Thursday, March 31, 2016

Third Temple Plans: 'Closer Than Ever'




Third Temple Closer Than Ever as Search Begins for Eligible Jewish Priests



The Temple Institute has initiated the second stage towards building the Temple: compiling a list of Jewish priests who will be eligible to prepare the red heifer and serve in the Temple, Rabbi Chaim Richman, the International Director of the Temple Institute, announced on MondayThe announcement coincides with the weekly Torah reading that describes the preparation of the red heifer. 
The registry will include men who have a clear patriarchal heritage from the priestly class (descendants of Aaron), were born and raised in Israel, and have observed the laws of purity incumbent upon priests. This includes not coming into proximity with the dead, so priests, or kohanim, who were born in hospitals, have visited hospitals, or have entered cemeteries are not eligible.
Once the Temple Institute has compiled a list of candidates with verified eligibility, it will begin to train them in the complex preparation of the ashes of the red heifer. The training will take place at the Nezer Hakodesh, an institute established three years ago to educate priests in the details of the Temple service.



The project has implications not just for kohanim, but for anyone interested in taking part in the Temple service. Anyone going up to the Temple needs to be on a high level of ritual purity.  Most types of impurity can be removed through immersion in a mikveh (a ritual bath). For ritual impurity imparted through contact or proximity to a dead person, the purification process  requires a priest to sprinkle water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer.


Today, after thousands of years without a Temple, all people are considered to be on this level of impurity, making the reinstituting of the red heifer ashes an essential part of the return of the Temple service.
“This is a huge jump for the Temple Institute and a huge leap for the Jewish people. For the first time in 2,000 years, after miraculously returning to the Land of Israel, we are beginning the process of reinstating the Biblical purity of the Jewish priesthood,” Rabbi Richman told JNI 

“This is another bold move for our Institute, having already painstakingly prepared more than 60 sacred vessels for the Third Temple. We proudly call upon all those who may fit the bill to contact the Temple Institute immediately.”


The Temple Institute is a non-profit organization, founded in 1987, which is dedicated to rebuilding the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. Much of its work has been in the areas of education and raising awareness, but it has also made remarkable practical achievements towards turning the Third Temple into a reality. 
It has recreated over 70 utensils fit for the Temple service, including the gold menorah, the gem encrusted breastplate of the high priest, musical instruments used by the Levites, and priestly garments.
Perhaps its most amazing achievement to date has been the red heifer. After decades of research in how to practically restore the Temple, Temple Institute scholars realized that the first step in the seemingly impossible task was raising a red heifer. Frozen embryos of red angus cattle were implanted in Israeli cattle, introducing the breed to Israel.






U.S. Sending Brigade Combat Teams To Europe, Blames Russia, Russian Nuclear-Capable Iskander Missiles Deployed In Syria



U.S. sending brigade combat teams to Europe, blames Russia





The U.S. military said on Wednesday that it would deploy rotations of U.S.-based armored brigade combat teams to Europe, part of a wider effort to counter what the United States sees as Russian aggression on the continent.
The teams will be on nine-month rotations starting in February 2017, and will conduct military exercises across Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary, according to a statement from U.S. European Command.w
Their presence in Europe will be continuous and bring the total U.S. Army presence on the continent to three fully manned brigades, the military said.
Each unit rotating in will bring equipment that is more modern and up-to-date and will ultimately replace the current training equipment in Europe. A typical U.S. Army armored brigade has about 4,500 soldiers.
The decision means U.S. allies will “see a more frequent presence of an armored brigade with more modernized equipment in their countries,” said General Philip Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command.
The United States has budgeted to sharply boost military training and exercises aimed at reassuring European countries concerned about Russia, which seized Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 and has worried NATO allies with its strategic bomber flights.

Current equipment used in Europe will be upgraded and stored in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, and will allow for “additional combat power, if and when needed,” the military said.





Russian military jets take off from the country's air base in Hmeymin, Syria to head back to Russia, part of a partial withdrawal ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in this still image taken from video March 15, 2016.  REUTERS/Russian Ministry of Defence via REUTERS TV


Russian military jets take off from the country’s air base in Hmeymin, Syria to head back to Russia, part of a partial withdrawal ordered by President Vladimir Putin, in this still image taken from video March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Russian Ministry of Defence via REUTERS TV









Russia has deployed its most advanced tactical missile system, the Iskander-M, in Syria in the last few days. The Russian Iskander is capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and has never been made available to any foreign army for operational use.

No nuclear-capable surface missiles were deployed in any Arab country bordering on Israel since 2007 when Chinese DF-21 missiles were installed in Saudi Arabia.

The Russian missiles (NATO codenamed SS-26) have a range of 500 kilometers (see map).
The Iskander’s transfer to the Kaliningrad enclave in the Baltic Sea in 2015, putting it in range of Central and Western Europe, was a mark of heightened tensions with the West over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

Its deployment in Syria, amid a bloody five-year civil war, is a game changer in terms of the balance of strength in the Middle East. Its range - from the Russian Hmeimim base in western Syria - covers all of Israel up to the southern town of Beersheba, points in Turkey up to the outskirts of Ankara and the eastern and central Mediterranean including Cyprus.

The Russian decision to scale down its forces in Syria was only part of the picture: Warplanes and bombers are being pulled out, but as fast as they leave, they are being replaced by the most advanced missile systems in the Russian arsenal.

On March 15, Moscow announced that the formidable S-400 ground-to-air missiles would stay in Syria after the withdrawal. Ten days later, on March 25, the Iskander-M systems were in place. The Iskander-M is rated the top short-range ballistic missile in the world.



Its mobile launching vehicle carries two missiles. It only takes a few minutes to prepare them for launch; each may be fired separately. In flight, its operating team can retarget the weapon, adjusting it if necessary to hit  moving targets such as missile launchers, tank columns or supply convoys.

Another special feature of the Iskander-M is the control of its warhead by an encoded radio signal that even UAVs or AWACS cannot intercept. The missile can therefore lock on the target without being shot down. The missile’s computer receives an image of the target, locks on it and zooms toward the target at supersonic speed.

The Iskander-M is adaptable for use against small or large targets and can easily evade air defense batteries. Its targets can be set by satellites, surveillance planes, intelligence mechanisms or even field soldiers directing artillery fire from images scanned to their computers. Furthermore, its independent navigation system is not affected by poor weather conditions, including fog or darkness, like other ballistic missiles. It is moreover almost impossible to pre-empt the launch of the Iskander-M due to the mobility of its launching system.









The Obama administration recently gave a $270,000 grant to an Islamic charity that has been banned by Israel and the United Arab Emirates because of alleged financial ties to the terrorist group Hamas and to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provided the funds last month to the U.K.-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) for its work in Kenya, according to the federal spending database USASpending.gov.
The funds are earmarked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s global health security partner engagement initiative.
The program is aimed at fighting infectious diseases and promoting “global health security as an international priority,” according to the CDC website.
But IRW has been at the center of other security concerns.
In 2014, Israel and United Arab Emirates banned IRW, which is headquartered in Birmingham, England, from operating within its borders alleging that the group supports and funds Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood’s military arm in Palestine.
Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon alleged in July 2014 that IRW’s chapters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip were being run by members of Hamas.
“The IRW is one of the sources of Hamas’s funding and a means for raising funds from various countries in the world,” Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon said in a July 2014 statement. “We do not intend to allow it to function and abet terrorist activity against Israel.”
In 2006, the Israeli Security Agency arrested Iyaz Ali, a Pakistani-born British national who worked as project director of IRW’s operations in the West Bank.
“He worked to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations, including the Al Wafa and Al Tzalah associations, which have been outlawed in Israel,” reads a 2006 statement from Israel’s defense ministry. Ali also admitted that he had worked and cooperated with Hamas operatives in Jordan.
“The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure,” the statement continued, alleging that IRW’s operations are “controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives.”
“The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population.”


The Rise Of The Political Psychopath, Green Europe Responsible For Thousands Of Deaths,




From Democracy to Pathocracy: The Rise of the Political Psychopath




There is no difference between psychopaths and politicians.
Nor is there much of a difference between the havoc wreaked on innocent lives by uncaring, unfeeling, selfish, irresponsible, parasitic criminals and elected officials who lie to their constituents, trade political favors for campaign contributions, turn a blind eye to the wishes of the electorate, cheat taxpayers out of hard-earned dollars, favor the corporate elite, entrench the military industrial complex, and spare little thought for the impact their thoughtless actions and hastily passed legislation might have on defenseless citizens.

Psychopaths and politicians both have a tendency to be selfish, callous, remorseless users of others, irresponsible, pathological liars, glib, con artists, lacking in remorse and shallow.
Charismatic politicians, like criminal psychopaths, exhibit a failure to accept responsibility for their actions, have a high sense of self-worth, are chronically unstable, have socially deviant lifestyle, need constant stimulation, have parasitic lifestyles and possess unrealistic goals.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Democrats or Republicans.
Political psychopaths are all largely cut from the same pathological cloth, brimming with seemingly easy charm and boasting calculating minds. Such leaders eventually create pathocracies—totalitarian societies bent on power, control, and destruction of both freedom in general and those who exercise their freedoms.

Once psychopaths gain power, the result is usually some form of totalitarian government or a pathocracy. “At that point, the government operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups,” author James G. Long notes. “We are currently witnessing deliberate polarizations of American citizens, illegal actions, and massive and needless acquisition of debt. This is typical of psychopathic systems, and very similar things happened in the Soviet Union as it overextended and collapsed.”

According to investigative journalist Zack Beauchamp, “In 2012, a group of psychologists evaluated every President from Washington to Bush II using ‘psychopathy trait estimates derived from personality data completed by historical experts on each president.’ They found that presidents tended to have the psychopath’s characteristic fearlessness and low anxiety levels — traits that appear to help Presidents, but also might cause them to make reckless decisions that hurt other people’s lives.”
The willingness to prioritize power above all else, including the welfare of their fellow human beings, ruthlessness, callousness and an utter lack of conscience are among the defining traits of the sociopath.
When our own government no longer sees us as human beings with dignity and worth but as things to be manipulated, maneuvered, mined for data, manhandled by police, conned into believing it has our best interests at heart, mistreated, jailed if we dare step out of line, and then punished unjustly without remorse—all the while refusing to own up to its failings—we are no longer operating under a constitutional republic.

Instead, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, what we are experiencing is a pathocracy: tyranny at the hands of a psychopathic government, which “operates against the interests of its own people except for favoring certain groups.”
Worse, psychopathology is not confined to those in high positions of government. It can spread like a virus among the populace. As an academic study into pathocracy concluded, “[T]yranny does not flourish because perpetuators are helpless and ignorant of their actions. It flourishes because they actively identify with those who promote vicious acts as virtuous.”
The goal of the modern corporate state is obvious: to promote, cultivate, and embed a sense of shared identification among its citizens. To this end, “we the people” have become “we the police state.”
We are fast becoming slaves in thrall to a faceless, nameless, bureaucratic totalitarian government machine that relentlessly erodes our freedoms through countless laws, statutes, and prohibitions.

Any resistance to such regimes depends on the strength of opinions in the minds of those who choose to fight back. What this means is that we the citizenry must be very careful that we are not manipulated into marching in lockstep with an oppressive regime.

Writing for ThinkProgress, Beauchamp suggests that “one of the best cures to bad leaders may very well be political democracy.” He advocates for the media holding politicians accountable for their actions and the actions of their staff. While psychopaths may not care about how their actions harm other people, notes Beauchamp, “they very much do care about being able to hold on to their positions of power. A system that actually holds people accountable to the broader conscience of society may be one of the best ways to keep conscienceless people in check.”
That said, if we allow the ballot box to become our only means of pushing back against the police state, the battle is already lost.
If you wait to act until the SWAT team is crashing through your door, until your name is placed on a terror watch list, until you are reported for such outlawed activities as collecting rainwater or letting your children play outside unsupervised, then it will be too late.

The Founders understood that our freedoms do not flow from the government. They were not given to us only to be taken away by the will of the State. They are inherently ours. In the same way, the government’s appointed purpose is not to threaten or undermine our freedoms, but to safeguard them.

Until we can get back to this way of thinking, until we can remind our fellow Americans what it really means to be a free American, and until we can learn to stand our ground in the face of threats to those freedoms and encourage our fellow citizens to stop being cogs in the machine, we will continue to be treated like slaves in thrall to a bureaucratic police state run by political psychopaths.








Europe’s suicidal green energy policies are killing at least 4o,000 people a year.

That’s just the number estimated to have died in the winter of 2014 because they were unable to afford fuel bills driven artificially high by renewable energy tariffs.
But the real death toll will certainly be much higher when you take into account the air pollution caused when Germany decided to abandon nuclear power after Fukushima and ramp up its coal-burning instead; and also when you consider the massive increase in diesel pollution –  the result of EU-driven anti-CO2 policies – which may be responsible for as many as 500,000 deaths a year.
But even that 40,000 figure is disgraceful enough, given that greenies are always trying to take the moral high ground and tell us that people who oppose their policies are uncaring and selfish.
It comes from an article in the German online magazine FOCUS about Energiewende (Energy Transition) – the disastrous policy I mentioned earlier this week whereby Germany is committed to abandoning cheap, effective fossil fuel power and converting its economy to expensive, inefficient renewables (aka unreliables) instead.
According to FOCUS around ten percent of the European population are now living in ‘energy poverty’ because electricity prices have risen, on average, by 42 percent in the last eight years. In Germany alone this amounts to seven million households.
The article is titled: The grand electricity lie: why electricity is becoming a luxury.
The reason, of course, is that green energy policies have made it that way. Many of these have emanated from the European Union, which in turn has taken its cue from the most Green-infested nation in Europe – Germany.
It was the Greens too who were responsible for Energiewende – the policy which is turning Germany into the opposite of what most of us imagine it to be: not the economic powerhouse we’ve been taught to admire all these years, but a gibbering basket case.
This becomes clear in an investigation by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, which reports the horrendous industrial decline brought about by green energy policies.

Hit hardest, of course, are the traditional utilities. After all, the energy transition was designed to seal their coffin. Once the proverbial investment for widows and orphans because their revenue streams were considered rock-solid — these companies have been nothing short of decimated. With 77 nuclear and fossil-fuel power plants taken off the grid in recent years, Germany’s four big utilities — E.ON, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW — have had to write off a total of €46.2 billion since 2011.


Thousands of workers have already been let go, disproportionately hitting communities in Germany‘s rust belt that are already struggling with blight. RWE has cut 7,000 jobs since 2011. At E.ON, the work force has shrunk by a third, a loss of over 25,000 jobs. Just as banks spun off their toxic assets and unprofitable operations into “bad banks” during the financial crisis, Germany’s utilities are reorganizing to cut their losses.


As a seasoned German-watcher explains to me, it’s with good reason that one of Germany’s greatest contributions to the world’s vocabulary is the word Angst.
The Germans are absolutely riddled with it – always have been – and it explains the two otherwise inexplicable policies with which Germany is currently destroying itself.
One, of course, is Energiewende caused by a misplaced, but deeply-held neurosis about stuff like diminishing scarce resources and “global warming” and the evils of Atomkraft (Nuclear power).
The other are its similarly insane immigration policies – the result of the neurosis that if it doesn’t replace its declining population with a supposedly healthy influx of immigrant workers, then it will wither and cease to be the great force it was under people like Frederick the Great, Bismarck and that chap in the 1930s and that no one will know or care where Germany is any more.
This is sad. Sad for Germany which, for all its faults, has produced some pretty impressive things over the years: Beethoven; Kraftwerk; Goethe; Porsche; autobahns; those two girls on Deutschland 83.
And even sadder for those of us who, through absolutely no fault of our own happen to be shackled politically and economically to a socialistic superstate called the European Union, most of whose rules are decided by Germans over whom we have no democratic control.
Oh and by the way, Greenies: as I never tire of reminding you, you insufferable tossers, not a single one of the “future generations” you constantly cite in your mantras as justification for your disgusting, immoral and anti-free-market environmental policies actually exists.
But the people you’re killing now as a result of those environmental policies DO exist.
Or rather they did, till you choked or froze them to death...









Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff, derided the US military-industrial complex, warning that corporate interests have taken over America’s security apparatus.

"War is a Racket," the famous 51-page pamphlet written in 1935 by Major General Smedley Butler, the most highly decorated US Marine of his generation, criticizes the US war machine, noting that the US wages war as much to ensure corporate profit as it does to secure and protect the so-called American way of life.
On Tuesday, former Chief of Staff to State Colin Powell, Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, stated, without irony, "I think Smedley Butler was onto something."

Wilkerson expanded on his observation. "Was Bill Clinton’s expansion of NATO – after George H.W. Bush and James Baker had assured Gorbachev and then Yeltsin that he wouldn’t go an inch further east – was this for Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon, and Boeing, and others, to increase their network of potential weapons sales?" Wilkerson asked. "You bet it was," he said.

Today, observes Wilkerson, the US military-industrial complex "is much more pernicious than Eisenhower ever thought it would be," pointing to Lockheed Martin’s role in providing arms to repressive Middle Eastern regimes like Saudi Arabia and increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula.


"Is there a penchant on behalf of the Congress to bless the use of force more often than not because of the constituencies they have and the money they get from the defense contractors?" Wilkerson asked. "You bet."




"In many respects it is now private interests that benefit most from our use of military force, whether it is private security contractors that are still all over Iraq or Afghanistan or it’s the bigger known defense contractors, like Lockheed Martin," he stated.
Wilkerson again quoted Butler: "Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."










Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Yesterday's Dystopian Fiction Is Today's New World Order, N Korea: We Are Ready For Pre-Emptive Nuclear Strike On U.S.





Yesterday's Dystopian Fiction Is Today's New World Order






Many of the things that are happening this very moment have direct parallels in literature of the past.  Whether it is an account such as the “Gulag Archipelago” by Solzhenitsyn or a work of “fiction” such as “1984” by George Orwell is irrelevant.  Elements of the history or the storyline (regarding the former and the latter works) are now becoming thoroughly inculcated into the fabric of modern reality.
All of the measures taken by the Soviet Union to crush and control its population are beginning to manifest themselves today in the United States.  The courts are “stacked” to reflect the decision of the regime and not to rule by law.  The Military Industrial Complex contracts are still being shuffled, along with government policies that just happen to substantiate those business interests with kickbacks for all.  Laws serve political and corporate interests, and the lawmakers themselves do not represent any of their constituents: they are self-serving thieves, selling out their country and its populace for money and power.
The police departments have (for all intents and purposes) been “federalized,” with budgets and marching orders becoming increasingly dependent upon federal and not local or state policies.  Sheriffs who follow their appointed roles as duly-elected law enforcement officials upholding Constitutional guidelines are being “phased out” of existence.  The changed demographics of “forced” insertions of illegal aliens and “refugees” into populations are rapidly negating the remainder of the two-party system to ensure that the Democratic party takes control ad infinitum.
Orwell envisioned it.  His work is labeled a work of fiction, although all of the measures Oceania pursued are either currently in place in the United States or they’re being developed.  There is mass surveillance, increasing by the day.  The “internet of things,” as coined by former General David Petraeus, is almost primed to allow “telescreens” to watch our every movement, and a camera on every corner to back them up.  Orwell hated totalitarianism, having been exposed to it in his short but accomplished lifetime, and he knew man’s propensity was to move toward the enslavement of his fellow man.
The development of new weapons by DARPA and the MIC are not toward a foreign enemy so much as the purpose of using them against the citizenry.  Drones, robots, nanotechnology, and every other “gizmo” able to be employed are all being drawn from behind the black curtain to unleash upon the citizens.  Also, the world’s situation is directly paralleling “1984” as three great spheres of influence…Europe, Asia, and North America…are being created by the powers that be.  Global governance in “thirds” is probably the NWO end state, as outlined by Orwell for a very significant reason: control with as much ethnic and cultural homogeneity as possible.
It stands to reason that an Oriental (“Eastasia,” in “1984”) empire/totalitarian state would control the Oriental nations, rather than split it up between populations that are not as closely related linguistically and culturally.  We are seeing those shifts of influence into the divisions outlined by Orwell now, as the nations jockey for position and power.  Just as in “1984,” where it stated that even two of the super-states in alignment and concerted efforts could not together topple the third, perhaps the same is with our world.
The shift is toward totalitarianism, and the populations have been (and are being) conditioned to accept, if not embrace, collectivist thought and socialism.  A good example was a film called “the Mutant Chronicles,” in which there were four great super-states that were organized not as nations but as corporations, that made war with one another over resources.  We see the blending of government and corporation today in virtually every facet of life, with the illusion of elections and the illusion of choice upheld to keep the population around the dullard state of consciousness.
What will save us from this?  Will we be able to save ourselves from it?  The more and more one watches freedoms disappearing by the day, the more one must wonder if there is a way to stem the tide.  Orwell and Solzhenitsyn…visionary and historian…gave us blueprints to follow…checklists with which to use as frameworks of reference for what is befalling us daily.  Someday it may be that the brief period of freedom enjoyed by the American people may be categorized as a “work of fiction” in a future that may not even allow anyone to read it.





North Korea has once again asserted that it will use its nuclear weapons arsenal against the United States. Unlike previous statements, however, a note from the rogue state’s foreign minister on Monday insisted that North Korea is fully equipped and ready to use a nuclear weapon on the United States, not just willing to do so.

Foreign Minister Lee Su-yong insisted in a statement Monday that Pyongyang would not hesitate to use their nuclear weapons against America, and they now no longer needed to wait for their scientists to build the weapons necessary for such an attack. “In response to the US frenzied hysteria for unleashing a nuclear war, we have fully transferred our army from the form of military response to the form of delivering a pre-emptive strike and we state resolutely about the readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike,” he said, adding that North Korea “faces the dilemma: a thermonuclear war or peace.”

It is not the first time (this month) that North Korean officials make similar threats. Most recently, the North Korean government released a propaganda video over the weekend depicting a nuclear attack on Washington D.C. The video is titled “Last Chance.”
Earlier this month, North Korean officials, through the nation’s state-run media outlets, threatened to use a hydrogen bomb on Manhattan. In February, North Korean state media identified all of the “mainland U.S.” as a nuclear target. Such threats have become more common following the January announcement that the North Korean military had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb, which was met with extreme skepticism by the world’s nuclear scientists given the small size of the quake caused by the bomb in question.
South Korean military officials report Tuesday that Pyongyang has followed up this threat with yet another projectile launch from its coast, this time hitting land but not causing any damage. “Given the trajectory and distance traveled, the military suspects the projectile might be North Korea’s new multiple rocket launcher system,” South Korean news agency Yonhap reported on Tuesday.

North Korean state media has made clear that this latest round of belligerent activity is a protest against a scheduled meeting between President Barack Obama, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe later this week. The heads of state are scheduled to meet in Washington D.C. to discuss constructive approaches to curbing North Korean aggression. Park will meet with each head of state individually, as well, according to Yonhap. President Xi Jinping of China will also be in Washington this week and is expected to attend the larger Nuclear Security Summit.




Strict gun laws, asinine and superfluous regulations, a second-rate education system, domineering labor unions, unpayable public debts, rotting infrastructure, and mind-boggling housing costs. Which state are you thinking of right now? Is it California? I bet it’s California.
Over the years the People’s Republic of Kalifornia has developed quite the reputation for oppressive rules, dysfunction, and unsustainability; both financially and environmentally. Financially speaking the state has been on the precipice for some time. In recent years several of their cities have declared bankruptcy, and overall the state has one of the highest debt per capita ratios in America. It’s a big effing mess with no clear solutions in sight. There really isn’t any way that California, the biggest economic powerhouse in America, can sustain its current course.
California can however, hasten its demise with crackpot left-wing policies that are sure to ruin their economy, like raising the minimum wage.

A deal to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 was reached Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown and state legislators, making the nation’s largest state the first to lift base earnings to that level and propelling a campaign to lift the pay floor nationally.
The increase will boost the wages of about 6.5 million California residents, or 43% of the state’s workforce, who earn less than $15, according to worker group Fight for $15. The proposal had been headed to a statewide referendum. It’s now expected to be approved by the state assembly.

Will it raise the wages of 43% of the workforce, or kill that workforce? I’m betting on the latter. This will be the highest statewide minimum wage in the country. Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 recently, as did Oregon, but in those cases the wage increases were focused on urban areas. And that’s one reason why California’s minimum wage increase is going to be so disastrous for the state’s economy. It’s going to be $15 an hour everywhere.

Wealthy West Coast cities can absorb the costs of higher wages (for the most part), but California’s policy is going to disproportionately affect its poor, rural, inland counties, of which there are many. These are regions that are just like any other rural part of America. They’re dominated by small businesses and mom and pop shops. Goods and labor are cheap because they have to be. Profit margins are already thin for everyone, and will be completely wiped out by this policy.
In any case though, the cities aren’t going to fare much better. It’s just that the rural areas are going to feel the heat first. In the long run it’s going to destroy jobs and raise costs all over the state, and contribute to countless other failed policies that California is reeling from.
The question is, will this policy add so much weight to Californa’s pre-existing problems, that it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back? Forbes seems to thinks so. They recently made a compelling comparison to what California is planning to do, and what the unfortunate Greeks have already done.

It was a situation where the government was financially propping up both average citizens and big business, and it was just too expensive. When the debt crisis came, this entitlement system imploded. Greece’s high minimum wage indirectly helped bring that country to its knees (among other reasons of course). It’s precisely what happens to all socialist systems, and Commiefornia will be no exception. Once this law is in place, California will be on the Greek path, which there is no escape from.






Miller — who had been working for 
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
80%
 at the time that Sessions led the conservative opposition to Obamatrade in the U.S. Senate— said that Cruz’s “lobbying” effort to fast track President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership “was the difference maker” that enabled fast track to pass.

Like Sen. Cruz, Obama had been pushing for fast track to ensure the passage of TPP. Fast track lowers the 67 votes required to pass a treaty to a mere simple majority, it surrenders the 60 vote filibuster, and it forfeits individual senators’ ability to add amendments or changes to the trade deals negotiated by the president. As Sen. Sessions explained, “A vote for fast-track is a vote to authorize the President to ink the secret [TPP] deal contained in these pages—to affix his name on the Union and to therefore enter the United States into it.”
We talk about Club for Growth, we talk about these groups that are out there pushing offshoring, there’s a reason why they’re aligned behind Ted Cruz — and this needs to be understood: the reason why Obamatrade became law is because of Ted Cruz. During the early pivotal moments of the fight when Jeff Sessions — and I was working for him — was out there warning the country about the living agreement [of the Trans-Pacific Partnership], about the transnational commission [established by the TPP], about the loss of U.S. sovereignty, Ted Cruz not only wrote an op-ed with 
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
56%
 giving the pact urgent needed momentum, but Ted Cruz also did media and interviews arguing against Jeff Sessions.


In the April 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed — which Miller cited during the interview — Cruz and Ryan describe the TPP as an “historic” trade agreement that would “mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”

Similarly, in a June radio interview, Cruz defended President Obama’s trade agenda and claimed Sen. Sessions was misguided for opposing it. Sessions had raised concerns about TPP’s creation of a global governing commission that would have serious implications for U.S. sovereignty. Cruz, however, dismissed Sessions’ concerns: “It is simply false that the TPP trade agreement gives up our sovereignty. There is nothing in TPA or TPP that can give a foreign nobody the ability to make binding law in the United States of America,” Cruz said. “I like and respect Jeff Sessions very much. What he is describing there about what this will do is simply not accurate. I respect his views, but it’s not accurate. I have read this agreement… it is not accurate to say this is undermining our sovereignty… It is simply false to say this would create some trans-national body that could change U.S. laws.”
“I could not in good conscience vote against a bill whose most significant impacts will be jobs, growth, and opportunity for struggling American families,” Cruz wrote after voting to fast-track TPP on May 22nd. “By passing Trade Promotion Authority, we create a path for trade agreements to reduce government-created barriers to prosperity,” Cruz said in a statement that could only be interpreted as support for TPP, since that was the trade agreement that was going to be sent to Congress if fast-track was adopted, as indeed is about to occur. Cruz continued, explaining that his vote for fast-track “would enable both this President and the next to expand trade that benefits American workers.”

Breitbart News Daily host Stephen K. Bannon pushed back against Miller’s assertion and asked about the fact that when a procedural matter unexpectedly caused the fast track to come up for another vote in the Senate, Cruz eventually reversed his vote to oppose fast track. Bannon asked: “Because of the work of Sen. Sessions and others — didn’t he [Cruz] actually see the error of his ways? And then at the appropriate time — or at least later — say, ‘Hey, look 
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
44%
 and the other guys lied to me.’ And he came out against TPA [trade promotion authority] and he’s coming out against TPP strongly.”

“No,” Miller replied. “He rallied support for the pact sufficient to ensure its passage and he cast the initial vote for its final passage when he and everyone else believed it was the final vote. All of the lobbying he did on behalf of the pact guaranteed its passage. If he had been silent, we probably would have defeated it. If he had lobbied against it — as he was morally bound to do — we would have defeated it. He was the difference maker.”


The Misguided, Deluded Pope



A Dangerously Deluded Pope


Pope Francis, it seems, can't stop squandering whatever little true moral capital he has left. Last week the ageing pontiff, who is much given to periodic bouts of showboating, decided to drop to his knees before several recent Muslim migrants to Europe (call them "refugees," if you will) from North Africa and the Middle East. He then proceeded to wash the asylum seekers' feet with holy water before wiping them clean and kissing them. A cringe-worthy spectacle that was.

It was a customary rite for Holy Thursday, of course, during which a regnant Vicar of Christ may choose to reenact a public act of humility by emulating Jesus, who washed the feet of his disciples prior to his crucifixion. But not for Francis simple humility. Instead, the media-savvy pope could not resist the temptation to use the contrived photo-op to continue leading beleaguered Europeans down a primrose path by way of "moral guidance."

There the Holy Father was, sanctimoniously harping on his oft-repeated homily that Europeans besieged by militant Islam should throw their arms and houses wide open for the massive influx of Muslim migrants who are threatening the very social, political, and religious fabrics of their societies. “I like it a lot when I see nations, governments, who open their hearts and open their doors (to migrants),” His Holiness asserted. Right. I'll like it a whole lot more when I see him open the Vatican's own doors instead. Let me know when that happens.
Simultaneously, the pontiff was trotting out fatuous "We're-the-World" platitudes. “We have different cultures and religions, but we are brothers and we want to live in peace,” he intoned. His Holiness should tell that to the countless Islamists who are plotting endlessly to murder as many Europeans as they can and whenever they can. Some of them have just slaughtered 31 commuters in a series of suicide bomb attacks in Brussels. A prime suspect behind the bomb attacks at the city's airport is a Belgian-born Muslim, Fay├žal Cheffou, ("the main in the hat" from security footage), who happens to be -- wait for it -- a "rights activist" for Muslim migrants. The irony of that should not be lost on us. Meanwhile, over in Lahore, Pakistan, while local Christians celebrated Easter Sunday, an Islamic suicide bomber self-detonated among them, killing at least 70 men, women and children.   

And Francis' response to the brutal war on Christendom and the West? He kisses the feet of people from the very religion responsible for it. Then again, this is a man who has called the Brussels bloodbath a "gesture of destruction," thereby making it sound as if this latest Islamic terror attack was nothing more than a passing nuisance. If this is the kind of "moral infallibility" that the head of the Vatican can muster these days, his flock is doomed. Francis doesn't just want European Christians to "turn the other cheek"; he wants them to emulate him by bending the knee to people many of whom make no secret of their desire to murder or subjugate all non-Muslims. Any minute now the pope might grab a guitar and launch into a soulful rendition of "Give Peace a Chance."
And he wasn't done yet. “All of us, together: Muslims, Hindi, Catholics, Copts, Evangelicals. But brothers, children of the same God,” the pope pontificated. For starters, Hindi is a language, not a people, but let's let that pass. He also neglected to mention Jews. What's up with that? But let's ignore that, too. What's most galling is his mindless, politically-correct ecumenism. It may have escaped His Holiness's attention, but Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, not to mention Hinduism, are contradictory and mutually exclusive religions. Islam denies the divinity of Jesus, or even that Jesus died on the cross. Hindus believe in a vast pantheon of deities and reject the monotheism of the three Abrahamic faiths. Either Jesus atoned for the sins of humanity, as per the teachings of Christianity, or he didn't, as per the teachings of Islam. Either Mohammed was a perfect example for all people in all ages to follow, as Islam has it, or he was a terrible example that no one should follow, as many non-Muslims contend, and so on and so forth.
Francis is the Catholic Church's first pope who is an out-and-out social justice warrior. That's not a compliment. Like many a self-styled SJW, he prides himself on moral virtues he hasn't earned or demonstrated. He is dangerously deluded if he thinks that his protestations of love will sway the suicide bombers. Needless to say, pious Muslims rarely if ever reciprocate his and his likeminded "progressive" fellow travelers' sycophantic overtures. "We want to live in peace, integrated,” the pope avowed. We all do. But whose fault is that there is no peace in Europe and that certain immigrants have refused to ingrate into their host societies? What unites all those immigrants who have remained stubbornly and often violently unassimilated -- from France to Germany to Belgium to Holland to Sweden to England -- is that they all happen to be... Muslim. Across the continent, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, animists and atheists all get on very well, thank you very much. It's many Muslims who can't get along with anyone else, and often each other.  

The very same day the pope was on his knees kissing the feet of random migrants outside an asylum center in Rome, a Muslim shopkeeper in Glasgow, who seem to have been blissfully well-integrated indeed, was savagely murdered by two other Muslim men in what police described as a "religiously prejudiced" attack. A few hours before he was stabbed to death, Asad Shah relayed a heartfelt public Easter message on Facebook to his Christian friends. By doing so, he violated one of Allah's commands to Muslims. "O ye who believe, take not the Jews and the Christians for friends!" the Koran (5:51) counsels. "They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk." 

Yet many Europeans can't stop wanting to befriend Muslims, a lot of whom would instead prefer to see them dead. After every new act of savagery on European soil by Islamic terrorists comes the usual merry-go-round of feckless groveling, spearheaded by the likes of Pope Francis. The script has by now been perfected to a T. First, there's a bit of a shock at the callous brutality of the attackers and a bit of tough talk about waging war on a nebulous miasma of "radicalism," which "knows no religion." That done, it's on to distancing the self-proclaimed soldiers of Allah from Islam by claiming they have misunderstood a fine and peaceful religion and violated Islam's core teachings of universal brotherhood among all people (which happen not to exist). That is then followed immediately by warnings, repeated ad nauseam, of an imminent backlash (which never materializes) by "bigoted," "racist" and "xenophobic" Europeans against innocent Muslims who, we're told, are the real victims of Islamic terrorism. Finally, the crescendo of misdirection culminates in lectures to Europeans on their failure to integrate Muslims better and calls on them to atone some more for their forefathers' alleged misdeeds against the great religion of Islam.          

Peace will come only when it's not native Europeans but Muslims who are expected to engage in extensive soul-searching apropos the self-evident failures of their communities and societies. Europeans have not failed Muslim immigrants. It's many Muslim immigrants in Europe who have failed their host societies by refusing to integrate and become productive members of them, even as they continue to incubate an atavistic grievance culture of violent jihadism.
Pope Francis should man up and get up from his knees. Groveling isn't a virtue in the face of violent jihad; it's a sign of weakness and moral cowardice. Then again, the stalwarts of the Islamic State have openly declared war against the Vatican ("We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted") will like a pope on his knees just fine.