Monthly Archives: May 2017

North Korea’s Credible Threat to Destroy U.S., Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of the EMP threat from North Korea. 

A Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency report, which concentrated on cyber attacks but could also apply to EMP, has noted that America’s electrical grid and associated control systems are vulnerable to various forms of attack.  Since the late 1990’s…cost pressures have driven the integration of conventional information technologies into these independent industrial control systems, resulting in a grid that is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack, either through direct connection to the Internet or via direct interfaces to utility IT systems…”

A Daily Mail article  warns that “North Korea could be preparing an EMP strike on the US with two satellites already orbiting above America [with] two…earth observation satellites, launched in 2012 and 2016Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security in America, warned that North Korea is positioning its satellites in a ‘nuclear missile age, cyberage version’ of battleship diplomacy ‘so that they can always have one of them (satellites) very close to being over the United States or over the United States’. Pry, also chief of staff of the Congressional EMP Commission, told Breitbart‘s Aaron Klein: ‘Then if a crisis comes up and if we decide to attack North Korea, Kim Jong Un can threaten our president and say, ‘Well, don’t do that because we are going to burn your whole country down.’ Which is basically what he said.

The Pew Trust notes that “Congress has commissioned reports and held hearings over the years on bills focused on protecting the grid from such catastrophic disturbances, but it hasn’t taken any action. So a number of state legislators have decided to file their own grid-related measures, and in some cases, the legislation has been adopted. ‘This is an area in which we are extremely vulnerable. It’s a real problem. What if the power doesn’t come back on?’ said Virginia Republican state Sen. Bryce Reeves, who sponsored a measure that passed last year mandating a legislative commission to study the issue and come up with ways to protect against such threats.”

While there have been numerous warnings and concerns, very little action has actually been taken. A General Accounting Office  study notes: “Since 2008, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have taken actions such as establishing industry standards and federal guidelines, and completing EMP-related research reports. GAO found that their actions aligned with some of the EMP Commission recommendations related to the electric grid. For example, DHS developed EMP protection guidelines to help federal agencies and industry identify options for safeguarding critical communication equipment and control systems from an EMP attack. Further, agency actions and EMP Commission recommendations generally align with DHS and DOE critical infrastructure responsibilities, such as assessing risks and identifying key assets…

“DHS has not identified internal roles and responsibilities for addressing electromagnetic risks, which has led to limited awareness of related activities within the department and reduced opportunity for coordination with external partners…Within DHS, there is recognition that space weather and power grid failure are significant risk events, which DHS officials have determined pose great risk to the security of the nation. Better collection of risk inputs, including additional leveraging of information available from stakeholders, could help to further inform DHS assessment of these risks. DHS and DOE also did not report taking any actions to identify critical electrical infrastructure assets, as called for in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan. Although FERC conducted a related effort in 2013, DHS and DOE were not involved and have unique knowledge and expertise that could be utilized to better ensure that key assets are adequately identified and all applicable elements of criticality are considered. Finally, DHS and DOE, in conjunction with industry, have not established a coordinated approach to identifying and implementing key risk management activities to address EMP risks.”

Recognition of the long-standing lack of action resulted in an Executive Order issued by President Trump four days after his inauguration, which provides an expedited process for “crucial infrastructure projects.”  The Order specifically notes: “it is the policy of the executive branch to streamline and expedite, in a manner consistent with law, environmental reviews and approvals for all infrastructure projects, especially projects that are a high priority for the Nation, such as improving the U.S. electric grid…”

North Korea’s Credible Threat to Destroy U.S.

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government examines North Korea’s claim that it could devastate the U.S. 

There may be substance behind North Korea’s boast that it could devastate the United States.

Some of Pyongyang’s claims are obviously exaggerated.  Kim’s statement that he has “an invincible army” is not credible, although he does have sufficient artillery to devastate a good portion of adjacent South Korea.

However, its nuclear prowess is a true force to be reckoned with.  North Korea potentially has, or will soon have, nuclear-weapons mounted submarine launched missiles, as well as mobile land launchers.  This makes it doubtful that a preemptive strike against the rogue nation could be completely successful. Unfortunately,  even just one atomic detonation at the right position could cause massive damage to America, in the form of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) wave.

Secure the Grid  defines EMP as “An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) is a super-energetic radio wave that can destroy, damage, or cause the malfunction of electronic systems by overloading their circuits. Harmless to people but catastrophic to our critical infrastructure critical infrastructures–electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water–that sustain modern civilization and the lives of 310 million Americans. Given the current state of U.S. unpreparedness for an EMP event, it is estimated that within 12 months of an EMP event, two-thirds to 90 percent of the U.S. population would likely perish from starvation, disease, and societal breakdown.”

It’s not just defense officials who have expressed concern. The National Governors’ Association  states that “The electrical power grid is the backbone of the U.S. economy and society, with most goods and services depending on its safe, secure and reliable operation. Increasingly, natural and human-made hazards pose risks to the grid, some of which could lead to lasting and widespread outages. Although improbable, such disruptions would have a substantial effect and result in the failure of other critical infrastructure sectors such as water, transportation, financial services and communications; endanger the health and well-being of the public; and lead to considerable economic losses.”

Similarly, the National Conference of State Legislatures  reports that “ At least 15 bills were introduced in 2015 that address the threat of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, and at least five bills exempt critical information about the grid and public utilities from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.”

Some experts believe that North Korea is on the verge of having the missile capability of striking the American mainland. Many are convinced that it can already target Hawaii.

Interestingly, Hawaii has already accidentally endured a limited EMP effect, from a nuclear detonation 850 miles away. A Fox News article describes what occurred: “On July 9, 1962, Hawaii was hit by a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack, which within minutes took down the state’s communications systems and traffic lights —  virtually everything that ran on electricity. Th …U.S. government had set off a 1.4-megaton nuclear warhead at a height of 248 miles above Johnston Atoll…The test caused radio disruptions in Hawaii, California, and Alaska, and knocked out six satellites above the Pacific…This is not theoretical. It has already happened,”

The U.S. EMP Commission  notes: “Several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated EMP. A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences. EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power. The common element that can produce such an impact from EMP is primarily electronics, so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures. Our vulnerability is increasing daily as our use of and dependence on electronics continues to grow. The impact of EMP is asymmetric in relation to potential protagonists who are not as dependent on modern electronics. The current vulnerability of our critical infrastructures can both invite and reward attack if not corrected. Correction is feasible and well within the Nation’s means and resources to accomplish.”

The Report concludes tomorrow.

Has NYC Seceded from America?

The question of political secession from the Union was fully settled shortly after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox.  However, a number of communities across the United States have engaged in a different form of rebellion: ignoring the basic Constitutional, cultural and philosophical tenets that are the essence of America.

To be clear, the federal system wisely provides for a substantial amount of local autonomy. Indeed, far too often, Washington exceeds it appropriate authority in dealing with the states. However, the basics of American governance, including free speech, the central government’s control of international borders, the concept of citizenship, fair elections, and the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, have come under attack in a number of jurisdictions.

New York City is a prime example. Moving to the Big Apple’s five boroughs bears more resemblance to leaving the U.S. entirely than merely transferring from one American community to another.

Adding to the hard-left bent of the City’s own politicians is the similar inclination of the state leadership.  Taken together, the two governments have produced an environment that is barely recognizable as an American jurisdiction.

The NY state government has introduced a number of measures, some of which have been enacted and others which remain pending, that seek to discourage citizens from participating in the electoral process.

Last year, The November Team, a public relations firm sounded an alarm concerning free speech rights in New York.

In his 2016 State of The State speech, NY Governor Cuomo, who became rather notorious for stopping the Moreland Commission which was designed to attack the Empire State’s rampant corruption issues (both the former Democrat Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, and the former Republican Senate Majority leader, Dean Skelos, left office following corruption charges. Numerous other elected officials have also left office in disgrace) complained that “Political consultants who advise elected officials while also representing clients before government do not currently register as lobbyists…”

Why Cuomo believes those private conversations should be recorded by the government remains unclear. However, New York Democrats have a significant history of abusing the public’s concern about ethical issues to shore up party bosses and attack free speech.  The New York City Campaign Finance bureaucracy has been accused of attacking candidates not favored by Democrat party leaders.  In 2014, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, currently the Senate’s Minority Leader, introduced a measure in the U.S. Senate to limit the First Amendment in regards to paid political speech during campaigns.

Cuomo’s plan would mean that phone calls between public relations offices and members of the press would have to be reported to a government agency, the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which has expanded its Advisory Opinion to include PR-type firms.

In another anti-free speech move, Assemblyman David Weprin,a Democrat  who represents part of NYC in the state legislature, has introduced legislation that is such a broad attack against the First Amendment that it has attracted national attention, garnering substantial criticism.  This is how the Washington Post’s  Eugene Volokh describes Weprin’s measure:

“…under this bill, newspapers, scholarly works, copies of books on Google Books and Amazon, online encyclopedias (Wikipedia and others) — all would have to be censored whenever a judge and jury found (or the author expected them to find) that the speech was “no longer material to current public debate or discourse”…And of course the bill contains no exception even for material of genuine historical interest; after all, such speech would have to be removed if it was “no longer material to current public debate.” Nor is there an exception for autobiographic material, whether in a book, on a blog or anywhere else. Nor is there an exception for political figures, prominent business people and others.But the deeper problem with the bill is simply that it aims to censor what people say, under a broad, vague test based on what the government thinks the public should or shouldn’t be discussing. It is clearly unconstitutional under current First Amendment law.” A failure to comply with a request to remove material from articles, search engines or other places would make the author liable for, at a minimum, a penalty of $250 per day plus attorney fees.

Not content to only violate the First Amendment, NYC has unilaterally repealed Second Amendment rights as well.

A New York group concerned about the Second Amendment recently noted: “After the cases of Heller and McDonald were decided in 2008 and 2010, respectively, it appeared that we now had a firm ‘right to keep and bear arms’ in our homes.  Except if your ‘home’ happens to be located within the five boroughs of New York City: in that case,  you are hampered by a police department and trial courts that hold themselves above the United States Supreme Court…the NYPD has virtually ignored the Heller case in every sense of the word…To make matters worse, the lower courts in NY is filled to the brim with anti-gun judges who act as though Heller does not even exist…the law in NYC vis-a-vis the Rules of the City of New York demonstrates that the right to keep and bear arms is not recognized as a right within the five boroughs.”

The absurdities of life in NYC are not restricted to huge issues such as Constitutional Rights or fair elections.  Intrusions into everyday life also are a factor. In 2012, NYC became the first city to impose a ban on the sale of some sugary drinks.  The move was overturned by the state Court of Appeals, but only on the grounds that the Mayor lacked the authority to enact the ban on his own.

The City government is also attempting to go a step beyond in regulating garbage.  In addition to a mandate increasingly common throughout the nation to separate paper and plastic from “regular” garbage, NYC also demands residents return old electronic equipment such as TVs and monitors in a specialized manner.  The garbage issue is now taking a seriously weird turn, as a plan to mandate that food scraps also be separated from other garbage is being test-run.  When residents objected to the requirement to store these insect and rodent-attracting items until specialized collection days, they were advised to put the scraps in their freezer!

There are some rights that NYC seems to care about—but only if you are an alien or an illegal immigrant. City politicians, reports the NY Observer,  “are urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to allocate upwards of $23 million from his city budget to help immigrants in danger of arrest and expulsion under President Donald Trump—including $12 million to ensure those battling deportation receive legal counsel. The needs and fears of New York City’s half-million undocumented immigrants were a constant theme of the budget response Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, chair of the influential Committee on Finance…”

Additionally, reports The NY Post  NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer wants to set up a public-private partnership to provide payments for legal fees incurred by aliens seeking to become U.S. citizens.

The Media’s Strange Silence About Venezuela, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of the media’s silence on the Venezuelan crisis. 

Human Rights Watch found that “By [Socialist leader Hugo Chavez’s] second full term in office, the concentration of power and erosion of human rights protections had given the government free rein to intimidate, censor, and prosecute Venezuelans who criticized the president or thwarted his political agenda. Many Venezuelans continued to criticize the government. But the prospect of reprisals – in the form of arbitrary or abusive state action – forced journalists and human rights defenders to weigh the consequences of disseminating information and opinions critical of the government, and undercut the ability of judges to adjudicate politically sensitive cases.”

By any measure, Venezuela should be one of the planet’s most prosperous nations. An oil producer since 1914, it has, according to OPEC, more oil resources than any other nation. It faces no significant military threats. Even with the current decline in oil prices, the nation should have an economy that produces, at the very least, a decent standard of living.

America’s Quarterly notes that “During the 1970s, Venezuela was the richest country in Latin America. With the region’s highest growth rates and the lowest levels of inequality, it was also one of the most stable democracies in the Americas.”

It has a diverse, educated population. Axis of Logic  notes that “The standard of education in Venezuela is among the highest in the region. Of Venezuelans aged 15 and older, 93.4% can read and write, one of the highest literacy rates in the region. The literacy rate in 2003 was estimated to be 93.8% for males and 93.1% for females. Anthony Spanakos notes that a study of Venezuela indicates  that “Venezuela not only had a relatively well-educated population in the 1980s, but that education increased throughout the period in which growth decreased.”)

As shortages of food and basic items such grow ever worse, the population desperately clashes with the socialist government. NBCreports that “Clashes between protesters and security forces erupted in Venezuela during marches have taken place in at least 12 cities across the country. “Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets to protest the government of President Nicolás Maduro…A teenager who was shot in the head in Caracas near one of the protests has died in the hospital, according to the Associated Press…The country entered its fourth week of protests following two Supreme Court decisions — to revoke the immunity that protects legislators and to dissolve the opposition-controlled legislature, a move that many including the Organiza tion of American States (AOS) dubbed as an ‘auto-coup d’etat’.”

Writing for CATO in 2014, Juan Carlos Hidalgo reasoned that “Milton Friedman once said that, if you put the government in charge of the Sahara desert, there’ll eventually be a shortage of sand. No wonder that, after 14 years of socialist government, Venezuela — the country with the world’s largest oil reserves — is currently importing gasoline. This fact highlights Venezuela’s painful descent into chaos, as the economy crumbles and the nation’s social fabric unravels. Socialism has turned Venezuela into an authoritarian basket case that thousands try to escape every year.”

James Bloodworth, a commentator who tends to lean to the left politically,  in an article published in the U.K. Sun newspaper, notes “When it comes to the pinch, socialists will always sacrifice liberty for the ostensible promise of greater equality, these right wingers will say. While so many ‘progressives’ are happy to turn a blind eye to the abuses of the Venezuelan government, it is hard to disagree with them.”

Allen West asks “…where are the American entertainment elites and advocates of socialism now?…There is nothing trendy, cool, or desirable about socialism. And those who advocate it are, well, let me be blunt, lying, deceptive jackasses…The ugly face of socialism has destroyed the beauty of Venezuela, turning what could be termed a little piece of heaven on earth into hell.”

The Media’s Strange Silence About Venezuela

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government provides a two-part review of the media’s reluctance to discuss the catastrophic conditions existing in Venezuela. 

There is a reason why the U.S. media downplays the Venezuelan tragedy, in which extreme shortages of food, medicine and basic supplies such as toilet paper are compounded by an authoritarian government that denies essential rights to its citizenry.

As Kevin Williamson notes in his study of socialism, “Venezuela shows what happens when socialism is appended…Venezuela has something like the kind of socialism that American socialists intend and admire…[in 2003, as reported by the Weekly Standard] 16 U.S. congressmen voiced their approval…[of Venezuelan socialism]”

Indeed, Venezuela has adopted the very policy choices endorsed by American progressives.  It has produced economic collapse and utter misery for the population.  That fact is far too embarrassing for the left-leaning U.S. media to adequately report on.

National Review  discussed the adulation Hugo Chavez, founder of Venezuela’s socialist path, received from American leftists: “Celebrities came to sit at his feet, with Sean Penn calling him a ‘champion’ of the world’s poor, Oliver Stone celebrating him as ‘a great hero,’ Antonio Banderas citing his seizure of private businesses as a model to be emulated in the rest of the world, Michael Moore praising his use of oil for political purposes, Danny Glover celebrating him as a ‘champion of democracy.’… There is never a reckoning for the Left. An entire generation of American intellectuals found itself enraptured by the brutal, repressive, terroristic political apparatus of the Soviet Union — not only journalistic enablers like Walter Duranty of the Times and the various Hollywood reds and Communist party operatives, but the purportedly enlightened liberals at The New Republic, who were consistent apologists for Soviet brutality at home and abroad at the height of Joseph Stalin’s reign of terror. Scores of Americans, some of them in high government office, were working on behalf of one of history’s most murderous and repressive regimes — and the bad guys in that story are, in the popular imagination, the people who worked to expose that conspiracy, rather than the people who worked to advance it. Noam Chomsky has for decades been in the business of peddling excuses for every gang of murderers flying his preferred flag — the Khmer Rouge, the Sandinistas, and Mao Zedong’s regime among them.”

Pedro Lange-Churión states that “The left acts as if all ‘leftist’ governments must be unconditionally defended, no matter how authoritarian and corrupt they become. In acting this way they hark back to the Stalinist days of unconditional allegiance to the party, or to the Cold War years when even timid critiques to the left—even within the left–produced knee-jerk attacks and excommunications. The left has failed to critique the current Venezuelan nightmare…Venezuela was news while it was good news and while Chávez could be used as a banner for the left and his antics provided comic relief. But as soon as the country began to spiral towards ruination, and Chavismo began to resemble another Latin American authoritarian regime, better to turn a blind eye. The position of the Latin American left, then, has been either to suspend a critical stance, or not to address Venezuela’s situation at all.”

As Ana Quintana notes, “In the span of just over 20 years, President Nicolás Maduro, his predecessor Hugo Chavez, and their ‘Socialism of the 21st Century’ have singlehandedly destroyed a country sitting atop of the world’s largest oil reserves. The ongoing economic crisis has bankrupted the country, and the International Monetary Fund forecasts that by midyear the inflation rate will hit 1,600 percent. While the nation is home to massive oil reserves, production is at its lowest level in over 20 years…While leader Maduro is widely unpopular, he has managed to stay in office by unlawfully consolidating power. Any doubt about the Maduro regime’s determination to keep power disappeared last month when he ordered the Supreme Court to take over the National Assembly—the last remaining government branch outside of executive control…Currently, Venezuela has over 100 political prisoners, more than even Cuba. Another victim of the regime is Francisco Marquez, a dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizen. For four months, he was tortured by his guards and the secret police.”

In 2016, Matt O’Brien, writing in the Washington Post,  described Venezuela’s plight: “It’s come to this: The country with the largest oil reserves in the world can’t afford to brew its own beer, stay in its own time zone, or even have its own people show up to work more than two times a week…now the Chavista regime seems to be threatening violence of its own if the opposition succeeds in recalling President Nicolás Maduro. It’s a grim race between anarchy and civil war. How did Venezuela get here? Well, by spending more than it had and not having as much as it should. Let’s take these in reverse order. It really shouldn’t have been hard for the government to use some of its petrodollars on the poor without destroying the economy. Every other oil-rich country, after all, has figured that out. But you can’t redistribute oil profits if there aren’t oil profits to redistribute, or at least not many of them. And there weren’t after Hugo Chavez replaced people who knew what they were doing with people he knew would be loyal to him at the state-owned oil company. It didn’t help that he scared foreign oil companies off too. Or that he took money out, but didn’t put it back in, so that they can no longer turn as much of their extra-heavy crude into refined oil. Add it all up, and Venezuela’s oil production actually fell by about 25 percent between 1999 and 2013.”

The Report concludes tomorrow.

Europe on the Brink, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government concludes its review of  terror and crime in Europe.

While the leadership of European nations, particularly in Germany, seem unconcerned about the detrimental effects of alienated refugees and immigrants, the general population is clearly worried. A Chatham House  survey gave respondents the following statement: ‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’. They were then asked to what extent did they agree or disagree with this statement. Overall, across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed. Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain. In no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32%.

The Council on Foreign Relations notes that “Despite signs that Muslims are beginning to succeed in business and academia in countries such as France and Germany, many analysts say most of Western Europe’s Muslims are poorly integrated into society. They cite closed ethnic neighborhoods, high crime rates in Muslim communities, calls for use of sharia law in Europe, the wearing of the veil, and other examples as evidence of a conflict with European values…Oxford University scholar Tariq Ramadan wrote in the Christian Science Monitor: ‘Over the last two decades Islam has become connected to so many controversial debates … it is difficult for ordinary citizens to embrace this new Muslim presence as a positive factor.’ Fears over a possible major demographic shift toward Islam as well as ongoing Muslim assimilation problems highlight the continuing divide between Europe and its Muslim population.”

A Foreign Policy Research Institute review reports that “The alienation of European-residing Muslims is a serious issue. “Officials believe that over 5,000 Western Europeans have made their way to Syria to support ISIS. However, the actual number is considerably higher according to the Soufan Group, with several European countries contributing a disturbing number of fighters to ISIS: France (1700), Russia (2400), UK (760) and Belgium (470). For a country like Belgium with only 11 million citizens, having almost 500 citizens join ISIS is a shockingly high number. Furthermore, large pockets of Muslims are concentrated in cities like Brussels where more than a quarter of Belgium’s Muslim population resides. These heavily concentrated Muslim enclaves, according to a 2007 report from the Centre of European Policy Studies, are more likely, than the EU general population, to be poor, segregated and crime-prone neighborhoods.”

That alienation takes significant form in a variety of ways. The Gatestone Institute disclosed in April that “Swedish ambulance personnel want gas masks and bulletproof vests to protect their staff against the escalating attacks, similar to equipment used by staff working in war zones [when entering Muslim neighborhoods.]” It’s part of a growing pattern of lawlessness, or more accurately, a rejection of European national laws, in some Muslim communities. Gatestone notes that “In an essay published in February 2016, Stockholm police inspector Lars Alvarsjö warned that the Swedish legal system is close to collapse. The influx of asylum seekers and ethnic gangs has overwhelmed the country and its understaffed police force. In many suburbs, criminal gangs have taken control and determine the rules. The police, fire brigades and ambulance personnel in these areas are routinely met with violent attacks.”

The blame for the general failure of Muslims to integrate into European society is not the fault of any inherent bias. Leon de Winter, writing for Politico,  explains: “The notion that Moroccan-Belgians suffer from widespread exclusion, discrimination, and suppression is ridiculous…Life in Belgium is exceptionally good and safe for migrants — if they are willing to integrate into their new cultural environment, if they are willing to act as individuals, study with passion and openness, and accept the secular system of the West…There is no difference at all in socioeconomic status between youngsters from a low-education, blue-collar Belgian background and youngsters from a Muslim migrant background…The other explanation for the high unemployment figures among Muslims in Europe has nothing to do with exclusion and discrimination. A large segment of the migrant population is doing just fine, but a significant number — some say as many as 50 percent — have not rid themselves of the mental and cultural conditions that have kept their home country in its ‘developing country’ status. The denial of equal rights to women, the lack of separation of state and church, bad education, excessive religiosity, patriarchal machismo — these are all on display in areas with a high percentage of migrants… almost 60 percent of Europe’s Muslims reject homosexuals as friends and 45 percent think that Jews cannot be trusted. More than half believe that the West is out to destroy Islam.”

Europe on the Brink

The New York Analysis of Policy and Government reviews terror and crime in Europe in this two-part series. 

The attack in Manchester against the most innocent of targets, a concert attended predominately by teenage girls was perpetrated by a British-born Muslim man.  The vicious act by the son of Libyan immigrants highlights the growing danger to Europe of a Middle Eastern refugee population that has chosen not to assimilate.

There have been 17 significant terrorist attacks in Europe since 2004, but that is just half the problem. The extraordinary increase in crime, sexual assaults in particular, is changing the very character of the continent.

The proclivity for violent crime can be partially explained by a vital age and gender demographic.  As a Pew Global  report points out, 42% of all those who have recently sought asylum in Europe are young adult males. 1.3 million Muslims entered Europe in 2015 alone, approximately half from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Pew notes “men made up nearly three-fourths (73%) of Europe’s asylum seekers in 2015. Refugees from leading origin countries such as Syria (71%), Iraq (75%) and Afghanistan (80%) were also predominately male in 2015. By contrast, asylum seekers from other top origin countries, such as Gambia (97% male), Pakistan (95% male) and Bangladesh (95% male), were almost entirely male…This was also true for most leading origin countries: 39% of those from Syria were young men, as were 38% of those from Afghanistan and 47% of those from Iraq. Young adult males made up a larger share of asylum seekers from some origin countries. For example, roughly three-fourths of asylum seekers from Gambia (80%), Pakistan (76%) and Bangladesh (76%) were young adult men in 2015.”

A Federalist  study of crime in Sweden demonstrates the result in that nation:

“Sweden’s official statistics do show increases in “lethal violence” (which includes murder, manslaughter and other deadly assaults) and sexual offenses  over the past ten years. Between 2006 and 2015 the incidence of ‘lethal violence’ does fluctuate, but there is a sharp 65 percent spike from 2012 to 2015. In the same period, there was also an almost 49 percent increase in sexual offenses (a category including, among other offenses, rape). Looking at rape by itself, from 2006-2015 there was a 40 percent increase in the number of reported rapes. It is true that the number of rapes declined from 2014 to 2015, from a high of 6,697 to a still-high 5,918; but, even so, the overall upward trend is clear. Other Swedes… argue these trends are much sharper if one takes a longer view: In 1975, the Swedish parliament unanimously decided to change the former homogeneous Sweden into a multicultural country. Forty years later the dramatic consequences of this experiment emerge: violent crime has increased by 300%. If one looks at the number of rapes, however, the increase is even worse. In 1975, 421 rapes were reported to the police; in 2014, it was 6,620. That is an increase of 1,472%.”

A 2009 study by The Telegraph  noted that “Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it. The numbers are startling. Only 3.2 per cent of Spain’s population was foreign-born in 1998. In 2007 it was 13.4 per cent. Europe’s Muslim population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and will have doubled again by 2015. In Brussels, the top seven baby boys’ names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza. Europe’s low white birth rate, coupled with faster multiplying migrants, will change fundamentally what we take to mean by European culture and society…It could have a critical impact on foreign policy: a study was submitted to the US Air Force on how America’s relationship with Europe might evolve. Yet EU officials admit that these issues are not receiving the attention they deserve.”

The Report concludes tomorrow

U.S. Media Downplays Trump Mideast Success

President Trump has radically changed the paradigm in the Islamic world, gaining extensive cooperation in the fight against terrorism, refocusing Arab hostility away from Israel and towards Iran, uniting regional nations against extremism, reassuring Islamic nations that the pacifism of the Obama Administration has ended, restoring America’s influence, and bringing home about $380 billion in investments as well.

You certainly would not know it from the press accounts of the event. In essence, these extraordinary accomplishments have been ignored as the media essentially complains that Trump has failed to cure cancer, reunite the Beatles, or bring the Dodo back from extinction during his first foreign trip.

Comments made by Saudi King Salman in his introduction of President Trump on Sunday were noteworthy. He called for his fellow Islamic nations to “Refute the frail claims of terrorists,” and join in an effort to block the financing of “this scourge that poses a danger to all of humanity… We say to our Muslim brothers and sisters, sons and daughters everywhere, one of the most important goals of Islamic Sharia is protecting life, and there is no honor in protecting murder. Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and urges its followers to develop the Earth, and forbids them to corrupt it. It considers killing an innocent soul, tantamount of killing all humanity. These odious acts are attempts to exploit Islam as a cover for political purposes to flame hatred, extremism, hatred, terrorism, and conflicts… such as Hezbollah, the Houthis, Da’esh, al-Qaeda, and many others.” The King said he was committed to eliminating ISIS.

In anticipation of Sunday’s historic event attended by the leaders of 50 Islamic nations, as well as by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, Saudi Foreign Minister al-Jubeir met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Al-Jubeir stated  thattoday was a truly historic day in the relationship between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States and, we believe, the beginning of a turning point in the relationship between the United States and the Arab and Islamic world…His Majesty…and President Donald Trump signed a Joint Strategic Vision Declaration, which sets the stage for the building of a truly strategic relationship between our two countries…our relationship will evolve into an even more strategic partnership. It will deal with ways to cooperate in terms of violent extremism, financing of terrorism, terrorism, increasing defense capabilities, working on a defense architecture for the region – initially between our two countries and then looking at how other countries can join. The Strategic Vision also includes trade and investment, education, and working in all fields in order to enhance our common interests and deal with the challenges that face both of our countries. This is unprecedented. We have not had an agreement, I believe, signed by a king of Saudi Arabia and a president to codify the strategic relationship and where we want to take it moving forward, so this was a great accomplishment…in addition to the signing of this Strategic Vision Declaration, the two countries signed a series of agreements, both commercial as well as government to government; that involve trade, investment; that involve infrastructure, that involve technology, that involve defense sales; that involve Saudi investments in American infrastructure as well as American investments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whether in the form of building up our defense manufacturing capability or other areas. The total value of those investments is in excess of $380 billion. I cannot overstate the importance of such a gathering, and I believe after this visit the President will go to Israel and will go the Vatican, where he will essentially address the Jewish world and the Christian world and try to bring together the three major monotheistic religions in the world into a partnership so that we move from any discussion of a conflict of civilizations and move towards a discussion of a partnership of civilizations.”

The reaction of many press sources and politicians, both Democrat and Republican, indicates that their hostility towards Trump supersedes their moral duty either to be truthful or place the good of the nation over personal animosity.

The Washington Post called Trump’s speech “cringe-worthy” and  “un-American,” claiming “Trump implicitly rejected the aspirational goals and call for democracy and human rights of former president Barack Obama, because the current President, in attempting to bring together the 50 Islamic nations in the fight against terror, said that “We are not here to lecture [or tell others] how to worship. Instead, we are here to offer partnership, based on shared interests and values.”  The Washington Post apparently forgot that under Obama, terror increased, and human rights, especially those of women, reached an historic low point as ISIS grew to an unprecedented size in the Middle East and the Taliban rebounded in Afghanistan. Forgotten, also, was the spread of human rights abuses by Islamic terrorists in Africa.

Buzzfeed  proclaimed “President Donald Trump’s speech on Islam delivered in Saudi Arabia wasn’t as bad as some American Muslims had expected, but it’s not likely to win them over…American Muslims also noted a glaring omission in the half-hour speech: themselves. There was no acknowledgment of the contributions of the athletes, doctors, actors and tech entrepreneurs who are among more than 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States.

Those directly involved in the Middle East, even those not particularly friendly towards the U.S., disagreed. The Associated Press reported that “Jibril Rajoub, a senior Palestinian official close to Abbas, said Trump was a ‘serious president’ who ‘seeks to have a real deal, not just managing the conflict.”

Media, FBI Ignore Clinton relations With Russia, Part 2

The New York Analysis of Policy and Governments concludes a two-part investigation into the refusal by the media and the FBI to examine the relationship between Russia and the Democrat Party in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.  

Surprisingly little attention was paid to the matter of the Democrat party’s key figure, Senator Edward Kennedy, who had an extraordinary relationship with Moscow.  As noted by The Spectator:

“Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s self-serving, secret correspondence with Soviet agents during the height of the Cold War included proposals for collaborative efforts designed to undermine official U.S. policy set by Democratic and Republican administrations, KGB documents show… Kennedy’s long history with the KGB is well documented, but underreported… Kennedy’s actions occurred at the expense of presidential authority and in violation of federal law, according to academics and scholars who are familiar with the documents… Kennedy…offered to work in close concert with high level Soviet officials to sabotage President Ronald Reagan’s re-election efforts and to orchestrate favorable American press coverage for Andropov and Soviet military officials, according to the 1983 KGB document

“It is also evident from the letter that Kennedy believed the nuclear freeze movement was gaining momentum in 1983 and could help to short-circuit Reagan’s military buildup. With the economic climate improving in the U.S., Reagan would only be vulnerable politically on matters of foreign policy, Kennedy informed the Soviets. ‘The only real potential threats to Reagan (according to Kennedy) are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,’ [a] KGB official explained to Andropov. ‘These issues will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign. The movement advocating a freeze on nuclear arsenals of both countries continues to gain strength in the United States. The movement is also willing to accept preparations, particularly from Kennedy, for its continued growth. In political and influential circles of the country, including within Congress, the resistance to growing military expenditures is gaining strength.’”

While media and political attention has concentrated on questionable allegations against the Trump campaign, very real and very substantive offences committed by Hillary Clinton, both against primary rival Bernie Sanders and the national security of the United States, remain largely undiscussed.

WikiLeaks provided numerous examples of Clinton campaign misdeeds, including, as outlined by The Gateway Pundit :

No issue stands out more, nor illustrates better, the medias’—and the political establishments’—double standard, and “get out of jail free” attitude towards Hillary Clinton, than the entire matter of the Russian uranium deal, in which the Kremlin’s nuclear energy agency, Rosatom, took control of 20% of U.S. uranium. National Review  described the deal:

“On June 8, 2010, Rosatom, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation, announced plans to purchase a 51.4 percent stake in [a] …company..whose international assets included some 20 percent of America’s uranium capacity. Because this active ingredient in atomic reactors and nuclear weapons is a strategic commodity, this $1.3 billion deal required the approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Secretary of State Clinton was one of nine federal department and agency heads on that secretive panel. On June 29, 2010, three weeks after Rosatom proposed to Uranium One, Bill Clinton keynoted a seminar staged by Renaissance Capital in Moscow, a reputedly Kremlin-controlled investment bank that promoted this transaction. Renaissance Capital paid Clinton $500,000 for his one-hour speech. While CFIUS evaluated Rosatom’s offer, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer observed, ‘a spontaneous outbreak of philanthropy among eight shareholders in Uranium One’ began. ‘These Canadian mining magnates decide now would be a great time to donate tens of millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation.”

This came from the same administration, led by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton, which, in the New START treaty, gave Russia, for the first time in history, the lead in strategic nuclear weapons and maintained Moscow’s ten-to-one lead in theater nuclear weapons.

Despite the dangerous threat to U.S. national security and the clear financial profit to the Clintons and the Clinton foundation imposed by the Obama/Clinton actions, no investigation has been formed, and no major media outrage (or even significant interest) has been expressed. The blackout on Moscow’s ties to the Left extends to internet search engines, which bury the details far down in search results.

Media, FBI Ignore Clinton relations With Russia

The New York Analysis of Policy and Governments presents a two-part investigation into the refusal by the media and the FBI to examine the relationship between Russia and the Democrat Party in general and Hillary Clinton in particular.  

The appointment of a special counsel, former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III, to review as of yet unsubstantiated allegations concerning Russian involvement in the 2016 election, highlights an issue utterly unintended by those who called for the move: the extraordinary double standard of reporting and the justice system, and the use of the press and the investigatory process for overtly partisan goals.

The gist of the question Mueller will confront is this: Were there any contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and if so, was the nature of those contacts an agreement to influence the campaign?

Interestingly, the only significant information that those questioning the Trump campaign have alleged is that Moscow may have leaked hacked emails to a third party containing embarrassing statements by the Clinton campaign about itself.

Wikileaks, which released emails embarrassing to Clinton during the campaign, has denied a Moscow connection, and states that the information came from a disgruntled DNC staffer.

Questions have been raised about suspicions that the Clinton campaign’s potential involvement to the strange murder of Seth Richards, whom Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a noted journalist, says his organization was in contact with. That information is fleshed out by a Zero Hedge report which notes that “Many believe Rich was a victim retaliation for being the source who provided Wikileaks with a trove of DNC emails. Rumors were fueled by the odd circumstances surrounding his death, the sudden retirement of D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier five weeks after the murder, and an email John Podesta sent to Hillary’s inner circle about making an example of a suspected leaker.”

Julian Assange had clearly and substantially offended the U.S. government on a number of past occasions, but no actual action against his internet connection was taken until it began exposing Hillary Clinton’s wrongdoings, including providing evidence that Clinton was instrumental in the transfer of uranium (the basic ingredient for nuclear weapons) to the Russians, and providing information about her criminally negligent handling of emails classified as secret.

There is a significant connection between the embarrassment of the Clinton campaign and the Obama Administration from Wikileaks, and the attempt to link the Trump campaign to Russia.

A central question in the entire matter is why The Kremlin would prefer Trump to Clinton, who, as part of the Obama Administration and through her Foundation, greatly benefited the Russian state through an arms pact that favored Russia, by the sale of American uranium (the basic ingredient for nuclear weapons) to the Kremlin, and through various foreign policies that greatly strengthened Moscow’s influence at the expense of the United States.

Wikileaks became a significant issue even in down-ticket races.  In New York, Wendy Long, the Republican candidate who opposed the re-election of incumbent Senator Chuck Schumer (best known for introducing legislation that would weaken the First Amendment) called for a “full, complete, and absolute pardon” to be extended to  Wikileaks  founder Julian  Assange  for any potential violations of U.S. law, “on the ground that he has served a far greater good of truth and transparency.”  Long stated that “Julian Assange has shed the light of truth on matters that the American people need to know to conduct self-government under our Constitution.  Investigative journalism is dead in this country, and citizen journalists are trying to fill the void.”

The Kremlin has sought to influence American elections for decades. Oddly, neither the media nor official Washington has made much of that fact, predominately because it has been the Democrat Party and the Left that has consistently been involved with Moscow. A release from the CIA discussed a House Select Committee on Intelligence report that disclosed evidence linking the USSR with the U.S. nuclear freeze movement. Classified documents noted that Soviet agents were actively involved in the campaign, providing large amounts of time and money on it. Former KGB official Stanislav Levchenko emphasized the extraordinary extent of his former agency’s involvement with the left-wing cause.

The Report concludes Monday.