President Donald Trump had reason to feel upbeat as he delivered his annual State of the Union speech yesterday. His impeachment trial will probably end today with an acquittal. A new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal shows the share of voters who “strongly approve” of his performance hitting its highest mark ever, and his approval rating among independents reaching its highest since last summer.
Democrats, meanwhile, appear deeply divided as they cast their first votes to determine their presidential nominee. Mr. Trump used his speech to make his case for re-election, highlighting America’s strong economy and his achievements in the past three years, including trade deals and judicial appointments. Though he ran four years ago as a heterodox candidate, his policies have been (with some exceptions) those of an orthodox conservative, and he used last night’s speech to rally his base. (Economist, tense changed 2/4/2020)
UNCLEAN ANIMALS BEHIND DEADLY VIRUS* This article was posted January 22nd
World Health: China Coronavirus scare: 112 ‘non-kosher’ animals & products on sale as food.
The food market where China’s deadly virus surfaced was a smorgasbord of exotic wildlife ranging from wolf pups to species linked to previous pandemics such as civets, according to vendor information and a Chinese media report. The Huanan Seafood Market in the central city of Wuhan came under greater scrutiny on Wednesday as Chinese officials said that the virus which has so far killed nine people and infected hundreds may have originated in a wild animal sold at the food emporium. Past deadly epidemics have been blamed on wild animals — Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) was linked to Chinese consumption of civet meat — setting Chinese authorities up for potential embarrassment if lax supervision of wildlife trafficking is found at fault in the latest outbreak.
A price list circulating on China’s internet for a business at the Wuhan market lists a menagerie of animals or animal-based products including live foxes, crocodiles, wolf puppies, giant salamanders, snakes, rats, peacocks, porcupines, camel meat and other game — 112 items in all. “Freshly slaughtered, frozen and delivered to your door,” said the price list for the vendor, “Wild Game Animal Husbandry for the Masses.” (AFP , 22 Jan 2020).
Berlin: On Armed Alert
German “global policy” shines on the open stage as an altruistic force in global crises, while military forces await their cue offstage – as in the Berlin Libya Conference in January, which logistically was about Africa, but, more than anything else, about Germany’s rise into the upper third of military competitors. German Chancellor Merkel: “Ladies and Gentlemen, you have followed events. This afternoon, here in Berlin, we have had very intensive and serious negotiations, thus contributing to making a fresh political start, giving a fresh political incentive to efforts to generate hope for the people and hope for peace in the Libyan conflict . . .” “Hope” and “peace” in the Libyan conflict were being negotiated by Germany and its military competitors, while Libya’s emissaries were waiting outside the doors of the Berlin Conference – not very different from back then, when Berlin had imposed itself as the mediator to insure its colonial interests in Africa. (German Foreign Policy, 2/4)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Khaled Al-Batsh Calls Upon Muslims To Besiege U.S. And ‘Zionist’ Embassies Worldwide (MEMRI, 2/4)
260 MILLION CHRISTIANS FACE PERSECUTION
- Dictatorial paranoia continues to make North Korea (#1) the worst nation. “If North Korean Christians are discovered, they are deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot.” — World Watch List 2020, Open Doors.
- Otherwise, as has been the case in all statistics and reports on the global persecution of Christians, not only does “Islamic oppression” remain the chief “source of persecution” faced by Christians in seven of the absolute ten worst nations, but 38 of the 50 nations composing the list are either Muslim majority or have a sizeable Muslim population.
- The targeting of Christians around the world has become more widespread than ever. Part of this is because “persecution against Christians has taken a technological turn.” . . . in India — where “Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences” — “the government plans to introduce a national facial recognition system. Similarly, China (#23)….” — World Watch List 2020, Open Doors.
- Perhaps the most disturbing trend is that the number of persecuted Christians continues to grow year after year . . .
- Will this trend ever stop and reverse, or will it continue to get worse — and possibly even spill into those nations that, for now, enjoy religious freedom and equality? (Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone, 2/2/2020)
LONDON TERROR ATTACK, AGAIN
DAILYKENN.com — A man suspected of being a member of the world’s largest, oldest, and deadliest hate group — Islam — was shot dead in London. Reports say the man attacked several people and was strapped with a fake explosive. The alleged attacker began stabbing people in a shop, then stabbed a woman outside the shop, reports say. The woman was pushing a baby in a stroller and was accompanied by another young child. The attacker had been released from prison at the end of January after serving half of a three-year sentence. (2/3/2020)
THE REAL REASON ISRAELI ARABS REJECT LIVING IN PALESTINE
Why are the 250,000 Arab Israelis living in the Triangle area strongly opposed to the idea of becoming part of a Palestinian state?
Many Arab citizens of Israel see how Palestinians living under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are subject to human rights violations on a daily basis.
What the Arab citizens of Israel need now is to elect new leaders who will promote coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel, and not engage in anti-Israel rhetoric and actions. (Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone, 2/4/2020)
Anxious South African Jews Are Planting One Foot, or Two, in Israel Some choose to immigrate, others invest in real estate. Either way, the falling value of the rand is giving them less money to play with. Adi Cohen, Haaretz, Jan 31, 2020
When we left South Africa for Israel in January 2016, it was when we had reached the point where we stopped feeling safe in our home, says Steven. He asked to be identified by his first name only.
FALL OF CONSTANTINOPLE
My son-in-law recommended “Ottoman,” a six-part series that shows the rise of the Ottoman (Turkish) Empire, with the fall of Constantinople as its central theme. I often think that Constantinople was the US of its day – the world’s greatest military power that seemed impregnable. But, after an eight-week siege by the Ottoman Turks, it fell to the Muslims. Not mentioned in the Turkish produced series is how badly the “Christians” suffered when defeated – many were sold into slavery, others were killed. It was the end of a civilization that went back to the Roman Empire. Constantinople was founded by the Emperor Constantine in the early fourth century.
“Behind the cold military logic of Mehmed’s victory lay a demographic catastrophe of colossal proportions. At a stroke an entire society had been overwhelmed and destroyed, with terrible consequences for everyone in the city. . . . The immediate fate of those who were not killed and who did not escape in the ships was to be captivity and slavery. In the long term, the human flotsam and jetsam was to be scattered over the Christian and Muslim worlds for decades to come.” (The End of Byzantium, Jonathan Harris, 2010, pages 219-220).
Constantinople was renamed Istanbul in 1930.
TO THE POINT
- At our local public library with my grandson this week I met a man who, like me, had an accent. Turned out he was from Germany, born the same month and year that I was born. He was with his one grandchild, a 4-year-old girl. I asked him if he hoped for more. He said there wouldn’t be any more. His eldest two, both boys, don’t want any; and the third, a girl, says one is enough. This is happening to so many grandparents across the western world. White people, in particular, are not having children. Since 2013, the majority of children born across the US are non-white. This will radically alter the United States and other western nations.
- Americans have trouble understanding monarchy. Frequently, you hear comments like the one I heard this morning (Monday) on CBS. It was in a conversation about impeachment. The suggestion was made that the president was acting like a king, rather than somebody who has to abide by the constitution. This is deeply offensive to those who have been brought up in a constitutional monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II has been queen for almost 68 years and has never acted outside of the constitution, the British, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand constitutions. Only presidents ever do that!
- The London Daily Express revealed Saturday that there’s a plan to bring Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand closer together. Apparently, this is led by the Conservative leader of Canada, who isn’t even in power yet. The hope is that within two years the “four eyes” will establish closer political ties. The “five eyes” include the United States, all five nations sharing intelligence. The four are all constitutional monarchies.
- There’s been another terrorist attack in London. The police are claiming the man was “mentally ill,” which obscures his religious faith. He was shot dead but not before at least two people were stabbed. Again, the individual had been released from prison early. His mother now claims he was “radicalized” in prison. How do you stop this? There is little understanding of Islam in the UK, the US or any other western country. The religion has always been violent and intolerant of other beliefs. The only solution is an end to immigration from Muslim countries and to start encouraging those already in the West to return to their ancestral homeland.
- I was sent some money from England recently. It was actually sent over two months ago and is lost somewhere between here and the UK. Two banks are trying to find it. If there’s going to be a free trade deal between the US and the UK, they need to improve the banking relationship between both.