidential candidates.  But, when they actually became President they did not do so, exercising the biannual waiver included in the law of 1995 by Congress.

Perhaps the second most important thing was the total and extreme rejection of this recognition by the Palestinian movement.  They have shown no sign of willingness to compromise and have continued to resort to violence and terrorism.  In a way they are playing into Israeli and American hands, by their anti-American rhetoric and rejection.

The defeat of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, almost complete by the end of 2017, is another important event that will be continued into 2018.  Connected to that is not only the survival of Pres. Assad of Syria, but also the entrenchment of foreign forces in Syria, notably Russia, Iran and Hizbollah (from Lebanon).  The future of the Middle East looks dire with the expansion of Iran,   But, widespread rioting in Iran over economic issues  has currently expanded into anti-clerical sentiment, and even if these manifestations are suppressed, they cannot be defeated altogether.

The question in 2018 is can these anti-clerical riots undermine Iran’s expansionism before they actually start to attack Israel, which could lead to a significant war.  I remind readers that one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s main aims when he came to power in 1979 was to capture Jerusalem, and to this end a main slogan of the revolution was “The road to Jerusalem leads through Baghdad.”  They failed in their attempt to take over Iraq, with its Shia majority, by force.  But they  have now extended their grasp to pro-Shia Syria instead.

The situation of North Korea cannot remain dormant in 2018.  The provocations of Kim Jong-Un must be countered by the US, and since Pres. Trump has been touting the diplomatic solution, it is fair to assume that he is planning a military solution.  As he has said several times, he will not reveal his future plans (as Pres. Obama did).

Finally, one of the biggest stories of the year 2017 has been the US stock market rally, up nearly 25%.  The tax and jobs Bill passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Trump just before the New Year, should have significant economic benefits in 2018.  With an improved financial situation, the US will be in a position to implement those policies that are needed, including immigration (“the wall”), anti-terrorism and an increased defense budget.

 

Black freedom

When I see you hanging around on street corners, or taking drugs in run-down hovels, or walking down the street at night in gangs, I am frightened, and disappointed.  What has become of you, the black men who were freed from the shackles of slavery and blatant persecution and exclusion.  My people, the Jews, believed in civil rights, not only because it benefited us, but because it was the right thing to do.  Many people, including mostly white people, combined to help overcome the barriers to your freedom.

When I hear jazz and the music of Benny Goodman (who had the first integrated band), it is joyous music.  When I hear the melodic voice of Ella Fitzgerald I am happy.  But, where are the many Black scientists and leaders we expected.  Yes, it takes effort and competition, yes, it is hard, as we Jews well know.  But, it is necessary and it is worth it.  Don’t use excuses like it’s a “white man’s world” or it’s “white culture” to explain the lack of success.  Science and technology are international and objective.

Through the 70’s and 80’s I had a lab in a major institution in the US.  I waited for the Black students to come, but they never did.  There were plenty of Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, but no Blacks.  When I worked at a major grant-giving scientific institution we were ordered to give minorities (Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans) special consideration, but they never came up to the standard required.

Yet, when movements like “Black Lives Matter” develop, what is one of their major themes, anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Semitism.  Without really understanding the background to the situation, without knowing that Jews were the indigenous people of the region and the Arabs were the imperialists, without taking into account that we had to fight for nearly 100 years against incredible odds to make a place for ourselves in the world, these Black activists are against us.  They buy the crude bias of the BDS movement, they become our enemies.

Yet, I suppose if we had to do it all over again we would still support the civil rights movement, because it was the right thing to do.  But, spare me your sniveling and leftist propaganda, we have made a successful start-up nation here by our own efforts.  When you have achieved something like this, then you can deign to give us advice.

The Tax Reform Bill Passes

In a major victory for Pres. Trump and the Republicans, the historic tax reform act was passed by Congress last night.  It includes cuts in taxes that will allow businesses big and small to add jobs and save money on their tax bills and will also cut taxes for the middle class.

Many people, notably Democrats have already rejected the Bill as being a gift to the wealthy. I find this strange, since the release of funds from the Federal Government into the economy, by reducing taxes, is bound to improve the situation of all Americans.  I am not one of those who resent the rich getting richer, ultimately they have to spend or invest the money and this helps all of us, both by increasing economic activity and providing jobs.  We are not living in 18th century Russia, the US is a true market economy, where wealthy people need to use their wealth by investing it in productive ways.

The US stock market has never seen the kind of growth that has been occurring in the past year.  There have been 11 months of records reached each month and if, as expected, this continues in December, then it will be a full year of increases that has never happened before.  The Dow Jones index went up from 20,000 to almost 25,000, an increase that can only be explained by confidence in Trump’s policies by those who know the market best.

It is reported that the President’s approval ratings are very low, with only 1/3 of people supporting this tax reform.  I find it hard to believe that this is the case, especially since the US public has never been known to oppose tax cuts.  Maybe the liberal-dominated press can’t bring themselves to report anything positive about Trump.  Just as the FBI agent,  Peter Strzok, tasked with investigating the supposed collusion of Trump’s campaign staff with Russia, was reported to have written that there was a million to one chance that Trump would win and he was going to make sure that he didn’t (Oh, and his mistress received $900,000 from the Clinton funds, just to make sure).  That’s FBI neutrality for you, just as the liberal press treats the facts.