Biden’s Disappointing First 100 Days

At the end of the first 100 days of Biden presidency, one conclusion is clear. After electing Joe Biden last year, American voters did not get the kind of president they had been led to expect. During the election campaign, they were promised that Biden would follow the mainstream Democrat political principles which characterized his 36-year voting record in the Senate. He ran on his Senate reputation of being able and willing to work across party lines to achieve a bipartisan consensus on critical domestic and foreign policy issues.

During his Senate career, Biden consistently supported legislation which supported traditional conservative definitions of morality and family values. As the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden presided over two contentious confirmation hearings for nominees by Republican presidents to the US Supreme Court bench. They resulted in the Senate’s rejection of Ronald Reagan’s 1988 nomination of Robert Bork, one of the most distinguished conservative jurists of that era, and the Senate’s narrow approval of George H. W. Bush’s 1991 nomination of Clarence Thomas to serve as the high court’s second black justice.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden said he opposed the idea of trying to “pack” the Supreme Court with additional liberal justices to overcome the current 6-3 majority of conservative justices. While he was a member of the US Senate, Biden also condemned President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s failed 1937 effort to pack the Supreme Court.

But during his first 100 days as president, Biden appointed a commission of experts to study the Supreme Court and recommend changes, suggesting he might not be opposed to packing the court with liberal judges if his commission can give him sufficient political cover to get away with it.

As a longtime member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Biden had joined most of his fellow Democrats in opposing US involvement in the First Persian Gulf War against Saddam Hussein in 1991, but he did vote in favor of US entry into the war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attack in 2001, as well as the Second Gulf War and the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a vote he later admitted was a mistake.

In 2006, Biden suggested ending the US occupation of Iraq by partitioning it into three separate countries, while opposing the Bush administration’s successful 2007 troop surge proposal which eventually brought an end to the insurrection.

Biden’s first foreign policy moves have been to hasten the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan against the advice of his own top military experts.

He has downgraded Israel’s status as a US ally, at the same time restoring aid to the Palestinians and trying to revive the failed two-state solution.

At the same time, he has failed to stand up to increased aggression against the US and its allies by Russia and China, and has adopted the failed Obama approach of reacting to Iran’s continued bad behavior with a policy of appeasement.


Biden was a lead author of the tough 1994 federal anti-crime legislation, which funded the addition of 100,000 local police officers and the construction of 125,000 new prison cells across the country, while increasing mandatory sentences for drug crimes resulting in the mass incarceration of a generation of black drug offenders. Biden’s close association with that bill was used against him with black voters by his opponents for the 2020 Democrat presidential nomination, forcing him to publicly admit it had been a mistake.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, large cities across the United States have been swept up in a surge of murders, now including a frightening outbreak of mass shootings.

But instead of supporting and stepping up local law enforcement efforts, Biden has ordered his Justice Department to resume its harsh scrutiny of police departments across the country for any sign of “systemic racism.”

He and other administration officials have also been far too quick to take up false accusations by Black Lives Matter and other racial activists that white cops are too prone to using deadly force against black suspects, even when those suspects are caught while in the process of committing violent crimes and endangering others.

During the first decades of his Senate career, Biden was proud of his friendship with segregationist Southern Democrat senators such as Richard Russell of Georgia and Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, who ran for president in 1948 against Harry Truman on the Dixiecrat ticket. In 2010, as Obama’s vice president, Biden eulogized West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, describing the man who once served as a recruiter for the Ku Klux Klan and filibustered to block passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, as his “friend,” “mentor” and “guide.” Last week as president, the same Joe Biden reacted to the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd last May, by declaring that “it ripped the blinders off [for] the whole world to see [that] systemic racism is a stain on our nation’s soul.”


Biden based his presidential campaign on his vice-presidential role during the Obama administration, as well as his long record in the Senate as a mainstream liberal eager to cooperate with Republicans to build bipartisan support for compromise legislation.

Throughout the presidential campaign, Biden appealed to moderate voters in both parties who wanted to see the country reunified by healing the bitterly partisan divisiveness which characterized the Trump years, projecting that comforting message through his inaugural address. But after entering the White House, Biden quickly abandoned any serious attempt to work with Republicans or consider their input into his legislative proposals.

Instead, he adopted the socialist-inspired, race-based progressive policies and agenda which he condemned as too extreme and impractical when they were proposed by Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during the race for the Democrat presidential nomination last year.

Less than 100 days into his presidency, Biden is already responsible for two of the most expensive pieces of legislation in American history.

With the help of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Biden and his Democrat allies have already passed their bloated COVID relief bill and are on track to push an equally expensive “infrastructure” bill through an evenly divided 50-50 Senate without even trying to gain the support of a single Republican.

Schumer has gotten preliminary approval from the “non-partisan” Senate parliamentarian to reuse the budget “reconciliation” rules to get around the filibuster and pass the infrastructure bill, and perhaps others, with just 50 Democrat votes — the same way he did with the Covid bill — with the tiebreaker cast by Vice President Kamala Harris.


Commenting on Biden’s first 100 days in office in a Fox News interview, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy accused him of deceiving American voters with a “bait and switch,” scheme.

While promising during the presidential campaign to govern as a “moderate,” he has acted more like a “socialist” dictator since taking over the White House.

Accusing Biden of violating his promises to seek bipartisan cooperation with the Republicans, McCarthy said that since Biden’s inauguration in January, “I have not met with the president one time, nor had one conversation.”

Biden has made only token efforts to work with Republicans on issues on which it should have been easy to reach bipartisan agreements.

Instead, McCarthy called both the $1.9 trillion COVID relief package and his $2.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill currently working its way through Congress as glaring examples of Biden’s “bait and switch” tactics.

Neither measure primarily addressed their stated purposes. Instead, much of the money in the COVID relief package was earmarked for unrelated Democrat spending priorities, and “less than 6 percent [of the money] in the infrastructure package goes to infrastructure” projects as the term is traditionally understood.

The GOP House leader added: “I don’t think that will be popular” once the American people learn what Biden wants to spend the vast majority of that infrastructure money on.

The only thing standing in the way of the passage of the infrastructure bill, to be quickly followed by a tidal wave of other liberal Democrat spending measures, is the Senate filibuster rule, whose survival depends on the continued support of a tiny number of embattled moderate Democrats, led by West Virginia’s Joe Manchin.


Manchin has put the Biden White House on notice that he will not cast his crucial 50th Senate Democrat vote in support of another mislabeled measure similar to the Biden’s COVID relief bill. In a recent interview, Manchin stated the obvious — the filibuster should not be an obstacle to passing an honest bill entirely devoted to repairing this country’s neglected infrastructure.

“What we think the greatest need we have now, that can be done in a bipartisan way,” Manchin said, “is conventional infrastructure, whether it’s the water, sewer, roads, bridges, Internet — things that we know need to be repaired, be fixed.” The current infrastructure bill does include substantial appropriations for just that kind of spending, including $550 billion for traditional road, rail and airport construction and repairs, another $111 billion to make our drinking water safe, and $100 billion for a new 21st century infrastructure necessity, making broadband Internet access more available to the poor and those living in rural areas.

But it is difficult to justify the additional $1.5 trillion of spending in the bill without distorting beyond recognition the normal definition of “infrastructure investment” which is supposed to be a one-time expense with obvious long-term benefits to the economy.

Spending more than $400 billion to expand home care for the elderly and Medicaid hardly qualifies. A much more accurate description would be to call it an expanded entitlement program requiring continued federal spending at similar levels indefinitely into the future.

Other Biden spending priorities in the same bill masquerading as infrastructure projects include hundreds of billions of dollars to subsidize the auto industry’s forced conversion to the overpriced electrically powered vehicles that most consumers are still rejecting; hundreds of billions more to be thrown away by the Green New Deal agenda while undermining this country’s energy independence; and $200 billion for a new federal housing program, designed by the same Democrats who have perpetuated this country’s urban racial ghettos and the liberal policies that created a new nationwide homelessness crisis.

Manchin also objects to the seven-point increase in the corporate tax rate that Biden has proposed to pay for the bloated cost of his infrastructure bill. In 2017, when President Trump called for a reduction in the US corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, even many Democrats at the time said that the higher rate had made US-based businesses uncompetitive in the global market. The 35% rate also served as an incentive that encouraged some major US firms to merge with foreign companies, enabling them to move their headquarters to countries like Ireland were the corporate tax rates were much lower.

Trump’s decision to cut the corporate rate to 21%, and other provisions in his tax cut bill that encouraged US companies to repatriate the profits from their foreign operations, made America much more competitive in the global marketplace, and helped to halt the flight of American corporate jobs and profits to foreign countries.

Some of those foreign countries responded to the Trump’s tax cut by reducing their own corporate tax rates accordingly. As a result, if Biden does raise the American corporate rate to 28%, he would again be putting American jobs at risk and putting US businesses at a competitive disadvantage.

Senator Manchin is keenly aware of this problem, because West Virginia’s economy is already facing the prospect of losing most of its coal mining jobs, and is struggling to attract other industries and their jobs to take up the slack. Manchin agrees that some corporate tax increase would be appropriate to help pay for necessary infrastructure improvements, but he has gone on record as opposing raising the corporate rate beyond 25%. The Biden White House has been forced to respond by signaling its willingness to negotiate with Manchin on the issue, simply because it cannot afford to risk losing the crucial 50th vote on the infrastructure measure.

As for the many other unrelated liberal agenda items that make up the bulk of the spending in Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal, Manchin argues that even if such measures are “needed,” they should be considered on their own merits through the regular legislative process after being separated from the more legitimate infrastructure portions of the current Biden bill. That would subject those proposed expenditures to proper legislative review through committee hearings, consultations with professionals, and likely result in improvements through bipartisan compromises with the Senate’s minority party.

All that used to be the normal procedure in the Senate for avoiding filibusters and passing bills, regardless of which party was in the majority. But since Biden has taken office, he and Democrat congressional leaders have largely abandoned that process completely.


Another Biden campaign promise which he has reiterated since taking office is that his proposed tax increases to pay for his new spending programs would only impact the wealthy, which he defined as families with incomes of more than $400,000 a year.

But Republicans and conservative economists point out that any increase in corporate taxes is inevitably passed on to workers and families earning far less than that amount in the form of smaller wage increases, larger retail price increases, and a reduction in the yield from any money those workers have invested in their 401K retirement accounts.

That is why Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has called the new taxes included to pay for Biden’s infrastructure plan — officially named the American Jobs Plan — another example of his bait-and-switch tactics.

McConnell has called the Biden proposal a “Trojan Horse” for liberal policies, because instead of the added spending creating more jobs, the accompanying tax hikes are likely to make the measure into a net American job killer.

In coming days, Biden is planning to introduce yet another bill to fund a major expansion of federal spending on child care and education. The measure is expected to include liberal wish list items such as universal government-funded pre-K education for young children, free tuition for community college, and debt forgiveness for middle- and upper-income college graduates with large outstanding federal student loans.


All these “free” new benefits are expected to be funded by still more Biden tax increases aimed at the wealthy. As a candidate during last year’s presidential campaign, Biden proposed a radical increase in tax on capital gains, which is currently at the reduction rate of 20%. Biden proposed eliminating that break for households earning more than $1 million annually, which would then pay the same rate on capital gains as their regular income tax rate, which Biden wants to increase to the 39.6% maximum level it was during the Obama era. Biden also wants to collect the taxes on those capital gains even before their owners have actually realized those profits by selling the assets.

Even Democrats such as Virginia Congressman Don Beyer have recognized that Biden’s two-pronged capital gains tax increase is likely to have a serious impact on the investment plans of many high-income families. Among other consequences, the tax hike would make it more difficult for business owners to pass along their financial assets to their children.

The capital gains tax on the increased value of an individual’s investments has also been recognized as an unfair form of “double taxation,” because the corporate profits — on which much of that increased value is generally based — have already been taxed once by the federal government. Also, capital gains taxes are not adjusted for inflation, which often means that much, if not all, of the theoretical increase in the value of the asset being held over time and subject to the capital gains tax is actually just an inflation-induced mirage.

Furthermore, as a recent Wall Street Journal editorial points out, previous efforts to raise more tax income through increasing the rate on capital gains have actually backfired, because any capital gains tax increase is an incentive for the wealthy investors to avoid them by holding onto their assets instead of selling them.

The result is that the total amount of capital gains tax collected actually falls by 1.2% for every percentage point the capital gains tax rate is increased.

Therefore, Biden’s proposed capital gains increase would be counterproductive, not only because it will result in a net loss of tax income for the government, but also because it would discourage business investment, capital formation and wage growth.

While raising capital gains taxes on the wealthy may sound attractive as a talking point for socialist politicians who want to punish investors and undermine private enterprise, from the economic policy point of view, it is clearly a dumb idea.

But Biden and the Democrats don’t seem to be listening, and they are in no mood to compromise with Republicans on anything, even if it means having to run the risk that their infrastructure bill will be blocked because moderate Democrat senators like Manchin and possibly a few others won’t vote for it in its current form.

It is also questionable whether several measures in the current infrastructure bill will pass the test for passage through the reconciliation process used to pass Biden’s Covid relief measure. If reconciliation doesn’t apply, the bill will then have to withstand the threat of an inevitable Senate Republican filibuster.


When he was a still member of the Senate in 2005, Joe Biden was a supporter of the filibuster. He argued at that time, “At its core, the filibuster is not about stopping a nominee or a bill. It’s about compromise and moderation.” He defended it on the principle that partisan disputes should be resolved “within the strictures and requirements of the Senate rules. Despite the short-term pain, that understanding has served both parties well, and provided long-term gain.”

Biden and his fellow Democrats, including Chuck Schumer, have used the filibuster many times to block Senate Republican-supported legislation when the GOP had the majority, including as recently as last year. But now that the filibuster rule is all that is preventing Democrats from imposing their progressive agenda on the Republicans, they have adopted former President Obama’s criticism of the filibuster rule as a racist-motivated “relic of the Jim Crow era.”

At his first presidential news conference on March 25, Biden changed his position and condemned the filibuster as an obstacle to necessary change.

Declaring that “successful electoral politics is the art of possible,” Biden said, “Let’s figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule.”

In fact, the current battle over the filibuster rule has nothing to do with its history as a tool used by Southern Democrat segregationist senators to block civil rights legislation more than 50 years ago, and everything to do with its ability to block legislative majorities from imposing their political will on the country without a clear and widespread mandate from the nationwide electorate.


More fundamentally, the question is whether Democrats will permit the Senate to continue playing its moderating role in the federal government, as clearly intended by the country’s Founding Fathers. The principle of unlimited debate has always been a cherished tradition of the Senate, but it is not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution, which left the rules of its implementation to be determined by the members of the Senate themselves.

The first limitation of unlimited debate was initiated in 1917, when the Senate adopted the filibuster rule at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson. It enabled a two-thirds majority vote of the senators present to invoke “cloture,” thereby forcing an immediate end to the current debate. But it still gave sizable Senate minority factions enough power to block legislation, forcing the majority to either negotiate an acceptable compromise or face legislative stalemate.

In 1975, the Senate modified the rule to speed up its proceedings. The size of the majority needed to invoke cloture was reduced from two-thirds to three-fifths (60 instead of 67 votes, out of the total of 100 senators). In addition, senators did not actually have to keep speaking on the floor to conduct a filibuster. A minimum of 41 senators only needed to signal their intent to block a vote on the legislation to bring its consideration on the Senate floor to a halt. This prevented Senate floor time from being wasted in useless and endless filibusters, but made it much easier for the minority to use the threat of a filibuster to block any majority-supported bill.

The current Democrat attack on the filibuster rule began in 2013. Then-House Majority Leader Harry Reid became frustrated with the filibuster’s use by the Republican minority to block confirmation of dozens of President Obama’s nominees to vacant judicial positions on lower federal courts across the nation. Reid employed the so-called “nuclear option,” getting a simple majority of Senate Democrats to approve a change in the chamber’s rules so that confirmation votes on presidential judicial nominees to the lower courts could no longer be blocked by the filibuster. But that change left the filibuster still applicable to the Senate confirmation process for Supreme Court nominees.

Reid was warned at the time by then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that Democrats would someday be sorry that they had weakened the filibuster. That day came in 2017, when then Majority Leader McConnell changed the rule once again by eliminating the filibuster’s use against presidential Supreme Court nominees. At the time, the change prevented the minority of Senate Democrats from filibustering President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat vacated by the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia the previous year. It is now also clear that if the filibuster rule was still applicable to Supreme Court nominees, Democrats would have blocked the nominations of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018 and Amy Coney Barrett last October.


Today, the filibuster is the only protection the American people have left to protect them from socialist, racially driven dictates by Biden and the minimal Democrat majorities which now control the House and Senate.

Senator Manchin has broken with his liberal Senate Democrat colleagues to defend the filibuster rule as vital to the Senate’s historic role as a moderating force preventing drastic changes in the direction of the federal government to the outcome of a single election. By constitutional rule and tradition, senators were given extended six-year terms of office, staggered every two years, and required supermajorities to pass important legislation, limiting the impact of a single electoral sweep by any political faction.

As Senator Manchin explained in a recent Washington Post opinion column, “If the filibuster is eliminated, a new and dangerous precedent will be set to pass sweeping, partisan legislation that changes the direction of our nation every time there is a change in political control. The consequences will be profound — our nation may never see stable governing again.”

In other words, without the filibuster rule serving as a limit on actions by the Senate, any time a party gains majority control of both houses of Congress and the White House, it could immediately reverse all the legislation passed when the other party was in control, even with the slimmest of majorities, constantly threatening to disrupt the continuity of government laws and policies.


Biden and his administration have also been obsessed with uprooting every major new policy initiative implemented during Donald Trump’s administration, regardless of whether they were successful or not. Even before he entered office, Biden publicly signaled his intent to reverse all Trump’s immigration control measures at the southern border with Mexico. Ruthless human traffickers and desperate Central American migrants picked up on those signals and have begun to storm the border, led by a record number of illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors deliberately abandoned by their parents.

As soon as Biden signed an executive order canceling President Trump’s Remain in Mexico agreement, which forced migrants caught seeking to cross the border illegally to wait in Mexico for a decision on their asylum applications, the result was immediate.

Tens of thousands of migrants waiting in Mexican holding areas quickly left to storm the American border.

The Biden administration claimed it was caught by surprise by the migrant surge, when in fact it had ignored warnings by elected Democrats from the border region about the reaction to cancelation of Trump’s border control policies. At first, the White House denied the gravity of the situation. Then it imposed a strict blackout on media efforts to report on the conditions along the border, and condemned anyone who dared to label it as both the humanitarian and public health crisis that it was.

Not only are there now more unaccompanied children and families streaming across the southern border than in 20 years, but there is no organized effort to test them for Covid, or place those who test positive into quarantine. Instead, the infected and uninfected are herded together to be bused or flown into the interior of the United States. Meanwhile, in small American towns along the Mexican border, government services and public health facilities are being overwhelmed by the waves of illegal immigrants who are evading capture and passing through.

Biden’s southern border policies have been such a disaster that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reportedly told Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employees that the administration is considering finishing “gaps in the [border] wall,” which remained when Biden ordered all work, even on nearly completed parts of the wall, to be halted immediately.

For the past three months, the Biden White House has tried to pretend that the problems at the border are serious but still under control. It has issued a series of statements assigning senior officials up to and including Vice President Kamala Harris to “study” the border problems and make recommendations,

But the truth is that federal border protection officers are working with their hands tied by Biden’s executive orders. Despite the efforts of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the “surge” in humanitarian resources the administration has dispatched to the border in recent weeks, the number of illegal migrants being intercepted continues to rise month by month, and all signs point to a long, hot summer for illegal crossings along on the Mexican border.

Desperate pleas to Central American migrants to wait are being ignored, as more decide to take their chances on the long trek north, hoping that Biden’s more lenient policies will allow them to stay once they have snuck into the US.

A well-publicized Biden administration initiative to reunite several hundred migrant children separated from their parents at the border due to Trump policies has been overwhelmed by the huge new surge of thousands of unaccompanied minors crossing the border due to Biden’s misguided policies.

Meanwhile, Biden was embarrassed when an outcry from liberal immigration activists forced him to backtrack after he failed to stand by his promise to lift the quota on refugees to be allowed to enter the country this year from 15,000 to 125,000.

Other Biden initiatives to block enforcement of existing federal immigrations laws are currently being challenged in the courts.

These include his executive order to freeze all new deportation orders for 100 days, and Biden’s order to preserve the Obama-era DACA program to shield from deportation the so-called Dreamers, adults who entered the US illegally while they were young children. Biden has kept his promise to introduce a comprehensive immigration law reform proposal to Congress, but in its current form, the bill has virtually no chance of passage in the Senate as long as Republicans can block it with a filibuster.


Renewed Democrat efforts led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to enact its blueprint to federalize state voting laws through the passage of a bill called HR1 have triggered a strong reaction from Republican-controlled legislatures in several states, intended to tighten up the loopholes in voter security from emergency measures to safeguard against Covid infections during the November elections. The new voting laws in Georgia prompted a hysterical reaction from Democrats, including President Biden himself. They falsely accused the Republicans of trying to suppress the voter turnout by minority voters, when the opposite was in fact the case.

The reaction to Democrat, media and black activist demands for a corporate boycott of Georgia in the name of racial equity resulted in a decision by Major League Baseball to move this summer’s All Star Game from Atlanta to Denver, which was ironic on several levels.

First, it was a significant setback for Atlanta’s minority-owned businesses and their minority workers who were depending on the nationally publicized sports event to help the local economy recover from the impact of the COVID lockdowns.

In addition, existing voting laws in Democrat-dominated Colorado are actually more restrictive than the new Republican-passed voting law in Georgia.


Biden has also sought to claim the credit for the rapid increase in the rate of COVID vaccinations since he took office, even though his administration made relatively few changes in the state-supervised distribution plan put in place while Trump was still in office.

Biden has also refused Trump credit for his daring Operation Warp Speed initiative to start mass production of the first two vaccines developed by Moderna and Pfizer before they were approved by the FDA.

Biden administration policy on the reopening of the nation’s classrooms for live instruction has also been inconsistent.

The White House has also been sending confusing mixed signals regarding the lifting of other COVIDd restrictions as the number of vaccinated Americans continues to climb and newly reported cases fall in most parts of the country.


Biden has also recently embraced the progressive narrative which rejects the very legitimacy of the American form of democracy, because they claim it to have been morally tainted by racism.

They also condemn the Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, for their tolerance for the practice of slavery, and their unequal treatment of women.

Progressives use that narrative to justify their proposals for radical alterations to key sections of the Constitution, and abandon some of the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

However, Biden’s questionable performance in 1991 as the chairman of Senate Judiciary committee, while it was holding confirmation hearings for the appointment Justice Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, is still a black mark on the president’s record. At that time, both Republicans and Democrats were dissatisfied with the way Biden conducted those hearings. Democrats complained that Biden had failed to provide sufficient support to Anita Hill, who had not come forward testify as a witness against Thomas until after the committee had concluded its initial hearing, while Republicans agreed with Thomas’ complaints that he had not been given an adequate opportunity to defend himself against Hill’s accusations.

When Biden broke precedent by reopening public hearings to enable Hill to testify, Thomas reacted by condemning the proceedings as a “circus” and a “national disgrace.” Thomas angrily declared that, “from my standpoint, as a black American, as far as I’m concerned it is a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas.”

Biden has admitted that the Thomas confirmation hearings were not his finest hour, and expressed his regret to liberal feminist activists for having failed to give Hill’s accusations against Thomas more support.

Seventeen years later, Senate Democrats used the same kind of unverified accusations to unfairly besmirch the reputation of President Trump’s nominee, Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh, during his Senate confirmation hearings. Although both Thomas and Kavanaugh ultimately won confirmation, Biden and his fellow Democrats have never apologized to either of the two distinguished conservative justices for the shabby way in which they were treated.


Biden administration support for the anti-American rhetoric of progressive activists has only deepened the nation’s political and cultural divide since the November election.

While Biden still pretends to be above the partisan fray, his Democrat supporters continue to demand that the more than 70 million Americans who voted in November to reelect Donald Trump admit they were wrong and publicly beg forgiveness for their alleged “sins” against “racial equity” from the liberal elites. Otherwise, they risk being subjected to revenge and public humiliation at the hands of the vigilantes of the “cancel culture.”

This is hardly what voters who cast their ballots for Biden — expecting that he would keep his promise to reunite the nation as president — had in mind, and it is more evidence of his cynical bait and switch tactics.


Biden has also undermined the United States’ reputation for reliability by continuing to pursue a way to lift the Trump-imposed sanctions on Iran despite its brazen acceleration of uranium enrichment in violation of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal. The Iranians have clearly recognized the inherent weakness of the Biden administration’s negotiating position and now may be trying to exploit it.

The “leak” of an interview with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif in which he said that Obama-era Secretary of State John Kerry had informed him of 200 Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria may have been intended as a subtle warning by Iran to everyone who served in the Obama administration with Kerry when the 2015 nuclear deal was negotiated.

There were many secret terms to the 2015 nuclear agreement and private exchanges between Kerry and Zarif which have never been revealed.

It is quite possible Iran may be threatening to use that information to embarrass Kerry other high-ranking officials of the Biden administration who were involved in the 2015 deal, if the White House does not give in to Iran’s demands in the current negotiations.

More generally, since taking office, Biden has returned to President Obama’s failed foreign policy approach.

Former Obama State Department officials and White House advisors are also encouraging Biden to turn his back on Israel and other longtime American allies in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia.


After a failed second run for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, Biden accepted Barack Obama’s invitation to serve as his vice-presidential running mate. Biden’s strong voting record in the Senate in support of Israel then enabled him to serve as the Obama administration’s troubleshooter with the American Jewish community, smoothing over tensions raised by harsh White House criticism of Israel’s West Bank and Palestinian policies, and strong Israeli objections to the Iran nuclear deal.

However, as president, Biden has been quick to repeat Obama’s mistakes in dealing with Israel.

In a recent telephone call between Biden’s Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Blinken demanded that Israel try to move forward once again with the two-state solution, ignoring the repeated failure of that approach ever since Yasser Arafat flatly rejected it at the 2000 Camp David summit, and walked out on then-President Bill Clinton and then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Nevertheless, Biden’s foreign policymakers still refuse to accept the harsh but clear reality that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians believe that a successful two-state solution is possible anymore.

On the other hand, the Trump administration was able to achieve much better results only after it recognized that the two-state solution was a negotiating dead end.

Trump’s innovative regional approach to Middle East diplomacy resulted in several historic peace agreements between Israel and pro-Western Arab states, which now form the diplomatic foundation for a powerful alliance to counter the growing Iranian menace to peace and stability in the region.

However, the Biden administration has barely acknowledged those accomplishments. Instead, it has insisted on going backwards by pressuring Israel to make yet another doomed attempt to revive the two-state solution.

Secretary of State Blinken, on behalf of the Biden administration, has put Israel on the same level as the Palestinians, by publicly stating that both “should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.” Blinken seems to be making the troubling assertion that the current leadership of the PA and Hamas has the same legitimacy and importance to the US as the democratically-elected government of Israel.

Meanwhile, Ned Price, a State Department spokesman, gave new support to organized efforts by radical left-wing anti-Semites to delegitimize Israel’s status, by publicly referring to the West Bank as “occupied” territory. The juxtaposition of the two events by the Biden administration was not accidental, and the message it sends to Israel and its friends is chilling.


The Biden administration’s other foreign policy initiatives to date have been equally unimpressive.

The White House has failed to react to the formation of a new alliance between China and Russia with the goal of further weakening US influence in the international community.

China is now developing its own digital currency with the ultimate goal of replacing the US dollar as the world’s dominant standard of monetary value. It also has committed $400 billion dollars to propping up Iran’s economy through new oil purchases. China is also aggressively using its technological prowess and its huge financial resources to challenge America’s influence in countries around the world.

Russia has continued its military buildup along its border with America’s NATO allies in Eastern Europe, directly challenging the Biden administration’s determination to keep those countries free and independent of Russian domination. Russia has continued its efforts to disrupt American democracy and has stepped up its damaging cyberattacks aimed at both private and government-owned computer networks and infrastructure facilities.

The four years of the Trump administration achieved a surprising measure of foreign policy success because it had abandoned the globalist approach which had characterized American diplomacy since the end of the Cold War.

Now, the Biden administration’s globalist policymakers are back in control, and as a result, American foreign policy is back on the defensive, retreating in the face of increasingly aggressive initiatives from America’s main international enemies, including Russia, China and Iran.

Source: Yaakov Kornreich – Yated Ne’eman

‘It’s a patriotic responsibility for God’s sake’: Biden defends wearing mask while vaccinated

During a Friday interview on NBC’s Today Show, host Craig Melvin asked Biden whether he would continue to wear a mask outdoors now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say fully vaccinated people don’t have to.

“Sure,” Biden replied, adding however that the likelihood of being outside without people coming up to him was “not very high.”

The president claimed that if he were sitting closer to Melvin, they would be wearing masks “even though we’ve both been vaccinated,” before calling face masks “a small precaution” that has a “profound impact.”

“It’s a patriotic responsibility for God’s sake!” Biden argued, concluding that it’s about “making sure that your wife, your children, if in fact they haven’t been vaccinated” are “not going to get sick.”

Some have questioned Biden’s strict approach to face masks.

The president was mocked on Thursday during an event in Duluth, Georgia after he frantically searched for his face mask while outside at the podium to no avail, telling supporters, “I’m looking for my mask. I’m in trouble.” Biden eventually found a mask in his pocket.

Biden was also ridiculed the week prior after a screenshot of a virtual climate summit with other world leaders showed him to be the only leader wearing a mask at that moment. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Biden was sending a “message” to the world by wearing a mask during the virtual call.

Biden told Americans in a maskless address last week that they “no longer need to wear a mask,” provided they’re outdoors, fully vaccinated, and “not in a big crowd” – echoing the CDC’s latest guidelines.

Source: RT

How Biden is smashing America’s moral compass and dragging the West behind it

For eight years, the administration of former President Barack Obama behaved as if the security needs of the State of Israel were such an irritating impediment to American foreign-policy aims that it had no compunction in brutally swatting them aside.

As a result, the Obama years were very difficult for Israel. Appallingly, it looks as if the Biden years may be even worse.

Much concern has already been expressed about President Joe Biden’s posture of appeasement towards Iran, along with other moves such as his withdrawal of support from Saudi Arabia and his decision to cut and run from Afghanistan. This has thrown some of the world’s most dangerous places into a state of even more dangerous flux.

Until now, it was possible to believe that his administration was merely hopelessly naive, appeasement-minded or delusional as a consequence of its utopian liberal ideology, and that Israel just happened to be particularly vulnerable to its correspondingly bone-headed blundering in the Middle East.

Now, however, there is evidence that the administration is driven by actual malevolence towards both Israel and Zionism itself, which lowers it into a pit of infamy fouler even than Obama’s hostility and disdain.

That evidence concerns the infamous 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that was held in Durban, South Africa, a few days before the 9/11 attacks.

This was an eye-watering, anti-Israel, anti-Jew hate-fest, whose sole purpose was to demonize and delegitimize Israel under the Orwellian banner of “human rights,” and which erupted into openly Nazi-referenced anti-Semitism.

The notorious, forged handbook of deranged Jew-hatred, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, was distributed to attendees. Leaflets saying Hitler should have finished “his job” circulated, along with fliers depicting him asking “What if I had won?” and receiving the answer: “There would be NO Israel and NO Palestinian bloodshed.”

Jewish participants feared for their safety as activists chanted “Zionism is racism, Israel is apartheid,” and “You have Palestinian blood on your hands.” The Jewish Centre in Durban was forced to close because of threats of violence.

The conference’s NGO Forum attacked every Jewish organization in attendance and passed a resolution calling Israel “a racist apartheid state,” guilty of the “systematic perpetration of racist crimes including war crimes, acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing … and state terror against the Palestinian people.”

The conference’s final declaration brought this verbal pogrom to its climax by naming only one guilty country the world over—Israel—and listing only the Palestinians as “victims of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.”

It thus singled out Israel alone as an instigator of those evils. The sheer lunacy of such a claim, identifying the Jewish state as so monstrous that it was in a category all of its own, placed that declaration itself squarely in the frame of classical anti-Semitism.

In 2011, the United Nations organized a meeting to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Durban conference. The United States, along with thirteen other countries, boycotted it.

In a strong statement, the Obama White House explained that this was because the meeting would reaffirm in its entirety the 2001 Durban Declaration and Program of Action “which unfairly and unacceptably singled out Israel.” The United States, it said, “did not want to see the hateful and anti-Semitic displays of the 2001 Durban Conference commemorated.”

Durban 2001 indelibly marked the moral collapse of the United Nations.

It was the point at which the “anti-racist” and “human rights” movement turned itself into a propulsive motor for anti-Semitism, serving as the launching pad for the campaign of demonization, delegitimization and destruction of Israel that has continued ever since.

The countries that in 2011 boycotted the Durban process held the line against this bigotry. That was then. Now, shockingly, the United States has obliterated that line. Last month, it reversed the Obama administration’s Durban position.

Having just rejoined the U.N. Human Rights Council, America promoted a statement of commitment to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance linked to “recalling the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.”

Obama had repudiated this declaration on the grounds of its unjust demonization of Israel and the “hateful and anti-Semitic displays” around its creation. The Biden administration has embraced it.

Now there is to be a yet further attempt to re-weaponize Durban. In September, the United Nations plans to hold a 20th-anniversary meeting where the original declaration will be reconfirmed.

As the blogger “Elder of Zion” has observed, given America’s endorsement of Durban at the Human Rights Council, it’s entirely possible that the Biden administration will attend the September meeting—and thus associate the United States with what the Obama White House condemned as a commemoration of the “hateful and anti-Semitic displays of the 2001 Durban Conference.”

Shocking as all this is, it makes perfect sense in light of the Democrats’ embrace of intersectionality and identity politics.

Intersectionality holds that Jews and the State of Israel are “white privileged” oppressors (even though most Israeli Jews are brown-skinned, coming from regions of the Middle East).

According to this dogma, Israel can’t be the victim of Iran or the Palestinian Arabs (although it indubitably is), and no people of color can be anti-Semites (which some indubitably are).

Proponents of intersectionality view only white people as a threat. This is now the view of the Biden administration. In his address on Wednesday night to Congress, Biden said, according to the prepared text on the White House website (when he actually delivered the speech, he managed to mangle his words):

“The most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism.”

He made similar remarks in February when he said white supremacists were “the most dangerous people in America,” calling them “demented.”

But he doesn’t think those Palestinian Arab preachers and officials who say things like the Jews are “thirsty for blood to please their god” or that the Jews were forced out of Europe in the past because of the threat posed by their “evil nature” are demented. He doesn’t think the Iranian leaders who deny the Holocaust, allege a Jewish conspiracy to replace Islam by Western imperialism and claim Jews seek to dominate the entire world are demented.

Instead, he treats the Iranians as rational actors with whom he wants to negotiate and into whose terrorist activities he intends to help funnel billions of dollars. And instead of acknowledging the Palestinians’ exterminatory anti-Semitism as demonstrating “racism, xenophobia and related intolerance,” he declares them to be the principal victims of such attitudes.

When Britain’s Labour Party was in the grip of its hard-left, anti-Israel and anti-Semitism-promoting leader Jeremy Corbyn, there were Americans who took comfort in the belief that such a development couldn’t happen in their own country. In fact, the Biden administration is even more baleful.

Whether Biden is too mentally fragile to grasp what he’s doing or whether he has made a cynical calculation of where his interests lie in today’s increasingly radical Democratic Party, it would seem that there’s a puppet of the hard left in the Oval Office.

And it’s not just America and Israel which are likely to feel the impact of this.

When the United States boycotted the 2011 Durban meeting, so did many other nations besides Israel. Now the reverse has happened. Every other nation that boycotted Durban 2011 signed the U.S.-led Human Rights Council statement supporting the original Durban Declaration.

The demonization of Israel has helped smash the cultural moral compass of the West.

Now America is smashing its moral compass in politics, too—and as a result, is dragging the rest of the so-called civilized world behind it, to the potential endangerment of all.

Source: Melanie Phillips – JTS via Arutz Sheva

18 French active-duty servicemen to face MILITARY COURT over open letter blasting ‘Islamist hordes’ & looming ‘civil war’

Each of the identified soldiers and officers would appear before a higher military council, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, General Francois Lecointre, told Le Parisien.

All of them would be subjected to “disciplinary sanctions,” with the harsher ones reserved for the most senior ranks, he added.

“I believe that the higher the responsibilities, the stronger the obligation of neutrality… is,” the general said. The chief of staff also said that those among the semi-retired generals who signed the controversial letter could potentially be forced to leave military service and go into full retirement.

“These generals will each appear before a higher military tribunal. Following this procedure, it will be the President of the Republic who will sign a decree on [their] retirement,” Lecointre said.

Such a strong response was sparked by an open letter declaring the country is headed toward “civil war,” signed by several former high-ranking military personnel as well as “a hundred senior officers and more than a thousand soldiers.”

The appeal published in the conservative ‘Valeurs Actuelles’ news magazine urged Macron to save the nation from Islamism and the “suburban hordes” of immigrants.

One of those who signed the letter was the former commander of the French Foreign Legion, General Christian Piquemal.

The general previously sparked controversy by participating in a protest against migrants in the French port city of Calais that once hosted the infamous “Jungle” migrant camp – a source of heated tensions with the locals.

Piquemal earned a personal harsh rebuke from Lecointre, who vowed to send him a letter to tell the general that “he is unworthy, taints the army and weakens it by making it a subject to national controversy.”

“I deny them all… a right to make political statements by highlighting their rank,” the chief of staff added. Earlier, French Defense Minister Florence Parly already threatened to impose “sanctions” against the high-ranking officers involved in the affair.

In the wake of the controversy the French government also presented a new bill on fighting Islamist terrorism that would grant more surveillance powers to law enforcement.

The government argued it would make security services more effective in a fight against a “threat that is more difficult to spot” without sacrificing fundamental human rights.

Source: RT

Header: French soldiers patrol the streets of Bretigny-sur-Orge, near Paris, France, November 2020. © Benoit Tessier / Reuters

‘Has to be taken seriously’: Police investigate DEATH LIST of German MPs after vote on lockdown law

A document titled “The death list of German politicians” has surfaced on social media.

The German Criminal Police (BKA) confirmed the list contained the results of the Bundestag’s voting on the ‘Infection Protection Act’ passed on April 21. It also included the names of individual MPs who supported the bill, according to German media.

Police denied the publication of the list posed any “increased security risk,” saying it was created by an “individual.” Law enforcement still warned parliamentarians about the existence of the document, however.

“Such things have to be taken seriously,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said, while the criminal police said an investigation into the list continues. Meanwhile, German media reported other similar lists had appeared online.

Results from German parliamentary votes, including the one on the Infection Protection Act, are freely available to the public on the Bundestag’s website, showing each decision taken by every MP in all bills put to a vote.

The controversial lockdown law was supported by members of the government coalition made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Union bloc and the Social Democrats. All opposition parties either voted against it or abstained.

The Union said that it would hold a “security meeting” on the issue next week. A Social Democratic MP responsible for the faction’s security also called on her colleagues to report any incidents affecting them directly to the police.

The law granted the federal government sweeping powers when to impose harsh lockdown restrictions on states and even individual communities with relatively high infection rates. The list of measures included a night-time curfew between 22:00 and 05:00, among other severe restrictions limiting the work of shops and services.

The legislation, which came into force on April 23, has sparked a public uproar.

A large rally was held in Berlin as the lawmakers were voting on it, ending in scuffles between police and protesters and some 150 arrests.

The passing of the law also led to a flurry of complaints being lodged with the German Constitutional Court as the legislation’s opponents argued it violated people’s fundamental rights.

Source: RT

COVID has emboldened our modern censors

The past year has accelerated all kinds of trends that were already moving through our societies. Social atomisation, the decline of the high street and communities, the rise of the nanny state — COVID and lockdown have brought all of these to the fore.

Among the most concerning is the rise of Big Tech censorship, and the way in which a handful of Silicon Valley oligarchs have come to set the terms of debate and even rule on what is true.

This week representatives from Facebook and Twitter were brought before parliament to discuss their firms’ censorship of discussion around COVID.

Two particularly pertinent cases were raised — though there are many more. The first was a statement by Martin Kulldorff, a professor at the Harvard Medical School and one of the key authors of the anti-lockdown Great Barrington Declaration.

His tweet last month, suggesting that not everyone needed to be vaccinated, particularly those who had previously been infected, was labelled ‘misleading’ by Twitter.

Tweeters were rendered unable to interact with it and were instructed that ‘health officials recommend a vaccine for most people’. Similarly, in November, Facebook labelled a Spectator article on the efficacy of masks, penned by Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, as ‘false information’.

Here we have two social-media giants effectively intervening in scientific debate.

Kulldorff, Heneghan and Jefferson are not snarling conspiracy theorists or bluffers wading into things they don’t understand. They are dissenting scientists and medics who hold positions at esteemed institutions. On what basis could Facebook or Twitter simply declare their arguments null and void? The answers provided to parliamentarians were chilling. Katy Minshall, head of UK public policy at Twitter, essentially said anything that contradicts official guidance from public health authorities is deemed misleading by the platform. She told the committee:

“What we want to do is when people see [Kulldorff’s] tweet to really quickly direct them to authoritative sources of information like the CDC, the NHS or the Department of Health so they can see what the official guidance is and make up their own mind.”

Ms Minshall’s comment is, ironically, misleading — Twitter isn’t inviting people to ‘make up their own minds’, it is labelling statements as incorrect and banning users from interacting with it. Given that public health authorities across the world have got a lot wrong during this pandemic — this time last year UK health authorities were advising against masks and until last summer Public Health England wasn’t even counting the deaths properly — this seems a dodgy standard. Later on, Facebook’s representative told the Lords that an army of fact-checkers, most of whom will not have had any medical or scientific training, essentially have the final say on what is or isn’t deemed ‘false’ on the world’s biggest social network.

Social media censorship is nothing new of course.

For years now Twitter, Facebook and YouTube have been gradually tightening their policies around hate speech and misinformation in response to various moral panics about bigotry, bile and bunkum on their platforms. But the COVID pandemic has pushed them well beyond what even they would have previously been comfortable with.

There was an elitist assumption at the beginning of the pandemic that people are idiots and so shouldn’t be left to navigate the COVID debate for themselves.

This led to incredible pressure being piled on social media giants to filter, fact-check and censor. As recently as 2018, Mark Zuckerberg insisted that Facebook would not censor conspiracy theories, even Holocaust denial, because it was not Facebook’s business to rule on what is true.

Now Facebook, Twitter and the rest are censoring not only COVID-denying loons but also eminent scientists who just so happen to dissent from official orthodoxy.

This is a disaster for freedom of speech.

These corporate giants essentially own the modern-day public square.

What’s more, at a time when citizens are being asked to put up with unprecedented restrictions on all their other liberties, freedom of speech must not be compromised. Even where there is a strong consensus on a specific course of action — like lockdown — dissent is still vital. If nothing else, it forces the powers that be to present their evidence and refine their arguments. In times of crisis, free speech matters more not less. And yet Big Tech took the precise opposite message from the pandemic.

COVID became a pretext on which it has further tightened its grip.

Source: Tom Slater – The Spectator

Scores Crushed to Death at Lag BaOmer Event in Meron, Israel

At least 45 people died and scores were injured in the midst of the traditional all-night Lag BaOmer religious celebration near the hallowed resting place of revered second-century sage Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai in Meron, northern Israel.

As thousands moved through narrow walkways and alleyways at around 1 a.m., momentum and pressure built-up through a stone passageway and turned into an unstoppable current propelling people down a staircase at the base of the passage where, according to some reports, the surge was met by blockades set up by authorities. With no way to stop the momentum, dozens were tragically trampled.

Five worshippers were in critical condition and 18 in serious condition at local and regional hospitals after dozens of ambulances and six helicopters were called to the scene to treat and evacuate the injured, according to emergency medical service Magen Dovid Adom.

Cell phone service at the scene, spotty at the best of times, crashed as tens of thousands tried to contact family, friends and emergency services, and buses were continuing to evacuate participants well into Friday morning.

The names of victims began to be released in Israel on Friday afternoon, with many families still unable to reach loved ones more than 12 hours after the disaster. The dead include adults and children.

With a year-round population of approximately 1,000, the tiny mountain town is annually transformed during a 36 hour period into a magnet for hundreds of thousands who flock from across the country and around the world to pray at the hallowed resting place of the Talmudic sage and mystic.

Rabbi Shimon was the first to publicly teach the mystical dimension of the Torah known as the Kabbalah, and is the author of the foundational text of Kabbalah, the Zohar.

Only hours before his passing in approximately 160 C.E., he informed his students that his soul was soon going to leave its body and celebrate together with its Maker. As such, he requested that instead of being saddened, his students mark the day with great joy and holy rejoicing.

Every year on the anniversary of his passing, 18 Iyar on the Jewish calendar, also known as Lag BaOmer, thousands trek to Rabbi Shimon’s mountaintop grave to pray around the clock, study his mystical teachings and light bonfires—representing the light of Torah Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai brought into the world.

Lag BaOmer is the 33rd day of the Omer counting period that begins on the second day of Passover and culminates with the holiday of Shavuot, following day 49.

The events in Meron are marked with festive music and dancing, with dozens of simultaneous events running past dawn and through the day. Leading rabbis light bonfires surrounded by thousands of singing and dancing members of their community on bleachers and scaffoldings.

Israel recently lifted the last outdoor COVID restrictions after the drop in cases due to the high vaccination rate in the country. And while attendance was lighter this year than past pre-pandemic years, there had been an extra measure of joy this year among the estimated 100,000.

At around 1 a.m., thousands rushed down a narrow passage leaving the site of one of the massive bonfires, estimated to be the second largest of the many events occurring in Meron and attracting some 15,000 people.

Unable to stop their forward momentum, people began to fall over each other on a staircase at the base of the passage, and dozens were tragically trampled.

Emergency vehicles rushed through the milling crowd, some unaware of the catastrophe unfolding only feet away. Caravans of stretchers were rushed in, and medical and military helicopters airlifted victims as ambulances navigated the packed hilly roads of Meron.

The masses that were enthusiastically celebrating only moments earlier remained in place in order not to disrupt the first responders arriving and the evacuation of those injured.

Volunteers and emergency response personnel could be seen standing amid the aftermath of the horrific carnage, empty water bottles and debris strewn about where celebrants stood singing and dancing only moments before.

As news spread of the tragedy, phone service was down as family members of the multitudes at the site tried frantically to check up on their loved ones.

The word hit just as Lag BaOmer events were starting in North America, throwing a pallor over the joyous atmosphere. Celebrations that then continued in a fashion described in the Zohar itself, with “joy lodged in one side of the heart, and trembling in the other.”

This is not the first time that tragedy marred the celebrations in Meron—in 1911, a roof collapsed on revelers and nine people died, ranging from an eight-year-old to a 65 year-old—but this is one of the worst civil disasters in recent history.

Words of condolence for the families in mourning were received from around the world, and the public is asked to pray for the wellbeing of all the injured.

Source: CHABAD

Is It Too Much to Ask Those Pushing the Injections Do Not Exempt Themselves From Liability?

Hey, I have a deal for you. Go ahead and inject yourself with this awesome chemical cocktail we came up with.

It’s perfectly safe and will protect you from a disease that for those under 55 is less serious than the flu. We’re vouching for it being the safest injection ever.

It’s so safe that we have no doubt that at least 70-80% of the global population should be injected with it as soon as possible, and we’ll devote enormous collective resources to make that happen.

In fact, to motivate you to get injected we may not allow you to go back to your normal lives ever. Without your “green pass” forget about plane travel, or eating out, or enrolling your offspring in schools, or working in a school or hospital. But it’s okay because we are 100% certain it’s safe, and we’re vouching for that. And oh yeah, we also want an exemption from all liability. If you do suffer some ill effect from the injection soon after taking it, or years down the line, you’re all on your own. We don’t want to have anything to do with that.

In fact, we already passed the appropriate “laws” that spell out that injection developers and manufacturers will be exempt from all liability, and in many cases so will be the governments propagandizing for the injections and softly mandating them.

That’s how much actual faith we have in the injections and how much of OUR OWN SKIN we are willing to invest.

Yeah, you can really trust us that injections are safe and we’ll try to ruin your life if you still do not believe us, or just reject the no-guarantees, no-skin-in-the-game injection as a matter of principle.

Sounds like a good and equitable deal? Yeah, we really know how to signal we consider you a dignified equal in a fair and egalitarian society, peasant.

We’re all in this together.

If you follow our diktats and things go bad for you, be assured, we’ll still be a-okay.

Source: Marko Marjanović – Anti-Empire

Abbas delays first Palestinian elections in 15 years, blaming Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday night announced that the first Palestinian national elections in 15 years would be indefinitely delayed.

The vote would be postponed until Israel agreed to allow East Jerusalem Palestinians to participate, Abbas told a conference of senior Palestinian officials.

The decision was widely interpreted to mean the elections will not be held at all in the foreseeable future.

“We have decided to delay the legislative elections until the participation of Jerusalem [residents] is ensured,” Abbas said in a statement following the meeting.

Observers, however, argued that the true rationale was the infighting in Abbas’s Fatah movement and its unpopularity, which raised the specter of defeat to rivals both inside Fatah — such as Marwan Barghouti and Mohammed Dahlan — and outside it, such as Hamas.

Israel has not publicly taken a position on the question of Palestinians voting in East Jerusalem, where it claims sovereignty.

The Palestinians had been scheduled to vote for the Palestinian Legislative Council on May 22, for the first time since 2006. A presidential election was set to follow on July 31, for the first time since 2005.

Many Palestinians had hoped that the elections would allow for a new series of leaders to emerge in Palestinian politics, which is dominated by aging veterans.

Small, scattered demonstrations took place in Gaza and in Ramallah just before the decision was announced. In downtown Ramallah’s al-Manara Square, a few dozen Palestinians called for “their right to the ballot box.”

“No one will believe that this is just a delay. It also makes calling for another election during [Abbas’s] reign nearly impossible,” said former PA adviser Ghaith al-Omari, a senior research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“The genie’s out of the bottle. It’s not like all these people are going to go back to sleep. We could easily see a revolt or an even deeper split,” al-Omari warned. “No one really knows where this might lead.”

Abbas pledged to create a “government of national unity” in the interregnum. But major Palestinian factions, including the terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, boycotted Thursday’s gathering in anticipation of the decision to delay the vote.

Hamas condemned the anticipated decision to delay the vote, which it deemed a “coup.”

The terror group controls the Gaza Strip, having violently ousted Fatah from Gaza in 2007. Abbas’s Fatah movement and its allies have limited self-rule in parts of the West Bank.

“The decision to delay the elections is opposed to our national consensus and popular opinion. It is a coup against our agreements,” Hamas said.

As justification, Abbas claimed Israeli authorities had not responded to a Palestinian request to conduct the elections in East Jerusalem, making the vote impossible.

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem and the Old City, captured by Israel from Jordan in 1967, as the capital of their future state, and have said they will not hold elections without it.

The Oslo Accords, a series of bilateral agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, obligate Israel to allow a symbolic number of Palestinians to vote in East Jerusalem at designated post offices.

Israel never formally told the Palestinians whether it would permit the vote to take place in Jerusalem, but it has arrested Fatah candidates when they sought to hold election events in the capital.

Nonetheless, technical solutions exist for the participation of East Jerusalem Palestinians.

The Palestinian elections commission noted last week that the vast majority of East Jerusalemites — around 150,000 voters — would head to ballot boxes in the West Bank on election day.

In the 2006 national legislative vote, Palestinians elected a parliament dominated by Hamas.

The vote yielded a bloody civil war between the two factions, which ended with Hamas expelling Fatah from Gaza.

Abbas, who has held the presidency since 2005, is over 15 years into his four-year term. He now postpones the elections with his own Fatah movement deeply divided, its internal power struggles having been thrown into relief by the aborted vote.

Many in the PA leadership opposed heading to the ballot box from the start, seeing little benefit to holding an election, diplomatic sources said.

The United States was lukewarm on the vote as well, fearful that a divided Fatah could lead to a Hamas parliamentary victory similar to its 2006 landslide.

At the start, Ramallah seemed to believe it could control the results of the vote. But Palestinian politics shook dramatically after enormously popular Palestinian security prisoner Marwan Barghouti backed his own slate of candidates mere hours before the deadline.

Convicted by an Israeli court of direct involvement in five murders during the Second Intifada, Barghouti, a senior Fatah member, is currently serving five life sentences.

Many Palestinians still view him as a steadfast symbol of resistance — a sharp contrast to the unpopular Abbas, whom many Palestinians believe is corrupt.

Senior officials in Ramallah made several attempts to keep Barghouti and his ally Nasser al-Kidwa from challenging Abbas by putting together a rival slate in the parliamentary vote. Senior Abbas advisor Hussein al-Sheikh paid visits to Barghouti in prison, reportedly in an attempt to dissuade him.

“If Barghouti were elected, these guys would be out,” a diplomatic source told The Times of Israel earlier this week, referring to Abbas’s inner circle.

The threat emanating from Barghouti sent the elections into a tailspin, as senior officials in Abbas’s inner circle began to sense a real possibility of defeat. With most in the Palestinian president’s inner circle already opposed to the vote, the pressure to wriggle out of the impending election grew.

Abbas defended his decision to postpone the elections as a patriotic stance — anything else, he said, would entail abandoning Jerusalem.

“Now, Israel is saying, ‘this isn’t yours, no matter what.’ What happened in 1996, 2005 and 2006, is one thing, and now is totally different,” Abbas said, referring to previous Palestinian elections.

Over the past week, Palestinian officials launched a campaign to show their public that they were making every possible effort to force Israel to allow an East Jerusalem vote. Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki shuttled between European capitals to press them on the matter.

But it is unclear how much the Palestinian public — most of whom, a recent survey showed, support holding the elections on time — believe their leaders’ justification.

Anticipation for the vote had been building across the West Bank and Gaza for months. Thirty-six lists were prepared to run in the parliamentary elections, and the campaign was set to officially begin this Friday.

Analysts warn that Abbas could face popular opposition following the vote’s delay.

“There could be popular protest, given that most of the lists in the elections oppose delaying the vote,” allowed Ramallah-based analyst Jihad Harb.

Hamas, meanwhile, could stand to gain in popularity.

The terror group has sought to portray itself as the defender of Palestinian democracy in the face of attempts to delay the elections.

“Hamas is sitting back and enjoying the show with popcorn. They benefit from anything that shows that Fatah is weak. Since their goal is to lead the Palestinian national movement once Fatah goes, they’d be the last man standing,” al-Omari said.

Source: Aaron Boxerman – TOI

Meron: Condolences from around the world

As the world wakes up to the news of the mass casualty incident in Meron, many nations have sent their condolences to the grieving and their best wishes for the injured.

The European Union ambassador made a statement in English and Hebrew, saying that he is:

“Deeply saddened by the terrible news of injuries and deaths at Lag Ba’omer celebration on Mount Meron. My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and wishes of speedy recovery to all those that were injured.”

Jonathan Shrier, Chargé d’Affaires of the USA Embassy in Israel, commented via Twitter:

“Tragic news overnight from Mount Meron. I am praying for the healing of those injured and send my sincerest condolences to those who lost loved ones. May their memory be a blessing.”

Austria’s Foreign Ministry tweeted:

“Shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic events at Mount Meron in Israel. Our hearts go out to the people of Israel and the families and loved ones of the victims. We wish a swift recovery to all those injured.”

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted:

“Terrifying news from Mount Meron, Israel. Deeply saddened by the loss of life caused by a tragic crush at a religious gathering. My heart goes out to the families of the victims. I wish a speedy recovery to the injured. Ukraine stands by Israel at this dark hour.”

Susanne.Wasum-Rainer, German Ambassador to Israel, commented:

“Waking up to the shocking news of the tragedy of Lag BaOmer festivities. While the situation still seems to be evolving, I am heartbroken about reports of multiple casualties and suffering. I am deeply saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred tonight. My thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with the families who have lost a loved one in LagBaOmer celebration.”

India’s Foreign Minister tweeted:

“Deeply saddened at the tragedy in Israel at Mount Meron during the celebrations of Lag Ba’omer. Extend my condolences and wish the injured a speedy recovery.”

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, has issued the following statement:

“We are in shock and mourning over the catastrophe in Meron during the Lag Ba’Omer celebrations. Our prayers are with the wounded and victim’s families.”

The international statements follow those made by Israeli leaders on Thursday night.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) has commented as well, giving a brief picture of the situation: “At this difficult hour, words cannot possibly offer comfort and cannot possibly describe the magnitude of pain caused by the terrible tragedy at Har Meiron. From the bottom of my heart, I share my deepest sympathies with the families who have lost loved ones and pray for the recovery of the injured.”

“All night long, our security forces, Home Front Command rescue teams, the IDF Northern Command, and the Israeli Air Force (IAF) have worked alongside the police force and field personnel to save human lives. This is a difficult hour and our hearts are with the families. We are wholly committed to investigating the failures, drawing the necessary conclusions and applying them going forward so that this type of tragedy never repeats itself.”

Source: Shlomo Witty – Arutz Sheva

Yamina demands Justice Ministry for Shaked

The Yamina party is demanding that the “bloc of change” hand the Justice Ministry to Ayelet Shaked, a request that will cause Gideon Sa’ar to demand the Defense and Finance Ministries.

The demand, according to a report by Channel 12 News’ political commentator Amit Segal, is causing delays in negotiations between the two sides. At present, according to the report, negotiations for the formation of a Lapid-Bennett government are moving slowly.

The report also said that the “bloc of change” is suspecting that the Likud and Yamina chairman Naftali Bennett are planning a trick whereby the Likud would recommend Bennett, he will be the first in a rotation as Prime Minister, and the Knesset Arrangements Committee will not be in hands that are hostile to the Likud, preserving the possibility of approving a law for the direct election of a Prime Minister.

Source: Arutz Sheva

‘One of Israel’s worst disasters. People were crushed to death’

Dov Maisel, Director of Operations at United Hatzalah, described the stampede in Meron, in which dozens of people were killed and injured.

“We just finished treating one of Israel’s worst disasters. A terrible disaster of people who came to celebrate Lag Ba’Omer and unfortunately were literally crushed to death,” said Maisel.

“Many people were hurt, injured and killed here and the volunteers behind us are being gathered together for an immediate debriefing of the psychotrauma unit due to the fact that they were exposed to very difficult sights that we haven’t seen here since the worst days of terrorist waves back in the beginning of the 2000s. I have no words, I honestly have no words,” he added.

Documentation of disaster in Meron

Source: Arutz Sheva

‘A terrible disaster’

At least 44 people were crushed to death and more than 100 people hurt, including many in critical condition, in a stampede after midnight Thursday at a mass gathering to celebrate the Lag B’Omer holiday at Mount Meron, medics said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the incident “a terrible disaster.”

The Magen David Adom rescue service said 38 people had been killed at the scene. It said its paramedics treated dozens of people, including 18 in a serious condition, 2 who were moderately hurt, and 80 lightly injured. All the wounded were evacuated to hospitals.

The Ziv hospital said six of the wounded had died and the Health Ministry confirmed that the total death toll was 44.

The event appeared to be one of the worst peacetime tragedies in Israel’s history, equaling the death toll from the 2010 Mount Carmel forest fire.

MDA Director-General Eli Bin told the Ynet news site that at least 38 people were dead, and the wounded were being evacuated to the Ziv hospital in Safed, the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, Rambam hospital in Haifa, Poriya hospital in Tiberias, and Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem.

Several hospitals opened hotlines for people to search for family and friends who may have been injured; Galilee: 04-9850505, Ziv: 04-6828838 and Poriya: 04-6652211. Police could also be contacted at 110.

The specific cause of the disaster was not immediately clear.

Initial reports said a stand had collapsed at one of the concerts where 100,000 people were taking part in the events. However, the Magen David Adom rescue service said the tragedy was caused by a crush and overcrowding.

A police official said dozens of participants in a concert had “slipped,” falling on those below them while walking along a slippery walkway and causing a crushing domino effect.

Meanwhile, the IDF, which sent its elite 669 rescue team to the site, said a roof had collapsed.

MDA spokesman Zaki Heller told the Ynet news site that the deaths were caused by severe overcrowding.

Huge crowds were attending the annual gathering in the northern Galilee, which include visits to the gravesite of the second-century sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai and massive bonfires on the mountainside.

“The rescue teams were called to one of the concerts near Bar Yochai’s tomb, where there was a terrible crush near a building. There were dozens trapped on a nearby stand and it took time to evacuate them,” Heller said.

“There are fatalities, it is a very terrible tragedy,” he said, adding that it was a very complicated rescue effort that was still ongoing throughout the night.

Pictures from the scene showed bodies covered in blankets and bags.

Video from the scene showed rescue workers were attempting to set up a field hospital and dozens of ambulances could be seen trying to navigate through the huge crowds.

Video from before the incident showed tens of thousands of people in the makeshift arena, dancing and jumping up and down on the stands to music.

Chaos as children search for parents

A ZAKA emergency rescue officer speaking at the service’s field hospital at the site, told Channel 12 news that there was chaos at the site, with parents separated from children.

He said ZAKA is trying to gather all the children who have become separated from their parents at the ZAKA facility, and bring them together.

“We are trying to locate people who are believed to be missing… to organize a register of names,” he said.

Mobile telephones were not working, he says, and the situation is chaotic.

“There are more than 30 children here right now… whose mothers and fathers aren’t answering the phone.”

“Without getting graphic,” he said, “I’ve been with ZAKA for decades. I’ve never seen anything like this… We don’t know exactly what happened, but the result is unthinkable.”

ZAKA has a long history of dealing with tragedies, including collecting body parts from suicide bombings.

He said all the injured have been evacuated from the site.

At around midnight Thursday, organizers had estimated that some 100,000 people were at the site, with an additional 100,000 expected to arrive by Friday morning.

Police later shut down the event and were evacuating all the participants. Roadblocks were set up to prevent people from arriving at the scene.

Earlier police struggled to clear the crowds from the scene to allow access to ambulances. Loudspeakers called in Yiddish and Hebrew for people to make way and let rescuers come through.

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, who was on one of the stages at the time of the apparent collapse, remained there with other leading rabbis, saying psalms for the wounded.

President Reuven Rivlin tweeted that he was watching developments with great trepidation and praying for those who were hurt.

Netanyahu called the incident “a terrible disaster,” said “everyone is praying for the recovery of the injured,” and offered his support to rescue workers at the scene.

The huge gathering, the largest in Israel since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, had already sparked health fears.

Due to the large crowds, police said they were unable to enforce coronavirus restrictions at the site.

Earlier in the evening, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said it treated 148 people at Mount Meron during the day, including eight who were taken to the Ziv hospital for further treatment.

Most were treated for fainting, heart problems, light injuries and exhaustion, though two attendees were in critical condition at the medical center: An 80-year-old man who lost consciousness and was evacuated as medics attempted to resuscitate him, and a 40-year-old who was evacuated after suffering an acute allergic reaction.

Health Ministry officials had urged Israelis not to travel to Mount Meron, worried the festivities could lead to mass coronavirus contagion.

Some 5,000 police officers were said to have been deployed at the event.

Source: TOI

44 people killed in structure collapse during Lag Ba’Omer celebrations in Meron

44 people were killed and dozens more were injured on Thursday night in a structure collapse during Lag Ba’Omer celebrations on Mount Meron.

Paramedics from Magen David Adom and United Hatzalah provided treatment to the victims, including several who were unconscious, and evacuated them to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem, Rambam Hospital in Haifa, Ziv Hospital in Tzfat, Poriya Hospital in Tiberias and the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya.

Fighters from the Home Front Command’s rescue brigade, medical forces from the Northern Command and a number of Air Force helicopters with medical teams are assisting in treating the large number of victims in Meron.

Hundreds of thousands of people who were at the scene celebrating were evacuated with the help of police forces, ZAKA and volunteers. The roads leading to the area have been blocked to traffic.

Police called on the public at the scene to arrive at the bus stops and parking lots so that all visitors can be evacuated. “We ask all visitors on their way to Mount Meron to retrace their steps, the entrances to the site have been closed and visitors will not be allowed to enter.”

United Hatzalah medical personnel performed CPR on a number of critically injured individuals following the mass casualty incident in Meron that took place near the Toldot Aharon bonfire. In addition, medical volunteers from the organization treated dozens more who suffered serious, moderate, and light injuries.

CEO of United Hatzalah Eli Pollack, who was called in to manage the on-site dispatch, said: “This was a very tragic incident, and resulted in the loss of life. Dozens of United Hatzalah volunteers participated in performing CPR and providing medical treatment to dozens of people in varying states of injury. Some of the injured were transported to Ziv hospital in Tzefat and to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya by United Hatzalah ambulance teams.”

Chief Paramedic Avi Marcus said: “This was a terrible incident and is one that was very difficult for our responders. Dozens of people were injured, and sadly, numerous people were killed due to the severity of the injuries which they suffered. After the injured were all treated and transported to the hospital, members of United Hatzalah’s Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit provided emotional and psychological stabilization to the many people who were suffering from shock after witnessing the event. This was a mass casualty incident on many levels.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Tragedy on Mount Meron. We all pray for the healing of the injured. I want to strengthen the rescue forces operating in the area.”

President Reuven Rivlin said, “I am following the reports from Meron with great anxiety and praying for the healing of the wounded.”

Source: Elad Benari – Arutz Sheva

Eastern Symphony

But Augustine lived a long way from Constantinople, and the Byzantine establishment found the more celebratory cosmology of Eusebius more to its liking.

It is not the cosmology of Eusebius that concerns me, but the political arrangement that this pointed to. As better developed in my previous post: the emperor was to be subject to divine law; the bishops would be subject to the emperor. This, in distinction to Augustine’s two cities.

Justinian famously codified Roman law, integrating religion, culture and politics – as had to be the case given this Eastern cosmology. He legislated nearly all aspects of Christianity, including the place of the clergy in society. His vision of the Christian state can be defined as symphony, or caesaropapism; of these two terms, he coined the former. As explained by Strickland:

…it is not a symphony between Church and state, or even between clergy and ruler. It assumes that the two are one, and that the purpose and identity of both groupings is identical.

For the early part of medieval Europe, this was the case – changed, per Strickland, only with the reform papacy of the eleventh century: Christendom would assign the clergy a new role of supervision and earthly transcendence. This role – and the division it allowed regarding governance – would survive until the Protestant Reformation, when it collapsed once again, with the clergy having no legitimate role in the political life of society.

In theory, this Eastern symphony held that the bishops were to ensure that the emperor remained subject to divine law, but it rarely worked out this way given the power relationship. When Justinian slaughtered thirty thousand citizens during the Nika Riots, no bishop came forward to speak truth to power. Conversely, the emperor had no hesitation to ask the bishops for support, regardless of policy.

He could be tyrannical, but Justinian also passed many new and unique laws: laws in support of women, laws against infanticide, property rights of women were increased, and women convicted of adultery were no longer under penalty of death. Sex slavery was forbidden, and crown resources were used to help women escape prostitution.

By now, Rome had been successfully invaded by the Visigoth Alaric. Justinian, the emperor housed in Constantinople, would spend significant time and treasure in a battle for reunification. At this time, the emperor was still “Emperor of the Romans”; official documents were still written in Latin, not Greek; and the capital was still officially called “New Rome.”

This battle for reunification was a waste of lives and resources; nothing was gained, or regained. In the meantime, the Lombards would cross the Alps into Italy. Rome and Ravenna would remain firmly in the hands of Constantinople for another two hundred years, but much of northern Italy was lost to the barbarians.

Therefore, it was Constantinople that would be the center of both the Roman and Christian world. Even those few who remained and survived in Old Rome would agree with this. The greatest temples and the best scholarship were all to be found in the East.

Which left the Roman bishop as the sole governance entity in the West. As the political element was disappearing from Rome, the ecclesiastical element was taking its place. But it would go further, in the person of Pope Leo the Great…

…who claimed, largely without precedent, that the papacy exercised jurisdictional preeminence (principatus) throughout the universal Church.

This certainly opened up a rivalry with the emperor; even more, it dismayed Eastern Bishops: the other recognized centers of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem did not take kindly to such a notion.

[Leo] was one of the first to claim that because the Apostle Peter had died in Rome, the bishop that ruled there was Peter’s unique heir.

The line from this point to the Great Schism is not a straight one. Gregory the Great, at the end of the sixth century, was a pope who held close ties to Constantinople – holding to the ties that bound East and West. Gregory himself spent seven years in Constantinople, prior to his election; he had a deep understanding of Eastern Christianity. Gregory would not claim papal supremacy, as Leo had done; in fact, he wrote against such a practice of supremacy by any of the five bishops (including his) over any of the others.


Politically and militarily, Christendom was under attack: from the east, Persia; from the south – in the Middle East, North Africa, and southern Europe – from Islam. In the east and Middle East, much of Christendom was lost – primarily the areas populated by Monophysites, known under the umbrella of Oriental Orthodoxy, and distinct from the Eastern Orthodox.

The Monophysites were given preferential treatment by the conquering Arabs, given the former’s tensions with the Orthodox Byzantines. But clearly, these invasions would shape Christendom both religiously and politically in the decades and centuries to come.


I intend to minimize as much as possible the review of the various doctrinal points and differences in this history, staying focused on the issues that effect differences in governance. I offer the following, however, due to its significance – for those both interested in and unfamiliar with Eastern Orthodoxy. It regards St. Maximos the Confessor, called “the father of Byzantine theology.”

At the heart of his theological vision was deification, the doctrine that man, as the biblically defined image of God, can experience direct communion with God through the sacramental and ascetical life of the Church.

  • As Maximos would write:

…[man], the image of God, becomes God by deification…. Thus God and those worthy of God possess in all things one and the same energy, or rather, this common energy is the energy of God alone, since he communicates himself wholly to those who are wholly worthy.

Source: Bionic Mosquito

Header: A picture shows the 14-pointed silver star at the Grotto, believed to be the exact spot where Jesus Christ was born and where Christian worshippers come to pray in the Church of the Nativity, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, on December 21, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / THOMAS COEX