Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Don Surber's New Book is Another Home Run

Fake News Follies of 2017 by [Surber, Don]

Don Surber's two previous books on Trump's ascendancy explored the 2016 election and exactly why the pundits got it so wrong.

Both of these bestsellers were written in a delightful, cutting edge fashion that had me either laughing out loud or saying to myself, 'boy I forgot all about that .'

This book is no different. It's a superbly written account by a journalist with over 40 years experience  of exactly how and why most of the press became swamp creatures as they printed deliberate falsehoods and forsook all semblance of journalistic ethics once Donald J. Trump became president, to their shock and dismay. His  attention to detail and his style in conveying it would have pleasantly surprised me if I wasn't familiar with his other works.

As with Don Surber's other books, it's a great read and one you will have trouble putting down. I believe that in the future when people look back at these times, Don Surber will be one of the chroniclers they'll be reading.

Highly recommended. Like his other books, Available at Amazon in Kindle or paperback.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Forum: What Do You Think Of the New Budget Deal?







Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Do You Think Of the New Budget Deal?


Rob Miller:I've never been a fan of debt unless it's tax deductible.

But as we all know sometimes, it's a necessary gamble and government has its own rules, after all. Sometimes, you really do have to spend money to make money, and other times there are simply necessary expenses you have to finance.

I think this deal was necessary for a couple of reasons. And I think President Trump as a businessman is well aware of this.

First, it gets rid of Barack Hussein Obama's sequester nonsense and allows for badly needed defense spending. Most Americans have no clue as to how badly Barack Hussein Obama and his minions damaged our military.

American military policy since the beginning of the 20th century has been to have the naval strength to project our power globally and to have the ability to fight a two front war if necessary. The more candid members of our military admit we no longer have this capacity. Not only is our Navy way behind in the ships it needs, but a number of our weapons, including our nuclear arsenal are outdated and in need of upgrades and modernization. And since Mrs. Clinton and President Obama gave the Russians free access to a number  of our top secret missile defense assets like Hit-To-Kill as part of the so-called reset, that needs major upgrading too.

This all takes money to fix.

This period also saw our military reduced  to a 'social justice' and 'diversity' experiment, with a number of experienced NCOs, enlisted men and officers who wanted to make the military their career being tossed out and in many cases replaced by new recruits who were far less capable but belonged to groups more likely to vote Democrat. And a number of our top combat commanders like Stan McCrystal and then Marine General Mattis saw themselves forced into 'retirement' and passed over for promotion. President Obama's war on religion in the military and insistence that chaplains officiate at same sex marriage not only saw many chaplains resign their commissions but had a definite effect on re-enlistments. Rebuilding our military from a personnel standpoint will also take money and commitment.

Second, America's infrastructure very badly needs repairs. That also takes money and is a national security issue as well as an economic one.

Finally, this is a political victory. It is a two year funding bill, and it was done without the concessions for the illegal migrants known as 'Dreamers' the Democrats formerly demanded. They signed onto this bill for nothing more than a promise of a debate in congress. And they did it understanding that the promise means nothing.. President trump will not sign any bill that doesn't end chain migration, end the ridiculous 'diversity visas' hire more border patrolmen and pay for the border wall, and the Democrats will never concede these points. In other words, they have, for all practical purposes cut the Dreamers adrift except for some nasty, meaningless rhetoric that can be used as CNN soundbites for the True Believers.

And don't think that the Dreamers and their vociferous supporters don't know they've been shafted. That could have some interesting implications in the midterms when it comes to Democrat turnout.

Another point worth mentioning is that much of what President Donaldus Maximus wants to spend the deficit spending on is going to lead to a great deal of economic activity, all of which can be taxed, not to mention real job creation which will also brings lots of money into the economy. I wouldn't be surprised one bit if the taxable revenue created pretty much disposes or even exceeds the amount of deficit spending required.

I actually like Senator Rand Paul a lot and I think his late night showmanship in congress was actually necessary to remind his colleagues that they're spending other people's money and that fiscal competence is desired. But I see the benefits to be derived as far outweighing the possible consequences.


Dave Schuler: Rand Paul had it about right when he said that when the Republicans are in power there is no conservative party.

The CBO calculates that the new budget will result in a deficit of about 955 billion in 2018. That's kind of high when the economy isn't in recession—about 5.25% of GDP.

Its consequences will depend on how fast the economy grows. We can safely run a deficit less than or equal to the increase in GDP just about indefinitely. If the economy grows faster on an annual basis than it has since Ronald Reagan's first term, we should be okay.

One major difference between now and Ronald Reagan's first term is that the national debt is much higher both in absolute terms and related to GDP than it was then. The scholarship on that suggests that higher levels of debt are a drag on the economy. So, we're conducting a real life experiment.


Laura Rambeau Lee:We conservatives spent many hours and contributed our hard earned money to help elect candidates who promised they would cut spending and reduce the debt. Through nearly a decade of hard work and dedication we delivered the House, Senate and ultimately the White House to Republicans. We expected our “trusted servants” to deliver on their promises. It has become obvious there is very little honor in Washington, only betrayal. This budget deal will not bode well for Republicans in the upcoming elections.

Very disappointed.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.



Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Forum: What Did You Think Of Trump's State Of The Union Speech?




Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: What Did You Think Of Trump's State Of The Union Speech?
Don Surber: President Trump changed the presentation of the annual State of the Union by incorporating the stories of amazing people. His speech was an excellent example of see-not-say writing, which is the most persuasive form of the art.

If you want to convince Americans that your tax policies are working, show the company that rebounded -- and the welder who got a bonus and whose paycheck is bigger.
If you want to convince Americans that DACA has a down side, show the parents of MS-13 murder victims.

If you want to convince Americans that your Korean policy works, show the man who lost a leg and an arm escaping tyranny.

They were not just guests in the audience called out by Ed Sullivan, something presidents from Kennedy to Obama did.

They were real people who helped sell the policy. He didn't interrupt his speech to point them out. He pointed them out to tell his speech. In school you had Show-and-Tell not Tell-and-Tell.

Trump specializes in changing the game. He took large donors out of the equation in his presidential nomination. While his 16 rivals spentthe summer of 2015 raising money, he spent the summer holding rallies and hogging the spotlight.

The very next summer, the same thing happened. Hillary holed up in August. Trump continued to rally. She spent twice as much and did worse than any Democrat since Dukakis.
You don't need me to tell you his speech was a home run. Congress did, when it chanted USA! USA! USA! It sent the detestible Congressman Luis Guitteriez running from the gallery to his safe space: Univision.

Trump had rhetorical flourishes. Sure. "Americans are dreamers too!" was an excellent co-opting of the other guy's message, reminiscent of Reagan telling the 1988 RNC (which nominated his successor) "We are the change."

But Trump did Reagan one better.

We are in the midst of the best 8 years of our lives.

Patrick O'Hannigan:I only caught the last 25 or so minutes of the SOTU. I remember thinking that what turned out to be an 80-minute speech was perhaps 30 minutes too long, but that was a reflexive reaction based on youthful training in speech and debate. What I was able to watch was memorably good. I was particularly taken with the way President Trump singled out North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho for praise. I also noticed that while the president's diction is average at best, his public speaking style sounds more natural and less condescending than his immediate predecessor's. Trump was making a case -- and looking (however ironically) for virtue worth celebrating -- in the same situation where Obama always seemed to be lecturing a class or pointing to failure. On top of that, President Trump's optimism seems contagious. It contrasted well with the pleading tone of the main Democratic response.

Rob Miller : Donald Trump's first State Of The Union Address was a triumph. Not just because it was a great speech that showcased our president's achievements, his goals for the future and his willingness to work together for the good of the country...but because the disgraceful disrespect of the Democrats in attendance showed America who really has the good of the country at heart and who is content to swim in the sewer of hyper partisanship, obstruction and yes, sheer hatred.

CBS, of all people published a post speech poll which had 75% of the Americans who watched the speech; heartily approving of it.



The Democrats in attendance were barely civil. When Trump mentioned how happy he was of the lowest black unemployment rate ever recorded, those Democrat members of the Black Congressional Caucus who bothered to attend sat there stone faced.

I particularly chortled over Trump's DACA 'plan.' To most of America, it sounded like a reasonable compromise and the president presented it as such, only to have the Democrats hiss and boo him. What made me laugh out loud is that Donaldus Maximus had already presented this to the Democrats before his SOTU speech and it was soundly rejected by them...and President Trump knew it. By restating it in the speech, he made the Democrats look like the ill behaved, destructive children most of them are, in front of a record 48 million viewers...masterful!

And, in contrast to the egotistical post-America socialist  who was his predecessor, President Trump rarely used the word 'I'  but constantly referred to 'we.' Nor did he ever refer to that predecessor, who left us an awful mess to clean up by name.

What our president was tapping was a deep seated quality of the American people, our optimism. Like most socialists, the Dems are selling pessimism and trying to bribe people with class envy, divisive rhetoric and pessimism, with the promise of free goodies at the expense of 'the enemy' and 'resistance' as their only selling points. I doubt that's a winner.

Bookworm Room: Would I sound over the top if I said I absolutely adored Trump's State of the Union Speech? I'll say it anyway, because it's the truth.

Trump's SOTU was optimistic, forward looking, and keyed into classic and core American values. It was about "we, the People," not "I, the Obama god head." After eight years of scolding, hectoring, and condescension, it was just lovely to have the people's representative in chief stand up there and tell us that, as a nation, we're looking good and that we are one people with common values such as liberty, a work ethic, innovation and, most importantly, Dreams.

Honestly, there is nothing I love more than good verbal judo. Trump has forever after destroyed the Left's power to celebrate people illegally in America as "Dreamers" -- even while they castigate native-born citizens as "Deplorables." Standing alone, his statement that "Americans are dreamers, too" was worth the price of admission.

The speech was also wonderful because it was not hedged about with politically correct language or caveats or any of the other obfuscation that usually characterizes political speech. The beauty of clear speaking is that, when Democrats refused to applaud, we knew what they hated:

They hated that blacks and other minorities are finally doing well-economically, because that spells the beginning of the end of minority dependence on the Left's welfare plantation.

They hated that America's entire economy is surging, because that puts the lie to their claim that the economy was dead anyway, justifying their propping up its corpse with high taxes, redistribution, and social justice regulations.

They hated that Trump spoke of respect for the military and the flag, stripping away the thin veneer of patriotism the Democrats started apply to themselves after the First Gulf War.

They hated that Trump's invited guests showed that illegal immigrants include among them some of the worst criminals in America and that their prey is often the black Americans who live next to them (unlike well-placed Democrats, both black and white, who live behind nice protective walls in well-policed enclaves).

They hated that, after all their efforts to demonize Trump as the ultimate Hitler, Trump showed them evil's true face when he introduced Otto Warmbier's family and Ji-Seong ho. Ji-Seong, especially, highlighted that there's nothing brave about donning black masks and beating up a few people on campus. True bravery is when someone escapes a totalitarian state with only one arm, one leg, and a cruel pair of crutches.

I knew the speech was a good one when, a short time after it ended, I spoke with a Progressive who characterized it in one word: "Revolting." That pretty much proves that Trump was on the right track.

Laura Rambeau Lee :If you are a patriotic American President Trump’s State of the Union speech affirmed his love of country and solemn understanding of his position as President and Commander in Chief. He spoke of his respect for our military, our need to secure our borders and protect our citizens, and our adherence to the rule of law. If we were not one hundred percent sold on a Trump presidency when we cast our ballot in November 2016 we can be assured we made the correct decision. Since he took office we are experiencing record economic growth and lower unemployment numbers across all demographics. After his first year in the White House, many of us share a more positive vision for the future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren, and America’s position on the world stage.

One thing most evident was the abhorrent display by the Democrats of their absolute hatred for President Trump and all he stands for. Several refused to attend and those who did sat scowling and sneering and refused to clap at the positive reports of an improved economy. Their contempt was obvious and I hope did not go unnoticed by those who watched his speech. The Congressional Black Caucus members shrouded themselves in their cloaks of tribalism reminding us of their interminable victimhood. Their dystopian view of America is falling apart. It is hard to understand any American who can continue to support their anti-family, anti-religious, everyone is a victim, anti-American ideology.

Perhaps the best line of the speech was when he stated “Americans are dreamers, too!” President Trump’s SOTU was refreshingly positive and pro-American. His tone was genuine and composed. He restated what most of us grew up believing about America. That no matter where you come from, if you work hard and believe in yourself, “you can dream anything, be anything, and together we can achieve absolutely anything.” We are seeing a restoration of The American Dream. It’s about time.

Dave Schuler :As I wrote in my post on the subject, I thought it was okay as these things go. Prolix. I don't think the Democrats did themselves any good with their sullen churlishness. When I mentioned that in my post some of my more highly partisan commentators complained that the Republicans had done the same thing at Obama's SOTU messages. Besides two wrongs not making a right, that view has another problem. The Democrats' and the Republicans' positions are not reciprocal and, consequently, the Democrats can't afford to simply be rejectionist. Getting the base out isn't sufficient to win the presidency; they need independents, too, and they won't appeal to them just by being anti- Trump.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

How Israel Handled Its Illegal Migrants Problem

 

One of the frequent talking points about illegal migrants, especially in Europe is that it's 'inevitable and we have to accept it.'

Israel is a first world, prosperous nation in the midst of a number of countries who are anything but that.It had a similar problem with illegal migrants. Here's how they solved it.

It should be mentioned that aside from being a haven for Jews, Israel has been relatively generous to real non-Jewish refugees*, considering how small the country is. In the 1970's, Israel took in a number of Vietnamese boat people fleeing communist gulags and they're still there. They also took in a number of Muslim Bosnian refugees, some who stayed and some who returned after the war ended. Israel is also the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is actually growing. Israel is also home to the headquarters of the Baha'i faith, who were horribly persecuted in Iran once the ayatollahs took over in 1979.

That said, let's move on and see how the problem developed and how Israel solved it.

Almost all of the illegal migrants were Muslims who came from Sudan, Eritrea and other countries in the region. As in Europe, they came to enjoy Israel's welfare benefits but showed few signs of ever assimilating. They mostly came through Israel's back door, its border with Egypt and Gaza.

At first, the Israeli government didn't devote much attention, which meant that the numbers began to increase. Many of the migrants gravitated to South Tel Aviv, where they terrorized the local inhabitants and became a major factor in the area's increase in crime, especially thefts, sexual assaults, murders and muggings.

The Israeli government finally took action and built a fence across the part of its Egyptian border not covered by the border wall with Gaza. That cut the number of illegal migrants to zero. But before the fence was finished, The number of illegal migrants reached about 50,000, and were still a problem to be dealt with since their behavior hadn't changed.

These illegal migrants, by the way were referred to as 'infiltrators' by many Israelis in and out of government since they had penetrated the borders illegally in a very security conscious country. No one to my knowledge, not even the Israeli Left referred to them as 'immigrants'. The Left preferred to call them 'refugees' in an attempt to equate them with the other refugees Israel had given a home to, both Jews and non-Jews. However, the Left is not exactly ascendant in Israel these days.

Originally, the government put together a detention center to try and evaluate actual refugees from criminals and welfare scroungers. Israel's Supreme Court originally ruled against that, which meant that a different solution was called for. What the Israelis finally did was simply to identify refugees who had real claims for asylum because they came from a war zone and give them a different status than the others. The ones from Eritrea and Sudan are mostly bring returned immediately to their home countries, which takes care of the majority of the illegal migrants. Any of the others who put in a legal request for asylum by Dec. 31, 2017, and whose request has not yet been processed, especially if they came with children won't be deported until a decision on their status is reached. A total of 14,700 asylum requests were submitted in 2017,over half of them from Ukrainians.

The other illegal migrants are being given a choice. They can leave voluntarily before March 31st, receive free air fare and the equivalent of $3,500 USD. A couple of African countries have offered to take them in (which probably required some additional baksheesh from the Israeli government). Or they can refuse to leave and be detained in Holot Detention center until they're deported.

The Israelis will probably allow most of the 14,700 asylum seekers to stay if they have a legitimate claim, especially if they came with children. Israel can easily absorb them, and they will become another part of Israel's fascinatingly diverse population. It never fails to crack me up when some idiot who has never been to Israel calls it 'apartheid.'

The others will eventually be sent home, and since no more infiltrators are coming in...well, problem solved.

Just imagine if the Europeans and the U.S. solved their problems with illegal migrants like that!

* For the record, I do not consider those refugees who are serviced by UNRWA and call themselves 'Palestinians' to be real refugees, not after 70 years. There are actually only about 20,000 Arabs that could be called 'refugees' from 1948 left alive today, and for a significant number of them there's no real proof they ever resided in what became Israel anyway, since by its own admission UNWRA never checked.

Your results may differ.

Forum: Will The Memo Be Released? Why Or Why Not?



Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Will The Memo Be Released? Why Or Why Not?

Bookworm Room : Scott Adams suggests that the memo's strength lies in its existence, not in its contents. That means that the Republicans are running on con on the Democrats by hyperventilating about the memo's contents to draw the Democrats out into the open by forcing them to defend themselves and their institutions, which should stop them from attacking Trump.

For once, I think Adams is too clever by half. The FBI's known conduct over the past two years has been so heinous -- engaging in a deliberately improper investigation into Hillary's conduct; using the Steele memo, which the Fibbies knew was unsupported, to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Trump's campaign; engaging in a KGB/stasi-style raid on Manafort; forcing pleas from people who committed no wrongdoing other than being foolish enough to talk to the FBI; refusing to produce documents for Congress; etc. -- there's every reason to believe that its unknown conduct is even worse.

I'm therefore betting that there is in fact something explosive in that memo, although I don't know whether it's going to blow up the FBI, Holder's and Lynch's DOJ, or the Obama White House itself. Trump, though, is nothing if not a showman. He understands the wonders of giving his opponents enough rope to hang themselves before pulling the trap-door lever on the gallows. That is, he's not going to allow premature lever-pulling. He probably wants to go a few more rounds before springing that fatal door. As Sean Hannity says, "tick-tock."

Now that we're in 2018, I wake up every day asking myself "what marvelous thing will Trump accomplish today?". In 2017, Trump followed Scott Adams' predicted path, going from Hitler, to incompetent, to "competent but we don't like him." But what we now know he did as well was to start laying traps for his opponents. That's why 2018 is so great: he's unfettered his competency and is springing those traps left and right.

If my understanding of Trump's trajectory is correct, there's no reason to believe that the memo will be as ephemeral as Obama's Hawaiian birth certificate was. As you recall, Obama effectively used the idea of a birth certificate to bait those who opposed him. When push came to shove, though, he didn't actually release a birth certificate. Instead, he released a PDF that was manifestly created from scratch on a computer. In other words, he didn't produce red meat. He produced tofu disguised as red meat and amused himself watching his opponents lash themselves into a frenzy fighting over those fake crumbs.

(For the record, I believe Obama was Hawaiian born. I also think the fake PDF was just more clever baiting, intended to make his political opponents look irrational. What I think was really happening is that Obama falsely claimed to be a Kenyan national in order to leverage himself into colleges that, from 1978 onward, could no longer practice open affirmative action because they were hamstrung by the Supreme Court's Bakke decision. Obama, an abysmal student, was counting on affirmative action. When that failed, he got creative.)

For now, I'm stocking up on popcorn. Whether the memo gets released or not (although I think it will), I know that Trump the showman is going to give me a spectacle I can enjoy.


Don Surber: Well, who am I to argue with Bookie?

Devin Nunes appears to have the goods on the FBI thanks to an honest inspector general. But Nunes has to get the public to care about this issue. It is tricky. The memo is a trick. And Bookie's explanation of the Kenya deal is excellent. By the way, even if he were born in Nairobi, Obama would qualify as an American native. He never had to be naturalized, and that is the test. Heck, his 2008 opponent was born in Panama!

Trump likely is in on this memo deal, and maybe he advised Nunes on teasing it out there.


Rob Miller: A week ago, I would have said no to this question. The memo almost certainly documents several things...interference in a federal election, obstruction of justice and what amounts to an attempt at at a coup de etat against a legally elected, sitting president by members of the FBI and others in the deep state It also likely documents blatant misuse of the FISA court system and violations of the Fourth Amendment.

The reason I thought it wouldn't see the light of day is because the FBI agents and others involved would never have done this on their own. They got their orders from above, which means then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, head of Obama's Department of Justice. And if Lynch sings in exchange for no jail time, obese that trail leads back to her boss, our historic first black president. Ditto with Mrs. Clinton and Huma Abedin.

Needless to say, any legal proceedings involving Barack Hussein Obama would spark a great deal of what's usually referred to by the euphemism of 'civil unrest' in America's urban areas. Which, I think is exactly why Jeff Sessions has resisted making this public or appointing a Special Prosecutor.

Again,I would have said non,pas impossible a week ago, but now I'm not so sure. It appears that after mulling it over, President Trump apparently wants the Nunez memo released. Since Sessions serves at the President's pleasure,he will either comply or retire 'for health reasons' or' to spend more time with his family.'

Today's news about FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe being allowed to 'retire' prior to his retirement date and collect his full pension rather than being thrown in jail is another proof that this is going to come out. McCabe's wife received $700,000 from the Clintons via their favorite bag man Terry McAuliffe, and that obviously had a lot to do with what we know aboput how the investigation into Hillary's numerous felonies was handled by Famous But Incompetent. McCabe as Deputy FBI director and Comey's number two was obviously a part of what went down, and my take is that  McCabe obviously decided to sing like a bird in exchange for being allowed to get out from under quietly. He won't be the last.

If it is released, it's going to be very difficult to keep up the fiction of the Mueller probe except among the True Believers, and the whole Trump/Russia/Collusion narrative is going to fall apart. Obama will probably NOT be involved, since we don't put presidents in jail and they will either cut off the investigations below his level or Trump will make a deal with him in exchange for a presidential pardon. There's something very humorous I could write here, but I'll censor myself.

BTW, my own take on the whole Obama natural born citizen mishugas...I do think Obama was born here, although I doubt his father was Obama Sr. The Bamster closely resembles Frank Marshall Davis, the radical black communist activist his grandparents allowed the young Obama to spend a great deal of time with and who Obama himself has described as one of his mentors.

Davis also wrote a detailed and very realistic pornographic memoir of his relationship with a 19-year-old white girl very much like Obama's mother, Ann Dunham, that occurred about the same time Obama was born. And some interesting photographs of Ms. Dunham have since surfaced as well from that same time period. So who knows???

I actually think  that the real problem has to do with Lolo Soetoro, the Indonesian Muslim who was Anne Dunham's second husband and who legally adopted Barack Obama.  Remember when Hawaii's governor and Obama ally  Neil Abercrombie swore that he was going to find Obama's long form birth certificate and then couldn't?

Simple explanation. Under the laws of most states, including Hawaii, when a step father adopts a minor child, a new birth certificate with the original DOB is issued with the child's new surname. The governor couldn't locate it because it was likely filed under Soetoro.

Since a key part of Obama's mythology involved identifying with his supposed father Barack Obama Sr. and using that as his name, there's a major problem if this is what happened. Every piece of legislation, judicial appointments, pardons, et al that were signed by what amounted to Barack Hussein Obama's 'stage name' would be null and void.

Reason enough, I think for him to do whatever needed to be done to keep this a secret.

Selah.


Laura Rambeau Lee : President Trump has requested that the memo be released to the public. Many of us have long suspected the Obama Justice Department abused its power numerous times over the course of his administration. There is a lot of public pressure being put on Congress to release it, and several Congressmen who have read it have intimated publicly that it confirms the Obama Administration’s abuse of power in using the infamous and highly suspect Trump dossier to obtain FISA warrants to tap the phones of members of candidate and later President-Elect Trump’s campaign and transition team. The success of our republic depends on its transparency. The memo should be released and I believe it will be.

The American people must know for certain whether Obama’s Justice Department and FBI had political actors intent on assuring a Clinton win, and in the off chance she did not win to obtain dirt on members of Trump’s team that could be used to take him down. We the American people demand to know the truth. And once confirmed we expect these abuses of power to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Our confidence in the integrity of our Justice Department and its adherence to the rule of law must be restored.


 Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.












Saturday, January 27, 2018

(Video) What British Muslims Really Think



This video on what British Muslims think is especially interesting. First, because it involves a survey that was conducted by Trevor Phillips, the former chair of the British government's Equality and Human Rights Commission, someone who was actually part of the bureaucracy involved in bringing so many Muslim migrants to Britain. Second, because it involved an extensive study by a well known and renowned survey company with a much larger than average sampling using techniques that were especially designed for accuracy rather than speed or cost effectiveness.

Mr. Phillips, to his credit, appears to analyze the results in a non-biased way, openly admits his surprise at the results and acknowledges what they mean. Well worth a watch, as this applies to more countries than just the UK:



On the other hand, (spoiler alert) I disagree with his conclusion that more forced integration of Muslims into non-Muslim British society in the entire solution.

Most British Muslims, according to the results of very study he uses would never agree to it. A significant number would never consent to giving up their sharia courts, or be capable of changing their innate beliefs on the treatment of women, Jews, homosexuals or infidels in general. Instead, they would insist on British society changing so that their beliefs and practices would be the new norm. Anything else they would loudly scream is 'racism.'

Given the craven way the the British government has comported itself thus far when it comes to appeasing Islam domestically, Mr. Phillip's suggestion would simply mean exactly that, a major change in British society to accommodate Islam, sharia and everything that involves.

This is, after all, a country where the police spend their time 'cautioning' (Britspeak for the police threatening fines and arrests) people who merely express their opinions on certain subjects like the problems involved with the Muslim migrants instead of tracking down British Muslims who are home now from fighting for ISIS, conducting surveillance on certain suspicious jihadi mosques or cracking down on 'Asian' sex grooming gangs targeting young, often underage British girls. And in England,that can mean girls younger than 15.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

WoW! Forum: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters?



Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question
: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Fictional Characters?


Fausta Rodriguez Wertz : So many fictional characters to like!

In literature:

Jane Austen's Emma, "Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her."

Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, the original. When other kids were reading Nancy Drew, I was reading Sherlock.

Amor Towel's Count Alexander Rostov of A Gentleman in Moscow. A man to love.

Guy de Maupassant's George Duroy of Bel Ami, spiritual ancestor to Mad Men's Don Draper and Bonfire of the Vanities' Peter Fallow.

On film:
The entire cast of Casablanca. Every character stands out.

Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Leave out the action scenes and you find a human being.

On TV:
Emma Peel of The Avengers as interpreted by Diana Rigg. She took care of Mr Steed in great style. I want to be Emma Peel when I grow up.

Rob Miller : OK, here we go...the short list...Bart Simpson, Alice Kramdon, Chaplin's Tramp, Odysseus, Vulcan sex kitten T'pau as played by Jolene Blaylock, Rufus T. Firefly (Duck Soup), Bugs Bunny, Yojimbo (in the Kurosawa film of the same name), Edwina and Patsy from Ab Fab, Sherlock Holmes, Guy Hamilton and Jill Bryant (Aussie journo and his love object  in The Year of Living Dangerously), James Bond (the book one, not the movies), Larry Darrell in 'The Razor's Edge' (book version) Jay Gatsby (ditto, the book), Ian Rankin's detective John Rebus, Suzy Wong (both the book and the film) The Man With No Name, Col. Jock Sinclair (Tunes Of Glory), Chio Chio San from Madama Butterfly, Lucy Warriner in The Awful Truth.

Dave Schuler : I couldn't name any one favorite and I'm afraid my favorites are pretty lowbrow. Here are a few of my favorites

Nikos Kazantzakis's Zorba
Robert Van Gulik's Judge Dee
Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe
Seabury Quinn's Jules de Grandin
Robert E. Howard's Steve Costigan (from his novela Skullface)
H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain

That should puzzle just about anyone.

Patrick O'Hannigan : Among my favorite fictional characters, these stand out:

* Frodo, Sam, and Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings," all of whom are steadfast in different ways.
* Éowyn, "Shieldmaiden of Rohan" in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of "The Return of the King," because she steals every scene she's in.
* Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt as mother-and-daughter con artists in the 2001 movie "Heartbreakers," because they both act like they're in on the joke (which, of course, they are)
* Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles-based private detective, who manages to be rough and cynical while remaining honorable.
* Don Quixote de la Mancha, because Cervantes made him more memorable than delusional.
* The entire cast of the "Princess Bride" movie (1987)
* The late, great John Candy as Dell Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman, in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"


Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.



Monday, January 15, 2018

Forum:How Would You Deal With The DACA Issue?



Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: How Would You Deal With The DACA Issue?

Patrick O'Hannigan: I don't know what a viable legislative solution to the DACA puzzle would or should like, but I do think that the Trump administration could apply appropriate political pressure on Congresscritters through a sustained public education campaign that involved more than occasional press briefings by Sarah Sanders. We could all stand being reminded that words mean things, and that "Deferred Action" does not mean "kicking the can down the road for another generation." Trump is already under fire for pointing out that "temporary visas" should be just that -- temporary. His people lose no credibility if they add another defense of the English language to the political lexicon. which has the incidental benefit of forcing at least a few politicians on both sides of the aisle to confront their own hypocrisy.

A public education campaign should also make the point that DACA is NOT rooted in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, but in an executive order advanced by then-president Barack Obama. Anything created by executive order can also be undone by executive order. By forcing Congress to deal with the issue, President Trump is actually showing some restraint. The media loves to portray him as impulsive or impetuous. I think the only arena where that holds true is in his Twitter account. In fact, "No Drama Obama" was more impulsive than the executive with the orange mane whom we have in the White House now.

Bookworm Room:Well, you'd have to start by getting rid of every activist judge in America -- such as the one who recently held that Obama had the right to issue an illegal executive order regarding immigration, but that Trump has no right to undo that order. He takes is place in a long and dishonorable line-up of judges who ignore the Constitution and duly passed law to achieve Progressive goals. Nothing will happen with DACA as long as we have judges like that.

I'm weird in that I believe in enforcing the law as written. If you don't like the law, you change the law; you don't have the Deep State, the Chamber of Commerce, and RINOs bypass the law entirely, while castigating the law abiding as racist, bigoted haters.

So, my solution: Start deporting everyone who is here illegally. Yes, there are a lot. Eventually, though, we won't have to deport all of them. People will figure out that the government is actually serious about its laws. At that point, those who are here illegally, rather than being rushed out on someone else's timetable, will move elsewhere in an orderly manner -- or apply for political asylum if they need it.

Also, I'd strip all government monies from illegals. Every last dime.

Yes, this is cold and cruel, but at a certain point, you either decide to cut out the cancer or accept that it's going to kill you. We cannot and should not be responsible for every disastrous country in the world. They and their citizens must take responsibility for themselves. Nowhere in the Constitution is America mandated to take in millions of illiterate, often medieval, people. In the 19th century, when a pre-technological world needed bodies, immigration policies were one way; in the 21st century, well, they need to be another way.

And no, I don't want to hear "what about the children"? Children are always the pawns of adults' poor decisions. If I'm going to care about the children, I'm going to care about children whose are legal Americans: Children who live in Democrat-run ghettos, children whose parents are in prison, children who are trapped in public schools because Progressives, buoyed at voting booths by illegals, refuse to issue vouchers. You know, those children.

In terms of real world solutions, I have none. These are just ardent fantasies from someone who believes that, without the rule of law, we're in the fast lane to becoming a shithole country.

 Rob Miller : I have to admit, there's a humorous side to this one. President Barack Hussein Obama creates an illegal and unconstitutional amnesty program out of whole cloth benefiting one particular demographic at the expense of all others  and bypasses congress. No fuss, no muss.

Meanwhile, President Trump, who is supposed to be the impetuous one doesn't just end it...as he could have. He actually throws it back to congress, where it should have been in the first place  according to the separation of powers doctrine and catches holy hell for it!

Even funnier, when Trump actually meets in congress to try and outline a deal, (A) some jerkwater Clinton appointee 'judge' in San Francisco pulls a judgement out of his nether regions saying that while Obama could illegally create DACA, Trump can't legally end it...and (B) the Democrats and their RINO amnesty groupies ignore everything that Trump wanted included at the prior meeting in exchange for cutting the DACA illegal migrants a break, and present him with an amnesty bill, saying that they would work on Trump's border security wants later, after the bill is passed! Which of course killed the whole thing. If I were the president, I'd not only be angry for being presented something like that by these fools, but for the insult to my own intelligence. Since the Democrats will not give an inch, this will bounce around until March when the thing dies of its own foul accord.So there will be deportations.

Ohhhh-kay, solutions? First off, the whole DACA scam has been presented to the American people as a Hollywood production, with carefully selected 'Dreamers' who speak English, all seem to be well groomed college students or graduates and talk about America as 'their country' with lovely, meaningless platitudes. In reality, a fair number are on welfare along with their family members who were allowed to join them, are not even high school graduates, and are barely literate, and commit a fair amount of crimes on a per capita basis.

In addition, a fair amount of those DACA's who are literate are noted for their sense of entitlement, ingratitude and lack of connection with America. We can certainly do without them. After all, someone who's a college graduate can certainly contribute in making his or her own country great again, ¿Entiendes?

Ideally, we could take the time to vet the 800,000 or so DACA population and allow the small number who actually aren't on public assistance, aren't felons, have skills we need and a connection with America to have residence permits, with no pathway to citizenship and no voting rights under pain of immediate deportation without appeal for any violation. Thanks to the antics of some of the swamp creatures in the DC Lagoon, we lack the time to do that. And I admittedly don't find much sympathy for the parents. Many of the DACA illegal migrants came as unaccompanied minors and could easily  have been victimized by human traffickers. The whole idea was for them to come across, get green cards and then send for the entire family and perhaps some 'cousins' who weren't family members. Obama and his minions couldn't have cared less.

It's not well known, but America basically had a moratorium on immigration (not that the DACA crowd are actually immigrants) that started in 1920 and ended in the 1960's. One reason was because we had a need to assimilate the huge rush of legal immigrants coming to America from countries like Russia, Czechoslovakia,Hungary, the Baltic States, Armenia, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Scandinavia, East Asia and other locales. As it was, those migrants were all carefully vetted, and refused entry if they didn't meet our requirements at that time. There was also no social welfare state then, and many immigrant communities organized self help charities on their own to take care of indigents in need, help them learn English and in many cases find employment.

Some immigrants were indeed allowed to come in during that forty year period,but very few. The ones let in either had special skills, money to invest in America, or a powerful sponsor to grease the wheels. So people like Marlene Dietrich, Billy Wilder, Thomas Mann, Werner Von Braun, Einstein, etc. were allowed in. After WWII, a lot of servicemen who married Japanese, Korean or German spouses got them in as well. Some Holocaust survivors were also allowed in as refugees, especially if they had family here or special skills we needed. But legal immigration slowed from a torrent to a trickle.

We badly need to get back to a value added standard for immigration, and the current climate with Islamism mandates that we be a lot more particular who we let in and vet them far more carefully. And it might be smart also to take some time to limit migration until we have a breathing space to assimilate those who are here.

David Schuler: As I've mentioned before I think that those brought to the United States by their parents as children deserve some sort of leniency. Not just for the reasons usually cited—they don't know any country but this one, etc.—but, importantly, because they've done nothing wrong. Their parents did.

Criteria need to be determined and those criteria should be enforced. Questions that should be asked include:
  1. By what age should they have been brought here? I think that kids brought in as babes in arms are different than 15 year olds.
  2. Should they be made to demonstrate that they have no attachment to their countries of origin and how would that be demonstrated?
  3. How long should they have been here?
  4. Will other requirements be imposed, e.g. they're working, attending school full-time, or serving in the military, etc.?
I'm open to arguments about the conditions if any under which they should be eligible for citizenship. I don't think that their parents should be given legal status automatically and possibly not ever.

Don Surber: Donald Trump is handling the illegal and unconstitutional -- but popular due to a Marxist press -- DACA brilliantly.
First he announced in September that DACA was illegal and unconstitutional, and gave Congress six months to fix it. Then he met with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. They agreed to hold further talks.

This month, Trump brought everyone together for a talk on DACA.

Nothing has changed. Democrats have made no progress. Trump's demands are the Wall, an end to chain migration, and the end of the immigration lottery.

He may as well also ask for the moon and the sun. Democrats cannot give him any of that because they need immigration to grow in order to sustain their party, which is built on the constant addition of angry, entitled political blocs.

Come March, Trump ends DACA. Democrats freak out. The public cheers.

Laura Rambeau Lee : By signing an executive order in June of 2012 President Obama overstepped his authority and granted the children of illegal immigrants’ renewable two year deferments from deportation and the ability to obtain permits to legally work in the United States. President Trump rescinded this executive order in September of 2017. Establishing our immigration policy falls under the duties of Congress and it is up to Congress to pass legislation related to this matter.

Although the numbers have reduced dramatically since President Trump took office, for several decades we have seen an influx of illegal aliens entering our country. Estimates of between twelve and twenty million people are living here in the shadows illegally. We cannot keep kicking this can down the road. These people are a massive drain on our resources. President Trump rightfully told Congress they should pass a bill and he will sign it.

Reports disclose there are approximately eight hundred thousand people who fall into the DACA category; children who were brought to the United States by their parents illegally before they were sixteen years of age. Many of them have no recollection of their birth countries. Although many staunch right-wingers insist on the immediate deportation of all illegal immigrants, to forcibly deport them would be perceived as not compassionate.

We have to have room to compromise and these DACA individuals seem the logical place where conservatives can agree with the Democrats. We should use this to our advantage as we insist that any legislation include building the border wall and require the immediate deportation of any illegal immigrants found guilty of a major crime or violence or involvement with drugs. I like the idea proposed by Senator Rand Paul. We take perhaps two hundred thousand of these DACA eligible people each year and process them through our normal immigration system; and by lessening the number of new immigration applications by that same number we maintain our immigration quota. In less than a decade the DACA individuals will have been legally integrated into our country. Of course we must fully vet them and make sure they have not been involved in any felonies or major crimes including identity theft or drug dealings, that they share American values, speak English, and continue to be employed. They must also be required to attend citizenship classes although they should not be given a straight path to citizenship. If they fail to stay employed or commit a felony or major crime they should be deported immediately. After ten years of fulfilling these obligations if they choose they can apply for citizenship, but only if they have proven to be a positive asset to their community and our country.

The Democrats seem bent on obstructing any legislation except for full amnesty for all illegal immigrants. Republicans are in control and must stand firm on insisting that any immigration policy passed includes building the border wall to prevent future illegal immigration, deporting any illegal immigrants found guilty of a major crime, and increasing security at our borders. A path for legal status, although not necessarily citizenship, for DACA individuals would be a compromise Americans will see as compassionate. Will the Democrats stand united against a compromise on an immigration bill as we saw with the income tax reduction bill? If they do not compromise and join in passing a bipartisan bill that President Trump can sign, I believe the 2018 mid-term elections will not go well for the Democrats. Americans are tired of Congress not working together for the betterment of the American people and our country. We are tired of being told we must accept illegal immigrants with open arms or being called racist if we want our laws to be enforced. We want Congress to do their job.

Well, there it is!

Make sure to drop by every Monday for the WoW! Magazine Forum. And enjoy WoW! Magazine 24-7 with some of the best stuff written in the 'net. Take from me, you won't want to miss it.


Thursday, January 11, 2018

Dennis Prager Asks...Is There An Afterlife?

Dennis Prager is an author,lecturer and long time popular talk show host based in Los Angeles. One thing I enjoy particularly about him is his ability to go beyond the usual political themes and focus on what I call ultimate issues both onhis show and in his books and lectures. This video, part of his Prager University series asks "Is there an Afterlife?" Definitely worth the five minutes...and please feel free to comment on this one.




My own views on the subject? I certainly think there’s an afterlife, although I think the portrait of it painted by certain denominations is more of a selling point than reality. The afterlife as far as I can say is either something we can’t perceive of, or is different depending on our development in this world. It might also be true that we get the afterlife we believe we will, and as with many things, it might not be anywhere near as pleasant as we imagine!

There’s an old Jewish joke about a Rabbi and a vicious criminal in the afterlife. “Can you imagine this?” said the criminal? “No booze, no sex, boring with nothing to do and the food sucks,not even a decent steak to be had! It’s driving me crazy! You like it here?”

“Why yes,” said the Rabbi. “Milk and honey, the music of the angels praising the Holy One, the chance to study the Holy books and reflect on the most important issues of the soul? Wonderful!”

“I never thought heaven would be like this,” said the thug. “You and I lived such different lives.Why are both of us here in the same place anyway? I can’t figure it out”

“Oh, I can,” said the Rabbi. “You see, I am in heaven. You sir, are in hell.”

Selah.

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Forum: What Are Your Predictions For 2018?




 Every week on Monday, the WoW! community and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question:What Are Your Predictions For 2018?

David Schuler: I've given up doing predictions at the end of each year.

I had an annual prediction post for the better part of a decade and my track record was pretty good- about 85% correct IIRC. However, nowadays despite my greater engagement with the outside world (or maybe because of it), I find making meaningful predictions very difficult indeed. I mean, very few predicted Trump's first defeating the Republican and then the Democratic Parties.

Here's a near term prediction for you: the mullahs in Iran won't be driven from power by street demonstrations. That would take a real shootin' revolution and that does not seem to be materializing.

Here's an example of why I don't make predictions any more: at this time next year Chicago and Illinois will be in worse fiscal shape than they are today. That's hardly a prediction more a foregone conclusion.

Instead I'll wish us all the best, happiest, and healthiest of New Years.

Don Surber: My predictions for 2018 are modest after 2017, which as we know was the best year in American history.

This year will be better because Trump will be president for all 365 days, not just the last 345 that followed his inauguration.

Clip and save:
1. The Dow closes above 30,000.
2. Unification talks between the Koreas yield some fruits. The best thing for everyone would be Kim Jong Un reaching an exile deal with China, which now sees North Korea more as a hindrance than a buffer zone.
3. DACA is resolved. Democrats either end chain migration and get DACA in part, or Trump goes ahead and ends DACA.
4. The wall is half finished before anyone notices.
5. Iran's mullahs hang on but Hezbollah is dead. Hamas too. Palestinians seek peace. Bibi tells them to pound salt. He becomes the most popular man in Gaza.
6. England botches the Brexit, pisses off Trump, and basically becomes France without the cuisine or vineyards.
7. Investors leave Londonistan because of security concerns.
8. Republicans figure out a way to hang onto the House and gain the first filibuster-proof Republican Senate.
9. Fears of inflation are offset by the increased take-home pay and bonuses following the tax cut will ease pressure to raise pay.
10. Finally -- and I may be going out on a limb here -- but the Cleveland Browns will win a game. This will end my NFL boycott.

Rob Miller : Ah, 2018! Lessee...

I personally see 2018 as something of a watershed year in history. 2017, to borrow from Sir Winston, was not the beginning of the end, but the end of the beginning. 2018 will see whether the process continues and which way it goes.

Politics? 2018 in America will of course be dominated by the midterms. The Angry Left has two primary objectives. The first one is to elect as many far Left congressmen as they can while holding on to what they have. They still fantasize about impeaching President Trump.   The second will be to introduce both the talking points and the players jockeying for 2020.

I would be surprised to see them take either house of Congress, but recent events suggest the Senate won't be a walkover for either party. The Democrats have a lot of seats in Trump Country to defend, and they will certainly lose some of those. But OTOH, two seats the GOP would likely have won could very well slip out of their hands. Josh Mandel quit his campaign in Ohio today due to his wife's illness, so Sherrod Brown could win re-election. And the influx of traditionally Democrat voting Puerto Ricans into central Florida could very well doom Rick Scott's senate bid to take out Bill Nelson. Alsoexpect the #metoo tactic used to torpedo Roy Brown will be used extensively.

The fake news will continue, as will President Trump's tweets. Mueller has said he wants another year on the gravy train for his investigation, a sign that he has found little or nothing worth the time or the millions spent just yet. At the same time, DOJ investigations are being opened on the Uranium 1 scandal, the Clinton Foundation and exactly what was behind the whitewash Ms. Clinton was given by the FBI. This will start with minions like Huma Abedin and move up the ladder as the rats turn on each other.

I predict that the Democrats will refuse to give  President Trump what he wants to sign off on a DACA amnesty. Their voter base won't stand for it. Based on precedents, he would be wise not to trust any assurances they give him on this matter.

The president has done a great deal to free up the economy. This will promote an amazing amount of prosperity (as well as government revenue) in 2018. Companies are already giving employees bonuses to keep them loyal as competition increases for the best people.

Automation will increase, but only in blue cities where huge increases in minimum wages are voted in by city councils and state legislators. The answer, of course will be robotics, something already happening in places like Seattle and San Francisco...with predictable results.

And speaking of robots, rest assured you will see technical advances in both male and female sex robots. The AI will be improved and things like more mobile, human like muscle movement, particularly in facial muscles will be improved. We will also see sex robot brothels, something that is already beginning in Europe and a few other places.

Foreign affairs, something I've always been interested in...wonderfully feminine with a delightful accent...hmmm....

Never mind.

One of the things about President Trump that has delighted me is his grasp of foreign policy. The Left as always is clueless, but what our president is doing is forming a coalition of the free democracies and sympathetic wanna bes, especially those with a significant military quotient. This includes Australia, India, Israel, the Visograd nations in Eastern Europe and their allies,the Baltic states, newly rearming Japan, and to a degree, Egypt, the Saudis and the Sunni led Emirates among others. Canada also properly belongs on this list, and when push comes to shove, even with Trudeau in charge the Canadians will be there, just as they always have. It should also be noted that these are all allies President Obama seriously damaged our relationships with, almost to the point of dissolution in some cases.

At the same time, President Trump is also rebuilding our own military while distancing America from 'allies' who never were anything of the kind, like Turkey, Pakistan, and some of the other clown countries in the UN. Also part of this list are the declining powers of Western Europe; Germany, the UK, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands,among others. None of these EU countries have much of a military clout anymore, and all have large populations of restive, aggressive Muslims to appease. France still has a military, but its armies are now mostly deployed on its own soil trying to maintain a vestige of law and order in its cities. Britain's military, particularly the Royal Navy is a shadow of its former self after years of budget cuts, and Germany's Bundeswehr is an underfunded, undermanned joke that can't even defend its women and children. Jah, Das ist aber schade.

This, to me, is a sign that a number of security threats allowed to fester for decades are finally going to be dealt with one way or the other in the near future. I am speaking specifically of the 17 year old War on Jihad, and a reckoning with Iran and North Korea, not Russia or China. Neither of those countries could afford a war with the U.S. economically, nor would it benefit them in the slightest. China will go the way of 1980's Japan, building factories and hiring Americans. Russia has a number of severe problems to deal with, not least the demographic one involving the growing number of Muslims in the Russian Federation.

In the Middle East is as always a proxy war staging ground. You will see the Russians slowly withdrawing from all but their naval bases and a few strategic areas in Syria. Iran will be replacing them, and depending on how deep the Iranians penetrate and whether they start putting missile bases in Syria, you will almost certainly see major response by a certain country. I would rate the chances of actual, full blown hostility between Hezbollah, Iran, what's left of the Syrian military and that certain country at around 50-60%, depending on the factors I mentioned.

Oddly enough, I see the chances of war between Hamas and this certain country as much less.
Contrary to what you might read, rest assured that the recent news that Hamas is releasing it's arms to Abbas and PA control is sheer propaganda. Hamas still is holding on to their arms, but doing their best to keep things quiet while Abbas continues to wage war on this certain country at the UN, the ICC and anywhere else he can think of. The missiles being fired right now are from Islamic Jihad and ISIS subsidiaries in Sinai. When the time comes, the Arabs whom call themselves 'Palestinians'  will try to recreate the situation they had before, during the second intifada. Abbas and the PA will attempt to act out with protests and diplomatic warfare while Hamas gets plausible deniability while carrying out most of the killing. I doubt it will work anywhere near as well as it did in 2000, but it's essentially all they have left.

The Houthis will be run out of Yemen, and increased sanctions on Iran as well as increased oil supplies are going to play havoc with their economy and result in increased civil unrest. The EUrines will continue to be Iran's chief benefactors economically, something President Trump could make very costly for them by prohibiting companies and individuals trading withIran to have access to the US banking system. GW Bush did this to al-Qaeda in one of the few smart moves he ever pulled off to stop jihad, and it had a major effect on them. 

Fausta Rodriquez Wertz : I don't usually make predictions, but going by the bombogenesis surrounding the Fire and Fury book, the Left will not only continue but intensify its efforts to remove Pres. Trump for office.

The more effective Trump is, the more books and fake quack psychiatrists will sprout like moss on an old tree. Or on a vagina costume.

Bookworm Room: I have two sets of predictions, depending on whether I'm in an optimistic mood or not. I'll start with the pessimistic predictions, so that I can end on a cheerful note with the optimistic ones:

Pessimistic possibilities in 2018 and beyond:

Mueller manages to pull together a package showing that Trump (who Wolff claims in Fire and Fury didn't even want to win the presidency) nevertheless colluded with Russia and than engaged in obstruction of justice to hide this fact. Despite the complete absence of evidence to support either charge, the media, which remains peculiarly powerful despite open its bias and insanity, manages to convince the bulk of the American people that Trump is not fit to be president, forcing a Nixonian resignation.

The moment Pence steps into Trump's shoes, the Progressive Wolff pack begins a sustained attack against him, alleging that his hostility to gays shows that he is mentally ill and must be pushed out of office.

With the unending chaos surrounding the Oval Office, the American people attempt to clean house by handing both the House and the Senate to the hard-Left, Progressive wing of the Democrat party. If the timing on this works out well, Pence's being pushed out of office coincides with Nancy Pelosi having retaken her position as Speaker of the House. She is now President Pelosi.

At this point, two things can happen. First, flush with power, Pelosi clings to her new position like a tick embedded in a pig's ear. Alternatively, having ascended to the White House, she appoints Michelle Obama as her Vice President and promptly resigns. Michelle Obama is now president of the United States and, for the first time, is really, really proud of her country.

Either way, whether President Michelle or President Nancy occupies the White House, the fundamental changes Barack Obama dreamed off now take off on afterburners. Medicine is fully socialized; our border is opened wide; taxes on the wealthy and corporations soar to 90% in all brackets; conservative Supreme Court justices sporting unexplained black eyes and damaged knee caps are "encouraged" to resign, only to be replaced by judges from the Ninth Circuit; Sharia law is declared compatible with the Constitution and quickly becomes the unofficial law of the land; women start wearing burqas as a voluntary rape preventative; in order to definitively wipe out "white provilege," abortion is mandatory for all genetically Caucasian children; all surviving children of color are encouraged to abandon any gender roles and to end voluntary reproduction to save the planet (although Muslims are given a pass on this diktat lest the new government be viewed as Islamophobic; and, eventually, the remaining citizens of the United States gently slide under complete United Nations control. Americans are told that the best is yet to come.

Optimistic possibilities in 2018 and beyond:

The Inspector General's report completely vindicates Trump, proving that, not only did he do nothing wrong, but that the Obama administration engaged in illegal spying and other election meddling against him. While it's questionable whether any charges can be leveled against Obama himself (he was careful to keep his fingerprints off things), those who served in Obama's State Department (starting with Hillary), the DOJ (starting with Holder and Lynch), the FBI (starting with Comey), and all other agencies involved in trying to throw the election or in enriching themselves in Pay for Play schemes are trying to convince themselves that orange really is the new black, and that a white house is still a White House even if the sign over the door says "Federal Penitentiary" rather than 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Freed from the burden of onerous taxes and regulations, the economy soars. The greatest benefits flow to blacks and Hispanics, who start to get an inkling of the fact that the Democrat Party has been using them as election fodder since Roosevelt's presidency.

The combination of the great economy and the realization among blacks and Hispanics that freedom is their friend means that there is a giant Republican wave in the mid-term elections, sweeping everything before it at the federal, state, and local levels. Everyone acknowledges that Trump will get a second term. The assumption is that, after him, the Presidency and Vice Presidency will be occupied for at least four more elections by some combination of Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz, or their intellectual heirs.

The American military, which is now under the control of military strategists and tacticians, rather than a community organizer, makes it plain to all jihadists that they will all be sent to those 72 virgins with such speed and in such numbers that there'll be long lines in Paradise, with many jihadists waiting millennia for a chance at their erotic reward. The jihad against the West collapses.

Fracking will mean that the Muslim Middle East suffers an economic crack-up. The American Marshall plan will promise relief only if Sunni and Shia nations embrace Enlightened Western manners and mores -- and the men start holding real jobs.

The Iranian people overthrow the Mullahs. The nation either devolve into utter chaos, taking it out of the world equation for several years, or, which is devoutly to be hoped, it returns to the pro-Western values and policies that characterized Iran before the 1979 Revolution.

America gets a southern border wall and chain immigration ends completely. The price, unfortunately, is DACA, but we are a sensible people and recognize that we live in an imperfect world. On the good side, California loses all federal funding and its top officials, starting with Jerry Brown, end up in federal prison for violating immigration laws. Indeed, in every sanctuary town and city in America, those government officials who imposed and enforced sanctuary policies spend time in Club Feds.

America's strong support for Israel, combined with the economic collapse of Arab Muslim states and Iran's temporary sidelining, sees Israel finally free from economic, terrorist, and military threats. She continues to be a world leader in science and technology.

The idea of anthropogenic climate change is kicked to the curb where it belongs. America continues to focus on clean air and water, as well as environmental preservation, because we recognize that we are stewards for the earth and want to leave something lovely for our children and grandchildren. Nevertheless, without the Marxist, redistributionist insanity of climate change, our efforts do not destroy the economy, do not leave people to die in the cold or heat, and do not turn food crops into dirty fuel. Instead, we have room for sane and affordable environmental management.

We return to a scientific mindset that holds that, barring occasional genetic mistakes, there are only two sexes: male and female. We feel compassion for those people who suffer from body dysmorphia, and avoid discriminating against them as much as possible. However, we do not engage in their craziness by pretending that mere belief affects ones sex identity.

Universities are required to guarantee student loans. In the event they are called upon to repay a deadbeat ex-student's loan, they can offer as defenses the fact that the student has deliberately avoided employment; has been legitimately ill (physically or mentally); or has died. Otherwise, Harvard's endowment is on the line. The evidence piles up that the loans on which universities most frequently make good are for Womyn's, Queer, and African studies. Who knew?

Universities are denied any federal funding if the ratio of administration to faculty exceeds a 1:1 ratio.

Bakers are not required to bake cakes for anybody.

The U.S. withdraws all funding from the U.N., which collapses completely. The building at Turtle Bay is turned into a New York-based campus for Hillsdale College. The campus is a donation, without strings attached, and Hillsdale continues to refuse all government monies.

Europe does what Europe does. Thanks to President Trump, we have breathing space in fortress America. We do not squander our blood and gold trying to rescue Europe from its suicidal fecklessness.

America is great again. It's not perfect because nothing is. But it is a bastion of individual liberty and free market wealth. It is a light among nations and people queue up (legally) for the opportunity to enter. Immigrants, incidentally, are required to comply with American law, rather than demanding that the law comply with them. If they like their doctrines, manners, mores, and customs so much that they are unwilling to change, they can stay in their home countries.

Laura Rambeau Lee : I wish I had a crystal ball.  We are engaged in a clash of ideologies in our country right now that I believe could go either way.  As we are nearing the end of President Trump’s first year the Democrats still refuse to accept the fact that they were defeated. Whatever they stand for has been soundly rejected by the American people. President Obama set the stage for Hillary Clinton to complete the fundamental transformation of America… and they LOST!

The scandals and crimes of the Obama and Clinton years that the media refused to cover or report on may finally be investigated and prosecuted. It appears that they are in full panic mode. All they can do to deflect and distract is attack the president and that is what they are doing. They are trying everything to get him removed from office.It is truly incredible.

The latest attempt questions President Trump’s sanity and competence and the pundits are talking about invoking the 25th Amendment. Seriously? These are the same people who insist that human activity affects the temperature of the earth and that there are more than two genders. And are they saying a mentally unfit and unstable person defeated Hillary Clinton? What does that say about their candidate?

What we do know is the effects of the income tax reduction bill will be reflected in workers paychecks beginning in February. When people see more money in their bank accounts how are the Democrats, none of whom voted for the bill, going to explain that the Republicans are NOT for the average American? All of the hyperbole, the continued narrative of the mental state of President Trump, the push to impeach him for who knows what, will fall on the deaf ears of people who are feeling better about their personal economic situation.  More Americans will realize the Democrat Party has been infiltrated by people with a radical agenda that if implemented will destroy our country.  If the economy continues on its current trajectory the 2018 election should be good for Republicans and I believe it will.

I am hopeful that 2018 is a year for restoration of sanity and certainty and a restoration of the rule of law, as this is the only way we can defeat the un-American agents in our government and the media.

In my predictions for 2018, of one thing I am certain - President Trump will continue to drive the left crazy with his Tweets.

Patrick O'Hannigan : I predict that in 2018:

1. U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis will NOT say that "Islam" means "peace."
2. Twitter and Facebook will again arouse the ire of conservatives by banning or shutting down accounts of people who flout conventional wisdom.
3. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI will go to his eternal reward accompanied by respectful obituaries that still manage to wonder whether it was wise of him to step down from the papacy the way he did.
4. Democrat under-performance in midterm elections for the United States will be blamed on "stupid voters" and "stupid voter ID laws."
5. "Hamilton," the musical, will spawn imitations.
6. Cursive writing, vinyl records, and bound books will continue making quiet comebacks.
7. Late-night comedians will briefly find themselves in that sunny but unexpected country where they can introduce their shows without telling jokes about President Trump. Backlash from the left will ensure that none of them goes more than three consecutive monologues in that state.
8. Activist groups that pushed urban police departments to invest in bodycams for their uniformed officers will insist that film showing officers acting with restraint has been edited or manipulated unfairly.


Well, there it is!

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