Tag Archives: Trump Administration

SINGAPORE MAN SPIES FOR CHINA

Jun Wei Yeo, an ambitious and freshly enrolled Singaporean PhD student, was no doubt delighted when he was invited to give a presentation to Chinese academics in Beijing in 2015.

America is not an ethnically based nation.  Most nations remain that way.  This shows that even Singapore, which is ethnically Chinese, may be producing spies for China.   Will a clash between the US and China see large numbers of Chinese supporting their ancestral homeland?

Jun Wei Yeo was charged with using his political consultancy in America as a front to collect information for Chinese intelligence, US officials say.  Separately, the US said a Chinese researcher accused of hiding her ties to China’s military was detained.

China earlier ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu.

The move to shut down the diplomatic mission in the south-western city was in response to the US closing China’s consulate in Houston.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the decision was taken because China was “stealing” intellectual property.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin responded by saying that the US move was based on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies.”  (BBC7/25/2020)

—————————————————————————–

PHILIPPINES ASKS CHINA FOR HELP

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he has asked China for help in getting access to a coronavirus vaccine as governments around the world make arrangements to secure supply for their citizens ahead of what is expected to be a global scramble for the much-awaited shots.

In an address Monday, Mr. Duterte, who has favored close ties with Beijing, said he had made a plea to Chinese President Xi Jinping that the Philippines be one of the first to receive the doses if China has them.  He also asked Mr. Xi to grant Manila credit . . .

——————————————————————————-

AUSSIE PM FIT FOR WAR

ONE of Australia’s most experienced military Generals has backed Prime Minister Scott Morrison as capable of running – and winning – a “serious war.”

Retired Australian Army General Jim Molan AO DSC said this week the Australian Prime Minister displayed the type of leadership you’d expect in war time.

Molan, who now serves in the Australian Senate, shared his observations during a Northern Forum address on Tuesday evening.

Speaking at the online event, Senator Molan said Australia’s defense capabilities were the best he’d seen during his 40 years of service.

“I would suggest to you with this government we could run a serious war,” he said.   “We have a Prime Minister who shows the type of leadership you would expect in war time.

“We have a bunch of ministers and bureaucrats now who have been tested through the fires, tested through COVID – they are extraordinarily experienced from my observation and know what to do.”

Senator Molan retired from the Australian Army in 2008 after having served, among other postings, as Chief of Operations of the multi-national forces in Iraq, where he oversaw 170,000 allied troops.  (Politicom, 7/28/2020)

————————————————–

IRAN’S MULLAHS LOOKING FORWARD TO A BIDEN VICTORY

The ruling mullahs of Iran are excited.  They are convinced that a new US president, like his previous boss, former President Barack Obama, will throw them the lifeline so badly needed for their survival, their hold on power, and their ability to advance their nuclear and other imperialist plans — both in Venezuela against the United States, and in the Middle East.

Iran’s economic conditions have become so dire that even some officials are warning of possible revolt and the collapse of the Islamic Republic.

It is important to note that without Iran’s financial and military assistance, many militia and terror groups could not survive. As Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, admitted, “… Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, are from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

(Iran:  the mullahs are excited, Majid Rafizadeh, Gatestone, 7/28/2020)

———————————————

Israel sends reinforcements to north, bracing for imminent attack    IDF deploys additional firepower, intel-gathering tools and special forces  a day after alleged attempted Hezbollah assault.  (Times of Israel, 28 July, 2020)

The Israel Defense Forces deployed additional reinforcements to the country’s Lebanese and Syrian borders on Tuesday, indicating it was bracing for more violence along the frontiers after an alleged attempted attack by the Hezbollah terror group the day before.  Israeli officials expected an attack on Israeli troops by the Lebanese terror group within the next 48 hours, before the start of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha on Thursday night, according to an unattributed Channel 12 report on Tuesday.  Over the past week, Hezbollah has threatened some form of retaliation for the death of one of its fighters last week in Syria in an airstrike that it attributed to Israel, but which the Jewish state has not officially acknowledged conducting.     (https://www.timesofisrael.com/israel-sends-reinforcements-to-north-bracing-for-imminent-attack/)

————————————————————–

Latinos are the largest group of Californians admitted to University of California for the first time    (LA Times, 16 July, 2020)

Latinos represent the highest number of prospective freshmen accepted into the University of California for fall 2020, part of the most diverse first-year class ever admitted, according to preliminary UC data.   Latinos slightly eclipsed Asian Americans, making up 36% of the 79,953 California students offered admission. Asians made up 35%, white students 21% and Black students 5%.

(https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-07-16/latinos-uc-berkeley-diverse-class-history)

————————————————————–

The lost boys:   the white working class is being left behind           These children are the forgotten demographic  (The Spectator UK, 18 July 2020, by Christopher Snowdon)

You can argue about the merits of pulling down statues, but it’s hard to make the case that mass protests serve no useful purpose.  At the very least, they provoke debate and draw attention to uncomfortable topics that it might otherwise be easier to ignore. The recent protests have forced everyone to have difficult discussions about race, class, poverty and attainment.   Any serious examination of the statistics shows that we’re pretty far from equal, but what the figures also show is that it’s wrong-headed and damaging to lump very different groups together. In these discussions politicians often lazily assume that all BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) people are the same, and that all white groups are equally privileged.   But a proper look at the data shows not just that there are striking differences within BAME groups, but that the very worst-performing group of all are white working-class boys — the forgotten demographic.

————————————————————————-

BLAMING THE VICTIMS

An increasingly popular idea is that  . . . only minorities can be victims.   The notion is hardly limited to the recent riots in America. Elements of such thinking often appear in other contexts.

British women, for instance, including rape victims who draw attention to “Asian” (Pakistani and South Asian) sex grooming gangs, are being attacked by the “woke” establishment.

Earlier this month in the UK, Sarah Champion, a Labor politician and MP for Rotherham (the epicenter of sex grooming), was accused of “fanning the flames of racial hatred” and “acting like a neo-fascist murderer.”   Her crime?   She had dared to assert that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.”

(“Blaming the Victims of Muslim Rapists,” Raymond Ibrahim, MEF 7/11 – Raymond Ibrahim is a Judith Friedman Rosen Fellow at the Middle East Forum)

——————————————————

POWERFUL SERMON OPENS HAGIA SOPHIA TO MUSLIMS

In a July 10, 2020 decree, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan converted the Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque and placed it under the authority of the country’s Ministry of Religious Affairs.   On July 24, Friday prayers were held for the first time in 86 years in the Hagia Sophia Mosque’s main space.   Before the prayers were performed, President Erdoğan recited verses from the Quran. Diyanet minister Ali Erbaş went to the minbar (“pulpit”) bearing a sword and gave a sermon that, among other things, praised several Turkish conquerors, including Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, who conquered Istanbul in 1453, and Sultan Alparslan, who won the 1071 Battle of Manzikert, which opened Asia Minor to Turkish settlement. (MEMRI 7/29/2020)

—————————————————-

US to withdraw or relocate more troops in Germany than previously thought

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has outlined proposals that foresee bringing about 6,400 troops back to the US and relocating another 5,400 within Europe.   That entails reducing the presence in Germany by roughly one third.  (Deusche Welle 7/29/2020)

——————————————————-

US PRESSURE ON GERMAN BUSINESS

In individual talks with German and EU companies, the Trump administration is threatening repercussions, if they do not withdraw from the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.   According to reports, up to twelve representatives of three US ministries have held separate video conferences with European companies, to coerce them into withdrawing from the Nord Stream 2 project.   The latest US sanctions against the gas pipeline affect 120 enterprises from 12 EU countries.   Should the construction of Nord Stream 2 remain unfinished, the direct damage could reach twelve billion euros. German business associations are calling on Berlin and Brussels to take harsh retaliatory measures, otherwise US reprisals could set a “dangerous precedent” that could be repeated at any time.   Business representatives draw attention to the fact that the USA had tried to torpedo German-Russian energy relations, beginning already with those between West Germany and the Soviet Union in the 1960s and 1980s, but ultimately had to yield each time.  (German Foreign Policy, 7/27/2020)

———————————————————–

THINKING THRU A CIVIL WAR

If Trump wins in November, it is foreseeable that his many enemies will ratchet up their hatred for him to even more destructive extremes.   A bloody civil war would become likely, escalating an already violent cultural battle to a new threshold.   How this might impact our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods is unpredictable even if the tactical outcome is not.   The red states, wide-open spaces where politically conservative Americans tend to live and work, have superior firepower, to put it mildly, and their geographical vastness has rendered them invulnerable to attack.

They also provide most of the food consumed by blue-zone denizens, implying red partisans could lay siege to blue, bringing the color war to a relatively quick end. Political liberals have taken to boycotting the wares of nearly everyone perceived as unfriendly to their cause.   It remains to be seen whether conservatives can get sufficiently aroused to return fire, not only by boycotting every product or service associated with liberal ownership, but by disrupting the flow of essentials into the big cities where they live.   (The Morning Line, 7/26/2020)

——————————————————

TO THE POINT

  • Europe bracing for second wave of Covid-19 Europe is preparing for a second wave of Covid-19 amid continuing outbreaks.  The Belgian government has warned that the country could be put into a second “complete lockdown” and Catalonia says it may also have to reintroduce lockdown measures. Germany’s public health advisory body has said it is “deeply concerned” about the rise in cases and France has called for greater vigilance.  (The Week, 7/28/2020)
  • Study finds men are performing more domestic tasks Men are performing more domestic duties than ever, according to new research.  The study found that men are spending an extra five-and-a-half hours a week on childcare and housework compared to 40 years ago, while women do nearly three hours less of domestic work.   However, women still do 80% more cooking, cleaning and caring than men.  (The Week, 7/28/2020)
  • Israel Aircraft Industries is known as a world leader in drone technology and was recently tapped by the German Air Force to develop a special Heron drone for the Luftwaffe.  The German model of the Heron TP UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) completed its first flight in Israel’s skies to test modifications designed for the German Ministry of Defense.   The EU company Airbus DS Airborne Solutions, a subsidiary of the well-known passenger plane maker, is collaborating with IAI on the project.   The Germans will lease a number of UAVs with maintenance services, with Luftwaffe personnel currently training in Israel with Israeli counterparts at an IAF base in central Israel.  (Yakir Benzion, United with Israel, 7/27/2020)
  • Over-55’s main losers from Covid – Workers over the age of 50 have suffered larger cuts to their earnings than any other age group during the economic downturn triggered by coronavirus, a new report reveals. Britain’s oldest workers have seen their pay fall by an average of 23%, while millennials and middle-aged workers have been hit by salary cuts of 19% and 17% respectively, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.  (The Week, 7/29/2020)
  • A Christian teenager was sexually assaulted by his Muslim employer in early June.   The boy’s father and brother were then beaten for trying to seek justice for him.  (Persecution.org, June 19, 2020, Pakistan)

 

 

IS MACRON NOW “THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD”?

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength.   The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.  Unstable as water, you shall not excel.”  (Gen 49:3-4 NKJV)

President Emmanuel Macron of France has just visited the United States.   He and President Trump certainly have a good rapport with a great deal of mutual back-slapping, hugs and kisses (French-style).   The first state visit of the Trump presidency included a lavish dinner at the White House.   Everything went extremely well.

Well, almost everything . . .

The day after the dinner, M. Macron addressed Congress.   In perfect English, he went on to criticize the Trump Administration for various policies, including climate change, Iran and trade.   The Democrats and many Republicans were greatly pleased and gave him a standing ovation.

His charm offensive has raised the question – is Macron now the leader of the free world?   This is an epithet that has often been used to describe American presidents.  But, clearly, now that the US is out of step with most western democracies, with Macron clearly preferred by many leaders, is it not time to all get behind the French president?

France is, as Mr. Macron pointed out, “America’s oldest ally.”  Well, sort of.   It is true that France and the new United States formed an alliance in 1778, an alliance that eventually gave victory to the Patriots.   But that was under the Bourbon monarchy.   France is now a republic – the Fifth Republic, to be exact.   This fact illustrates that France historically has been quite unstable.

After the fall of the monarchy in 1789 and the establishment of the First Republic, there followed a period of great upheaval and terror. Eventually, Napoleon came to power and set about conquering the whole of Europe.   After his fall, the monarchy was restored but didn’t last long.  There followed another monarchy, then another republic, then a revival of the Napoleonic Empire.   Another attempt at a republic (the Third Republic) was made from 1870 to 1940.   This fell when Germany invaded and imposed the collaborationist Vichy France on parts of the country.

After World War II, the Fourth Republic came into being and lasted just twelve years.   It had some serious economic problems and faced uprisings in Indo-China and Algeria.   In 1958, wartime leader General Charles de Gaulle was instrumental in establishing the Fifth Republic, which is now sixty years old.

DeGaulle himself was not overly-confident that the Fifth Republic would last.   He was brought down by internal chaos and street rioting after ten years in power.   At one point, he was discussing the restoration of the Orleanist monarchy with the Comte de Paris.

The above summary should remind American presidents that France is not always the most reliable ally.   More recently, France was not supportive of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.  A few weeks ago, the country took the initiative on attacking Syria with the UK and the US.

So, could Macron lead the free world?   Not only is the US president impressed with him; Germany’s Angela Merkel has also developed a good friendship with the French president.

But note the following, from the UK’s Financial Times:

“There is no Franco-German friendship  (according to ) Ashoka Mody, a former IMF bailout chief in Ireland:

“However daring and appealing Macron’s European vision may be, France has fallen so far behind Germany that any partnership between the two countries is unrealistic.”  (Brussels Briefing, 4/26)

The United States is still the dominant power in the West. Economically, Japan and Germany are the second and third greatest economic powers  in the West.  Japan is not western in the same sense that Europeans are.   So, if the US withdraws from its leadership role for whatever reason, the mantle of leadership would fall on Germany, which has the next biggest economy, made much bigger by its domineering role in the European Union.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, arrived in Washington today for talks with President Trump.  She was not invited for a state visit and will not have a lavish dinner with the Trumps.

————————————————————–

THE KOREAN TALKS

North Korea’s leader crossed into South Korea today, for talks between the two leaders.

The world looks upon all of this favorably.   President Trump has achieved something no other US president has been able to do.

But North Korea’s track record is not good when it comes to keeping promises.

It should also be remembered that the belligerents already have different interpretations of current developments.  Whereas the US and South Korea think sanctions have put pressure on the North to come to the conference table, North Korea believes its nuclear weapons program is forcing the two allies to talk.

———————————————————-

ROYAL NEWS

The British Royal Family is having a very good year!

The 53 Heads of Government of the Commonwealth have all agreed that Prince Charles will succeed his mother as head of the organization.

Prince Charles opened the Commonwealth Games in Australia and drew crowds that politicians can only envy.

Earlier, Prince Harry was appointed by his grandmother to be a Commonwealth Ambassador to Youth.

Next month Prince Harry marries Meghan Markle.

And a new baby arrived earlier this week, fifth in line to the throne. His name is Prince Louis Arthur George.

His mother presented the baby on the steps of the hospital only seven hours after delivery.

Prince William was seen dozing off the day after the birth.  All parents can identify!  The prince will soon have a break from the bay — he and his wife are heading to Israel on the first official visit by a member of the royal family since the country became independent (from Britain) seventy years ago.  This reflects changing attitudes in the British Foreign Office, which has always been pro-Arab.

———————————————————————

GRISLY FIND IN PERU

Ancient Mass Child Sacrifice May Be World’s Largest

More than 140 children were ritually killed in a single event in Peru more than 500 years ago.  What could possibly have been the reason?   ​National Geographic​ * 4/ 26, 2018

Evidence for the largest single incident of mass child sacrifice in the Americas — and likely in world history – has been discovered on Peru’s northern coast, archaeologists tell National Geographic.

More than 140 children and 200 young llamas appear to have been ritually sacrificed in an event that took place some 550 years ago on a wind-swept bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, in the shadow of what was then the sprawling capital of the Chimú Empire.

While incidents of human sacrifice among the Aztec, Maya, and Inca have been recorded in colonial-era Spanish chronicles and documented in modern scientific excavations, the discovery of a large-scale child sacrifice event in the little-known pre-Columbian Chimú civilization is unprecedented in the Americas—if not in the entire world.

COMMENT:   It’s interesting to note that those reporting this are shocked at the news.  Over 140 children sacrificed at one time?   More than 140 children a day are sacrificed in the US – but we call it abortion.  It’s perfectly legal.