Protests regarding law that protects Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu from prosecution for corruption

By Penny Hoffmann

Outside a Tel Aviv museum, a pro-democracy protest was held by Israeli opposition leaders.

This protest opposed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent re-election for his fifth term and reportedly accused him of desiring to implement legislation that protects him from prosecution for corruption.

Opposition parties stated that Netanyahu can not continue to be Israel’s prime minister if he is charged for fraud and bribery after he received allegations of corruption.

According to NBC News, on the 28th of February 2019, Netanyahu rejected allegations of corruption:

“The left applied bullish pressure, relentless, i would even say inhuman, on the attorney general in order to make him say that he is considering indicting me pending a hearing even though it’s clear there is nothing, in order to influence the elections, even though he knows this house of cards will collapse after the elections.

“Since the attorney general is just a human, the pressure of the left worked.

“I tell you the citizens of Israel, this house of cards will collapse.

“I am absolutely certain. I am certain of it 4,000 percent.

“I plan on serving you and the state as prime minister for many years.”

According to RT, “He stands accused of possible crimes against humanity because a UN independent commission has ruled that his UK armed soldiers used live ammunition to fire on 6,000 unarmed protesters without justification”.

In the UN commission of inquiry into 2018 protests, Chair Santiago Canton stated that “the commission has found reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli Security Forces committed serious violations of human rights of international humanitarian law.”

Netanyahu’s corruption allegations include:

Case 1000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of receiving nearly $200,000 worth of gifts, reportedly mainly boxes of cigars for “his personal use”, from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favors.

He also reportedly received bottles of champagne for his wife.

Two of these businessmen include owner of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited Australian James Packer and Israeli film producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2000 Indictment

Netanyahu was accused of conspiring to get more news coverage in his favor by collaborating with Arnon “Noni” Mozes, the publisher of the newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for weaker legislation for the newspaper to beat a competing newspaper.

Attorney general Avichai Mandelblit stated the following, according to i24NEWS English:

“Even though you did not request and did not accept the proposal, you did not reject Moses’ proposal, but you continued to lead the matter, promoting the legislation, including ideas you raised during the election period, even though you did not intend to advance the legislation.”

Case 4000 Indictment

Case 4000 is another indictment that regards Netanyahu desiring more media coverage that is in his favor.

It is alleged that Netanyahu reportedly conspired to get “regulatory benefits for Shaul Elovich, owner of Bezeq Telecommunications Company, in exchange for favourable news coverage on his website”, according to i24NEWS English.

According to attorney general Avichai Mandelblit, “in essence, a “give and take” relationship was established between Elovich and Netanyahu:

“On the one hand, Elovich slanted the coverage in Walla to Netanyahu, in an irregular manner, so it will benefit him and companies under his control, including Bezeq, and on the other hand, Netanyahu, using his governmental and executive power in the regulatory field, to benefit Bezeq.”

 

 

Aussie man who drove down emus with ute sentenced to 42 days of prison

20-year-old Jacob McDonald, from Pinnaroo, South Australia, was tracked down by Australian police and the RSPCA last year after a video of him driving down emus at speeds greater than 120km/h went viral.

At first, there was a “nationwide manhunt” to find the man in the video. Then, McDonald appeared in court on the 9th of this month and was sentenced to 42 days in prison.

Some of the offences he was charged with aggravated cruelty to animals, torment to animals, and killing protected wildlife. Ten emus were killed.

“You received pleasure from inflicting pain on defenseless animals,” said magistrate Michael King as he handed down MacDonald’s sentence.

MacDonald told The Daily Mail that the emus are quite destructive:

“I could show you some photos of the destruction the emus make down here. We’ve been in drought. We’re literally growing crops on about four inches of rain.”

“You’ve got these animals coming in and making a mess. Te reason there is so many on the road is because they’re looking for something to eat. And there’s nothing.”

“They’re just that poorly, they need to be put down.

“Here is what the RSPCA doesn’t understand, they go on about cruelty, they should come out here and have a look at the state of these animals … they’re not doing anything for them.”

According to Daily Mail, “Mr Macdonald cited a difficult period in his life, particularly over the four months before his crime, when he had a relationship breakdown with an ex-girlfriend. However, he insisted he wasn’t intending to be cruel to the native birds.”

Daily Mail also reported that, according to his ex-girlfriend who originally revealed that he was the man behind the video, he’s the “type to go hunting”:

‘He’s the type to go hunting, he grew up that way but this is just atrocious. I was shocked and speechless… angry mostly,’ she said.

After his identity was revealed, MacDonald apologised for his actions to the media:

“I realize now it was the wrong thing to do. I’ve never put an animal through suffering before. I know what I did wrong.”

By Penny Hoffmann

Paramount Pictures Absolutely Ruins Sonic The Hedgehog

Paramount Pictures recently posted their official trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog on YouTube, which became the top trending video.

A Youtube account by the name of Tenebra asked “is this an out of season April Fools joke?”

Another account by the name of Hubert Konopia said, “Gangsta Paradise, what the hell it’s like matching Imagine Dragons with porn”.

Actor Jim Carrey will star as Doctor Eggman.

The live action adventure comedy has certainly ruffled the feathers of at least some of those who grew up playing the blue hedgehog video game franchise. The main reason for this is because Sonic doesn’t properly resemble the older cartoon version of Sonic’s appearance.

sonic 1
This is how Sonic looked in the 1991 “Sonic the Hedgehog” video game.

IGN reviews editor Tom Marks constructed a comparison between Sonic’s original eye style and the newer, more “realistic” style.

New Sonic has, to name a few differences, human-like teeth, more “realistic” fur, and a more human-like brow bone. The producers reportedly desired a more realistic style to help Sonic, a blue, fast, talking hedgehog, fit in to the real world in the movie.

sonic 2.PNG

sonic 3.PNG

In an interview with IGN, producer Tim Miller discussed the eye style difference:

“I don’t think SEGA was entirely happy with the eye decision,” said Miller, “but these sorts of things you go, ‘It’s going to look weird if we don’t do this.’ But everything is a discussion, and that’s kind of the goal, which is to only change what’s necessary and stay true to the rest of it.”

Miller, also a producer of Deadpool, also commented on Sonic’s fur that attempts to mimic the real-world animal:

“That was always Stage 1 of adapting it to what the real world is and what a real animal would be like… It would be weird and it would feel like he was running around nude if he was some sort of otter-like thing. It was always, for us, fur, and we never considered anything different. It’s part of what integrates him into the real world and makes him a real creature.”

Producer Neal Moritz, creator of the Fast and Furious franchise, spoke about Sonic’s shoe style in the movie:

“We looked at every different variation of what shoes he’s worn and we’re trying to pay homage to that and also make it current and present day in what we think a Sonic of today would wear.”

A key question from IGN is whether Sonic’s super speed will still exist, or be erased to be more “realistic”. Sonic’s slogan is “Sonic’s the name, speed’s my game!”

In protest to the different design style, an Australian Change.org user by the name of “Gay Gayson” created a petition to “Stop the Making of the Sonic the Hedgehog Movie”. So far, 81 people have signed it.

The movie will be in theaters in November this year.

sonic 4.PNG

By Penny Hoffmann

Kim Jong-Un Meeting with Vladimir Putin FOR THE FIRST TIME, Kremlin Says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has formally invited North Korean President Kim Jong-Un to a meeting with him in Russia for the first time later this month, according to the Kremlin.

Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov confirmed that an “invitation has been handed over.”

“We are awaiting our North Korean counterparts’ response,” he said. A date for the meeting will be confirmed after the invitation has been accepted by Jong-Un.

September 2018 Russian press reported that plans for a meeting between Kim Jong-Un and Vladimir Putin were accepted by Jong-Un, but that no meeting took place.

The meeting would be the first Russian-DPRK summit in eight years (2011, the year Jong-Un came to power), and third since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

“One of the biggest questions remaining is where exactly Kim would meet Putin,” Russian foreign policy analyst Anthony Rinna for the Sino-NK research group said.

According to news companies such as Al Jazeera, “Russia’s Izvestia newspaper cited a diplomatic source on Wednesday as saying the talks would likely be held in Russia‘s far eastern city of Vladivostok, before Putin flies on to an April 26-27 summit in China.”

Translated into English, according to the Russian news company RIA Novosti,  Jong-Un’s manager Kim Jang Sung was spotted allegedly inspecting Vladivostok station:

“FNN news service of the Japanese television company Fuji TV reported that Kim Jang Son, who is considered the manager of the DPRK leader Kim Jong-un, was spotted on Wednesday near the railway station in Vladivostok, which may indicate that the head of the North Korean state was preparing for it. On the FNN website, a photograph of Kim Jong Sung was posted near the Vladivostok station, allegedly examining the surroundings for the preparation of Kim Jong Un’s visit.

“They haven’t yet been informed about the reinforcement of the security regime, but they have told everyone that it is necessary to be alert in connection with the imminent arrival of Koreans… We can not confirm, as well as to refute. We have no right to talk about it,” said the deputy head of Vladivostok station.”

By Penny Hoffmann

FORMER AUSSIE PM RUDD: UK trading with the Commonwealth to make up for leaving the EU is “utter bollockS”

By Penny Hoffmann

Kevin Rudd, the 26th former Prime Minister of Australia, is sometimes a quite the unprofessional politician like many of Australia’s choices. Among various situations he has put himself in from being so down-to-earth, he has become a bit of a cheeky fella in the news and on the political stage for playing handball with school kids, needing a fitness instructor to lift him up for chin ups, being caught eating his ear wax during Question Time, and saluting George W. Bush at a NATO summit which “was just uhh… it was just a joke”.

Mr. Rudd’s take on brexit will surely ruffle the feathers of many brexiteers.

Rudd tweeted the following on March 11:

“With the clock ticking down to Brexit Day, here are my arguments in the London Guardian on why Britain should remain in the European Union. In contrast to Howard, Abbott and Downer cheering on the Brexiteers – all to reconstitute a British imperial rump.”

He stated in a recent article by The Guardian that swapping the current Britain-European Union trade agreement and relationship with a Britain-Commonwealth one is “the nuttiest of the many nutty arguments that have emerged from the Land of Hope and Glory set now masquerading as the authentic standard-bearers of British patriotism”:

“I’m struck, as the British parliament moves towards the endgame on Brexit, with the number of times Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India have been advanced by the Brexiteers in the public debate as magical alternatives to Britain’s current trade and investment relationship with the European Union. This is the nuttiest of the many nutty arguments that have emerged from the Land of Hope and Glory set now masquerading as the authentic standard-bearers of British patriotism. It’s utter bollocks.”

Rudd stated that Britain should remain in the European Union, and that “Labour and the Conservative remainers should unite to defer the exit date beyond 29 March 2019. They should then support legislation for a second referendum”.

Kevin Rudd describes brexit as a suicide note that will leave a large mark in world history:

“If Britain proceeds with giving effect to what future historians will legitimately describe as the longest suicide note in history by leaving the union, the cold, hard reality is that the mathematics simply don’t stack up in terms of credible economic alternatives to Europe. Much as any Australian, Canadian and New Zealand governments of whichever persuasion would do whatever they could to frame new free-trade agreements with the UK, the bottom line is that 65 million of us do not come within a bull’s roar of Britain’s adjacent market of 450 million Europeans.”

Remaining in the EU, according to Rudd, would benefit Britain economically and politically because authoritarians around the world seek to bring down the unification of Europe on things such as values, thus weakening the west.

Rudd supports a second referendum because it offers “a clear, informed choice between two tangible, concrete proposals: either voting for Theresa May’s deal, or for Britain to remain in the Union. That’s when I believe Britons’ native common sense, as well as their wider sense of international responsibility, would ultimately prevail”.

Rudd described Australian (“Oz”) brexiteers as having a goal of returning to old Anglo-Saxon times:

“They too, like the core of the British Brexiteers, are driven by a conservative political romanticism that we can all somehow go back to that ancient Arcadia of a white Anglo-Saxon world with “imperial preference”, all consummated by the solemnity of a Lord’s Test.”

Brexit day is scheduled for the 29th of March, 2019.

 

PETA, their “Animal Rights” stance, and Steve Irwin

By Penny Hoffmann

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has recently been absolutely shredded by Steve Irwin supporters, animal rights activists, and people who consider their movement hypocritical, around the world.

Google payed tribute to what would have been the Australian zookeeper, conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin’s 57th birthday. Google did this by temporarily updating their search engine logo with art of Irwin holding a crocodile.

PETA responded to this by tweeting the following:

“Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business.”

“Steve Irwin’s actions were not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife.

“It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences & force them to perform as Steve Irwin did.”

In order to spread their animal rights activism, PETA thrives by making contentious videos, tweets, and other forms of statements according to their FAQ page on their website:

“Thus, we try to make our actions colourful and controversial, thereby grabbing headlines around the world and spreading the message of kindness to animals to thousands—sometimes millions—of people. This approach has proved amazingly successful: In the three decades since PETA was founded, it has grown into the largest animal rights group in the country, with more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide.”

According to their mission statement, PETA is the “largest animal rights organization in the world, with more than 6.5 million members and supporters”. In their activism, PETA focuses on the following areas in which animals suffer the most: laboratories, food industries, clothing trades, and the entertainment industry. According to the mission statement, PETA also advocates for animal rights amongst domesticated animals and animals that are deemed “pests”. These include rodents and birds.

“PETA works through public education, cruelty investigations, research, animal rescue, legislation, special events, celebrity involvement, and protest campaigns.”

According to their website, here is why PETA protects the rights of animals:

“Jeremy Bentham, the founder of the reforming utilitarian school of moral philosophy, stated that when deciding on a being’s rights, “The question is not ‘Can they reason?’ nor ‘Can they talk?’ but ‘Can they suffer?’” In that passage, Bentham points to the capacity for suffering as the vital characteristic that gives a being the right to equal consideration. The capacity for suffering is not just another characteristic like the capacity for language or higher mathematics. All animals have the ability to suffer in the same way and to the same degree that humans do. They feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness, and motherly love. Whenever we consider doing something that would interfere with their needs, we are morally obligated to take them into account.”

“Only prejudice allows us to deny others the rights that we expect to have for ourselves. Whether it’s based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or species, prejudice is morally unacceptable. “

However, according to PETA Kills Animals, “since 1998, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has killed over 36,000 animals. 93% of all animals that fall under PETA’s care never make it out alive”.

PETA Kills Animals requested and received reports from Virginia’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services that detailed how many dogs and cats PETA received, transferred, successfully found homes for, and killed.

In 2018, PETA received 2,470 dogs and cats. Of these, 658 were transferred, 35 were adopted (1.42%) and 1,771 were killed (71.70%).

The worst year of killing of dogs and cats for PETA, according to the document, was 2006. of the 3,061 dogs and cats that were received, 46 were transferred, 12 were adopted (0.4%), and 2,981 were killed (97.4%).

In total, from 1998 to 2018, 47,316 dogs and cats were received by PETA, 3,434 were transferred, 3,459 were adopted (7.31%) and 39,961 were killed (84.46%).

The real question is whether the dogs and cats that are killed are in an irredeemable condition.

According to PETA’s FAQ page, this is why PETA supports the euthanisation of dogs and cats rather than building more animal shelters:

“A shelter should be a temporary compromise for dogs and cats. It is not a solution to companion animal homelessness. Dogs and cats need more than food, water, and shelter from the elements. They need and deserve loving care, regular human companionship, respect for their individuality, and the opportunity to play and run. As difficult as it may be for us to accept, euthanasia (carried out by veterinarians or shelter staff trained in intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbital) is often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave this uncaring world.”

So, because dogs and cats need loving care, regular human companionship, and so on, as well as food and water, and they lack these at shelters, they should be killed because it is “often the most compassionate and dignified way for unwanted animals to leave this uncaring world?” What these animals deserve should be more volunteers to care for them, not death. Plenty of us love dogs and cats; PETA needs to improve their advertisements to get more volunteers. That is the solution. So, because kids in orphanages may not get adopted, they should… be euthanized? No. There needs to be more advertising and selection of trustworthy workers at orphanages. These animals and people may end up getting out of their current situation in their future; why give up because of their present situation?

Arguments For and Against the Acceptance of Sharia Law in Australia

By Penny Hoffmann

Islam, a monotheistic religion, is the world’s second-largest religion. Some Western nations have partially accepted Sharia law into their country, whilst others are wanting nothing to do with it.

Here are some of the arguments in support of and in opposition to the acceptance of Sharia law:

FOR

Freedom of religion is protected in the Australian constitution, and is classed as a right.
Accepting Sharia allows for an avenue for Muslims to settle family law matters according to Sharia. There is often no Australian judicial equivalent.
Muslims are already living their lives according to Sharia . There are more than 604,000 Muslims already living in Australia. Allowing Sharia would allow those practicing underground to be practicing publicly and by their own law.
Accepting Sharia does not mean the rejection of Australian laws, but rather a desire to conform to Sharia where possible. Legally, there are already areas where Sharia is accepted because both legal systems share similarities.
There is diversity within Islam, like Christianity, thus some Islamic denominations or sects would share more similarities with the Australian legal system.
There is a limited number of scholars who are fully trained in interpreting Sharia. Why should we deny something that we do not understand?
Exposing Muslims to the Australia’s secular legal system allows them to see both sides of what it is like to be in a Muslim culture compared to what is it like in a secular culture. This allows Muslims to decide with more experience what path they would like to follow.

 

AGAINST

 

Australia follows a one law for all model. Giving some privilege over others for doing the same thing is unequal. There is conflict among Muslim communities that concerns equality. Some do not desire the special treatment of a legal system and argue a case for equality.
Religion plays no part in the formal legal system.

 

Accepting Sharia is more problematic for Muslim wives, especially in divorce where one will have to find a third party to plead her case
There are variations throughout denominations and schools of Islamic thought, thus it is not always possible to have one law for all Muslims because of the diversity of Islam. One law for all could create greater divisions and isolation between Muslims and non-Muslims. Some Muslims who have fled a Sharia system may like the security of the Australian justice system, and there are Muslims who advocate for civil and individual rights. In Australia, Muslims come from over 70 different countries, and not all of these countries share the same Islamic beliefs. There are a limited number of scholars who are fully trained in interpreting Sharia. Why should we accept something that we do not understand properly?

Australia does not need to accept Sharia as immigrants should conform to the laws of the nation they arrive in.

 

Nikola Tesla Was Against Feminism?

By Penny Hoffmann

Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) is known as a Serbian American inventor and engineer. What many may not know about him are his views on feminism.

In an interview for a 1924 news article by Galveston Daily News titled “Mr.Tesla Explains Why He Will Never Marry: Famous Scientist Felt Unworthy of Woman as She Used To Be, and Now He Can’t Endure Her Trying to Outdo the Men”, Tesla states that women who try to compete with men by taking on male roles are making themselves inferior:

“I had always thought of woman, as possessing those delicate qualities of mind and soul that made her in these respects far superior to man. I had put her on a lofty pedestal, figuratively speaking, and ranked her in certain important attributes considerably higher than man. I worshiped at the feet of the creature i raised to this height, and, like every true worshiper, i felt myself unworthy of the object of my worship. But all this was in the past. Now the soft-voiced gentle woman of my reverent dreams has all but vanished. In her place has come the woman who thinks that her chief success in life relies in making herself as much as possible like man – in dress, voice, actions, sports and achievements of every kind.”

Tesla also states that the feminist movement where females abandon their gender roles and become more masculine is a sign of the downfall of a civilization:

“Women, are becoming stronger than men, both physically and mentally. The world has experienced many tragedies, but to my mind the greatest tragedy of all is the present economic condition wherein women strive against men, and in many cases actually succeed in upsurping their places in the professions and in industry. This growing tendency of women to overshadow the masculine is a sign of a deteriorating civilization.”

Men have desired to reach for the stars because they are inspired by the woman they fancy, mothers, or just any female figure in their life that believes in them:

“Woman’s determined competition with man in the business world is breaking down some of the best traditions – things which have proved the moving factors in the world’s slow but substantial progress. Practically all the great achievements of man until now have been inspired by his love and devotion to woman. Man has aspired to great things because some woman believed in him, because he wished to command her admiration and respect.”

Vessels have historically been named after women for the same reason, but were alternatively named after goddesses and other historical figures with the idea of safety and protection so the vessel survives whatever journey it undergoes.

Tesla then explains further about how men would self-sacrifice when working to serve women, and that, maybe, the male in society is useless. If women agree with this, then, Tesla believes, the worst of the world’s human history is taking place:

“For these reasons he has fought for her and risked his life and his all for her time and time again. Perhaps the male in human society is useless. I am frank to admit that i don’t know. If women are beginning to feel this way about it, and there is striking evidence at hand that they do, then we are entering upon the cruelest period of the world’s history. Our civilization will sink into a state like that which is found among the bees, ants and other insects – a state wherein the male is ruthlessly killed off. In this matriarchal empire which will be established the female rules. As the female predominates, the males are at her mercy. The male is considered important only as a factor in the scheme of the continuity of life.”

Tesla states that, when women see themselves as independent from man in terms of her breaking gender norms in the business world and not wanting to co-operate, this limits man’s ability to be independent:

“The tendency of women to push aside man, supplanting the old spirit of cooperation with him in all the affairs of life, is very disappointing to me. Woman’s independence and her cleverness in obtaining what she wants in the business world is breaking down man’s spirit of independence. The old fire he once experienced at being able to achieve something that would compel and hold a woman’s devotion is turning to ashes. Women don’t seem to want that sort of thing today. They appear to want to control and govern. They want man to look up to them, instead of their looking up to him. Conditions abroad suggest that the same tendency is worldwide.”

Tesla states that women are the victim when choosing this behavior, not the victor as what they imagine to be:

“I am considering this question not merely from the standpoint of a man, i am thinking of the woman’s side of it. As we contemplate any change, we naturally take into consideration the results that may follow such an innovation. One of the results to my mind is quite a pathetic one. Woman, herself, is really the victim of, as she thinks, the victor. Contentment is absent from her life. She is ambitious, often far beyond her natural equipment, to attain the thing she wants. She too frequently forgets that all women cannot be prima donnas and motion picture stars. Woman’s discontent makes the life of the present day still more over-stressed. The high pitch given to existence by people who are restless and dissatisfied because they fail to achieve things wholly out of proportion to the health and talent with which Nature has endowed them is a bad thing for the world.”

Because women will be the victims instead of victors, women will not be happy:

“It seems to me that women are not particularly happy in this newly found freedom, in this new competition which they are waging so persistently against men in business and even in sport. The question that naturally arises is, whether the women themselves are the gainers or the losers. It seems to me that anything which adds to the great discontent which we observe on every side to-day must be a bad influence on out life. Women who keep themselves agitated by their tremendous ambition to beat man at his game are losing at the same time something that counts for more in the end, than the empty honors that success in business or one of the professions can ever give.”

Because of corruption and tricksters, Tesla does not choose to conform with the general public:

“Discontent makes for cranks and unnatural people. There seems to be an uncommon number of them about today. This is one of the reasons i remain apart from the crowds. The public, or semi-public, character is the target for all sorts of attacks and unpleasant communications. For example, i used to receive all sorts of strange notes, many of them letters from cranks threatening my life, because they have read about my experiments in manufacturing lightning bolts. They wrote that they believed i was using these lightning flashes to kill them!”

Tesla states there are many examples of women who do not compete or try to outdo men that become great influencers:

“The power of the true woman is so great that i believe if a beautiful woman – that is to say, one beautiful in spirit, in manner and in thought, in fact, beautiful in every respect, a sort of goddess – were to appear suddenly on earth, she could command the whole world. Her leadership, i believe, would be universally recognized. History has given us many examples of the wonderful influence exerted by unusual women. Among these have been the mothers of great men. But their influence lay not in their determination to outdo man, or even to compete with him. Perhaps because woman is a finer and more highly sensitized instrument she knows by instinct her power and understands that the extent of it lies in the high position she takes for herself. But the superior never descends to the level of the commonplace.”

Anti-Semitism has featured in the News More

By Penny Hoffmann

One reason why anti-Semitism is publically reported more is due to the Combatting European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. This was introduced by sponsor Republican Marco Rubio on the twenty-fourth of January 2017 and became public law on the fourteenth of January 2019.

Volume 64 section 198 (2018) of the Congressional Record outlines the purpose of the bill:

“A bill to require continued and enhanced annual reporting to Congress in the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom on anti-Semitic incidents in Europe, the safety and security of European Jewish communities, and the efforts of the United States to partner with European governments, the European Union, and
civil society groups, to combat anti-Semitism, and for other purposes; to the Committee on Foreign Relations.”

The sponsors include “Mr. Rubio (for himself, Mr. Kaine, Mr. Gardner, Mr. Menendez, Mr. Perdue, Mr. Nelson, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. Lankford, Mr. Brown, Mr. Schatz, and Mr. Hatch)”.

Though the new year began nearly two months ago, recently the media and other organisations spoke out against “growing anti-Semitism”:

Seven MP’s Quit Labour Party due to Brexit Betrayal and Anti-Semitism

Seven of Britain’s Labour Party members of parliament recently resigned to protest the handling of brexit and “growing anti-Semitism”. Anti-Semitism reports have grown by 75%, and it should be noted that there are many anti-Semitic attacks that are not reported, and that some European nations report them more than others. One question being asked by the Labour Party and others is whether one can oppose Israeli policies without being anti-Semitic.

The handling of brexit is the most important issue of the two according to the Labour Party. Despite Britain desiring to leave the European Union, the EU is demanding for Britain to accept their decision to remain or there will be further action.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is attending Brussels to advocate for an Irish deal that does mot re-open the brexit deal.

Poland Pulls out of Israel meeting over Anti-Semitism and Nazi Comments

Poland “collaborated with the Nazis” and “sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and newly appointed interim Foreign Minister Israel Katz respectively.

Poland’s pull-out from the Visegrad Summit caused the cancellation of the Visegrad group meeting that was held in Israel.

Visegrad involves four central European nations. The members include Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki stated earlier that he was not attending the meeting because of comments made by Netanyahu about Polish co-operation:

Katz stated the following:

“Poles collaborated with the Nazis, definitely. Collaborated with the Nazis. As (former Israeli Prime Minister) Yitzhak Shamir said — his father was murdered by Poles — he said that from his point of view they sucked anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk. You can’t sugarcoat this history.”

“I am the son of Holocaust survivors… The memory of the Holocaust is not something to compromise about. It is obvious. We will not forget, and we will not forgive.”

Macron Condemns Anti-Semitism at Paris Yellow Vest Protest

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Left: French President Emmanuel Marcon. Right: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: EPA

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned anti-Semitic insults that French 69-year-old philosopher and head of The Academy Alain Finkielkraut was subject to by yellow vest protesters.

These insults include:

“Palestine! France is ours!” “Dirty Zionist!” “Dirty race!” “The people will punish you!”

Macron tweeted this in response:

“The anti-Semitic insults he has been subjected to are the absolute negation of what we are and what makes us a great nation. We will not tolerate it. The son of Polish immigrants who became a French academician, Alain Finkielkraut is not only a prominent man of letters but the symbol of what the Republic allows everyone.”

Finkielkraut is the author of “The Imaginary Jew” and the son of a Jewish-Polish manufacturer of fine goods.

French interior minister Christophe Castaner stated that incidents of antisemitism rose to 541 last year from 311 in 2017, an increase of 74 per cent. National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) leader Sammy Ghozlan stated that “the ‘Yellow Vests’ movement has an anti-Semitic base that repeats conspiracy theories about Jews and power.” Fourteen political parties called for a solution to growing anti-Semitism.

A protest against anti-Semitism is happening, in which Merie Le Pen says she won’t be attending.

Recently, graves at a cemetery were attacked with swatstikas.

US Vice-President Mike Pence Accuses Iran of Anti-Semitism

US Vice President Mike Pence has accused Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism.

Pence had visited Poland’s Auschwitz concentration camp. A day prior to this, he was “attacking European powers for trying to undermine U.S. sanctions on the Islamic Republic”.

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US Vice President Mike Pence with his wife Karen and Polish President Andrzej Duda with first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda stand at the ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ gate at the former Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz in Oswiecim, Poland, Feb. 15, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Kacper Pempel.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi responded to the accusations of Nazi-like anti-Semitism by supporting Judaism but opposing Israel as the nation was acting like a “killing machine against the Palestinians”:

“Iran’s historic and cultural record of coexistence and respect for divine religions, particularly Judaism, is recorded in reliable historic documents of various nations.”

“The principle that underlies our foreign policy is the aggressive and occupying nature of the Zionist regime (Israel)…, which is a killing machine against the Palestinian people.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also responded to Pence’s accusation, calling it “laughable”.

Zarif also added:

“Iran has always supported the Jews. We are just against Zionists. The Holocaust was a disaster.”

There is an ongoing proxy conflict between Iran and Israel that began in the early 1990’s.

Iran voted against the UN Partitian Plan for Palestine in 1947 and Israel’s admission to the UN two years later. Iran initially recognised Israel as a sovereign state, but as tensions grew the Islamic government does not.

Anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer” according to Fareed Zakaria of the Washington Post

Fareed Zakaria, columnist of the Washington Post, political scientist, and author, recently wrote an article suggesting that anti-Semitism “has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer”.

Zakaria stated the following in his article, mentioning freshman Democratic members of Congress Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.):

“I don’t know what is in the hearts of the two representatives. But I believe that Muslims should be particularly thoughtful when speaking about these issues because anti-Semitism has spread through the Islamic world like a cancer. (Omar and Tlaib are not responsible for this in any way, of course, but they should be aware of this poisonous climate.)”

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn, one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress, apologised “unequivocally” for social media comments that were deemed “anti-Semitic” by many:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes.”

“We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.”

This is the original comment she made:

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Many Jewish figures have condemned her and similar comments, one figure including Democratic Freshman lawyer Max Rose:

“Congresswoman Omar’s comments are deeply hurtful to Jews, including myself.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and National Director of ADL stated the following in a statement:

“As Americans and Jews, we expect our politicians to condemn bigotry, not to fuel it. Words matter. At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise in the U.S. and abroad, Rep. Omar is promoting the ugly, anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Jews have an outsized influence over politics.”

Fareed Zakaria, in his article, states that “Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism”:

“In their zeal to delegitimize the Jewish state, men such as Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser promoted all kinds of anti-Semitic literature and rhetoric. Arab states became vast propaganda machines for anti-Semitism, brainwashing generations of their people with the most hateful ideas about Jews. Even the supposedly secular president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, declared in 2001 that Israelis were “trying to kill all the values of the divine religions, with the same mentality that brought about the betrayal and torturing of Christ and in the same way that they tried to betray the Prophet Muhammad.” Religious states such as Saudi Arabia were just as bad, if not worse.”

Fareed Zakaria is “one of the 25 most influential liberals in the American media” according to Forbes, but Zakaria states that “I feel that’s part of my job… which is not to pick sides but to explain what I think is happening on the ground. I can’t say, ‘This is my team and I’m going to root for them no matter what they do.'”

Zakaria also states that Trump’s missile strike against a Syrian government-controlled airbase in April 2017 is when Trump “became president of the United States”.

 

Virginian Perennial Candidate Nathan Larson is Pro Incest, Rape and Pedophillia?

By Penny Hoffmann

37-year-old accountant Nathan Larson is running for U.S Virginian Congress. What really makes him stand out from many candidates is what Mr. Larson and organisations have been saying about him.

According to the Washington Post, “He’s pro-incest, pedophilia, and rape. He’s also running for Congress from his parents’ house”; according to News.com, “HE’S a self-described white supremacist and paedophile who once plotted to kill a US president. Now, he’s running for congress”; and according to The Independent, “A paedophile and a Holocaust denier are running for US Congress, but it may not be time to raise the alarms just yet”.

According to an October 2009 press release by the Colorado United States Attorney’s Office, in December 2008, Larson sent emails to the U.S Secret Service threatening to kill the President :

“I am writing to inform you that in the near future, I will kill the president of the United States of America.”

During his 2017 Office campaign Larson labelled himself a “red pill Libertarian”, but was disavowed from the Libertarian Party for his anti-feminist and pro child pornography and marijuana views.
According to the Huffington Post, Larson created Suiped.org, Incelocalypse.today which acted as chat rooms for pedophiles and “violence-minded misogynists”.
According to Huffington Post writers Andy Campbell and Jesselyn Cook, Larson admitted to being part-pedophile, part-writer-about-pedophillia”:
‘When asked whether he’s a pedophile or just writes about pedophilia, he said, “It’s a mix of both. When people go over the top there’s a grain of truth to what they say.”’
According to a Haaretz article written by Omer Benjakob:
“On the libertarian RationalWiki, for example, as a user called Tisane, he edited extensively from 2010 to 2012, contributing to the articles on rape, Holocaust denial and even the North American Man/Boy Love Association. But after defending pro-pedophilia positions, he was banned from there, too. “Why create a child sexual abuse article and then only allow one side of the argument to be presented?” his user protested during a debate on the laissez-faire wiki.”

PROOF: Democrats are working with social media companies to try and harm the 2020 Trump re-election and the Conservative and Alt-Right movement

By Penny Hoffmann

In a paper classed as private and confidential, titled “Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan For Action”, Media Matters, American Bridge, CREW, and Shareblue are all actively fighting against right-wing misinformation, and social media platforms such as Facebook and Google have agreed to be their allies.

In the document, the current hurdles for the goal are highlighted. An analysis of their opposition, what Shareblue and their associates have already accomplished to get to this goal, and what is promised for the future are detailed. Their mission began in 2017 and will last for four years, up until Trump runs for presidency again in 2020.

The document even highlighted how they got Facebook to support their plans:

“During the 2016 election, Facebook refused to do anything about the dangerous rise of fake news or even acknowledge their role in promoting disinformation: Mark Zuckerberg called the notion that fake news is a problem “crazy”. In November, we launched a campaign pressuring Facebook to: 1) acknowledge the problem of the proliferation of fake news on Facebook and its consequences for our democracy and 2) commit to taking action to fix the problem. As a result of our push for accountability, Zuckerberg did both. Our campaign was covered by prominent national political, business, and tech media outlets, and we’ve been engaging with Facebook leadership behind the scenes to share our expertise and offer input on developing meaningful solutions.”

This is what Media Matters and their associates have already accomplished:

“Media Matters has already secured access to raw data from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. We have also put in place the technology neccessary to automatically mine white nationalist message boards and alt-right communities for our archive. We will now develop technologies and processes to systematically monitor and analyze this unfiltered data.”

“Our digital efforts were largely focused on changing the narrative with the traditional media versus voters. This worked to a point but wasn’t enough in the face of a news media incentivised by profit and access and fearful of intimidation and bullying by the Trump forces.”

“In 2016, a full two-thirds of Facebook users used the platform to get news. Facebook’s algorithm fuels confirmation bias by feeding content from outlets that tell the users what they want to hear. Fake news purveyors exploited this vulnerability. Fake news purveyors exploited this vulnerability for profit and political influence.”

The paper also provided a “competitive analysis” whereby their rivals and the threats they pose were highlighted. Their competition is right-wing media, but more specifically: the Conservative Media Research Center, Breitbart, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump (obviously) and his Trump TV.

Here is what the paper said about Breitbart, for example:

“Breitbart, which has received millions in funding from extremest billionaires close to the Trump administration, provides a nexus point in the so-called alt-right (the newest branding for American white nationalism, anti-Semitism, and misogyny) to exploit vulnerabilities throughout the media landscape. With a powerful ally in the White House (former chief executive Steve Bannon will be Trump’s chief strategist), Breitbart plans to export its brand of anti-establishment racism on a global scale.”

Media Matters lists what their top outcomes are and what they will “focus on achieving” in the next four years, which began in 2017:

“In the next four years, Media Matters will continue its core mission of disarming right-wing misinformation, while leading the fight against the next generation of conservative disinformation: The proliferation of fake news and propaganda now threatening the country’s information ecosystem.”

“- Serial misinformers and right-wing propagandists inhabiting everything from social media to the highest levels of government will be exposed, discredited. Journalists, activists, allies, politicians, and the general public will routinely utilize and weaponize our research products to understand and take action against the changing media ecosystem and the extremists seeking to manipulate it. We will continue to break engagement records and dramatically expand and diversify our reach by presenting our research in multiple formats on a variety of platforms. Key right-wing targets will see their influence diminish as a result of our work.

– Internet and social media platforms, like Google and Facebook, will no longer uncritically and without consequence host and enrich fake news sites and propagandists. Social media companies will engage with us over their promotion of the fake news industry. Facebook will adjust its model to stem the flow of damaging fake news on its platform’s pages. Google will cut off these pages’ accompanying sites’ access to revenue by pulling their access to Google’s ad platform.

– Toxic alt-right social media-fueled harassment campaigns that silence dissent and poison our national discourse will be punished and halted. Hundreds and thousands of activists will join our campaigns to push back on alt-right harassment. Key alt-right figures will lose credibility and influence in response to our research and pressure.”

American Bridge, a participant for this plan, is given orders that aim to make it “the epicenter of Democrats’ work to regain power”. It has three goals that will be in favor of the Democrats:

“American Bridge will cement itself as the standard-bearer of opposition research, build on its role as a progressive clearinghouse for information that drives the narrative on Republican officeholders and candidates, and be at the epicenter of Democrats’ work to regain power – starting in 2017 and building to 2020. Here’s what success will look like:

– Trump will be defeated either through impeachment or at the ballot box in 2020.

– The balance of power will shift back to democrats. We will measurably impact US Senate, gubernatorial, and state legislative races.

– We will free ourselves from solely relying on the press. Our robust digital program will reach voters directly online.”

CREW is another participant in the plan to get Trump out of office. Crew has four goals that will aid in doing so:

“CREW will be the leading nonpartisan ethics watchdog group in a period of crisis with a president and administration that present possible conflicts of interest and ethical problems on an unprecedented scale. CREW will demand ethical conduct from the administration and all parts of government, expose improper influence from powerful interests, and ensure accountability when the administration and others shirk ethical standards, rules, and laws.
Here’s what success will look like:

– Trump will be afflicted by a steady flow of damaging information, new revelations, and an inability to avoid conflicts issues.

– The Trump administration will be forced to defend illegal conduct in court.

– Powerful industries and interest groups will see their influence wane.

– Dark money will be a political liability in key states.”

Shareblue, another participant, is planning to replace Conservative influence on social media with influence from Democrats instead. They plan to harm Trump’s presidency by “emboldening the opposition and empowering the majority of Americans who oppose him”. Shareblue has five goals in order to aid Media Matters’ plan:

“- Shareblue will become the de facto news outlet for opposition leaders and the grassroots.

– Trump allies will be forced to step down or change course due to news published by Shareblue.

– Under pressure from Shareblue, Democrats will take more aggressive positions against Trump.

– Shareblue will achieve financial stability while diversifying content offerings and platforms.

– Top editorial and writing talent will leave competitors to join Shareblue.”

Media Matters is against “even the slightest bit of normalization of Trump”. Funnily enough, Media Matters plans to resist Trump’s authoritarianism by utilizing authoritarianism themselves by means of, for example, collaborating with social platforms in order to remove what they deem as “fake news”. Thus, authoritarianism, in their eyes, is fine if they themselves do it:

“We are going to fight for the things in which we believe, and we are going to fight against any attempt to erode the cornerstone work and values of the progressive movement and this pluralistic nation… Media Matters will be vigilant in holding news media accountable for even the slightest bit of normalization of Trump. We will encourage journalists to defend standard practices, like the protective press pool and media credentialing, and strive for higher standards against this threat… we are going to resist the normalization of Donald Trump. His every conflict of interest, his every bit of cronyism, his every move towards authoritarianism, his every subversion of our democratic systems and principles, his every radical departure from foreign and domestic policy norms… we are going to contest every effort, at every level of government, to limit rights, rescind protections, entrench inequality, redistribute wealth upwards, or in any other way fundamentally undermine the tenets of egalitarianism that must serve as the bedrock of our democracy.”

Predictive technology, collaborating with social media platforms, omnichannel communications, and a massive grassroots truth squad are all methods Media Matters will use to monitor fake news. Predictive technology will allow individuals and outlets who participate in fake news, misinformation, and harassment, to be identified by Media Matters.

Here is what content Media Matters also corrects:

“Media Matters’ issue teams are focused on correcting misinformation on: gun violence and public safety, LGBT equality, reproductive health and gender equality, climate and energy, and economic policy.”

SHOWDOWN: Trump threatens to close border “entirely” as Democrats refuse to fund Border Security

Amidst the partial government shutdown we are now heading into the second week with no resolution in sight. President has Trump once again vowed to close the southern border in a series of tweets on Friday.

The U.S.-Mexico wall has become a major controversy in the past few weeks. With neither Republican or Democrat parties nearing to a conclusion, all hopes for a border wall seem near impossible with no resolution on both ends.

Officially, congress returned to session on Thursday, and we have now entered the 7th day of the on-going partial government shutdown over funding for a border wall.

President Trump is standing firm saying, “We will do whatever it takes to build the border wall”. The government shutdown will continue until Trumps $5.7 billion price tag is met. Democrats have rejected that figure and instead counter offered $1.3 billion towards border security. Senator Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have refused any more offers towards building the wall.

With no bipartisan cooperation on the border wall, the shutdown is expected to drag on to the New Year after the House and Senate adjourn next week. There is a possibility that negotiations will continue January 3rd, when Democrats assume the House majority and yet another vote will be taken place.

There has been little discussion between the White House and Democrats in recent days, yet President Trump stands by his promise that he will do “whatever it takes” to resolve the issue and find a compromise with Democrats.

It is now up to democrats to break the ice and come to an agreement that we need border security. It is presumed by a spokesman for house minority leader Nancy Pelosi that Democrats’ are likely to put a bill that funds the government without aiding any funds for the border wall.  

If all else fails, Trump tweeted he will “Close the southern border entirely” If congress will not fund a border wall between the US and Mexico. President Trump also claimed that “The United States looses soooo much money on Trade with Mexico under NAFTA, over 75 Billion Dollars a year (not including Drug Money which would be many times that amount), that I would consider closing the Southern Border a ‘profit making operation.’ We build a wall or close the Southern Border.”

With no agreement breaking through on the border wall, negotiations are likely to continue on to 2019.