It’s been a long time since Israel has faced any meaningful challenge from anyone in Washington on anything, big or small. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
It’s worse than ever but the “apartheid state” is increasingly under pressure
At the end of every year, I like to comment on the progress – and the setbacks – in our struggle to make the United States government understand that it exists to improve lives for Americans rather than working full time to pander to the Israelis and their powerful domestic lobby. One would have thought that it could not get worse than the Donald Trump Administration’s crawling on its knees to satisfy every whim expressed or left unexpressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, truly one of the most evil men ever to walk the face of the earth. Trump withdrew from the nuclear treaty with Iran, a move which was driven by Israel and its US lobby backed up by inducements from GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson. As Israel is a secret nuclear power, a program developed around technology and uranium stolen from the United States, the Trump move was the ultimate in hypocrisy, enabling what most nations would regard as a rogue state to have the nuclear option vis-à-vis its relatively defenseless neighbors.
Beyond that, and without any real urging by Israel, Trump showered gift after gift on the Jewish state, moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem in violation of the city’s “international” status, recognizing Israel’s annexation of the illegally occupied Syrian Golan Heights, and endorsing Israel’s “right” to deal with the Palestinians on the West Bank as it sees fit. None of those actions were in support of any actual American interests, nor was it even necessary to do them to placate the Israelis. Nor was it an American interest to release from parole convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, the most damaging spy in US history, so he could emigrate to Israel where he received a hero’s welcome. Since Trump’s departure from office, it has been learned that it was Trump’s Jewish and Zionist son-in-law Jared Kushner who was directing much of the policy on Israel-Palestine.
Recently, Trump, for whom the word “delusional” often seems to apply, stated emphatically that Israel has “rightfully” controlled the US Congress but does not do so any more. In an interview with someone named Ari Hoffman, Trump declared that “The biggest change I’ve seen in Congress, Israel literally owned Congress –you understand that?–ten years ago, fifteen years ago. And it was so powerful. It was so powerful. And today, it is almost the opposite. You have, between AOC and Omar and these people that hate Israel with a passion, they’re controlling Congress. Israel is not a force in Congress anymore! It’s amazing. I’ve never seen such a change. And we’re not talking about over a very long period of time, I think you know exactly what I’m saying. They had such power. Israel had such power, and rightfully, over Congress. And now it doesn’t! It’s incredible, actually.”
Those who write the laws can exempt themselves, either de jure or de facto, and they do. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:
International Man: What exactly is insider trading? Is it inherently unethical?
Doug Casey: The term insider trading is nebulous and as open to arbitrary interpretation as the Internal Revenue Code. A brief definition is to “to trade on material, non-public information.” That sounds simple enough, but in its broadest sense, it means you are a potential criminal for attempting to profit from researching a company beyond its public statements.
Is the use of insider information ethical? The government says, “No!” I say, “Absolutely, whenever the data is honestly gained, and no confidence is betrayed by disclosing or using it.” The whole concept of inside information is a floating abstraction, a witch hunter’s dream, and a bonanza for government lawyers looking to take scalps.
When the SEC prosecutes someone, it can cost millions of dollars in legal fees to defend against them. And as with most regulatory law, concepts of ethics, justice, and property rights never even enter the equation. Instead, it’s a question of arbitrary legalities.
Whether someone is prosecuted of insider trading is largely a question of who he is. A maverick researcher and a powerful government official will tend to get very different treatments. It’s also a question of the psychology and motives of the prosecutor. Insider trading is generally a non-crime that can be used in a Kafkaesque manner by upward-mobile prosecutors.
Jack Dorsey raised himself up one rung in hell by displaying the indifference to the congressional inquisitors that they deserve. From Glenn Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
The repressive objective of the Democratic-controlled Congress is to transfer the power to police and censor political discourse from these tech giants to themselves.
Over the course of five-plus hours on Thursday, a House Committee along with two subcommittees badgered three tech CEOs, repeatedly demanding that they censor more political content from their platforms and vowing legislative retaliation if they fail to comply. The hearing — convened by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Chair Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of its Subcommittees, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) — was one of the most stunning displays of the growing authoritarian effort in Congress to commandeer the control which these companies wield over political discourse for their own political interests and purposes.
As I noted when I reported last month on the scheduling of this hearing, this was “the third time in less thanfive months that the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms.” The bulk of Thursday’s lengthy hearing consisted of one Democratic member after the next complaining that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have failed in their duties to censor political voices and ideological content that these elected officials regard as adversarial or harmful, accompanied by threats that legislative punishment (including possible revocation of Section 230 immunity) is imminent in order to force compliance (Section 230 is the provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields internet companies from liability for content posted by their users).
The government telling, or implying, backed up with an explicit or implicit threat, an ostensibly private media company who they can and cannot publish or broadcast is as much an abridgment of the First Amendment as a direct government ban. From Glen Greenwald at greenwald.substack.com:
In their zeal for control over online speech, House Democrats are getting closer and closer to the constitutional line, if they have not already crossed it.
For the third time in less thanfive months, the U.S. Congress has summoned the CEOs of social media companies to appear before them, with the explicit intent to pressure and coerce them to censor more content from their platforms. On March 25, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will interrogate Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, Facebooks’s Mark Zuckerberg and Google’s Sundar Pichai at a hearing which the Committee announced will focus “on misinformation and disinformation plaguing online platforms.”
The Committee’s Chair, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), and the two Chairs of the Subcommittees holding the hearings, Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), said in a joint statement that the impetus was “falsehoods about the COVID-19 vaccine” and “debunked claims of election fraud.” They argued that “these online platforms have allowed misinformation to spread, intensifying national crises with real-life, grim consequences for public health and safety,” adding: “This hearing will continue the Committee’s work of holding online platforms accountable for the growing rise of misinformation and disinformation.”
This letter is about that nauseating, trembling fear you felt when that hate exploded at you on January 6. Please don’t forget it. Journal about it before it fades. Tolerate the nightmares. Keep pen and paper on your nightstand to record what woke you from screaming fits. Don’t block it out. Don’t let it go.
If you can bank those emotions you had as you huddled together and hoped the doors would hold, that day may turn out to be a blessing for you…and even better for our republic. In fact, it may just be the thing that saves our republic if that is still possible.
The fear you felt that day was an authentic, if brief, reflection of what millions of people have endured because of the votes you and your past colleagues cast in that very room, sitting in those very chairs, as they authorized trillions upon trillions of dollars to feed and unleash the largest war machine on Earth.
Think about the votes you cast “to support the troops,” which in truth sent them to beat down someone’s door at 2 a.m., rush in, scream at a cowering family, steal their savings, terrorize the women and children, seize the men and tell them all the next time you will make their village “look like the moon.”
Are you ready for this week’s absurdity? Here’s our Friday roll-up of the most ridiculous stories from around the world that are threats to your liberty, risks to your prosperity… and on occasion, inspiring poetic justice.
Congress Goes Gender Neutral, Starting with “Amen, and Awomen.”
It’s tradition that an opening prayer is read on the first day of the US House of Representatives.
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver led the prayer which he concluded, “Amen, and Awomen.”
Nevermind that ‘Amen’ does not at all refer to sex or gender, it comes from the historical Hebrew word meaning “so be it.”
(and I suppose that ‘awomen’ comes from herstorical Shebrew?)
So Congressperson Cleaver tried to play it off as a lighthearted jest, to welcome the record number of women into Congress.
Except that at the same time, Congress has passed new rules banning gendered speech in the House of Representatives.
“Seamen” is now “seafarer”. “Mother” and “father” are simply “parent”. “Brother” and “sister” become “sibling”.
Even more technical, legal language, like “ombudsman” is now “ombuds”. “Congressman” and “Congresswoman” are now “Member”.
Is Congress recovering a bit of its lost spine? From Eric S. Margolis at lewrockwell.com:
he US Senate, long the lap dog of the man who would be king, President Donald Trump, appears to have finally remembered its proper constitutional role.
Last week, the Senate voted 55/45 for a new bipartisan War Powers Act to constrain military action against Iran. The Congress voted a similar act. Both are designed to start returning the right to make war to Congress, as the Constitution clearly intended. The president is not the Warlord-in-chief in spite of what he thinks.
The Senate has been supine until now, intimidated by an unholy alliance of pro-war Christian evangelists and the Israel lobby, and over $100 million given to the Republican Party by casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Senators who dare oppose this powerful special interest risk their political futures. The lifting of limits on political contributions has given Adelson enormous power over Trump and his friend, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
If Turkey leaves NATO then it will want the US to abandon its important airbase at Incerlik. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:
After what can only be termed a terrible NATO Not Summit two weeks ago it was clear the alliance has serious fissures forming in its facade.
It opened with French President Emmanuel Macron’s refusal to back down on how ‘brain dead’ NATO’s current mission is. And it ended with an embarrassing hot mic moment with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau which led to President Trump leaving early.
It was Macron’s statements about Turkey reinvigorating ISIS with its invasion of Northern Syria which revealed the depths of European brain death in foreign affairs.
This is a talking point straight out of neocon central to appease the U.S. MIC and Israelis while he asserts the need to decouple European foreign policy from the U.S. and reorient NATO to combat terrorism, which it isn’t designed to do.
But what truly borders on farce today is the U.S. Congress threatening to sanction Turkey over buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems while its President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is actually threatening NATO member Greece, ignoring the idea that Crete even exists and making territorial claims to the eastern Mediterranean that would make Ataturk himself blush.
As guardians of liberty, both Congress and Trump should be tossed out, and we should just start all over again. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
Imagine that President Trump spent his phone call with the Ukrainian president threatening to withhold military aid unless the Ukrainian government agreed to use the money to purchase weapons from a US manufacturer. Does anyone seriously think that foreign service professionals and deep state operatives would be so shocked and offended by Trump’s request that they would launch efforts to impeach him? Would Congress view this as “high crimes and misdemeanors” or applaud Trump for carrying out one of modern presidents’ supposedly most important jobs — acting as salesmen for the American military-industrial complex?
This hypothetical shows that impeachment is not about President Trump’s abuse of power. Instead, it is an attempt to make sure President Trump, and all future presidents, confine their abuses of power to items that advance the agenda of the political establishment.
A renewal of the Patriot Act is slipping through while the nation and the media is preoccupied with the impeachment circus. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:
Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.
The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reasonproposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?
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